: Editorial: An RPG Veteran's FFVII Remake Opinion

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Editorial: An RPG Veteran's FFVII Remake Opinion

Some naysayers and those who simply want to claim elite status by going against the grain will say the only Final Fantasy VII lovers are those who hadn't played an RPG before. You know, they recall the experience with such rose-colored nostalgia that they don't really know what they're talking about; that their inexperience means FFVII isn't anywhere near as good as they say. While I'm certain there are plenty of people out there who fall into the preceding category, I'm not one of them. I was playing RPGs well before FFVII - and have played plenty since - and I still say Square-Enix's first 3D effort is the best RPG I've ever played. And at first, I was firmly set against the idea of a remake.

But over the past couple of years, I've started to come around. If you're wondering, here was my initial standpoint: I really hate the idea of ruining classics by upgrading their cosmetic appeal for a generation that can't appreciate great games unless they're flashy. FFVII is wonderful as it is, and part of the charm of that game centers squarely on those now-comical, blocky characters. It's why I will always prefer the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES; while I know later installments are just as good in terms of mechanics and gameplay, and certainly better in the visual department, I just don't care. I want SMK on the SNES, and I want FFVII on the PS1. I want Cloud to have those square blocks for hands. I want the jaggies all over the place, and I want the blurriness and haziness when approaching the Golden Saucer for the first time. It makes me know I'm playing Final Fantasy VII.

Now, I do maintain a lot of that former philosophy, but in terms of a FFVII remake for the PlayStation 3, I've come around. Perhaps it started with "Advent Children," or maybe it began when I started to realize that, if done correctly, a remake could be downright amazing. After all, if the only thing Square-Enix does is upgrade the graphics, and leaves the rest of the game exactly the same...how can that possibly be worse? How can better graphics, with everything remaining equal, be a lesser experience? This makes no sort of logical sense. Of course, I'm concerned they may want to change other things about the game, which would undoubtedly annoy me, but a remake is a remake. I don't want a prequel or a sequel, I just want to see Cloud and Sephiroth in a dazzling current generation presentation. I want the final ending cinema to carry all the additional weight of a glitzy, glamorous CGI overhaul. I really, really do.

While I'm by no means a graphics whore, I do have to admit one thing that the old-school purists refuse to accept: graphics matter. "A picture is worth a thousand words," and no matter which way you slice it, that heartfelt scene between Tidus and Yuna in the spring in FFX is a hundred times more "impactful" and emotional than a sprite with a little heart over his head. That's undeniable. I know there are some of you out there who refuse to let go of the past and cast aspersions on all cut-scenes and movies, saying they're all just for cosmetic appeal. Well, of course they are. But that doesn't mean they're not important; they're crucial. Granted, gameplay remains the most essential aspect of any video game because, last I checked, this was an interactive entertainment medium. But after Konami's massive accomplishment that was MGS4, we all have to realize just how amazing great visuals can be.

They add the appropriate level of atmosphere and ambiance, and to have that boost in a game like FFVII...well damn, the idea just makes me salivate. And better yet, it's an excellent business decision in my estimation. Square-Enix has long since said it would take a lot of time and money to make this happen, but they'd make up the investment and then some. Not only are they catering to the millions of FFVII fans out there, but because it would feature the flashy graphics that all the current-gen'ers out there seem to require, they just expanded their audience again. Furthermore, the simple name of "Final Fantasy VII" has, like it or not, acquired legendary status in the video game world; almost every avid gamer recognizes the title. And it's not just because it's "Final Fantasy;" that "VII" part certainly plays a major role. If any RPG should be remade, it should be this one, in my humble opinion.

After having played around 75 RPGs over the past 20 years or so, I will fight you if you claim FFVII isn't worthy of all the praise it has received over the years. It has, and a remake - featuring only a visual overhaul - would be fantastic. I just had to factor in the reality of the current situation of gaming, the nigh-on mythical status FFVII has acquired over the years, and the idea that a visual upgrade can only make the game better. Once I did so, it became obvious to me that this remake should happen. It'd be great for the industry the whole way 'round, damnit. Just make...it...happen! Let's hope it's the "big announcement" Square-Enix has planned for next month's private party...

7/11/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (36 posts)

Annihilator221
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 10:49:51 PM
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I totally agree with every word Ben. I remember playing Super Mario RPG and Lufia/Lufia II years before I picked up FFVII and I found it to be one of the, if not the, most magnificent game I have ever played. To re-vamp (not remake) FFVII would undoubtedly not only boost SquareEnix and the insustry as a whole, but would bring in a new generation of RPGers that didn't have the chance to enjoy those wonderful jaggies. ;)

The absolute only thing that I would add into the game would be trophies... but even then it would be totally optional. I just want to see Aeris outside of 15 seconds in Advent Children and all the summons and intense attacks I have come to know and love in glorious HD and rendered to a mirror shine.

Last edited by Annihilator221 on 7/11/2008 10:53:30 PM

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shindelion
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 10:54:05 PM
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well Ben i agree with ya. i hope if they do a remake they will keep the same old stuff but better looks and when you finish it you get to play again like a new game with tons of extras while playing and at the end. would be nice to have the old FF7 to be played at the Golden Saucer and have the Chocobo racing to be vs people online. one thing i don't get with sqaure is that they make so much remakes for other ff series and leave FF7 alone for sooooo long. i mean they should know if they have a remake for FF7 it would sell like oil. i will not give up on a remake just yet.

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shindelion
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 10:57:11 PM
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ahhh Super Mario RPG, my first ever played RPG still love it to this day Chrono trigger and FF7 was the next ones. i look up to Square so much. would love to work for them one day.

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fatchad420
Friday, July 11, 2008 @ 11:34:05 PM
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If the original FFVII was still in print then i wouldn't mind having no remake, but as it stands now i don't think they can screw up the nostalgia of the original by doing a remake as long as they adhere to the original story and don't make any changes. Keep it a cosmetic upgrade and that only.

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Jizmack
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 12:13:00 AM
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Yo guys, new to psx. So far its pretty sweet. Though i have satellite internet which is gonna be used up in approx. like 20 minutes. figured i would leave a comment tho.

Loving the FFVII remake stuff btw. I seriously cannot wait to play that game with a wireless ps3 controller. Can u imagine that. Sitting on the bed unlike 9 years ago when i first played it. I played it on my ps1, the only games i played was digimon/ff7.

BEST WISHES TO SONY AT CONSOLE WAR. BEAT 360's ASS!!!

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fatchad420
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 12:47:03 AM

DO NOT WANT

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Deleted User
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 12:54:10 AM
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Wow... no need to get violent Ben lol.

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TheIllusiveMan
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 1:05:00 AM
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I almost agree with everything you say there, except one thing, they should update cosmetics, and add voice-overs. I think the voices in the FFVII spinoffs fit the characters perfect. Also, using parts of the other stories from the spinoffs they could possibly find a good way to expand it (not that it isn't long enough, I just think that the entire story would be worth playing)

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MirrorSoul
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 1:06:28 AM
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I agree with what you say been but the only problem is would we truley want to keep it "Time Based Many newer generation gamers would not appeal to this.If they truly did make a new remake I think it should be a Full graphic overhaul (Of course) anda battle system similar(NOT THE SAME)to kingdom hearts if the could make it like that with the same Deep RPG strategy it would KILL lol

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Tatsujin
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 1:50:41 AM
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I agree with Ben... And im not a graphics whore neither :P If a game is good, if the gameplay is nice, I can care jack s*** about graphics. But, that is just me... I am going to start playing FF1 FF2 and FFVII for the rest of my summer. I have played countless number of RPG's, from classic NES to modern PS3 RPG's, and still, without a doubt, I find that FF VII was by far the best RPG ever made... The themes, the storyline, the..everything about it was amazing!

Last edited by SHADOW on 7/12/2008 2:09:53 AM

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 2:25:47 AM
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if they use the same ATB that was used in FFX-2, id love it. Meaning, when you command an attack, the go right away, even if it means all 3 of your players going almost at the same time.

This statement does NOT mean the dress sphere it used, just the ATB.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 4:08:13 AM
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I completely understand the theory behind wanting "only a graphical update." But I'm way out on the other side of this debate. I think that if square enix releases the exact same game with new graphics you are going to learn some things about your "greatest game ever made." You're going to learn that it didn't age well. You'll see that the combat system they used back in the day is pretty dumb. You'll see that reading dialogue of a PS3 game in 2008 is bull s***. (Let the down votes commence now.)

I think SE needs to just keep the story and basic premise from FF VII and build the best game they can around it. I'll be honest though; I've only played maybe the first hour of FF7. Maybe it is just that good. If FF7 truly is the best RPG ever then SE will still make the same great game. But they shouldn't tie themselves to a bunch of things that they can do better in today's world. Square Enix shouldn't remake FF7 if they are going to intentionally gimp it at birth. Unless it is simply a re-release of an old game on a new system then the primary selling point of a new game should never be nostalgia. If nostalgia is what you want then don't pray for a remake pray for a port you'll be much better off. (You may now continue to downvote me.)
-----------------------------------------
Please read my comment below. It makes much more sense and gets my point across better

Last edited by SHADOW on 7/12/2008 6:49:56 PM

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aaronisbla
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 6:24:02 AM

Damn dude, the first hour? Thats a lot of down talking for a game you only played for an hour ( the first hour mind you..)... you come off sound EXACTLY like the elitists he mentions in his post, no offense.

Its something i see a lot, since FF7 gets a lot of praise, you get the minority ( who is always louder on the interwebz )who hate on it cuz of its popularity. Or you get the old school gamers ( which i am sometimes a shamed to be apart of since some are reluctant to changes ) who swear up and down that it should have stayed 2D

With graphical upgrade and this being FF7, what makes you think SE wouldn't put voice acting in the game?

To each his own i guess, but the battle system? dumb? Maybe, just maybe, you should have tried it for more than just an hour before you give it a final grade.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 6:41:09 PM

God I shouldn't post early in the morning. My other post makes me sound like a total moron. Sorry all. Let me try again.

Square Enix needs to just take the story and basic premise of VII and build the best game they can around it. If that means they make a game exactly like VII so be it. But they shouldn't gimp themselves from birth by forcing themselves to use a combat system that may or may not be the best they can do. By forcing themselves not to do voice acting because it may upset people. Listen when I say that it is possible that the best game Square can make resembles VII remarkably but if making a great game means changing certain aspects of combat, or whatever, let them do it.

I also want to say that I didn't mean to call VII's combat system dumb. I meant it to say something like it "may be outdated" but I f***ed it all up.

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aaronisbla
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 12:32:53 AM

No worries shadow, i actually agree on certain points that you made. just caught me off guard with the "first hour" statement lol.

I would like to see some enhancements or additions or something a bit extra if they were to redo this game.

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 7:45:19 PM

Ya I only played it for an hour. But you have to remember this game came out when I was 6-years-old. And I had an N64 not a PlayStation.

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AscientDire
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 9:20:23 AM
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so...is this where I sign up for the FFVII army??? (points awkwardly to the line next to him)

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Jeffrey
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 10:36:01 AM
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FF7 was the game that brought me truley into the gaming industry. To see a remake of the game would be no doubt amazing for the ps3. I do agree with Shadow in the fact that with the advancements in the way games are played now, the turn based battle system may seem too outtdated. I think that would be the only thing I'd like to see changed. Oh, and of course I want all the voiceovers from Advent Children, they couldnt have done a better job with that cast.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 10:58:14 AM
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I don't mind the idea of voice acting, I guess. I'm on the fence on that issue, though...

And as for the "dumb" combat system, that's entirely untrue. Like I said, I've played a great many RPGs, and not a one has felt as solid, balanced, or as entertaining as the one in FFVII. Just because everyone is a bunch of twitch-gamers these days and absolutely MUST be pounding on buttons to satisfy their ADD-addled brains doesn't mean everything has to be real-time. This is a game that is turn-based, and it works exceedingly well. The Materia system allowed - for the first time, basically - a chance to fully customize your characters.

In previous FFs and in most other RPGs, many times, characters are limited to their class or whatever their skillset may have. In FFVII, while each character did have a unique set of inherent statistics, you could equip them with anything you desire in terms of Materia. Furthermore, considering the almost countless number of possible Materia combinations, it means that every time you play FFVII, you can play it differently. On top of which, if you set the ATB to something other than "Wait," speed becomes a factor in battles and it's no longer purely turn-based. Honestly, I'm not sure how you would know about any of this having only played the game an hour...do you even GET Materia in the first hour? No offense or anything; the opinion just isn't as valid on the combat if you only spent an hour with it.

I've seen it all when it comes to combat in RPGs. IMO, there is NO need to change any of the gameplay in FFVII; nothing would be "gimped" at the outset. I've seen for dumber and far more simplistic in real-time RPGs today that are supposedly "deep" just because you have a skill tree. Like I said, the graphical overhaul is ALL that is required. Sound...maybe. Haven't decided. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/12/2008 10:59:45 AM

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 5:10:06 PM

well ben smart and dumb is a matter of opinion...

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Daedusian
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 10:59:09 AM
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I'm kind of a pessimist when it comes to just about anything but I feel that SE will not make the game beacuse it did so well back then and they don't want to spoil it. It's like movies, the first one is usually awesome then they make a second and it blows, so on and so forth.

However, if they have been secretly making the game for some time now or plan on doing it soon, I'm sure with the time and effort they can pull something off really well and I know SE is a great team. But in any case, I do really want a remake. ;)

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Willcome2Urf
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 11:09:58 AM
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I'm not really into rpgs, even though I play them. a good game is a good game. anyway, did any of you play the ff remakes they did for
the ds? I don't don't think the changes were to drastic, were they?

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drortego316
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 12:56:38 PM
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I've actually never played ff7 before, I've watched my friend play it and he says its the best rpg ever made,I loved 8 and 9, I just ordered 7,8,9 off of ebay and it should come in the mail today so i should be able to see what all the fuss is about, I was waiting for a good old school flavor rpg to come out but it seems like this new generation is all about the real time combat system, I couldnt agree with you more Ben, this new generation seems to have to be running around constantly being able to hit their enemy, thats not true rpg to me, I fear the wait your turn days are over forever :(

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 1:05:28 PM
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Oh, I've known for a while that true turn-based has long since been left behind. It's unfortunate - it's still my favorite form of RPG - but it's just the way of the industry right now.

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 5:12:52 PM

if u want a great true turn-based game there is lost odyssey although its only on the 360...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 5:39:40 PM
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Played it already. :)

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 9:12:51 PM

lol shoulda known! did you like it?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 10:06:27 PM
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Yeah, it was great fun. Too bad I wasn't able to finish it because the 4th disc was all scratched. :(

But I put a good 60 hours into it and I really liked the combat. I also thought the Dreams contained some of the best writing ever seen in video games. I'd love a sequel, actually.

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Saturday, July 12, 2008 @ 11:27:24 PM

Totally agree. Although I wouldn't mind playing it on a ds3 this time around! The Ps3 doesn't need 100 discs to play a rpg!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 12:03:11 AM
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LOL Nope. Coulda been on one Blu-Ray disc.

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Ondall
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 11:57:50 AM
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I think they should do a remake either with upgrade graphics and some tweaks maybe add like some stuff with materia equiping to find new combinations and stuff like that. Though i still want companies to put out some old school compilations on blu-ray format. How many old school rpgs do u think they could put on one disc?

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Snowman8807
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 1:14:40 PM
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people, remake with graphics would awesome, but you know they are just putting on a show, remaking all other ff games, and waiting on ff7 b/c they know it will out do all other rpgs and some. SE is just sitting back and lol at all the fans whining just to see how bad you want to see it remade. so fans, sooner or later it will be remade and SE knows it.

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TheGodlyGenius
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 1:35:31 PM
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i've certainly played my share of rpgs and really all genre of game, and my favorite will always be FFVII. and i am also incredibly excited every time the rumors come back up from some small announcement saying that there is a possibility of a remake once again.

i truly want to see a graphical overhaul because it will give so much more...feel to the game. i bet many of us can say that when we play FFVII we get in to the cutscenes no matter how many times we've seen them. like when Cloud and Tifa fall in to the life stream. do you know how much more dramatic it would be if it looked like Advent Children?? like the point that was made regarding the scene in FFX with Tidus and Yuna in the spring, it was a very emotional scene and really made that part of the game great.

and on the subject of voice acting, if they can get everyone from AC, how can we go wrong? i mean really? it makes that interactive experience that much better to have real voices, making you feel a part of the situation and environment. i understand that it has that wonderful quirky feel with reading the text, but the voices were so perfect i think it would just make the experience that much better.

there's my 2 cents!

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vampko
Sunday, July 13, 2008 @ 4:49:41 PM
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well...I can't comment much, cause I've only seen the subbed version of Advent Children. The voice acting on THAT was amazing though ^^ The Kingdom Hearts and Crisis Core voices aren't too bad either. I wonder if, since this IS the PS3, they could add an alternate storyline that's unlocked as a bonus for beating the game, where Aerith doesn't die? Kind've like the Disgaea AOD game where Etna kills Laharl accidentally. Oh, and Turn-based is just more of a strategy game thing now. It hasn't disappeared, just changed boats. Lastly...PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE remake FF7!!! Although, nigh will be forgiven if they make it like Kingdom Hearts UNLESS you get to switch who you're controlling, and can play co-op o-o

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Minishmaru
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 6:59:13 AM
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great job ben!
i gotta say VII is one of my favorites. i truly fell in love w rpgs with secret of mana, chrono trigger, mario rpg. did u have a chance to play vandal hearts? if u did remember the horror movie style juggular cut style blood showers!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, July 14, 2008 @ 10:20:59 AM

Played all those, of course. :) But I don't remember that scene in VH...I did play both VH and VH2, but it was a while ago. I DO remember VH2 having a fantastic script, though, and thinking it was the second-best strat/RPG I'd played at the time.

A distant second to FFT, but still...

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/14/2008 10:21:11 AM

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