I have been playing Final Fantasy VII for more than 30 hours, so I believe I am qualified to
talk about my impresions about the PlayStation by now (I won't reach any conclusions about
the game until I win it). My conclusions should be a little different than the ones from most
people, since I have been very loyal to Sega (perhaps too loyal) since they released the Master
My first impressions after seeing the spells (and after seeing my friend play Tekken 3) is that
the PlaysStation does look better than the Saturn. Really. The resolution seems to be
a little higher, and even if it isn't, the gourad shading on the characters make the objects
appear more detailed. Plus the lighting effects look very cool, and can be implemented very easily
on the PlayStation (that's why they have been done almost to death in that platform).
I know what some of you are saying: "But the Saturn can do gourad shading and cool lighting effects.
Look at games like Fighting Vipers and Burning Rangers." Sure, the Saturn can do these effects. If
you implement them on software. It's up to the individual programmer to do these things if they are
willing and able to do it themselves. And you better be a damn good programmer then, because you
will have to find a way to make the Saturn processors do it without slowing down the rest of the game.
The PlayStation has specialized chips to do these effects, so it can be done more easily.
The second thing I noticed was that the PlayStation controllers really suck. You cannot do diagonals
easily. Actually, you can rarely do diagonals even if you try very hard! What were these guys
smoking when they were designing these controllers? And I thought that with a game like Final Fantasy
VII I wouldn't really need to move diagonally. Ha!
Again, I know what some of you guys are thinking: "You can buy a third party controller that will
let you perform diagonals easily." Of course you can. However, most players will never buy these
controllers because they are just casual gamers. And even it they do, their first impression will
still be less than favorable. Besides, I think is the console manufacturer's responsibility to make
sure its own controllers are very good. After all, they make the console.
Even if you are willing to overlook that, let's talk about something that cannot be fixed. The
arrangement of the PlayStation's buttons. I played PaRappa the Rapper and I hated it just because
of the controls. The premise of the game is very good: it's a "quick-reflex" game where you perform
the right moves by pressing the right buttons at the right time. However, I find it much easier to
memorize where "A," "B," "C," and "X," "Y," and "Z" are than where "Square," "Circle," "X," and
"Triangle" are located. Sure, the names of the buttons are original, but I don't want original,
I want practical. I play video games to have fun, not to wrestle with the controller.
Of course, all thoughout every gaming session I have with the PlayStation, I keep praying that the
full motion video doesn't start skipping all of a sudden. How much time do I have left before it
starts skipping? A week? A month? A year? Did Sony fix that problem with the new PlayStations?
They never made a press release acknowledging the problem, you know. Why did Sony, which normally
makes excellent hardware, release a video game system that skips?
I like to finish every editorial with a conclusion. Is the PlayStation better than the Saturn?
Well, graphically, it definitely is. Controlwise and qualitywise, I'm afraid not, so I have mixed
feelings. However, it all boils down to one thing: games. While I love my Saturn software, and I'm
not sorry I got a Saturn, let's face it, the Saturn is dead. After Shining Force III and Rayearth,
nothing will ever be released for the U.S. Saturn. What am I going to do until RPGs are available
in English for the Dreamscast, suck my thumbs? I have to go where the games are, and right now it
is the PlayStation.
By the way, the race will not be over once the Dreamcast is released, not by a long shot. Do you
think the PlayStation 2 will be inferior, or even equal, to a game system that has been released
beforehand? Dream On! (No pun intended).