There aren't many blogs that I actually bookmark to go and have a look at again and again.
But James Mielke (aka Milkman) of 1up.com has a great blog which chronicles his gaming habits and his love of music, art and videogames.
I love his blog - but I was quite horrified when I read his article about 'Blue Dragon'..
For those who don't know, 'Blue Dragon' is arguably Microsoft's last hope for Xbox 360 in Japan. It's an RPG directed by Sakaguchi, originally director of the 'Final Fantasy' series, has music scored by Nobuo Uematsu, original composer for the 'Final Fantasy' series and Akira Toriyama designed the characters and artwork. Toriyama is famous in the west for his work on the Dragonball/Dragonball Z/Dragonball GT series.
So, I guess the question has to be asked..
How is it that a game that has so many genre-defining geniuses working on it, can suck?!
Well apparently, Mielke and his famitsu-editing friend come to the conclusion that it's just downright boring and samey.
It appears that videogame design, an ever evolving art form has undone itself. Sometimes the magical old formulas of yesterday don't work so well, ten or twenty years down the line..
Whilst many people today still enjoy 'Pac Man' or (as I understand it a favourite of Andrew Evans':) '1942' - because we've seen twelve iterations of 'Final Fantasy' and have seen it's design and battle systems evolve considerably of the years - returning to (what Mielke describes as) a mish-mash of early 'Final Fantasy' meets 'Dragon Quest' is somewhat painful.
Hopefully, 'Blue Dragon's long delay to western shores is because it's getting quite the overhaul before seeing an American/European release?
I await the final European code before calling my judgement - but unfortunately it's not looking good.
Thank goodness for ol' faithful..
I rejoined 'Final Fantasy XI' again today.
Let the madness begin - I have some real world anxieties I need distraction from.
I have no broadband and can only play online via dial-up.
Final Fantasy XI. I love you.