Inside Pulse 12

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 12.17.02

Interact’s Quantum Fighter Pad (Sega Dreamcast)
One thing that Interact failed to mention was that despite having 6 buttons on the face, YOU COULDN’T BIND THE R AND L TO ANY OF THEM!… Try pulling off a dragon punch with Ryu or the raging demon with Akuma and you’ll see what I’m talking about! Arcade perfect my…
“¢ Frederick Badlissi (The Gamer’s Conscious 12.11.02)

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 12-17-02: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

Where did all of these guys come from!? I turn my back for one second, and 411 Games has like 70 new writers.(EDITOR’S NOTE: Its seven, Bebito) According to Chris P., we needed them so I’ll just have to get used to the new faces. It’s just a bit strange to go from a site run by like five or six guys to go to a site run by like eleven or twelve. (Then again, Chris used to run this whole thing practically by himself along with only one other guy, using just some string, paper towels, and a Commodore 64. So maybe it’s a bigger change for him.) Hopefully this means that Widro won’t have to bust out four reviews a day anymore. The guy really needs a break.

In any case, this is my official greeting to all of the new guys. Welcome to the (dysfunctional) family. Please be careful to step over Florence on your way in. Yip will be nice enough to show you around. Make sure to stay out of Masters’ way. Don’t look Williams directly in the eyes. Never mention the word “perfect” to Myles. And you see that guy bending over in the corner? That’s your boss, Chris. Make sure to kiss his butt before you leave.

Behold the “Scotsmanality” edition of the Down-Lo. Let me explain this all again: the higher the DOWN-LO RATING the higher the reliability of the story (scale 1-10). A rumor with a D-Lo Rating of 1 (for example, the report of Nintendo taking over the Playstation brand), is complete crap and I don’t even believe it. A D-Lo Rating at 10 though, is a blessing from the rumor gods and something you need to watch out for. As always these are just rumors (which is why you read me in the first place), so be ready for some of this stuff to be just plain wrong. Enjoy. I do.


This is the Down-Lo.

WANT MORE SPLINTER CELL? GO LIVE
Ok, I thought I was kinda corny while reporting rumors, but nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is cornier than “The Rumor Mole” from Official Xbox Magazine. After I read this guy, my respect for Electronic Gaming Monthly’s Quaterman went up a bit (Just a bit though). The guy did have some interesting stuff to say however, so let’s take a look.

Ever notice that the interface in Splinter Cell has an option for downloads? What’s up wit dat? Well, UbiSoft allegedly has made about eleven extra levels that are not in the finished game. It sure would be a waste to just flush all that gaming bliss down the toilet. So the developers are contemplating releasing at least two of them for download through Xbox Live. Sweet.

What’s that? Don’t have Xbox Live? No broadband connection? Don’t fret. Extra levels may also be attainable from Official Xbox Magazine themselves, very soon. They’re looking into slapping some levels on that Game Disc that they give you, which supposedly makes the 8 bucks you pay for the magazine worth it.

(To go off on that tangent for a second: Did you know that, with the exception of Nintendo Power, the videogame magazines that you buy from your local game store come to the retailer for free? That’s right, the stores make 100% profit on each of those they sell. I know because I previously worked at Electronics Boutique and the employees took home gaming publications all the time. They’re not even in the store inventory. How can these media companies afford to give their magazines away for free like that? Simple. They don’t make their money at retail. They make it through the advertisements. The more popular and widely distributed the mag is, the more money selling page space to advertisers they can make. Sure, they’ll take your money through subscriptions in a heartbeat, but they don’t really NEED it, they just want to increase their reader base. Just keep that in mind the next time you buy a gaming magazine for like 10 dollars. Think of your friendly neighborhood rumor slinger Bebito, and how he still gets them all for free *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*.)

Look for this one to come true pretty swiftly. This guy DOES have the inside track on games for the Xbox, seeing as how it’s Microsoft’s official magazine and all. So be happy. You know you want to play more of Splinter Cell.

You can read 411 Games’ review of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell HERE.
DOWN-LO RATING: 8

EGM RUMOR OF THE WEEK
Quaterman has word that Tecmo is working on the sequel to Fatal Frame for the PlayStation2. Apparently Dreamworks, having scraped the bottom of the barrel for videogame movie licenses, believe that they can make half a decent film about this lackluster survival-horror game. Tecmo plans to schedule the sequel to tie in with the film’s release.

Has anyone even played this game? I hear it had a lot to do with Japanese schoolgirls taking pictures of undead people. I really want to make fun of it (despite Japanese schoolgirls being hot), but I’m not sure if the original game sucked or not. So somebody do me a favor that’s played the thing, and give me the “Down-Lo” on whether this game bites or not. I REALLY want to make fun of it. Thanks ahead of time.

At any rate, games that have movies made after them always have sequels (unfortunately), so you can pretty much count on this one.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

IT MUST SUCK NOT TO OWN A PS2
It’s getting to the point where EVERY next generation system is a must-have. Want Metriod Prime, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic The Hedgehog? You need a GameCube. Want Splinter Cell, Halo, and err… Halo 2? You need a Xbox. And now, if you want to own any Grand Theft Auto games for the foreseeable future… you need a Playstation2.

According to IGN.com’s Off The Record, about a week after Vice City was released, a Rockstar representative was interviewed on TV station CNN talking about the next two games in the series.’ He let loose that what SCEA has been saying for a while now is true: The next two games in the Grand Theft Auto series would be PS2 exclusives. It was also revealed that GTA: Sin Cityand GTA4 would be the next games in the series.

It’s been speculated that since GTA3 was based in Liberty City, and GTA: Vice City was based in Vice City, then according to the map provided in the first GTA, which shows one more city that hasn’t been explored yet, we may look forward to this third location, San Andreas, being the setting for GTA: Sin City. It also going around that the time period to be exploited for the next game is the 70s. I’ve got my Afro pick and over hydraulic-ed up car all set and ready to go.

Again, reliable stuff. I’ll keep you posted.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

UPDATE: NINTENDO’S MEGATON ANNOUNCEMENT
Here’s a small update for you. Just checked out an email I got from one of the guys at Gamers.com and even they agree with what I’ve been saying for weeks.

Nintendo’s big Megaton Announcement will be software related and the centerpiece of it all will be the highly anticipated Pokemon Online. Love it or hate it, odds are that’s what you’re getting. If you don’t believe me, fine. I will say I told you so.’ And if I’m wrong… well, I told you these were just rumors. Heh.

This will be the last time I’ll ever say anything about this. I’ve beaten this rumor into the ground enough already. Just don’t be surprised when Ron Yip is talking about Pikachu and Jigglypuff within the next week or two.
DOWN-LO RATING: NONE FOR UPDATES

THE LO-DOWN ON THE NEW SMACKDOWN!
Hopefully this isn’t the ONLY reason you clicked on this link. If so, I don’t want you reading my column. Go away. *makes shooing motion*

GamesRadar.com is reporting that THQ has confirmed work on a fifth installment of the WWE SmackDown! videogame franchise for PS2. That’s right, THQ themselves supposedly confirmed it. Not sure why this isn’t in the hard news already, but maybe everyone just assumed that “of course there would be a fifth SmackDown! game.” Maybe nobody thought this was credible enough to post. Maybe everybody just missed it. Whatever. Be thankful that I work here and that I can write pretty much anything I want, because I’m sure you are just dying to know all the available details on this soon to be anticipated title, so check it out…

Realism is the theme here folks, as the game is expected to improve the in-ring competition on all aspects, making it much more realistic and strategic. Submission moves will be vastly improved and focused on more than past installments. Finishing moves will no longer be able to be performed in awkward places of the ring, with body placement being a key. One of the most drastic and quickly recognizable differences will be the strengths and weaknesses system. Ever play a wrestling game and wonder how in the world Crash Holly is able to power bomb The Big Show through a table? No more of that crap. If the wrestler is a pip-squeak in real life, then they’ll be just as sorry in the game. In addition, the Season mode will be revamped to show more realism. Something called a “risk and reward” system will be implemented, where successful work in the ring earns “money” that can be used to buy improvements.

One area of WWE games that has always been heavily neglected was the WWE Divas. That’s going to change in this installment as well, with more focus on diva gimmick matches to peak the curiosity of virgins everywhere. Admit it, you want to have your “bra and panties” matches, your “mud” matches, and your “gravy bowl invitational” matches. THQ knows you want it too, so look for these to be stables of the series from now on. There’s no word yet on whether the graphics engine will be revamped to make the women actually look like they’re not ugly men in dresses, but stay tuned.

And of course that online gaming is all the rage these days. Sadly, it’s still unknown right now if the game will be online-compatible. THQ doesn’t want to throw in some crappy half-behind online effort, such as the ability to download new rings or something trivial like that. They’ve been quoted as saying that if they can’t get a great system up and running with full online battles over the web, then they won’t bother with the online features at all. I take this to mean that we shouldn’t hold our breathes for online gameplay, but at least they are looking into it. Maybe in the sixth SmackDown!

Other expected features such as more backstage areas, and a larger roster of wrestlers are a given.

Once more, all of this was supposedly confirmed by THQ themselves, so you can put some bank in this stuff. Heck, it may as well be fact. Of course, if my source is incorrect and just making crap up (unlikely), then simply remove the “0” from the Down-Lo Rating and have a nice day. Thank you.
DOWN-LO RATING: 10

And that’s the Down-Lo.


THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT
Another day, another gamerview. I bust my butt putting these things together you know. It’s almost like doing a whole other column. You seem to like it however, so that’s what makes it all worth it (ok no, not really… I can’t back that up). Thanks for your kind feedback and suggestions. They are ALL appreciated. I’ll keep pumping them out, if you keep tellin’ me you want them.

Let’s jump right into it, because I’m sure all of you want to know, just as badly as I, what games my fellow writers like to play. So let’s find out together. Enjoy. I do.


(DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT IS ON THE SCOTSMAN: THE SMARKS@411/WRESTLING)

Today’s guest is not even really from this site per se. Nonetheless, he’s still part of the 411 family, so we’ll show him some love. I was fortunate enough to sit down with The Scotsman from The Smarks@411 and have a nice little chat. He’s definitely one of the most interesting gamerviews I’ve ever done. Check it out:

This is the Down-Lo Spotlight.

Bebito: What’s up Scotsman! How are you doing?
Scotsman: Well I just flew in from New York, and BOOOY ARE MY ARMS TIRED! Whooo.

Uh no… I’m doing good, thank you very much.

Bebito: Your welcome very much. Let’s get started. Where you from?
Scotsman: Originally from Scotland, I moved to Canada when I was 16 because cans of coke are a lot cheaper. Seriously, 24 cans of coke for just $5!!! In Scotland, one bloody can of coke costs that price!

Bebito: Wow! Didn’t know it was that expensive. Interesting reason to leave a country, though… So how old are you?
Scotsman: 69. Haw haw. It’s funny because 69 is a sexual position. No I’m actually 21. Inches. Haw haw. Because 21 inches would be a really big pen……. oh you get it.

Bebito: What exactly do you do here at 411… err, I mean TheSmarks.com?
Scotsman: Not much. Write stuff on occasion. Usually a highly controversial article that has “gay” in the title, and really shouldn’t belong on a wrestling site. I’ll do news updates, video game reviews…. whatever the hell I’ve got time to do really. I’m only kept around here by Widro because he likes to see me piss off Scott Keith.

Bebito: Speaking of Scott Keith, how’d you end up working for him on the site?
Scotsman: I used to write for Xwrestling, but took it over, doubled our hits, made us popular as all hell…. then closed just for the fun of it. So I was sitting around with nothing to do, and I wanted to write somewhere, and as TheSmarks was the only site I visited, I applied there. I wrote a really nice letter to Mr. Keith explaining how I could do the video game section and bla bla bla, which you can actually read here. Then I got on the site and won over Scott by not asskissing him in every f*cking article. Despite being fired once, and coming close to being fired due to lawsuits etc numerous other times, Scott held out and kept me along because he can’t go a day without hearing another Scott Keith/fast food joke.

Bebito: Whoa! Wait a second. Fired? Lawsuits?? What was all of that about?
Scotsman: Well, the lawsuits were mostly threats by the 1wrestling crew, because I took shots at them. Scott didn’t need any more ulcers (because then he wouldn’t be able to eat all that pizza) so he told me to stop harassing them. As for being fired, I wrote the following in a news update: Scotty 2 Hotty, Albert, and Spike Dudley will volunteer for the Rhode Island Special Olympics on February 8. Why isn’t Russ Haas volunteering? You can’t have any more of a handicap than be dead, can ya? You know what that is? It’s a joke. Yet Russ’s good brother Charlie decided to get irate because some moron he doesn’t even know on the internet made a joke, and call Don Becker, co-owner of TheSmarks at 3am, bitching at him to fire me. Don, angry at being harassed fired me…. something that Scott Keith wasn’t too happy about. Anyway, I eventually returned as “The Hackmaster”….but the less said about that, the better.

I’m always getting threatened with lawsuits and all that though. The best was when I created a campaign called Scotsman vs The Internet Reporters where I got my readers to e-mail fake news to them, resulting in shit-loads of fake news appearing all over the net. You can read all about that here. Read the feedback to see all the hate mail and lawsuit threats I received then!

Bebito: I took a second to read through that campaign, and the stuff that some people got “respected internet journalists” to post as news was HILARIOUS: Gary Coleman behind GTV.’ Kurt Angle to be PMS love slave.’ Hulk Hogan is dead.’ Oh man, great stuff. Even funnier were some of the emails you got from said “journalists” nearly in tears over having their credibility ruined. Classic.

We could go on and on here, but let’s get to the videogames, seeing that this is a Game site and all. How much are you into gaming?
Scotsman: Way too much. If I’m not playing videogames, I’m usually thinking about them. I first got a computer when I was 3 years old, and have honestly been playing them constantly ever since. I can proudly say I haven’t gone one day without playing a video game… which is honestly quite sad. I actually yearn for the days when I didn’t have a girlfriend, because I just got drunk at night, then played videogames all day. Now I have to do stuff like showering and cleaning. It sucks.

Bebito: Yeah. I guess it’s a good thing girls have boobs. I mean otherwise, what would be the point? So what game systems do you own?
Scotsman: Gamegear, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Playstation, Playstation 2, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Genesis, Master System, NE… christ boy I got a lot.

Bebito: What? Isn’t that about average? Whatever. What’s your favorite one out of all of them?
Scotsman: Honestly, the one thing I love playing most is the old games on my Spectrum Emulator. However bar that, the PS2. I play that thing for hours at a time. Dreamcast is pretty sweet too. To be honest, I don’t really give a shit about the system; it’s the games that matter. I don’t give a rats ass if the X-Box has 400mhz graphics, and a 3D Wattboy Killowat Extension Cord…. the fact is it doesn’t have Grand Theft Auto 3, so it’s a piece of shit. People who play favorites with systems and say “mines is better than yours” are lame and deserve to be punched in the face… or worse, locked in a room with me after I’ve eaten my home-made bean tacos. Seriously, some of the farts I do are just awful.

Bebito: I’m not even gonna touch that one. Anyway, you sound very into videogames Scotsman. You mentioned that you did game reviews. Why not write a review or two for us here at 411 Games? You don’t do them anymore or something?
Scotsman: I do write some reviews, but haven’t lately, except a WCW Nitro PC review that wasn’t posted due to there being no appropriate place to put it. After slapping Widro around a bit, I can now put that kind of stuff in a section, so I’ll be posting that, as well as all my old video game reviews pretty soon.

Bebito: Yeah, you have to slap Widro around every once in a while if he starts to act up. (Just kidding Widro! Please don’t fire me!!) So, what games are you playing now?
Scotsman: 3 PS2 games. Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Smackdown Shut Your Mouth, and Fifa 2003. I figured I invested a couple of hundred bucks in them so I might as well play the damn things.

Bebito: Which games coming out soon, are you most looking forward to their release?
Scotsman: None really. I don’t keep up to date on what video games are coming out etc. I’ll usually wait a few years till the good games go for cheap, and buy them on ebay… which is why I currently own NHL 2001 and Madden 2001. Those (previous) three games… uh I dunno, I just had money to burn, so picked them up right away. I’m an idiot like that.

Bebito: Most of us are Scotsman… most of us are… So in your humble opinion, what is the greatest videogame ever created?
Scotsman: Rings of Power, for the Sega Genesis. It’s an RPG, and quite honestly the greatest RPG ever. Goddamnit just talking about it is making me want to go play it. Stupid interview. I have to go lay carpets, goddamnit.

Bebito: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up fond memories of games you have no way of playing right now. I promise not to do it anymore… OK? Anyhow, I ask this in every one of my gamerviews. It’s kind of a gimmick question, so humor me. Toejam and Earl used to be AWESOME back in the day. They’re back out on Xbox, and I want to know: Do Toejam and Earl still got the funk?
Scotsman: I haven’t played the new one, and to be honest I don’t want to. Toejam and Earl was my favorite game of all time at a point, however then I played 2 and was severely disappointed. Toejam and Earl was such a fantastic game though because of the ability to have the random world, increasing the lastability to no end. Shit with that and Rings of Power I’m going to have to go hook up my bloody Genesis. DAMN YOU BEBITO!

Bebito: *awkward silence* …OH, look! It’s word association time!

WORD ASSOCIATION TIME:
You know how this works. I say a word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

(Videogames) – Life. The most entertaining things ever, and the greatest way for people to bond. Seriously, if you’re in a room with someone you don’t know, hook up the system for a rousing game of Goldeneye or No Mercy or something, and it takes all the awkwardness away.

(Nintendo) – Poo. I dunno… that was the first thing that came to mind.

(Sega) – The Genesis got me through my troubled puberty years, and for that I am forever grateful. May Sonic the Hedgehog and Wrestle War never be forgotten for that.

(Xbox) – LOL IT’S BIGGER THAN AN AIRPLANE!

(PS2) – It makes weird noises, and it f*cks up the audio on my DVDS, but I’ll forgive it for the amount of greatness it delivers gaming wise.

(Grand Theft Auto) – Too bloody addictive.

(Sonic The Hedgehog) – The best platformer I’ve ever played.

(411) – Second best website, only to TheSmarks.

(Triple H) – I love him, because each week you think he can’t get any more ridiculous, then he does, and there’s 400 columns up spouting venom towards him. Everyone’s just jealous.

(Ashish) – He scares me. Too straight edge.

(Widro) – Widro rules it all. Check it out:

[04:01] ScotsmanWU: I came up with a funny idea.
[04:05] Project Aloha: is it funny ha ha or funny all your ad companies will bail

We have conversations like this EVERY DAY!

(Scott Keith) – Who? HAW HAW!

(Chris Hyatte) – He’s no CRZ.

(Bebito Jackson) – A REALLY GOOD INTERVIEWER! MADE ME FEEL QUITE AT HOME!

(Scotsman) – I think I should go back to being The Flying Scotsman. I miss those days.

Bebito: Alright Scotsman, not that you haven’t been doing it throughout the ENTIRE interview, but this is where I allow you to plug yourself. Tell everyone why he or she should read your work and how great it is and all that jazz.
Scotsman: Because I’m funny. Because the only reason I write, is because I want to entertain you. My only agenda is entertaining you guys. Because I’m not afraid to say anything. Because I don’t asskiss the webmasters. Because I make fun of myself. The main reason though, is because I’ve been writing for a long time, and I know how to write columns to entertain the masses. Never read me before? Check out My night at the bingo, then visit Scotsmanality.com and join my other 1300 loyal followers who for some weird reason, love to hear about my life and my wacky stories, whether it be bus rides or internet feuds.

Bebito: There’s a running gag here at 411 Games (at least I think it’s a gag) that I supposedly suck. Honestly though Scotsman, do I suck?
Scotsman: Well I never heard of you until you asked me for the interview… but wanting to interview someone like me is a sure sign that no, you don’t suck. I’ll be checking out your columns in the future.

Bebito: Nice! Now I’m up to what… FIVE readers now? Sweeeet!

Thanks for taking the time to join me today Scotsman. One more question and I’ll leave you alone. A bit ago you mentioned net feuds. One that stands out to many visitors at 411 Wrestling is your boss Scott Keith, and Chris Hyatte. My readers want to know: Is there really “heat” between them or what?
Scotsman: Yeah it’s quite the feud there…. Hyatte rips into Keith, and Keith just ignores him. C’mon that’s not a real feud! Where are the credit card numbers? The law threats? The pictures of each other naked? I’m the only real Internet reporter that can feud!

Bebito: You heard it here, folks! If you want to get arrested, lose all your money, and become an Internet porn star, start a feud with the Scotsman!

Honestly, this guy is probably right up there with Chris Hyatte as far as my favorite writers go. Go back and read some of the stuff he linked to. It’s fantastic, if not a little weird. The guy just seems to bleed controversy and intrigue, and it makes for some great reading. Keep a look out at The Smarks.com here in the Wrestling section of 411 to keep abreast of his antics. I sure will.

You can email The Scotsman at: g69@kingston.net
And you can check out one of his latest columns: ANYWHERE IN THIS INTERVIEW! Sheesh…

(Hey! I’m not sure, but I think that may have actually gone well.) Be sure to check a special edition of the Down-Lo Spotlight next week, when I’ll have the Jeff Modzelewski from 411 Music with me, as I try to help him decide which of the three next generation systems is best suited for him to pick up. He’ll be taking a quiz to determine this, and you can take it along with him if you’re unsure which system you’d like to buy.

(THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT IS OFF)


Keep the feedback, and gaming discussion coming. Thanks goes to reader Bill Laird for clearing up that whole Squaresoft / Electronic Arts / Enix merger mess for me. And thanks to everyone else who sent praise, or just wanted to talk about gaming in general. Ron Yip and I can only talk for so long, before I want to hear “normal” people’s gaming opinions.

I’ll be here next week with the usual. Everyone else seems to be doing a “Super Spectacular Year-End Special Blockbuster” column. Sorry guys. I’m still just doing the Down-Lo. Keep it on that tip until I get back. Peace.

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)