I've dipped my hairy toes in the Breath of Fire series. I've played some Dragon Warrior too... Never really impressed me. The Lunar games? *Yawn* How about Suikoden? No biggie. Phantasy Star 1-4? A nice try. All of those series of RPGs are/were fun and all, but there have only been a few that really jumped off the TV and whacked off in my face as if this analogy wasn't going anywhere fast.
American Role Playing Games have never done it for me. The ones with storylines are lame, and the online never-ending ones just piss me off for not having a beginning, middle or end. Nope, it's Japanese RPGs for me, bunky. And of that fairly large genre there have only been a dozen or so that have been anything more than "average". The ones mentioned above were definitely fun to play -- some more for the characters and storylines and some more for the battle systems and gameplay mechanics... but they were all missing something that one Japanese company truly understood and capitalized upon like nobody's mad business. I speak of Squaresoft (aka Square-Enix): The GODS of the RPG Relm. They understood from the beginning what people wanted and gave them just that and then 5 more heaping teaspoons of sugary bonuses with a giant cherry to top it all off. Over the many years they have given us games with engaging and endearing characters, a winding and long-roaded plot, a mile-long weapon and item chart, innovative leveling-up techniques and great enemies and especially great villains. Some may argue that Chrono Trigger (the Dream-Team compilation game by the masters) was the greatest RPG ever made. They'd of course be wrong, but at least close to the correct answer. See, the true greatest RPG was put out by the same company with some of the same people involved... only it was released 3 years earlier and called Final Fantasy VI.
Yes, the Final Fantasy series is everything a non-retarded person could want in a video gaming experience. Starting waaaay back in 1987, the original Final Fantasy was Square's last best hope for salvation and profits. They poured all of their resources into the production of the game, and got 4 times more detailed in terms of plot, items to buy, weapons to hack and slash with and bad guys to beat up than the closest rival game, Enix's Dragon Quest. But most importantly, every 8 out of 9 enemies you ran into weren't "slimes". If that sentence made no sense to you, don't worry, the rest of this review won't either.
After the first FF hit paydirt, Square quickly started to pound out sequels like that Catholic mother in Meaning of Life shot out kids. But the best thing about the FF series was that each individual game took place in its own unique world with no character or plot ties to anything that had come before (well, except for Final Fantasy X-2... But I'm not even reviewing that here so just forget about it for now). Yes, most of the games have recurring character names (i.e. a mechanic or leader named "Cid" and background characters named "Biggs" and "Wedge"), overused items of transportation (like the mighty Chocobo and the highly advanced airship), and the use of summoned creatures (i.e. Shiva, Ifrit, Bahamut, et al.)... But those things are all kind of just bonus fun things. The plot never really revolved around them for more than one game (like FFVI's plot was based around summoned creatures, but none of the others... Let's just move on).
Let me clear things up first (or just refresh your short term memory) and take you on a whirlwind trip through the most basic of the basic plots for these fine ten games. Keeping in mind that some I haven't played in 15 years, and I don't like digging through old websites just to get accurate and factual data for my review. Also keeping in mind that two of these games I only played in horribly translated NES ROM versions made by fans, for fans. So just bear with me and cut me some major slack. And let me just tell you now, spoilers abound. Bueno nachos, and gracias.
Final Fantasy (1987)
The grandaddy of them all. It completely revolutionized the whole console RPG genre, and it started the whole tradition of keeping me lifeless for entire months at a time while I played it and powered up my Fighter, White Mage, Black Mage, and Blackbelt and got them all rich on Giant gold. The whole point behind this 1 megabit wonder was that the world was rotting and the people of the planet were just chilling out awaiting the arrival of four prophesied warriors to come along and do a little spring cleaning. The Warriors of Light start by doing all the bitch work of the main kingdom that their entire army wasn't able to do previously (like saving the princess, beating up blind witches, making deals with dwarves, etc.), but then they tumble into a quest to save time itself when Chaos and his four buddies (Kraken, Lich, Kary, and Tiamat) start fucking with the world's virtual flux capacitor in order to rule the present from the past. The weird yet incredibly fun thing about FF's plot is that in the end, after you save the world, your actions ended up never happening due to the time-ripple effect that Doc Brown goes into great detail about in Back to the Future Part II. Pretty deep for the plot of a game on the NES. I first played this game after I stole my grade school buddy, Jason Lords', copy, and I never looked back. That was the beginning of my love affair with console RPGs and crime.
Final Fantasy II (1988)
Revolution! FFII is all about fighting the evil empire (yeah, this plot comes up again a few times [and FFVII even makes the "empire" a corporation), but here it was fresh and a new way of looking at RPG storylines. Four idealistic kids get together and decide to put the medieval smack-down on their oppressors only to find out (Gasp!) that they are merely puppets of the real big bad... Once again, this was actually very new at the time this game was made. Everything else since FFII has ripped Square off. Well, after lots of heroic sacrifices and death and destruction the heroes throw down with Dark Cloud and save the world. Yay! This along with FFIII I was only able to get through thanks to some shady ROMs that some nice people were nice enough to translate and upload back in the mid to late 90s.
Final Fantasy III (1989)
The Crystals have returned! Rejoice! The four things that I wish all FF games had in them take center stage here: the Elemental Crystals of Power. Four Crystals, four elements: wind, ice, earth, fire. Four spunky kids (surprise!) find that they are the legendary Light Warriors from a talking piece of glass. They take the Crystal seriously and quest to save their sunken world from the enemy that wishes for nothing but power at the cost of pissing off all the inhabitants of the planet. After getting Cid to fix up an old airship (really early on for a Final Fantasy game), and then SMASHING it into a mountain (you wouldn't believe how pissed I was to lose something that precious like that. Seriously, you don't usually get the airship in these games until the final 3rd of the story), the kids confront the baddie only to find (HOLY SHIT! You don't say) that an even bigger evil is still hiding in the shadows. Then with the ability to change caste classes at the drop of a dark wizard's hat, and with the help of the bizarro Dark Warriors, the four youths save the day! Huzzah!
Final Fantasy IV (1990)
Fuck yes! Oh man, this one just ruled my little world when it first came out. See, the big N (Nintendo) had only brought out the original FF to the States before FFIV was released for the SNES, but thank goodness they thought twice about this one. It all starts out with the King telling the main man, Cecil, to kill people. Lots of people. Soon Cecil and his bud, Dragoon-dude Kain (aka the backstabber/bestest friend in the whole wide world), think that doing bad things is naughty and therefore repent. Cecil's hot tamale of a girlfriend, Rrrrrrosa, joins the party along with the cutie summoner Rydia and the ninja-guy, Edge. There's also a mechanic named Cid, a "spoony bard" named Edgar who you want to beat the crap out of with his own mandolin, an old wizard named Tellah, two bratty twin kid-mages, and a kung-fu master who sneezes a lot. Seriously, the size of the cast and plot alone made me piss my highschool pants every night for weeks while I played through this game and watched in pissy glee while the plot gradually unfolded over the course of its 25-hour playtime. I had never put as much effort into anything as I did helping Cecil find redemption against his evil bro, the four elemental bitches, and eventually Zeromus on the moon. ON THE FUCKING MOON. I never saw that coming. That was just such a sweet and unexpected way to end the game, by going to another planetoid (yeah, yeah, yeah... Phantasy Star... Whatever. I was a Nintendo-boy through and through)! On top of that there was Cid's sacrifice, the entire underworld of the Dwarves, Magic Monsters that would fight in your stead, Chocobos, that giant robot... Oh man, this one got deep. But the game I originally played wasn't even the full thing. The US release was made easier than the Japanese version, it had its stripper-shot removed, and it had the "porno book" taken out as one of the rarest items in the game. You read that right.
Final Fantasy V (1992)
Meteorites, hot pirate chicks and Gilgamesh, oh my! While FFV didn't live up to its potential (it was kind of a let down after FFIV), it was still a fun game to play, and it brought back the character job system that FFIII initially created (wherein each character could literally grow up to become any kind of profession imaginable... I've even heard rumors that there was a secret "hooker class" that you could unlock in which to proposition X-Death in the final battle and let him die horribly from some major Fantasy STDs). There's planet-hopping galore and the death of a major character... but in the end it just felt a little flat. The thing that hurt Five the most, in my valuable opinion, was the fact that the big bad guy was a tree. An evil tree. What the fuck where they smoking? FFVI's evil clown was a better bad guy. Unfortunately, even the forest of Moogles couldn't save FFV from slipping a bit in the plot and character development department. But, that's what FFVI was for.
Final Fantasy VI (1993)
Quite honestly (I wouldn't lie to you), Final Fantasy VI is the greatest game ever made. FFVI is a work of art. I took my entire Thanksgiving week off from school one year to play this thing. I originally beat it in 32 hours, but I didn't even have 2/3rds of all the optional characters, and 1/2 of the secrets discovered. On subsequent playthroughs I was finally able to get all 14 of the main characters, but I don't think I will ever find all of the items, weapons or pieces of background info on everybody and everything involved. I am simply in awe that it didn't take the FFVI design team 10 years to make this bad boy. But on to the plot!
FFVI is all about one tyrannical Emperor's quest to revive Magic in the world, 1,000 years after the great magic wars decimated the planet. He and his top gay general, Kefka, do a lot of evil as they collect three magical statues and imprison any left over Esper beasts that they come across. But with the help of a half human half Esper named Terra, the rebellious Returners lay siege on the Emperor and his minions just as the shit is about to hit... But at the last moment Kefka slays his boss and blows the world up (with some wicked one liners just to taunt our heroes with). And that's not even the first 1/2 of the game. After a year, one of the Returners, Celes (the bestest RPG babe ever), finally recovers from the End of the World and starts on a quest to reunite all her old comrades in arms, and meet up with a few new ones, in order to stop Kefka's mad, gay, iron-fisted rule.
Seriously, FFVI had everything including 5 kitchen sinks. 14 characters! FOURTEEN playable main characters, and only something like half were really necessary to complete the quest. You could honestly beat the game halfway through if you so chose. And each character was so different from the others in design, personality and abilities. One was more magic prone, one could use chainsaws and power-drills in his attacks, one used button combinations like a Street Fighter II character to work out his mad martial arts moves, one was a samurai with the best power-buildup ever, one could paint her enemies and learn things about them that way, one could mimic any foe or friend, one was a smart ass Moogle, one was a wild child, one was a quiet ninja with a doggie, one was a thief, one threw coins like shuriken, one was a Yeti and one was.... Wait, was that all of them? Fuck it, they all ruled. And the amount of detail that went into the world was just mind and cock blowing! All of the secrets, all of the character histories (yes, almost every one of the 14 main characters had a loooong backstory that you could choose to find out about), all of the magic and weapon attack combinations added up into the greatest video game ever made. FFVI had fun gameplay, it actually had a really deep and entertaining plot, the music was way too good for its own good (best soundtrack ever too), it had a magnificent 20 minute ending (totally unheard of back then, and even today!) and and and... Oh shoot. I just creamed my pants again thinking about it.
Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Yeah, it was a long time between VI and VII, but the wait was worth it... At least it was at first. See, it so happened that Square and the Nintendo had a little bit of a falling out (mostly cause Nintendo refused to go "disc" and kept the whole concept of "cartridge" for their new system, the N64), which led to Squaresoft jumping camp to the Sony Playstation with their flagship series in tow. Nintendo at first guffawed at the threat, but when Final Fantasy VII basically MADE the PSX the mega-king of all gaming consoles on both sides of the Pacific Nintendo was forced to eat its own hat... and swallow its own vomit. FFVII was in fact a genius move by Square. They made another epically huge storyline filled to the brim with monsters, heroes, video cut scenes and plot... but they just forgot the tone of the Final Fantasy series. Instead of a medieval-like atmosphere filled with some high tech devices, FFVII was a high tech world filled with sci-fi devices. It was all dark and moody (and so was the lead character) and it felt as if we were stuck in a post apocalyptic world where there was not even the dim light of hope to save us. In a word, FFVII was "dreary."
I will admit though, that when I first played it through I really got into it. The polygon graphics were pretty revolutionary at the time, the massive amounts of cinematic cutscenes made me want to rush from one plot point to the next as quickly as possible, and the story itself was pretty interesting (even though Cloud was even more fucked in the head by the end of everything than we could have ever imagined... What a downer). FFVII is all about the Shinra Corp. Well, Shinra and Sephiroth, the bleached dude in the leather trenchcoat that would make Spike from Buffy proud. Shinra is all about making a profit on the world's life energy, while Sephi is all about killing everything and letting God sort it all out. These two forces are faced by our main man, Cloud, his hottie friend Tifa (with the biggest boobies EVER in a video game until FFX's Lulu), the flower girl Aerith, Mr. T, Cid, young ninja Yuffie, talking lion Red XXXIIIIIXIXI, the mysterious Vincent, and the most annoying character EVER in any entertainment medium, Cait Sith. That fucking puppet cat made me throw things at my TV on several occasions.
So Cloud and company are all about good vibes and stuff, but then that thing came out of the sea, and there was that point when Aerith is gutted in front of the crew by Sephi, and then we find out that the Turks are cool, but Sephi was really already dead and made from JENOVA, the Knights of the Round live in a cave that only a gold chocobo can get to, and Cloud isn't Cloud, but an imposter.... Whoa, wait. Yeah, Squaresoft, plottwists are good and all, but the point is to not completely LOSE your audience with confusion and emergency story additions. Once again, I will admit that I really liked FFVII when I first played it, but in retrospect it really wasn't one of the better Final Fantasy games. Especially coming after VI. It was more like Square just wanted to make a movie and only added play mechanics at the last minute. Though truth be told, I did have fun breeding Chocobos... Is that so wrong?
Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
This game has caused the biggest rift amoung RPG fanboys that I have ever seen. People either love FFVIII or hate it. And no matter what their thoughts on it are, they probably can't explain their feelings on the subject. In hindsight, 5 years after playing it, I love it. I don't know why. Yeah, I can make fun of some if its plotholes that you could detonate an Ultima spell in (like why a world with only something like THREE countries, each with only one real city, would even need an organization like the gigantic merc group known as SeeD)... But just remember, this is a video game.
What FFVII did to change the series, FFVIII did again, but with more style and a bit more funness. Funnerness?... Hmmm. It was even more a cinematic adventure than FFVII, but the characters were a lot more likeable (man, if I was a bunch of polygons I would so chase Rinoa, Selphie and Quistis' hot boo-tay... Ooooooh yeah), the plot was more seat-edging, and the music was sooo much more dramatic and grand. We start out with a violent training session between long time rivals Squall and Seifer as they hack and slash at eachother when they just as easily could have whipped out their dongs and had a measuring contest... Uuuh, on second thought, maybe sword/gun fighting was the better choice. Soon Squall and his love-lorn lady friends join up with a tattooed dude, a cowboy, and a hot chickie in blue (Rinoa) in order to take down the evil bitch, Edea. Throughout their mission Squall has major visions from the past of a hippy soldier who has the hots for a lounge singer and who is somehow related to their own task at hand. Bizarro. Anyway, Squall and gang travel the planet, blow shit up, go into space, and star in some of the coolest CGI cutscenes the world has ever known. That whole scene in outer space with Rinoa and her necklace floating in her helmet... Gorgeous. The assassination attempt on Edea... took my breath away. The entire ending? Whoa... Just so well done. Perfect to a fault. The whole take during the party that was shot through a camcorder added a whole new element to the story. Plus the music. Oh, the music of FFVIII is the second best of the entire series, and its soundtrack the second best videogame soundtrack ever made. The Orchestral CD for FFVIII is even better than FFVI's Orchestral CD. God bless you, Composer Nobuo Uematsu!
Pretty much the only thing that I didn't really love about FFVIII was the gameplay. A big flaw, I know, but right now, years later, I'm having a hard time remembering why it was so bad. It had something to do with the fact that no matter how much you leveled up, all of your enemies leveled up the same amount too. That kind of defeated the entire point of an RPG... but Eight was just so much fun anyway, I was very able to overlook this shortcoming. And the Pokemon-cloned card game was fairly addictive too.
Final Fantasy IX (2000)
Christ. Don't even get me started on FFIX. What a shit game. I played it just 3 years ago and yet it was so crappy that I remember more plot and gameplay information from the games in the series that I played 12-13 years ago. Square so dropped the ball on this one. The most I remember was that there is this monkey boy who teams up with a princess in orange and a giant rat and they meet a little summoner girl and a chubby black mage, and Garland is the big boss (Garland who turned into Chaos in the first Final Fantasy...). Bullshit. The whole thing. First of all, yes, Square DID place the story back into a fantasy-themed land and took it away from the whole sci-fi settings of the last two games. Point to them. They even got character designer GOD, Yoshitaka Amano, to create their character designs again after being absent from the last two chapters. Point two to Square... But then they turned his gorgeous designs into Chucky look-alike midgets, and they rushed the music, and the plot was broken and that chef with the tongue was almost as gay as Cait Sith. Man, all those negatives fucked this up for me. I don't even remember how it played or what the bosses were like. Urrrrgh! Fuck you for this abortion of an RPG, Square! It could have been your best ever had you taken your time and not rushed it in order to concentrate on Final Fantasy - The Crappy Spirits Within.
Final Fantasy X (2001)
The first Final Fantasy game for the Playstation 2 (keeping the tradition alive of doing their best to utterly kill Nintendo) was pretty different from all previous installments... For better or worse. I will tell you that I did very much enjoy FFX for its storyline and its battle system... but there were a few things that Square tinkered with which they shouldn't have touched. Number one is how incredibly linear FFX turned out to be. You go from one town to the next (there are no options to do anything else) in a straight path from your start to your destination. There is no overworld map for you to walk around on and randomly meet monsters. There are just paths that lead from one town to the following. And as Gandalf once warned, "Do not stray from the path". I mean, you couldn't if you wanted to, and I kinda wanted to. Granted, FFX is all about a mission, a single mission with one journey that leads to the ultimate goal. It would have been silly plot wise if the lead characters had been allowed to wander around when they knew what they had to do and that they only had a short amount of time to do it, but it's just more confining when you aren't allowed to do so.
Final Fantasy X starts off in a world kinda like what we've seen from FFVIII: futuristic, sleek and neony. But almost immediately our main character, Blitzball champ Tidus, is pulled into a giant ball of water that just destroyed his city, and plopped right into a world strangely familiar, but magically religiously different. Tidus is confused as he meets up with the rest of the blindly religious cast (their faith is of the Yevon Church and all its kooky teachings), but don't worry, they're not that annoying about it (well, Wakka is at first, but then he gets better). Tidus then joins the cutie Yuna's traveling group as another one of her Guardians, and along with Auron, Lulu (the only video game character with more cleavage than Lara Croft and Tifa from FFVII combined), Wakka, that Lion-O thing, and my main bitch Rikku, they start their quest to rid the world of the threat that is Sin (the thing that transported Tidus 1,000 years into the future to where he is now).
The traveling companions go from town to town, city to city as Yuna, a summoner and a sender, pilgrimages her way from Yevon Temple to Temple in order to gain all the summoned creatures that she can in order to finally defeat the giant and icky looking Sin... But is their quest all for naught? What is the point when the final summoning takes Yuna's life? Is the sacrifice worth it knowing that by defeating Sin they've only just put it to rest for a couple of years? Yes, Sin is guaranteed to come back even after everything they go through, so what will Tidus do in order to save his honey Yuna? What does Tidus' dead-beat dad, Jecht, have to do with any of this? How do Lulu's titties not pop out of that outfit? How many heart to hearts can a group of friends have during the course of a 35-40 hour game? Who the fuck was Yu Yevon? How sucky is it that souls can't pass on to the next world unless some chick does a little dance over their dead bodies?... As for the last question, the answer is VERY sucky. Seriously, if you happen to die and there's no Summoner/Sender around to do the Sending Dance you are doomed to walk the Earth as a vengeful fiend, or a sorrowful ghost until the End of Days. Pisser, huh?
All in all though, FFX was a really fun addition to the whole Final Fantasy lineage. At the very very least it towered over FFIX. But to be quite honest, that Bible Stories Nintendo game that my great Aunt and Uncle gave me for my 7th birthday in which I helped Moses get all those animals on that boat, and then tried and rescue Jesus from the cross was ten times better than FFIX. What the fuck were they thinking?....
So that's Final Fantasies I - X in a nutshell. All in all the FF series is the grandest video game collection ever. It avoids the pitfalls that the Legend of Zelda series fell into (what with the highly convoluted official history and plot) by making each chapter a stand alone world filled with new heroes, enemies, monsters and threats. Instead of making the final boss in EVERY FUCKING GAME a giant pig-dude, in FF we get an evil clown, a giant space-brain, a biogenetically engineered gay guy with long flowing white hair, a giant flying whale thing named Sin, and a tree. Now that takes imagination.
But aside from story and stats-building, there are two more very important ingredients to the whole Final Fantasy thing that makes the series stand even further apart from everything around them like God pissing on heathen ants. I speak of the greatest artist who ever lived, Yoshitaka Amano, and the greatest video game composer to ever get behind a synthesizer, Nobuo Uematsu. Without them the Final Fantasy series wouldn't have been half as great as it is... But in all honesty that would still make it 3 times as good as Bubble Bobble.
Amano was responsible for all the character and enemy (and even some scene) designs from Final Fantasy I through VI. And it was good. His style is just so fucking great that it brought a feel of its own to the show. His background in fantasy art made the games feel like we were indeed playing one of his paintings. Yes, even on the 8-bit Nintendo his art shone through, but it wasn't truly until the SNES Final Fantasy games came along that his art was truly allowed to shine like the burning light of a thousand Meteor and Ultima spells colliding in the heavens. My GOD do I worship the man and his talent! But then, most unfortunately, the Square bigwigs started getting blow jobs from some cookie-cutter artist on staff and Amano was out for doing character designs for FFVII and VIII (he still did promotional art for the games [which of course ROCK], but he was no longer in charge of the actual design creation because Square thought that his style could not be translated properly to 3D when in fact the redone CGI openings and closing for FFV and FFVI on the Playstation had 3D interpretations of his stuff and it is the most gorgeous 3D CG shit I've ever seen in my sad little life! Fuck you, Square!!!). But I digress.
They kept Amano along for the ride and tried to quell die-hard fans of the FF series by letting the artist do the designs for FFIX... but as I stated above, Square was really just fucking with everybody. Sure, they got some incrediboobilous art from the hairy little man from which to craft a new FF world from, but then they gave Amano's designs to the same fucker who did the bland designs of FFVII and VIII. And he farked them up to high holy hell. He made Amano's works look ugly. I don't know how but he did. Only that girl summoner with the horn in her head came out cute, the rest were bucking futt ugly. After that, Square went back to the FFVII and VIII artist and got him to do the FFX art. Surprise. That was probably the replacement's plan from the beginning you know. "Hey, boss, I think it'd be spiffy to let old Amano-sensei do the art for Final Fantasy IX! The fans'll LOVE it!... Just let me turn his gorgeous paintings into hideous 3D renderings before the game goes out to print and we'll all win! *Hee hee... Looks like my job is safe.*"
Sigh... Anyway, the other part of the other part of FF's great success lies in the composing hands of Nobuo Uematsu. The man knows how to make *beeps* and *boops* sound like musical candy. His scores for FFIV and FFVI go so far beyond what the Super Nintendo should have been capable of with its limited sound system. I stand by my claim that FFVI has the greatest soundtrack for any video game ever. Yeah, Nobuo got close to perfection again with FFVIII and FFX, but the fact that he had something like 16 fucking character themes running throughout FFVI along with that 20 minute finale and an entire opera piece blows my pretty mind all over the wall like a shotgun blast to the lower jaw.
One last thing to hit upon before I wrap this fucker up. Pretty much each FF game also has at least one moment in it that takes you so completely into the game that you are actually kind of sad when that scene or moment is over and you have to get back to saving the world. Whether it be finding that underground city of the Summoned beasts in IV, the opera in VI, the death of Aerith in VII or the space rescue in VIII, you are temporarily transported into a video game. Most big screen movies fail to do that. That is just one of the many parts that makes these ten games kick so much pixilated ass. God bless you Square! God bless you and whatever demon you had to sell your collective souls to in order to make these spectacular spectacular games.
Yo. Word, G. This whole game series was whack. I dig them all. Well, I played that one with that magic girl in it. That was fly. And that other one with that guy with the sword. Yeeeeeah, doggie, that was a fun one too. I think I played that one where that monster showed up and started bitin' and shitin' on the enemies in place of my own fightahs! I was all like, whoooooa bitch! Where the fuck did that shit come from?!
Sad. It's just so sad. Think about it, my brother has spent an average of like 30 hours on each of the games above. That's 30 times 10. That's 300 hours on just this series of games alone. That's 37 and a half actual work days that he could have gotten a paycheck for at Blockbuster or Little Caesars when we were in high school! Then he could have given his family better Christmas and birthday gifts over the years. 300 times $7.50 would be about $2,250 before taxes! Man! He so could have gotten me that jacket I wanted for Christmas in 1993 if he had just put that damn controller down!