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You Gonna Finish That? October 29, 2006

Josh - 9:59 EST

It feels like forever since I've updated, even though it's only been six days. I've determined that October is the busiest month out of the year for me. Last night was the Dining Out for ROTC, which is basically a reason to get dressed up and take a date to a dinner/ceremony/dancing. It doesn't end until really late, and if I don't start writing the column by 11:30PM, we've passed the point of no return, and there's probably no way possible to get the thing up in time. But anyway...let's go on, shall we?




L E T T E R S
Rapid Fire!


Heyo Ouro!

Soooo, with me listening to music at the moment, what character do you wish would have died during the game due to extreme annoyance levels (out of left field)?

Josh

Hehehehe...well, let's see.

A good 1/2 of the Chrono Cross cast should have been killed off due to really annoying accents. Quina should have accidentally landed on her fork sometime during the game, too.

Are there any characters, in your opinion, that should of remained dead that were reborn?

Josh

Dracula. :P

Umm...sheesh, there aren't as many of these, eh?

No, not really, can't think of any! Pretty much if a character died, it was either a good reason because it was a great plot point, or because he was a jerk. I can't really think of any instances where they've suddenly popped back up.

And what is the stupidest, most ridiculous costume a person has worn in a game you've played (original, not Actual costumes)?

Bainick, in a lonely place...

Josh

The Mexican Wrestler outfit worn by Greco in Chrono Cross was pretty weird. Lulu's costume was pretty out there, too. But, I mean, come on. You can dress Jessica like a Playboy Bunny in Dragon Quest VIII! There's nothing more ridiculous than smacking enemies around with a whip while wearing nothing but lingerie. ^^



I'm a slacker. I'm sorry. :P


Sorry to hear you've been so busy. I know the feeling. Try what I do:

1) Have way too much crap to do
2) Don't do any of it
3) Rinse
4) Lather
5) Repeat

Seems to be working so far. I believe my 0.00 GPA, unemployment, and street living speak for themselves.

Josh

Well, if I wasn't TRYING to graduate this semester, this would be the perfect plan.

My normal system works as such:

  1. Get homework.
  2. Stare at said homework sheet.
  3. Cry for a few hours.
  4. Go play video games.
  5. Suddenly realize that the homework is due tomorrow morning.
  6. Hurriedly call the friends I have in class to get together and work on it with me.
  7. Suffer.
  8. Increase suffering if not already at max.
  9. Turn in homework.
  10. Smile.
  11. Continue smiling for 10 seconds.
  12. Receive next homework.
  13. Repeat.

Have you ever played Indigo Prophecy? Great game concept; horrible story. Anyway, I think that'd be a cool direction for RPGs to go. Kinda choose-your-own-adventure movie. I'm really not a fan of games that give you "choices," which are really just dialogue branches that lead you along the same path. I like choices to mean something when I make them. I honestly prefer an honestly linear story than a story that tries to cover up its linearity and masquerade as non-linear.

Vicissitude

Josh

I have not played it, but I have taken a good hard look at it. The idea seems really cool, and the fact that you have complete control over your character is really, really nifty. I mean, the idea sounds good in my head, although I can imagine getting a little bored with doing mundane tasks like laundry ^^; However, the fact that the choices you make definitely have an effect on other aspects of the plot really grabbed me. I may have to pick this game up at some point, since it just seems so different from the norm. IGN has a pretty good review, too, if you want to take a look at it.



Two more days...


Hey, Josh,

Only a couple of days until Final Fantasy XII. Up until a month ago, I wasn't even all that excited about the game. I started salivating when I saw some of the early reviews come in on IGN.

I was surprised to read that all of the characters do not have innate abilities or attributes; at least that's my understanding based on what I've read. The characters have little difference between them except for their distinct Mist Quickenings (or whatever they are calling them now), which aren't actually that distinct at all. I have traditionally preferred games where characters had at least some innate abilities or skill sets as opposed to games where the character attributes were sort of a tabula rasa. In other words, I don't think a girl who weighs <90 lbs (only soaking wet and with a brick in each pocket) should be able to cause as much physical damage as bruiser like a Khimari. In the end, though, I suppose that this creates at least some replay value since you can shape each character any way you like. :)

Take Final Fantasy VII. Several years ago, I went over to a friend's apartment one night and they happed to be playing this game. I remember him complaining that none the characters seemed to be very unique. Other than the limit breaks and special attacks each character had, I actually don't remember many distinct differences in the character abilities, either. I was surprised, though, because my friend had developed completely different attributes to their characters, and was relying much more on magical attacks than I was in my own first run through the game. Now that I'm older, I'm interested to go back to Final Fantasy VIII to see if I would play it any differently; I'm sure that I might specialize each character a bit more.

Sorry the letter is sort of disjointed today. It seems that I've been running around constantly for the last month.

Take care,
Sundoulos

Josh

My little brother just picked up the English version today, actually. It really makes me miss Korea, when I could get games before their actual release ;_;

Well, look at it this way. Five of the Final Fantasies have had 'unique' characters - I, IV, VI, IX, and X. II, III, and V had characters that were completely the same, while after VII, the introduction of Limit Breaks at least provided some difference, even if it was minimal. Although, VI wasn't really completely like that, since everyone could learn whatever magic they wanted. I personally like having characters with job-definition - where each character is useful for a specific purpose rather than one you tailor them to.

FFVIII was ridiculous though. You could tailor everyone's STATS to your liking. I mean, if you did it properly, you could literally have characters with not only the same skill sets, but the exact same Spd, Atk, Def, etc. That's just plain silly. At that point you are playing as a character for the sole reason that they look cool or something.



dot dot dot hack! *runs*


Do NOT look at RPGamer's preview articles for .hack//GU from last year! They contain a HUGE storyline spoiler that I saw and realized while trying to find details on how the trilogy would be released, time-wise!

Hopefully, the twist will be revealed in this first game. Oh, well, I guess I'll have to "carry over" the surprise from now to when I actually see it in the game. I just can't believe Namco/Bandai would do that! Granted, it was a year before release, but still!

And a related question: with the oncoming release of the PS3, and the fact that the first .hack game was released a week before FF12, what are the chances, you think, that we WON'T get all three parts of the game here in the States? I've been enjoying myself with .hack//GU so far, and I just want to assuage my paranoia.

Off to swear at Namco some more...

Josh

Oops. Well, that can happen.

Well, let's see...there's definitely a bit more to the equation than that. The first iteration of .hack turned off -a lot- of people from the series, since the whole 4-parter thing was rather irritating. And the games were pretty short compared to most RPGs. FFXII will definitely be the big hit this season, probably overshadowing every other RPG out there. The only thing that will ensure the other games will come here are the .hack fans, but in my opinion, they did it once, they'll probably do it again...bring them over, that is.



More corrections? Aww...


Our Ouro orates "so once I figured you could just damage your own party members in order to increase their HP (and the other stat-mechanics, too), it wasn't too bad."

That's still beating yourself up, silly! (Your real solution should of been to just fight lots more battles against more difficult enemies. Just like any other RPG.)

Josh

Oh come on, it's like when I accidentally attacked my party members in FF Tactics and gained XP and JP! Guess what I then did for the next few hours? ^^

Besides, fighting in that game was just really boring to me. I'd rather sit in a really easy battle and punch myself rather than worrying about keeping my characters alive in a REAL fight.

"I hate levelling up magic. It takes so long, as you have to wait for the animation (the FF2 GBA version of Ultima? Sheesh)"

Maybe, but at least they seem shorter than in most games. (Except for Ultima.) And it's not like you need to repeatively cast anything in a single battle (bar those pointlessly power-gaming I guess).

Josh

It goes up each time you cast it, so you can theoretically gain a magic level each battle, which does take awhile, much longer than it takes to smack an enemy with a sword.

"weapon damage clearly outdoes magic, 99% of the time. The other 1% are those few enemies that are resistant to physical damage."

That's a bit of an exaggeration, as there are quite a number resistance to physical hits throughout the game. (Mostly at the beginning when you have poor weapons.) But yes, physical attacks really received much too big a boost in the remakes, especially with them adding in damage from the secondary weapon.

That said, Instant-kill spells have always the better than damage anyway! (Disclaimer: Assuming you dressed your "mage" appropriately and obviously not with magic-restricting equipment meant for "warriors".)

Josh

You could have secondary weapon damage from the original FF2...I distinctly remember equipping both in order to level faster. And yes, insta-kills are much better any day. ^^



Time...why is there never enough time!?!


I'm playing Thousand Year Door right now, even though I've had it for over a year. (One day last year I saved up enough money from work to reach a goal I'd had, so I literally blew half my paycheck on video games right after I got it. It was awesome.) I didn't want to play Paper Mario 2 until I had played the original, and I lucked out and nabbed a copy at EB Games or something for $25 used - the ONLY time I condone the evilness of in-store used game purchases, as I've probably gone on and on about countless times now.

Anyway, I enjoyed Paper Mario, but so far I think I like Paper Mario 2 even better. I've nabbed two of the crystal stars (out of seven, and who'd have thought a Nintendo game would have you collecting stuff?!) and I'm really enjoying the improvements upon the original game. The crowd that watches you fight in particular is a great touch. And the writing is top-notch; they really did a great job making a game that would appeal to younger and older players alike.

My favorite moment so far was the kid in one of the towns who says he's playing all these different Nintendo games. First it was Fire Emblem, then Paper Mario, and now he says he's saving up for Paper Mario 2...which sent me into a metafiction spiral that nearly sent me back in time. Even though they stole this idea directly from Earthbound (two NPCs report playing Earthbound while YOU are playing Earthbound, and that's just deep, man...) it's still clever even ten years later.

Josh

Yeah, I'm going to have to pick up the Mario games once I get a Wii, since not having a GameCube severely hindered my progress in that respect. Also, thumbs-up to self-referential games. :)

It's nice to be back playing RPGs after a long absence: God of War led to Killer7 led to Metal Gear Solid 3 led to Eternal Darkness and oh my god Eternal Darkness is awesome. And Paper Mario 2 is a perfect way to get started with RPGs again after playing three titles as innovative as the last ones I played.

Plus, getting all the shorter games out of the way has reduced by console backlog (I won't even go into PC stuff). Now I've just got Xenosaga III, Wild Arms 4, Atelier Iris, Kingdom Hearts 2, Steambot Chronicles, Gladius and maybe Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, which I've had forever and only played for like 15 minutes. On the other hand, I've got to get used to the idea of playing one game for a month at a time again...even Paper Mario 2 seems like it's got a good 40 hours in it.

And yet now there's the new Shin Megami Tensei, the new Tales, that new .hack to give a fair try, and of course FF12. Also, Contact looks really, really appealing to me. I wish I had the money to spend. As for FF12, even though it comes out next Tuesday, I at least will have no choice but to leave it alone. It's probably all sold out anyway. It's not like I don't have enough to occupy my time. I'll just have to ignore every conversation every RPG player has for the next year or so.

I really miss having the time to play games. On the other hand, the time I had to do that was a product of me living with my parents. I do not miss that. So maybe it's a fair trade.

-TV's Adam

Josh

You and me both, brother. Especially with this month being as hectic as it was, I've not had the time to even finish the one game I was playing, Okami. One of these upcoming weekends, I'm just going to sit down and have a nice, long playtime. Grab some grub, get a blanket, and play Okami until I've destroyed as much as I can. I won't be getting FFXII for a little while (someone is sending me a copy), so I'll have to bide my time until then. And then there's the backlog (oh, the backlog) which will probably grow incessantly for years to come. I hope I find some time on active duty to get some gaming in :)

Thanks for writing in, Adam!





S E G U E

Bucket has claimed a cohosting position, so you'll see her coming up soon enough!



T H O N G
Combat Log

Luca Phase:
Luca Blight attacks!!! (41% Health Remaining)
No one is affected!

Movement Phase:
Leaper moves to Tile 26.
Bucket moves to Tile 3.
Draconn moves to Tile 34.
Alan Tse moves to Tile 12.
Slashlen moves to Tile 28.
JuMeSyn moves to Tile 20.
PureLunatic moves to Tile 28.
Vicissitude moves to Tile 20.
JDX moves to Tile 34.
Aurelius moves to Tile 30.
Tabor moves to Tile 29.
Sundoulos moves to Tile 24.


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!

Click here to see previous trivia!

Luca Blight

You're lucky...you just barely got me last time...you won't be so lucky this time!

Answer to #L22: B. 7 cents
If Tom was only 1 cent short, yet they didn't have enough money to even buy ONE book, then Mary must not have brought any money, and since she was 7 cents short, the book must cost 7 cents.

#L23. What is the lowest score Josh has ever gotten in Bowling? It is terribly pathetic.

A. 5
B. 10
C. 15
D. 20
E. 25
F. 30

THONG Question

Answer to #22: D. Beowulf
The warlord's name is Grandel, which is pretty close to Grendel, the monster that Beowulf fights.

#23.Difficulty: Medium, Potch: 350
Which of these is not a member of the Crimson Guard?

A. Kane
B. Kurtz
C. Eleni
D. Sabrina
E. Dallas

C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Two more days until FFXII, guys! Can you feel it? I mean, I may have to pick up GTA: Vice City Stories as well, because let's face it, Vice City was the best out of the next-gen ones. :) Thoughts? Anyone? See you tomorrow~!

ourobolus@rpgamer.com
***Josh had an ok day at work.


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Back to the backlog!

RPGs I'm currently playing:

1. Okami

2. Radiata Stories

3. Wild Arms: ACF

THONG Players:

1. Roku
Flik  TP: 2
550p

2. Bainick
Hero 2  TP: 10
1100p

3. Leaper
Antonio  TP: 14
3650p

4. Macstorm
Mazus  TP: 1
850p

6. BLG
Sid  TP: 9
2125p

7. Arros Raikou
Kage  TP: 7
2325p

8. Xlash
Gijimu  TP: 0
200p

9. Donovan
Clive  TP: 2
900p

10. Slimey
Gadget  TP: 9
2550p

11. Bucket
Millie  TP: 15
1125p

12. Draconn
Mondo  TP: 16
2650p

13. Genjuu
Pesmerga  TP: 3
1000p

14. Alan Tse
Hoi  TP: 8
2225p

15. TheBluick
Fu Su Lu  TP: 0
0p

16. Gouden Draak
Rubi  TP: 1
725p

17. Slashlen
Lorelai  TP: 18
4300p

18. JuMeSyn
Odessa  TP: 11
1700p

19. PureLunatic
Viktor  TP: 22
2425p

21. William.T
Killey  TP: 14
2150p

22. Arpijy
Hix2  TP: 3
1650p

23. Spiffyness
Badeaux  TP: 2
525p

24. Reivax
Kasim  TP: 1
200p

25. Carabbit
Viki  TP: 7
1975p

26. Vicissitude
Clive2  TP: 3
1450p

27. JDX
Kuromimi  TP: 26
4400p

28. Kupomogli
Kinnison  TP: 7
875p

29. Aurelius
Kahn  TP: 7
3575p

30. Omm
Yoshino  TP: 2
1225p

31. Aylee
Luc  TP: 8
2500p

32. Tabor
Ted  TP: 16
3850p

33. TvsAdam
McDohl  TP: 2
875p

34. Sundoulos
Hai Yo  TP: 14
3025p

Anyone else?

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