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How Long, How Long Must I Sing This Song

Andrew Long - November 20, 2004 - 2:06 EDT

SPECIFICALLY, HOW FRIGGING OFTEN do I need to remind you guys that letters are required in order for me to do an actual column? I have barely enough today, but at this rate, tomorrow's not looking so hot. If my topics don't get you hot and bothered, feel free to make up your own - I'm not too discriminating.

In other news, I should make a minor correction on something I mentioned yesterday; that FFXII conference I was glowingly rambling about did not, in fact, take place recently. No, the article I read that detailed this conference was in fact written on November 19, 2003, which confused me to no end.

You should understand, incidentally, that I have good reason for the distraction to which I am currently driven: my cursed bank card has ceased to work, rendering me unable to buy Metroid Prime 2. As I have spent every day since the announcement of that game offering burnt sacrifices to Nintendo in the hopes that it would come out more rapidly, and while this seems to have achieved a pre-Christmas release, which I will take full credit for in the absence of any proof to the contrary, it has not in fact enabled me to acquire the game as yet, and this makes me angry.

But alas, anger is no way to start a column, so I will think happy thoughts, of kittens and butterflies and fluffy clouds. Unfortunately, fluffy clouds remind me of a certain recalcitrant messaging client, which won't download a certain patch that I need to make it work properly, and so I think I'll just quit while I'm ahead.


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Why yes CC does... In fact, I'm listening to it right now

Theme songs are probably one of my favorite parts about games, as well as the intro movie. There are a couple games that really stick out for having great theme songs. I'd have to say Chrono Cross has the best opening theme I've heard in a long time. Kingdom Hearts has some great theme songs thrown in the mix, and of course no one can mistake Zelda or Mario theme songs.

Blah. I guess I wasn't clear in what I meant by "theme songs". I'm not talking about the one level or character or battle track that becomes synonymous with a game like the ones you're talking about, I mean the popped-up extravaganzas like Eyes On Me, Suteki Da Ne, and so on and so forth. Even so, I will concur that theme songs are one of my favorite parts as well... Which is why I'm particularly missing MP2 and the chance to hear that awesome Samus appearance song again. I LOVE that thing!

I do have one question though, did anyone else notice how kingdom hearts had advertising with these amazing songs in their ads while showing gameplay, it was very dramatic but definitely captivating. So I bought the game expecting all this great music with a great ending/beginning theme, only to find that I couldn't play through the game enough to get to the good music. I was hyped for it but I got so bored after awhile I said, screw it it's too much trouble. I find games do that a lot, they give you a big bang entry, then die for 30 hours, and pick up for the last hour of the game or so. I think theme songs make a great base and can get you really into the game, but only one or two have actually made up for a not so great game.

Well dude, they only ever show FMV in commercials, so of course that's gonna be where the best music comes in too. So yeah. The best way to determine if a game is going to have good music is to find out who the composer's gonna be. If it's someone you like, then chances are you'll be satisfied.
For example, Legend of Zelda II for the NES, not the best zelda game ever, but when you're cruising through the world to the theme all you can think is "yeah that's right let's go kick some gannon "#$%%&**^*&^" (fill in blank however you see fit) I haven't seen many themes that do that nowadays.

Oh, you are SO cut off from cool. Zelda II is awesomeness, and anyone who tells you different is a filthy liar. Currently I'm trying to beat it without dying, but the furthest I've made it so far is to the hammer caves, though my problems are being compounded by also trying to max out my attack first. That game has such wicked replay value it's not even funny.

One last question, I realize they're doing a remake of ff for the nintendo DS, are they planning on doing the same for the advance? I know they released I and II, but I'd hate to have to spend 150 bucks for one game really. Nintendo upgrades hardware way too quickly with handhelds. Tis all for now, and btw, Toronto kick's ass....can I say ass? I went to college at Niagara University and used to head up to the city every weekend. I'd give up my citizenship for a hockey puck and a case of molson canadian.

All that is mcslug

Well, your choice of beer is highly suspect, but I will agree with everything else, in principle. As to your question about the GBA, I and II is in fact a GBA title, which will be playable on the NDS. The FF that will be strictly an NDS proposition is FFIII, the never-before seen game with quite possibly the greatest NES-era music I've ever heard. That, I'm afraid, you will have to break your bank on. I have to take issue with your statement about Nintendo, incidentally. Between the GB and the GBC was an intervening stretch of like seven years, and after that the GBA didn't come around for another three or four. Yes, the SP is a shameless cash grab, but if you do your math, five years is a perfectly acceptable lifespan for a platform - the NES, SNES, PSX, and many others have all lasted that long.

Eww.. FFV?

I am like many old gamers, I'm somewhat stuck in nostalgia. This is proven as I am currently playing through FFV and loving it. But anyway... I wonder if perhaps I am wrong, that I am not actually stuck in nostalgia. I know I am not the only person who sees Square-Enix as a dying company. Though I thought this long before Nobou or Sakaguchi left...

I hate to break it to you, but playing through FFV and loving it isn't a sign of old-schoolness. It's a sign of insanity, like wearing a lampshade or living in Idaho.

The games they create seem lacking in one way or another, I played through most of X but the story got so bland, and boring that it was impossible to continue. I don't care that it was considered the most beautiful game ever(that place now taken by BK anyway), games like FFVI prove well that graphics are not everything.... Xenosaga:Ep1 also takes this proof on another level, however. I haven't been able to play a SE game in a long time without feeling disappointed.

Complaint noted, you whiner.

This is why I thought, perhaps... that I was just loving my old games... missing them.

Then I played MetroidPrime, a beautiful game, that matches the other games equally. But also stands beautiful me it was the perfect 3D Metroid. I enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting too, but I did... This is, in part, what made be believe that it was simply just SE, that was getting crappy.

I ask this... Why change a formula, that works? I certainly never got bored of playing Final Fantasy the way it was, Not necessarily that it was 2D that made it memorable, or 3D that made it crappy or even the graphics.period. I asked myself what made Final Fantasy... a final fantasy? the gameplay of course, the stories... most FF's were dark until 10(though Sakaguchi wasn't truly a part of it). And now 12 is supposed to be more like SeikenDensetsu in gameplay(also ChronoTrigger has been mentioned for battle likeness). It bothers me that they are simply keeping the name for sales but changing what (to me) Final Fantasy was... not to mention that I used to respect the women in Final Fantasy games -_-... (Ashe's Skirt is just... wrong)

Um... The women in FF titles had equally skimpy clothes back in the SNES days, as I believe I've mentioned before. If you look at the character art, while Amano was generally a little more generous with the linen than that asshat Nomura, their clothes are by no means what you'd see medieval-style characters wearing - they're steampunk, which means reasonably revealing. It's just that "reasonably revealing" in a 16x8 sprite means a lot less than "reasonably revealing" in the context of an exquisitely rendered orange ass. People have been meowing about the skimpiness of characters' clothing in FFs since VII, and it so far none of them have started having sex in the streets in every city from coast to coast, so I think we'll be okay. I will, however, concede that FFX-2 is the most shameless sort of fanservice.

Everything I ever loved about Square... about Final Fantasy... Seems to be gone. I used to be a person that bought every FF that came out. But they're just expensive coasters now.

Okay, so Square Enix has sold out. Worst-case scenario? Everyone from the teams who made your favorites has bolted to form their own companies, so wait it out while Mist Walker wends its way through its first offering, or go to the bloated teat of Monolith and Namco for *shudder* Xenosaga. Or better yet, stop living in the past and try out stuff like Shadow Hearts or the Phantom Brave series or heck, flesh out your PSX collection. What you shouldn't do is sit there crying about it, because Square Enix, like it or not, is a company, and companies have to make money. Certainly, I wish they'd do it with less of an emphasis on whoring out their polygonal creations, but such is life when your target audience has a critical hormonal threshold.

I work at an ElectronicsBoutique, in Canada. It bothers me, everytime I hear somebody say that they loved 10 or 10-2 (in which they NEVER say 10, they say X), I ask why, and they told me that it was either

a: the women
b: the graphics
c: the story (which I can never believe)

Yes, we wouldn't want to interrupt the endless stream of crying...Come on. If you're able to resist the lure of polygonal pulchritude, surely a portion of the population will be able to as well!

So I guess I'll get to my question.... am I alone in believe that Square-Enix is full of abosloute 100% bull-CRAP, and is just pouring out whatever the general AVERAGE person would enjoy. Instead of they're fanbase gamer? 10-2 was a horrible attempt at getting either young girls(the story) or perverted teenage boys(the graphics) to play the game...

I Feel, left out... the stories are too simple, too stupid... and even used the "word" disateriffic. *shudders*

am I alone, in how much I hate Square-Enix?

To me, although typical(and no, I did not start with it, I started at FF1 and played through them all)

My Final Fantasy. Was VII.

You're not alone, but by saying your favorite Final Fantasy is a game which basically exhibits many of the traits you're complaining about and was bemoaned for doing exactly the same thing to the RPG world seven years ago, I can't really take you very seriously, unfortunately. Square Enix has changed, kiddos. Boobies won't kill you, so look past them (or at them, cuz hey, the FCC can't do crap when it's something you paid for!) and try and enjoy the games for what they are. Usually, they're a lot of fun.

And now, for something completely different


I have a question. Seeing as how lately games have been becoming more violent and mature, while RPGs have stayed a little tamer, do you ever foresee RPGs becoming as nihilistically violent and mature as, say, the Grand Theft Auto games?


Gee, to hear that last person tell it, RPGs are far gone into the quagmire of craptasticness you're describing. Obviously, one of you is crazy. I recommend a fight to the death - with pies!


I think the Nokia Engage is the stupidest idea ever...besides Final Fantasy: Before Crisis. I don't understand how this pocket kingdom thing will be successful at all. I'd much rather play World of Warcraft.

Question: How soon before Britney Spears does the theme song for a S-E game?

The day that Britney Spears does the theme song for a S-E game is the day that I boycott them forever on principle.

Why do I get the feeling that nobody ever listens to a single thing I say? ^_^

Hullo there Q&A Host of Q&A Goodness,

I saw that comment about Katamari Damacy, by the way. I played a bit of it myself in EBGames. I thought it was totally insane, completely random, and a mind-numbing amount of fun. Mah Jong tiles? Crackers? Small, furry animals?! STARS?! Fun!

I'm also eyeballing the Devil May Cry games. There's something about blasting small spiders with a shotgun that is just so very amusing. Oh, and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. It's something about...small things exploding in ridiculously huge gouts of blood. I'm just morbid.

For the love of Christmas, do NOT buy that game. Lament of Innocence is quite possibly the biggest affront to the name Castlevania ever to darken a store's shelves. To give you an idea of how things start out, you get treated to a terrible 15-minute FMV sequence, followed by you wandering around a castle randomly hitting stuff a couple of times until it dies. Repeat ad nauseum. Now I know that most Castlevanias generally DO involve hitting stuff a couple of times until it dies, but this one somehow manages to take all the fun out of it, leaving a hollow, funless shell behind. Of course, I might just be extra jaded because I rented this alongside Sonic Heroes, quite possibly the worst piece of gaming software ever created. I say this not because more lousily coded crap hasn't turned up on shelves before, but because this steamer had an actual budget.

I'll ask a token question: What's your take on all the FFVII sequels being churned out by SE? Do you think that they'll all be good (the ones we get, anyway, and have a large enough player base to properly judge) or that one or two will be good and the others will flop, or that they're all utter crap?


FFVII sequels: quite probably signal that Square Enix is nearing creative bankruptcy. We'll have to wait for FFXII to see for sure, but all recent signs have been pointing in that direction. Let's hope it's just a rut of shame.



so someone noticed i got tildes from each of our illustrious q&a guys, huh? :D

well, it certainly isn't my fault that they each read the same e-mail and gave me a tilde for it (the curse of the q&a shared inbox, hehehe). it's already safely under lock and key and guarded by derivatives to protect it from the wretched integral. ;)

put simply: sorry, no refunds :p

In other news, what do you think about tri-Ace's current pet project, Radiata Stories. I think it's looking like it's going find a way into my top 10 RPGs of all time list. If nothing else, tri-Ace already dominates my favorite battle systems list with hundreds of hours of raw fun carnage :D has 6{TEEFED} earned + 1{MINE NOW MUHAHAHA} bonus ;)

hmm... You know, you really shouldn't leave those tildes lying about in your letter like that..They're liable to get stolen! As for Radiata Stories, tri-Ace would appear to be the exception to the Square-Enix creativity void, notwithstanding the apparently terrible plotting in SO3. As such, I have reasonably high hopes for that little number.

So yeah... only five tildes for you now... Meh meh meh meh.

First time writer,
long time reader, just a quickie here. Somebody complaining about their Blockbuster said "...they get a game like Katamari Damacy, but not Phantom Brave..."

I'd just like to point out that Katamari Damancy is like 100 times better than any RPG I have yet to play this year. Easily Game of the Year material.

Sorry, offtopic, I know.
- Shinrai

Thanks for sharing, Shinrai.


Okay, so normally I wouldn't be quite so keen on stealing back tildes, but I hardly think gloating over our double-handout is very nice. Even so, I'm not WHOLLY without heart, so I give you a chance, watcher, to reclaim your lost glory: if you can place the following quote, I shall return your stolen booty.

"Oh my Gosh! It's a BOMB!"

For the rest of you, meanwhile, tomorrow is another day, and you'd best be sending letters. What about I'm not too particular, but as you can see, slim pickings make me slightly cranky.
Andrew Long knows a little song that goes something like this: ^ ^ x < > <



Actually, I can dance to some extent :P

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