It’s a good week for people who like RPGs. Not one but two excellent Super Famicom RPGs that never made it to the U.S. in their time arrived yesterday, and while the impact of Tactics Ogre‘s release was slightly dulled by the fact that we got a really crappy version for PlayStation more than a decade ago, don’t let that deter you. Both TO and Dragon Quest VI are must-haves if you’re the sort of person who reads this site regularly. Or so I’d assume, since I can’t imagine why you’d bother reading this site for so long if your taste in games didn’t overlap significantly with my own. Masochism, I suppose, in which case I’d still recommend the games, as you clearly revel in inflicting things you don’t enjoy upon yourself.
A significant facet of Tactics Ogre’s (re-)creation, I think, is that Yasumi Matsuno isn’t listed as director. Rather, art director Hiroshi Minagawa was promoted to that position. But I suspect very much that Matsuno was still calling the shots. There are two prevailing theories as to why Matsuno bailed on Final Fantasy XII‘s development and disappeared from sight for several years; one is that he suffered a breakdown under the stress of managing such a big project, while the other is that he chafed at the executive interference that forced him to recast a snot-nosed twerp as the game’s lead rather than the grizzled and betrayed war veteran he had developed into the star and abandoned ship when the project strayed too far from his vision. Either way, I suspect Minagawa’s elevation was intended to create a buffer between Matsuno and management… which means it’s a miracle the dude hasn’t had his own breakdown yet. I can’t imagine being caught between a reputedly temperamental genius and… whatever it is that Square has become these days.
Speaking of Matsuno, I’ve begun layouts for GameSpite Quarterly 8. Yeah, I know, GSQ7 has only been on sale for two weeks, but I wanted an early start for the next issue, because (1) it’s going to be a huge issue (as in GSQ5 huge) and (2) I’m continuing to move away from templates and bitmap fonts and need more time to experiment in InDesign. Fortunately, I think I found the groove with the splash page for the Vagrant Story article:
(Hooray for the magic of free clip art websites, home to countless royalty-free blood spatters.) I’m pretty excited about seeing this one come to fruition. Only ten more weeks ’til it ships. A quantity of time which, for someone of my vintage, flies by in no time at all. Sigh.