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Lemon Juice July 22, 2006

Josh - 10:22 EST

Short column tonight, just for the sake of my sanity. 3 hours of sleep over 3 days is not the best way to live, and if I'm going to finish my paper tomorrow, I'm going to need to pass out sooner rather than later. I made a trip to NYC over the past few days as part of the internship, so I'll go over that tomorrow ^^;;

In other news, let's give a big round of applause to Arros Raikou, who has bested the Trivia Tile and made it to the first guest-hosting spot! He'll be here on Monday, so please send him lots of letters!




L E T T E R S
So tired...just want to...zzzz...


Hiya Josh,

Y'know, I've never come out in solidarity with your goal of overtaking the site. So, for the record, when the day comes I shall support you. Perhaps you can succeed in steering the conversation toward the less-known RPGs we should all speak more of instead of the bandwidth hoggers. Phantasy Star. I'm not one to sing the praises of all the games, but Phantasy Star IV is a great game and easily the best conventional RPG I've played on Genesis (Shining Force II is a strategy game). So is there any hope, any whatsoever, that Sega might do us all a great favor and make a Phantasy Star V instead of the Phantasy Star Online stuff?

Go to www.mst3k.com and gaze upon the latest news blurb. We must endeavor to have Mr. Nelson keep it up without worrying about licenses!

So since you were gifted a PSP, what have you decided worthy of your gaming dollars on the machine? The only consistenly praised titles of which I have heard would be GTA: Liberty City Stories and Metal Gear Ac!d, so I'm curious. Not that I have any likelihood of obtaining a PSP within this fiscal year though....

Am I the only one who got so into Chrono Trigger that I amused myself during idle moments away from the game by picturing additional scenarios to play through in the final stretch? After all, merely getting the Ruby Armor seemed kind of anticlimactic in Ayla's time period - couldn't Lavos's arrival have unleashed some underground swarm of ... insects, moles, worms, what have you? Or maybe having Ozzie VIII leading a secret society after knocking off Ozzie in 600 AD and needing to go in there and make him conform to the majority monster opinion. Or having a bounty hunter hired by the fake prime minister in 1000 chase after you whenever you're actually in 1000. Or for a joke, the Frog King that Cyrus took out so easily comes back for revenge and drops with one blow.... And of course, something else in 12,000 BC, perhaps incorporating Dalton coming back as a Golem or a search for Schala. There were a few other ideas I had but you get the point probably. And this was spawned primarily by a desire not to see the game end but prolong it as much as possible.

Are there any good PC RPGs that don't take up massive amounts of memory and don't require consistent online access?

JuMeSyn

Josh

Well, as much as I try to keep everything as diverse as possible, those games are famous for a reason, so it's only natural that people want to talk about something they're most familiar with.

You love Final Fantasy. You want to talk about nothing other than Final Fantasy. Bow to Square-Enix. They are your Gods now...

I never owned a Genesis, and I am quite ashamed to say that I've never had the pleasure of playing Phantasy Star (though I've been trying to for ages...sadly no one I knew back then had the game). Shining Force I & II are amazing games, no doubt, and I wish they'd release a new one in the same vein as the originals. Looking around, though...it seems that they aren't really -planning- on a Phantasy Star V. Sega always seems to me to be in a constant experimental stage, where they take their better known series and test out new ways for them to make them, such as the differences in the newer Shining Force games, the different Sonic racing games, etc. So, while nothing has been said about a PSV, there is Phantasy Star Universe to look forward to, which has both online and offline play.

MST3k...I got some people up here hooked on it. As for licensing issues, I'm sure they'll be fine. Besides, I'll be supporting them by getting Volume 10! Come on, Godzilla vs. Megalon, the Teenage Strangler? They even have one of the best shorts, "What to do on a Date!"

I didn't like AC!D. Not at all. I usually like strategy games, but this one just irked me. I haven't picked up GTA: Liberty City Stories, and I'll probably just end up getting it for PS2 anyway. VP:Lenneth so far is awesome, as is Lumines and Me and My Katamari. Street Fighter Alpha 3 is fun, but the controls are a bit clunky on the PSP.

Steering the conversation towards lesser-known RPGs, then you go and bust out Chrono Trigger. :P

Imagining is great, but ultimately, the game ends. ;_;. It's sad, but true. There were plenty of things that COULD have been done, but that can be said for practically any RPG. Of course, Schala was arguably the biggest plot hole in that game, so I definitely spent a fair amount of time wondering what on earth happened to her. I certainly didn't want the game to end, especially since it only took me 11 hours to beat >_>

Diablo 2? ^^;; Um...Fallout and Fallout 2 are amazing games, and Neverwinter Nights is pretty good if you're into the D&D system of things (and even if you aren't, because I don't really enjoy D&D, but NWN is fun).



Ooh, look at the kitty.


Hey Ouro,

Since you haven't really given a topic for your weekend column, I'm jut going to throw this one out to you. What music genre would you like to see more of in RPGs?

Earlier this week, in Matt's columns, there was conversation and desire and wishing about how modern RPGs could include more classical music pieces from the past along with the great music that already exists in RPGs like the Final Fantasys, the Lunars, and the Zeldas. Well, I was thinking how cool it would be to have more modern RPGs set in current or modern settings (like Earthbound and Digital Devil Saga as examples), but with more American music and songs that have meaning playing in the background in significant scenes than just simple synth/techno music.

Think about it...how cool could it be to see Ryu's transformation in BoF:DQ from human-to-dragon/human hybrid with an appropriate song like Three Days Grace's "Animal I Have Become" which is about a person questioning whether he's truly human or just an animal? Or that scene in FFT where Ramza learns of his eldest brother's poisoning of their father in his family castle with Thousand Foot Krutch's "Absolute" which is about a person demanding the truth despite his world falling around him? I don't mean that the music in above-mentioned scenes should be altered in any way, but what I mean is wouldn't it be cool to have some meaningful American songs in future RPGs where it actually made the game a more enjoyable experience than just being a hook to get people to buy the game and nothing more ala Tony Hawk skating games?

I apologize for my letter writing if this gets published in your column, but I hope I got my point across.

BLG

Josh

Music with lyrics in games usually distracts me, just because it would seem to be out of place to me. I -hated- Otherworld in FFX, not really because it didn't fit, but mostly because it sounded like someone grunting into a microphone. The tune was perfectly fine, but my ears started bleeding while Sin was destroying Zanarkand. Most of the lighter pieces with lyrics have been quite good, though the only one I can remember at this hour that actually played in-game was Eyes on Me in Final Fantasy VIII. One-Winged Angel had a powerful chanting to couple the haunting melody, which just added to the awe of Sephiroth's form. And now, even more so with the advent and development of voice acting, it's becoming more of a problem fitting in lyrics behind the characters talking.

Take a look at Halo 2. The game's soundtrack included music from Incubus and Breaking Benjamin (<3). However, in the game, the songs were played -without the lyrics-. Now why do you suppose that is? I'm all for finding new, unique ways to include music (any kind) in games, but if it detracts from the situation at hand, it's just not going to be serving the purpose of music in-game.

I'd love for some more strictly piano music to hit the games. I'd even like more hard rock or something along those lines for battle music and such (I wouldn't mind jamming to Vicarious by Tool during a battle, though that would get repetitive FAST).

I dunno. This is really all a personal preference, as some people are more easily distracted tha...oooooh! A penny! *runs*



My candidacy will -still- prevail!


Overlord Ourobolus,

I guess I'll use my spell on Shadow since he hasn't moved in a while and seems to have stopped playing or something. Sorry if you still are ^^;; As for my question, well, I'm pretty much convinced that you're a grade A Overlord and that there's only one other that I know of on your level, so I'll ask something different this time around. If you had (or currently have) superpowers, what would they be? Would you use the for good or for...er...I guess only the first question is necessary ^^;;

-Roku

Josh

Well, as is evident from the progression of your letters, I already maintain a good amount of psychic mind control abilities. I'd like to be able to teleport, so I could keep a physical watch over all of you guys and ensure that you aren't plotting against me. Same goes for mind reading. Then maybe I could figure out just what the heck some people are thinking. I'd use it on Senator Lieberman, but I'm afraid I'll just see dust and a 1951 copy of 1984 signed by Orwell himself saying, "Dear Joe, go forth and censor. Regards, George."

WHO IS THIS OTHER OVERLORD? Bring him/her before me, and we shall have a showdown. I decree henceforth that anyone who wishes to be Overlord must go through me first! Don't even think about going behind my back (I left some jacks on the floor behind me, and you might hurt your feet. Please be careful).





T H O N G
Combat Log

BLG casts BOLT 1!
Vicissitude falls 1 space to Tile 15.
Roku casts BOLT 2!
Genjuu falls 2 spaces to Tile 10.
Ourobolus casts SLOW!
Genjuu falls 2 spaces to Tile 8.
Bainick moves 2 spaces to Tile 13.
BLG moves 3 spaces to Tile 10.
Ourobolus casts SLOW!
BLG falls 2 spaces to Tile 8.
Roku moves 2 spaces to Tile 15.


For lower resolutions, click here

Presenting...

THE HOPEFULLY OUTSTANDING NEW GAME!

Or, THONG for short. For now, the prizes will be limited to Guest-Hosting opportunities, since this is essentially an experiment. I'm positive that it will turn out well, though! Now, for the setup:

This is the game board. If you ever talk to CactuarJoe, make sure to thank him for the wonderful job he did! Thanks Joe!

If you want to join: Please send me your top 3 choices for characters for your game piece. A list of them that can be used can be found here. Please only choose from the "PARTY" or "NPC" links. Also make sure that the character has a left/right-facing sprite, and a front/back facing sprite. Thanks!

  • Everyone begins the game on START.
  • For every letter you write in, I will roll a 3-sided die (I'll use RPGamer's resident Random Number Generator, DiceyBot). That will determine how many spaces you move.
  • You may only get credit for one letter, per day - max 3 per weekend. Timestamps will be checked, and only letters sent during Friday - Monday before my column will be counted towards that weekend. Letters sent at other times during the week will not count until Saturday.
  • Letters must be addressed to me, at either qna@rpgamer.com or ourobolus@rpgamer.com. Letters will get credit even if they are unanswered, or even if Matt answers them.
  • If you land on a Spell Tile, you MUST use the spell listed on the Tile. Spells and their effects are listed after the rules.
  • The Trivia Tile MUST be landed on before you may enter the FINISH Tile. Answering the trivia question correctly will automatically grant you entry into the FINISH Tile, and you will receive the prize.
  • If you reach the Trivia Tile, another reader who is participating in the game will ask you a question. However, the person who lands on the Tile decides WHICH reader asks the question, as well as WHICH RPG from which the question will be asked (e.g. "Wonderslime wants Bainick to ask him a question about Chrono Trigger").
  • If the person who provides the question has not played the game, they may use anything necessary to come up with a question. Failure to provide a question over 2 days of my column will result in the same effect as if the receiver answered the question right, and he/she will progress to the FINISH Tile.
  • If you are on the Trivia Tile, you are invulnerable until the first question has been completed.
  • The Prize for this initial board will be 5 Guest Hosting positions. Once those are completed, a new board will be created, probably with more prizes.
  • The effects will go as such. Movement->Spells Cast->Effects. Everyone will move at the same time, all spells will be cast at the same time, and all effects will happen at the same time. Attack spells will be cast at the beginning of the day after they were landed on. Spells are cast only if the character is on the space at the -end- of the day.

Spell effects are as follows:

  • Bolt 1: Player chooses another player to push back 1 tile.
  • Bolt 2: Player chooses another player to push back 2 tiles.
  • Stop: The next time Player sends in a letter, it will take 2 days for the roll to take place.
  • Haste: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her advance 1-3 tiles.
  • Slow: Player receives an extra roll which will make him/her retreat 1-3 tiles.
  • Merton: Player chooses another player to push back 4 tiles, at the cost of Player moving back 2 tiles. Can only be used twice.
  • Roulette: I roll a 20-sided die. Any players standing on that numbered tile are pushed back 2 tiles.
C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Sleepy Time. Don't forget to send letters for Arros on Monday!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh has alrea....zzzzzzzzzzzz.


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Josh's Top 3 Distractions:

1. Ramming my head repeatedly into a wall

2. Writing a thesis a week

3. Running 8 miles

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Grandia III

2. Xenosaga II

3. Romancing SaGa

4. Radiata Stories

5. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players

1. Carabbit
Fairy Esper

2. Gouden Draak
Blue Dragon

3. Macstorm
General Leo

4. Genjuu
Shadow

5. Carlisle
Ghost

6. Bainick
Mog

7. Angel
Celes

8. Wonderslime
Gestahl

9. Powerlord
Ultros

10. Vicissitude
Wedge

11. Bucket
Relm

12. Donovan
Setzer

13. Roku
Locke

14. JCIV
Umaro

15. Arros Raikou
Sabin

16. The Bluick
Imp

17. Chinroku
Owain

18. Xlash
Duncan

19. Alan Tse
Siegfried

20. AcidKnight
Figaro Soldier

21. soulofbass
Gogo

22. BLG
Maduin

23. Eric
Edgar

24. Leaper
Wolf Esper

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