Rant: Final Fantasy


This post is a long unstructured rant. Read at your own peril. Square Enix is the poster-child and public choice whipping boy for the decline of Japanese RPG (JRPG) popularity, and I would be hard pressed not to agree. To clarify, by “Eastern” I am referring to Final Fantasy or any Final Fantasy-esque style role-playing game. I recognize that there are other excellent titles on the market. I haven’t had a chance to play Valkyria Chronics, The World Ends With You, the Persona Series or a small number of Japanese titles on my to play list.

I remember when a Final Fantasy title used to be a real treat, the one game series that bridged the gap between Eastern and Western game storytelling and game culture. The careful attention to detail, story (no matter how ludicrous) and characters were elements that could be enjoyed by all. Nowadays, it seems as if Square Enix continues to push out more and more junk. Their flagship title, Final Fantasy, has been inundated with crap; diluted by numerous sequels and unnaturally long development cycles. Destructoid had phrased it nicely in one of their recent articles: Square Enix is, essentially, the George Lucas of Video games.

A good story offers something enjoyable to everyone. I don’t think that Final Fantasy falls into that category anymore. It seems as if every new title just panders to an increasingly narrow demographic. For example, playing a young character is fine, but I am not sexually attracted to teenagers nor do I really emotionally connect with them anymore. I can appreciate a good romance and good character development but not high school level cheese. I just don’t get my jollies off of anything like that anymore.

I liked Final Fantasy X, went back and finally finished Final Fantasy XII and learned to appreciate it. But the last game of the series that I really loved was FFIX. Unsurprisingly, FFIX was also the last game produced by Sakaguchi before he resigned from Square. Also, unless I am mistaken, FFX was the last Final Fantasy game produced under Square’s label before the company merged into Square Enix. From that point on, my enjoyment of the series sharply declined. I don’t think that Nomura is a very good character designer, certainly not as good as Sakaguchi or Matsuno.

Because of my work and real life schedule, my free gaming time is limited to a couple hours of play time at most. I need a game that will accommodate my schedule. I need the ability to pick it up and put it down in an hour or two. That means discreet, natural periods of play time, whether it be in a form of a quest, mission or whatever. Actually, it doesn’t really matter as long as there is an intelligent save mechanic in place, allowing me to save anywhere or at least frequently autosave upon entering a new area and/or exiting combat. I like not feeling lost after picking a game back up after letting it collect dust for a period of time. Usually, just a synopsis of what I have done so far as well as my correct objectives is sufficient.

Also in regards to time usage: Please cut some of the crap grinding out of role-playing games. I know that grinding is synonymous with the RPG genre, but I would rather play a 25 hour game of solid gameplay than an 80 hour game crammed with filler. In all honesty, most 80 hour games only include about 25 hours of solid gameplay, if that. If difficulty is the root issue, that problem needs to be addressed in a more intelligent manner, whether it be through improved fight mechanics or otherwise. All-in-all, Square Enix isn’t very good at pacing games.

A big part of Final Fantasy’s problem is that the game mechanics haven’t evolved much in the past two decades. It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation: On one hand, the slow turn based system is part of what defines Final Fantasy as a label. On the other, it’s one of it’s biggest problems. In theory there’s nothing wrong with a turn based system, but that system in combination with massive grinding really really really does not work out. If repetitive fighting is a must, then combat needs to be lightning quick. That means, no combat bullshit, no cute battle transactions: Combat must occur naturally. Integrating combat from other genres works for most Western style RPGs. Turning a role-playing game into a first person shooter may or may not be a good solution but if all else fails, characters and story included, it’s almost always fun to shoot someone in the face repeatedly.

And to all forms of RPGs: Please cut out some of the unnecessary micromanagement (party swapping and gearing mostly). If you are going to include 12 party members, either make the all level equally regardless of which members are active. Or at the very least, do not ever place me in a situation where I am forced to use a party member that I dislike and have thus not bothered to level.

Along similar lines: I have always appreciated games that blend gameplay elements and introduce the story in intuitive and creative ways. Never underestimate the power of doing things within a game. Passive observation has its place, but interactive play is the one element that gaming has over virtually all other forms of media. Please don’t tell me a story in the form of a giant monologue. I want to discover and experience it on my own. I love watching rendered cutscenes, but I feel like they should be on their way out or at least used more sparingly than every 5 minutes or so. Any break from gameplay detracts from the game (not only picking on JRPGs. *cough* quick time events *cough*. Looking at you Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, etc).

Final Fantasy VII:
The vast majority of Final Fantasy fans, myself included, place FFVII on a pedestal. It was an exceptional game for its time, way ahead of the competition. But nostalgia aside, I am unsure if it holds up to the test of time. I would love to see this game remade in HD and finally retired. We don’t need to dilute it with even more inane sequels.

Final Fantasy XII
I liked Basch quite a bit, he was a good character. In fact, Basch was originally supposed to be the main character. Vaan and Panelo were added later in the development cycle because adult male leads apparently don’t sell, based off of the figures from one the development team’s previous games (Vagrant story, one of my favorites by the way).

Vaan was an awkward main character. Other than providing a new perspective on the main story, I don’t recall him contributing much and by the end of the game he did not evolve much as a character. Because he was tacked on, I didn’t really emotionally invest in his story. Consequently there was a huge  disconnect between the player and the characters of FFXII. Character empathy was replaced by uninteresting and generic political intrigue. I absolutely loved FFXII’s feel, setting and design. In those departments, it is one of my favorites but I play Final Fantasy for the characters and the character stories. DON’T EVER compromise on the character stories, that’s probably one of the biggest draws for JRPGs.

Final Fantasy XIII
I’ve already said my piece about this title, but I feel as if XIII would have had a more positive reception had it not been under the Final Fantasy label. Most of the people who actually enjoyed playing this game had little no no experience with other Final Fantasy games. For better or for worse, Final Fantasy games have a list of expectations that need to be addressed. Otherwise, it’s not really a Final Fantasy game.

Final Fantasy has had a good run but I’m not sure I will be purchasing future titles if they follow the same trend. Versus XIII does look pretty good though. I’m a sucker for action RPGs so I will probably pick it up.

Final Fantasy XIV: Gridania


This morning, for the first time ever, the Final Fantasy XIV updater actually worked. As in, I was able to download and install the patch as intended without having to resort to megaupload mirrors linked on forums. Rock on! Anyway, there is something that I find visually unappealing about the way Limsa Lominsa looks and is laid out. For whatever reason it just feels sterile to me or something.


So instead of continuing in that zone, I rolled a new character (pictured to the right) in Gridania. The city itself, set in the midst of a lush green forest, is comprised of crafted wooden structures interwoven with the natural environment. I suppose every fantasy MMO needs its “elven” city so this would be it. Gridania’s layout is fairy straightforward: It’s roughly a circle with a couple of offshoots. There’s still an ungodly amount of running between one end to the other, but I think that it is easier to navigate than Limsa Lominsa’s multi-tiered spread.

The Gridania Rank 1 quest line, “The Color of Sin” is a personalized linear story that is very single player Final Fantasy-esque, integrating short cutscenes with gameplay and dialogue. In pure MMO mechanical terms, the gameplay itself wasn’t too interesting; You run around between NPCs, you talk to people, do an escort quest and kill a few things. That’s pretty standard fare, but I really like how the entire quest line is packaged together. Overall, it succeeds as a narrative and at retaining the overall feel of the Final Fantasy franchise.


As a part of this quest line, after quite a bit of NPC bouncing, you are eventually told to head to the growery. At this particular location you are tasked with learning a dance from a group of 6 children in order to partake in a ritual. In order to learn this dance, you must talk with each child and perform a specific emote based off of a text clue. I think this part of the questline would have been less frustrating if the hints had made more sense (mistranslation?). I had to look up a few of the answers or copy the other players around me, who also looked just as confused based off of the frustrated emote spam. By the way, if anyone needs them, here are the solutions:

Elyn: /lookout (wave 3 times, what?)
Nicoliaux: /clap
Sansa: /bow
Ryd: /surprise
Aunille: /beckon
Powle: /cheer


In exchange for these “dance lessons,” you must escort two children into some forest grove. The escort quest functions much like any other MMO escort quest. You must stay near the children (bounds are represented by the red circle on the minimap) and you must not let any harm come to them. The NPCs aren’t on rails, they use some sort of pathing algorithm which is alright, just a little different than what I am used to.

I would love to play more storyline quests like this one. I hope that Square Enix is majorly holding back because after finishing “The Color of sin,” the next storyline quest doesn’t occur until you hit rank 10 (the one after that being at level 20 and so forth). Inbetween story quests, at least to my understanding, you grind on guildleve quests which are generally uninteresting. I mean, if the entire leveling structure was mostly story quest based, that would be pretty bad ass. At the moment, content seems way too sparse and bizarrly paced. But then again, Square Enix did say that they were holding a few things for release day.

Out of curiosity: are there any keybindings in this game or is there a way of at least macroing certain items? Since the menus are so slow and nested, I would like to be able to access as many things as possible with the keyboard. Ideally, ‘r’ for example should allow you to respond to tells, ‘j’ should open the quest journal and so forth. Doesn’t FFXI have default keybindings for most menu items?

Final Fantasy XIV Impressions


At some point I was thinking of purchasing Final Fantasy XIV and playing it for a month or two until Cataclysm approached its actual release date (in which case I would continue obsessively playing WoW :P). I don’t feel like I really gave Final Fantasy XI a fair chance and would have loved to at least experience a taste of why people find that game so attractive. But as mentioned before, I don’t really want to do the $60 temporary MMO thing again, ala Aion, so that leaves the open beta.

All other criticisms and issues aside, I will be frank: The interface and controls are horrible if not borderline unacceptable. My goal is to play the open beta past the introductory curve for the sake of getting into the real meat of the game but the problem is that, it feels like such a chore to do anything in FFXIV at this point. I mean, I was never fan of the nested menus, but they aren’t too different than any menu found in any of the console Final Fantasy games which weren’t too bad. the real problem is that there is a palpable delay between literally everything that you do. It is cludgy and feels like a bad port.

The interface lag makes it feel like I am playing the game through a remote terminal connection, which to my understanding is a correct assessment given that literally everything, including mouse control is being handled server side, or at least feels like it. Speaking of which, why is there no hardware mouse support? Supposedly Square Enix is ‘considering’ adding it into the game at some point, but that is such a basic feature. It is like selling a car and then adding the wheels on at a later date.

I think it’s pretty clear that Square Enix has absolutely no idea how to make a game that is not console based. There is a solid standard for PC MMO interfaces that hearkens back to the days of Everquest. Over the past decade or so, one game or another has build upon it but it is effectively, the same damn layout, it just works and there is little reason to deviate from it. But, I am playing a beta so hopefully within the next few weeks at least a few of the interface issues will have been polished out.

Also, the omega hares of death have been replaced by the dodos of impending doom.


Final Fantasy XIV Open Beta Delayed


I am disappoint. I was looking forward to giving Final Fantasy XIV a short whirl this week without having to dish out $60 at launch. Oh well, maybe the beta won’t be pushed back too long (or outright cancelled). It’s a little worrisome that there would be critical bugs severe enough to completely pull the installer and the entire beta 3 weeks before the launch date. But on the other hand, name one large MMO with a perfect and unhithered launch? I assume that within 3 to 6 months time most of the critical bugs and server load issues will have been smoothed out. That time period is when we need to be taking a more critical look at both the game and Square Enix’s ability to support it.

That said, I still hold very little faith in Square Enix to ever hold the ability to make a decent MMO or single player RPG ever again, based off of the notable decline in their flagship titles. Unless major positive change happens, gone are the days of the JRPG dynasties. But then again, I’ve become somewhat of an MMO skeptic and obviously WoW biased. I hope I’m wrong and that it is a legitimately good game, regardless of my disinterest in subscribing.

Since I’m on the topic of FFXIV: Many people have been abuzz about the XP capping. I don’t comment too much without actually having played the game (QQ) but my question is: Is it really necessary to gate content to that extent? And, will it work toward a more casual friendly game or will it just frustrate people? All MMOs gate content to some extent, but a hard cap seems pretty harsh. I guess it depends on how much non-grind content is available. If there are for example, very comprehensive secondary systems (like crafting), it might not be that bad of a change.

But still, WoW currently rewards players for spending some time away from the game by rewarding rest experience. I have always been a fan of positive reinforcement over punishment. Penalizing the hardcore player base, the one demographic willing to stick with it through thick and thin does not seem to be that wise of a choice. I mean, charging prospective players $13 a month and then arbitrarily dictating exactly how long they can play? What? I am an adult and can dictate my own time usage. As for minors, just put a parental lock in place. That’s my 2 cents.

Final Fantasy XIII


Whoops, this post (which has been sitting in my temp stack for two months like well all of my posts) turned into a mish mash rant of sorts. So a history first: A close elementary school friend actually introduced the Final Fantasy to me while we were in day care or something. I had received Final Fantasy I as a birthday or a Christmas gift that year or something and it was the most awesome thing evar. I actually fell in love with the series in high school/early college. That is when I more or less ultra binged on 6 through 8. I have Final Fantasy VIII wall scrolls, posters and action figures burried somewhere. My dorm room was like a shrine…

You will either love or hate Final Fantasy XIII; It’s just one of those divisive games, granted most opinions seem to lean towards the hate side. There’s a fine art to tutorial balancing that Square Enix obviously does not understand. At all. I mean, a 15 hour long tutorial, really?

But past the slow start, both the story and gameplay pick up quit ea bit. If you find the game boring initially, it is. Just grin and bear it. I am actually having a lot of fun so I will take back most of the nasty things that I was originally going to say. I take that back, this game is such a grind: Grind grind grind, short movie, grind grind. Uninspiring and cliche anime characters, bland dialogue at best (grating at worst), standard JRPG story. Final Fantasy XIII isn’t even much of an RPG anymore, it’s a bland action game without the part with the action fighting. What the hell happened?

Massive criticism aside, Final Fantasy XIII is an interesting addition to the longstanding series because it marks a very clear way in which the developers perceive the series. Quite a few gameplay and design changers were made, some of which paid off. Overall, the package fails to deliver as a whole.

So here is problem number one: While the pacing is very consistent and while enemies are fairly well placed, it is still such a huge grind. There is a huge emphasis on the combat system, which I like to some extent. The paradigm system is very fast paced and forces you to swap roles rapidly on many occasions.

In fact, the paradigm system would have been awesome if it wasn’t dumbed down. The auto attack button effectively allows you to spam ‘X’ 90% of the time. There no more random battles, and fewer enemies, which are strategically placed along your journey.  But to make up for that, some of the trash pulls are just so long. They aren’t even fast paced fun trash battles. It is as if all they did was jack their health pools up by a factor of 10. I mean, if you really wanted to, it really isn’t hard to use the pathing system to avoid most enemy encounters. But if you do that too often, your characters will be so far behind the ‘leveling’ curve (if you can even call it that), that future encounters will be near impossible. You are fucked if you do and fucked if you don’t.

So back to the pacing: Final Fantasy XIII is a very controlled experience, obviously paced with calculation which is a huge change over the traditional, wander around town, hit dungeon, wander around town paradigm. It is also shamelessly linear, which on the plus side eliminates the forced exploration. Let’s face it: All RPGs are linear, Western games are just better at hiding it. The pacing is too consistent. I miss the cliche RPG towns. Towns provided a good break in the grinding and also provided a different method of exploring character development in a more casual setting. Final Fantasy XIII is effectively a string of dungeons taped together. It is…a never ending grind, boss, grind, boss pattern.

The characters story and dialogue feel watered down. It’s not that bad per se, it’s just that at the time I had first picked up FFXIII, I had just finished playing Mass Effect 2 and before that, Dragon Age. So silly spoiled me just expected all RPGs to have decent-ish writing and dialogue or at the very least, engaging gameplay to make up for the lack of writing and dialogue.

JRPGs are feeling very tired as a genre because they haven’t changed or evolved all that much in the past decade or so, especially when oyu compare them to what other RPGs have to offer.  But to be fair, I have pretty much outgrown this genre. It’s clearly designed to appeal to a demographic that does not include myself (not a teenager anymore).

The gameplay changes are interesting but not ‘interesting’ enough to sustain the genre in my opinion. JRPGs are feeling tired, they haven’t changed much. Especially when you compare them to what Bioware has to offer. But to be fair, I think I’ve just outgrown the genre. It’s clearly designed to appeal to a demographic that is not me (not a teenager anymore). Square, I commend you for making an active effort to change the series but WTF.

On the plus side: The sky production as expected is super sky high. I mean, that game is gorgeous and some of the cut scenes are a real treat to watch. Well the good thing about it being super ass linear is that when I pick it up again in like, a year after feeling kind of bad about paying $60 for a game and not finishing it, I probably won’t feel lost to the point of having to restart the game.

And, sorry Kotaku: I totally just plucked your screenshot (which probably is just a stock image from a press release) off of Google Image because I was too lazy to take my own.

World of Warcraft vs Final Fantasy XI

Author’s Note: It’s worth noting that this article is several years old to the point where it’s not too relevant anymore to either game (since this posting seems get frequent traffic off of Google). I’d be interested though, in hearing how FFXI has changed since I originally posted this.

I don’t think I really ever made it clear why I quit Final Fantasy XI. As many people know, I bought and tried FFXI shorty after it was released in the US. Played it for about 2 months, before I got sick of it and quit. In short: It started to bore the hell out of me. Not comprehensive by all means, but just in case anyone is interested in hearing my two cents, a comparison between FFXI and World of Warcaft, and why I’m sticking with WoW.

I never did, still don’t, and likely never will ever have the time and patience it takes to play Final Fantasy XI up to the higher levels. Despite both being MMORPGs, FFXI and WoW actually differ greatly in play style. This becomes evident very early on. Leveling is very slow, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Leveling in FFXI has to be one of the most painful experiences. Ever. If you have the time, patience, and mentality to spend hours just grinding on things then kudos to you, but overall it’s a pretty boring experience especially since the combat is relatively repetitive.

FFXI is geared almost exclusively towards group play. You can solo up to level 10, and maybe up to level 15, but past that all soloing activity stops cold turkey. A group is basically required in order to do any of the quests. Finding a group to party with is another painful procedure. I often only have time to play in one or two hour chunks, I don’t know about anyone else, but spending those one or two hours finding a group just so I can do one quest isn’t my idea of fun. Even then, the quests really didn’t offer that great of a reward or experience.

Some people like to solo, some people like to group, some people like to do both! One of the most significant aspects of WoW is that you can choose how you want to play, thus appealing to a much broader range of players. Want to play alone? All good, most of the normal quests can be completed under an hour. Want to group? There are plenty of elite quests designed for a full group of players. The duration for most of these are around 2 hours. Want more? For higher level players (level 60), there are raid instances, designed for a group up to 40 players. The quests for the most part are well written, and offer a nice chunk of experience and usually a nice cash/item reward so that it feels worthwhile. Lots of bad Blizzard puns…LOTS. You absolutely can’t miss those.

The death penalty in Warcraft is a lot less frustrating than just about all other MMORPGs, no deleveling, no experience penalty. When you die, you appear in ghost form at the closest graveyard, and must run back to your body. You can also resurrect at the graveyard, but with a much heavier equipment penalty (which will ultimately cost you some cash, but no experience will be lost). The game doesn’t feel like it’s punishing you!

It’s hard to compare the graphics between the two games because they are each styled pretty differently. FFXI is more anime-ish and realistic, while WoW has a cartoony feel. I would have to say that the FFXI graphics in general are better textured and are smoother. The character models are also a bit better than the models in WoW, though they seemed to lack variety. Not enough facial customization 🙁

Graphical comparisons with WoW against other MMORPGs has been a popular discussion. It really does depend on your personal taste I suppose. WoW has a lower polygon count than other MMORPGs, which contributes to its cartoony feel. Some people don’t like that, but I personally think that it adds a lot of character, since it’s appropriate to how the Warcraft RTS games look and feel. Anyone who has ever played a Warcraft game knows this…It’s hard to judge style by screenshots alone. Most of the beauty is in the way the world is designed, the level of detail, the uniqueness that each zone has, and how lively each area is. FFXI just seemed to be missing much of that.

From the beginning, I just felt that Azeroth was more immersible than Vana’diel. Both worlds are fascinating, but Warcraft has 10 years of backstory and history under its belt. From the savanna like barrens, the jungle like Stranglethorn Vale, to the throne room of Lordaeron, it’s all there. (shame on you all who haven’t at least read about Warcraft history on the page. I mean, you should at LEAST KNOW WHO ARTHAS IS D:).

Several things severely annoyed me about FFXI, the first and most notable one being the ass interface. It just sucks…and it sucks hard. Annoying to use, limited, unintuitive, and hard to customize. It feels like it was designed for use on a Playstation controller, which it most likely was, so it didn’t seem to be optimized much at all for those of us who have the privilege of playing with a mouse. The WoW interface on the other hand is intuitive and very easy to use and customize. Virtually no learning curve. And, with the upcoming content patch, it will be even better (finally adding additional bars into the interface so I don’t have to download Cosmos).

Another important thing: It’s impossible to ALT+TAB out of FFXI, minimize it, or otherwise without automatically being disconnected from the game, and sent to the stupid Playonline menus. This pisses me off so fucking much. Being able to check things online while playing really isn’t too much, especially for an MMORPG. I don’t have all that much free time, so on many occasions, when I do play, I have the game running in the background while I read lecture slides, so I can occasionally bring the game into focus to check on auction and chat with friends. I mean, at least allow me to run it windowed, or god forbid minimized so I can look up quest stuff in Firefox….

Oh yeah, you can jump in WoW. YOU CAN JUMP! Jump over people’s heads, jump off of the Stonewrought Dam and Freewind Post (to your death). Why can’t you jump in FFXI? That’s important… In FFXI, you had to pay an additional $1 a month per extra character. WoW allows you 10 per server. It really_really_is nice to have alternative characters, especially if you want a taste of the different classes or are trying to keep on equal levels with friends.

Final Fantasy: Dear Friends

I’m a little off of my posting schedule this week, but last night was an experience of a spiritual caliber. Wow years ago when I first played Final Fantasy 1 in what, first grade? Who would have ever known that I would be in Walt Disney Concert hall, listening to some of my very favorite music, live and with lots and lots of friends. I rode with Sid and met him at the Zot Zone at 3:30.

The concert started at 7:30. but we left earlier to leave time to eat and just in case we encountered rush hour traffic on the way over. Traffic was surprisingly clear on the way over, since we didn’t really run into any problems. Seems that there is more outgoing traffic than in going, which makes sense I guess since everyone is leaving work…not coming.

Walt Disney Concert hall actually isn’t as big as I imagined it would be, but it’s nice. It’s small enough where every seat is a reasonable distance from the orchestra, without feeling too small and boxed in, yet large enough for everyone without being overly grandiose. The acoustics in the hall were absolutely amazing. The majority of us were scattered/grouped throughout Orchestra East (Except for Justin, that lucky bastard who sat two rows from Nobuo Uematsu).

Even though I sat apart from everyone (ordered slightly later than everyone), it didn’t matter! Because, for a night I was surrounded by Final Fantasy fans :D< It was pretty obvious when Nobuo Uematsu entered the hall, because he was greeted by a standing ovation, though only one of many that he would receive that night. The concert opened with Liberi Fatali from Final Fantasy VIII, accompanied by the talents of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Cut scenes from the game were displayed on Huge overhead screens. Following that, entered James Arnold Taylor, the concert’s host, also known as the voice of Tidus for the US release of Final Fantasy X. For those who want to know what played last night, here is the song list, according to what was printed in the program guide:

Liberi Fatali (Final Fantasy VIII)
Zanarkand (Final Fantasy X)
Terra’s Theme (Final Fantasy VI)
Theme of Love (Final Fantasy IV)
Dear Friends (Final Fantasy V)
Vamo’ Alla Flamenco (Final Fantasy IX)
Love Grows (Final Fantasy VIII)
Aeris’s Theme (Final Fantasy VII)
Not Alone (Final Fantasy IX)
Ronfaure (Final Fantasy XI) Final Fantasy I – III Medley
New Melody From Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Final Fantasy (Theme)

For the sake of not being repetitive, I will just sum things up and say that every single piece was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the Final Fantasy medley towards the end, since it brought back lots of childhood memories of playing FF1 in front of the NES. Everyone was applauding in the middle of the song when the chocobo theme played <3. A track from the upcoming Final Fantasy: Advent Children was performed after the medley, accompanied by a short video sequence on the monitors (they’re teasing us!). Concluding the concert was the Final Fantasy theme.

After another astounding standing ovation, Nobuo Uematsu himself came up on stage and introduced himself. What happened next…was positively one of the most memorable things ever! Following Nobuo Uematsu on stage were Yoshitaka Amano (did the art for many of the games) and Hironobu Sakaguchi (the producer of the series). All three of them on stage before my eyes! After three fantastic speeches, the three of them returned to their seats because, there was still one more surprise left. The lights dimmed and One Winged Angel played! I honestly don’t think that I have ever been to an even nearly as amazing as this. Music really is a wonderful thing.