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  • Hello and welcome to this first edition of The Import Report. In this column I hope to express to you my thoughts and opinions of the booming industry of import games. Hey! I can sense you just itching to click on that Back button, but first hear me out.
    Final Fantasy V never made it overseas.
    Let's have a little history lesson: back in the day, SquareSoft produced games exclusively for the NES, their games were some of the best on the system and they contributed to the success of that console. Then came the SNES. Once again SquareSoft decided to produce games exclusively for that system and made such classics as Final Fantasy 2 and 3 and Chrono Trigger- not to mention the many games that never made their way to our shores. But when the PlayStation arrived on the scene with their flashy full-motion video capabilities and huge amount of storage space, SquareSoft opted to depart their long time friends at Nintendo and produce games solely for PlayStation. FFVII alone sold millions of PlayStations and blew away gamers and critics alike.
    FFVIII Full Motion Video
    SquareSoft effectively has the power to make or break a console and is easily the best reason that Sony Playstation now dominates the videogame market. Lately SquareSoft has diversified their games, making fighters such as Tobal No.1 and the Bushido Blade series and more action-orientated adventures like Brave Fencer Musashi, but their RPGs remain the focal point of the company. More and more of their games are becoming "cinematic RPGs", one trend that I, personally, do not especially like. Cinemas look nice and all, but I still prefer FFIII to FFVII and Parasite Eve has more in common with Resident Evil than it does with the Final Fantasy series. Speaking of cinemas, SquareSoft is even producing a Final Fantasy fully rendered movie. From the pictures that I've seen so far, I can tell you that this one is going to be hot. More information on that in another edition.
    The next big release on SquareSoft's list is the much-awaited eighth installment of the Final Fantasy series. They promise a game of epic proportions and from what I've seen and played so far, it looks like we won't be disappointed. The game is due out in Japan in February '99 but isn't supposed to arrive on this side of the Pacific until next Christmas. You can bet that gamers will be lining up for miles to get their hands on this one.
    Without the support of SquareSoft, both Saturn and Nintendo64 were destined from the start to be "inferior" systems . Who will SquareSoft decide to support next? That's one question nobody really knows, but I bet that Yuji Naka and the rest of the boys over at Sega are keeping their fingers crossed.
    That's it for this edition of The Import Report and I hope that you'll join me again next time. Good-bye.
    -Adam Basarab

    P.S. Capcom makes its first game for N64: Magical Mickey Tetris Challenge! Come on Capcom, quit screwing around!