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ASK MATT
Quick 'n' Dirty
December 7, 2006

Matt Demers - 21:35 EST

YEP, the exam is due in a matter of hours now, so a few questions is all I've got time for today. Yeah, I feel like a bad host and such, but... priorities, priorities. I'd rather throw together something and not fail my last grad-level math course, of course.

So, what are we waiting for? Time to dive in!




LETTERS
Another list of wants and must-haves!


Well the question posed is what goes on my Christmas list. For starters I want a few more games for my Wii, namely Red Steel and Trauma Center. Possibly Elebits. Then if we move on I'd like to get Rogue Galaxy.

Matt

Red Steel's not really my style, and I've heard that it's rather mediocre, all in all, but I think that both Trauma Center and Elebits look fantastic, and I want them reeeeeal bad.

Rogue Galaxy? It doesn't look like you'll be able to put it on your Christmas list this year, because it's slated for release sometime early next year, if my crystal ball fails me not.

Of course that's just the video games. I want a ton of stuff for my other habit, miniature war gaming. Privateer Press(http://www.privateerpress.com) just makes some awesomely artistic sculpts for their fantasy game. I want there to be a video game(an RPG not an RTS) based in their created world. If that would happen I would need nothing else for Christmas.

Matt

Heh. Neato. Has there ever been any talk about such a game? And I assume that as a fan of this company, that you're an avid collector, too? I used to collect sculptures when I was really young, but now I mostly just stare, face against glass, at them, when tempted, until someone peels me away. I don't have the money to spend on 'em anymore, though.

Regarding the discussion of PSP vs. DS I can't really comment on the PSP, but I love my DS. I've bought three of them. The first broke due to me being stupid so I replaced it. Then I upgrade to a DS Lite and handed my "replacement" one down to my girlfriend. Being able to play GBA games is a plus, I wish they had made it fully backwards compatible with all Gameboys though. I find that my fingerprints end up all over the touch screen though. But since putting on a screen protector I haven't scratched either screen at all.

Matt

I did almost exactly the same thing, though I've never broken one. I gave my old DS to my partner so that I'd have an excuse to buy a DS Lite, and now we're a proud pair of DS owners. I yell at anyone who puts their bare hands on the screen, though. Ugh, have a little consideration, people! I don't care if you're my friends, sheesh.

So I should ask a question. Seeing as I brought up my other hobby I'll ask, "What hobbies/activities do you do other than play videogames?"

Ken

Matt

Wow. Well, I don't get a huge amount of time to practice any of my other hobbies terribly frequently, but I love to exercise/work out/go to the gym, and I try to go every day. To offset the potential benefits of hobby #1, I also have more than a bit of a passion for food, and I love to experiment in the kitchen whenever I get the chance to. Finally, my real biggest hobby is designing RPGs of my own, and in fact, I've created my own pencil-and-paper series ("The Lost Legend," I called them, I through VI) in years past, with linear storylines, complete monster art, and lots more; my brother played through each one. If only I had more free time to play with...

Thanks for writing in. I hope you get everything you desire this holiday!



Feeling hesitant about some current games?


Hi Matt,

First, good luck with your exam. I'm also going through hard ones these days and I understand how bad things can get.

I won't be very original, but I have a question regarding Final Fantasy XII. I still haven't played any of it because I decided to ask it as a Christmas gift to save a bit of money. I wanted to know your opinion: Do you consider it better than FFX? I really enjoyed this one (even though I couldn't stand Tidus and Yuna's voice acting) for both the story and the gameplay.

Matt

I'll tell you one thing: The two are quite like night and day. While Final Fantasy X was linear, FFXII is quite nonlinear. Where FFX was remarkably easy at times, FFXII is quite possibly the most difficult of the series. The storyline is still up in the air, as far as I'm concerned, but the atmosphere is completely different. The setting and backdrop to the storyline is very rich, far beyond anything FFX offered, and I find that the game, as a whole, is somewhat more immersive, if you know what I mean. Overall, I think I'm enjoying it more so far, but on the other hand, remember that FFX is one of my least favourite of the series (though by all means, I think it's still a good RPG). You'll have to make the judgment call yourself, though. It's difficult to say how you'll feel!

I also wanted to ask you if you had the chance to play Tales of the Abyss. I think that since Tales of Phantasia the series has been getting worse and worse; thus I was wondering if ToA would be worth my money. To me, Tales of Phantasia was a unique experience; I loved the characters, the story, and the battle system was simply amazing for its time (if you can forgive a high frequency of encounters). It seems however that the series has become more light hearted in the recent titles. I don't mind a fair bit of humor in RPGs, but when it's taken to ridiculous levels such as in Tales of Legendia (remember those teddy bears going against the villain at some point?), I simply cannot enjoy the game.

Anyway, thank you for your time and good day!
Simon

Matt

I have to say, Simon, that I haven't heard much in the way of negative sentiment at all when it comes to Tales of the Abyss, and absolutely everybody that I've heard from is certain that it's a big improvement over Legendia. I suspect that you'll be pleased if you do decide to give it a spin in the end. Let me know what your own feelings are, if you do!

Thanks for your letter!



Another PSP <3-er emerges!


Uh... Hello!

This is my first time writing in. I've been coming to RPGamer for a couple of years. Though I admit I've only been reading the non-review thingies for about 2 or 3 months. I'm writing today to uh share my two cents, or maybe four~

Matt

What if we want three? Or five? Grrr.

Anyway, I'm happy you've decided to diversify your RPGamer-doings! Welcome to Q&A... may I take your order?

The last few months for me have been great for my gaming life. It's probably the first time I've been able to get so many RPGs on their release day! FF12, Magical Starsign, FF3, Tales of The Abyss, Xenosaga 3, Valkyrie Profile 2, Pokemon Dungeon, FF5V, Summon Night 2, er and a couple of others~ Though there is a draw back.! I don't get x-mas presents this year cause I've got nothing on my list, and with so many games I've not been able to beat any of them except FF12!

Matt

Not too surprising. There have been more RPG releases since August than in any time in the history of video games, I'd wager. It might seem like a bit of a headache to a lot of people who don't have time to play everything in sight. But, on the other hand, I think it indicates that the RPG genre is healthier than it's ever been, which couldn't be better news.

Okay..! So FF12 took me 52 hours and I was level 56 by the time I had finished. I find it so odd though that people think FF12 is hard. I found it so easy, much more so then other FF games.

(To tell you the truth, FF12 is the only Final Fantasy game I've been able to beat.)

Perhaps I found it so easy because it felt like an MMO? I've been playing RO (a Korean MMO) for 3 years now, so I felt right at home with the real time battle system. (Even though RO and FF12 are nothing alike?)

Matt

Really? I can't honestly remember the last Final Fantasy game that I've actually had to go gain levels for awhile. I'm getting better at the game now, but I've seen at least five times as many "Game Over" screens than I ever saw while playing Final Fantasy VIII, IX or X. For the first time in a long, long time, it's entirely possible to get in way over your head just while playing on the main quest. Or, maybe I just suck at the game.

I've noticed that no one has really mentioned Magical Starsign; it's a really cute game. Really witty too, I find myself giggling every time I talk to a npc. The dwarfs are especially amusing. It's also really traditional, which I love.

(And who can pass up comments like "Oh.. You got yourself a little dwarf beard. Made from real beard trimmings? I suppose that means you befriended a dwarf. Or killed one. One of the two I s'pose. Anyway, come on in.")

Matt

Ha ha ha, I've heard that it's full of wit and charm, and despite a bit of a lack of depth of gameplay, quite a few people besides yourself think that it's one of the strongest RPG offerings for the DS. I think I'll be playing this one day fairly soon, to tell you the truth...

Oh! Oh! Also I've noticed a lot of people have been saying bad things about the PSP, which makes Lilly a really sad girl. I love my PSP, even though I only have 4 games for it. I like it just for the fact that Sony is porting so many of the old RPGs I missed~ I've only been gaming for about 5 years now, so as you can imagine I've missed a lot of games. I enjoy my PSP more because its more comfortable to hold then a DS lite. If I had to choose one handheld over the other, I'd probably choose my DS lite. If only for the fact it can play GBA games. But that doesn't mean I don't <3 my PSP too.

I guess that's all I have to say. I hope you score well on your last exam.

With lots of glomps, Lilly.

Matt

...which is great, if you import your games. It's a bit sad that so many of these great old games just aren't deemed worthy enough for North American store shelves, in the eyes of Sony. I personally don't find the DS that painful to hold... except for when you tensely play Mario Kart, holding on, white knuckles and all, for three hours straight. (Yes, those nights were a bit ouchy, I'll admit.)

Thanks for your well-wishes for my final! I still have to write up half of it in good, and it's due in just... thirteen hours! Ack!



More DS versus PSP perspective


Greetings Matt!

The problem with no SOCK is that I keep telling myself I should send a letter, but then I forget and next I know it's the weekend. Makes me a lazy person, and it's a sad thing. =(

Matt

Bah, don't worry about it. I'm glad to hear from you, whether you write in five times a day, or once every five weeks.

SOCK II will get you back on the ball, though, if you're that concerned, as it strikes the column, whenever that may be.

First up, it's nice to know I'm not the only person who wants to tattoo the Blood Sin from Vagrant Story on my back. It doesn't have the nicest connotations in the game, but if I ever get the money (and overcome my fear of needles and septic infections), it'll be a nice conversation piece. Though like you, it'll be impossible to show it off or have it in a professional environment, so it's all moot.

Matt

Indeed. If I felt that strongly about a picture or symbol, I'd stain it on something other than my skin. It'd be a fun project to paint your room with something like that, wouldn't it? Or, you know, get a poster. I'm just too fond of my unmarred layer of skin.

More friends are getting DSes for seemingly FF3 alone, and that makes me scared. Sure I want to play FF3 and Revenant Wings and that really long weird Nomura game, and they're raving about Crisis Core at the same time, but they've no intention to get a PSP...not until it's out, prolly. Even when I eventually pick a handheld, I'll likely get a DS because:

PSP: Lumines, Loco Roco, Crisis Core

DS: FF3, Revenant Wings, Trauma Center, Phoenix Wright, FF remakes advance (assuming the DS lite plays them), that Nomura game...something about a wonderful life.

I wouldn't say the PSP holders have gotten the short end of the stick, since obviously if you pick a handheld, you should want to have games on it. It's not like they bought a PSP because they're blind Sony fanboys who are confident that they'll have twice the amount games than the DS in a year, right?

DMJewelle

Matt

Heh heh... you sound like you're slanting your comments one way, perhaps, though to be honest, it really is a matter of personal taste. If you're fond of the same old sports games and racers, you just can't find them on the DS. Those are just not the kinds of games I like to play! Granted, there are a lot of neat games out there; I'm not really a fan of Metal Gear Solid, but there was just a new and highly-acclaimed installment released for the PSP a bit ago. Both systems truly do have their merits. Some of us can only appreciate the merits of one over the other, though. For me, too, the DS is the portable of choice.

It's good to hear from you!



QUICKIES

In non RPG related news I saw this and wondered what you make of it. Is this really news? Should I care? Here's the Link

Xlash

Matt
Nah. As a "seasoned" mathematics major, I prefer my zeroes indivisible. Plus, the only links at that site to give me more information were in a strange format that I couldn't get into. They lose!


MOGNET MAIL

Mo new mail today, kupo! If you'd like to send me some, and you have Final Fantasy III DS, my code is 515 480 192 117. Send me your number, and I'll add you to my list! Then you can send all the mail you like!



IN CLOSING

Well, that was short and sweet. Due to the submission of my final exam, a Christmas shopping date with a friend, and an exam invigilation job to perform in the morrow, I'll be unable to provide you with a Friday column, I'm afraid. I'll return next week, though, to give you a final taste of "Ask Matt" before the holidays are upon us. Please, have a great weekend, and grant Ouro with a bundle of mail!



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What I Want to Play:

1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

2. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

3. Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn

4. Yoshi's Island DS

5. Pokémon Diamond/Pearl



What I'm Playing:

1. Final Fantasy XII

2. Final Fantasy III DS

3. Final Fantasy V Advance



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