The Disadvantages of Being a Working Designs Fan
January 1, 1999
First of all, I want to state that I love Working Designs. Few companies are as committed to its consumers as they are. Its president, Mr. Victor Ireland, answers users' questions on the newsgroups rec.games.video.sega and rec.games.video.sony, and they released Rayearth for the Saturn many months after every other developer in the U.S. abandoned it. Furthermore, Working Designs' games have given me many good memories and laughs, especially the two Lunars, Vay, Dragon Force, and Albert Odyssey (I'm still playing Rayearth). So if I'm complaining, it's because I have to write about something every month.
The first aspect about Working Designs that tests my patience is their numerous delays. Every game they release is delayed. I have reluctantly come to accept this as a fact of life. As a matter of fact, I now never believe the first release date they announce.
Even though that bothers me, it's not that bad, really. It's not like they are doing nothing. They are working to make the games better. Mr. Victor Ireland has a very high standard for quality, and I'm glad he does. So what if I have to wait a few more months (or a few more years)? As Mr. Victor Ireland himself said, "Delays are temporary. Mediocrity is forever."
The other disadvantage, which bothers me more because it is more subtle and subjective, is that after you get used to their style, it's hard to get used to other RPGs. I now expect humor when I play an RPG, so I get turned off a little when I play a "serious" one. I also played Tales of Destiny for the PlayStation, and I loved it, partly because its humor was similar to the one Working Designs uses.
Finally, I also learned to accept the idiosyncrasies of Mr. Virtor Ireland himself. Working Designs is one of these companies, like Apple and Microsoft, where what the president says is exactly what is done. That makes the president and its company almost synonyms. So if Mr. Victor Ireland argues with GameFan or with Sega, we have to put up with it, like it or not. As I like to say, geniuses are usually eccentric. Both of them come together, and cannot be separated.
Come to think of it, all these reasons are probably why people who like Working Designs usually don't like Square and viceversa . I guess that's similar to getting used to one author and enjoying only his or her books. Hmm.
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