411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 12.24.02

Dragonball Z: Bukodai – 5.0/10. I gave it a 5.5/10 in my review but I’m making it lower just to piss you fanboys off, and if you keep bothering me I’m going to just keep making my final score lower.
“¢ Ron Yip (SimColumn News Report 12.16.02)

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 12-24-02: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)
Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and I’m probably the only News Reports writer turning anything in this week! Everyone else, I believe, took their respective days off, so you’re stuck with just me! Man, it sucks to be you.
Behold the “It’s sooo lonely here at 411 Games” edition of the Down-Lo. You need to get this straight people: the higher the DOWN-LO RATING the better the chance each rumor has of coming true (scale 1-10). As always these are just rumors (which is why you read me in the first place), so everyone please take the sticks out of their butts before you continue reading. Enjoy. I do.



This is the Down-Lo.
BEFORE THERE WAS PHANTASY STAR ONLINE…
It’s about time I got myself a Game Boy Advance. There are just too many great games on the darn thing for me to ignore it anymore. Let’s run down my list of must-have GBA titles:
Golden Sun – It’s a fantastic rpg from the makers of the Shining Force series, Camelot. There’s no excuse not to pick this up as soon as you get the system, if you’re a rpg fan.
Metriod Fusion – I shouldn’t even have to say why you need this game. So I won’t.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past – (Note: See the description for Metriod Fusion.)
Sonic Advance – It’s not the best 2d Sonic game ever, but it’s still a great game to pick up for some fast fun.
Tetris – Who cares what version? If you own a Game Boy (any of them) and don’t own Tetris, you need your head examined.
And those are only my top five picks. The GBA has plenty of gaming to spare and it’s the only place where 2d gaming still truly lives and breathes. Buy one.
Now on to the dirt: Phantasy Star Collection is one of the games I’m most looking forward to for the GBA. If you don’t know what the deal is with this series (outside of Phantasy Star Online), then check out Alex Lucard’s great Retro-Grading column to get the skinny on this legendary rpg family. Sega is putting the first three games in the series (that date all the way back to the Sega Master system through the Sega Genesis) together to make this an awesome compilation of gaming nirvana that you definitely need.
So what about the fourth Phantasy Star? Sega left it out of the collection. Why? It’s been said that there wasn’t enough room to fit all four rpgs onto one Game Boy Advance cartridge. It’s also been said that Sega are just a bunch of greedy , and that they want to make money off of PSIV separately. Either way, rumor has it that indeed, Phantasy Star IV will make an appearance on the Game Boy Advance.
Many regard the fourth Phantasy Star as the best in the series. If you’ve never checked out this game before, you own it to yourself as a gamer to play the silly thing, if everything pans out and we do get it on the GBA. Cross your fingers everyone!
DOWN-LO RATING: 4
GAME BOY ADVANCE TIDBIT
As long as we’re on the whole Game Boy Advance thing, here’s a tidbit for ya…
Was it just I, or did it seem that we were all missing something with the releases of the Super Mario Advance games. The series went from Super Mario Bros. 2 on the NES (for the first one) and then jumped to the Super Mario World games on the SNES (for the second and third). What the heck happened to Super Mario Bros. 3??? If you guys are like me, then you actually enjoyed SMB3 more than the SNES Mario games. You wanted to swim in a frog suit, change into a raccoon, and blow on that Zelda whistle. So what’s up with Nintendo skipping that classic of a game?
That question may never be answered. Nintendo isn’t stupid however, and we can most likely expect Super Mario Advance 4 to feature possibly the most popular game in the 2d Mario series, Super Mario Bros. 3. We all want it. And Nintendo knows it.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7
EGM RUMOR OF THE WEEK
We here at the 411 Games family all have different gaming tastes, ideals, and preferences. Quite often our opinions clash, that along with our (online) personalities. It’s just the way it is among gamers. There is one thing though, that the entire staff of 411 Games agrees upon: Dragonball Z: Bukodai for PS2 SUCKS!
It’s the suckiest suck that ever sucked a suck.’
As I prepare my inbox for the tidal wave of emails from rabid DBZ fans, let’s take a look at our “EGM Rumor of The Week”©, shall we? Quaterman reports that the next game to be produced in the Dragon Ball Z series will not be another from the fighting genre. Seems we’ll be looking forward to a full-blown DBZ RPG (that’s Role Playing Game silly) coming to a next-generation console near you. We can probably expect it to appear exclusively on the PS2.
Hopefully the game will turn out NOTHING like the (also crappy) Dragonball Z rpg for Game Boy Advance. That thing was terrible.
If done right though, it could be one of the best games ever. I’d buy it if it came out even half decent. I used to be a huge DBZ fan, so I’m just waiting for a good game to be released. Sadly, I’ve just about given up all hope on a Dragonball Z game getting a score higher than 6.0 from Ron Yip (if he doesn’t like it, then by default, we all don’t like it). I’ll be keeping an eye out for it though; as I know you fanboys will also. I’ll keep you updated.
DOWN-LO RATING: 6
ANGEL OF CRAPNESS
I’ve been asked about this a few times recently, so I guess I’ll address it. Believe it or not, people still actually care about the Tomb Raider franchise. Yeah, I know! I couldn’t fathom it either!
According to UGO.com, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness which was originally slated for a release this past November, was pushed back until early 2003 for “re-tooling”. Uh-oh. “Re-tooling”? We know what the means. How bad does the game currently suck? Eidos doesn’t want you to know, but I don’t work for Eidos, so here’s the Down-Lo:
First off, rumor has it that the controls weren’t up to scratch. Seems it was actually harder to control Lara in this newest game, than when we last played her on the PS1. That’s just sad, really. Coupled with this already disturbing problem, was a camera that was completely and utterly jacked-up. How jacked-up you ask? To the point to where the game was nearly unplayable. Ugh. So, let’s see. We have really bad controls and an even worse camera. Sounds like a normal Tomb Raider game to me.
To their credit, they did delay the game to troubleshoot the glitches. I’m proud of them for at least trying to fix it all. Core has promised to tighten things all around, so hopefully when it hit store shelves, fans will welcome Lara back with open wallets.’ I’m just not looking forward to an entertaining game coming from these folks just yet. For now, it seems the only way I’ll enjoy the game is if there’s a glitch where Lara keeps falling out of her top every time you make her jump. And I’m sure even that will get tiresome after a while (ok no, not really… I can’t back that up). We’ll see, I guess.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7
WELCOME BACK TO THE STAGE OF MYSTERY?
I freaking love Soul Calibur. Is it the best fighting game ever? That’s debatable, but it’s up there with Virtua Fighter 4 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 no question. So I’m more than happy to report on this rumor.
This is for you Xbox guys. According to the Rumor Mole from Official Xbox Magazine, your version of the highly anticipated Soul Calibur 2 is done and only awaiting marketing support. Reportedly, it’s the best looking version of the three (not unlikely with “The Power of Xbox”©) and it includes features that the other two versions won’t have. These consist of new play modes, possibly the return of a couple of old favorites, and a brand-new boss.’ Those are all well and good, but what has the rumor mill in a up-roar is the supposed reason for the game’s delay and no-show at the Tokyo Game Show. Rumor has it that Namco is looking to include Xbox Live, in Soul Calibur 2. That’s right, full-blown online play.
No word yet on whether any other version of SC2 will feature online play. The version most likely to include online play besides the Xbox is the one for the PS2. Thing is, the game may be tailored to broadband online play only, as lag could significantly effect gameplay. Since the PS2 lets you use both broadband and dial-up online services, Namco may just forget online play for the PS2 version altogether and make it an exclusive for the Xbox. I can hear the Xbox fanboys laughing now.
Wow. If this baby is true… then I may have to invest in a “faster” internet connection, if ya know what I mean?
DOWN-LO RATING: 6
And that’s the Down-Lo.


THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT
Let’s see: I’ve covered 411 Wresting (Hyatte), 411 Movies (Lionel Bohbot), and TheSmarks@411 (The Scotsman). *checks list* Looks like we’re moving on to 411 Music now. Maybe I’ll make the rounds a few more times before I get to 411 Figures. I think PK runs that whole thing practically by himself. So I’d be done with almost the entire Zone after just one interview…
Let’s get started, 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 JEFF MODZELEWSKI: 411 MUSIC)
I recently received a distress call from one of my 411 brethren. What was the dilemma? Imagine you had a wad load of cash to spend on whatever gaming equipment your heart desired. Great games are coming out all over the place, and you want to get down with one of those new spiffy next-generation consoles. Thing is, you know very little about them, and you’re unsure of which is the best for your gaming needs. Thus is the predicament that Jeff Modzelewski from 411 Music finds himself in. Well have no fear! *flips up cape* Bebito is here! First we’ll do a background check on Jeff through the Spotlight, and then we’ll get down to business. He’ll be taking a quiz and you can take it along with him. We’ll see if we can figure out what system he’s best suited for. Check it out:
This is the Down-Lo Spotlight.
Bebito: What’s up Jeff? How’s it hangin’?
Jeff: Pretty good, pretty good.

Bebito: Cool. Let’s get started. Where you from?
Jeff: I’m originally from Cleveland, OH, but I came to Columbus for college. I graduated back in May, and I’ve been working here in Columbus ever since.
Bebito: How old are you, Mr. Graduate?
Jeff: 23

Bebito: What exactly do you do here at 411?
Jeff: I do the 411 Music Weekly Rewind, along with CD and Concert reviews. In the Weekly Rewind, I basically recap the music news of the past week, and give my own personal spin on a lot of it. I also tend to talk about football and politics quite a bit.
Bebito: How’d you end up working on the site, and who’s your favorite writer here?
Jeff: When I heard that 411 was expanding, I figured that I’d email Widro and see if there was an opening for me. I’ve always loved music, and I’ve been told that I’m a good writer, so I figured it was worth a shot. After sending in a sample, I was hired.
My favorite writer here at 411 is probably Hyatte, simply because he comes up with a different point of view for stories, and is always just funny as hell. Over at the music section, we have some great writers, including Claire Flynn Boyle and James Marshall. My least favorite writer is the child-porn loving Cody Webster. That’s right, Cody, I can rip on you in someone else’s column, just like I do in mine. Hahahahahaha!

Bebito: Oh come on, you’ve got to be kidding me! You mean you guys are feuding over at 411 Music too? *shaking head* Whatever. I’m not involved. How much are you into videogames Jeff?
Jeff: I used to be a huge video game fan. I used to kick major ass in Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat II for the Sega Genesis. I also had a Nintendo 64, but I was less than thrilled with many of the games (even though the Zelda game was pretty strong.) One of my college roommates had a Dreamcast, so I got really into Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 and I got back into the Madden football games. Basically, I play games for quite a few reasons. I enjoy games that are difficult, but that also have a high fun factor. I want to feel that I’m getting somewhere, and that I can eventually beat the game without having to get too many hints and cheats. But I also don’t like spending hours looking around for some extremely difficult to find item or anything like that. I also enjoy the sports games, and other multi-player games. I’m not huge on first-person shooters, however. I get my ass kicked pretty quickly in those by my friends.
Bebito: Hmm. You sound like the very model of a casual gamer. *writes something down* What systems do you currently own Jeff?
Jeff: N64, and my fiancé has a Super Nintendo. The current goal is to find every single secret in Super Mario World. We’ve beaten all of Star Road, but we’re pretty sure that there’s 1 or 2 secrets that we’re missing.
Bebito: Fiancé? You’re getting married? Congratulations! I just got married like 4 months ago myself, and let me tell ya… it’s wonderful.
Jeff: Glad to hear it. I was worried that this may mean that I have to grow up and be mature and stuff, but my fiancé is probably less mature than I am. But she’s gonna have to live with me as her husband, and we should all feel sorry for her for having to deal with me.
Bebito: I know what you mean. I grieve for my wife everyday. In any case, what’s your favorite out of the two systems you have?
Jeff: Well, I don’t own too many N64 games, and we play the Super Nintendo more often. So I’d have to go with the SNES over the N64, simply for the fun factor of the games we own.
Bebito: In your humble opinion Jeff, what is the greatest game ever made?
Jeff: The original Legend of Zelda. It was a great game in terms of difficulty and fun factor. Other great games are the Madden football series and the Ocarina of Time. I recently enjoyed beating the Castelvania game for the PS that a buddy of mine has. I also enjoyed playing Outlaw Golf for the XBox that one of my friends has.
Bebito: Alright then. Well I’m happy to help you decide which system is probably best for you. The Down-Lo is equipped with all sorts of amazing features that allow me to do just about anything. Hopefully, I can be of service. Hold on a sec while I boot this thing up…
(DOWN-LO SUPER COMPUTER ONLINE: CONSOLE QUIZ LOADING…)
Bebito: Ok, great. While it’s warming up, we’ll do the Word Association.
WORD ASSOCIATION TIME:
I’m going to say a word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

(Videogames) – fun
(Nintendo) – Zelda
(Sega) – Sonic
(Xbox) – Microsoft
(PS2) – Grand Theft Auto
(Grand Theft Auto) – looks fun
(Sonic The Hedgehog) – mediocre
(411) – The bomb, baby!
(J-Lo) – sucks
(U2) – overrated
(Eminem) – pretty cool
(Puff Daddy) – probably killed Biggie
(Fozzy) – Osbourne
(Ashish) – cool
(Widro) – my hero for letting me write
(Bebito Jackson) – the videogame master
(Jeff Modzelewski) – sexier than Brad Pitt

Bebito: Puff killed Biggie, huh? Not the first time I’ve heard that one. Well, the quiz is ready but before we begin, I wanted to know what’s taken you so long to getting around to buying one of these consoles in the first place?
Jeff: Lack of time and money. I’ve been really busy finding a job, graduating, planning a wedding, etc… I’ve got some more free time on my hands, since my fiancé and I work different hours sometimes. Plus I need to stop getting my ass kicked by my friends in games. I need something to kick their asses in!
Bebito: I can see not having money. But you let your work, college, and marriage get in the way of your gaming? What’s wrong with you?
Jeff: Well, it hasn’t been the marriage thing as much as the money and work thing. I needed to graduate in order to get a good job. I need to work to make more money to get a system. See, it all falls into place, now doesn’t it?
Bebito: Yes it does. Let’s begin, Jeff. This is a quick quiz that will tell you what console caters most to your tastes. At the end, you’ll get a readout of your most compatible system, a percentage, and the games that you should probably pick up with it. Plus, it will tell you what your secondary system is and what percentage compatibility you have with that one as well.
As for you readers out there, take out a pen and some scrap paper and write down your answers to these questions too. Even if you think you have your ideal system already, take it just to see if what you have matches what the Down-Lo says you should be playing.
(CONSOLE COMPATIBILITY QUIZ V1.0: BEGIN…)
1. What’s your money situation?
a. Got some dough, but I want the most bang for my buck.
b. Skies the limit. Plenty of cash. Just give me the goods!
c. Be easy on my wallet. I’m not rich.
Jeff: (a. Got some dough, but I want the most bang for my buck.) Hey, if I had a lot of money, I would’ve bought a system a while back!
2. Are you looking for a DVD player/home theater add-on?
a. Nope
b. Yup
Jeff: (a. Nope)
3. Do you like or are interested in the Resident Evil series?
a. Yes
b. No.
Jeff: (b. No)
4. Do you love shooters and/or military action games?
a. Yes.
b. No.
Jeff: (b. No.)
5. Do Toejam & Earl still got the funk?
a. Yes
b. Maybe
c. No
Jeff: (b. Maybe) Believe it or not, I never played the Toejam & Earl series.

6. What do you think of Role Playing Games?
a. I like action RPGs.
b. I love them all! Give me as many as you can!
c. A few here and there are just fine.
Jeff: (a. I absolutely love action RPGs.)
7. Are Nintendo’s characters cool?
a. Definitely
b. Definitely not. Kid stuff.
Jeff: (a. Definitely)
8. Do you like or are interested in the Dead or Alive series?
a. Yes
b. No
Jeff: (b. No)
9. Is it true that “bigger really is better”?
a. I don’t know what you’re talking about, but yes.
b. It’s not the size that counts; it’s what you do with it… Jeff: (a. I don’t know what you’re talking about, but yes.)

10. Simple question: Do you want Halo 2?
a. Yes
b. No
Jeff: (a. Yes) I’ve only played Halo once, and, while it looked cool, my buddy kicked my ass hardcore. But I’d like to play the game more.
11. Jigglypuff is the man! Right?
a. On the Game Boy maybe.
b. Jigglypuff? What are you smoking, dude?
c. Oh yeah! I get Jiggly with it all the time!
Jeff: (b. Jigglypuff? What are you smoking, dude?)
12. Has broadband gaming arrived?
a. No. I don’t even have a dial-up Internet connection yet.
b. I can’t afford broadband as of now, or it’s not in my area. I play over 56k modems.
c. Of course! It’s the only way to play online.
Jeff: (b. I can’t afford broadband as of yet, or it’s not in my area.)
13. Does the new Legend of Zelda appeal to you (cel-shading and all)?
a. Of course! It’s Zelda!
b. No. I’ve moved on from that kind of stuff.
Jeff: (a. Of course! It’s Zelda!) Greatest game of all time. Did you hear what I said earlier?
14. Which of these features is most important to you?
a. A built-in hard drive to so that you don’t have to buy memory cards.
b. Wireless controllers (that actually work well!).
c. Being able to play DVDs right out of the box.
Jeff: (a. A built-in hard drive to so that you don’t have to buy memory cards.)
15. Do I suck?
a. I don’t know. Maybe.
b. You definitely suck. You write the Down-Lo!
c. No way you suck, man! You write the Down-Lo!
Jeff: (c. No way you suck, man! You write the Down-Lo!)
16. Do you like or are interested in the Grand Theft Auto series?
a. Yes
b. No.
Jeff: (a. Yes)
17. Which company do you trust the most?
a. Nintendo
b. Sony
c. Microsoft
Jeff: (a. Nintendo)
18. How important is online gaming to you?
a. Very. I’m down with the revolution!
b. Not at all! I don’t have money for all that!
Jeff: (b. Not at all! I don’t have money for all that!)
19. Does SOCOM appeal to you?
a. Sure! I want to go online and talk junk to my friends as I’m shooting them in their backs.
b. What the heck is SOCOM?
c. I don’t like games like that.
Jeff: (c. I don’t like games like that.)
20. Which of these is MOST important to you:
a. Having the most powerful system with the hands down best graphics.
b. Wide and diverse selection of good games.
c. Quality over quantity selection of 5 Star titles.
Jeff: (c. Quality over quantity selection of 5 Star titles.)
(QUIZ COMPLETE: BEGINNING SYSTEM ANALYISIS…)
Bebito: The results are calculating now. So how about I allow you to plug yourself while we wait. Tell everyone why he or she should read your work and how great it is and all that jazz.
Jeff: First off, I consider myself a good writer. I’m good at putting an interesting column together that is easy to follow and entertaining. I’m a very opinionated guy, and I give reasons for my opinions. I could care less what’s “popular,” and I have a wide taste in music. My CD collection contains everything from Pantera to Eminem to Dave Matthews to Simon and Garfunkel. Also, I’ve always felt that I have a good eye for music that’s going to make it big. I was a Disturbed fan and a Linkin Park fan and a Godsmack fan before anyone else knew who they were.
Bebito: Hmm. It’s still not done yet. Here’s one more question to kill some time. I know you said “no” to this question in the quiz, but just for the record Jeff, do I suck? And be honest.
Jeff: I don’t like to spread rumors, but Ashish’s been telling stories about how you got your job by giving Scott Keith a personal demonstration on just how you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.
Bebito: Err… not that kind of suck. *looks around nervously* I mean as far as my column goes.
Jeff: We here at 411 know the truth, but you can try to convince your readers of whatever you want…
Bebito: *cough* …Hey!! You’re results are done! Let’s check it out!
(JEFF MODZELEWSKI: ANAYLASIS COMPLETE -)
(MOST COMPATIBLE CONSOLE: GAME BOY COLOR – 95%)
Bebito: *kicks Down-Lo* That should do it… Sorry.
(JEFF MODZELEWSKI: ANAYLASIS COMPLETE -)
(MOST COMPATIBLE CONSOLE: NINTENDO GAMECUBE – 40%)
(TITLES SUITABLE FOR SUBJECT: Super Mario Sunshine; The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker; Metriod Prime)
(SECONDARY CONSOLE: MICROSOFT XBOX – 33%)
Bebito: Looks like it came down to a pretty close race between the GameCube and Xbox for you. What do you think?
Jeff: Not bad there Bebito. I’m leaning towards an XBox at the moment, with GameCube in a close second. I’m still getting recommendations, and I plan on playing all 3 systems extensively before making a final decision, but I’ll definitely take all this into consideration and let you know how it pans out. Thanks for all the help! You’ll definitely get a plug in my column next week!
Bebito: Thanks. I’m just happy to be of service. Any final thoughts?
Jeff: Ya, know. The Game Boy Color does seem tempting, though…
You can email Jeff Modzelewski at: mojo4395@yahoo.com
And you can check out one of his latest columns: HERE.
(This was the first normal interview I’ve ever had.) Be sure to check out the Down-Lo Spotlight next week, when I’ll have the owner of 411mania Ashish in the hot seat. Should be fun.
(THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT IS OFF)



Did you take the quiz? If you did GREAT! Email your answers in to me through the link at the bottom of this column. I’ll let you know what system the Down-Lo says you *points at reader* are most compatible with. If I get enough responses, I’ll be doing a print out of each person’s results at the bottom of the next Down-Lo, just as was done for Jeff. Just make sure to send in your answers for all 20 questions (number and letter only), with your full name, and the state or city in which you live. Simple as that. So go back and complete it if you haven’t taken the quiz yet.
That’s it from me. Normal feedback is always very appreciated. So be sure to drop me some of that too. Look for everyone else to be back next week. I’m out. Peace.
(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)