Thank God It’s Thursday News Report 06.12.03

Welcome! You’ve stumbled upon the Thank God It’s Thursday News Report. Here, you’ll find a ton of gaming news, and some extra goodies on the side. Enjoy!

Last week, I said something about a more imaginative opening. Well, I forgot what I was getting at, so you get the generic crap again. Sorry about that.

Anyway….


N-Gage
Nokia has high hopes for its upcoming handheld system/cell phone hybrid, the N-Gage. So high that it is preparing to take Nintendo head-on.

Nokia plans to market the N-Gage to a “different and potentially larger” market than Nintendo caters to. The N-Gage will be for a more mature audience; i.e. people older than 10. According to Nokia’s Head of Entertainment, Ilkka Raiskinen…

If you’re 20 to 25 years old, it’s probably not a good idea to draw a Game Boy out of your pocket on a Friday night in a public place.

And there’s a reason for that. Some white trash 15-year old will steal the thing!

In all seriousness, EVERYBODY has a cell phone. You see 8-year olds with cell phones now and it doesn’t even surprise you. Most of these cell phones have games. So why the hell would ANYBODY shell out $300 for something they already have in a more crude form? On the other hand, you could get a free cell phone from your local establishment and get a GBA for $70. And odds are if you’re a real gamer, you’re not going out on Friday night anyway.

Maybe this “we’re so cool” attitude could work if it had taken any market share from Nintendo. But the sales figures are as follows: Nintendo 150 million, Nokia zero. No one outside the gaming world even knows anything about the N-Gage – Nokia might want to focus its attention on that small problem.

Global Gaming League
Kinda like the XFL, but more ridiculous…

The Global Gaming League is coming!! The brainchild of former Fox Family Channel executive Eric Rollman, the Global Gaming League is aiming to become the next big sport worldwide.

The word “sport” is being used in all seriousness in GGL statements, leading one to believe that this is a joke. But it’s not. Basically, it’s like your average sports league, only without the athletic talent and intrigue.

The official website is unclear about how the league’s events will take place. A few off-the-top-of-the-head ideas, in the mean time:
– Set up regions, like the old NWA. The champion would be decided in some sort of worldwide tournament and could go on to travel the world, defending his title at all stops.
– Make it like the PGA Tour – hit a different city each weekend and have a crowd to witness it all. Each city would have its own sort of “gauntlet” of games for the players to go through, the best player being the winner.
– Execute a huge marketing push, get on TV, and televise events, which may result in an immediate following. Then have the pros play the new games before they’re released, get some statistics on how they do, and release them so that home gamers can try to do one better than the best of the best.

Supposedly, the company running all of this has already generated $20 billion in revenues, so it could go for the last option. Instead, though, it should go for a more grassroots-type idea to build up loyalty in the gaming world. Maybe then, it could work.

For now, it’s just a stupid idea.

Game Boy Advance
Nintendo has announced two new colors that will be released in America in September – red and black.

Perhaps it’ll actually be possible to buy one by then. The thing came out in March and I still haven’t seen one in stores yet.

Columbia House
Columbia House has become the latest company to throw its hat into the gaming ring. The company best known for its insane CD deals will soon be selling games. No word yet on whether the games will be sold individually or the club-type setting typically found with Columbia House, though it would be safe to assume the latter.

Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive have already signed on to be a part of the Columbia House experience, and it should be interesting to see who else follows suit. Columbia House has been very successful in spiking the sales of many musicians’ back catalogs, and it should do the same for EA and Take-Two.


Plugs
It’s been a tough week at the Medal Reward Center – and that’s a good thing. We’ve got a ton of content this week, all of which is good, so the decisions are difficult. Old favorites return, some debuts are made, so how to make sense of it all?

Easy – give everybody the Gold! In an unprecedented move for TGIT, EVERYTHING in the past week gets a Gold medal. It’s a really great time to be part of the 411 Games Zone, whether it be as a reader or writer. There’s a sense of renewed energy, and you can really see it in everything that’s been posted this week. So here’s a rundown of everything Golden this week.

News Reports
Alex Lucard – Retrograding News Report. Alex’s debut as a “news reporter”, and it does not disappoint. He tackles the ever-important issue of licensing in games – some come out great, some are crap. Alex sorts out the good ones here – check it out.

Ron Yip – SimColumn News Report. One of the returning guys, and it’s great to have him back. Longtime 411 readers know Ron’s propensity for the vicious rant, and there’s some of that in his first column in over a month. Read him, too.

Bebito Jackson – 411 Games Rumor Down-Lo. The Man is back. After a long absence, we have another returnee, and you can see that he hasn’t lost a step. Especially excellent is the ending, which had me ready to run through a brick wall. You’ve probably read it already, but do it again.

Lee Baxley – Hump Day Otaku News Report. “One of the features they want to include is voice recognition, where you can tell Lara what to do. While many teens would buy the game to see if they could tell her to “get naked”, I’d rent the game just to see if I could say, ‘put the gun in your mouth and pull the trigger’.” Need I say more?

Reviews
Alex Williams – Ikaruga (GameCube). Welcome, Alex! A fan of old-school shooters reviews a new-school shooter, and is pleased with what he has played. This game sounds really neat, but pretty hard too. Alex does a good job with this review – give it a read.

Alex Lucard – Ikaruga (GameCube). As if it’s not ironic enough that two 411 columnists named Alex reviewed the same game, they were posted on the same day. Weird, eh? Well, Lucard raves over this game in the excellent Retrograding format we all know and love, and with two glowing reviews, how can you not play this game?

Cory Laflin – Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (Playstation 2). Here we have a review of the second game based on one of the biggest cult movies ever – The Evil Dead. And as a hardcore Evil Dead fan, I enjoyed reading this review. Not a bad first effort from Mr. Cory Laflin.

Polecat – Primal (Playstation 2). Reading the review, the game sounded kinda like something out of a Buffy episode, which can never be a bad thing. I liked when Polecat ripped on the non-customizable controls in the game… that part ruled. As does the rest of the review, so make sure you read it.

Jeff Watson – Enter the Matrix (X-Box). Another first-timer, so welcome to the team! Jeff agrees with what Lee said last week in his review of the PS2 version – the game is great if you’re a Matrix fan. So I’ll take their collective word for it. It’s cool that the game isn’t about the “main guy” but instead about supporting characters, so it has that going for it. Anyway, read this review!

James Renick – Shrek Super Party (GameCube). The last of the new reviewers (for this week, anyway), James turns in a review of this Mario Party-type game as his first piece of work. And it’s quite good. I loved Mario Party, so this game sounds good; however, as James points out, it doesn’t really do anything new and therefore isn’t worth $50. So check out the review and tell him how good it was, eh?

Jeff Watson – State of Emergency (X-Box). Jeff pulls double duty this week, and his second effort is a review of a new game that only costs $20. Is it worth it? Yes, says Jeff. Read the rest of his review and then buy the game!

Columns
J.J. Sexton – Full Circle. The only column this week is a good one, as this is J.J.’s first column. It’s really good, too. This is basically what I tried to say when I wrote about the potential EA-Sega merger a few weeks back, but J.J. does much better with the material. He makes some great points, so do give Full Circle a read.

OK, that’s it for the Golds this week. Thanks to the 411 Games staff for making this week’s decision so difficult. Please do so again! All of this content is truly top-notch, and it’s great to be a part of all this.

A cheap plug for myself – I posted a review of the David Lee Roth concert I attended in the Music Zone. I thought it was pretty good (the review, I mean), and hopefully you will too.

Non-411 Link of the Week
If you’re looking for Wiffle Ball pitches you don’t already know, check out Tom’s Wiffle Ball Page. It’s got descriptions on how to throw ’em, pictures, recommended arm angles, and anything else you could imagine. With the weather getting warmer and nicer (unless you live in the swamp that is New York), you’ll need these pitches to get the good kids on your block.

CD of the Week
The Baddest of George Thorogood and the Destroyers gets the nod this week. This is a unique choice for CD of the Week, seeing as how I don’t even own it yet (I’m buying it today). But George is awesome – listen to “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and you’ll hear what has to be the origin of Stone Cold’s “What” speech patterns. Highly recommended.


Commentary of the Week
“I speak in quotes. I don’t mean to, it just happens that way”. -Shaun Susser

We’re a society of quotes. Just about everything we say, we’ve heard someone else say, thought it was funny, and kept it in our repertoire. Games are no exception the rule; in fact, they’re just as quotable as movies or song lyrics.

With this in mind, I present to you… The Ultimate Sports Game Quote Challenge!!!

For years, we’ve heard some great lines spewed out of the mouths of commentators, managers, and etcetera, in sports games. A great number of these get used in everyday conversation. This Challenge will test your knowledge of these awesome lines and will determine how much of a loser you are.

Here are the rules – I’ll give a bunch of quotes and it’s your job to send in the name of the game the quote comes from. If it’s one of those lines that is in more than one game, try to get the original game if you can (yes, “Every [game name] game ever made” is an acceptable answer). If you get ’em all, you get mention in this space next week. If no one gets every one correct, the person with the most right will be named the winner.

No game is repeated; however, different versions of the same game are in fair play. The games go back to the days of the Sega Genesis, and all are console games unless otherwise noted.

Sound easy enough? Let’s begin!

The Ultimate Sports Game Quote Challenge
1)”The pitch to the back….Gets the block… Turns on the speed! He’s hit and he gets to the 49-yard line.”
2)”You can’t coach that!”
3)”The New York Islanders have planted the seed of the tree called ‘Comeback’.”
4)”Don’t worry, Mac! Join the Nintendo Fun Club today!”
5)”Boom! Where’d that truck come from?”
6)”WHAT THE $#*#& WAS THAT?!?”
7)”Yeay!”
8)”New York needs to be making a line change soon!”
9)”That’ll play”. (Hint – this is a computer game)
10)”Serves up a facial!”
11)”Edge and Christian are competing continually.”
12)(sung like a real loser)”Rolling Start!”
13)”OH, COME ON!”

Well, that’s it. 13 very memorable quotes from 13 very memorable games. Best of luck! When you’ve done the best you can, don’t forget to send in your answers. The answers will be here next week, along with perhaps another Quote Challenge, and maybe even YOUR name!


Done
That wraps this one up. Hope you enjoyed the time we spent together. If not, look for the return of Stanley soon and the rest of the gang should be here as usual. Thanks for reading. Take care!