Thank God It’s Thursday News Report 03.13.03

Welcome to another edition of the news report that makes you contemplate suicide, the Thank God It’s Thursday News Report. I’m Bryan Berg. And I’m no longer the new guy!

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mr. Lee Baxley to the vaunted 411 News Report staff. Let the hazings begin. And on with the news! Well, the miniscule amount of it available today, anyway…


Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has set a record for the highest number of pre-orders in video game history. Its current total is an impressive 560,000. Zelda wrested away the pre-order crown from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

I wonder how many pre-orders Nintendo would have gotten without the Ocarina of Time incentive. However, this is great news for Nintendo considering everyone is burying the GameCube as we speak. Sure, all it really has to offer is first-party games, but if those sell like wildfire (and are actually good), then it’s not so bad.

Nintendo
Nintendo has decided to space its major release calendar out a bit in 2003. It has pushed back the release dates of Wario World and F-Zero. Wario World will go from May 26th to June 23, while F-Zero will be moved back to August 25th from June 24th. This is done, according to ign.com, to better serve Nintendo’s marketing needs.

Like you didn’t see this coming. As long as the games are good, it’s all good. I don’t think anyone really gives a rat’s ass about Wario World though. F-Zero, on the other hand… August is really far away. In any event, we’ll be seeing quite a bit of these games at E3.

Final Fantasy
Our own Chris Pankonin reports that the upcoming Final Fantasy game, X-2, may very well be the last in the series. This is where it gets tricky. Final Fantasy X-2 is a sequel to Final Fantasy X. Gamestop.com reports that Final Fantasy XII is already in development. Are XII and X-2 the same game? I don’t think so. But this is going to confuse the crap out of people. In fact, it already has.

In spite of the fact that it’s utterly ridiculous to have a game called Final Fantasy 12, they should keep pumping these games out as long as people are going to buy them. A sequel is a novel idea, and it should be interesting to see what Square comes up with. However, if they keep going with these sequels, it remains to be seen whether they’ll keep making other games like XII. This situation appears to be quite messy, and here’s hoping Square clears it up, and soon.

Mortal Kombat
The success of Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has led Midway to create a sequel for the Game Boy Advance. The sequel will be titled Mortal Kombat: Deadly Revenge. The game will feature characters both old and new and will feature what ign.com refers to as “connection to the original GBA version of Deadly Alliance”.

This game should be pretty cool. There’s nothing else to really say about a game which nobody knows anything about.


Plugs
Give the new guy the Gold! This week’s winner is Lee Baxley’s interestingly titled Hump Day Otaku News Report. I don’t quite know what it means, but judging from the “Hump Day” part, I’d imagine it’s celebrating some sort of sexual activity. But his report is quite good and informative, so please do read it and e-mail him saying it was the greatest thing you’ve ever read. Even if it wasn’t.

Ron Yip gets the Silver for his excellent SimColumn News Report. This week’s was especially funny. And hating the Toronto Maple Leafs is ALWAYS a plus in my book. They’re still going to choke in the second round, though. Read Yip, or DIE.

Bebito almost got the Silver, but ends up with the Bronze. Why? My anti-Maple Leaf sentiment, basically. That, and I didn’t have one of the Top Ten Columns in 411 Games history. It’s all good, though. I knew I sucked, and now I have quantitative proof. In all seriousness, it’s a great retrospective highlighting the best that 411 has had to offer in the past while.

Joseph Stanley is back to his original identity and banging out the quality news in the Weekend Wipe-Up. He assumes that you’ve all missed Chu Chu Rocket. And Chris returns from his news report sabbatical (on the Games site, anyway) with the 411 Games News Report.

Alex Lucard has been struck by lightning and we can’t find him. Rumor has it that Frederick Badlissi was involved in the same incident.

Over in the Reviews section, Rantmaster Mark makes his mark (HA!) with his review of Disaster Report. In addition, Reno reviews Galerians: ASH. Any game with the word “Ash” in it can’t be a bad thing, as it shares the name with one of the all-time great bands. And, as has become the norm with the site, there are plenty of previews for everyone to peruse.

Non-411 Link of the Week
It’s an article called The Game of Music, over at ign.com. It deals with soundtracks to video games. I write a lot of music, so this was really interesting. Sometimes music in games gets overlooked. It shouldn’t. Imagine the Final Fantasy games without music, and that should show you its significance.

On a side note, thanks to all who checked this space last week. I hope you enjoyed Batman Sucks Forever. Due to quite a few people being exposed to it perhaps for the first time, the site had a record day in terms of site traffic. So thanks to those who helped them achieve that.

Commentary of the Week

NHL Trade Dealine
So some teams were able to help themselves out, others didn’t really do much of anything, and other still were able to show how f*cked up the financial structure of the NHL is. Here are my views on some of the trades that went down (and remember, I’m an Islanders fan, so my views might be skewed a bit).

Anson Carter for Radek Dvorak. You mean to tell me that the Isles couldn’t have gotten Anson Carter with what they had, yet the Rangers could give up a third-liner for him? Crazy. Anyway, this puts the Rangers in the playoffs. Guaranteed. And the Oilers will continue to flounder and rebuild – again.

Chris Osgood to St. Louis. A salary dump, plain and simple. But it works for both teams. The Blues get a goalie that has won the Cup before, while the Isles finally figure out their goalie situation and get rid of $4 million in salary (that should have gone to Anson Carter). But mark my words – the prospect New York got in the deal, Justin Papineau, is the next Brad Isbister…

Brad Isbister/Raffi Torres for Janne Niinimaa. Brad Isbister will score 25 goals next year for Edmonton. He really needed a change in scenery. Torres is a good prospect that can be a top-6 forward. Niinimaa isn’t really what the Isles needed, but they’ve probably got one of the top 4 or 5 defenses in the NHL right now. And defense isn’t the worst thing when you’ve got someone my age just getting his feet wet in the NHL during the playoff push.

Owen Nolan/Glen Wesley/Phil Housley/Doug Gilmour to Toronto for a box of hockey pucks. While I hate the Leafs a lot, you’ve got to give them credit for these moves. It never hurts to acquire proven playoff performers, regardless of age. Besides, Gilmour made a name for himself in Toronto, so that’s nice. Now the question is, can they avoid controversy and get to the Finals?

Bryan Marchment to Colorado. The annual Colorado rent-a-player. Theo Fleury, Ray Bourque, Darius Kasparaitis, and now Marchment. This was a really good move that gives Colorado blue-line toughness. Of course, Detroit went out and upgraded its blueline as well with Mathieu Schneider. It’s going to be a fun playoff to watch out West.

Goodbye
So that wraps up another enthralling edition of the Thank God It’s Thursday News Report. I hope you enjoyed the ride. Don’t forget to give the other writers on the site a read. They’re all really good. So till next week. You’ve got Pankonin and Stanley over the weekend, so read them and enjoy. Later.