Inside Pulse 12

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 01.28.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 01.28.03
(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 01-28-03: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and there’s a million columns just like me, that cuss like, that just completely suck like me. Write like me. Walk, talk, and act like me. They might just be, the next worst thing, but not quite me!

THE DOWN-LO SHILLS
Let’s try something different this week. In lieu of me telling you about the entertaining mis-happenings of my life this week, I’ve decided to give out some well-deserved plugs to the other talented writers here at 411 Games. No really… there are other people you should be reading here besides me:

Alex Lucard must be taking a drug that’s the writer’s equivalent of Viagra, because he just keeps churning out column after column after column… with no sign of stopping in sight. I keep meaning to tell the guy to slow down in order to avoid burn out, but that would mean there would less of his great Retrograding Advance columns. And we can’t have that.

Frederick Badlissi gave me a sweet little plug in his column The Gamer’s Conscious, so I might as well return the favor. Poor guy. He totally freaks out this week, after getting burnt by shoddy gaming products. Empathize with him by reading his column and then dropping the guy a line. He could use it.

It seems that “the new guy” in the News Reports Section, Joseph Stanley, liked the fact that I complimented his work. And he also liked the fact that he made my 411 Games Quote of The Week at the top of my column last week (and yet again this week for that matter). But then he gets all ungrateful and what not on me, complaining that I didn’t provide a link so that his audience would broaden. Geez… I can’t make anybody happy. Well he did an excellent job again, so here’s his freaking link to The Weekend Wipe Up. There, now stop your crying.

And of course, the always fantastic Ron Yip travels to an Internet equipped computer outside his home during the freaking SuperBowl, so that you guys won’t be left without your weekly dose of SimColumn. This obviously pissed Mr. Yip off. And we all know what happens when Ron gets upset… That’s right, he writes even better than usual. Read him.

Behold the “More Hits” edition of the Down-Lo. Here’s the dilly-o: The higher the DOWN-LO RATING the closer to reality the stories will one day be (scale 1-10). As always these are just rumors (which is why you read me in the first place), so no complaining. Enjoy. I do.


This is the Down-Lo.

SQUARE AND ENIX REFUSE TO KISS AND MAKE NICE NICE
Ahh! Love is in the air! Joe Millionaire and some young gold digging hoe are going to get together soon. The Bachelorette and some pitiful loser are going to get hitched. And Square and Enix are sitting under a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

There’s trouble in dreamland though, because GamesAreFun.com is reporting that GameLabo, a Japanese gaming publication, ‘has in its newest issue, an article regarding the merger of Square and Enix. When the plan to combine both companies was announced on November 28th, 2002, only the executive committee for each respective company was aware of the deal; none of the regular employees had any idea that the agreement was in the works.’ Uh oh, talk about your ways of decreasing morale. Come on guys… at least let your employees in on what you’re doing. Oh well, no harm done.

Whoops! I guess a lot of harm was done actually. Seems that some of the more pissed off parties at both Square and Enix ‘haven’t agreed to the deal and intend to leave and start their own development firms’. Man, that sucks… for Square and Enix that is. Whatever companies those renegades decide to start together will be something that I’m very, very interested in; I can tell you that.

I’ll keep you informed on the Square and Enix love triangle. *places hand to heart* Maybe true love will prevail!
DOWN-LO RATING: 8

NINTENDO TO BUY SHARES IN CAPCOM? ENOUGH OF THIS ALREADY!
In the story that never seems to end, one game company is buying another. I know… I’ve gotten as sick of reporting it, as you are of hearing it.

Again in the newest issue of GameLabo, we have reports that ‘even though the company denied reports that Nintendo was looking to purchase the arcade and console gaming developer last year, Capcom is in negotiations with Nintendo to have the latter corporation buy shares in the former.’ Apparently ‘Capcom’s shares have been falling consistently over the last several months.’ and they hope that an investment by Nintendo just might be the thing to perk them up.

So does Capcom want to be a second-party publisher for Nintendo? Nope. ‘Capcom doesn’t want The Big N to become a majority shareholder because they know that Nintendo would prevent them from releasing games on the PlayStation 2.’ And let’s face it, the PS2 is where all the money is. ‘So, if Nintendo was to cooperate and invest in Capcom, it wouldn’t affect PS2 or Xbox owners.’

I’ll keep you updated on the seemingly never-ending story of he-said, she-said.
DOWN-LO RATING: 5

UPDATE: POKÃÆ'”°MON FOR GAMECUBE RUMOR
It’s time for a Pokémon update! Yes, I know that like 1/16 of you care about this, but here it is anyway.

According to the Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, Nintendo will introduce Pokémon Stadium for GameCube at the World Hobby Fair. Woohoo. Here’s the interesting part, though. According to the paper, the game will supposedly feature online support.

I don’t like to say, “I told you so.” Oh wait… yes I do. I told you so!! Pokémon will totally be online. And if we look back at previous Down-Lo rumors, we may remember that the only way to possibly play this puppy is if you own both a Game Boy Advance and a copy of the Pokémon for said handheld. I guess this is the incentive to actually buy all those things: Online play against anyone in the world. Sweet.
DOWN-LO RATING: NONE FOR UPDATES

MICROSOFT – BUYING UP THE INDUSTRY ONE COMPANY AT A TIME
If I had one billionth of the money Microsoft has free to burn on buying videogame publishers, then I’d still have about a billion dollars in my pocket.

Computer & Video Games along with Reuters are both reporting on a rumor that Microsoft has purchased French game publisher conglomerate Vivendi Universal (Blizzard, Sierra). We can supposedly expect an announcement to that effect pretty soon.

If this is true, the ramifications across the game industry will be tremendous. Do you have any idea how many franchises and possible exclusives this deal would give Microsoft? There’s Half-Life 2, Warcraft, Counter-Strike, Crash, Spyro, Lord of the Rings… the list goes on and on. ‘Vivendi has an enormous portfolio boasting some of the biggest titles on all formats, and it would be an ultra-smart move on Microsoft’s part to snap them up.’ Besides furthering their image as a cutthroat tactics type of company, Microsoft would be one step closer to world domination.

The price tag for such a buyout would be outrageous, however. We’re talking over two billion dollars of moolah being put on the table. ‘But if anyone has the necessary funds, it’s Microsoft.’ And that’s scary.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

BLUE GETS CRUSHED
Speaking of Vivendi Universal, recently they were about to make the mistake of a lifetime.

We all know that licensed games are all the rage these days. They’re making games based on Minority Report, The Matrix, Lord of The Rings, Daredevil, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Well, Vivendi smelled dollar signs, so they decided to go and secure a license for their own gaming needs. Of course, you need to get a license that people… oh I don’t know… actually CARE about.

According to IGN’s Off The Record, Vivendi, ‘which had never announced plans to publish a game based on the summer movie Blue Crush, but had plans to make one, has cancelled the game.’ In other news… NOBODY CARED. Let us all get down on our hands and knees and thank God that this project died a hopefully painful and excruciating death. I, unfortunately, watched that movie (My wife wanted to see it… Yes I’m whipped; I already know.) and it was the most agonizing two hours that I’ve ever endured.

Maybe Microsoft wanting to buy them has had a good effect on Vivendi. They probably wanted to look attractive to their prospective buyer and didn’t want to come off looking like a bunch of retards. Long live Bill Gates.
DOWN-LO RATING: 9

And that’s the Down-Lo.


THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT
Let’s get started on today’s guest, 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 CHRIS PANKONIN: BOSS OF 411 GAMES)

Chris Pankonin just loves me. And with good reason too! I suck up to him more than any other columnist that works for 411 Games. Check it out:

This is the Down-Lo Spotlight.

Bebito: Hey boss! How’s everything going?
Chris: Just great, how about yourself?

Bebito: Being a good little 411 Games employee as always! I’m just happy to be interviewing the BEST boss in the world. Yes sir!
Chris: No need to ass kiss there Bebito.

Bebito: Let’s get started. Where ya from, Chris?
Chris: Louisville, Nebraska. Yes, that’s right Louisville, NEBRASKA. Not Kentucky.

Bebito: How old are ya?
Chris: A whopping 19 years old, and the boss of people older than me, how cool is that?

Bebito: And what a great boss you are Chris! *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*
Chris: What did I say? No need to ass kiss!

Bebito: So what do you do at 411?
Chris: I have quietly become the 4th webmaster of the site, but I primarily work as the head of the games section. Everyone sends their stuff to me, I try and catch any typos or anything and post the stuff onto the site. Plus I recap Sunday Night Heat in the wrestling section and fill in on the wrestling news board when Ashish is busy.

Bebito: How did you end up being a webmaster. And who’s the third?
Chris: PK is webmaster number three. I started off over a year ago as a reviewer with the games section, within a few months I debuted the 411 Games News Report, then around late summer we decided to really push the games section as a major, daily updated site. At which point Ashish became pretty busy and I volunteered my services, spent a lot of time as the head of the section, before officially becoming a “webmaster” the first week of December.

Bebito: Wow! That’s quite an honor! Well, you must be into vidoegames quite a bit to be the head of the Games Zone eh?
Chris: Lets just say I’m on a first name basis with the people at Blockbuster, which is either really sad or just shows that I also have social skills!

Bebito: It’s probably the former, Chris. I’m the same way with the Electronic Boutique guys in my area, and my wife is always sure to remind me how truly sad that is. Anyway, what consoles do you have?
Chris: Playstation 2, Gamecube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and Dreamcast.

Bebito: Not bad. Which is your favorite?
Chris: A very good question. I’ve spent most time playing Playstation 2 so I probably should call that my favorite. I also have always liked the Xbox too, although the games for that haven’t been that great for quite awhile now.

Bebito: What games have been spinning in your systems lately?
Chris: Being a Nebraskan, NCAA Football 2003 is about the only way I can see my Huskers actually win some games this year. I also have been playing a lot of Tony Hawk 4 and NBA Live 2003. I’m a big sports gaming fan.

Bebito: Cool. Now according to Widro, this is the tough question: In your humble opinion, what is the greatest videogame ever made?
Chris: It is a very tough question. Wow.

Bebito: That’s why I ask it.
Chris: Hmm, probably Grand Theft Auto III, because it was so original, a great seller, and just a really fun game to play for hours.

Bebito: Ok then. Well if you’ve ever read my column, you know that I used to think that Toejam and Earl was the bomb back in the Sega Genesis days. They’re back out on the Xbox now with a new game, so tell me… Do Toejam & Earl still got the funk?
Chris: Nope, I played the demo and wasn’t really all that thrilled with it. They’re cool characters but it really hasn’t caught on and been a big hit, so I guess they must not have as much funk as they used to have.

Bebito: (*I’m faced with a dilemma here. I disagree with the boss, but I want to stay under his good merits. Do I stand up for what I think is right, and have my own opinion. Or do I blindly agree with him to get brownie points… What do I do?*) You were dead on with that one boss!
Chris: I’ll say it for the third time, no need to ass kiss! I might be wrong, I didn’t really play it all that much to form a valid opinion.

Bebito: What? Who said you were wrong!? No way man. On to 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) – Addicting

(Nintendo) – The originators

(Sega) – The mid 90s juggernaut

(Xbox) – Untapped Potential

(PS2) – The current king of consoles

(Grand Theft Auto) – Unbelievable

(Sonic The Hedgehog) – Mascot

(411) – Best Damn Site on the Web

(Yuji Naka) – WHO?

(Shigeru Miyamoto) – Made some revolutionary games

(Ashish) – Businessman

(Widro) – Programming Genius

(Jason Masters) – Talented

(Bebito Jackson) – Loyal

(Chris Pankonin) – Underrated

*****

Bebito: Ok Chris, let the readers know what they can expect from us here at the Games Zone in 2003.
Chris: We’re going big time. The countdown is on for 03.03.03, we’re going to keep adding more things such as screen shots, previews, Game Boy Advance, and much more. Just keep checking out our section because we’re adding new features all the time.

Bebito: Word. Now you didn’t come out empty handed at the Lo-Down! Awards a few weeks ago. How does it feel to be named 411 Games: Hardest Working Writer?
Chris: It’s nice to know that people realize I do a lot of the work for the site, although most of the stuff I do involves making everyone else’s stuff better. I’m just happy to win anything.

Bebito: Stop being so modest. Booty kissing aside, you do lots around here. And it’s not easy making my work look good. Speaking of which, there’s a running gag here at 411 Games (at least I think it’s a gag) that I supposedly suck. Honestly though Chris, do I suck?
Chris: Relaying a message from your good buddy Mr. Masters: You Do Suck. We like to kid on you, but you are the most reliable guy on the site when it comes to getting your columns in on time, spell checked, the links right, the works. You’re one of the easiest guys to work with when it comes to making my job easier, so do you suck? Yes. But I mean it in a good way. ;-)

Bebito: Ok… I’ll try to take it in a good way then. Thanks for joining me Chris. You were great.
Chris: Anytime.

Bebito: Oh wait! One more question… Sorry, but this has been bugging me for a while now. Why won’t Masters and Williams plug me in their columns??
Chris: Because you suck of course, and they wouldn’t want to link to anything that sucks now would they?

Bebito: *puts head down* No sir.
Chris: I’m just kidding with you.

Bebito: I’ll be leaving now… *sniff*
Chris: Want me to make them start plugging you?

Bebito: Nah. I get more hits than them all anyway! lol
Chris: lol

You can email Chris Pankonin at: chris4025@hotmail.com
And you can read Chris’s 411 Games Review of NBA 2K3 for Xbox: HERE. Plus you can check him out this Friday for his 411 Games News Report. That is… if he decides to actually post it this week.

The Down-Lo Spotlight will be going into retirement for a little while. I just realized that there are only so many writers I can feature before I do nearly all of 411 Mania. So I’ve decided to space them out a little bit and make room for other types of bits in my columns. Don’t worry; I’ll always have something entertaining for you besides just rumors. It’s my nature after all.

(THE DOWN-LO SPOTLIGHT IS OFF)


(411 DOWN-LO-MAIL: WELCOME BEBITO! YOU HAVE 4 UNREAD MESSAGES…)

Let’s see what guys have been thinking of the column lately. Hopefully nice thoughts…

I don’t see why everyone treats you like the ‘X-Pac’ of 411Games, saying that you suck and stuff. I mean, you must be doing something good since you’re the only 411Games column I read regularly.

Well, enough brown-nosing from me…
(FILE FROM… AdrianLokoMoon)

Oh there can never be enough brown-nosing Adrian, but thanks for the compliment. Glad you enjoy the Down-Lo.

To be honest lots of guys around these parts actually like me, to the point that I’d consider them friends (as close a friend as you can become with someone that you’ve never met or verbally spoken to). Ron Yip comes to mind. And Alex Lucard and I share some sort of eerie bond with each other that can’t be explained (to the point to that we may be doing a series of brand new columns together). Chris Pankonin and I are pretty cool as well. Plus I’ve made acquaintances with nearly everybody at 411 Music.

So why the harsh treatment? To quote Chris Pankonin from the above interview, “We like to kid on you.” Nobody here really believes that I suck (I don’t think). I’ve just turned out to be the whipping boy of 411 Games, that’s all. It’s all good. Ashish loves me, and I’m still among the most popular here! *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*

Besides… I really do suck.

Hi! I was wondering what it would take to write for 411games, or if I should be mailing you at all! HAW! Just wondering. Lates!
(FILE FROM… Logan Sharp)

If you read the Down-Lo Spotlight, then you know the guy you need to get in contact with, Logan. Email Chris (his address is above) and send him a sample of your writing. It helps to have an idea for a column or feature already suggested upon in your email. Tell a little about yourself and what systems you own, and let him know why he has no choice but to give you a spot at 411 Games. Sell yourself. Don’t be a dofus, and merely send in something like: “I want to work for 411. When do I get my money and free games?” Believe it or not, Chris actually got stuff like that.

I’m not even sure that they’re still accepting applications, but it’s worth a shot. Wish ya the best, bro!

I suppose the Sonic game Ron (in the 01.20.03 edition of SimColumn where Sonic Adventure DX was reported on) is talking about is the same one we were discussing earlier. It seems Sega is out to drain the astounding, milk chocolate squirting teat of the Sonic Adventure series. And who could blame them, it’s not often you get milk chocolate results from a metaphorical teat. But still, I wonder if they even considered the use of “fresh” material, or did they always plan on spoon feeding us a
regurgitated gaming experience with nothing more than an extra, 10% razzle dazzle!?

I guess once you start questioning, it never stops.

Oh, and pass the Zoloft man! After that news about Shenmue 3, who wouldn’t be depressed!?
(FILE FROM… greydragon)

Hey grey! Always good to hear from ya. If you didn’t know, greydragon is one of the semi-regular emailers that I get feedback from now and then. Here, have some Zoloft. *passes Zoloft to greydragon* It takes the edge off the Shenmue thing.

Don’t fret my friend. While it tis true that Yuji Naka and Sega are milking Sonic The Hedgehog’s popularity for every dime he’s worth, they know when enough is enough. Sonic Adventure DX was NOT the game that I’ve rumoring on for months now. Sega all but officially announced that they were making a remake of Sonic Adventure for the GameCube quite some time ago. What I’m talking about is a full blown, brand spanking new, Sonic The Hedgehog title. Yuji Naka stated in the Japanese videogame magazine, Dorimaga that they’re going to introduce a new Sonic game at E3. No further details were given, but it’s not supposed to be a new Sonic Adventure episode.

Be patient and have faith, my son. It’s coming…

dear bebooto,
You’ve got my favorite column on 411 Games. The Spotlight thing is a nice little touch. Please post pictures of your HOT wife while she’s just getting out of the shower, being spanked with a leather belt.
(FILE FROM… vze4d74e)

You see… *smiling* these are the types of letters you get after you say that you’re printing ALL reader feedback. I should have known better.

Always one to try and appease my fans, however, I actually considered giving it a shot; but every time I went to approach my wife about it as she was getting out of the shower, I got err… distracted.

(411 DOWN-LO-MAIL: SIGNING OFF…)


As always, feedback will be loved, caressed, smacked, flipped, and rubbed down. Until next week, peace and keep it on the DL. I’m out.

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)