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ASK SEAN
Column 16: Pending Blackout
September 21st, 2007

Sean - 9:15pm EDT

Once again I don't have many letters to work with. I will need to talk to Matt about appropriating some of his this weekend, unless this changes by tomorrow.

So how was last week in Seanland? It was long and punctuated with little sleep. My father is having a stressful time at work which is forcing him to wake early which in turn wakes the dog and then me. I was awoken at 4:38am this morning and I was not happy.

I believe I only played a single session of Wild Arms 5 this week. There were two LOTRO sessions which completely turned me against the game. I quit it on Wednesday--if anyone is interested in the story, ask and I will tell it. Otherwise, I don't feel the need to explain the whys. I also polished off Dragoneer's Aria and wrote a review that will be posted next week. I hope you all enjoy it. Should I try my hand at some retro-reviews?

The Orc King is so far an excellent read, but I just can't concentrate on reading with my current lack of sleep. I've also continued to play Etrian Odyssey--I have finally reached the 13th floor. Yay.

If the column seems disjointed in any way let me tell you that it is because I am expecting the power to go out. Hydro Quebec is working on the lines and have warned us that we will lose power at 10pm. It is now 9:22pm and I will try my hardest to get through this before then.

Let's get to the letters!




LETTERS
Strategic battles rock!


Dude, you know what has some pretty hard boss fights? Persona 3! I just fought a boss that required me to use my entire stock of a certain rare item to block its charm attacks. It had killed me three or four times already, pretty handily too. I just love the bosses in that game. It's a game where you don't have to gain 5 levels to beat the next boss - you just had better have a dang good strategy. Hmm. I need more Magic Mirrors now though... :D Also, charm is evil.

WA5 is surprisingly hilarious. - bit of adjustment from P3's mood.

Carabbit
Sean

The two Shin Megami Tensei games I have finished to completion, Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2, were both like that. Levels mattered little--strategy and preparation were key to every boss battle. I found that the only character to ever be charmed was Serph and being my uber-attacker it always gave me problems. Good thing that such weaknesses can be overcome!

Yes, I could easily see that Wild Arms 5 is much lighter than a game that has the main guy shooting himself in the head. Thanks for writing in, Carabbit!



Ummm... hi boss! Sort of.


Dearest G-Man,

Want to know if I liked Brave Story, eh? I loved it. I first got to experience it when visiting XSEED back in May and it totally caught me off guard. Wonderful little title. I just recently finished it and reviewed it. You can read more about my thoughts on it here. (http://www.rpgamer.com/games/bravestory/bravestorypsp/reviews/bravestorypspstrev3.html)

Sean

Man, I want to visit these guys too. And no--EA and Ubisoft don't count. I have already visited them.

Oh man, your gaming backlog question hit home. Here is my current list:
Console RPGs
Blue Dragon - main console RPG, in progress Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance - in progress Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Shadow Hearts: From the New World Wild ARMs 4 Wild ARMs 5 Suikoden V Suikoden Tactics

Handheld RPGs
Jeanne d'Arc - main handheld RPG, in progress Luminous Arc Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis

Non RPG
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops

Sean

That list is tiny and pitiful.

Not a horrible list, but then when I add in Eternal Sonata, Growlanser, Halo 3, Phantom Hourglass, Final Fantasy Tactics, Beautiful Katamari, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Dragon Quest Monsters -- Joker, and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings things do start looking a little bit overwhelming. Oh well. It will all work out in the end.

Thanks for the interesting topic. Do enjoy.

- Macstorm

Sean

You don't need to worry. Everyone pretty much wants those games, so all our backlogs will grow. Personally, I am looking most forward to Folklore and the new Heroes of Might and Magic V expansion. Thanks for writing in Mac--sorry I forgot your edit!



Ummm... what does your email subject mean?


Alrighty Sean, ask and ye shall receive a movie report. Rush Hour 3 is certainly not great, but as I knew that going in I had a bit of fun. Most of the best moments were in the trailer but there is some other funny stuff with George the French taxi driver. Probably not worth the $6 I paid, but I had fun with my friend.

Sean

And really, that is all that is important, right?

On the presumption that Mad Machine was enjoyable, here's another song: http://gh.ffshrine.org/song/2696/3 Funny thing is that I can't remember how I found this tune, and certainly am not about to go view all of El Hazard in the near future. I just like it a lot. Hopefully your ears don't bleed from it.

Sean

It's a bit catchy, but not enough for my ears. I'll pass on adding it to my library.

Quick Bubblegum Crisis note: 2040 is considerably different from the original series. I"m about 60% of the way through it now, and the main plot is quite interesting. Definitely more serious than what I've heard regarding the original, though the music is less memorable.

I'm still not sure how I ended up playing through that DBZ RPG on SNES so many times, but it had to do with the deep affliction for the series I once possessed. And there's no reason that Dragon Ball can't in theory work as an RPG - right? Attempting to play the Legacy of Goku stuff is something I refrain from, however. Too much bad press.

Sean

I haven't gone anywhere near a DBZ game ever. But, you can just say that it was a childhood infactuation. We can all be forgiven for the stupid shit we did back then!

Okay, once more unto the Dragon Force path. Here's how it works: there are 8 kingdoms on the continent of Legendra. At the beginning you choose which of six (the last two are only selectable after beating the game once) you want to begin with. Depending upon which ruler you're playing as the beginning varies substantially, and the middle varies quite a bit also. Only towards the end once all 8 kingdoms are united and a certain sequence of events to open the final battles plays out does the dissimilarity erode.

Sean

Meh.

Example: choose Leon, ruler of Topaz, to play. Leon's rather an arrogant sort, so he takes it upon himself to unite Legendra against Goldark (instigator of the war) with his hand-to-hand combat abilities. Not exactly a noble cause, and as a result he'll have to beat others into submission. Counter-example: choose Teiris, ruler of Palemoon to play. She's got a nasty fight to get through with a woman named Laine who feels that she was unfairly passed over to rule. Get past that and Wein of Highland, childhood friend of Teiris, will offer his land's services in alliance to her. Other rulers will also ally with Teiris, who is fighting for selfless reasons and offers to give Laine rule of Palemoon once the war is complete.

Sean

Sounds a little interesting. I have an idea for a contest prize. Thanks for the idea, JuMeSyn!

Aw man, I can't issue spoilers galore regarding Bleach and Naruto? Spoilsport. And after I just spent three hours this morning catching up on my Bleach manga. No matter, you knew that Gin was gonna win the World Cup with Karin's help while Sasuke starts running an eyeglass emporium... right?

Sean

That soccer episode just killed me. I almost quit the show then and there.

What real-world figure would you like placed into an RPG, for whatever reason? It can be someone alive today or someone dead, no limitations! Just choose someone (or two in the event of a tie) and insert away into a real title or a new one you create on the spur of the moment and hope a developer nabs!

Sean

I would like to see R.A. Salvatore pushed into his Demon Wars series and forced to survive. I really enjoy his writing and would just love to see him as a playable character!

Hm. Perhaps it is time to begin delineating my backlog. We'll start with all the GBA material I haven't played. FFV is being played. Boktai, FFVI, Yggdra Union, Cima, Zone of the Enders: the Fist of Mars, Car Battler Joe, Sword of Mana, Rebelstar: Tactical Command, Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap, Mega Man & Bass, plus the Japanese titles Fire Emblem Fuuin no Tsurugi, Magical Vacation, Mother 3, Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 3, and Aoi no Tengai: Oriental Blue. I have in mind obtaining one of the Demikids titles and perhaps Boktai 2 to round out the English list, with the four Japan-only Super Robot Taisen titles and possibly Black/Matrix 0 to round out the Japanese. As I do not own them yet, they are not part of the formal backlog.

JuMeSyn

Sean

Let me know how that Zone of the Enders game turns out. Mega Man & Bass is excellent. Thanks for writing in, JuMeSyn!



Serious topics are just too serious


I personally prefer the light-hearted and fun topics that are game-related more than the serious topics. Although I tend to chime in on the serious topics more often, I still prefer that Q&A be mostly about games and fun stuff. If I wanted to see all that real-life problems and issues and stuff, I'd watch the news. I guess that goes for gaming in general; you know, playing games to escape reality, to separate one's life between something clean and good to them (gaming, entertainmnt, etc.) and what is messy and serious for them (real-world stuff, work/school, politics, etc.). Now I DO understand the purpose for why the serious topics are brought up once in a while; it's always important for people to talk about them, and just ignoring them doesn't make them less relevant. It's good that we get people talking and even debating about them, but like I said, I still would rather do that elsewhere then somewhere where I typically associate with my "fun" separation, lke Q&A. Was that confusing? I hope I worded this in a way that's understandable.

FirstAid

Sean

My power went out and returned. It took all of ten minutes. So here I am again! I understand what you said completely. I like the lighter topics, but the serious topics tend to get more responses, unless they come up too often. Some people do have different ideas of "fun", so some serious topics might be fun to them and we need to accomodate everyone here. Thanks for writing in (again), FirstAid!



On the topic of glitches


Hi Matt,

Game glitches annoy me to no end, honestly. I watched my brother play Wild Arms: Alter Code F, and he was physically able to go to an area of the game that he should not have been able to go to because there was a massive graphics glitch. He didn't go there because it might've messed up the whole storyline or something, but it was absolutely unacceptable. Also, is it considered a glitch when the text runs right off the screen? I make that mistake in RPGMaker sometimes, but I'd correct it before I published it for the world to play...

Sean

Those errors bother me to no end. It makes the devs look lazy. The glitch you mentioned happened to me once. For me it was years ago in the land of Final Fantasy when my ship passed through the canal before blowing it up. Who knew that you need the key from Astos to open up all the doors after that part? It was fun until I figured that out.

I experienced some annoying and random freezes of the game at the bottom floor of Star Ocean 2's bonus dungeon... that didn't go over well with me.

I couldn't even believe when I read the list online of Final Fantasy 6's glitches. It's simply unbelievable... the evasion stat thing (making Blind useless) was what struck me most. That, and the Opera-House-returning-to-World-of-Balance thing...

It's appalling I tell you.

-Kharamain

Sean

As a coder, I know where these bugs come in. Some you just don't think of at all as they are completely random. Speaking of FFVI in particular, the only bug I knew about was the Vanish/Doom one, but that is just an oversight in my eyes, not a bug. An instant kill with a 100% chance of success? That is completely legal in my books. Thanks for writing in!



QUICKIES

Huh thats it! No header @t all! Nooooo there it is the quickie!
Its confusing just like your contest!
Darn!
Like old phrases!
Do it!
Seiryu!

Sean
Unfortunately, your subject line was not interesting at all... and it came in too late. Too bad. Better luck next time!

Hey Sean,
Ever play any of the Perfect Dark games? Joanna Dark = Jeanne D'Arc?
Draconn

Sean
I briefly had the N64 title until it was stolen. I never really got into it. I expected a little too much--I am a huge Bond fan, you see. And yes, I think that was the original reason for naming her that way. See ya around, Drac! Methinks next quickie might be a very lucky quickie indeed.



IN CLOSING

Ok, well I had to steal two letters today. I am completely out of my own.

While bored in class tonight, I was thinking of creating an online game. Why? To add alongside this column, of course! While similar to SOCK2, I would base it more on D&D classes and even out the rules a little bit more. I am not sure how I would do it, except that I wouldn't number crunch as Matt does. That is what a computer is for. I need to get some of this down on paper eventually.

Peace out!



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