Life forms... you tiny little life forms...
Jake, Goog, how are ya?
I love Valkyrie Profile as a game, and i really want to finish it, but every
time i do the spiritual concentration i get nothing, or a cave of oblivion(yes
there is more than one, much to my shagrin). My other question has to do with
Breath of Fire 4. Is there any one else who is excited about BOF4? Most
i ask think that because it comes out 2 weeks after the PS2, it's nothing.
ps. please reply to the question about VP if you don't post it, as i said
before, I REALLY WANNA BEAT THIS GAME!!
Ooh. A VP question. OK, here's how it works.
In each chapter, there's only a few things to find by concentrating. Generally speaking,
you tend to find one Cave of Oblivion, two or three characters, and two or three
dungeons. After you've found those, concentrating won't do anything (including pass
time) until you get to the next chapter. So, after you've picked up the new characters,
and gone through all the dungeons, you always have a few periods left to go back and
character build, hang around in towns, or just rest and get your HP back. Just don't forget
to send up two heros every chapter if you want the B ending. As for BoF4, I myself am
not really a fan of the series, but I can't see it competing with the PS2. There aren't
exactly any RPGs lined up at launch to my understanding. If I'm wrong, I suppose that
will be a pleasant little surprise for me when I get mine. Ah, discounts.
A couple things I'd like to add. Those numbers
there are all assuming you're playing on normal. You don't have to worry too much about
character building since there's infinate monsters at the end of the game (and in one room
of that happy little place in the far upper left of the map... the one with the person in
a crystal. As for my opinions of BoF4... well, I played the first 2, and they were pretty
fun, but I'm dead broke, and there's more important things I have to play first.
First time I'm sending a letter to RPGamer Q&A seriously...
What do you personally think is a good format for reviews? And what do
you look for while reviewing?
Ah, finally a chance to share some writing tips.
Here's what I always do. When a game comes out, I run out, grab it, and start playing it
almost non-stop. When I do stop I either save it and shut it off, or look at a clock,
because it's very hard to guess a game's completion time. When I finally finish the game,
unless it's 2 A.M., I immediately start writing the review. The basic format I follow
is to write an introductory paragraph composed more or less of praise, then let things
flow from there. Generally, I try tend to mention everything in the order that stands
out in my mind. For example, when reviewing Valkyrie Profile, I started with the Nordic
plot and non-linearity. If I reviewed Vagrant Story, I'd make it clear that it's an Action/RPG
dungeon crawl first thing. Once I've mentioned all the major features of a game, I glance
up at the list of review criteria and steer the flow of my writing towards anything I left
out. Then, once I'm done, I go back, read over the review, and give sub scores based on
what I've written, and then the overall score after that. Doing the scores last helps
me to be objective about them and make sure I covered everything. This is actually the
hardest part of the entire process. If a game is really good, it's tempting to write the
scores as if the scale is from 6-10 rather than 1-10. You should never start with a ten
and subtract for each flaw, or start with a 1 and add. You should always start with each
score at a five, then adjust up or down depending on whether the game is above or below
average in that regard. Then the only hard part is figuring out just what average is. It
changes from year to year of course, and from console to console. Right now, for Playstation
games, Legend of Dragoon is a good baseline to use. It blends first generation low quality
polygons with great prerendered backgrounds. It has a really interesting story, but tells
it using every tired RPG cliché in the book. The whole thing just screams I am the
most generic RPG you will ever see. It isn't bad though. Ahem. I seem to be getting off
on a tangent here. After determining all the scores for a review, I force everyone I can
find to proofread it, asking them if I left anything out, or if they disagree with anything
I say. Again, having to defend my review helps make sure I didn't miss anything, and this
way I also make sure my opinion is typical of the average person, or at least the average
RPGamer staffer. Finally, I find images for the review, which normally I do while everyone
is proofing, and submit it to Paws. Then Paws forces me to add a sentence in about length
and difficulty, which I can never seem to mention naturally when they're average. So,
some tips just to summarize everything I said. Write the review, then base the scores on
it. Five is average. Get as many people as you can to proofread. Fix what Paws says to.
Finally, and most importantly, make sure your review has a sense of flow. RPGamer's criteria
tend to drive people into the pattern of starting all their paragraphs like this: "The plot of [game] is..."
"The graphics are..." "The music/sound is..." This sounds extremely stilted and turns
your review into a collection of unrelated mini-reviews. I admit, I occassionally fall
into this trap myself when I'm in a hurry, but a review with segues is much more pleasant
Uh... I think we've spent enough time on
YaaAAAaaaAAAAA! Wait, that's only in the OST. Doh.
What's a good way to win in Koudelka? That game seems pretty good but the
battles take too long and the bosses are a bit hard considering I don't
really want to level-build here. I don't know if you could really help much,
but any good strategies would be appreciated. Also, on an unrelated note,
the Dc will finally work with aol soon, so I'm happy. MMmm... Phantasy Star
Online. And Grandia and SoA. Dreamcast rules.
Advice for Koudelka... let me think back to it.
That was one of the first games I reviewed. The most important advice I can give is to
specialize your characters. At least one person should be an offensive mage, I used Koudelka
for this, but anyone works really. Give her a weapon that enhances her mental stats, and
never attack. Just hang back the whole game casting offensive spells. You should get all
of them up to the innefficient third level, which I believe is level 2, since they start
on level 0. It's been too long to remember. MP is restored easily enough, so running
out shouldn't be an issue, and if you don't attack, your weapon doesn't break, making
that horn even better. Your mage won't need any strength increases at all, but speed is
fairly important, and endurance shouldn't be completely ignored. The other two characters
can concentrate on offense. Never have anyone specialize in healing or defensive spells,
especially reflect. The increasing costs are too high compared with the minor effect they
have. Good weapons for the other two characters to specialize with are the rifle and broadswords.
The best three weapons in the game are a crossbow, and two broadswords, although one of
those is harder to obtain than it is to finish the game. The great thing about this is
that the crossbow uses the rifle skill, but not rifle ammo, and monsters drop Gallahad
swords constantly to bring your broadsword skill up.
That's all very good advice, but there's
one more thing which works wonders. My patented Corpse Bunker Strategy!
In this nice little visual aid, red squares are where monsters can move, green monsters
can't move to, and yellow they can only step in if Edward and James are both dead. As you
can see, even if that happens, Monsters flat out can't get to Koudelka for close ranged
attacks. Plus Koudelka is a mage, therefore needs high MP, and therefore has very high
magic defense. So many fights boiled down to this for me. Obviously if Koudelka isn't your
main mage, you'd want someone else back there.
I have A question for both Goog and Jake. First Goog. It's about sending you
mail. If I for some reason sent you something and then realized that I want
to send you something else instead, would there be anything wrong with that?
I mean is it okay to send multiple letters if they are all about something
different?If you don't answer this I will not be surprised, because A lot
people might start doing this if you say it is okay. Now Jake. On VP who is
your favorite character, and what is your favorite battle group? That's all.
I know your the guest for today, but there was'nt much else I could think to
My favorite character would have to be Arngrim.
I'm a sucker for characters with swords twice as long as they are tall. As for who I actually
used, at the end, it was my three best mages. Mystic Cross is very nice, especially with
I don't mind when people want to correct
or add to a letter they just sent, as long as they put EVERYTHING in the new letter, and
give it a convienient subject like "Ignore that last letter". I don't have time to paste
letters together from multiple sources. Oh, and if you like characters with huge swords, you
have to watch Escaflowne. Balgus and Chid set records.
Bring Back The Ol' Quicky (To the theme of Monty Python's "Eric The
The Quicky, phillosophically,
Must, ipso facto, have to be.
For the Quicky is pro-crazy.
Quite truly non-sanity. D'you see?
But the Quicky, you've said to me
"I am sorry, but it has to flee"
When half the column can bore ye
For there is nothing new to read?
Red blue green! Charlie Sheen!
Bring back the ol' Quicky!
L-O-L and O-M-G!
Bring back the ol' Quicky!
Thor and Drew created He,
In the name of RPGs,
To deal with the monotony!
Blarg! You bring back the ol' Quicky!
Spittle on thumb, Spittle on knee,
Bring back the ol' Quicky!
Chimpan A! Chimpan Z!
Bring back the ol' quicky!
Nov 28, V-Ronnie Lee
Dedicated a day to thee.
Oh please don't kill this history!
Else I will go Jet Li!
Or he will go Jet Li,
On poor Googleshng!
Joshua Reid is mean?
NO! On poor Googleshng!
Joshua Reid is mean...
~The "I haven't gone to bed in two days. Sorry." Sack~
Hahaha. Now sing the Traffic Lights song!
Hmm... it's almost as if you're trying
to tell me something... what could it be? 8)
I was wondering if you watched any Trigun? Its got to be the greatest anime
ever, in my opinion, of course. Now for my real question...
I just beat Omega Weapon in Final Fantasy VIII, it took about 45 minutes
of intense gaming, and yet I find no immediate award for doing so. I was
given a Three Stars, but is that it? I find that to be quite cheap,
considering how hard Omega was.
"Three Stars?" You must be reading reviews somewhere
other than RPGamer! How dare you! Seriously though, my thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII
can be found here. The nice
part about writing reviews is that when people want your opinion later, you can just
Read more carefully. Three Stars is what
you get for beating it, not a review score. That's FF tradition. The reward for beating
weapons is never much more than the sense of satisfaction it gives.