Send a Letter Mail Me Recent Columns Archives

Column 43:One Week to Go
December 14th, 2007

Sean - 4:47pm EDT

Ok, so I picked Darkness in the Light by Peter David. I am only a few chapters in (around 50 pages) and I am not really impressed so far. He has a lot of redeeming to do! For the first time in a while I will actually have a backlog again! But no quickies...

Today I will be playing the Witcher after I am finished this column, with a possible foray into FFXI, if I get coaxed into it. This weekend will see some more gaming, but I am not sure what I will focus on yet.

At the end of this column, I will outline what I will be working on for my personal project in the new year. But before skipping right to it: read the letters please!

Obscure anime

First off, let me congratulate you for finishing school, Sean! I'll never really know that feeling because unless I suddenly decide to go for a different career path, I'm becoming an English teacher or professor. Ah well oh well.


Well, school then becomes a job, so it really isn't the same thing. I hope you enjoy being a teacher! That is what my sister chose to become.

I'm just looking forward to the 21st since all my exams will be done by then and I won't have to worry about classes until late January. I can finally catch up on gaming, especially since I got Luminous Arc for my birthday yesterday.


Happy Birthday!

As for what you said about being labled a Sony fanboy in your last column, I can only guess it's because of all the previous negativity towards Sony. There was the original high price of the PS3, the few decent games for it at the time (is it much better now? I'm not really sure) and some arrogant-sounding statements they made (DS not being able to compete with the PSP graphical so they went with the touch-screen "gimmick", the Wii selling so well because it was an "impulse buy", etc). I must confess that I'm a bit of a Nintendo fangirl myself, so I can't really identify with not liking being called a fanboy/girl. I do respect people who play what they like regardless of console or company, though.


I understand all those points, of course. Sometimes I wonder if the big N made the Wii underpowered just because they don't know how to create a high powered system and their desire to appeal to the common gamer was just a way to hide this fact.

As for that web-based game thing, my vote is for "Something based on stats/actions per day".


It is your lucky day! I analyzed the problem and decided on just that! It was really just a matter of sitting down and seeing what I could do with the technology I am planning to use.

Here's something kind of random. Recently, I came across this game rumor site which states that there are rumors floating around about a "Final Fantasy Killer" for Wii: To put it as simply, they say that Yasumi Matsuno, the director of Final Fantasy XII is working/wants to work with Monolith Soft on a completely new RPG franchise, one he hopes will rival Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. It will be on the Wii and possibly the DS as well. While I am intrigued, this IS a only a rumor for the time being. Who knows if any of this is true or not. What do you make of it, Sean?


I don't like the series-killer term. Why kill it? Why not just be awesome? Sigh.

Oddly enough though, I found this more exciting: "Some sources have claimed [the rumored RPG] to be Baten Kaitos 3, but this isnít the case, even though I know for a fact that the game is already in its beginning stages." I anything, I hope THAT's at least true. I'd love to see the Baten Kaitos series to be expanded upon, though I doubt this is any truer than the above-mentioned rumor.


I bought the first one, but never did play it. Not even once.

Oh, and even though this is a bit late, I think it's amazing that you know about the anime I get my screen name from! I My Me! Strawberry Eggs is one of my most favorite series, but it's also among the least known.


That teacher sure was a screwball. Disguising himself as a chick to teach at an all girl school...

Honestly, do I like skipping around from topic to topic, or what? Anyway, that's all from me for the day. Thanks for reading!

Strawberry Eggs


It's ok! I don't mind at all. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

/me hordes all the Phoenix Downs!


Your letter backlog says zero, so I figured I should write a letter. I'm sorry to say I haven't been following the QnA column lately. Darn you schoolwork! Classes ended yesterday though, so now I have time to visit RPGamer. I have one exam on Friday and then I get to go home. I have the urge to play Tales of Symphonia again, but its at home and not here in my dorm room. Not to mention that even though I could play a Gamecube game on my Wii, I don't have any Gamecube memory cards with me either. Come to think of it, I also don't have any GCN controllers...gee, do I have enough reasons yet? Do you ever get the urge to play a game that don't have/lost save data for/[insert other frusterating reason here]? My family tends to think I'm crazy when we go on a short trip to Colorado (from the east coast, so a plane ride is involved) and I bring every hand held game I own (which is quite a few). I always say its because I don't know what I'll want to play in advance and I hate that "I really want to play --- more than anything right now but ----" feeling.


Usually I don't get any urges to play games that I don't own. When I do, I just go to the store and buy it. But, I do have problems when people swipe my stuff and I have a desire to use them! Take the whole DS-stealing-girlfriend incident and you will see what I mean. As for traveling with an entire library of games: no, it doesn't happen to me. I just take a few games with me when I leave.

I think I've rambled about that for long enough now. I'm ridiculously long winded sometimes (incase you didn't notice). Speaking of which, can you think of any characters in games that you found really annoying because they were too talkative? I generally didn't mind the characters, but I hate going through a long scene, losing to a boss fight and then having to go through the scene again and again to get to the boss fight. In my case, it was the blitzball game in Final Fantasy X. Even though the scene was shortish, you can't skip the text in some parts, and I went through that scene at least 7 times. My first time through FFX, I didn't bother winning the blitz tournament because I was convinced I couldn't do it. Then I was watching my friend attempt the blitz tournament and after she failed for the third or fourth time, she gave up and passed the controller to me. Ironically, I won on my first try that day by two points. Of course when I tried in my new file I couldn't do it. Blargh! That took so long.


Unskippable, pre-boss cutscenes are just nasty. I hate them. I tend to skip most text in games (I am a fast reader!), so long-winded characters don't bother me much. I am really bothered by extemely long game introductions. I usually just want to get into the game when I get bothered in that way.

...Yikes...I need to learn not to ramble so much. I'm going to stop now before I KO the readers with my blather. Here's some Phoenix Downs for you to use on the readers. As for you, I hope you cast Auto-Life...

Bye for now,



Annalou, I think they would need something to cure insanity, not death! Just kidding! Enjoy your weekend!

Ottawa sure tries to hide lots of things

All right, all right! I'll make sure to send you a letter! Complete with song link: This is the opening to the Law of Ueki, which seems absolutely hilarious (I have the power to turn garbage into trees!!) but I have not seen. Since I liked Angelus I figured I might like another Hitomi Shimatani number, and I rather do. So do give it a listen.


Meh. I never saw the show, nor was I interested in ever seeing it.

Quickly before I forget; I am not merely reconstituting my old computer's library. New things aplenty are finding their way in, it's just that a few of the items I particularly liked on the old one are really hard to find again.

Hokay. Luminous Arc update: there is slowdown near the end. Slowdown? What the hell? You wouldn't think it to be so annoying in a tactical title, but it most certainly is.

The old bugaboo that is an isometric view is also annoying me more near the end; why does anyone think isometric views need to be used when a simple top-down view works perfectly well?



Y'know, I had this crazy idea recently and depending upon Amazon's shipment speed it may actually happen. Since no one on RPGamer has posted a Front Mission 1st review yet I might actually be compelled to play through it IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL and do so. This is something I have not done for many moons and will not replicate soon. But I shall not become too predictable. Nay, 'twill not happen!


I will never play Front Mission 1st. Mecha, tRPG, boring, etc. I played the one for the PS1 and I was bored. Good luck on that review!

...As to why Amazon's shipment speed is vital, Gamestop exhibits a foolish lack of ability to produce the product. So: you lose out, Gamestop. I never felt like running over to Target, Sears has a crappy selection, and that covers the options around here.

I have a more-or-less random save story to relate. A couple of years ago I was trying to blaze through Super Mario RPG quickly and somehow got to Nimbus Land (least I recall it being Nimbus Land) and lost a fight to something or other (Valentina? Maybe, I really don't remember) whereupon my last save booted up and I disgustedly saw that I hadn't saved since the pirate ship. I started playing something else out of self-irritation.


Twas your own fault. Save more often! Discetion is the better part of valor, or so some say.

Caught up with Naruto yet? Big things have been happening in the manga, while the anime is coming up on a superb battle with my favorite villain in the show.


Nope. My brother returns next week, and we will start watching them at that point. No spoilers!

Semantic question. I finally bought another Dreamcast controller and Final Fight 3 (got a good deal on it) from an eBay seller as of the 30th, when I questioned whether the items were just lost in the mail he told me that they were being shipped out this week (as of Tuesday). Seems like a lengthy gap between when I paid and when shipment occurred, don't you think?


Give him the benefit of the doubt here. As it is the holiday season, show some goodwill, and such. But it is a long period to wait.

After seeing the Golden Compass, I would probably give it 2.5 stars. I dunno, it really isn't a good story to try and market as a new Lord of the Rings (which New Line clearly believed it had the potential to meet) plus the adaptation simultaneously crammed too much exposition in while seeming truncated. If you want to see a good movie, see No Country For Old Men. And watch the creepiest guy I've seen onscreen in awhile, as he is Death personified.


Seems adequate.

An editorial on D2? Perhaps: I did just write up a duo for Macstorm to play around with. After all, I haven't touched the game in five years and would want it to be a little fresher in my mind. As to how weird it is: it involves people turning into strange mutants up in the Northwest Territories. Please tell me if this has been hushed-up by the foul forces of Ottawa.



Oh, and a nasty power outage story: several years ago I was playing through Dragon Force from Wein's perspective and was almost at the end of his tale. Then the power flickered and the poor Saturn lost the data. I'd saved about half an hour before, so no big loss: except that when I tried to start it again my data was oddly corrupted and pretty much unplayable. Bummed me out to be sure.



Now that sucks. I am sorry for your loss. Please try to enjoy your weekend!

I wish I had a $$60,000,000,000 bounty on my head

Hey Sean,

I just came across something that really irked me in ff12. Apparently if you open certain treasure urn/barrel shaped things you can't get the strongest weapon. Now what i want to know is, how the hell did the faq writers find out specifically which urn/barrel shaped things not to open?


Official guides that came out in Japan had the full story on it. That irked me too. I found out about it when I was about 20 hours into the game.

It's technically impossible, they'd have to go through and open/not open all permutations of urn/barrel shaped things in the entire game to work that out My friends enlightened me and said it was purely an incentive to go out and buy the strategy guide as they are privy to that information from the developers.

now that just sucks i love playing rpgs cos i like to find all the secrets Things like that aren't secrets, they're just...dumb It is impossible to know that you're not meant to open certain urns/barrel shaped things i mean usually there's someone who hints to it or something but no, not here I mean, think of the poor sucker who's still trying to dodge 1000 lightning bolts in the thunder plains in ffx hoping for an ultimate item of some sort I'd like to think that secrets and sidequests are doable without any prior knowledge


Exactly. Those secrets suck.

the sad thing is, if i hadn't stumbled upon this knowledge accidentally i would've been blissfully unaware that i had missed out on something and now that i know that, i get this deep disconcerting feeling that i've missed out on so many things in other rpgs gah



Vash, not all games have things like that. Normally they just have things that you just stumble upon. Needing to avoid things is something completely new. Thanks for the letter!

That movie was too long by 2 hours...

Hey Sean,

First of all, not RPG related, but still I have to say it: I IMPLORE you to reconsider reading The Golden Compass, and the other two, as well. I'm on the last chapters of the last book, and it is by far one of the best works of fiction I've ever come across. The movie is an absolute travesty for failing so miserably to get that wonderful book across. I promise you, beyond a few general plot points, the book and movie are NOTHING alike. Characters get made up or changed, events are out of order, people know things when they shouldn't, and don't when they should. Plus, it simply tries to cover three hundred pages in under two hours. Do not judge the book by its awful awful adaptation. I mean, let me put it this way: it was written and directed by Chris Weitz, who's written such gems as Antz and The Nutty Professor 2, as well as produced some classic cinema like American Dreamz. Why they let that tool helm one of my favorite series is beyond me, but they did, and he's gone and ruined it for a lot of people like yourself. Don't be another victim!


The damage is done, just like the Harry Potter movies damaged that series. It will take more coaxing to get me interested in it again. Also, since it stars little kids... I think I will pass.

So, on to something more relevant. Have you played Tales of the Abyss? I just restarted it, and it's definitely one of my favorites. In fact, that, Suikoden V, and Xenosaga III are the highlights of the genre this past generation, I think. But I never hear anyone say anything about it. I don't get why. I mean, the PS2 was plagued by games trying way, way too hard to innovate, games like Unlimited Saga or Final Fantasy XII. The latter was interesting to play, but a complete borefest in the story department. And the former, well, I don't think I need to tell you how that one turned out. And then there's games like Abyss and Dragon Quest VIII which bring nothing new to the table for gameplay, but are still great, compelling games that know the value of careful pacing, deep characterization, and well-crafted plot. I hear people singing DQVIII's praises all the time, but never TOA. Simply tragic! So what do you think of it, if you have played it, and do you think that it's worth it to innovate if you can't just tell a good story?



Chris, I own both Tales of the Abyss and Suikoden 5, but haven't started either of them. I need to complete Tales of Legendia before I even think of starting Tales of the Abyss or of the World, so I have no clue when I will be able to start them. They are certainly high on my list of games to play, of course. I just need a new tv at this point. Guess what I will be getting for my graduation?

Innovation can trump a good story. If something is new (and FUN), the story doesn't necessarily have to matter as much. As long as it doesn't stink, the game can still work!



Well, I guess me putting a poll in Monday's column was a little pointless, as I ended up deciding on what I will make on my own. So here is the initial plan:

- A text-based RPG on the web.
- It will be released in stages.
- It will be very combat heavy.
- Every skill will be combat-usable.
- There will be no guilds or parties.
- It will be job-based, much like SOCK 2.
- A player can perform only a certain number of actions each day in the real world.
- Stats determine what can be done in a single day.
- It will be expandable.
- Prizes will be won by those that defeat the game.
- There will be a heavy penalty for death.
- Monsters will be illustrated by those that want to illustrate them. Same for players.
- There will be a leaderboard.
- There will be no trading between players.
- It should work from any browser that likes ASP.
- There are no plans for PvP at this time.

So how does it sound? As I am in the planning stage, nothing is set in stone!

Before I can begin working on it, I am in the need for hardware. I was looking for a server-class machine with the following attributes:
- Mini-Tower or Tower size, not rack-mountable unless it can stand on its side.
- As silent as possible.
- I would like to have at least a dual core processor. Ideally it would have a second socket for expansion, and support at least a 2.0gHz CPU.
- At least 2GB of RAM, upgradable to 8GB, if needed.
- Support for Raid-5, meaning it must support at least three hard drives. Decent drves must be included.

The server will be used to both host the webserver and database used for this project, but also serve as an Active Directory for my home network, as well as a file/email server. If anyone works for a computer shop, or an IT department and had new/used equipment that might fulfill my needs, please email me! The alternative is to use a regular desktop... My budget is around $1000.

So people... please help me out! Also, have a wonderful weekend!

Send a Letter!

Unanswered Letter Backlog: 3
Sean is enjoying his feeedom.

I held the baby for the first time yesterday.

Most Recent

Dec. 12: Sean

Dec. 10: Sean

Dec. 7: Lusipurr

Dec. 5: Sensei

Dec. 3: Sean

Nov. 30: Lusipurr

Nov. 28: Sensei

Nov. 26: Lusipurr

Nov. 23: Lusipurr

Nov. 21: Lusipurr

Nov. 19: Sean

Nov. 16: Sean


Quote Archives

Now Obsessed With:

1. Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves
2. Guild Wars (all four--Prophecies to start)
3. The Legend of the Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
4. Bleach (Wii)
5. Bleach (DS)
6. Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East
7. The Witcher
8. Monster Hunter Freedom 2
9. Metroid Prime 3
10.Final Fantasy VI Advance

Hot Topics:

1) What were the best games of the year, and why? Speak of graphics, story, etc.
2) What game(s) from 2007 do you think deserves a sequel, direct or otherwise?
3) What game(s) from 2007 do you think should never have seen the light of day?

Most Wanted

1. Dragon Quest IV/V/VI remakes
2. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2
3. White Knight Story
4. Guild Wars 2
5. Super Mario Galaxy
6. Dragon Quest Monsters Joker
7. Mass Effect (but only if I get a free 360...)
8. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
9. Eternal Sonata (PS3)

My Reviews

1. Dragoneer's Aria
2. Etrian Odyssey
3. Lord of the Rings Online
4. Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom
5. Folklore
6. Dungeon and Dragons Tactics


The Unnamed Contest

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy