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MSG Dreams

Andrew Long - March 6 '04- 2:31 Eastern Standard Time

EATING AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF MEAT slathered in ingredients best described as unhealthy is generally not the wisest thing to do at 2 AM, but boy does it taste good after "house beer", a concoction best described as bucket water mixed with whatever dregs the bar in question happened to throw together. Alas, while such food admirably leeches the deadly chemicals from within, it also leads to inexplicable and lucid dreams wherein one may grow to believe they are, in fact, Dennis Franz, facing off against Gene Hackman in a deadly gangster struggle culminating in indentured servitude followed by a haunting through bat avatar.

Needless to say, I won't bore you with any further details. Just heed my warning and never ever get three separate platters of sweet, delicious meat if you want to get a good night's sleep, because it just won't happen. On the bright side, it does eliminate any other aftereffects the house beer may be famous for causing, and so it is I am here and typing instead of beside here, wishing to die. Speaking of dying, it seems a number of you are doing just that to go to the Uematsu concert...



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Wow, questions! Here I thought I was gonna be reduced to one-word answers

Hola Castomel!

When I first heard that this concert was going to take place, my jaw literally dropped. I thought it was the coolest thing that there was finally going to be a concert here in America, and even better, in LA (LA native here). And so, I've gots a couple of questions:

1) Why do you think there's going to be a concert in the first place? Fans? Just cause of E3? A combination of the two?

I'd go with the "little from column A, little from column B", myself. I'd assume that somebody somewhere finally got around to looking at how many videogame soundtracks were being imported each year, looked for a time when enough of those people would be in one area to fill up a concert hall, and then did the sensible thing and capitalized on it. It probably won't signal a new outlook among the companies involved in this market, but hey, it's a start.
2) If we give them a crapload of money now, do you think they'll do another one?

That all depends. Like I said, I think the timing was very important, so I certainly think that if it sells out there'll be a repeat performance, but as to whether or not it sweeps across the continent like an unholy tide is another question entirely.

honestly, even though I love Uematsu and have been listening to his music since the 4th grade, I think I would love a concert by Yasunori Mitsuda even more. What are your thoughts on him?


d-wielder extraordinaire

Mitsuda? Well, I haven't been terribly thrilled by some of his more recent work, but Chrono Cross was very well done, as was the bulk of the music in Xenogears and other titles from that period. I do enjoy most of his work, but he does have a tendency to produce elevator music tracks to fill out his soundtracks. Still, I'd put him on par with Uematsu, since the latter has been known to rip off classic rock riffs and melodies, among other things (The Rock, anyone?).

A pressing issue

Hey Cast,

Is it just me, or is the Q&A column getting less popular lately? By that, I mean the fact that there are so few letters these days. I remember back in the days of Goog's first run with Q&A and Brad/Chesh/Duff the columns would be like ten letters long (including quickies) but lately, we're lucky to get five letters with no quickies for a column. Is it because less people are sending in letters, or are the columnists just pressed for time? I remember some years back Goog talking about having to sift through a hundred or so emails a day to do the column, and he always had a nice long column. Nowadays, it just seems like there's not much there. Care to shed any light on the subject?

Robust Stu
Gold Reviewer/Swell Guy

Well, I have no compunction with posting longer columns, but truth be told, I am getting fewer letters a lot of the time. I can't speak for Google, since his inbox is a mysterious quagmire from which no man or woman can emerge unscathed, but judging from my own pile of mail (and the fact that my columns tend to feature more letters than his because he's more selective than I am as to what he posts), either he's got a giant nest full of letters (and scorpions!) that he's hoarding, or Q&A readership / writership has fallen off rather badly in the past year or two. I think part of the problem lies in perception (some people didn't like a particular host here or there and stopped reading) and the other part in the fact that our advertising is limited to the title of our column each day, and so attracting new readers is rather difficult.

I've toyed with a couple of ideas to rectify these problems, but I can't really come up with a good solution, to be honest. If I continually exhort people to write more letters, it'll just look desperate, which will make things worse, and if I don't, then we end up with the days where there's only two or three letters, which I hate - a lose-lose situation. Beyond that, not everyone is inclined to write - I can tell you approximately how many people write letters per 100 readers on a normal basis, but that'd probably drive even more people away, since I've noticed sinking ships aren't exactly popular attractions.

Whatever the case, I really do appreciate those of you who are loyal readers. I love you to death for reading what I think about things and writing in with your own opinions, and I have a great time interacting with you. I sincerely try to tailor things to what I hear from you, so for tomorrow, we shall have an airing of grievances and a suggestioning. I truly and seriously want this column to succeed, but without much of a means to attract new readers, I'm at a loss as to how I can manage that. As to retaining those of you who do read faithfully, well, I don't want to be a whiny lettermonger, so I'm not going to beg for letters every day, since that'll get old fast. While these problems are unavoidable currently, I do want to make this the best column it can be, so I will work as hard as I can to improve it.

The music guy weighs in

Whoo, I read your grumble yesterday and had to write something.

For one, I'm enamored of Uemastsu's earlier contributions to video games; the original Final Fantasy has some of my favorite music in the series. As the games developed, the quality of his music didn't necessarily drop, rather I think it changed all too radically. A lot of tracks from the Playstation games lack the sort of quintessential sound that would make me say, 'Ah, that's Uematsu,' but others are certainly not without their moments.

No argument there, and I like that he's adapted his style to fit with the different consoles. While I do undeniably enjoy his earlier, more melodic work, he has become, in my opinion, a much better composer in recent years, and if you had to ask me for a favorite soundtrack of his, it would be Final Fantasy IX, not VI as it was for so long.

Notwithstanding, I would be incredibly excited to attend, if I had the means to attend, which I don't. Not only do I have finals the week of E3, I also have no money. I'm loathe to admit it, but I think it's appropriate that this concert is essentially for E3; I would prefer having a concert in New York at Carnegie or (if no other choice) at Avery Fisher, but solely for my own ease of attending. :) I don't think there's enough of a following for events like this to happen outside of specialized expos or conventions, which is one of the reasons why anyone going should be excited.

Ah, I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I didn't...punk.

Now, if this concert consisted of Koichi Sugiyama's music, things would be different: I'd reschedule my exams and empty my change bowls so I could go. Since he's a more weathered and classically trained composer, his music more appropriately fits an orchestral setting, and I would do anything to get my spidery hands on a Front Orchestra seat ticket for a concert like that.

And it'd be super awesome cool if someone got an extra program. ^^


Spidery hands? Hmm... Will I have to hand you this program?

Shroudie says:

Castphonica, It would seem that 1 a.m. is a perfectly perfect time to write you love letters. Of course the love cannot be viewed now because you ingest it everytime your heart skips a beat. Uematsu's way of concert organizing... Yes, I'm excited as always. Uematsu's a genius when it comes to RPG music. Sadly, I'm not able to attend. I would love to go, really I would like to carry you on to a plane as a carry-on, but sadly I have no money. That and I doubt my parents would be none-too happy with me skipping school and traveling all the way to the west coast. The west coast is where we'd be doing the shizzle di' fonizzle on the grizzle. Maybe, just maybe, other ordinarly dull people will catch on that video game music rocks, and give it more praise. Although not all music is listenable. *cough* Septerra Core *cough* Like I said above-mentioninged, Uematsu has some kickass tunes that are quite memorable, so I guess unless I hijack a donut shop, I wont be attending. Do you think I would be stopped if they noticed you through the x-ray thing?? Surely I could distract them by throwing brick cheese at them, but who wants to waste all that delicous cheese? Surely I don't. Legitimate question this time? It seems so. tuinte bless crazy movies in the form of musicals. Do a deer, a Castomel deer, O' Shrouded One

I'm pretty sure the brick cheese would only make things worse, what with all the terrorist hysteria going around these days. Still, if it was stinky brick cheese, you might have a chance at it, although we'd probably end up in some sort of chase scene, which would really make carrying you in a suitcase quite inconvenient.

I feel so used...

Hi, Cast,

Glad you're feeling better.

Me too!

This is a quick note for Jamie the Summoner fan. Sorry it's a bit late, but I haven't been online. Get Tales of Destiny. It's a PS1 game so the graphics aren't as good, but it has an extremely similar battle system & is a lot of fun.


You heard the man... What are you waiting for? Go out, and buy, buy, buy! That's what you're here for! I really need to stop using so many exclamation marks!

Back on topic...

Wow, I've written to Q&A two days in a row! That hasn't happened since the whole "Who is Googleshng" thing was going on!

Besides Uematsu, there's several other composers whose music I would like to hear in a concert.
They are:

  • Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, etc...)
  • Noriyuki Iwadare (Lunar, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, Grandia, etc...)
  • Yoko Shimomura (Legend of Mana, Super Mario RPG, Mario & Lugi)
  • Kenji Ito (Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, Sword of Mana)

    and that's just off the top of my head.

    I'd really like to go to the concert, but I live in the eastern part of the U.S. As such, it would either entail a long road trip or an expensive (to me) flight. I expect that the concert would draw a lot more people if E3 was open to the public. I know that I'd probably try to get there if I could get to both...

    P.S. There is a Music Survey on the Concert Site. My best guess is that the music played at the concert will be based on what people vote as their favorites.


    Butbutbut... it says "songs chosen may not be played at the concert". What will one vote doooo?

Oh now really! I am not a personals site!

Hey, Cast, could you be a dear and post this?

Sure thing, giant beer!

Hey, Ripner! Long time no see! Glad to hear of ya! Drop me a line!

Ribby (aka Bucket Mouse)

Mumble grumble... How can I even answer that? I suppose I could cut out this table, but then where would I be? With half a table, that's where!

Keyboard conundrum


I am eagerly awaiting the March 23rd release of FFXI for the PS2. However, I was wondering about needing a keyboard for it. Does any USB keyboard work for the game? I know most USB keyboards work for other games, but I didn't know if FFXI needed a special one or anything.


- Mykaelus

Well, I checked PlayOnline and from the look of it, most USB keyboards are compatible; however, PlayOnline instructed me to check PlayOnline for compatible devices, which seems like some sort of logic paradox loop that we can't possibly emerge from, since checking PlayOnline just leads to the same Q&A message.


Well, there you have it. Tomorrow is your chance to bitch at me if you're unhappy with the way things are, and to suggest improvements. I guess you've had that chance all along, but tomorrow is the official day for it. Until then, I leave you with the sounds of Nobuo Uematsu and "Still More Fighting."
Andrew Long is on CGHI, rockin' Salt Lick, Manitoba.



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