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ASK SEAN
Column 2: This is way harder than it looks
August 21th, 2007

Sean - 12:37pm EDT

I got a total of one letter yesterday. Come on people, send me some love! I mean letters, of course! I wish I had an overflowing letter bag like the Matt has. Come on people!

Oh, I was bad and I started Persona 1 last night. I call it peer pressure. Everyone else is playing Persona 3, so I better catch up now! That said, I don't know what to think about it yet. It is weird, I don't really know what is going on, and it seems both easy and nasty at the same time. So I guess my next game list is Persona/Overlord/Brave Story. Oh and Brave Story is awesome. Everyone needs to buy it!

I am afraid. Tomorrow I have a dentist visit. He will soooo yell at me. My teeth hurt something awful so maybe tomorrow I will be ok. I do hope he fixes me up with minimal yelling. I have always hated these dentist types.

Anyways, on to the letters!




LETTERS
The Final Fantasy Retrospectives


Hi Matt

Its Singh from the UK, has been a while since I last read your column and even later has been since I last wrote you. Its all about the career at the moment and professional studies, real life crap. Which is why I escape to the greatness that is RPG (not a rocket propelled grenade laucnher Damn it... well sometime but not today).

Sean

Sorry, it isn't Matt here - I stole his letters today! Damn does it ever feel good! Anyways, I am sure he will be glad to hear that you wrote in!

Anyways a friend of mine had come across these videos on youtube, (forgive me if it has already been mentioned). but "Gametrailer" has compiled an amazing 10 minute intros of each of the final fanasty games. Its basically a trip down memory lane and some interesting quirks about the games. Its like the bonus material on most movies, but it got some cool"did you know" like sephiroth is kabbalah term.

http://www.gametrailers.com/game/4831.html

Sean

Yeah, I saw this stuff a couple of weeks ago. They remind me of the Final Fantasy History thing that they packed with the special edition of FFXII. It is pretty entertaining. The Metroid Retrospectives are really nice too. I enjoyed watching them... which reminds me - I should grab the latest ones!

At the moment they are up to final fantasy 7, but I showed it to some other friends who now want to try the game out.

P.S. I know its late, but I'm gonna buy the DS Lite and a copy of FF3, just an excuse to play it all over again. Any suggestions on other must have titles to catch up.

Sean

Well, if you have a chance, I really enjoyed Etrian Odyssey (or more appropriately I am enjoying it currently, more or less). The Castlevania games for the DS are pretty nice, as is Metroid Prime Hunters. Matt would suggest Lunar Knights and Pokemon Pearl/Diamond, all of which I have yet to play. Of course there are a ton of GBA games to play too (FF IV-VI Advance, Golden Sun 1-2, FFTA, etc).

I hope you enjoy the system Singh! It was really nice to hear from you!



Bring on the pretty boys!


Hi Matt.

Come on, if you want sexy, you needn't look much farther than Balthier. The reason my party consisted of Vaan, Fran and Balthier was because they're the first party you start with. When I saw you don't have to switch members anytime, I just kept them. However, I definitely preferred a party with Balthier than one with that soldier boy I don't even remember the name of. Also, I agree with you on Zell. Strange, but true.

I think Serge from Chrono Cross deserves a mention, too. And since I'm playing Rogue Galaxy - Jaster.

Zohar Gilboa

Sean

I didn't have a typical party during that game. I instead assigned roles to the characters and switched them out every second level or so. I guess I was anal about keeping everyone leveled. I think the pairs were Vaan/Basch, Fran/Balthier and Ashe/Penelo, but towards the end of the game they were all equivalent anyways. If I went by looks? I would have used Ashe and Fran. Who needs anyone else?

Oh my sister would like me to mention Aoshi from Rurouni Kenshin while we are on the subject of pretty boys. And Sephiroth of course. I really don't understand her at all.

Thanks for writing in, Zohar!



My first JuMeSyn letter!


Sirrah Sean, I salute thee. It seems your dedication has paid off. I don't know how much attention I could have granted to Q&A anyway had I managed to become the host (after the past few weeks rubbed in my face how sparse free time is), so it's better off in your hands. Much good fortune may you have.

Sean

Thanks, I hope to one day be considered Matt's equal. It would be nice, but those are some really big shoes. ^^;

Yeah, free time. Something that will become a rare commodity in the coming months. I'll manage, I think. My brother is going to England for the next semester, so all the time I spend with him can be diverted to this here column. And of course, I will hopefully graduate after the fall semester so when he is back, my time will flood back too. And everyone will win!

Alrighty... the question that must be asked shall be now. What's your Sega experience? As the once-proud owner of a Master System and still-owner of a 15 year old Genesis, I await a detailed answer with rapt attention.

Sean

Well, my friend had a Master System when we were kids. I used to go to his house to play the wonderful Wonder Boy games, but that was it. I had the NES in that relationship. I never had the need or desire to have a Sega system of my own, until...

Soul Calibur on the Dream Cast. That needed a purchase, so I bought it at launch. On it I played the wonderful Skies of Arkadia, Grandia 2 and Soul Calibur, and the not so great Time Stalkers and Evolution games.

Since then I have played some Sega games on the other consoles and the Wii VC (Phantasy Star 1-3, Shining Soul, Shining Force, etc). I wasn't too impressed with any of them, but then again I am missing the mystical Glasses of Nostalgia +3 that most Sega fans posess.

I wish I could regale you with tales of my PC experiences, but they are so paltry as to be old news to dedicated Q&A readers. The time I played Warcraft 3 with dorm neighbors trying to tell me how to play is the only recent experience I can muster, and it is four years old.

Why so little PC gaming (unless you count emulation, and even then it isn't much) experience do I possess? Well, my little laptop was never intended to have its hard drive sucked up with the requirements of PC gaming. 3/4 of its hard drive is currently occupied by music. And since it is an aging laptop, no new games are likely to run on it. Older games I have a plethora of for my extant consoles.

Sean

The problem with PC games is that the good ones are few and far between - at least recently. The new ones tend to be unplayable (due to system requirements) or online. Like on consoles, a lot of the older games are true gems. Anything AD&D gold box, the Might and Magic games, or pretty much anything D&D related (except Birthright!) is sure to impress. The old SSI games were simply great.

The really good thing about the older games is that they are abandonware right now (means free to download) and can be made to run on pretty much any system with a little elbow grease thrown in for those pesky DOS games. I could suggest a few good ones to start with, if you feel the need to try some out!

I'm gonna give a little push toward the two Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation titles now, just because I make the presumption that deep tactical action is something you would find interesting (handily enough I've reviewed them both, which works far better than describing all their facets again and needing a quick edit). If this presumption is inaccurate please issue a correction.

Sean

I am not a big fan of tactical RPGs as evidenced by me selling my copies of the Disgaea games. I like the Heroes of Might and Magic games, the FFT games, and a few others, but they all tend to "bother" me sooner or later, which is why I tend to not keep them for very long when that happens. Of course, this doesn't stop me from trying new series from new developers, it is just that I tend to be overly critical of them when I do play them. It takes a lot to convince me that they are worth finishing.

On the topic of Super Robot Taisen - I am not really a fan of mecha in anime or game form, so I would rarely give those games a try.

Could you, would you play a game in Japanese? Could you, would you play a game in Japanese on a plane or on a train? Or will you not play a game in Japanese on a train or on a plane, Sean the lawn? ... Remind me never to try paraphrasing Dr. Seuss again, since I'm so bad at it. Forgive the lame rhyme with your name, please.

Silliness: Godzilla in an RPG. Can it work? Discuss!

I feel as if I should compose more, but lately I just haven't been able to write the quantities I was once infamous for. Ah well. Good night and good luck.

JuMeSyn

Sean

I used to live in Germany and I wouldn't play games in German without complaining. And I could read it. ^_^

As for Japanese, I wouldn't play an RPG in that language, as I really need to follow the story to enjoy the game. I couldn't play with a script. It would be a bit boring, in my opinion.

Now, I do own two Japanese games! I got them on Thursday when my sister came back from Japan. One is Bleach: Heat the Soul 4 for the PSP, the other is Bleach for the Wii. Of course the latter I can't play until I get the system modded or find a boot disk. The former is a lot of fun, but I have no clue what is going on. In such a game it can be forgiven. Man is Ichigo ever cool.

Godzilla in an RPG? It would have to receive very generous reviews for me to even consider playing it. I am not a big fan of the big guy anyways. Maybe as a summons in a modern day RPG or something, but nothing more. I would need to hold a funeral for my brain otherwise.

What I would like to see is a Zelda RPG. Seeing a battle party consisting of Zelda, Link and Ganondorf makes me drool... alot. How about we discuss this?

Thanks for writing in JuMeSyn! And if you ever make a rhyme with my name again... You will pay dearly. How? I don't know. But you will pay.



I am sure we both appreciate what we have...


Hey Matt,

I don't care if a person or couple is straight or gay; I'm more jealous about how you get to fall in love and I don't. The main reason I'm an RPGamer is I have a cerebral palsied brother at home that needs me more than ever, and to pass most of the time watching him in between school and work, I play RPGs since they're like virtual novels to me and give me a fantasy world to escape to since I don't have much of a social life. Anyway, my point is I don't really care if anyone's straight or gay; I'm more irritated you get someone to love and I don't. I can talk to my brother, but he's a 5-yr-old mind in a 25-yr-old body, (not an insult either; just what cerebral palsy seems to do to him...) so its not the same as talking to your best friend or even your soul mate as you got. Be sure to appreciate that always, Matt...

Sean

I'm not Matt, but I know exactly what you mean. My six month anniversary is Thursday, and we're still going strong. *ends being happy - for the moment at least*

My little brother has epilepsy (and has had a few major seizures, often in swimming pools), so I get a little of what you do. You must be a saint for taking care of him like that - a real saint. But to be jealous of others... I think is a bit unfair. Just think of how attractive your devotion to your brother could be to the numerous (wo)men out there...

ANYWAY, I guess the question I should parlay out of this if you decide to post this is what keeps you being an RPGamer as an adult. Usually, RPGs are new and exciting when you get to play them as a kid, but what about when you're busy with school and work as an adult? What keeps you committed then to RPGs?

BLG

Sean

Well to start off, I like to collect them. I like to come home from a hard day at work and know that I have entertainment waiting for me. That there are stories to explore and experience first hand as opposed to just watching them on TV.

I still love RPGs as much as I did as a kid, if not more. There is no better way to escape reality than to dive into a deep story and play away the hours. Anyways, that is just me. It is partly because I feel that playing them is a part of who I am, since I have been doing it for almost my entire life. I don't want to stop it now.

Thanks for writing in, BLG - let me know if I can help you with anything. I know this isn't easily resolved, but love will find you eventually, and when it does, I hope you will be happy.



Endings, Schmendings


Matt,

Regarding best endings ever, there are two RPG's that stick out in my mind. The first would be Chrono Cross. If you do the best ending by beating the boss with the correct order of elements created the super duper special song to kill the Boss and not by regular attack methods, it unfolds with amazing music and just a very cool feeling overall at the end. I loved it. The other would be Final Fantasy VIII. It might be because the final battle for me was was too close for comfort. I was not prepared but ended up winning with Squall alone with about 50HP left and not much else. I actually liked the love story and it seemed like there was some effort put into that ending....

Matt D.

Sean

Both those endings were great. For me nothing beats the ending of FF4. It was the first RPG I finished that had a real "modern" ending. I have seen that ending a good 15 times or so, if not more.

In recent years I have been pretty disapointed in most endings - TV shows, movies and books included. I came to the realization that the journey is more important that the reward, so all is good now. That is how I govern my MMO playstyle in any case.

I had to trade in a card to get some items that made me invincible to beat the FFVIII final boss. The problem was that Squall was level 100 with everyone else at 40-50 and she was waaaaay too strong to take down without either going the cheap route or leveling the others up. Of course having a trick to use Lionheart over and over again didn't help much. ^_^

Thanks for writing in Matt D. #2! Are you the infamous second Matt Demers?



IN CLOSING

I never did get to play LOTRO last night. My friend Chris was simply too busy, but I guess I can forgive him. He is expecting his son to arrive any day now... Speaking of which, I will be an uncle in a few months! And never have I felt so old as I did just now. *sigh*

Tonight it looks like it will be either The Last Legion with my brother, or a second viewing of the Simpsons movie with my sister. Or some Overlord/Persona/Brave Story on my lonesome.

I need letters people! Send me lots! And enjoy your evening! See you tomorrow for my final column of the week!



Send a Letter!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: 5 or 6. The rest were spam.



gorne@rpgamer.com
Sean still hasn't seen any reviews.


I hope Last Legion doesn't suck.

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