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Dry Creek Bed October 9, 2006

Josh - 11:04 EST

Hm. Ok, I have a total of two letters today. Two! Fine, I can take a hint, you don't love me anymore? ;_;




L E T T E R S
Well, I'll never run out of these. ^^


Potatoes are what we eat!

Okay, I've given up on Sword of Vermilion. Persistence took down that boss with the fireballs, then I fought the EASIEST BOSS EVER (all he did was summon skeletons, I whacked them and he went down with ONE HIT!). I wandered around awhile, getting deeper into the game. Then I came upon a flying boss. Yes, a flying boss when I cannot jump. Even though it's got a pathetically easy pattern I just couldn't deal with the fact that my character moved too slowly to get out from under the damn thing when it attacked, and when it landed on him roughly 90% of my HP vanished from repeated hits of the thing sitting on me. Then it got up, still hitting me, into death. DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!!!!!!!

Clearly I have to pick up LandStalker now. I wasted too much energy on Vermilion. Ick.

Josh

Tooooooolllllld you soooooooo. ^^

But...ouch, man...ouch. I'd say that sounds worse than Unlimited Saga, but...come on, let's be reasonable here! Hehehe...

So I entertained myself with another action runthrough on the Genesis. I put Revenge of Shinobi in, and it was awesome (took me so long to beat that game back in the day, now I still lost about 6 lives doing it - but it ROCKS). Then I popped Gunstar Heroes in, and everything you've heard about its awesomeness is correct. The graphics are astounding for the Genesis considering how much is getting blown up onscreen and the effects some of the bosses show off (like one boss that morphs into 4 different forms, but has a total of either 7 or 8 he can use - each one being a separate challenge). And the cute moment of the 'Final Great Soldier' coming onscreen with his special move 'Love Love Dancing.' The poor fellow is bounced offscreen by the real boss. But, oh, you'll need a Genesis (or simulacrum thereof) to play it - how about that? Go Treasure!

Josh

Gunstar Heroes...that sounds oddly familiar. I know I haven't played it, but I think I may have seen it played...

Oh, I'd need a Genesis? Well, let me just go...hey! You...oh, you. I've got my eye on you. You're silly, that's what you are! Silly.

I also played a game called Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. Yep, I played it. Every level begins with Michael Jackson uttering one of his trademark sound bites - get ready for 'Hooooo!' and 'Ow!' to be heard. And of course, the whole premise of the game; he is saving the children. Saving a child causes Michael Jackson to regain some health. When all the children are saved in a level, Bubbles comes along to guide Michael Jackson to the boss (which is frequently just a lot of regular enemies). The dance attack of making all onscreen enemies kill themselves trying to imitate Jackson's motions is fun however.

I find it funny that the bad guy, the oh-so-cleverly named Mr. Big, comes onscreen for every boss action just to laugh and say 'HA HA! YOU'LL NEVER CATCH ME!' whereupon he exits and the boss encounter comes out. Not a very good method of concealing himself, is it?

The music is good though - I don't care what you say, 'Bad' is a great song. That's not just the 5-year old me playing it repeatedly speaking, I swear! But could this game ever be made again? I very much doubt it.

Josh

Sigh...I remember that game. I just tried to repress the memory. I actually feel sorry for you that you had to play it.

Of course the music was good! It was Michael Jackson! While I don't give two craps about his actual personality and home life, I did like his music.

I certainly hope that you didn't "beat it!" HAR HAR HAR...ok, someone kill me.

They could probably make it again. You would just start melting at the beginning of each stage, and have to rush to the end, where a plastic surgeon would be waiting. Also, the children would be replaced with lifelike dolls.

Is Onimusha Tactics any good? I've never played an Onimusha title, incidentally.

Josh

Onimusha = good. I loved the first game, though I never played the next installments. Onimusha Tactics = Abominable. I don't know what it is about bringing other franchises into the tactical realm, but I haven't noticed them being any fun (existing franchies, with existing characters...so, Suikoden and Onimusha).

Also: do I regard Final Fantasy Tactics Advance so highly because I have never touched the original? You can read my review to get a good idea of where I'm coming from with regard to the title, I think I scored it slightly higher than anyone else on RPGamer.

Josh

That may be the case. Most people I've talked to regard the original as a work of art (myself included, translation aside), and I really did not like FFTA. I still have it, and while I do like tactical games, there just wasn't enough...anything to keep me interested. Battles were standard fare, the Judge system was more annoying than strategic, the plot was lame, I honestly just found myself walking back and forth running into rival factions on the map, just for the hell of it. The micromanagement was also on a much lower level than that of FFT, which I thought did a marvelous job of it.

Now here's a great game title: Revengers of Vengeance. It's a Sega CD game I picked up for about $7 on eBay, although it was overpriced. Mixing an RPG with a fighting game is a good idea, if it were executed better than it is here. Go look it up to know what I'm talking about.

Josh

Wow. That's like an MST3k title. Anyway, it doesn't look good at all, I agree. The best sort of fighting/RPG combo I've found are the Tales games (yeah, I know, it's not a TRUE fighting engine), and I haven't really found a game that properly creates a decent hybrid of the two genres, unfortunately.

Awww - I'm flattered to think that you remember all those instances of my mentioning obscure Saturn/Genesis/Super Famicom titles! So here's ANOTHER one! Chaos Seed was brought out on the Super Famicom and ported to the Saturn a few years later, although all indications are that the Saturn version is greatly superior. I gather it's a different take on the sim-RPG, in that you have to rebuild parts of the world but the people respond poorly and think you're part of the problem. There's a Hardcore Gaming review if you're curious. Unfortunately the game seems to have quite a bit of Kanji to decipher.

Josh

Crap, you got me on one. I've never heard of this thing. That might be due to the fact that it's in Japanese, while most of the other ones were at least ported over here in some fashion.

I'm kinda curious as to your take on this subject. Remember how long the PS1 remained viable after PS2 came out in North America? It was about 18 months as I recall. Will history repeat itself as it has done with most consoles, giving about 18 months of further quality software for your PS2 before the PS3 dominates? Or will the PS2 keep attaining quality titles for longer than that?

Josh

I'm actually going to hold off on this question, just because I wrote an editorial that should be going up next week that retorts this editorial, which might clear up this question nicely, and I don't want to spoil the surprise...^^

I have never played a Ys game, and I understand the best versions of the early titles are actually on Turbo Grafx-16. Have you any experience with Ys? Failing direct experience, what do you know about the series that might entice me to play it?

Josh

Since many of those titles never even made it over here (Ys III was the last one before Ys VI, but there were a bunch of versions of I & II), the only one I've even SEEN is The Ark of Naphistim, and that's only with screenshots and trailers. It got slightly above average reviews, and it looks like a fairly decent action-RPG. If I was to pick this up, I'd grab the PSP version, since I'm hurting for RPGs at the moment on that thing. Honestly, I don't see anything about the game that would lead me to believe it's not worth at least renting.

I forgot, I did play about half an hour of PSO on Gamecube. It was playable but nothing I'd seek out. Seems your experience on Dreamcast was about the same. And does your Dreamcast annotation mean you have no playtime with Skies of Arcadia?

Josh

Sigh...yes. ;_;

A new Economist article got me thinking. Apparently game makers are wanting to do far more installment titles; that is, bringing out the first part of the game and then releasing the rest in pieces. The initial installment would cost considerably less than a full game does now, and it could allow for more development time on the subsequent parts along with giving people less of a backlog (which everyone seems to be remarking upon nowadays). On the other hand, it could devolve into paying $20 for a 10-hour chunk of an RPG and then getting sucked into paying more than a full game would cost in one chunk with shoddy development being obvious. So - your commentary upon this potentiality, please.

Josh

Good for business, so-so for us. By creating a quality initial product, they are able to rope us in, in hopes of us purchasing the next game. It's essentially free advertising for the 'sequel.' Then there's the problem of forgetting things inbetween playthroughs, and us getting irritated with the time inbetween games, and finally the potential cost for us, paying multiple times the cost of one game for one game split into X parts.

Name for me the title you were most displeased at never making it into English, if you would. If you cannot decipher what title I most desire, you have to sit in the corner.

Josh

Dragon Warrior V and VI. After playing IV, I was entirely too pissed that they didn't want to bring MORE over. That was a depressing time.

Um - what does <3 mean? You used this to refer to TMNT IV. Sorry, but I don't keep up very well with the new symbolism of the 'net. I had to have someone tell me what 'ftw' means.

Josh

It's a sideways heart! <3!

I have Flashback sitting on the shelf (where it's been since I procured it via eBay years ago) but haven't started it yet. Do you have advice here? Just a thought: why didn't the other regular battle music in Chrono Trigger get used? I like it better than the regular battle theme that gets used 100% of the time.

Josh

Flashback! Woo! I recommend playing it! That game was a ton of fun, much like its pseudo-cousin, Out of this World. Go, go, go!

I've only heard the other battle music in MIDI format, but it was pretty good, and I don't understand why they didn't at least throw that in at, say, the halfway point or something. At least after you got the Epoch or something.

Okay, I concede that the Saturn version of Symphony of the Night got rushed and its graphics are not as good as the Saturn really could have done. But defend THIS!!! http://www.audioatrocities.com/games/castlevania-sotn/clip3.mp3 I'm serious - defend that voice acting! Make me believe that you can take the ending seriously after hearing this! I'm waiting....

Aaaand, the defense has no evidence to rebut the witness? Unfortunate. The verdict: guilty. Saturn version superior. PlayStation version sentenced to hard labor at acting college for 5 years or until superior actors are recruited and used to redo the game, whichever is longer.

Is that stud coming toward us?
JuMeSyn

Josh

Yeah. I know. The voice acting was terrible. But honestly, who on earth played that game for the voice acting? I'm sorry, my friend, but the gameplay wins, and the graphics were nicer. So nyah. ^^



The futurelog...or something...


A letter you say is needed, very well one of which i'll give to you!

So what RPG's are in your "to get" folder at the moment? I'm still waiting for Suikoden 5 and later Wild Arms 4 to be delivered to my door (well to my P.O.Box as we do live out of town, and we don't trust certain people). I'm also waiting for the DS Mana game, Zelda:TP and FF 12 (Damn you Squarenix)

Anyway lastly I want Yoshi's Island 2.

Bainick now wants all of the Weird Al Yankovich C.D.'s (You could easily change Canadian to Australian too)

Josh

I know I'll be getting Disgaea 2 and FFXII in the near future, and SMT: Devil Summoner also looks pretty neat. I too want Suikoden V and Wild ARMs 4, but as usual, I may have to go back to those games after I've destroyed my current pleasures. And, there's also that Wii thingy that looks pretty interesting. Haven't heard much about it though. >_>; Hehehe, Zelda is quite up there on the list, and I've become determined to grab Guild Wars Nightfall when it finally surfaces.

Hehehehe...Weird Al. Anyone else remember Amish Paradise? "As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain, I take a look at my wife and realize she's very plain! But that's just perfect for an Amish like me, 'cause we shun modern things like electricity!" (or something like that).

Thanks Bainick. You have successfully filled 50% of my inbox!





S E G U E

If you missed my little side contest yesterday, please go back and take a look! It's the final letter in the column...you can win a guest-hosting spot alongside yours truly, with the opportunity to mess with people as you please! Weee!



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Blight charges up!


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!

Click here to see previous trivia!

Luca Blight

I'll concentrate all my effort onto this day...

Answer to #L15: B. Ronfar
Hey, when he rolled the dice, it was quite common for him to yell out, "Lady Luck, be kind!"

#L16. Josh is going to see a concert at Carnegie Hall where the performing group participated in the Xenosaga I soundtrack. What month is he going in?

A. October
B. November
C. December
D. January
E. February
F. March

#L17. What's the next item in this sequence? 10L, 20R, 30S, 80W, ...

A. 90B
B. 100D
C. 120T
D. 160E
E. 180V
F. 200X

#L18. (THIS QUESTION WILL BE FLAWLESS! ^^) Which one does not belong?

A. GiAnt
B. Toad Stool
C. Penguin
D. Topo
E. Col-Capri
F. Ed and Ben

THONG Question

Answer to #15: C. Starfish.
Yep! Hiterodon fired Starfish at you that Ark needed to attack in order to defeat him! Good job, everyone.

#16.Difficulty: Easy
Yuki knocks the enemy into the air! Alfina then performs her Aerial Combo! Alonso performs his Aerial Combo! Assuming any of these characters can be in your party, which would be the obvious choice in completing the Aerial Combo?

A. Dahna
B. Hect
C. Ulf
D. Miranda
E. Very funny, Josh.

#17.Difficulty: Medium
What percentage of the Zodiac Stones is your party able to obtain in FF Tactics (rounded up)?

A. 100%
B. 92%
C. 85%
D. 83%
E. 75%

#18.Difficulty: Hard
This weapon, which shares its name with a large celestial explosion, requires a certain amount of health to use. How much?

A. 11 hearts
B. 5 hearts
C. 14 hearts
D. 10 hearts
E. 7 hearts

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Well, a somewhat disappointing weekend, but I'm hoping to see it pick up next weekend! Ah well...at least you've got Matt to bother for the time being. See you then!


ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh has a physical fitness test tomorrow.


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1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
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1450p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 9
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4. Macstorm
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6. BLG
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7. Arros Raikou
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8. Xlash
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13. Genjuu
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15. TheBluick
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16. Gouden Draak
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17. Slashlen
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18. JuMeSyn
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21. William.T
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27. JDX
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29. Aurelius
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30. Omm
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31. Aylee
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32. Tabor
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33. TvsAdam
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34. Sundoulos
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1125p

Anyone else?

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