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Ask JD - Friday | August 20 '99 - 5:29 pm EST

Just as last weekend, Zac will be back to do tomorrow's (Saturday) and Sunday's Q&A.

You asked for it, and you got it. Today's column is actually devoted to Questions and Answers, brought to you in part, yes you readers. What a concept, no?

 
Questions at last
1. Are you getting a dreamcast

JD:
YES! I've been saving up for 2 years, working my butt off with odd jobs.

2. which of the 3 big rpgs of september are you getting (thousand arms, suikoden 2, ff8)

All 3. It pays off to splurge after years of hard savings.

3.Who was your favorite charachter in star ocean 2 i think Ashtons the man

Claude.

4. Honestly wahts more important to you in a game graphics or the story everyone says story but its those same people who complain about the sprites in xenogears and other games and talk about polygonal glory

That's really a tough question. I certainly would not play a FF 8 quality storyline with atari graphics, would you? And conversely a FF 8 quality game with a Mario 1 storyline. Proper cohesion of all the elements is really the one thing that makes a good game, in the end.

5.How old are you

-The Jolly Sailor
ps.what happened to christina aguilare you never put pictures of her up anymore
pss.did i spell aguilare wrong

18. As far as the Christina Aguilera pics, well I stopped at least on a daily/weekly basis, due to the larger than expected demand asking its exclusion. About 50-70% of you readers liked it, the rest wanted me not to post the image or at least directly. I have however found a solution for you testosterone pumped males. Look at the links to the right, you'll notice a new section. This should at least appease both sides, I hope?

 
And more

JD,
Here's a few questions and a correction on release dates.
1. How long will it take to beat FF8, do you think? I've heard 40 hours which is a little low compared to FF7.

JD:
From what people have told me, if you rush through the game, 40 Hours. Generally 40-60 Hours. Actually, in the case of FF7, generally people beat it in 30-40 Hours, without doing the extra stuff.

2. How long will it take to beat Suikoden 2? Hopefully longer than it took to beat Suikoden 1.

I have not played Suikoden 2. Yes, like many of you I'm waiting for the US version. Oddly enough, I don't know anyone who has played Suikoden 2, so I don't know. Perhaps one of the readers would like to share the info?

3. How long will it take to beat Thousand Arms? I know, I know, I really want to know how long every game takes....

Same as #2, with TA substituting for Suikoden 2. Yes I'm prepared for smart ass comments. ;)

4. A correction on release dates: Thousand Arms ships on August 31 and should be in stores on the first of September. FF8 ships on September 7 and should in stores on the 8th or 9th. Suikoden 2 will ship on September 20.

-XenoFreak (I work at Babbages)

Yep yep. Right you are. Though most sources are saying Thousand Arms, mid september? Including Atlus themselves if I'm not mistaken.

But more importantly can you get me free games? ;)

 
Still More

Okay, I have three main topics to cover here.
1) That animation today (8-19) at the bottom of the page is totally tasteless. I mean, really! How can you actually find an animation of Vincent killing Aeris funny!?!? Argh.....if you weren't such a good Q&A guy, I'd hate you. :P

JD:
I don't know if this is a compliment or bash. Tee-hee. I have to admit I found it a bit violent, but I was in the thinking that most of you readers love it, which you do. However a small minority found it too much. So from now on a link will be more appropriate. Both sides will be happy. Those who want to see it, can, those who don't, won't. Although isn't this Censorship? Might you all be republicans? HAH. j/k

2) Are you ever going to put more pictures of Christina Aguilera in your section? I'd never heard of her before I saw her on here, but now I' a fan! YOu have shown me the light! Thank you! :) Or is it possibly that you don't have any more pics? Well, in case you don't read TV Guide, I made a few scans for you which I hope you enjoy. ^_^

Yes, a new link to the right, my Christina Aguilera Pic of the week. Some explanation of this is given on the first letter. Hah, I guess this job really has strange powers? Are you a fan of just her beauty or voice? Heh, most would say the former. I do have some pics, but thanks for the new one, which will be this weeks Christina Aguilera pic. Actually I don't read TV Guide so doubly thanks.

3) Might as well mention games a little more, this being RPGamer and all.........er..........20 days left!!!! YEAH! :) Loyal fan and first-time writer,

-The Chronologist (Come to RPGFan! [www.rpgfan.com] Just a little plug. :P)

Ok.

 
And Finally

Howdy. So, you want questions, hmm? I've got some nice juicy ones here, and some of them are Ys related. Can't beat that, can you?
1) Where oh where can I get a Turbo Duo for fairly cheap? I really don't want to shell out $150 to $200 to snag one from eBay, but it looks like I'll be forced to.

JD:
Ebay is your best bet, sadly. Unless you can go to Japan and rummage in the Electronics District. I hear Turbo Duo games there sell for like a $1.

2) How many Ys games have there been, and for what systems? I heard that the Ys game(s?) for the SNES were only remakes of the Turbo Duo ones, so does that mean that the entire series available for Turbo Duo? Which ones should I buy first?

I'll answer this question on monday, with another letter. And I don't like the SNES/Genesis versions of YS.

3) I heard from a friend that there was an accessory for the Genesis which allowed you to play Master System games on it. Do you know anything about this? He also mentioned that it attatched to the system in a special way, and may not be compatible with the form-factor of the new Majesco Genesis 3 (which I own :P). Can you confirm this?

Yes I had it, though admittedly I know nothing about the Genesis 3. I had the Genesis 1 and 2 which the Master System Converter worked fine on. You stick it on top of the cartridge slot. I got mine for $29 if I remember correctly.

4) I also heard that the Sega CD attatches to the Genesis via a port on the bottom of the console, but I checked, and my Genesis 3 appears to have no ports on its underside, which sucks, since most of the good Genesis RPGs were for the Sega CD. Is it true that I cannot use a Sega CD on my Genesis 3?

With Genesis 1 yes. Genesis 2 however connects side by side. I don't know how it works with Genesis 3. Anyone know much about Genesis 3?

5) Are there any good RPGs for the 32x? Were there any good games at all for the 32x? I have a chance to buy a used one for cheap, and I need to know whether to grab it or not.

-Arpad Korossy, aka Fat_Chocobo

None what so ever. There weren't even good games at all, of any genre for it. Unless you were impressed by the first polygonal racing game.

 
JD Ruling out N64? For Shame

JD,

I don't understand why you told Nailbunny not to get a N64. Technically it blows playstation away. It can do anything playstation can do and better. Now it is lacking in RPG's but it has many other great games that bunny might like. I'm not saying that Nail has to buy a N64 but it should not be crossed out from the list of good possibilities. Anyway, you said you wanted more questions so here is one for you. What is your favorite game of all time and why. (If you don't want to answer that's cool)

-Slick

JD:
Technically an Onyx super computer blows away PSX. But there are no games for it, besides the 6 digit price tag. Ok that was a far fetched analogy, however I'm sure you get the point. I simply can't recommend a system (N64) who's highlight in the US will only be Ogre Battle 64 this year. The rest of the other games for the system are, what? Action/Sports type games? If you want action/sports games, Dreamcast is far superior and would offer much more satisfaction. I have been and still will be a Nintendo fan, but in good conscience I can't recommend its purchase, at this time.

Favorite game, hmmm.
FF 7/6 - I don't need to explain this, do I?
YS 1-4 - Legendary game, nuff said.
Phantasy Star 1-4 - Revolutionary
Panzer Dragoon 1 (Shooter) - The 3d shooter that changed shooting games as we know it. Even to this day remains a game of sheer excellence. The gorgeous soundtrack doesn't hurt either.

 
RPG Music

JD,

I believe that to some, Ys has the best music, while to others FF series has the top melodies. Personally I find that FF series have some of the best musics in video games. The reason may be that I have never played Ys because I don't own the system. This brings me to my second observation. I believe that video game music is weaved together with the game. The music enhances our experience, especially emotional parts of the game. For example, I could listen to Aeries' theme, or the Opera music and feel sad or touched. The music brings in the emotion of the scene and it represents a special momemt in time. In contrast, my parents would walk by and think nothing more of it than something coming from the TV speakers. I've listend to some of the Ys music and they sound good... but to me, they just don't compare to Final Fantasy musics. I can still feel the excitement and adventure everytime I hear Locke's theme as he rescues Terra, or feel the sinking of my heart as Rachel's music sings on slowy, and I can still remember that certain scene, Locke helplessly turned away by Rachel's angry parents. I think the music cannot achieve it's peak appeal without the emotions and actions from the game. And here's a question since I am suppose to ask a question. What game do you think has the best game related music that has vocals or singing? my simple thoughts,

-Jake

JD:
Excellent points. I will say many fans base good game music on how it fits with the game. This is all hog wash in my opinion. Good music should be based on the music itself, nothing else. Quality, complexity, technicality, and how good the tunes are. We as a whole will never agree which is best game music, it sure is fun to discuss it though.

I'd probably say YS Vocal Collection 1-4, those are however albums. As far as actual music in a game, Cosmic Fantasy 2's ending vocal. Also I believe it was the japanese version of Rockman X4, the one that featured Yuki something? I don't remember her name.

 
Anime FMV

First of all, anime cutscenes DO NOT take up any less space on a CD than CG. It doesn't matter how many colors, or how much movement, or *what* damn things are going on, Playstation FMVs always take up exactly 300 KB per second. I don't know how many times I've corrected people on this.

Second, anime is not any "easier" to produce than CG. If anything, CG is easier, because in-between frames can be interpolated by the computer, rather than being painstakingly (or not ^_^) drawn by hand.

Third, I am an anime fan, and I like to think I have a good eye for animation quality. And to that eye, most anime cutscenes in games are hideous. Basically, in an attempt to make animation for a world market, the animators turn up the frame rate from anime's traditional 8-12 fps to 12-24, but they don't have the budget for it. They have to sacrifice the timing, tracking, and the other things that make anime look good. And, as a final insult, they use airbrushed shading, which the artists are rarely able to use well (Japanese artists are trained to look for sharp lines, not shades) and and which winds up looking awful. The whole thing winds up looking like bad TV stock footage.

This reminds me of another issue recorded dialogue. I hate recorded dialogue. This is because of the dubbing. I've heard some superb dubs, some of which have actually improved on the source material, but 90% of the time dubs turn out just plain awful, and studios tend not to put the same effort into games that they put into movies.

Of course, all those pitfalls can be avoided. I hold up Tales of Phantasia as an example of good handling of voiceacting (i.e. they resisted the temptation to rerecord the lines) and an animated opening that was at least up to the quality that you'd expect from a B anime movie or an OAV.

-Charlie Tangora

JD:
Interesting info.

 
Hump Day

Jay Dee-

I get home from work and I take a gander at your column. And I see that it's titled "Chicagoans call this Hump day!" and I get all freaked out. Why, you ask? Because at this morning's meeting, my boss said that too. Creepy.

-Matt

JD:
What can I say. I'm ahead of my time or your boss'. ;)

 
Babylon 5 - Star Trek

JD

A Message To the uninformed Lord Anwign. Yes Babylon 5 has better CG but it is all CG where Star Trek is only CG for the explosions, weapons, etc. the ships are all to scale models. To sum up I think Babylon 5's CG is to perfect and and unrealistic. Post this short one please JD I will worship you forever.

-Ilym Lythor

JD:
Does this include doing my chores?

 
Happy Happy Joy Joy

"21 Days to Dreamcast and FF8 Release! 3 weeks! Woo!" I'll respond to that quote of yours (invisable text 8-19-99) with yet another quote. "I'm so happy, I can hardly contain myself." -Stimpy

-Ari

JD:
Speaking of Ren and Stimpy, forget PSX2 let's get a LOG!

All kids love Log! What rolls down stairs, Alone or in pairs, Rolls over your neighbors dog? What's great for a snack, And fits on your back, It's Log..Log..Log!! It's Lo-og, Lo-og It's big, it's heavy It's wood! It's Lo-og, Lo-og It's better than bad It's good!!! Everyone want's a Log You're gonna love it Log Come on and get your Log Everyone needs a Log Log from Blammo!

Now wasn't that nostalgic.

 
Got Questions?

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Oh Zac? PC RPGs suck? Just kidding ;)

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08-19-99
08-18-99
08-17-99
08-16-99
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The Old stuff
The Archives
 
JD Now Playing

FF 7
Trying to beat FF7 beginning to end - Preparing for FF8!

JD's - Christina Aguilera Pic of the Week for us Male pigs. :P
Christina Pic
Week of Aug 20
 
Quickies - It's as good as LOG

How do i get Locke back in FFVI after the world goes all bad. i can't figure it out, and i went to a FAQ on-line but it didn't tell me. any response would be very helpful. thanks, peace out.
-brad

Go to the Phoenix Cave, The Star Shaped Mountain.

What does EB stand for in this new lunar game people are talking about? Electronics Botique? Eggs n' Bacon?
-Zack S.

Eternal Blue.

Tom Green Likes To Rub His Bum On Bernie Stolar. ill Throw in a nude pic of celes wearing her opera gown if you post this
-The Blue Seed

Celes, eh? Tempting.

Hi JD, What's the life cycle of the North American Mole? This question has been plagueing me for a long time.
-Matt McLeskey

It really depends.

Those pictures at the end of your column and disgusting and needly gratuitive. I like them. *grin*
-Josh

Yes. They are aren't they? *grin*

2.in your opinion what is the the best final fantasy game and don't be a smartass and say ff mystic quest

Hah, you know me only too well. Honestly FF 7 then 6 followed by 4.
 

Lots of questions and answers today. Seems almost fitting to cap up the week. Lately we have gotten somewhat sidetracked into debate and opinion, which isn't a bad thing, but it was good to revisit what this Letters column is about, Q&A. I'll be very interested to watch if the good balance of Questions, Opinion and Debate will continue next week.

I must apologize for not having quite the opening and closing statements I usually have, It's been a rather hectic week. I promise next week I'll be back in full force with my discussions/opinions galore. Till then I'll cya all on monday. Now I can go chill for the weekend. Peace.

Animation of the Day
-Stoo http://members.xoom.com/svsff


Jeff "Weekend Chillin'" Davis
LOG, you can do anything with it!

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