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Temptation
 
Ask JD Saturday July 17 - 7:55 pm EST

Ryan wasn't able to update yesterday, while it is not a big deal to miss one, I do know many of you expect one daily. A number of complicated issues prohibited Ryan from being able to update. Once again on behalf of us, pardon us if you will. We are aware of your concerns and like you we share your disappointment in the lack of an update yesterday. Solutions are being put in place to remedy this. On a more lighthearted ending to this story I asked Ryan how I am supposed to explain the no update hoopla. Here is what he jokingly said, "tell them I'm an evil lazy bastard." I laughed and then ask if I could print it. ^_^

First as I promised earlier about my announcement. Starting on Monday, Ryan and I will be switching our slots, due to his extremely hectic schedule as of late. So from now on I will temporarily be doing the weekdays and Ryan will take the weekends. Hopefully this will go to preventing the missed weekday updates as of late. I will be doing the next 7 days. Then Ryan's turn will come next weekend.

Now that this is cleared up, let's get back on track, shall we? This week Chrono Cross was again the big story as Legend of Mana was released with the included Chrono Cross demo. I promised myself to try and avoid pictures, movies or even music. The temptation was too great however. I ended up downloading the Square released Chrono Cross demo theme. Download it here. (You'll need a mp3 player from winamp.com)
It was majestic, and yes it was different stylistically from past Square music. My concerns that Square has been reaching a plateau music wise, have been answered as this song seems to return to past Square ingenuity. While it really is somewhat premature to judge the game from one music, or the few things we have seen, I simply wonder, to see the final product.

The other big news this week was Evolution for the Dreamcast was announced for a US release of October '99. Sega fans finally will get a RPG after such a long drought.


Today's letters were once again dominated by Chrono Cross. While I have covered the CC letters, probably too extensively, these were impressions from those lucky enough to play the demo or hear the music. Future updates will have less CC letters as we really have reached the zenith as far as CC opinions are concerned.

 
Chrono Cross first Impressions

Hi. I just figured I'd give my $0.02 on CC (along with the rest of the world).
I am probably the only person to write in who has actually PLAYED Chrono Cross (not the real thing, the demo bundled with Seiken Densetsu 4, which I bought the day it came out. I'm in Japan right now, in case you couldn't tell).

Here are my impressions: they mangled the battle system. It is VERY different from CT. It no longer takes place on the exact location that you meet the enemy. When you meet an enemy (you can see them; no random battles) there's a little flashy animation of zooming into the battle. Then there's a very long and irritating period of the camera zooming around the battlefield. Then you can actually move. Choosing attack brings the character close to the enemy. They don't actually attack until you choose from 3 actual moves: strong, middle, and weak power. Weaker moves have a higher chance of hitting (it shows the percentage next to the attack) and you can choose I think around 5 of these moves per one round of attack for that character. One irritating thing: enemies can interrupt your attack and do whatever they want. Once you have successfully hit an enemy enough, your Elemental meter will be filled (by the number of successful attacks). You can use any elemental (they are arranged in a pyramid shape, weakest (level 1) on the bottom, to the strongest (level 5) on the top) within the amount that you have filled. If say you filled it to level 4, then you can use up to level 4 magic. If you use a level 1 elemental then your level (in this case 4) is depleted by 1. I didn't play all that much of the demo, plus I can't read all that much Japanese (3 years of study in school) so I don't know much about other features. I could only get 1 combo move to work, a remake of Chrono and Frog's X-Cut from CT. I agree with one of the people who wrote in, in that Akira Toriyama would have been a much better choice for character design than whoever they had do it this time. The characters look kinda funny.

On a somewhat related note, Legend of Mana is great. The graphics are INCREDIBLE (not FF8 FMV scene incredible, but still amazing). I love the hand-drawn look. Much better than the crappy hand-drawn look of Yoshi's Island for SNES. The landmake system is interesting; definitely a first. The battle system is good, much more straightforward than Chrono Cross. There's already a good amount of info on LoM's battle and landmake systems out there, so I won't get into that. I could go into a little more detail than this if you're interested. I also bought FF8 and am currently about 70% through disc 2, so I can answer questions about that, thought there's already much info out there. Hope this helps, or is interesting in some way.

-Aaron

JD:
Thanks for the info. I'm getting caught up in all the Chrono Cross hype!

Dear JD,

I managed to hear some Chrono Cross music and it was extremely good! For me personally, music carries a lot of weight in a game, and Chrono Cross more than met my expectations. The Main theme is actually a very subtle remake of the original theme, and it uses a violin, one instrument that isn't to commonly used in Video Games. I've already decided to get the soundtrack because it's so good!

-Temjirim

JD:
I'm assuming the music you are referring to, is the one Square released? The 44 second length mp3. The violins are incredible. Mitsuda in my opinion has crafted Chrono Cross' music, at least the one released by square as one of the best music Square has ever made, or at least at the top 3. I listened to it repeatedly for about 20 times, however I still can't connect it to the main theme of Chrono Trigger.

Hey JD

(I can't make fun of that, they're my initials too), Have you heard the music Square put out for Chrono Cross yet? Sounds great...for 44 seconds. *shrug* One thing is interesting though. For some reason, I didn't think "Chrono Trigger". All I could think about was Wild Arms. Wierd, huh? It just sounded so much like that game. There was this touch of late-1800ness in the music. Just something I noticed. (excerpt...)

- Josh

JD:
My first thought was "Incredible." Second was Square is re-establishing quality music in its portfolio. Download it now, here if you haven't already.

 
YS info I beg you

Ok, I followed the link that you had up for the Ys Eternal Blue petition, and proceed to follow the instructions on the page. Then I realized I know absolutely nothing about this game and I'm about to request its release on this side of the world. So, why don't you tell me/us some things about this game that would warrant its release? =) Besides, the only Ys game I've played is the third one(ick).

-Eclisis

JD:
Good job, you did sign it in any event didn't you?
YS is an adventure/rpg series, somewhat similar to Zelda. It doesn't focus as much attention to gameplay mechanics as it does on a spectacular story, Incredible music (CD versions) and awesome fmv. Simplistically speaking, the game focuses on the adventures of the hero Adol as he tries to rid the world of evil. YS was also a revolution in the game industry. YS 1/2 Turbo CD ushered in to the videogame industry, fmv, cd quality soundtrack and other notable contributions. YS is also considered the father of the Videogame music album industry. It was the first to have its own soundtrack available in stores. As soon as time is permitting I will be writing full featured reviews of YS 1-5. By the way YS 3 was the worst of the series, however I still love the Turbo Grafx CD version. The music is heavenly.

 
Star Ocean music

JD,

I'll get straight to the point. Who wrote the music for Star Ocean: The Second Story? It sounds a whole lot like the music for Shining Force III. Were they written by the same person? It's just something that has been bugging me while constantly getting the crap kicked out of me by random encounters.... Stupid Sanctuary Cave..... Some sanctuary when all that happens is that you get your head bashed in..... Ah well.. 'tis life...^_^ --

-AGiES- *(Brian Easton)* Otaku for life!

JD:
Yes, you're very astute. Motoi Sakuraba did the music for Star Ocean 2, Shining Force III and Beyond the Beyond. While at first I was quite sceptical over Star Ocean 2's music, it has really grown on me. While I would not listen to it, while say driving, Motoi has done this game a great service.

Just call me the music know it all here at rpgamer.

 
Game Pricing going up?

Hiya, here's one of those letters that you so desperately want today. ;) Do you think the 'goodies with the game' thing is starting to become a trend? First we had Lunar and it's collection of assorted (but well thought out) junk. If the news is correct, Thousand Arms is doing it too? Not to mention it sounds like they simply scraped together $7 worth of junk, unlike $15 Lunar gave. Will gaming costs lurch upward as the evil, vile market people realize they can jack up the price by offering a useless trading card and a bad poster? Is it just a passing fad? Or will the world economy collapse violently and we'll all resort to paying for things using bottle caps?

-Conskill

JD:
Yes the trend is growing. The Thousand Arms packaging seems interesting. Pricing is always a per company issue, their marketing departments work in a frenzy coming up with stats and the like to come up with feasible pricing figures. Overall game pricing has continued to drop or remain the same, regardless of the pack-in. For example while Lunar SSSC's MSRP is $59 you can find it at Walmart or Fry's Electronics for $44-49. In that sense pricing isn't unreasonable. Don't forget we used to pay $59-79 for SNES/Genesis RPGs in the past. What does this all mean? The Rpg community as a whole welcomes all these pack-in stuff as long as the price is no greater than $59.

 
Lunar 2

Do you think that Lunar 2 will be changed as much as Lunar SSSC was? I played Lunar 2, and the only thing that could really be made better is Lucia (she is kind of like Lunar 2's Luna.) She was a tad annoying.

-Matt

JD:
According to Working Designs, Lunar SSSC had about 80% text/dialogue changes over Lunar 1 and Lunar EB remake for PSX has about 20% changes over the Sega CD version. Are you mad? Lucia rocks.

 
Comical Comic #2

-Googleshng

JD:
HAHAAA. Your comics are uh.. comical...Funny stuff dude. How about for the next comic add Special thanks to me? :P
Keep up the cool comics, you've garnered quite a following with the Q&A readers.
For more comics visit Googles' Comic Site
 
Hidden Msg

Where the HECK did the hidden text come from on tuesday? "Do you like my costume, green-eyes? The best part about it is how easily it comes off..." Sounds like a line from an adult film or something... -_-

-DrD

JD:
I told the fellow staffers to stop watching those Anime Hentai's they so love. They probably slipped that quote in my column to try and cause confusion.
Seriously for a moment, It's from Lunar SSSC. Like the past secret messages that I've been using for the last month and half.
 
The Nut that escaped the ward

Ryan. You haven't been answering my questions Ryan. I keep sending them and no response. If you don't answer my questions, no FF8 or FFA for you.

Anyway, if Vagrant Story is only 2 hours long, isn't it more of a movie than a game? Also, how come FF7's FMV is nowhere near the quality of FF8's? It's not like there have been any major breakthroughs in CG. Was it just laziness on Square's part? Finally, I'd like to know how you knew where to find Hentai pics. I know your secret... And Ryan? You must find the Jade Monkey before midnight. You may go. ::After he leaves, turns to a hologram of a mysterious figure:: Soon we shall reveal ourselves to the Telletubies. Soon we shall have our revenge...

JD:
Uh ok. I think I need to call Kevorkian to have you sedated.
 
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Quickies - Crazy readers spotlight

What is the best cure for Video Game Withdrawl? My Playstation won't work with my memory cards in. I am now experiencing headache, slight fatigue, nausia, and extreme shaking.
-Scott Smuda aka Slate Axeswinger

How about go out and get a Life? Really, there are things going on outside your PSX. Trust me, would I lie to you?

My 3rd Cousin twice removed's sisters' best friend's daughter's teacher's friend's daughter is named Timothy no da.
-Chichiri

I know I know...I'm beating the dead horse on this one. It's just so funny. Stop sending me tons of "Timothy" emails and then I'll stop.
Ehehehehehehehheheeh
-Pigya
Another customer for Kevorkian here.
Whose yo daddy!? The Everlasting Know It All,
-Yogurt
Bernard Stolar.........
Serge, you ripoff! GIve me back my Bandanna! No? SoulEater... show the Copier your dark power! Judgment! *BOOM!* DIE SERGE, DIE!
-The Nameless Suikoden Hero
Serge will flee to the past, to when you were a child and then he'll kick your butt.
If I write this e-mail very fast, will I be under quikies? Nobuteru Yuki!? Why? WHY!!!!!
-Glenn
The faster you type the better your chances to get into quickies. Hurry!!!
What are you thinking about right now?
-DokiDoki
Other than reading your dumb email (don't worry I still wuv your letters) listening to the Chrono Cross song.
Hi! ^_^ ::thinks:: Uhh...bye. PS-Can you tell me why the sky is blue?
- Dragon Knight
Mental nerves not making connections today?
 

The End. Drum roll please.


Jeff Davis aka the fonz
"ALEX!!! A singing lesson is all you had better of givin, for your sake!"

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