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Ask JD
 
Super Lunar Sunday!
 
As promised Ask JD Super Lunar Sunday is here earlier (not as early as I planned), bigger and better than ever. I promised you guys a big update to compensate for yesterday's shortie. Hope you guys enjoy it. By the way Alex will be doing tomorrow and the following weekdays Q&A. Don't worry, I'll be back next weekend :)

Due to time constraints I haven't played as much Lunar SSS as I would have liked to. I'm about 6 hours into it. First let me say this is an incredible game. I highly suggest it. There are so few RPGs that really give you that great feeling while playing it, Lunar SSS is one of them. Contrary to what has been said the graphics are not 16bit quality. There are parts of the game that are simply great to look at. Also new in the PSX version is a Chrono Triggerish Overworld and the way you confront enemies. And the music is FANTASTIC, sadly I still think the Sega CD version had better music. This one is a bit more mellow and stresses a pervading love theme, where as the Sega CD version was loud, booming, rocking and Lets Get ready to fight style. Then to top it off it comes with a Soundtrack and Making of CD, I haven't seen/listened to it yet, as I want to beat the game first. :)

I'll give you guys the full scoop of my opinions hopefully next Saturday when I've beaten the game and seen/listened to the Bonus CDs. Before we begin I'd like to quickly address the Enormous amounts of Lunar mail I got on the Bromide Topic. Since I'm still at the beginning I really can't tell you guys. All I know is I heard there are 12/13 bromides. I'll address this also next week, if the answer hasn't been given.

Lots of Lunar Opinions today, lets take a looksie shall we?

 
Lunar

What's the system of combat like? The music? The plot? Does it have any wierd gimmicks like that Chochobo garbage in FF7 or the extremely addictive Ancient Cave in Lufia 2? For that matter, how many characters are on your party at once? Is it challenging? Does it have minute long spell sequences? OK, I'm done.

-Googleshng

JD:
Some of which I addressed in the opening of Q&A. The system combat is, at least the mechanics of it, simple. Fight,Spell,Run, Item, Defend. The view of it is a souped up version of FF6 Battle Mode, and it ROCKS. The plot is a story of Love, pursuit of the dream to become Dragonmaster, blah blah blah. All I can say is the story ROCKS, and to enjoy the majestic upcoming Lunar 2, you really need to play Lunar 1.
Lunar is challenging, not hard not easy. What it is, is short about 21-30 hours play time. However it's a FANTASTIC 21-30 hours. Ok ok I guess the secret is out. I love Lunar :)

 
Dreamcast

HEY JOLLY DICK(DONT ASK) HOWS IT GOING,

WELL I GOT SOME QUESTIONS ON DREAMCAST, SO U MUST ANSWER THEM FOR ME..PLEASE!!
1.WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS ON DREAMCAST?
2.IS IT TRUE ON THE CONTROLLER PROBLEMS, ON THE CONROLLER BEING TOO BULGY?, CAUSE I DONT WANT ANY PROBLEMS ON DREAMCAST(CAUSE IM ALSO GETTIN PS2).
3.HAVE U PLAYED OR A LEAST TRIED DREAMCAST OUT, AND IF YES HOW IS IT, IS IT WORTH TO BUY?
4.WHAT IS IN YOUR OPINION THE BEST DC GAME THAT WILL SELL THE MOST AND WILL HAVE THE BEST REPLAY VALUE?
5.WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT THOR OR RYAN?

-IRVINE8(DC BOY)

JD:
I'm too lazy to fix this *grin. I got this email in uppercase, sorry for the inconvenience. Hellooo People -- don't send email with CAPS on!
1) Dreamcast will rock, baby!
2) I made that same assumption. 5 of my friends who have played with the DC say the controller is small and awesome.
3) Not yet, I have seen it on TV though. I'm buyin and you better be too. Heh-heh
4) Most likely Soul Calibur will be the big seller it looks awesome. My money is on Sonic Adventure or one of the sports games for replay value.
5) Ryan claims he's some karate kid (heh suuuuure) against the god of lightning hmm. Probably neither, I'd beat them both with my speed.

 
We want Lunar 2!

hey jd guy

this is my first time writing in but i must tell you lunar is one hell of a game and grandia is also ive played and beat the japanese version on saturn and i'd recommend the psx version to everyone also i have a question is working designs going to bring out lunar:eternal blue and are they gonna bring it out the way they did lunar:sssc.

-Cyan_Akuma

JD:
Lunar and Grandia are da bomb. Game Arts is simply brilliant. Anyway Lunar 2 - Eternal Blue has been announced for a Winter 99/2000 Dec99-March 2000 time table. Yes it will be packaged in the same glory as Lunar SSS, 3 Game CDs, 1 Making of CD and 1 Music Soundtrack CD. I can't wait!
 
Stuff

Yo, Juxtaposing Dude...

You had a pretty interesting nightmare, I'd say. I don't think I'd consider half-dressed servant girls feeding me fish a nightmare, but given that I don't like fish, I could see where there might be cause for alarm. Anyway, to the point of the column, (wait, what is the point these days?) I have a few questions.
1. If you were to select on RPG as "the best" based _solely_ on plot, which would it be?
2. Same question, but choose based on eye candy.
3. Same question, ear candy.
4. Replayability?
5. If you could build your own party of 4 characters from any RPG you wanted, whom would you choose any why? (I almost wrote "who would choose you," and that's a nightmare... imagine if the RPG characters suddenly decided to send all of us to meet our destinty fighting evil dragons and the like... whoa.)
6. If President Clinton were someone from FF7, who would he be?
Personally, I'm thinking Heideger, but I'm willing to discuss it.

-DarkLord Info

JD:
Juxtaposing Dude, that's a new one.
1) FF 4 and 7, Cosmic Fantasy 2-4.2, YS 1-4, Lunar 2 and Chrono Trigger and Dragon Slayer 1-10, Phantasy Star 2-4.. Soon FF8, I hope. I know there's like over 20 RPGs here. :-)
2) FF 7/8 and Lunar 2
3) Music...hmm. YS 1-4, Dragon Slayer series, FF 7/8 and Lunar 2.
4) YS 1-4, FF 6/7, Chrono Trigger and Lunar 2.
5) Lunar 2 and FF8 main characters, or 2 Tifa's and 2 Aerith's heeeh.
6) The fat old President who Sephiroth butchered.
 
King's Quest, you know that old game

Wuzzup JD,

I was wondering: would King's Quest 1 be considered and RPG or not? How about the rest of the series? If they are, then KQ1 was my first RPG and it SUCKED. If they aren't, then Zelda 1 was my first RPG and it SUCKED. The first good RPG that I ever played was Dragon Warrior. The best RPG I ever played was either Wild Arms or Chrono Trigger (and I have played FFVII, it pretty much sucked except for the final battle with Sephiroth and the fact that you could force birds to &^*%).

-Smash Ogre

JD:
I completely forgot about this game, till now. King's
Quest was my first adventure game back in the 80's I was like 5 or something. It's an Adventure game. Zelda 1 sucked? Are you nuts man? It's an Adv/Rpg and I loved it.

Lunar Opinions

Hey JD
I got Lunar on Tuesday and wow is all I have too say it WAS great, WAS being the key word u see I beat the game in 24 hours and 28 min which in our time is actully 2 days yes 2 days. What the hell is this! We wait like what 7 months for a rental game . I love the game and the packaging the Soundtrack is Awesome and the boat song is REALLY REALLY GOOD! But the game was way too short I wanna know what you've heard about its length.

PS. If u pop in the making of CD and punch in once the movie begins "( UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, Triangle, Start)" you will get an AlleyWay type game that is 8 players "Time for all us RPGers to get PSX multitaps".

- B_Zero

JD:
Yes Lunar SSS isn't as long as we all want. The Sega CD version took me about 18 hrs to beat. I can't wait to hear the bonus music cd. What else can be said, the game rules.

Thanks for the tip. Seeing as how I haven't touched the Making of CD, I don't know if this one works or not?

 
Lunar.......Opinion 2

I have to say I love Lunar Silver Star Story Complete because it has the music CD and several other bonus things, I have been playing the game for 2 weeks now, since I pre-ordered and I love this game, it is about 10 million times better then the Sega CD version and I will say the two also have some differences that I like, the sharper graphics, the anime senes and many other things, well I have to jet this is one of the best games of the year I think, but FF8 will be better

JD:
I want more Anime FMV! FF8 will probably be better, but Lunar 2 will give FF8 a run for it's money.

 
and 3...Mr Picky don't like the bonuses

Hey JD...
OK... I also just got Lunar, and here are some of my inital impressions (after about 10 hours of the game).
There is A LOT of text in it. I mean, I like a good story as much as the next guy, but I am starting to get the feeling that they have overdone it. Wherever you go into a new town or something, be prepared to read a chapter's worth. Not only does each person have at least two lines, but almost after every event, they say something different. Sure, it adds "depth", but like I said, they overdo it, IMHO. And I always hesitate to just ignore what people have to say... out of fear of missing something.

The battles are pretty good. Fairly difficult, pretty good variety. Except for the fact that Alex tends to dominate the battles, and the other characters just end up backing him up (at least for the tough ones).

The non-amination voice acting is really lame. Just a bad idea, I think. At least there's not much of it (so far).

I like the fact that there is a lot of humor... Nall just doesn't contribute enough in the battles. How often does he ressurrect people? Is it totally random? Is there some way to get him to do it more often/less often?

I would rather pay less and not get all the extra stuff. Sure, the manual looks nice, but I still haven't opened it, and I'm 10 hours through with no problems... I guess they just figured that the only way they attract a large audience with an archaic battle system and graphics would be to spice the package up a lot. Not that I am complaining about old-style stuff... I don't mind it, but I'm sure people who are into only FF7 and Parasite Eve would hate it.

Lates.... P.S. If you wanna hack this letter up, and just print parts of it because it's so long, I don't care. P.P.S. If you don't wanna print this at all, then bite me. j/k....

JD:
WD voice acting rules and oh yeah also the comedy, at least in Lunar SSS.
Frankly $10 is well worth the 2 bonus cds and the great manual. All this for $59, which isn't a marked increase over the standard $49 PSX games. Then again I'm a huge VG music audiophile and can't wait to hear the Music CD.

P.S. uh ok

 
The One who hates Lunar and FF8?

Ask JD,

Hey JD, tell me what the hell is up with this. Lately, the RPGuru column has been getting alot of letters from people who can only buy 2-3 RPG's this year. You and Ryan always pick Lunar:SSSC, Grandia, and of course, FFVIII. What about Star Ocean 2??? This game has been getting no attention!!! With probably the best videogame soundtrack ever, beautiful prerendered backdrops, and over 80 endings plus a 50 hour quest I would say that this game has alot going for it!! If I could only buy 3 RPGs this year, my picks would have to be Grandia, Star Ocean 2 and Saga Frontier 2(sweet graphics!!). Sorry, but Lunar is just too short for my liking, and screw FFVIII, Square has fu**ed up royally with this one!!

JD:
I'm jazzed about Star Ocean 2, though not as much as Lunar. I'll be picking up Star Ocean 2 soon :)
Good points there which I agree on mostly. Except, the music is rather mediocre in my opinion. The quality and sound is similar to haaaaaaaaaaaaaaha, Beyond the Beyond!
For those who don't know, Motoi Sakuraba is the music composer of both Beyond the Beyond and Star Ocean 2. There is that unmistakable similarity in instruments and style. That being said, there are some fantastic tracks in Star Ocean 2. I just don't buy what people call it to be as a "Movie Quality" sound experience.

Future of Videogames, revisited

Here's my opinion on where video games are headed..
Video games are here to stay. However, they won't be called 'video games' much longer. That term doesn't begin to describe the significance of our favorite entertainment medium.
I think that the term 'virtual reality' will become a broader term. VR means to most people clunky polygon worlds accessed through a headset system, but it really describes all video games. Even Mario Bros. is a simple virtual reality. Games like, say, RPG's, are more complex virtual realities.
Once the general public realizes the potential of the medium, it will broaden and propagate(the medium, that is, not the public, though they probably will, too. ^_^;). For instance, consider the potential for art. You can create a vast universe inside a 'video game'. You can design architecture, and ignore little problems that would annoy you in real life, like "That building would collapse under its own weight". It doesn't have to be a hack'n'slash quest; Pokemon Snap is a good example of the more artistic possibilities.
Video games, in the form of virtual reality, are a significant step in the evolution of humanity. Tell that to anyone who scoffs at our great hobby.

-Sanagi

JD:
Good points. In the end, yes, VR is the last evolution Videogames will reach. And no I don't mean those goofy glasses thing. Most likely like a Star Trek type holograph room. As to how soon this might happen only time will tell.
JD has fans? really

Hello there! I must say, in the absence of Thor, my favorite Q&A dude, you are doing quite well, in terms of the balance between humor and actual answers. Keep up the good work...by the way, did you just figure out all the Ask (somebody) readers are nuts?? Uh...EarthBound is cool 'cause my dog ate my sandwich...bye!!
-the now-famous Amy Lynn Holbrook, esq.

JD:
Yes I'm awesome, keep sending me your adoration my fans. We will rule the world soon! hehe
Seriously though thanks for the comments. You're getting serious JD Flattery Awards here. No I found out a lot of our Q&A readers are nuts the first day I did Q&A. Don't worry I still like you guys. :)
 
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Quickies, quick and enlightening
I was going to write something interesting, but forgot what. Anyway. Do you think that RPGamers are leaps and bounds above other, 'lesser' gamers, such as action and fighting game fans? Not to bash them, or anything, because they usually tend to be the more physically oriented, as well, as, um, being able to pound you like a post into the ground. Sincerely,
- Evan Pollino
Ok this wasn't a quickie, but hey stop complaining. No because I'm into Sports and Fighting and Shooters, big time. I can pound people to the ground too :D though speed's my game.
JD- (I lack creativity) Have you played Tales of Destiny? If so, what do you think of it, especially the battle system? Um, well...I have no more questions. Jeez, this email sucks...oh well...
- Kiruna Vega Ambryu
TOD is average. Battle system is sorta like a side scroller slashing, sorta.
Yes that email sucks. I'll forgive you just this once ;)
Yo JD...... YOU BIG GOOF!!!!!!!!! BtB IS A COOL GAME AND SAGA.F. IS ALSO A COOL GAME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't say?
Hey J "can we call you J-Zee" D, I am Turkish, should I be offended by the "Turks" in FFVII?
- Mista Tea
Hey look it's Mr. T's twin. I would if I were Turkish.
How much would you pay me to burn my copy of lunar? You can pay me.
I had that same nightmare!! But I was enjoying it... I don't want to know.
YEA!!! Nall kicks @$$! Right On Bro!
 
Here draws another close to a huge Ask JD. Hope it wasn't too big. Thanks again to everyone who wrote in!
I'll be seeing you all next Weekend. Peace Out..And Get Lunar SSS, also Star Ocean release in 2 days!

   Questions? Comments? Praises or Flames?
   JD aka Weekend Dude
   "Dear diary: I tried again today to tell my husband about my affair with the milkman.. and the garbageman...and the Magic Guild junior-varsity debate squad.. but i just didn't have the heart."

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