JD - August 17 '99 - 4:00 pm EST|
Last week's FMV/CG topic proved at the very least
a good open exchange of ideas, if not enlightening. The over all
stats from the letters would put it, roughly speaking about 70%
pro FMV/CG, 30% anti. What amazed me was the fact that so many didn't
like CG FMVs. I won't ramble on about this and start an editorialized
opening on why CG is great. I'm sure that will be addressed in the
Editorials. Heck maybe I'll write my first editorial to RPGamer.
So to wrap up all the FMV/CG discussion, I'll leave with all you
readers, especially those in the anti group with this humorous,
perhaps thought provoking animation. Check it out. (Warning FF7
Aeris Spoiler). FF7
Now that you saw the animation; to close, I'll ask you is this what
you prefer? HAH, I thought not. The animation was both funny and
hopefully will make you think. Ok it didn't make me think, but I
laughed a lot.
there's a couple of issues i'd like to address, and if i put them
all in the same mail, and keep it short, it'll probably be posted,
right? anyway, here we go.
1) why are people complaining (including yourself) about the cd
case? who cares? dont judge a book by its cover? also, notice that
all the ff games (until ff7) had nothing but the logo on it. (i
stand corrected.. ff6 has a 1/2 inch mog).
1. Because it's so fun to bash. ;) For one thing, a healthy dose
of criticism is a good thing. Especially giants like Square, which
in some areas seem to be becoming rather complacent. Though their
boxes never were that great (except Chrono Trigger which was good),
in my opinion FFA's seems to be not only sub par, but done cheaply.
Perhaps one of their graphics people whipped it up in 5 minutes?
Perhaps I'm being too harsh. I don't know. Am I judging the game
by the cover? No. Will the crap cover impact me getting or liking
the game? No.
You bring up a valid point though, but I just would like Square
to make better covers. Working Designs and Falcom have done a superb
job overall. If smaller companies like these can do remarkable and
elegant covers, surely the Square juggernaut can do the same. In
the end this is all aesthetics, but that's the way of the world,
2) i got the impression in some of the letters that
the rpg players are disappointed that ff5 and ff6 aren't complete
remakes, but just ports. do you think they realize that if they
were complete remakes, the game would be swamped with fmv, and would
be completely 3D? not that it would bother me or anything...
I would LOVE to see a FF 7/8 quality remake for FF 1-6. Bring
on the FMV!
3) what do you prefer? a remake of a great game with
a story you love? or a brand new game with a story you haven't heard
before? i personally would prefer taking a risk of buying something
dumb than buying something i already have!
I can't really say outright via using my imagination. It all
comes down to execution really, how the story all comes together.
Probably both would be my answer.
4) do you column dudes purposely post all the mails
with game flaming in them? i'm really getting fed up with ppl putting
ff7 down. Thank you for your time.
What do you mean...Haven't you read the majority of the letters
I've printed. Especially last week? I think I can safely say most
of the letters I've printed are ones that prop games. Perhaps this
early morning and coffee is making me delusional? It's Bernie Stolar's
I have some questions for you that do not involve being an idiot
as I am normally. Check 'em out.
1) I've been wanting to know: where do you stand on the old vs.
new RPG argument? <SNIP>
the way I see it is I pop in the game and play it... if I like it,
I like it, if not, I don't. Now I'll admit, FF6 is kinda cooler
than FF7, but FF7 was awesome, too.
I already miss your brand of idiocy. ;)
1. I like both. In the sense for the most of us, we all remember
the old "Classic RPGs." The ones who have already proven
to be great by time. Why not take a mediocre old game like Arcana
and compare it to the new ones? Many of you don't know the game,
or those who do don't like it. It was old wasn't it? So it really
is hard to tell sometimes what exactly is old. Is it Old as in the
sense of being a Classics, or old as in just the regular old games.
If it is the later, New RPGs win hands down. If it's the former,
well that's where the fuzziness starts. We tend to tie our nostalgic
memories to these "old classic games," at least many of
you readers have, from what I've read. Each in their own way are
2) Zac and various other people I know call the PSX a piece of
crap (or something along those lines...), and I so disagree... would
you rather PSX2 or Dolphin, Nintendo or Sony, Nintendo 64 or PSX?
I'll say this, the inside of the PSX was a piece of crap. The
damn thing crapped out on me after 1 year. :D
3) What is your stance on King Dons vs. Twinkies?
4) I've also wanted to know what you look foward to most this fall...
FF8, the Anthology, Suikoden 2, or something else? Thanks for your
time, baby. I think I'm cute, but I know I'm sexy,
If I had to pick two. FF8 and Grandia hands down.
1) Do you think it's worth it to pre-order Thousand Arms? It sounds
spiffy and the extras are nice.
Yes. Granted I have not played the game yet, RED (developer) has
in the last few year produced some of the most remarkable RPGs to
grace the videogame world. Sadly many people especially the new
RPG players, don't know who RED is. If water marks of previous RED
games are met, Thousand Arms is sure to be one fantastic rpg.
2) Can we just go and grab the Thousand Arms demo CD from local
I'm not exactly sure what the deal is with the demo. Each store
could have different guidelines. Keep in mind Atlus only released
10,000, quite a small amount given the demand.
3) Is Wild Arms 2 going to be released in the US? if so, any date
so far? Thanks,
No announcements have been made.
US Cover - 2 sides
This is horrid. I can't believe it. I thought that the other Final
Fantasy Anthology cover was bad, but this... this is unbearable.
It looks like it took five minutes with Paint Shop Pro, the UNREGISTERED
version. I mean, how much did those guys at Square spend on state-of-the-art
computers? Can't they take at least one hour aside on one of those
behemoths to make a cover that is at least slightly interesting
and has more than just Yellow in it. If it wasn't for the Playstation
logo in the corner, it would look like it was printed off of the
first Apple ][e color printer.
I have no artisitic skills whatsoever, except that I am fairly
good at layout (I do it for my school newspaper), but provided with
some CG shots and artwork from Final Fantasy V and VI I could come
up with something much, much better. Seriously, this cover is almost
the worst video game box ever, right underneath Mega Man I and Techmo
Secret of the Stars. Well, at least Secret of the Stars had color,
but that one kid in the upper-right is really freaky looking. Come
on Square, you may be a great video game company, but you can't
just slack off and expect to stay in the lead. You're gonna have
to come up with something more interesting than this to make up
for the fact that you left out Final Fantasy IV.
Maybe Square used Windows Paint? HA-HA. Perhaps Bernie Stolar snuck
Well, I figured I should write in in support of the FFA cover.
I agree with whoever said it was brilliant, and would have to say
that it has a nice, elegant touch that is lacking from most (read:
everything except a few Square games) cover art today. It's obvious
from comments about this and FF8's new cover art that the gaming
public simply wants flashy graphics on their covers. If it's only
got a few colors, it must be bad. I would have liked to see FF8's
Japanese cover art remain the same here, because I think it just
looks nice. I hate the 3 stupid characters sitting at the bottom.
It makes it look unbalanced. Anyway, I hope that Square continues
to make good cover art, because I certainly like theirs better than
any other company's.
I'll give Square the nod for simplicity. I'd like to have seen a
CG shot on the cover. The CG's in the game are simply gorgeous,
but that's just my opinion.
Hi JD :)
I hate to do this to you, but I would like to revisit the quality
of the characters and plot of modern RPGs, compared to those of
the old skool games. It seems to me that people are too quick to
say that back in "their" day games rellied on good plots and deep
characters in place of eye candy, and that today's games have little
substance and lots of sparkle.
Sure, some old games like FF3/6 and Chrono Trigger were excellent
games where every character was versitile and complex and the plot
was a real roller coaster ride, but there were also many RPGs made
at that time that had very static characters and oh so predictable
gameplay. For instance, Secret of Mana is an enormously popular
game, but the characters were hollow and empty, and extremely static.
All Girl ever talked about was her precious Dyluck,
Dyluck..Dyluck where fore art thou?
and there really wasn't much to Hero and Sprite at
all, they didn't even have much in the way of a past. The same is
true even of the early Breath of Fire games and, in my opinion,
FF2.(please don't flame me!) With the exception of Cecil, the characters
didn't change and their pasts were only vaguely hinted at. Keep
in mind that I'm referring to the US version and have not played
the Japanese version.
Just like the older games, the next generation of games has the
same mix of good and bad games. Xenogears and FF7 I feel are prime
examples of this. They both featured characters who all had detailed
pasts and personalities so that each move they made and every word
they said was fitting and made sense. Yes, even FF7 was this way,
as much as it pains me to admit it :) And both games had good plots
with some interesting plot twists (especially Xenogears) Even in
the case of FF7, this is far more than can be said of such highly
praised games as FF2, Lufia 2, and Secret of Mana, to name a few.
Sorry for that interruption, I couldn't help it. I know! Let's
blame Bernie Stolar.
Well said points.
*sigh* I thought I'd never get into this, but I seem to have come
up with what I think is a reasonable answer to The BIG FFVII debate.
Okay, well, FFVII has a very different feel to the story in general.
Technological in many aspects, different music has replaced all
our old favorites(the battle and fanfare, though the fanfare in
the beginning may be the same), the deadly CGI debate, and so on,
and so on. Well, FFVI, as you remember, had a great many technological
advancements itself. Trains, a "sinking" castle done by mechanics
rather than magic, etc. Still, as we all know, keeping the dragons
and whatnot. FFVII is somewhat of a new frontier. First experience
with CGI, first try at polygon graphics(I still laugh when I see
the hands in polygon mode). Above all, it's rather an experimentation,
a delving into the realm of a time when such technological accomplishments
are possible. Remember what a big craze Final Fantasy was? There
was a game with little plot, 'okay' gameplay and translation that's
laughable at absolute best. Everyone loved it because it was fun.
Then came the big sequels where every game got better and more popular.
Still with pixellated graphics, just enhanced. Better plot, better
gameplay, better character development ensued. The crowds grew larger.
FFVII seemed to be "revolutionary", rather, changing the genre as
we know it. It gathered crowds, like Final Fantasy. The problem
is, we have the people who originally played the Final Fantasy pixellated
games. Thus we have a seperation: some become traditionalists, saying
that the old games were better and Final Fantasy VII really, well,
sucks. It is my assumption that this is not unlike a possible Dragon
Warrior loyalist development when Final Fantasy came out. Anything
new will automatically develop a love of the old. Naturally, anything
such a drastic change as FF and FFVII will turn out to be rather
clunky(in some ways) in comparison to our favorite oldies(which
FF now is a part of), and that will cause another area for debate
as to which is the better.
Now we have FFVII, which is clunky, by comparison, to what FFVIII
seems to offer. The cycle repeats itself, I believe. The next revolutionary
Final Fantasy(God willing the series lasts that long), will bring
about people in the FFVII crowd crying out, "no way, we were into
Final Fantasy way before you were! This one really sucks!", perhaps
even coming up with legitimate bases of argument for the clunky
new game, as our generation has for FFVII. Well, that's just my
opinion/justification for FFVII, I could be wrong.
-Folken, 12-18 and proud of it.
Excellent interjection, for the most part I agree with almost if
I really wouldn't give props to gamemusic.com. I'm convinced that
half of their stock is SM which lately is sounding like crap. I
bought a CD under the SM label a few weeks back and 8/10 tracks
had very noticable skips in them. Talk about a waste of money. GameCave
always seemed pretty good to me, but they also sent me an SM of
Final Fantasy Pray, which of course had skips. I recommend Tokyo
Pop shop (http://www.tokyopop.com). Just because their service is
superior to any other company's. They may not have the best prices,
but it pleases you to know that every order has a hand written note
made out to you individually expressing thanks for your order. Also,
everything I've ever ordered from them was top quality and never
SM. Other than them, many people favor Backtrip Records (http://www.heatwave-net.com/BTR/)
due to their large list of items available. They seem to have fairly
high prices, but if the VGMA circle approves of them, what the hey.
SM doesn't really bother me that much, sometimes it's the only
ones printed/avialable. As far as the other sites, you mentioned,
yes they are excellent, if not a bit high priced.
Idiot of the Day Award
Out of all the Playstation RPGs, I can safely say my favorites
were Beyond the Beyond and SaGa Frontier! Does this make me crazy?
Because I sure feel crazy! Uwahahahahahahahahah!!
-RedXIII "Why does everyone throw a stick and tell me to fetch
I think you aren't only crazy, but you have dismally bad taste.
Ok maybe those games aren't that bad..I just felt like ragging on
ACK!! OMYGOD!!! AAAAAAAAAAAGHHH!!!! ...THE COVER IS AWFUL!!! NOOOOO! TWO
GREAT GAMES, GREAT STORYLINES, GREAT MUSIC..... HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE COVER!!!!
you Moogle freak..er Man.
When is the release date for Thousand Arms?
screwed up. Mid September...Now they will face FF 8 and Suikoden 2....Can
you say bad marketing? Perhaps Bernie Stolar was behind it?
if you will give me minute of fame by posting my little crappy letter
from yesterday, i'll give you a dollar.
a minute of shame..er fame here. Send me 10 bucks and we'll call it even.
yes pantomime was more"interesting"then FMV but would aeris
death look so good as a sprite falling on another and the sprite falling
(FF7 spoiler) Click this.
(If you already haven't)
JD, Quick question. Can you confirm/deny the existence of Cid in FFVIII?
Haven't heard too much about him recently. Kinda be a shame if he wasn't
Why does everybody hate Stolar? I would like to add this.
The world is my oyster and you are my eternal pearl (as ghaleon would
scary. Yeah that's it.
You'll no doubt notice my brand of sarcasm today, with all the Bernie Stolar cynicisms. If this wasn't a parabolic argument I don't know what is. Why is it so easy to blame Bernie Stolar? If you carefully think about it, did he really say he hated RPGs? Or is this whole thing being overblown? He clearly made bad business decisions and in that process ticked off Working Designs. At the time however the rpg market was not ripe. It took Sony/Square's marketing prowess to make the RPG a mainstream occurrence and more importantly a big money staple. Stolar didn't stick with the rpg platform because he felt it wouldn't make a lot of money. Wasn't he partly right? Think about it. There really weren't that many high caliber Saturn RPGs until the end. And they probably wouldn't have made money. In those times even Square was hit hard and had to restructure, even though they clearly outsold any RPG in the US market, with FF 4/6 and Chrono Trigger. Yet even they struggled. Even the mighty Enix closed shop in North America. At least Stolar changed his tune somewhat. At the twilight of the Saturn, Shining Force 3 and Panzer Dragoon Saga were translated, albeit in limited quantities.
As one Sega of America worker put it he revitalized the Dreamcast US Launch like probably no one could. With the Dreamcast looking to be the strongest US Console launch in history, I simply can't help but wonder if the hatred of him is justified. He made mistakes, like all CEO's do, but he also did a whole lot for Sega and US gamers. We will get to see that on September 9. The Dreamcast line up at launch, with games like Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, NFL 2000, and at least 10-15 more on launch, makes me look at Sega, perhaps with rose colored glasses. Compare it to previous system launches and you'll see. N64 with Mario 64 and Pilotwings, PSX with Toshinden as the only notable one. The difference is quite striking. So at least this once I tip my hat to you Mr. Stolar, perhaps we'll see you again, perhaps we won't.
Jeff "Stolar spy" Davis
"We're immune to your magic, thats why. But I'd rather you
turn nall into a cookie"