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ASK MATT
Hit Point
October 11, 2007

Matt Demers - 22:39 EST

I CAN'T HARDLY BELIEVE the sheer amount of amazing RPG news there has been for the DS over the past two days. Some of these things are absolute dreams come true. Fire Emblem DS!? It was practically written on the wall from the getgo, I think, but it's so awesome to finally know that they're working on a game. We also got news of a new DS Monolith Soft game, as we hypothesized just a couple of months ago, and a couple of other new titles as well.

Crap, I was right than I thought when I said that the DS would be the next system of choice for RPGamers. I just didn't realize exactly how right I was. Instead of sitting up here in the useless intro section patting myself in the back, let's turn to your letters and see what you have to say!




LETTERS
Eeeep!


"Yeah, so, what's happened while I was away? A few new screens, and that's all, it seems. Meh."

How can you say that?! They announced Etrian Odyssey 2! ETRIAN ODYSSEY 2!!!! My game of the year so far gets a sequel, and all you can say is meh?! I know RPGamer didn't post the screens until after your column, but I emailed you on Friday about it, so you have no excuse (I'll let you off the hook on Fire Emblem DS, though, which is also awesome news). Not only that, but the screenshots show more symbols for mapping, including arrows, which were the main thing I really felt the lack of in the original.

Matt

Oh right, there was that, too. Yeah, that did happen over the weekend, so there's no excuse for that oversight. Actually, ha ha ha... there's really no excuse, and if you want evidence that your Q&A host is somewhat brainless or simple, you can mosey on over to the message boards and notice that I actually put in a reply to the news story thread. So, it totally slipped my mind.

While it isn't AS exciting of an announcement for me as some other things (Fire Emblem, DQ, ...), it's encouraging to see that the developers want to create a better and more balanced Etrian Odyssey. If the original game is unattractive for one reason and one alone, to me that thing would be the lack of balance. If that element were improved, I'd be all over the sequel. Well, I'll be buying the sequel regardless because the original was good in many other ways despite this- I'm just happy that it's apparently being addressed.

So yeah. There's ANOTHER reason to get excited about your DS. Again.



Hi, my name is Matt! Good to meet you.


If I could write myself into any RPG, it would have to be Tales of Symphonia. Being a mid-twenties teacher with a middle school aged sibling, I can completely relate to Raine. Not to mention she's hella attractive. I could be her love interest since Kratos obviously wasn't written to be so. We'd be a match made in heaven. And am I the only one who thinks it's sexy when she goes on her obssesive giddy fests over her archeological finds? Ahh, I think I'm in love. I think I also just answered the old topic of hottest game characters.

Matt

No, I'm sure you're not the only one. I can't agree by default, but, well, that's pretty meaningless.

Speaking of old topics, check out 1up's review on The Orange Box here: http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3163584 So much gaming value for your dollar has never been matched, but you do need a next-gen system. Get One!

Jonezy

Matt

You've very likely guessed (correctly) that I've never played a Half-Life game, given my general disdain for the FPS which, of course, has been discussed ad nauseum to this point. Orange Box looks like it's packed with goodies though- it's one of those releases that we've been hearing about for a long time, but "somehow" the general media buzz centered around Halo 3, and I kind of forgot about this brand new release until I read your mail. Maybe I'd have paid more attention to it if I had a next-gen system, but the games just don't grab me in the first place. Anyway, for all you FPS fans and PS3/360 owners, the game should be newly on shelves, so go out and blast what you will!



Arrryyyyyaaaaaghhhhh. (That's a yawn+stretch; it's just that time of day.)


Dear QnA Writer,

Never having done this before - or even written into a site as I'm doing now before - I have no idea who'll get this or what to expect... That, and I don't have any idea what this SOCK business is all about. I took a quick squiz and I was awfully confused (a net RPG?).

Matt

Well, that's no problem! I'm glad you wrote. Yeah, Sock 2 is a kind of strange version of an online RPG, and is basically the product of my pathetic and unrealizable hopes and dreams of creating my own "real" RPG one day. (Seriously, I'm not around for much longer- will SOMEONE please e-mail me with a job offer!?)

But now that that's out of the way, I'm going to answer some of the Hot Topics in Matt's QnA column (mainly because it's open in my browser at the moment, heh.)

1) I could do the cliche and choose somebody with attractive companions (male or female) so that I could hit on them, but that's far too cliche for my liking. Though, I think I'm going to have to go with Edge Vanhite from Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm. Why? Because I like the idea of going on quests. It just seems like an awfully fun thing to do. Also, the characters in that game are all awfully cute and fun so it'd be a blast hanging out with them all. Using his various weaponry would also be neat.

Matt

It's true. I'd really love to have a life of just going on quests as well. "Bike to campus and go to class at 8:30 in the morning" isn't very questish, and there are absolutely no monsters on en route, unless you count the bandanna-hippie-students, which I don't.

2) Hmm, my answer for this may perhaps seem rather lame but I really like the Dragoon's "Jump" ability. I just like the thought of being able to avoid attacks before striking randomly.

Matt

Plus, the ability to leap into the air several times your height? Forget Sonic, move over Mario... we need Kain in Smash Bros. Brawl!

3) Yep, all the time. Though I'm only a Grade 12 High School student so it's not as bad. I once spent a week and a half playing video games while I had the recent bout of influenza Queesland was suffering from (I'm from Australia, BTW).

Matt

A mixed blessing, for sure! I can see it now: Barf bucket on your left, strategy guide on your right.

4) I just think having the ability to fight enemies would be fun (or at least interesting enough). I mean, you can use all sorts of cool skills, fight neat enemies - and bosses - and eventually level up to become stronger. Also, having an invisible "backpack" to keep huge amounts of items in would be cool (as most RPGs seem to have). Oh, having background music playing even during the most mundane of tasks would be rather cool!

Matt

Yes. Though, if you're like me, you'll often have some kind of background music going through your head at any given time already. I'd love to fight monsters too, and then be rewarded with immediate and measurable reward in the form of Experience, which, at certain intervals, would buff me up and make my HP higher. Muscles, mine at last! I wouldn't need to pay for my gym membership anymore.

Normally, at this point, I'd go on a tangent about something that interests me at the time (usually a rant of some sorts, most like about how PAL gamers get screwed over) but I'm not sure about the word limit, so I'll end it here...

Hopefully next time I write I'll have something more productive to say!

Kind regards,
CruelGenesis

Matt

Not at all, your letter was entertaining, and that is productive in and of itself. Glad to hear from you, CruelGenesis- and maybe I'll hear from you again before my time at RPGamer is up?



How odd!


Hello,

When given the option to change your party leader in a RPG, do you ever use it to walk around as anyone other than the intended main character of the game? I just can't do it. For some reason, I can't help but think that by walking around as anyone but the primary character, I will stumble upon a bunch of strange NPC conversations. This is because, I always feel that no matter how many characters are in my party, all of the NPCs are talking to the character I am walking around as.

-thinkfreemind

Matt

Heh, that is kind of strange- but in some games, it makes a big difference as to the information you're told. Take Xenosaga III, for example. Depending on who you have in the lead, you can actually hear entirely different things from the NPCs around you. So, if you always run around with Shion, you'll certainly miss out on some potentially valuable information!

On a bit of a related note, my brother Chris highly, HIGHLY enjoys it when a main character leaves the party. That time in FFVII when Cloud is incapacitated? Yeah, he totally goes and gains a ton of levels while Cloud can do nothing about it. He hates main characters to the point where sometimes I wonder whether he has some strange kind of RPG disorder.



QUICKIES

SONIC IN SSBB OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

(Yes i'm going so far to use internet slang, such is my surprisement, now we just need bomberman or megaman to fill the last guest spot up)

Bainick is blue, dabade dabadi...

Matt

Oh right, that was that other little piece of news released over the last couple of days, right...? This game is becoming the ultimate in fan service, even if it's giving Nintendo an excuse to delay the crap out of it.

After one of last week's SOCK questions, I feel compelled to share: I have a tshirt with the number i with a circle and a slash through it that says "Keepin' it real".

-Straadin

Matt

That's the best thing I've heard all day.



IN CLOSING

Wow, Ontario just got a new statutory holiday in February. It's like Dalton McGuinty said "Hey, thanks for electing me! Now here's a present."

OK, new hot topic: What are your feelings on the main characters of RPGs, on average? Are they likable? Annoying? Are there any main-character stereotypes that you see ALL the time that drive you absolutely up the wall? If so, write me a good old-fashioned like-they-did-in-the-90's e-mail, and I might just respond to you in a Q&A column soon!

Until tomorrow, take care.



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On my Wishlist:

1. Dragon Quest IX

2. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

4. Dragon Quest IV DS

5. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass



On my Portable/VC Playlist:

1. Etrian Odyssey/Metroid Original

2. Shining Force

3. The Legend of Zelda (NES)



On my Console Roster:

1. Metroid Prime 3

2. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Valkyrie Profile 2(?)

3. Tales of Symphonia



Hot Topics:

1. Which RPG character, if any, do you wish you were... and why?

2. Do you find main characters of RPGs to be, on average, likable or downright annoying?

3. Have you ever taken advantage of illness to play excessive video games?

4. If the world were more RPG-like, what would the best parts (and worst parts) be?

5. Could you imagine ANOTHER company getting in on the video game industry?



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