The End: Good-bye Everyone!
JD - Thursday | September 9 '99 - 4:30 pm EST|
First order of discussion is a sub note. I have
decided to let go of my duties here at RPGamer.com at least as a
Q&A host. Yes for those less inclined in the persuasions of
english...That means that this is my last Q&A. An explanation
at the closing of today's column.
Today Final Fantasy 8 and Dreamcast finally reached
the stores, if not a day or two earlier in some places. The point
being, both are now available. I've never experienced such a week
as a videogamer. It's as if the hands of destiny forged this day
to be the pinnacle of what was and what is to come. Never has there
been, in historical context at least, a release of two titanic releases
of this magnitude: Dreamcast and Final Fantasy 8. Each glorious
in their respect, albeit the fact that they are apples and oranges,
console system and game. Inspite of that the buzzes as of late are:
which will sell better, which will prevail, which is better or what
should I get. You and I have experienced these questions in the
last few days/weeks. But now after all the weeks of anticipation,
finally every cumulative waiting and hope, for all intensive purposes is over.
Was it all worth it? To me at least, an indefatigable YES.
It comes as no surprise the overwhelming majority of letters
focused on Final Fantasy 8. Anything otherwise might have been a
shock. Let's begin my last Q&A shall we?
could I not end it all with one final YS letter
For a long time I've been hearing you and others discuss
the Ys series. I've listened to some of the music that I have found
on the internet, and I have found it to be amazing. I have 2 questions
1) Do you have any idea where I could pick up any of the Ys soundtracks?
Other than Falcom.com itself, Gamemusic.com, Gamecave.com, and The-Place.com
are your best bets for Falcom/YS music.
2) If Ys is not pronounced "Whys (wise)", then is
it pronounced "eyes" or "ease"?
Which one is it? It's so confusing!
Dreamcast on the horizon... sigh, why does everyone
have bad feeling for Sega? Sure, most everything they've put out
sucked. But still, DC seems to be pretty great!
I played House of the Dead 2 at a local store. Yes, it is a shooter,
not a role-playing game, but it is, of course, the best of the shooters.
;) It looks awesome, plays fast, and is great fun! I'm thinking
that if anyone can pull off a good RPG for the DC, it'll look positively
awesome! It would be great if Konami could put an epic like Suikoden
into 3d and put it on the DC! I'm looking forward to the possibilities
of Phantasy Star V, Shining Force IV, or Lunar 3, as well. :) Joy
Also, JD, have you noticed how every RPG that is coming
out seems to be moving into a Science Fiction setting? I for one
don't like this as much, especially in the Final Fantasy series.
I mean, I personally didn't like FF7 whatsoever. It was fun, but
the storyline, translation, and characters just had no appeal to
myself. The DC seems to continue the non-fantasy RPG trend that's
been coming around... ya know, the one that FF7 was a horrible little
part of ... and I'm actually afraid. At least Phantasy Star is pulled
off well... One last question, JD: Are you as psyched about Suikoden
II as I am? Hell, I'm looking forward to it more than FF8!!! This
could be because Suikoden was much more challenging than FF7, also.
-Rob D. Dark Mog
Well said. About Suikoden 2.....not really, but I do have high
expectations for it, and indeed will purchase it...Or perhaps I
should get Soul Calibur, hmmm.
I figured you'd be the one to ask, great guru of great
game music that you are. Do the names Motoi Sakuraba and Shinji
Tamura mean anything to you? They're the ones who composed the Tales
of Phantasia soundtrack, and I was wondering if they've done anything
else, because a number of the tracks in the game, to be quite frank,
rival some of Falcom's efforts in the field of game music (although,
admittedly, the emphasis here is on 'a number' and 'some' =)).
At any rate, it's far better than the hideously bland
music that has come to be attached in my mind to the name Final
Fantasy in it's two latest installments, although admittedly FFVIII
didn't even hold my interest up to ten hours of gameplay, so I'm
at a slight disadvantage denouncing the soundtrack without having
heard it all. Who knows, Uematsu may have kicked it halfway through
the game, forcing Square to hire someone with some actual musical
tal...*cough*. I guess I don't really need to go that way. Someone
else'll manage to get the FFVIII sucks bandwagon rolling without
In fact, if you want my honest advice, just pass by
FFVIII and import Tales of Phantasia. You'll get a huge kick out
of it, weather you liked Tales of Destiny or hated it, because no
one with any sense is going to dispute the fact that ToD was a terribly
inadequate sequel. Just a suggestion, since I noted the gaping void
in the 'now playing' window. If anything, you'll have a much more
nostalgic gaming experience...unlike ToD, which at times felt like
a painfully garish 32-bit game trying desperately and unsucessfully
to emulate the glory days of 16-bit, ToP feels perfectly 16-bit,
even though the game is technologically far and beyond anything
you could do with a 16-bit system. And maybe that's because it IS
originally a SF game, albeit one remade for a more advanced platform,
with an attention to detail that would make Game Arts green with
envy. I could ramble on for ages about this wonderful little gem
which all of five people in the USA have played (three of whom are
busy trying to translate it =P), but since I hate to dissolve into
a shameless ToP plug without paying an advertising fee beforehand,
I'll just leave it at this.
Weather you decide to waste time wading through the
giant light show that is FFVIII (admittedly a light show with substance,
but not enough to offset the monotone soundtrack and having to spend
half the play time waiting for spell effects to end.), or give it
up part way in exasperation, the fact remains you should give it
a shot one way or another. After all, flaws that are enough to sink
a game for me frequently mean absolutely nothing to the next gamer,
while at the same time being equally anathematic to the gamer next
to him (or, not forgetting the female gaming audience, her). In
any event, enjoy! But I advise everyone, keep a copy of ToP close
by, just in case things go contrary =).
I have to say the name Shinji Tamura eludes me at the moment, and
my time is a bit cut off today, thus I'm unable to research it.
Motoi Sakuraba however, is known for his recent Shining Force music,
Star Ocean 2 and of course Beyond the Beyond. Shining Force needless
to say has always had incredible music, especially on CD media.
His music for the Shining Force series for Saturn was no exception. Beyond's OSV is decent
at best, but any Motoi fan would be wise to pick up the BTB album,
which features some arrangements. Though I'm not a huge fan of Motoi
myself, this album is quite good. Star Ocean 2's as well is extremely
well done and comes in 3 flavors, OSV, Arranged and Perfect Collection.
I prefer the OSV myself.
Hah. Most of you know I don't hold Uematsu in the high esteem most
of you do. I think he is great and has his brilliant moments and
indeed is one of my favorites. But he isn't as good as say Ryo Yonemitsu
in my opinion. Anyway that subject is moot and has been discussed
in one of my older Q&A's. Though, I think you really should
give FF 8 a fair shake and at least continue to beat it (assuming you're not). Good Advice about Tales
of Phantasia and one that I will keep in mind. I however will be
playing Final Fantasy 8 this weekend, TOP will have to wait till
an unpredetermined time..Soon...Hopefully.
8 Impressions - 2 Ups/1 Down
I finally got a copy of FF8. Despite all of the people who says
it is going to suck, I tell him to go away. I am only five hours
into this game, it has a plot that far surpasses anything I have
played in such a long time. Graphics are down right nutty (Nutty?
I need a better word, but I can't think of one). Let's just say
this is a MUST SEE. I do hope that you will print this letter. FF8
so far has been very mysterious and very intriguing. (And it's only
been five hours).
My only complaint about the entire game is one: You don't get money
after a battle. I was so mad when I saw that there was no money
after a battle. Erg, now I am stuck five hours into the game, and
all I need is $200. Oh, Another thing, The sound track to this game
is absolutely terrific. Sure, FF7's music was a little "Computerized"
but this stuff is real.
I'm not even 1 hour into the game as I write this...The intro is
simply elegant to say the least. It seems Square has finally learned
some cinematography. The music, well, it has its greatness and then
there are the ok ones. One thing a majority of the music so far
is computerized synth, rather than fully orchestrated. If I had
one problem thus far, is that the characters and in the overworld look well,
the lines look unantialiased...jaggy lines abound. Another problem
the first hour doesn't have the sense of urgency that FF7 did, in
the early hours. Hopefully things will pick up soon.
So I picked up a yummy little copy of FF8 today... quite impressive!
You know, it was worth the money (and then some)... but I did happen
to notice one thing... alot of the music sounds like remixes of
FF7's stuff. Oh well, no matter. I was looking for a good story
and I think I found it.
Every RPG fan must get FF 8. Period.
Can I ask you one question? How can you fall for all that marketting
BS surrounded around recent square games... Face it, FF7 was the
worst so far in the series and if you want me to go into details
I could (and have on cherryroms) and FF8 doesn't place much higher
on that tier. I bought FF8 this morning (I had time and cash) and
have played about 10 hours into it. Its quite pathetic that the
music in the actual game is worse then the demo. The flat backround
is restricting to movement unlike Xenogears which used the polygonal
graphics style in a much more useful way. The characters are pathetically
shallow and even at 10 hours into the game the characters aren't
even beggining to be developed. The battle system is horrible. It
turns magic into almost an item. And they create a whole battle
system around those huge long summons that get annoying after the
first time you cast them. Compared to FF7, FF8 is a remarkable game
but compared to games like FF5, Xenogears, Chrono Trigger and even
FFT square is putting all its money and time into promoting their
big sellers. Mass marketting the FF series certainly brings them
in a huge amount of cash but they lose quality in the games... Dedlines
get shortened, budgets get cut back and more time is spent on graphics
developement then script and plot. I am starting to see alot of
Square games headed in that direction and am upset. I wouldn't mind
quite so much if they kept it only to the FF series but no they
start doing it to great games like CT3 (Chrono Cross) and SD4 (Legend
of Mana). Square should stop mass producing games and go back to
the old way of producing games that are higher in quality and father
apart. With Enix, Working designs and so many other companies producing
RPGs the market's thirst is held at bay... all these crap games
from square do nothing but lower the prestige they have worked so
hard to get (and deserve).
I will agree with you on one thing, the magic system has been turned
into an Item system. I never liked using items to cast spells. This
one hasn't turned me around. Since I'm still quite early in the
game I can't comment on the shallowness of the characters or any
other caveats the game has. Marketing or not, FF8 thus far has shaped
up to be a very worthy purchase. Whether it will be the King of
RPGs, only time will tell. I also agree with your point that many
of the Square games seem to be tinged with the feeling of that it
was rushed. Their games still stand up to at least the current RPG
crop in the market. It is easy to scrutinize Square, I myself am
guilty of that, but to everyone give Final Fantasy 8 a chance. Then
decide for yourself. Don't buy the hype or conversely jump on the
bandwagon. At least not until you've played or beaten it.
FF 8 here
That Bernie Stolar thing was great! And it's true too. I've played
all the final fantasies, but I have absolutely no plans on buying
ff8. I got $400 to spend on dreamcast, 3 games for it, then some
accessories. Long live sega!
Speaking of the Dreamcast. Sonic Adventure is truly incredible.
The graphics are top notch, and the music...Incredible would be
an understatement. Arcade level gaming has finally reached "the
home." I hope many of the readers can swath through all the
anti-sega sentiment floating around, and give the Dreamcast a fair
unbiased shot. Oh and did I mention Sonic Adv. has incredible music?
If so, it bares reiteration.
into the Debate
Jamaican Dude? (JD),
I thought I would write to you in hopes of bringing levity to the
entire Final Fantasy debate. I am so tired of the people mailing
in and dissing on either the old or new FF games. Each of these
great games have unique qualities that make them so wonderful. FF1,
2j, and 3j were all very basic NES RPGs. Final Fantasy 1 started
a revolution in the RPG world, taking us away from the difficult
commands of Dragon Warrior. FF2j was poorly done, but still was
unique in its level system. FF3j had a good story and set the series
on its path of level, menu, and battle systems.
With the advent of the SNES we saw FF2/4j, FF5j, and FF3/6j. Final
Fantasy 2/4j is considered by some to be the best of the series;
its beautiful SNES graphics blew me away. FF5j had an interesting
job system, much like 3j, and even better visuals. FF3/6j is still
one of the greatest RPGs ever, and its fun every time I play it;
its visuals were the best of any game I've ever seen on the SNES.
The next generation of consoles brought three dimensional gaming
to the fray. When Final Fantasy VII for the PSX was released, it
brought a whole new dimension (literally) to RPGs. Beautifully rendered
battles, and pre-rendered backgrounds gave the game new quality
that the other games never saw. Final Fantasy VIII should raise
the bar that much higher.
In the end, there should be no debate over which game is better.
They were ALL exceptional games for their respective times. Whether
you are sentimental to the old school, or a new school progressive,
there is much to love in the Final Fantasy series. The man with
the rusty spoon,
What I'm tired of is all the FF 7/8 bashing going around.
My mom saw me playing FF8 the other day and she actually sat down
and started watching. I know, this is gonna sound REAL scary, but
she actually started trying to follow the plot. She then made a
comment about how it improves reading skills or some baloney. Oh
well, I saw something about this Julie person so I just thought
I'd tell everyone that my parents (at least my mom) are cool with
it. Weird, huh?
-Ryan "I know you miss me" Amos
Ryan long time no see. How is the life of an ex-Q&A staffer?
Less hectic? I'll be joining you on that side, soon. Anyway interesting
Jd, you da man!
1) Legeng of Mana or Chrono Cross?
2) Squall -vs- Cloud: Who would win?
3) Chop-Chop Master Onion -vs- Poppin' Fresh Pilsbury Doughboy:
Who would win?
4) Pikachu vs Chu-chu: who would cause more seizures?
And the most important question of all.... Will you give me a LOG?
2. I like Cloud.
3. Doughboy of course. Just don't tickle its tummy.
4. Pikachu of course.
LOGs are all given away. I have the last remaining one. Perhaps
one day the LOGs shall return to RPGamer Q&A.
to dumbfound Americans
Why oh WHY do Square and Sega HAVE to release their
new products RIGHT smack dab in the beginning of September???? Huh??
Don't they know us young Americans start SCHOOL? I'm not allowed
to get either cause of this and it's ticking me off.
Oh wait America as a nation is already dumbfounded.
Last JD's Idiot Award
My bum is on the rail, bum is on the rail! Look at
me my bum is on the rail! My bum is on the man! My bum is on the
man! Its a lot of fun to put your bum on a man! My bum is on the
step! Bum is on the step! Dont fall off the step YOU MIGHT HURT
YOUR BUM!!! And thats not very fun if you fall and you
hurt your bum. I like to put my bum on things Its fun for everyone.
My bum is on the cheese! Bum is on the Cheese! If i get lucky ill
get a diesease!! My bum is on My Sweedish Sweedish Sweedish sweedish.
My bum is on the gum. My bum is on the gum. I can blow a bubble
with my bum bum bum. My bum is on the ship the Battle ship. I hope
they dont shoot the cannon in my bum. And shoot POO everywhere POO
POO!!!! Cause thats not very fun when they shoot a cannon in your
bum. I like to put my bum on things Its fun for everyone
Yes, the Idiot Award is copyrighted by me. ;)
I will miss giving out these awards.
Quickies - I treasure you so
JD you fool, what are you thinking?
After FF8 consumes all your time and you finally beat it, you will regret
having quit RPGamer and cry like a little baby! Oh well, good luck with
your future plans whatever they are ;P Take Care.
guy is a friend of mine who was clued into my decision. Why did I print
this you ask? Because this is the guy who I can have a totally biased discussion
on how great FF7/8 is. FF8 is great go rent it at least!
i fell sorry for nintendo sucks to be them
bad for them, they have this INCREDIBLE game called Pokemon Snap. Their
secret weapon against Dreamcast/FF8. Super cool, eh? Yes, this is outright
Where are your infamous Christina Aguilera pics? I want to see more!
My psychiatrist says it's a lot healthier to look at her than at porn/hentai,
so please put them back up.
Aguierla pics sadly, have come to an end in RPGamer Q&A as of last week, since I won't be here to continue it.
I dowloaded the movie with James in the competition.....unsettling. But
not the actual image. What's unsettling is that he's really enjoying himself!
He even looks proud of his new endowments. Hmmmm........
you be proud?
Hey JD I need a little help with some Game music CD's 1. Do you know
where I can buy a copy of the Lunar soundtracks? I've been
and Gamemusic.com and The-place.com
Hey! You made fun of Masaya Matsuura! Now I'm gonna hafta go ever there
and kick your ass!
|No one can
Is it wrong to now be attracted to James, after seeking that Pokemon
very very wrong.
Am I the only one getting Suikoden 2?
Stolar will pick one up too. (I couldn't resist one last stolar joke)
For 5 months I have been here delivering to you all, at first Weekend
Q&A, then in the last 2 months your dedicated daily weekday Q&A.
Today, however will mark my last day as a RPGamer Q&A columnist, at
least in the foreseeable future. My reason is, I am frankly out of gas.
At least to dedicate 3-4 hours minimum a day to Q&A. My departure
is one that brings mixed emotions as Q&A will have a special spot
in my heart. It was a blast to do and even more to interact with you readers,
yes even the morons (kidding). But at this time I just can't continue.
My final decision came on the weekend, as I mulled over my thoughts for
the past two weeks. I decided not to really tip my hand to you readers
about my decision until today as I just didn't want Q&A to be overrun
with the hoopla. As far as further work here at RPGamer I am still unclear
what I will do in the near term, if any. So for all intensive purposes this could
be my last work here at RPGamer.
Before I bid you all a fond farewell. I'd like to give
a round of thanks. First thanks to Mike Tidwell and the rest of the RPGamer
staff for not only allowing me the opportunity to host Q&A, but also
having enough confidence in my work many months ago to allow me to continue as a permanent
columnist. I also must thank both my predecessors Drew Cosner and Michael
Greenhut who were invaluable in advising me in my early venture of Q&A
when I first started.
You readers have inspired me (or depressed me, kidding!) in these last months. It's really
been fun. It's been especially promising to me at least, that you all,
at least many of you enjoyed my brand of Q&A. One that focused more
in the informative sided, sometimes vaguely editorialized mixed in with
some comedic overtoned Q&A's. It certainly was and is different compared
to other letter/mailbag columns out there. So it just wouldn't be quite
right, to jet off into the sunset without saying thanks to all you readers
for putting up with me. HAH. The support and praise the multitude of you have shown me was the sustaining gift.
As far as who will replace me, Zac and Brad
will have that opportunity. Zac is next on the roster so expect the next
Q&A on Saturday. So no, don't even think of applying...The positions
have been filled as of now. Don't give up hope though. Remember I got
this job on a whim. It was never something I had dreamed for years to
attain. If I was able to get this opportunity, some of you aspiring columnists
hopefully will get one too. Sometime. My email firstname.lastname@example.org will remain active so you all can still cry and laugh about my departure.
I may return one day as a Q&A hoster, stranger things
have happened. For now this is JD saying Peace Out for the last time.
Have fun with your Final Fantasy 8/Dreamcast's boys and girls.
JD aka Jeff "Signing Out for the Last
The Last LOG is in my possesion!