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Domination!
 
Ask JD Saturday July 12 - 6:40 pm EST

Ryan is back from his vacation so he'll be doing tomorrow's Q&A and I can get back to news/game coverage. Back to the laborious work blah. :-)

I'm out of witticisms for today. Pardon me if you will. Again Chrono Cross letters dominated the letters, and I mean DOMINATED. I tried to curtail the printing of too many Chrono related letters. The operative word is "tried." So let's jump straight to the letters, shall we?

 
Chrono Cross, the hot topic again

JD,

I think what happened for a lot of people was an initial dissapointment in character design, and then a lot of whining. While I'm somewhat dissapointed in character design, I don't think that's going to ruin the game, after all, most of the time we'll be lookink at these wierd blocky things with no fingers, or they ever advanced jump to 'fused' fingers.

Also (and I REALLY have been meaning to say this) WHY WHY WHY do people complain so much about the FFVII translation? It wasn't THAT bad, it was fine, I mean considering a game with THAT much text, we should be lucky there were as few grammer/spelling flaws as there were. And why do people complain about Knights of the Round? YOU DON'T HAVE TO EQUIP IT! NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO! That's one thing that's really left me confused, oh well. And my last little thing about FF7 is why did people think the ending gipped them? By the end of the game, I understood EVERYTHING (although there was one major chronology goof), I got the whole Jenova concept and all that stuff with Holy yadda yadda yadda, no I'm not super intellegent, I just payed attention to what I was reading. There, now everyone leave FF7 and Chrono Cross and Square alone, If you all hated Sq. so much you wouldn't already be thinking "I'm buying FF8," except for that small minority of you which is okay, it's a free country, and who cares.

Sorry about that, but it felt good to let off some steam, thanks for letting me borrow some of your Q&A space.

-Adam L.

JD:
Oddly enough I'm getting more jazzed about Chrono Cross as time passes by. Well I too don't think FF7's translation was that bad. It just gets too much bad wrap due to the "bandwagon phenomena." Speaking of Knights of the Round, am I the only one who got sick of seeing it, after using it soooooo many times to beat Ruby?

Okay, this is just one small thing that's bothering me...

A lot of people say they have problems with the character designs for Chrono Cross. Which I can understand. I have no problem with. But when their main critique of the female character (This is both in and out of the Letters column) is that she's 'skinny', that gets kinda annoying...
I mean, I'm skinny so I'm sensitive to this. (And prejudiced, no doubt) But I mean... of all the things to be annoyed about...SKINNY? Dear god, have you ever taken a look at... every other RPG heroine in existence...? I mean, there's plenty to complain about. Complain about the skimpy outfit or hairstyle or something. But geez, that's just like complaining 'You're fat!' except if someone did that, they'd be flamed to hell.
Just my 2 cents.
Another thing... to all the people already bashing Chrono Cross... I realize this won't STOP anything, but I feel compelled to say it... If you don't want the game, don't buy it. If you're going to buy the game, quit complaining until you at least have some sort of idea of what the game is going to BE like. It's like forming opinions based on what your imaginary friends tell you.

Erm, sorry for my rather vehement opinions. I haven't had my happy pills yet today. On a more cheerful note...(grin) J.D., you're doing a great replacement-type job. If I were single, I'd probably be a short step from stalking you. (So be glad I'm not...) Last thing...does anyone remember a rather obscure SNES strategy RPG... I forget who made it... called Gemfire? I vaguely remember being obsessed with it when I was younger...

-Rachel

JD:
That's what happens when you get a giant majority (males) playing or interested in a certain genre. You'll get major nitpicking on female characters. In particular the way female characters look or dress. Even with all the complaints lodged against CC I'm almost certain that the majority of those who are already condemning it, will in the end buy the game, perhaps even love it. Sadly though Square is getting the worst biases lately. I was just talking to a friend who absolutely despised FF7. He is putting the same bias against FF8, and he hasn't even played the game final or demo. Square has done rather well translating the games here in the States despite the early biases against their games. What does this have to do with Chrono Cross? Nothing I suppose. :)
Gemfire was from Koei. Their site is at www.koeigames.com

Hehheh. What's up with all the female readers loving my work as of late. Perhaps it's my charisma, great writting or athletic skillz? :D

Okay, here's the thing, I'm going to attempt to put into coherant words the arguments against Chrono Cross.

Chrono Cross. Now, I too was extatic when the sequel was announced, I was a bit wary when I read that Akira Toriyama and...that other guy (hate it when I can't remember) from Dragon Quest weren't returning, because I always felt one of CT's defining aspects was that all the art in the game looked like Akira Toriyama's art. I also know the works of the new guy, so I figured that if anyone could do it, he could. Fine.
CT on the SNES was special because it provided some things never before seen in RPG's to date. The battlefield being the same maps and graphics you played on gave it more of a tight feeling, the animated characters were cutting edge at the time. The Dual and Triple Tech system was a brilliant little bit of originality that kept gameplay fresh and exciting. The + games and multiple endings kept you coming back for more.
Now, upon release of the Screens and some information regarding Chrono Cross, what of those things does it already lack? It lacks the personality of Toriyama's art, looking more like a less colorful watered down version of his vision. It obviously lacks the constant overhead battle system as the first one, because the overworld graphics feature 2D character sprites, and the battles are all 3D. It is also lacks the Dual and Triple Tech system, in favour of some sort of Crossover system, which sounds like it's combining things, but things that aren't the characters attacks. It's unclear at the moment whether or not there will be + games and multiple endings, but with it still (hopefully) being a time travel game, I think we'll have that at least.
When people envisioned Chrono Cross in their head, they envisioned CT updated in wonderful colorful 2D glory, just like Legend of Mana. What they got upon release of the screen shots was something that looked a lot more like Xenogears than CT. THIS is why people are angry. I have no doubt in my mind that Chrono Cross will be a great game. Whats in question is if it is truly a sequel to Chrono Trigger, or just another Square game that happens to have Chrono in the title. Based on these initial screen shots, it appears that it's the latter. It simply does not look like Chrono Trigger 2. While the locals suggest it being a sequel on the same world (come on, that just HAS to be Guardia castles bridges with the moon behind it), they look far less colorful than the original. There isn't a good excuse for this, considering how bright and colorful LoM looks. And yes, Serge is a Suikoden wannabe, but at least he's got one cool weapon!
I'm not bashing the game, I'm telling the truth. It does not look like Chrono Trigger 2. Looks like a great game, sure, but not CT2. I'm not a retro gaming romantic, nor a Square hater. I'm waiting a lot for FF8, looks great, I have mixed feelings over no MP and no treasure chests, but I'm not alone. Dew Prism looks great, so does LoM. Vagrant Story, while not what people were expecting to start off with, sounds interesting as well. And thats that.
Chrono Cross simply looks too much like every other game on the PSX, blocky, with washed out colors. If they'd gone the 2D route like LoM, not only would it have been different from the norm, but it would look a whole lot better, and that can't be denied. But thats just this fans opinion ;)
Oh, by the way. I really enjoyed the letter you printed where the guy said "You can't judge Chrono Cross by just the screen shots, thats not right, you have to play it" and then two sentances later says "But you people probably won't even play a quality game like LoM, or you'll wait years for a bad translation." This young man put his foot in his mouth. Why? Because all he has of LoM are screen shots, and he's judging it. Not just judging it, but also automatically deeming all translations to be bad rather than waiting and playing it to see. I love people like that.

-Xardon

JD:
I have to agree with you on the lack of personality, without the artistic wonders of Toriyama. It really is too early to tell though. The colors look washed out mostly due to it being scanned in, and from a magazine. I'm certain the colors will be more vibrant, once actual screen shots are available. My stance has been dissolving as well day by day, right now I'm really just waiting for more, rather than commenting.
As far as the letter good point. Unless the person works for square or an industry magazine, then the person has played LoM. Gotta look at all possible angles....Ok maybe not.

 
Parasite Eve

Hey JD,

I've beaten Parasite Eve a couple of times, like 4 really, and so has my friend (We're crazy about it. Are we psycho or something?). He is Portugese, and he says the song must be in Portugese because he can understand it. Do you know what languauge its in? Thanks,

-SeaMonkey "Will talking about Grandia help get this printed?"

JD:
I'm assuming you mean the ending song "Somina Memorias?" It's Spanish. We have the lyrics to it in the Music Box section, then in Lyrics subsection.

 
Summer Shopping?

I need a new RPG to play this summer, and I only want to buy one right now. Jade Cocoon, Star Ocean, or wait for something coming out in August? Please help.

-Fuji

JD:
Star Ocean 2, hmmm. While my grade of it so far is a 8.5, I'm still in the beginning of Disc2. I really don't know if I can recommend it. Especially with FF8 and Suikoden 2 in early September and Grandia in October and Thousand Arms supposedly in September/October. My suggestion is wait or rent Star Ocean.

 
Rpg bonanza

I have a couple of questions.
Is Warsong the same game as Langrisser? Warsong is a very good strategy game, the battle system is similar to Shining Force's battle system.
#2: Why do people consider that 3-d polygon graphics are good. To me, they are the worst graphics possible. I'll take Dragon Warrior graphics over those of FF7. Kefka may beat Sephiroth if that laugh of his makes Sephiroth's brain explode.
#3: Which do you think is more important in an rpg: graphics, story, or just plain fun? FF6 is funner than FF7.
#4: Is FF2usa FF4 easytype or FF5? I think it is FF4 easytype, but some people say it is FF5.

JD:
1.Yes, Warsong is Langrisser 1 and it was released for Genesis in 1991 by Treco.
2. They are if a system can process enough polygons at once. Shen Mue for example has incredible 3D graphics.
3. Each rpg really needs a certain minimum, although if I had to choose, it would probably be story or music.
4. FF2 USA is FF4j easytype.

 
YS Music

ANyway, I know that you are a Ys fanatic, and I recently found the Very Best of Ys cd on the mailorder. I ordered it and they said it was backordered. I was wondering if you knew approximately *when* the cd was originally released, and possibliy if you knew if it is still in print. The reason I ask this is because I'm not sure that when they say it is backordered if they mean that it is in print and is likely to be restocked relatively soon, or if they mean that it is out of print and will never be restocked. I know I know, the easier way would be to call them, but I really don't want to talk to some stupid representative who would probably give me the standard answer that it will be in shortly, cause if it is out of print, it prolly won't be coming in shortly. Anyways sorry for the long letter, and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks,

-David

JD:
Yes, Very Best of YS is still in print. Gamecave.com recently got some in around 4/29/99. They also have it in stock, however some complaints have been made against Gamecave. I have had no bad dealings with Gamecave, so I don't know. Gamemusic.com which is the premiere Falcom music seller in North America still has it "Out of stock" however.
 
Satoshi san

A-ha! I was right! That's the same guy that did Legend of Lemnear and Plastic Little! Cool!

P.S. Did any of the Langrisser games come out in the US?

-Auld

JD:
Woah are you really with the government. I noticed the .gov email. ^_^
Warsong, I just answered it 2 emails up.
 
Dreamcast Rocks
After seeing that quickie message saying Dreamcast will suck yesterday, I had to write in. I truly doubt this person has played it formore than 5 minutes. What's so bad about it? The graphics are incredible, it's affordable, and there are some good RPGs already coming and it's still a fairly new system. Oh yeah, it's that great biases the majority of RPGers have against Sega. Phantasy Star? Shining Force? The average RPGer will bash those before even giving them a chance. My, oh my, what is the gaming world coming to..

-RockmanX1
JD:
He's a Sony stooge. No offence to Sony fans as I am one myself. I saw Sonic Adventure playing, all I can say is WOW. Likewise with Shen Mue. Now if only Sega would announce Phantasy Star 5 or Panzer Dragoon Saga 2, Square might get serious competition. Project Ares looks interesting if not incredible and then Langrisser Millenium, perhaps Strategy/RPG of the decade? Dreamcast evidently has a stellar RPG line up in japan. The only question left is, when and which will make it to North America?
 
Two peas in a pod

JD is wrong...

Hey JD,
In yesterday's column you stated that "[the] PSX can't handle enough polygons that create objects. N64 can do about double the amount the PSX can do." Whatever... :) It is my understanding that the n64 can produce 150,000 polygons while the PSX can cram out 300,000. Oh well, at least I proved you wrong :D
From,

-Vic rpg64

JD:
From what I read in either Gamefan or Next Generation a while back N64 does 500K polygons with all features turned off compared to 360K for PSX. I couldn't find a site that listed the N64 polygon specs in respect to all features turned off.
N64/SGI Processor Spec site (bottom of the page)
"George Zachary of SGI told me at the time: There is a HUGE difference in the realism between "over 100,000 real-time anti-aliased, tri-linear mip-mapped interpolated, gouraud-shaded, perspective-correct, z-buffered, lit, blended [and the rest of the poly features] polygons" and Sony's 360K quote. They compare absolutely different numbers."

If anyone can find the exact N64 Polygon spec with all features turned off, drop me a line. In any case there you have it. The comparison you made are of two different numbers, one with all features and one without.

Your Wrong!...j/k

What the hell happened to the Questions and Answers?

-Donovan Bain

JD:
I should have known by saying letters, with I/JD am/is wrong on the subject would open myself up to some strange letters.

 
Dreaming about RPGamer - who doesn't

Hiyas! Friday night I had this really weird dream about RPGamer... *chimy music and wavy flashback dissolve*

I logged onto the Internet to check out RPGamer, but when I did, it was down. But there was an alternate server running it! That made me feel a lot better, because if my favorite site was down, what would I do? Well, I suppose I'd find a new crop of Sailor Moon sites... Uh, back to the subject.

Somehow I ended up accessing the backup site from a horrible, awful, obsolete mass of Apple IIe's sitting on tables that just barely fit them. And this was the backup server. (Oh please, say it isn't so!) There was no room for the old 5 1/2 inch disk drives on the tables, so they sat on the tangled web of wires that ran between the computers. All of the monitors were green monochrome pieces of junk except for one, so I used this one. And RPGamer looked more like a bulletin board than a web page!

I noticed there was a disk drive sitting on the floor, so I moved it onto the wires. (No, I don't know my logic for this.) And all of a sudden the monitors began flicking off! I stupidly killed RPGamer! I did the sensible thing and started crying. Okay, it wasn't that sensible. I probably could've put it back online. But this was a dream, remember? Now the strange part is after I wake up. I tried to access RPGamer and couldn't. Did they REALLY crash, or was it just me? And is that not weird?

Uh, something game-related... Do you think Asellus and White Rose in Saga Frontier had 'something' going on? Because I do.
P.S. Sorry that was such a long and nearly pointless letter. I just love to blather on about my strange dreams, ask any of my friends. They'll tell you. ^.~;;

-Super Moppy, who has been known to predict things in dreams and owns 6 PSX games: 4 RPGs and 2 Mega Man games.

JD:
Weird dream. Do you all dream about RPGamer also?
Yeah I often heard the song "Asellus and White Rose Sitting on a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G" song, playing in my head. Help me get rid of it.....HEEEEELP.
 
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Quickies - Something uh Quick
Hey JD,
Man, the Snope thing scared me. It was just about the fakest email I've ever seen, but nevertheless, be careful, man... P.S. What, no invisible text on Friday? Lazy, lazy!
- Mephistopheles
I'll be careful, vewy vewy careful. Well it was a statement, not Q&A and it was late. Ok I got sorta lazy that night. ;)
Look, Jeff. You're a great guy, and I don't doubt that one day you'll reign supreme over a thousand trembling subjects. But for once, you are absolutely dead-wrong. Kefka v. Sephiroth? No contest! It's Kefka, all the way! Come on. You can't deny that he has the best dialogue of any character in any FF series. "You all sound like self-help books!" Sephiroth may have a nice sword, but Kefka would cut him up with his verbal entendres.
-kynes
Sephiroth would cast the meteor and squash Kefka (Kefka would be laughing the whole time as the meteor flattens him) . hee-heeh. Thanks for the propps.
Mr.Davis, We can win a whole new advertisement for a car? Fantastic! I don't know how I ever got along this far without one! Respectfully,
-Jeremy Baker
Hah. Come now Square is giving away free LAME tshirts too. Wouldn't you want to go to school in the super sheik FF8 shit -- oops shirt?
JD, Now we know why you love Satoshi's art so much ITS A BUNCH OF HALF NAKED CHICKS!
-Quickbeam =P
LOL! No that's not it at all. Satoshi's art is just plain exceptional. Look at those uh.....facial details.
PS- how much did alex pay u to try to hook him up with some chicks?(in the quickie section) heehee, i'm j/k alex.
-lazybum234
Hahaa, that's me, need a date I'll hook you up. Speaking of which Alex's payment hasn't arrived yet.
Since I AM female will you date or marry me? I'll give you some free cookies!! Oh and Ms. Snope is evil I say!!
-Sil the girl from yesterday- ^_^
What kind of cookies?
my best friends daughters name is timothey
-locodog
Yeah sure loco.
*a draggin sound can be heard, followed by a thumb and dirt scraping* Pay no heed * a voice calls * Just taking care of an unwanted twin brother.....*a low mumble* before I get you hehehehe
- _ID_, the evil twin brother of IDDY
What more does Q&A need other than two trouble making twins? I can't think of any.

My time is short so not much of a closing. Special thanks to Alpha a regular in our boards and chat channel for contributing more Lunar and miscellaneous rpg quotes for my secret msgs.

Again today's ended up as one huge Q&A, it's as if it has a life of its own. My next update will be shorter, really. I'll be seeing ya all on saturday. Till then peace out.

 

 

Questions? Comments? Praises or Flames?
Jeff Davis aka JD the YS nut
"Do you like my costume, green-eyes? The best part about it is how easily it comes off..."

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