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Night Terrors September 10, 2006

Josh - 11:07 EST

Now that I've got my job back, I'm starting to remember why it's so annoying. Getting home on a Sunday night, with PT the next day, and now with a column to write in between...I'm going to start exploding violently some day. I guess the upshot is that I get to make some money, too. ^^

Ah well. At least that also means that I have you guys to keep me awake! I love sleep, but I usually suffer from some form of insomnia the nights before PT. Go figure. You know, the nights I actually NEED sleep. >_<

Just a reminder to all you readers...please feel free to write in about whatever you like! You don't necessarily have to address the topic I pose on Saturday, nor do you really need to ask a question (psh, I ranted more than anything back when I was a reader). This is basically an open forum for all of us to gather around and discuss our opinions on RPGs! As long as you don't take potshots at the other readers, I have no problems...you can even take a crack at me, but I warn you, I'll come back in full force! Anyway, just thought I'd remind all you guys out there.

In the sorta-words of Calvin, "Yukon Questions-Ho!"




L E T T E R S
Mother of...er. No, just Mother.


Hello, I am your average gamer, however I have a few game related questions.

Josh

Nah, don't sell yourself short. You're supposed to say, "I'm a freakin' awesome gamer, and you will listen to every damn word I have to say!" Or, something to that effect. ^^

Granted I know you might know this, but I am a very old school gamer.

My first question is, Do you know if a game named Mother 3 coming out to the USA? It may be called Earthbound two, but I know little.

I've been playing games since the late 80's and I really don't know about Modern game release dates.

Thank you for all your hard work.

Josh

Don't worry, we're not all about only the new games here. I'm a big old school gamer myself.

Anyway, about Mother 3...they've really not said much about it. They released Mother 3 over in Japan, but there hasn't been ANY word about it being shipped over to us North American gamers. I'm a bit annoyed, and I know that Matt is going into conniptions due to this. So, sorry to have to burst your bubble, but we may be in for quite a wait, if it comes at all!

Thanks for writing in!



Ugh...I felt like this a few times.


Hey Josh,

As you may already know if you remember our little chat in IRC the other day, I got Xenosaga III as well. I'm really glad it's getting such good reviews. I do need your opinion on something. I haven't played Xeno II yet, because I loaned it to my best friend to play through, so that he could start III. Well, he says part II is teh awfulness. He's getting through it...but he really doesn't like it. Josh, is it worth it? Should I just jump straight to III, or are there redeeming qualities for II that I'm missing? Fill me in, Xeno-master.

Donovan

Josh

I wouldn't say that XSII is terrible, but as far as the series goes, it certainly is far from being the best.

As much as I hate to recommend this (the ending is really quite good, and you really need to just -see- it), if he's not entirely determined, then he can go ahead and pass. XSIII has an information database that contains the plots from both of the first games, so as long as your friend doesn't mind missing a few cool scenes played out, he can read about them there. I understand though, since the gameplay is rather lackluster. However, I'm a storyline freak and I needed to see it acted out. So, really...just weigh the gameplay agony versus the ability to see the plot act out! I guarantee he won't be disappointed with the scenes, if he decides to continue, though.



I know it's not RPG-related, but at least I'm not the only one that's pissed.


The week before, he picked Cal to beat Tenneessee. Not only that, he picked Cal to win the National Championship.

Naturally, we got blown out, 35-18, with the score at 35-0 after the 3rd.

Mind you, Lee Corso always dogged on Cal before this, as a weak, soft Pac-10 team.

Now, instead of National Champs, we're probably screwed with a choker label along with 8-4 mediocrity.

Oh well... It's the Curse of Corso...

Josh

Yeah. Well, I knew we'd have it rough, considering it was Notre Dame we were playing, but still. That guy is a complete idiot. I think he was the only one that went against us last year, and I have no idea why. We were dominating the field! Ugh!

I understand your pain, my friend. Maybe one day, Corso will wake up, look in the mirror, and scream about the lack of intelligence he has. Sigh.



SMT. The bane of my existance.


How do you feel about the Shin Megami Tensei games? I remember hearing rave reviews a couple of years ago when Nocturne and DDS came to the west. I'd like to check them out, but I'm trying to gauge whether it's worth it or not. So dang expensive now...

BTW, as a Colorado fan, I really don't want to hear you whine about your ranked Nittany Lions. At least they lose good teams

Vicissitude

Josh

How do I feel? How do I FEEL? I FEEL like no store around here will EVER get a frickin' copy of these things! I'm going to go pick up Devil Summoner once it comes out, but until then, I'm waiting for ebgames.com to get their backorders in so I can get a copy there. I suppose I can drive to Altoona to pick up a copy of Nocturne, but I'm not sure if the gas is worth it (I drive an SUV ;_;).

From what I've seen, the games are quite good, and a bit darker than most RPGs. Practically everyone I've talked to has said positive things about the games, though.



Game idea #1!


Yo Ouro

Hehe, speaking of football (from yesterdayís intro), I live in Bay City, Texas, and our football team used to be quite good. We used to often go to state, and we won it a few years back. This is my first year in High School, and letís just sayÖ our team is embarrassing. Seriously. Iím in the band, and weíre sitting there in the stands playing crowd-pumping intimidating-type songs, and yet our team is losing 42 to zero. The defense did just fine, but the other team scored 35 points from interceptions. Yep, 35. This week wasnít much better (20 to 54), but now itís not sad so much as itís just funny.

Josh

Ouch. o.o

Well, Penn State had a few poor seasons before the last one, so it's not like we've been near the top for a long time. We are generally a really good team, but with the exception of last season, we've been in a sort of rut.

Anyway, back to RPGs. Iíve had a really neat idea in my head for an RPG for about 2 years now, the basis being an entirely unique battle system. I even drew a detailed dungeon back in 7th grade, the kind of dungeon that youíd see at E3 or something; it demonstrated most of the gameplay elements. Unfortunately, I think I drew it on the back of a permission form, and I havenít seen it since (and attempts to recreate it have ended up not near as good). The battle system is a bit hard to explain, but Iíll try. First of all, itís a bit like FFXII in the fact that enemies are on the screen and thereís a seamless shift from non-battling to battling, but itís also a bit like a TRPG in the fact that the game is ALWAYS turn-based, even when there are no enemies near. The demo level I made was a medium-sized valley, with a sharp right turn at the end where the boss area was. Imagine, if you will, a web of nodes and lines layed over that map, with the different nodes corresponding to intersection points. Each turn, you move your different characters between these nodes, while simultaneously attacking if there are nearby enemies. There are many paths through the level, and you can use techniques to traverse the area faster. For example, in one spot, a node on a 10-foot bridge was right above a node on the ground below. If your character is agile enough, he could use his turn to jump down to the ground below. Furthermore, if he had earned a certain skill, he could jump down on top of a monster that happened to be below him, dealing extra damage. I basically just took the idea of three types of special attacks: Specials (attack only), Techniques (movement only), and skills (combination of attacking and movement), and ran with it. Iím sure it sounds pretty strange, but if it ever materialized I think it could be really entertaining. But itís one of those things where the effectiveness of the engine is EXTREMELY dependent on the quality of level design, which is why I really wish I hadnít lost that darn thingÖ *grumble*

Josh

Hrm...so it's essentially like FFXII with specific places you are allowed to be on a map? That's not a bad idea, especially with the little nuances you can add as long as the levels were designed properly. I like the idea, but you'd probably have to restrict it to a more TRPG-type setting. I can imagine just seperate battlefields existing along your story path that have some sort of mission that you need to accomplish...sorta like the progression through Vandal Hearts. Then you can try to figure out the map as best as you can, maybe finding a way to say, trap a boss on one of those nodes that allow you to do something extra to them, like jumping on them, as you say. Branching paths between missions would be neat too. The reason I say more like that is that it just seems unnecessary to have to do turn-based -everywhere-, and that filling the downtime with story would probably be better.

Good idea though. I like it!

SoÖ Grandia II. I know, I know, itís been out for a while, but I recently played it courtesy of Gametap (a pretty neat service, at least worth a trial run) and was thoroughly impressed. Everyoneís always saying how great the battle system is (and donít get me wrong, it was very fun, one of the best Iíve ever seen), but nobody ever mentions the story, so I wasnít expecting much from that area. I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I found that the game had a pretty fantastic plot, and itís definitely one of my favorites in recent memory. Also, there were a few magnificent tracks, like the vocal ones or the main theme, that complimented the storyline very well. And donít get me started on the battle themeÖ so yeah, good game, that.

And with that, Iím out!

~Spiffyness

Josh

A lot of people have liked Grandia II, and they also agree that the plot is fairly good. For some reason, I thought battles were sluggish, and aside from the fact that my brother owns the game at home (rather than having it here), the slowness just turned me away from it before the game had a real chance to be good. I'll probably get back to it at some point, though. Nice to hear another positive opinion about it! I swear, all of you are just -trying to increase my backlog...



#2!


I can't believe it's 2AM here and I'm deciding to put off sleep in order to read the column and answer the questions. But hey, I'm still up, why not?

Oh, and about making RPGs! Back when I was in high school, me and my friend started on a collaborative writing project to write the plotline of an RPG, which quickly turned into poking fun at as many RPG cliches as possible. We were the main characters in name only, as our personalities were oversimplified versions of the stereotypical character types...I was a fighter who had a knack for pointing out the obvious, and my friend was a wizard with a dark and mysterious past not even he knew anything about. After my friend lost interest in keeping the project going, I ended up finishing it myself. Granted, it only existed as a walkthrough written in Word and not as an actual game (though an extremely detailed one complete with item and ability lists, I still have them here if you're interested in reading them), but I was really proud of what came up out of that. Later, I expanded the game into an entire trilogy that still managed to keep the whole RPG parody thing going, and now, about five years later, I'm finally getting around to starting the actual programming of the first game, which, if I have enough time, energy, and patience to actually work on, might exist as some sort of shareware program...or a means to show possible employers that I'm competent in my programming ability.

-- Arpijy

Josh

Wow. That's...determination.

I'd personally love to see an RPG that's only purpose is to be a good RPG that also does nothing but make fun of other RPGs. I'm all for parody and satire. :)

You probably would have enjoyed having me as a friend. I wrote a really...really...really detailed walkthrough for FFVI back when I was 10 (!), and I have a knack for making insanely detailed lists and maps when I'm bored. I've played with the thought of getting the RPGamer staff together to create an RPG (which I would definitely be up for. I mean, we have people that can do art, music, write, program...why not?), and I think that would be a ton of fun, if only a pipe dream.

Thanks for sharing, Arpijy!



Third time's the charm!


Hi there Ouro, sorry your team lost ^^;;

Ah now for a letter, it's long so beware ^^;;

Josh

Fine. Deprive me of my sleep. See if I care. ;_;

First off in regards to JuMeSyn's letter to Matt asking about Boktai 1 and 2, I sent a longer more detailed letter to Matt but it got lost in the shuffle, Boktai 1 is a pretty original action rpg shooter stealth thingy, and outside from boss fights, growing items and a handful of puzzles sunlight is optional, or you can cheat with a powerful blacklight, Boktai 2 is more of an rpg and also much better than Boktai 1, yet again you only need sunlight for bosses, puzzles and weapon smithing, Boktai 2 also features some link up to some Megaman game and some dude from Metal Gear, my non-RPG knowledge brings much shame...

Second, if I could make an RPG it would be a strategy RPG that works like this

Josh

Lay it on me, brutha.

Battle: Your character has two forms, one ordinary useless human the other elemental powered warrior, at the start of most stages you'd be in human form, and depending on circumstances you'd have to let a counter build to reach a certain level in order to transform(though for boss fights it'd be prefilled), while transformed stats are upped and you have access to uber spiffy attacks, however each turn causes a hit to the meter you'd have to build up, and attacks cause an even bigger hit, when the counter runs out you revert back to normal and have to charge it again(sorta like the confine system from PB only more than once per battle), while you are taking out enemies there are usually NPCS running arround that you have to protect, if they die their bodies spawn a very powerful monster and also causes your rewards at the end of each stage to plummet, get enough npc deaths and it will severely alter the story, also the hero isn't human and not only changes into an elemental anime superhero but also a wide variety of mythological beings, which sometimes go out of control during battles causing his allies to fear him, in addition to the death of those poor NPCS(but come on there NPCS no one really cares), however players can reduce the chances of him going crazy and killing everything by mastering certain abilities in his monster forms, and that's that I think it would do well since it's sorta part sailor moon, part phantom brave and part shadow hearts ^^;;

Story: I surprisingly have something planned for the story and dare not give it away ^^

Josh

Hmm...

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket," I think is the phrase. Ok...so...we have a guy who has several forms, all stemming from some pathetic 'human' form. He has to kill the enemies that exist, first by increasing his Transformation Meter (or whatever), and protecting the NPCs, or else they'll attack him too. I recommend having the plot center around some sort of virus or something. Or Zombies. Zombies are cool. I'd also go with Action-RPG, but confined to an area, rather than a large world.

Not too shabby, but if you make things -too- complicated, you're going to lose some of the user base. ^^;

Also it has recently came to my attention that I'm out of space on all my PS2 memory cards, as well as money in the old bank account, so this brings me to my question for the Ouro

Question: After I break my Disgaea 2 addiction which game should I hit next The list is as follows:

Growlanser 3(I've got data for it)
SMT: DDS1(I've finished it but gotta beat that super secret boss)
Tales of Destiny(I love the combat but can't get past talking freaking swords!!!)
Wild ARMS 1 or
Suikoden 1 and 2?

Josh

It's much better to finish the games that are good that you've already started, in my opinion. That way you can delete the data if you want. ^^ Go finish DDS1 if you must, first. Then either Growlanser 3 or Tales of Destiny. Then, WA, Suiko 1 & 2 are all great games, but I'd have to say play the Suikodens first.

And now a bonus question for the Ouro

Bonus Question:

Out of Fire, Ice, Lightning, Water, Dark, Light, Earth, and Wind, which is your favorite element and why?

I love lightning hince my made up last name ^^;;

Arros Raikou
*Hopes this gets posted and no one laughs at his ideas !.!*

Josh

This may sound odd, coming from an Evil Overlord as myself, but I'd have to go with Water. Why? Because it's incredibly versatile. Curative, Support, Attack, everything is covered by this element. Besides, I take something like hour-long showers. ^^





T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Blight begins to charge up.
Leaper moves to Tile 4.
Slimey moves to Tile 8.
Bucket moves to Tile 6.
Draconn moves to Tile 6.
Genjuu moves to Tile 8.
Alan Tse moves to Tile 1.
Slashlen moves to Tile 11.
PureLunatic moves to Tile 7.
William.T moves to Tile 9.
Spiffyness moves to Tile 7.
Vicissitude moves to Tile 5.
kupomogli moves to Tile 3.
Aurelius moves to Tile 8.
Aylee moves to Tile 3.
Tabor moves to Tile 7.


Previous THONG Rounds!

Selections for characters can be found at the following sites:

Suikoden Characters

Suikoden 2 Characters

Click here for the rules and lists of items and prizes!

Luca Blight

Mweeheehee...I can feel you all trembling with fear!

Answer to #L4: E. 12!
It was "and," I said, not "are," and "and" and "are" are different! This was implied as a non-quote, but I gave you credit if you said 16 and explained why, as well.

#L5. I just saw a kid get hit with a van. My friend Glenn then calculated the radius of a circle. Lastly, I came across a viper devouring a lynx. If numbers represent letters, what game am I talking about?

A. 15
B. 66
C. 33
D. 14
E. 25
F. 83

THONG Question

Answer to #4: A -or- D.
Sigh. I need to research more, apparently. My answer was D, as it's the only one you do not gain at Level 9 in Fallout 1. A, however, does not exist in Fallout 2. So, theoretically, both could be right. Now I know how Matt felt with his Lufia question. You limey bastards. :P

#5. If I told you that I was in the mood for sacrificial bacon, RPG-wise, what should be the first thing to pop into your mind?

A. A play by Shakespeare.
B. A giant tower being built towards the heavens.
C. A fanatical cult.
D. An evil chef.
E. A fortune teller's dying wish.

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

I had a JuMeSyn letter too, but I'll have to do it tomorrow, because it's already about 1AM now, and I have to get up in four hours. Sorry! Oh yeah, a kupomogli letter too.

Those questions may look tough, but you'll be hitting yourselves when you hear the answer tomorrow. ^^. God...doesn't that just drive you nuts?!?

Keep sending those ideas in, so far I'm impressed with what you guys have to offer the RPG world. Let's see what the rest of you've got! Later!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh may not get any sleep tonight. It happens.


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And then class ALL day, a doctor's appointment, a meeting with my advisor...Ugh.

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Back to the backlog!

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Romancing SaGa

2. Radiata Stories

3. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 1
200p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 1
350p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 1
325p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 0
225p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 0
275p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 0
200p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 1
250p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 2
500p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 2
325p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 2
500p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 2
450p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 0
125p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 0
150p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 6
400p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 0
200p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 2
425p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 3
350p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 1
350p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
400p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 1
200p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 1
300p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 1
425p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 1
125p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 2
500p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
350p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 1
225p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 2
425p

Anyone else?

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