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I'm Not Quite Dead March 3, 2007

Josh - 9:01 EST

I'm not gone...yet. I made THONG last until this weekend since I knew that I wouldn't be able to post last weekend because, I had to, of all things, move. I think I did pretty damn good getting from Alabama, to Tennessee for a wedding, and then back to Georgia, and then finding an apartment, getting everything set up in said apartment, getting inprocessed into my job, and finally getting INTERNET hooked up, in the span of about a week.

Also, if you've won something in THONG and haven't received it yet, I haven't forgotten about you. I just haven't had the stuff with me until about...yesterday, when my shipment from Pennsylvania came in. I'll send it out Monday, promise!

So here it is...my last weekend. Hope you all enjoyed me being here, and if you didn't, well...you can go **** yourself.

FCC

!!!! Be nice.

Sorry.




L E T T E R S
So long


It's a shame you have to toddle off, but I certainly understand the reasons. You were a good host, and this game was a lot of fun. I'll miss ya!

I'm not exactly sure what to put in as a final topic(s), although in the case of ports, I will say it can be a good thing - I'd never played Tales of Phantasia (obviously), and it was pretty good considering the era it was made in. Plus, FF6 was even better than I'd remembered. I actually don't think I'd mind a mini-trend of remakes/ports, as long as they were quality. Of course, if the FF series Advance has been at all a success, I don't think we could resist the trend anyway!

Josh

Sure, there's nothing really inherently wrong with remakes and ports. I love playing older games that I've loved from ages past. The only downside I honestly see to making these games is that it takes away from the time the developers could be using to create new games, and starting people on loving a new game, rather than rehashing something.

Thanks for the words of appreciation, Leaper. I enjoyed doing this, so I'll probably pop up here and there. At least you have SOCK2 and potentially GARTER (WTF?) to look forward to. :P



Farewell


Greetings, fellow gamer!

One day, during my travels in the caverous jungle known as Manhattan, I happened upon a shop that had the rare RPG knows as Disgaea for an unbelieveable price...still wrapped in plastic! I wanted to get it, but I had heard rumors that the game was going to be re-released in the coming months, and for a better price than what I saw. Several game shop workers gave me conflicting advice: "It's going to be re-released & bring down the value of the original", "It's not gong to be re-released", etc. I'm losing my my mind (and some serious game time) over this--can you give me a definite answer on this matter? Much thanks--may your MP always be at full strength!

Strength & Honor,
Anthony V.

Josh

It is going to be ported to the PSP. It'll have some more characters, some extra dungeons, etc. Now, if you don't own a PSP, there's an obvious choice here. The gameplay will be probably exactly the same, so if you just want it now, I'd say go for the PS2 version. It's a bloody good game, so I'm all for you picking it up, especially if it's at a price you consider good.

As for "bringing down the value of the original," that's a load of crap. Sure, the new version will have some new stuff, but who knows what else? It might bring something to the table that screws up something even bigger. Value is completely relative, so take whatever you hear with regards to it with a grain of salt, my friend.



Auf weidersehn


Hiya!

Well, it's more of a rant than a question actually. Hope it's okay. But first...ahem: I.HATE.FFXII's.STORY. With all the great things they offered in the previous games, it really pissed me off the way they butchered the plot. The writers to this game should be beheaded and put up on the city walls as a warning for all future scriptwriters to see.

Josh

Well, I wouldn't go THAT far, but yeah. FFXII's story was nowhere near on par with other games in the series, despite the rest of the game being quite excellent.

Phew, now that that's off my chest, let's get down to business. My blatant reference to Brad Pitt's line in 'Troy' (in case you didn't know) in the title is to lament about one thing: bosses. The big cheese. The grand finale. The last block that stands in your way to a happily ever after, and as of late, the biggest disappointment to recent RPGs.

See, back in the days when I still think RPG were 'geek materials' and nothing could be cooler than Quake, my lil' bro trotted to me and handed me a copy of the-game-that-we-all-know-too-well with an evil grin on his face. I lazily popped it in, gawked at the beautiful graphics, and was shaken to my core as I realized that it was an RPG. I fell to my knees and wept on the floor, before picking up the controller and continue my journey into Midgar City. I was a changed man (well, boy, actually) and my conversion was topped off by the one name that struck true to the hearts of RPGamers everywhere: Sephiroth. The moment 'One-winged Angel' played and it was just my party and the godly psychopath himself, I knew there was no turning back.

Now, cut to a few years later. I picked myself up a copy of FF8 the moment it was released. I tore through the game like a raving maniac, and grew to love every character in it (even Angelo). And then when the moment of truth was upon me and I squared off against Ultimecia and her pet dog...nothing. No tension, no thrill, no exhiliration over the 'will that move tear me a new one' feeling like when I watch Sephiroth cast his Supernova. Nope, not this time. I spanked her up and get a happy ending and that's IT!

Since it was the first of many FF sequels, I gave the permissive reasoning that no sequel can be better than its predecessors, and turned to other titles and was happy again for awhile before I finally got myself a PS2. And the nightmare begins once again.

It started with, oddly enough, another FF title. Ole' number 10 was the one title I looked forward to for a long time, and when it did came out, I was happier than a kid at Christmas morning. I started to get into the game, loved the story, geared up for one last dance with Yu Yevon, and...blah. That's right, a blah! Not even a 'poof'! The stupid core thing died before I can even say 'Overdrive!'. Even the dark Magus Sisters were more of a final boss than the final boss. WTF?!

Josh

Sephiroth was unique in that the tension was perfect. The story was done in such a fashion that the game REALLY needed to have its climax against Sephiroth, and the game delivered. This is unlike FF8, where Ultimecia was some witch you'd never met before that was introduced at the end of Disc 3. Necron in FF9 was tossed in at the last second, having NEVER heard of him the entire game. Necron could actually be pretty difficult, though. Ultimecia was cake, agreed.

And don't even get me started on FFX. I equate Yu Yevon to the 'last' Sephiroth battle where you are one-on-one with him. You know, impossible to lose. Jecht was the real last boss in FFX, but yeah, he was pretty damn easy too.

Since then I decided to steer away for awhile from any FF titles from the disappointment I get, only to find more in other games. Magna Carta's Neikan and ??? was a joke, Legendia's Schwartz was more of a lame girlie than a real boss, and though SO3's Luther was quite a challenge with his 'I shall owneth thy arse' area move, he proved to be more cake than his lackeys were once you get to a high enough level. I even feel the urge to kick up some trouble in the Seraphic Gate, just to get my 'boss kicks' out of Iselia Queen (which I believe should star as a final boss in her OWN game!).

And then X-2 comes along, and all I can say for THAT game is: what happened?! While I don't mind squaring off against a big, bad, evil looking mecha to top off my epics, Vagnagun was more of a giant target practice with a huge sign saying 'Kill Me!' more than anything else. And on that note, while it is quite challenging to square off against Lezard in VP:Silmeria the first time around, once you've seen enough of his patterns, you could practically pincer him to death and kick the freak off into orbit. That is definitely NOT what I have invested my hard earned dollars in!

Now, on the flipside of the coin, there are those kinds of finals that makes you quickly reach out to an Action Replay and turned on the Infinite HP code on. One of such cheese is Zarathustra of Xenosaga EP3. I HATE ZARATHUSTRA! Perhaps even more so than the plotline of FF12! Deus was hard as hell, but at least he fought FAIR! He actually LET us stay in our Gears, whereas Zarathustra stripped me out of my hard-earned long-hours of customizing my ES', spat on my face and sliced my party's collective butts to be handed back on a silver platter. Fair? I think not! Add to the fact that now the stupid thing is armed with a plethora of one-hit-kill moves, it takes all the willpower I have not to throw my controllers at the TV screen. This is a game, and it was supposed to be fun, but somewhere along the line the programmers went nutzoid from overworking and says 'the hell with this! let's make those damn kids tear their hairs out as payback for screaming at us to hurry up and release the game! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!'

Josh

Were we playing the same game? Zarathustra was -very- fair, I thought. You might not have noticed the certain Chaos/Order thing going on, which sorta protects your party from certain devastating moves. ^^

And Deus was great. I thought that was a very, very satisfying final boss.

Seriously: what happened to the bosses of RPGs of late? They are either too easy or too damn hard. I always thought that a great final battle should have been epic in a way that says, 'okay, I've worked my buns off gearing up for the dude, I'm pretty much even with him now!'. Sephiroth was a great example of this epic feel, as well as Ansem in KH (though, if only they raised up the difficulty for just a bit...). These guys actually make you feel like you WANT to tango with them, all the while retaining the 'don't mess with me' attitude without being overpowering. When Loki hits me with the Dragon Orb in VP: Lenneth, I actually thought 'cool! NOW it's on, pretty boy!', but when Lezard did his special-whatzit to me, i actually thought 'what? is that it?!'. All those hours of level building and enduring loooooong cutscenes simply didn't weight up all that evenly when The Last Guy of The Game decided to be either a wimp or a jerk. At least,to me that is.

Well, that's my two cents anyways. I hope you can shed some light on this jaded gamer, and in a way help me and the next gen RPG bosses to reconcile with each other. That way, we could forget about all of this unpleasant nonsense and get back to the thing that really matters the most: kicking each other's butts. Thanks in advance, and may the +12 Diamond Sword be with you! Cheers!

Josh

I rarely find a final boss to be TOO hard. Except for Indalecio in Star Ocean 2, and I think it's because I accidentally took his Limiter off, which pretty much makes him a freakin' GOD. Zophar in Lunar 2 was pretty tough too.

Back when RPGs were young, when stories were relatively lacking, difficulty was pretty much all there was to keeping people satisfied with how a game panned out. Now that we've got such complex stories gumming up the works, difficulty doesn't -need- to be around as much to provide players with much needed satisfaction. It would be nice, but sometimes, plot closure is what players really want...



Goodbye!


first off, i'd like to say that one game i'm totally looking forward to on the VC is super mario RPG. this would totally be a game worth $8-10, if simply for the nostalgia of playing it.

as for the main topic of this letter, i'd like to address something known as World of Warcraft, or WoW for short. i'm sure you, along with my fellow readers, have all heard about such a beast.... in fact, it's rather difficult not to know what it is. i am actually a newb to this game; of course i had heard about how addicting this game is... i wasn't sure if i believed the hype or not, and since i had never been an MMORPGer i didn't really understand what all this chatter was about. after some repeated insistings of a fellow coworker, i finally decided to join in with the 8 million others.i started a week after BC came out and currently have a lvl 28 night elf druid. i wouldn't really say it's taken over my life... i know when to quit, and at times i get bored and just stop playing. however, it has done something significant: instead of taking over my life, it has taken over my gaming life. i was in the middle of playing numerous games, including FFXII, TP (wii), rayman (wii), marvel ultimate alliance (360), and assorted other games that i picked up from time to time. since the start of my time with WoW, all other gaming on all other games have ceased (with only one exception... i picked up TP again the other day, as well as wii play from time to time.) other than this, though, my gaming life has completely ceased.

basically i want to pose this as a question: do you, dear Q&A host, or any of your colleagues, suffer from this same ailment? has the allure of leveling up your virtual character killed your console gaming life? and also, is there hope? i await a favorable response.

- a night elf druid

Josh

Been there, done that, died a little inside.

WoW was OK for a little bit. I got into the whole character building, trying to see how to make my character decent enough to fight on my own (because the vast majority of players on WoW are about as on par with human communication as an autistic child with a muffler shoved down his throat), and then just got irritated because it shouldn't be called WoW. It should be called Diablo Online. I hated grinding. HATED it. Worst thing ever. I only made it to about level 24 because I got so tired of it. I dunno, if my girlfriend starts playing it, I might do it to pass the time, but I have absolutely no interest at the moment. I just play Guild Wars. ^^

As for killing my console life...eh, yeah. I usually play one thing for awhile before I start multitasking, so during the first bit of time, I played WoW/GW exclusively, until my interest started waning.

Sorry if that wasn't positive at all! :D





S E G U E

Bainick will be cohosting Monday, unless he doesn't get any mail, again. If that doesn't work, then we'll move him to cohosting with Matt or something. Sheesh, guys. :P



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Phase:
Luca Blight takes a moment to rest (9.7% HP remaining).

Movement Phase:
Leaper moves to Tile 59.
BLG moves to Tile 58.
Alan Tse moves to Tile 38.
Slashlen moves to Tile 60.
JuMeSyn moves to Tile 12.


Previous THONG Rounds!

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Luca Blight

Mweeheeheehee!

Answer to #L50: C/F. 3/6
2 votes each! I still think that I might need two revolvers.

#L51.
"You silly ______ ______!"

A. Proo Proo
B. Taka Taka
C. Blon Blon
D. Wagh Wagh
E. Vern Vern
F. Slaw Slaw

THONG Question

Answer to #50:C. 208000
20 goats x 800 Wii Points x 13 Zohar Emulators = 208000.

#51.Difficulty: Easy, Potch: 500
What's the name of the company that owns the store in Disgaea?

A. Azure King
B. Rosen Queen
C. Golden Prince
D. Hell's Kitchen
E. Demon Wholesale

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Since this is my last weekend, I want you guys to ask me anything you want. While I suppose I'd prefer RPGs, I don't really mind at this point where it goes. :P Feel free, guys, but please send some stuff for Bainick, cause I know he's itching to get his cohosting done at some point. Take care!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh is in his new apartment!


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Josh's Top Distractions:

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Current Order of Game-Playing:

1. DQH: Rocket Slime

2. Hotel Dusk

3. Wii Sports

4. MGS: PO

5. Virtual Console

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 25
4600p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 6
2725p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
1050p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 7
1575p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 22
7775p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 11
2000p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 21
2950p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 11
875p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 6
1575p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 23
8500p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 8
1000p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 24
6525p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 11
1575p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 6
5350p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 3
2100p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 5
2425p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 7
1225p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 11
2825p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 4
3000p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 14
4450p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 8
1300p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 15
3475p

Anyone else?

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