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Victory September 23, 2006

Josh - 1:54 EST

Football! Woo!

I got back from Delaware yesterday, only to find out down there that an analyzer was broken, and that they couldn't perform all of the blood work I needed. Yay. So, I'll probably have to make a trip to a different hospital so I can finish this stupid physical.

As it stands, I've been enjoying the game today, despite the fact that we were creamed. I made some good food, I've had a few...drinks. However, I still spell impeccably when I'm under the influence, so prepare for some fun!

Also, if you see that your TP level dropped from yesterday's by 1, it's because I miscalculated it. Sorry! ^^;

Victory! HopDevil Ale, that is.

Hey, Josh,

Iím confused by the talk classifying Final Fantasy XII as an action RPG talk. Who cares? I loved the original Knights of the Old Republic, and Iím not sure anyone really classifies that as an Action RPG. Itís not my favorite gameplay style, but I think that a traditional RPG battle format definitely would not have worked as well for it. If Final Fantasy XIIs battle system is anything like KOTORs, then Iíll get used to it. Everything Iíve read indicates that the battle system is light years beyond anything like KOTOR.

I like traditional RPG battle systems, but Iíve got to admit that FFX annoyed me after a while, especially if I wanted to level up a specific character. While the strategy elements were nice, I didnít like the idea of having to pull in certain characters just to defeat the certain type of enemy. It worked, but it was employed far too often in the game for me to enjoy it. Iím also glad to get away from the item-based ability learning curve of FFIX and FFT AdvanceÖIíve never been a fan of being forced to use a specific weapon for so long just to get an ability. I suppose that all of the Final Fantasy games have their warts.

Well, the lunch break is almost overÖgotta go.


It's sorta like KOTOR, but from what I've seen, there really isn't that wait for you to decide how to act. Unless FFXII included a Wait mode. I don't really remember. FFX actually was a sort of "depending on how you view it" situation. Seriously, I liked the fact that it forced you to use your characters, because nothing pissed me off more than in practically every other FF game where I had my main party, and everyone else was pretty much useless. FFVIII? You can customize all of them, the only differences are the limit breaks. FFVII? Same sort of thing, though yet again, limit breaks. FFVI? A little better, but still, once you had the best magic and best swords, you stuck with Terra, Celes, Locke, and Sabin. Or at least something similar.

However, I have yet to really enjoy a system where you get better at an ability the more you use it. Why? Because at some point, the developers usually include some sort of enemy that needs to be killed with some specific skill, and if you haven't been lucky enough to have levelled that one up, you have to sit there and fiddle for hours on end, getting it to the point where you do damage.

Victory! Golden Monkey, that is.

SkŚl Ouro,

I was reading the latest Q & A column and saw that you recommended Alundra to one of the readers. I absolutely love Alundra and was horribly disappointed at its sequel - if it can actually be labelled as such - the disregard for source material evinced by the game's story. So my question is: What other series' sequels do you recall as having been totally mishandled and desecrated?

And on the subject of back catalogues... mine is positively depressing. Well, depressing because I'll likely not make it through the entire thing within a year's time, which means I'll be jumping into the next-gen race considerably late. I should really stop buying so many games. I should probably be happy that I've got all these hours of enjoyment to look forward to but the techno-lust in me will keep naggin' me to buy a new system. Let's not even talk about Morrowind. I've owned the game for a couple of years on the PC and I can't seem to finish it. Being a Vampire is rather enjoyable, however.

In any case, enough of this hubris. Answer me!... please.



Ah...Alundra 2. What a complete piece of crap. My little brother liked it, but I still stand by the fact that he has no taste in quality gaming.

Chrono Cross had a lot of problems, but fortunately, it did have a lot of good points. Trigger is still the superior game, though.

FFII sucked. I don't care what any of you say, it was a pretty bad game. The battle system made me want to gouge my eyes out. Luckily, the Dawn of Souls version managed to keep me interested enough until the final dungeon, which I still have to beat.

Xenosaga II also had a terrible battle system, but the rest of the game was solid.

You know, I can't really think of too many games that fit this description. Most terrible games are released first, and then sequels aren't even made. Ah well.

I know how you feel about backlogs, though. I just bought Prince of Persia: Two Thrones, and I still have the rest of my backlog to go through. Sometimes I hate being an impulse shopper.

Victory! Pilsner, that is.


I read at another website, and I'm sure RPGamer will get the news soon too, that a remake of the first Front Mission game is being ported to the DS. I've heard only a little about this series, but one thing I've heard, I believe, is that it's pretty good. So, here's my request to the handlers of the both the questioning and answering parts of qna to expound and explicate to the best of their ability just what is good with Front Mission... and what, if any, entries on the series demand my immediate technical gaming attention. I love RPGs and mechs, so lets work from that foundation.

Just call me Womblay.
Thank you ahead of time.


Well, Front Mission 1 & 2 never made it over here, and I played a good deal of Front Mission 3. If you like strategy games, you'll like these, I think. There's a good deal of micromanagement (which I enjoy), although the plot seemed to be lacking. It was a fun game, though. I never got to play Front Mission 4, but I hear it is a pretty decent game on its own, as well.

The thing with FM games is that you have to pay close attention to the HP of your individual PARTS. Rather than having just a core HP (which, technically, you have, in the form of Pilot HP), you have HP assigned to you arms and legs, etc. This adds a great deal of strategy, so while it may be harder to hit the core, you have the option of destroying the enemies' individual parts in order to stop reduce their attack strength while you slowly take them down. Definitely worth a look, in my opinion.

Victory! Lager, that is.

Dear Ouro

I just want to say that I really enjoyed reading that editorial of yours, Wii-Todd-Ed. I've heard a lot of weak anti-Wii arguments before, but his takes the cake. Practically nothing he said made sense, but the weird thing is that I think his stance and all that "ceteris paribus" stuff is indeed how people like Kutaragi, Hirai, Harrison, and others really do think.


Well thank you! I was quite proud of it myself, as I think I did an adequate job of destroying his logic in a cloud of idiocy.

I think Sony indeed believes that subsidy and super-technology are all that matter for next-gen victory, and they're always thinking along those lines when criticizing their competitors. They always say how both the Wii and 360 are less powerful and far less subsidized than the PS3 as their only argument for the PS3, and this means disregarding the other consoles' merits... you know, holding everything "ceteris paribus." That means that Nintendo's innovative software approach and seniority don't really matter, nor do Microsoft's online networking and Web expertise. Of course they DO matter, but when Sony holds every "ceteris paribus" and only thinks along their own standards, they basically cloud their minds into thinking that the PS3 is no doubt better, since Nintendo and Microsoft's strengths don't matter in their eyes. This is really silly and unrealistic thinking (especially looking at the high 360 sales and Wii anticipation), but when you think and make decisions based on unrealistic logic, you tend to make the mistakes that Sony has been making and pissing off customers. That's why I think that what Joystiq was arguing is indeed how Sony thinks.

But now something else has been bothering me:

What would you make of that? I already have an opinion on this and have read other discussions on it, but I'm just wondering what you think about it. Alan


Well, no developer is going to outright say, "System X is much better than our system Y." That doesn't make any sense, marketing-wise. Sure, Sony knows that their pricing is outlandish (hence their price drop in Japan...the 20GB version is down to about $410 and also includes HD), but on the other hand, they KNOW that their system will outperform everything else on the market, and there are people out there that truly just desire hardware superiority! It also helps that Sony has managed to maintain some incredible ties in the third-party market, allowing them not only the resources to create their own system and games, but also the ability to have a ton of other companies literally hand over games solely to their system, such as Metal Gear Solid 4 and FFXIII! Those brands alone could sell systems.

If Sony thought like that one guy did, then they would be in trouble. Sony is a company, yes. They also have probably invested in having their employees enroll in basic economics courses, yes. But, look at the PSX. When it came out, it was priced LOWER than the Saturn. And, technilogically speaking, their system outweighed the Saturn, and sometimes the N64 (it really depended on the developer of the game at that point). Even though the N64 was priced less at that point, Sony took advantage of the low userbase and their lack of quality games, and capitalized on it. From that, I'm positive that they are not trying to do the same thing...their system merely does cost as much as it seems.

As for that editorial, it's all right. Sure, the Wii has a lower initial cost, but then, every system incurs some sort of additional cost in the form of accessories, and yes, the Wii controller may be almost double that of the other controllers, but there's also the VALUE attached to the system. If we're just looking at the system, assuming that the only thing that costs more is the controller, and everything else the same, then yes, the Wii costs about $10 more (Wii: $250 + $180 for 3 wiimotes + nunchuk) than the 360 ($300 + $120 for 3 controllers), although SD cards will factor into it. However, I still stick to my original claim in my editorial, that VALUE plays a much larger role then price. Sure, you have to initially have the money to purchase the system, but other than that, you are the one that decides which system you want, due to the games. The GAMES.

Victory! Uh...crap, out of beer.


I do believe I am nearly done with Langrisser 2. How do I know this? Because the cartridge is used, and there are two save files from before I owned it stopping at Scenario 27 when I'm in the middle of Scenario 25. Ahh, the ability to play another person's saved game. Does anyone lament the passing of this ability from home consoles?


Well, all you have to do is steal their memory card. I actually hated this feature from before, as there have been times where my brother would "accidentally" save over my game. God, I hated that. ;_;

A thought struck me while playing Langrisser 2, actually. It relates to enemies who inexplicably get beaten again and again, yet keep coming back for another stomping. I've beaten one fellow, Laird (best transliteration I've seen of his name), maybe 5 times by now, and yet here he is again, just as eager for me to beat him into a bloody pulp! I've beaten Emperor Bernhart himself twice already, but he seems to be going strong still. Langrisser 1 had a fellow like that also, by the name of Lance. In a game where death of characters was permanent, to find this fellow coming back five times hale and hearty was disconcerting. Any experiences in this field Master Ouro cares to relate?


Well, it does seem to be rather annoying when you fight the same enemy over and over again. God knows how many times I've fought those stupid Metal Demons from the original Wild ARMs. Other than adding to the plot a bit, lengthening it by having you fight an enemy that wants to defeat you after losing already, they really serve no purpose other than to get their ass kicked a second (or third, and so on) time.

This brings me a topic I asked of Matt, and now I'll ask of you. When you defeat a human opponent, do you like to see the defeated live or die? Most RPGs have it one way or the other; either every human opponent lives automatically, or they all die except in special circumstances. Skies of Arcadia is the former, Fire Emblem the latter. Thoughts?


Eh...if they were really evil, then go ahead and kill them. If they were just some minor annoyance, go ahead and let 'em live, unless they come back to fight you again, in which case, destroy them!

And here's a thought of mine: if we've gotten a Final Fantasy X-2 and we're getting a Final Fantasy XII-2 (in fact if not in name), where are the Final Fantasy IV-2 or the Final Fantasy VI-2? I know they're less likely than that-FF-I-haven't-played getting a sequel, sadly. But I'm used to pining away for things that won't happen, like when MST3K was cancelled.


We don't need 'em, plain and simple. Their stories were complete.

The Neo Geo Pocket Color. Whatever happened to it? I think it was released in the US but died pretty fast. Was there anything to remember on the system?


I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with "Original Neo Geo." That system was great for King of Fighters games and Metal Slug, and that was it. I honestly don't know why they bothered making a handheld.

Lately I've been contemplating picking up Pokemon: Emerald. I've thought about getting a Pokemon title many times before, and have always deferred the day. Do you have any expertise in the Poke-world to inform me a bit better?


I only played up until Gold/Silver, and I did enjoy it. They are great games to pick up and play, but after a few incarnations you start to get a bit tired with the formula. Great to play once or twice, though, I promise.

A title I would probably pick up if I had a PlayStation (more on that later) is Thousand Arms. I kinda like the idea of the dating-game ideas inclusion, which so rarely makes it to an English release. Do you have any information to impart here?


I didn't play this game, due to the fact that so many people told me they hated it. I'm usually not one to defer to public opinion, but when the result is an overwhelming "Run!" you have to listen a bit.

The WonderSwan Color! I don't think it ever came out across the Pacific, which seems slightly sad given Square's support of the thing instead of the GBC/GBA back when it was still a going concern. But the WSC is long dead now, and apparently unremembered. Maybe the name has something to do with that.

I'm still on a handheld runthrough, so why not talk about the Lynx? It died a long time ago, and didn't have much great software (or even okay software) but might have had something. Did it?


WSC: No-name-brand backing. Fell short because no one in US would buy it. Also, not very many great games for it, save for FF.

Lynx: You answered your own question. ^^

I'm STILL on a handheld runthrough! Tell us, o Mighty Ourobolus; what titles on the PSP entice you greatly ere the onset of the holiday season? Any that you are willing to plunk your own dollars upon instead of allowing for the fickle familial gift-givers to procure in your place?


Well, LocoRoco is already out, but I'm gonna have to pick it up. There aren't really any RPGs coming out for it that I'm planning on touching, money will probably be going towards the Wii and PS2. As for gift-givers, I'm a terrible person to get gifts for, as I'm an Impulse shopper, and I never know what I want at any given moment.

Okay. Now I shall dispense exactly why I do not own a PlayStation of any variety, in what is a revealing insight into how my mind operates. When I only owned a Genesis, it was easy to acquire games. Especially since I had essentially no disposable income - meaning I bought very few games between 1995 and 1999. When I got some disposable income in 2000, I beefed up my Genesis library considerably (via the temptress of temptresses, eBay). Then I decided to expand my potential library, again via eBay, through acquiring a Super Nintendo. Ahhh, the good times. Around the fall of 2000 I started Super Mario RPG, and clearly remember playing it instead of writing a speech I had to give the very next day at junior college. Those two systems kept me busy for a little over a year, and I acquired libraries of over 30 titles for each. These libraries are still in the process of consolidation, as I just acquired the Genesis Shadowrun complete for under $25. Excellent!

Around the winter of 2002 I decided to expand the collection some more, and garnered the Sega CD. The library of worthwhile titles on Sega CD isn't huge (and I foolishly bought Night Trap... I sold it years ago), so I hungered for more. I bought a Dreamcast then, and Skies of Arcadia along with Grandia 2 were the premiere RPGs on the unfortunately deceased system (anything else I should know about?).


Not really. You're good.

And then about 4 1/2 years ago I bought my Saturn (although in 1997 I borrowed a friend's Saturn for a few months - fun stuff!). Filling out the library of quality Saturn titles is a process I am not yet comfortable in proclaiming complete. I'm mulling over the prospect of getting Langrisser Dramatic Edition for it, a remake of Langrissers 1 and 2, along with perhaps Terra Phantastica....

Also in the winter of 2002 I had a semester at junior college where I would have biology lab from 8 to 11 (nominally - it tended to end around 10), cultural anthropology from 2:20 to 3:50, world history prior to 1600 from 6 to 7:25, and observational astronomy from 7:35 to 9:55. A quick tabulation of this reveals that even after homework is accounted for, I had plenty of hours with nothing to do. So I bought my GBA (NOT on eBay, amazingly!) to wile away that time. And it has remained a good companion ever since. But eBay allowed me to procure a massive library of titles for the thing. The moral of the story is this: every time I get a new system, I cannot allow its library of games to stay undesirable. If I were to buy a PlayStation 1 - how many worthwhile titles would I want to acquire? I deliberately refrain from looking this up because I don't want to know. If I were to buy a PlayStation 2, the quality titles would shoot upwards, probably beyond 30. Goodbye credit card which I can afford to pay off... I once told myself I would buy a PlayStation whenever I am ready for it. I still will probably do that, but it will more than likely be after the end of the PS2's life cycle.


Ouch. I suggest making your millions soon before purchasing your next system. ^^;

I also have an odd compunction to procure as much of a system's desirable software in one fell swoop as I can, meaning that I like dead consoles more than living ones because I hate waiting for games. And older games tend to cost less than brand-new ones, with the exceptions not outweighing the rule. Your comparison of Radar Secret Service to Dude, Where's My Car? is actually warranted. I watched DWMC? while fast-forwarding through half the scenes, and it still bored me amazingly. Radar Secret Service is in black & white and was not intended to be a comedy, while Dude, Where's My Car? is the inverse. They're about as amusing though. Maybe Mike Nelson will do a Rifftrax entry on that movie....

Time for go to bed!


That actually makes sense, surprisingly. Instant gratification is one of my vices, so I understand completely. I was going nuts waiting for Xenosaga III, for instance. Having an old system, and sacrificing technology for quantity definitely allows me to play many of the games that I've been wanting to play, while waiting for the games that I WILL want to play.

Combat Log

Luca Blight takes a moment to heal.
Slimey casts a spell!
Leaper moves to Tile 14.
Arpijy moves to Tile 15.
JDX moves to Tile 7.
Aylee moves to Tile 11.
TvsAdam moves to Tile 4.

Previous THONG Rounds!

Selections for characters can be found at the following sites:

Suikoden Characters

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

Luca Blight

Don't question my greatness!

Answer to #L9: E. 17.
This was NOT a trick question, people. :P - AB across, 2 min. B back, 2 min. CD across, 10 min. A back, 1 min. AB across, 2 min. = 17 minutes.

#L9. In Lunar 2, this city is governed by the True Holy Fist.

A. Dalton
B. Meribia
C. Larpa
D. Vane
E. Zaback
F. Pentagulia

THONG Question

Answer to #9: E. 14
Because you don't need to press any extra buttons to specifically select an enemy (unless you wish to change, which wasn't discussed), all you need to do is press Attack each turn, followed by the combo. Senretsu = 3 buttons, Fukei = 5 buttons, Yamikei = 3 buttons. 3 + 3 + 5 + 3 = 14.

#10.Difficulty: Relatively Easy
Which of the following games included a group of enemies that emulated a small group of teenagers that used to be seen on TV fighting enemies called Puttys?

A. Final Fantasy IX
B. Chrono Cross
C. Xenosaga II
D. Super Mario RPG
E. Dragon Warrior VIII


Uh...we lost to Ohio State. That makes me a sad panda. I'll be back tomorrow people. In the meantime, why don't you all tell me the retro games that you are looking forward to seeing on the Wii's Virtual Console? I know I can't wait to play Contra on my giant 61" TV. See ya tomorrow, guys!
***Josh should probably stop this.

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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

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 2

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 7

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 0

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 1

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 0

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 3

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 7

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 2

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 0

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 9

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 1

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 8

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 8

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 8

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 1

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 2

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 2

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 3

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 8

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 6

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 8

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 1

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 0

Anyone else?

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