411 Games Rumor Down-Lo: 04.15.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo: 04.15.03

411 Games Quote of The Week
Who would have thought the best next-gen wrestling game wouldn’t involve actual WRESTLERS?
— Ron Yip (Review: Def Jam Vendetta – GC)

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 04-15-03: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)


You’re leaving? What the hell! I was planning on positioning myself for a sweep of the 2nd annual Lo-Down Awards! Hey, good luck in whatever’s going on. I hope to see you back at 411 soon. Hell, you’re the only game guy I read, unless there’s some major game review or something that I want to check out. Anyways, hope to see you again writing soon. Long live the rumor monkey!
— Jeff Modzelewski / 411 Music


Ok, let’s see here…

Rumors. Check.

Monkey. Check.

Lame jokes. Check.

Played-out catch phrases. Check.

Making fun of the retarded. Check.

Stolen material. Check.

Reader feedback making me look good. Check.

Shining Force rant. Check.

Lame stolen jokes making fun of the retarded. Double Check.

Yup. It’s the finale to the Down-Lo alright…

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and my company sends out the most awesome memos in the history of awesome memos! Seriously. I work in the Engineering department of an Electric company, thus most of my time is spent working with computers. Well, check out what was sent out to the entire engineering office just recently:

From: Utility Communications
Date: Wen, 5 Mar 2003 19:07:51 EST
Subject: Mouse Balls
To: Bebito Jackson

Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field Replacement Units).

Therefore, if a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a ball replacement. Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, replacement of mouse balls should only be attempted by properly trained personnel.

Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse. Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal procedures differ depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop-off method. Domestic balls are replaced by the twist-off method. Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge.

Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse can be used immediately.

It is recommended that each replacer have a pair of spare balls for maintaining optimum customer satisfaction.

Any customer missing his balls should suspect local personnel of removing these necessary items.

Thank you. And good day.

Ok, ok, so my company didn’t really send this out, but ya gotta admit it would have been sweet if they did. *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*

Welp, this is it. I was going to renege on my comments from last week about not mentioning my departure from 411 Games in order that I could write a long, sappy, emotionally charged, tearful goodbye column for all of my loyal fans… but SCREW that. This is the Down-Lo! You don’t read me because I sound like a bad episode of Family Matters. You read because I’m incoherent, self-loathing, slightly insane, and I’ve got the rumors. Oh yes, we CAN’T forget about the rumors, baby!

So in lieu of all that sentimental crap, here’s more of the sucky garbage that you’ve come to expect from me. And that includes another tall tale from your favorite old bitter storyteller and mine, Uncle Bebito. Hey, might as well throw it all out there…


And now, gather round boys and girls because it’s time for another story from Uncle Bebito:

—————————————————————————

*little Timmy runs into room crying*

Uncle Bebito: Boy! Why is it that every time I see you, you’re always crying?? You some kind of pansy boy?

Little Timmy: *sniff* I dunna know. Maybe I am a pansy… No girl’s ever gonna like me… *sniff*

Uncle Bebito: Girl? You mean to tell me that you’re going after girls at only five years old, boy?

Little Timmy: Um, yes…

Uncle Bebito: That’s my boy! Is that what this is all about? Is there some little girl whose Kool-Aid you want to get all up in?

Little Timmy: Kool-Aid?

Uncle Bebito: I’ll teach ya about that when you’re older, boy. Now tell your Uncle Bebito what the big ta do is here.

Little Timmy: Well there’s this real pretty girl in my class named Melanie. And I like her a lot. So at recess I found a dandelion flower and I gave it to her so she would like me too. But a bee flew out of it and stung her in the eye… and she had to go to the nurse… and then her parents came… and then she had to go to the doctors and, and… *sniff* now she hates me Uncle Bebito! No girl is ever gonna like me…

Uncle Bebito: Look’s like you inherited the family curse with women, little Timmy. Now I know you think of your Uncle Bebito as one of those Big Mac Daddies or whatever you kids call em’, but I had my fair share of problems with the ladies. Especially when it came to giving gifts…

Little Timmy: Really? You had trouble too, Uncle Bebito?

Uncle Bebito: Oh sure. One of the hardest things in the world is buying a gift for your lady. Let me tell you a story, boy. When I was young man way before I met your Auntie, I wanted to purchase a gift for my high school sweetheart, Betty. It was our one-week anniversary so we had not been dating very long. So after carefully thinking about it for a while, I decided a pair of gloves would be just the thing to get: it’s romantic, but not too personal.

So, accompanied by Betty’s younger sister, who was pretty darn hot herself, I went to that fancy store, Nordstrom, and bought a pair of white gloves. Her sister purchased a pair of panties for herself.

Unfortunately during the wrapping, that retarded clerk mixed up the items and the sister got the gloves and Betty got the panties. It’s the curse I tell ya! Without checking the contents I sealed up the package and sent it to Betty, and to make matters worse I included a note that read like this:

“I chose these because I noticed that you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. If it had not been for your sister, I would have chosen the long ones with the buttons, but she wears short ones that are easier to remove.

These are a delicate shade, but the lady I bought them from showed me the pair she had been wearing for the past three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had her try yours on for me and she looked really spiffy.

I wish I were there to put them on for you the first time, as no doubt other hands will come in contact with them before I have a chance to see you again.

When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing.

Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you will wear them for me on Friday night. All my love.

— Uncle Bebito

P.S. The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.”

She never said anything but on our next date she seemed a bit more “frisky” than usual, and since I’m not that kind of guy I had to break up with the poor girl.

Little Timmy: Uncle Bebito… are these really YOUR stories? I mean did any of this stuff actually happen to you? It sounds a little crazy to me. And Aunt Bella says you lie a lot…

Uncle Bebito: Hush up, boy! All of Uncle Bebito’s stories are original and true and you better believe em’ too! That’s why you’re a pansy and you’ll never get in any girl’s Kool-Aid.

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(DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions of “Uncle Bebito” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of 411 Mania, the Rumor Down-Lo, Bebito Jackson, Ashidro, and/or any of their affiliates.)


Just wanted to write to say that you’re still the best news reporter, even when you phone it in. I loved the story you told. It made me laugh out loud, which is something I don’t do very often. I know I probably can’t talk you out of taking your hiatus, because it’s something that’s necessary for a lot of people doing this sort of thing. But I just wanted to say that we’ll miss you, and that’s coming from the 411 reader part of me, as well as the 411 staffer part. I know you don’t know when you’ll be back, but I for one hope you aren’t gone long. I’ll miss your rumor monkey if you’re gone too long. :) So good luck and have fun while you’re gone! Thanks for everything.
— Lee Baxley / 411 Games News Reporter


Before this column sinks any deeper into the depths of depravity (and believe me, it’s possible), let’s get going to the rumors. It’s what you came here for to begin with. Behold the “Last?” edition of the Down-Lo. You guys know the drill by now so no redundant, old, boringly long explanations are necessary. Not anymore anyway…

Enjoy. I have.


This is the Down-Lo.

SOMEBODY SHOOT ME… PLEASE
Square Enix has posted a recruitment ad for what looks like a new project entailing the development of a new version of Final Fantasy Tactics. Thus we can assume we’ll be getting another edition in that series soon. The headline read something like this:

Jobs Open For Those Wanting To Help Us Make More Money Stealing Ideas From Shining Force.

The firm is requesting applicants for the position of battle-planner for a strategy-RPG, leading many to believe that a new outing in the Tactics series, the latest of which – a GBA release – sold amazingly well in Japan, is underway for next-gen consoles.

411 Games will keep you updated as we continue to get more… um… as we get…

ARRRGGG!!! I can’t freaking stand Squaresoft and their regurgitated house of unoriginal inferior clone wannabe rpgs! Final Fantasy; stolen from Phantasy Star. Final Fantasy: Tactics; stolen from Shining Force. Xenogears; stolen from… umm, well I’m sure they probably stole that from something too. Sega must feel exactly the same way the makers of Driver feel everytime they see an ad for Grand Theft Auto 3 come across their screens.

Bleh.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

NINTENDO PULLING A DREAMCAST?
Whenever I’m on the can, I make sure to read Nikkei Business daily, the respected eastern business journal. Nope, I don’t spend that quality time looking at Fredericks of Hollywood catalogues, no sir, it’s Nikkei all the way. In one of their recent issues they claimed that insiders aka snitches at Nintendo are hinting that the firm may attempt to bring its next home console to market before either Microsoft or Sony, with the year 2005 heavily rumored. Apparently Nintendo believes that by beating the others to the big next-gen release, it will gain a greater market share for itself and its products.

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Nintendo for this new and original idea that I’m sure will most certainly bring them back to the market dominance they once had. Yup.

*looks over at Dreamcast*

Oh crap. Let’s think about this for a second. Anyone remember how awesome the launch of Dreamcast was? NFL2K, Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Power Stone, and Ready To Rumble came together to make THE BEST launch line-up in console history even up till this day making there almost NO EXCUSE not to buy the system. Almost. Sadly there was a huge “wait-for-PS2” mentality that reigned at that time and that’s what many predict will happen to Nintendo if they launch early. We’ll see that old “wait-for-PlayStation 3 or Xbox 2” mentality arising, leaving Nintendo enjoying shelve-space, without sufficient demand.

Spong.com made a good point when they said:

The Dreamcast’s killer blow was Sony’s ability to spin the future, convincing consumers that, rather than take a machine, simply because it’s available, it is better to wait for the killer console, with all the games, improved graphics and so on. But that doesn’t matter: Once you have gotten people to wait, when it comes to launch, you leave them with no choice: They have to buy your machine, having snubbed the competition for so long.

Agreed. Despite the fact that Sega did nearly everything right for once, the PS2 killed the Dreamcast on its potential alone. Even when the PS2’s launch line-up came up lackluster, everyone bought one due to anticipation alone. Let’s all hope Nintendo doesn’t befall the same fate.

Whatever. It’s not very likely to happen regardless. I mean when was the last time you remember Nintendo releasing anything early?
DOWN-LO RATING: 3

A GRAND GRAN TURISMO
I’ll give credit where credit is due. Gran Turismo 3 was a hugely successful and entertaining game. Polyphony Digital made it one of the few good reasons to own a PS2 early in its life cycle. Now I’m not a big GT guy, but like I said, I’ll give it its props. Recent developments makes it look as though they’re going out of their ways to make what we thought was a special game in GT3 seem minuscule by comparison, as they prepare to unleash the behemoth that is Gran Turismo 4. And I do mean BEHEMOTH. Unconfirmed reports from Japan this morning are claiming that Gran Turismo 4 will be significantly bigger than was initially expected. I’ve gotten reports claiming that an amazing 2,000 cars will be included, as well as more than 100 tracks. Simply incredible.

If this is true, I’ll unfortunately never be able to say anything negative about Gran Turismo… ever, just out of sheer respect. We’ll know at E3. Stay tuned…
DOWN-LO RATING: 4

XBOX! GET YOUR XBOX! ONLY 25 CENTS!
This is Bebito Jackson reporting from 15 days into the future, bringing you the latest news before it happens.

Our top story for today: Microsoft just announced a new deal where you can pick up a Xbox for just a $1.99 when you buy a PS2! Just a $1.99! If you were on the fence about getting one, now is the time to act! Wait… this just in. Xboxes will now be packaged in with McDonald Happy Meals when you buy a #2 Extra Value Meal, Supersized. You have to jump on board for this unbelievable deal before… Hold on, I now have word that if you come into your local game retailer, Microsoft will pay YOU $200 to take a home a special Xbox package which includes the system, the DVD remote, two extra controllers, Xbox Live, every game in the Xbox Platinum Hits collection, Windows2000, a coupon that allows you pick up one copy of every new Sega game released for the next 10 years, and one of Bill Gates’ Platinum Visa credit cards. It’s the ultimate package, folks. Do not miss out.

This just in… all investors have pulled their funding for Microsoft. All plans for the company’s future ‘Xboxes Raining From The Sky Campaign’ have been axed. This has been Bebito Jackson reporting from 15 days into the future. I now turn you back over to my past counterpart, Bebito Jackson of the present.

*****

Thanks Bebito. In today’s news, Microsoft has slashed the price of the Xbox across Europe making it more affordable than both PS2 and Nintendo’s GameCube. Currently neither Nintendo nor Sony have commented on their own price drops in Europe.

Of course now that Microsoft has made one further move down the road to bankruptcy, several analysts are now looking to North America for price cuts for all three next gen-consoles as E3 rapidly approaches. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Tony Gikas, said something and everybody paid attention because his title was so long, “We also think Microsoft will lead the way with a U.S. hardware price cut from $199 to $149 (followed simultaneously by Sony) sometime during the next four to six weeks,” he said.

History has shown that once one company loses their mind and drops the price of their console, all the rest follow suit. At least that’s how it happened last year’s E3.

The big question though, is whether Nintendo will follow suit dropping their already low priced console from $149.99 down to just a partly $99! Most would assume so if Sony and Microsoft dropped theirs, although I’m sure the Big N wouldn’t want to do it if they didn’t have to, as evidenced by comments that they would definitely not be the one initiating any sort of price drops, “It is not in our plans. We have historically not led price cuts,” George Harrison, a senior vice president big shot with Nintendo of America, said as he rolled up a $100 bill into a cigarette and lit it. “There is always pressure built up before E3 …. We will have to see as we get there.”

The non-411 quote of the week for me would have to be what one Reuters analyst had the gall to say, “The question one has to ask is: are they more interested in making money or are they more interested in saving face? With any rational company, one should assume they’re interested in making money. With Microsoft, I’m not sure.”

Neither am I. One thing’s for sure though, expect cheaper consoles after E3.
DOWN-LO RATING: 9

And that’s the Down-Lo.

Thanks to the usual suspects this week. Let’s be honest, you don’t really care who they are.


BELL’S REVIEW
It’s time for another mini-review from the eyes of an extremely soft-core gamer. In this instance, my baby, wife, and soul-mate takes a look at one of the most treasured parts of our videogame collection. Take it away babe:

(DISCLAIMER: 411 Games, Bebito Jackson, and hard-core gamers in general may not necessarily like, understand, or even slightly agree with the opinions and views expressed by Bella Jackson in the Bell’s Review. Reader discretion is advised.)

Bell’s Review – Virtua Fighter 4
System – PlayStation2
Genre – Fighting
Publisher – Sega
Developer – AM2
Rating – (T)een: Violence

Bella Jackson: It’s my last chance to write on Bebito’s column. Wasn’t he the best writer!? I might have to say that because his is my husband.

First thing you are probably asking is “why this game?” “How old is that game?” Well it’s because Virtua Fighter 4 is one of my favorite games to play. At first I thought it was stupid. I never really liked fighting games. Bebito convinced me as usual to try it though.

You fight opponents, whether they be a friend or computer controlled. You have to kick some serious butt to win. In it you can choose a character to fight with in a certain mode for the whole game (Bebito’s Note: It’s called Kumite, babe.). I chose a character I was comfortable with and I have to say with the utmost humility, I kicked some major bootay! Then came time to play Bebito! Bebito is extremely good at videogames (Bebito’s Note: Duh.). His friends all strive to beat him with this game and are all unable to do so unless he wants them to win. Of course he beat me over and over again. I’m not a gamer. I don’t think that was a major surprise.

This is a game that can be played for hours on end, especially with other people. My friends (girls) would get sucked into playing this game and they didn’t do too bad. I think they liked the power of beating some characters up.

The graphics are good. The music is good. The characters are interesting. I really like this game for the simple fact that it’s fun to play with or without someone.
Bell’s Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

Bebito’s Two Cents: The trump card in my PS2 collection and the reason I own the thing, Virtua Fighter 4 is near flawless. Want to fill your house up with a bunch of hot chicks playing videogames? Then forget Mario Party, get down with the VF4. And don’t let my wife fool you… she’s beaten me before, heck she’s beaten everybody that’s come over. Right now in Kumite we’re both ranked as a 1st Dan. And besides, if she can’t beat me in the game she just beats me up in real life. Fortunately, just like her character Pai, her boobs sway in the wind after she’s won a battle too.
The 411: 9.5 out of 10


I thought you said you’d only be gone for a couple of weeks???
— Chris Pankonin / Boss of 411 Games


MY READERS ARE AWESOME AND I’VE GOT PROOF!
I love my audience. You’re probably the craziest bunch of idiots a writer could ask for. Thanks to everyone who ever sent a letter to say they liked the column, or sent one to say that I sucked, or sent one to just chew the videogaming fat, or even those who sent letters to my enemies claiming they were my lawyers and that they’d sue them. It’s the sole reason I write. Let’s do it one more time. I’ll keep it trimmed down to three this week because the actual amount of feedback was just STAGGERING…

Wait… Who Was I Just Compared With??
Hey, just wanted to wish you well on your hiatus. I’m not a big-time gamer, I buy maybe 2 or 3 games a year, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of your column. You and Hyatte are the two guys I read faithfully, and I’ll miss the Down Lo’ starting off my Tuesday mornings. God that sounds gay. Anyway, good luck.
— JT

If you haven’t noticed, as I’m making my departure Chris Hyatte is coming back. And anyone who remembers from when I first started writing for 411 Games, at that time Hyatte was just leaving. See the pattern? Hyatte and Bebito are the same guy! I’m just using different pen names! It’s like how Superman and Clark Kent are never seen at the same time. (Hyatte is Kent of course…) In all seriousness, to even be thought of in the same vein as him is astounding. And completely incorrect, but thanks a bunch anyway, bro. Oh and no, that didn’t sound gay. If you said you’d “miss the Down-Lo starting off my Tuesday mornings after waking up with my gay lover.” Then ya… that would be gay.

Stay Strong My Brotha
sad to see you go pal, you were pretty much the only video game columnist I looked forward to on a regular basis. Come back to us, my friend, and be strong.

“Without death there would be no life”
— Chris Schoen

Thanks Chris. Even though nothing as tragic as death occurred within my life, I really appreciate that. Really. I told you guys my readers were awesome! Man, I can’t take any more of this praise… it’s completely messing up my “I suck” gimmick. Better go to a less flattering letter quick before anyone starts to believe I’m a good writer or something…

Wanna See A PS2 Explode? Port Doom III To It!
Uh…..I know you must be some know it all hardware guy. But I have to tell you that the chances of PS2 running Doom 3 are about as good as Vince Lombardi coming back from the grave to lead the Bengals to 5 straight Super Bowls.That poorly designed garbage could hadle the Quake 3 engine unless SEVERLY toned down.And dont be too surprized if Doom 3 comes to the GameCube.Some 3rd party games sell like ass.Some,however sell beautifully. Look at Madden.Look at Spiderman.Look at Sonic.Just because GameCube owners arent clearing the racks of third party garbage doesnt mean that great games wont sell.Only the Sega sports brand was shafted for sales IMO.Great games they were indeed.But that what happens when you dont support Cubers with sports titles for a year.

Anyway the moral of this rant is.Xbox and GC can do Open GL with no problem.PS2 may explode if it tried.The end.
— Christian Miles

Ahhhh. There we go.

Honestly bro, I couldn’t agree with you more. At least halfway, that is. I was more or less cracking on the fact that they’d even consider bringing Doom III to the PS2. They did it with Splinter Cell and it came out atrocious (thus my joke on the game coming to the Saturn). Sadly, like you said, if Doom III did hit the PS2 it would be sorely stripped down, but that might not stop them from trying to make a quick buck.

As far as it coming to the GameCube though, I would be surprised. Not because the system can’t handle it (the cube is more powerful than the ps2 no doubt), but because consumers and some developers alike still view the audience base of Nintendo’s machine as childish. It still hasn’t shaken that kiddy system feeling despite Resident Evil “exclusively” coming to it. And it seems that every week Nintendo is getting bad press (albeit mostly unfair) that their system is the next Titanic, causing more and more developers to pull support for the thing. All of this equals dwindling support for a system that deserves more.

Heh. And no… I’m not some know-it-all hardware guy. You seem to be better versed in that kind of stuff than me, bro. I’m just a gamer.


So uh…you’re packin’ it up for a bit? Real world issues? Actually, I think I figured this out…

“Alright, alright… I’ll do some research this time. Give me a second… *pauses Xenosaga*” – (411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 04-08-03)

See!? It’s the Xenosaga, isn’t it!? You’re just pluggin’ away at XenoCards, and it has taken your mind, body, soul, and a few of your children as well! DAMN YOU XENOSAGA! DAMN YOU TO HELL!
Here’s hoping your vacation from the 411 Motherland ends quickly.

— Michael Blaszkowski / 411 Games / 411 Music


THE DOWN-LO CONTEST: STUMP ALEX LUCARD!
Yup, I’m lazy. And this column is already running too long anyhow. Hopefully you guys remember the contest from two weeks because I’m not going to explain it. Thus, instead of going through this giant huge of a deal detailing who got which questions correct, let me just show the contestants, they’re number of questions correct, and Alex Lucard and his number correct to see who Stumped Alex Lucard. Besides Alex is currently on hiatus himself due to immigration laws in Europe (wish ya the best man!) so he only had enough time to answer the questions and nothing else. Here we go.

Alex Lucard: 6 out of 7 correct
MUST GET A PERFECT SCORE TO STUMP ALEX

————————————————

Travis Wyatt: 6 out of 7 correct
DIDN’T STUMP ALEX LUCARD

Robert Bradshaw: 5 out of 7 correct
DIDN’T STUMP ALEX LUCARD

Ezaphlix: 7 out of 7 correct
STUMPED ALEX LUCARD!

————————————————

Congrats to Ezaphlix who wins the chance to write his own commentary within the Down-Lo! And since this is the last Down-Lo (at least for quite a while) I’ll present it now. And perhaps we’ll see if Chris will post it as a one shot column of his own after its appearance today. But let’s be honest… more people are gonna read it HERE anyway…

The armchair developer: Online gaming
Online.

That word alone is enough to spark an endless flood of debate and arguing in the gaming community. Whether they’re for it or against it, believe Microsoft is going to win the war thanks to Xbox Live or that Nintendo is in the right for being overly cautious on the matter, everybody had some sort of opinion in the big 3’s online strategy. I’m not going to discuss that. While people are flooding message boards and chat rooms whining about the importance of broadband, standardized servers and all that jazz, one important factor seems to be going over many a head: The games. Exactly how would the games benefit from the jump online? Can developers get away with just adding network play to the basic multiplayer modes or do we need a little something more before we fork out our hard-earned money on these games? That’s what I’ll be talking about, provided I don’t veer off and start talking about the weather or something. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I’ll give my two cents (Canadian) on how some games can make the most of the situation and maybe ramble incoherently for the next few paragraphs. Sounds like fun? Shut up, that was a rhetorical question.

Ah sports. The genre that pretty much began the online console gaming craze (Of the 6 games initially supported by Xband, 4 were sports). And right now things are looking pretty good. But there are two glaring flaws that can be ironed out. First is quitting. This is a rather tricky thing to deal with as you can’t just disable the option in an online game. Real life does get in the way sometimes and chances are you will need to attend to more important matters in the heat of battle. My proposal is that you have to earn the right to quit. How you do this is up for debate, but I’m thinking something like a karma based system where you can gain quits and other goodies based on the amount of positive feedback you receive from other players. Of course, you can still lose anything you gain if you’re a complete ass during the game, so don’t get cocky if people love you. And now for the other big problem. You’re having a grand old time stomping a mud hole in any and all challengers. Then the new version of the game comes out and everybody flocks to that one, leaving just you and some idiot named “ssj7gotenks666” or some other cheesy overused Dragon Ball reference in the previous years’ edition. Solution you ask? Why just release 1 version of the game silly. Instead of bringing out a whole new game every single year, they can have a downloadable upgrade package. I mean if Madden 2004 is basically going to be 2003 with better graphics, AI and other assorted tweaks, why don’t you just download the tweaks and apply them to the old game? It wouldn’t be free, maybe $10 or something, but it could just work if the developers don’t just use it as an excuse to release bug fixes every hour on the hour. Of course, nothing’s stopping them from embedding such fixes in the free roster updates. Best of all, these upgrades would be compatible with each other, so somebody playing with the 2007 version can still play against someone with the 2004 version or whatever version any of the other players have.

Next stop on our tour is the racers. The traditional racing game (read: Turismo, Gran) just doesn’t cut it for me. Maybe it’s cause I still have a sour taste in my mouth from Daytona for Dreamcast, which never had more than 20 people to go against, or maybe, much like golf, you real opponent in a race isn’t the other drivers but rather the track itself, with everyone else being mere roadblocks. There’s just no added sense of competition over a single player race. My solution: Crazy Taxi. Just picture it. A huge, preferably self-contained, metropolis. You hop in your car in search of some quick cas…er…I mean customers. You don’t see anybody. But then another player comes screaming past you fare inside. What do you do? Smash into the punk until the fare gets sick of it and hops in your car. You then proceed to drop off the fare before you suffer the same fate as the poor schmuck you just left laying in a pile of twisted metal. Okay sure, that just sounded an awful lot like the Kaufman Cab missions in Vice City, but it works. If you want more competition, you and some buds can start a clan. If you make more money than other clans in such amount of time you can unlock some cool but otherwise useless goodies and maybe even the trust of the fares. That way if two cabs of different clans approach the same fare, he/she will board the more trusted cabbie. The possibilities are endless.

But why should multiplayer games have all the fun? Single-player games can still gain from online. Just look at the crappy flash games that flood the web. The mere thought of beating other peoples’ high scores is enough to get you hooked. Something like that only with good games would be great. I’m getting giddy just thinking of the competition for Tetris (1108 lines. Beat that). Or maybe if you’re in the mood for video games as they were, you can download old 8 and 16 bit games and play as you would have all those years ago. It’d basically be a scaled down version of what PlayStation 3 or that Phantom system is claiming to be. Or if you can remember it, just think Sega Channel without the time limits.

Well, it looks like I’m about out of space, so I should do my closing. Thanks for tolerating my sorry excuse for an article and so long Bebito, and may your socks stay dry. 1000 words exactly.

Send Feedback To Ezaphlix

Not bad. Give the guy some feedback. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.


Here’s Bebito Jackson with a very special… something or other:

Thanks to all of the readers who sent goodbye wishes and feedback. It means a lot. And special thanks goes to every co-worker here at 411 Mania that sent kind words. When it comes from your peers it has that extra special ‘umf’. Shout outs to Down-Lo Devotees Jim Moore, Tack Angel, Myles McNutt, Mike V, and of course greydragon… and also to everyone else who’s read me on a semi-regular to regular basis. It’s been real. And like I said, I might be back.

*rumor monkey looks sad*

Hey! I’m trying to keep everything light and happy, but with all the feedback and comments I’ve been getting from fans and colleagues alike… it’s just been very flattering yet depressing. Come on guys, buck up! You’ve got the best group of videogame journalists on the net here! And with me gone, the line-up is even stronger! I do suck after all… So stay tuned to 411 Games. And don’t worry; I’ll be popping up here and there…

Peace. I’m out.


No f*cking way you can leave and not come back. Seriously. We need to keep all the talented and creative writers, of which you are most definitely one, that we can. Anyway, good luck with whatever you have to go fix and as long as I live, I guarantee there will be an audience of at least one waiting for ya. The Bebito is dead, long live the Bebito!
— Evocator Manes / 411 Music


This is Hyatte.

Err, I mean…

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)