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Another great 'cast, guys! Listening to you discuss FFXIII, I can't help but think about a couple of things. The first is: when a game or a franchise of any kind gets big, and I mean...enormous, there seems to be a trend that happens as time wears on where the programmers and designers end up "trying something new" with the product. It happened back in the 80's with Coke, when they decided to fiddle with/improve the taste of Coke and ended up sending Cola fiends into a death spiral. That is why now, when you drink regular ol' Coke, you drink "Coca-Cola Classic". They had to bring it back because people didn't like being effed with without their consent. This sort of thing has happened time and again with various products and various levels of success. Things that ain't broke get fixed and then some of the core audience tends to feel alienated (Evangelion series? Anybody?).In the case of Final Fantasy, I feel that at certain points the creators feel the need to reinvent, to do something new each time, take things in a different direction. I felt that was very well done with FFXII. It was different, for sure, but all of the important elements of fantasy (F A N T A S Y) were still there. I really enjoyed the story and the characters and, on a side note, I liked the fact that battle happened right there (instead of waiting for ye olde loade screene). I do feel like new things can be tried with the Final Fantasy series but is Sci-Fi the way to go? I can almost see/hear the planning meeting where the top guns were telling the creative staff that they wanted to repeat the success of the more sci-fi oriented FFVII and wanted them to revisit that theme again. Most terrible ideas end up coming from the execs anyway (as you may have experienced) and it's left to the creative staff to do what they can with their orders. Especially in companies from the East, there tends to be less you can do about orders from a superior than maybe a similar job somewhere in the west. I've experienced it out here and the social divides between boss and subordinate can get pretty rigid.Second, and I'll make this quick because this is starting to become a novel, I also wonder, while I'm playing any JRPG, if we're getting good translations. And I think...no matter how good a translation is, there are also really deep, embedded cultural symbols that we just aren't going to pick up on. What's nice on DVDs is that sometimes the subtitle person or whoever will put up liner notes or footnotes or supertitles to explain something cultural that we're missing. But that doesn't (and, really) can't happen in an RPG, which is too bad. I think those kinds of insights can really expand not only your appreciation of what you're seeing and experiencing, but your understanding of the thinking that goes into the game your playing and maybe shed some light on other things you've missed in the past.Anyhow, that's all I've got. Hope you guys are doing well. Have a great week.geoffreydean