411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 07.01.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 07.01.03

411 Games Quote of The Week
A definite buy for Sonic fans, and a good rent for the nay-sayers; if only to prove to them that Sonic still has fun games to play, and more in store.
— Alex Williams (Review: Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut – GC)

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 07-01-03: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and it has occurred to me that only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

That’s a famous quote from Albert Einstein I was thinking of the other day whilst looking over the 411 Mania hit counter (which isn’t really relevant to anything, but I was thinking about it so there you go). Yes, I have the ability to see how many of you people read 411 Games, and what you read in particular. It’s quite fascinating to tell the truth. For the most part you’re all reading me, which is as it should be. I mean I write the freaking Rumor Down-Lo so OF COURSE you’re reading me. It’d be silly not to. But what boggled and perplexed my sometimes-feeble mind was that 99.9999% of you sickos come on here for one reason and one reason only. You click on the Games banner and, after completely ignoring several excellent previews, reviews, both recent News Reports, all of the news, and about three to four awesome columns by Alex Lucard, you check under the Hot Topics sidebar and blindly click on “SD! Here Comes The Pain”. Bleh. And you KNOW that’s what you do. Bunch of sheep that you are. Makes me sick. So for my own amusement (which is what this site is for after all) I was curious to see what would happen if I put that as my tagline for the Down-Lo this week, being sort of an experiment. *reader stares at Bebito with hatred in eyes* Yup, that’s right. I don’t have any SmackDown! 5 news/rumors whatsoever. Sorry! I simply wanted to see how many of you peons would click if you thought I did. And I’m watching the hits stack up as you read this. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Anyway, now that I’ve had my fun, I’ve decided to…

*411 Games’ own Lee Baxley comes frantically running through the door. Cheesy audience applause, whistling, and Arsenio Hall like ‘woofing’ is heard as he makes his way in. Lee and Bebito awkwardly stand there waiting for the sound bite to die down.*

Bebito: Oh! Hey Lee! What’s up, bro? Welcome to the Down-Lo…

Lee: No time to chat man. Chris wants to see you in his office A.S.A.P., and he’s PISSED.

Bebito: Pissed?!

*Audience laugh track plays. Bebito slaps both his hands against his face in a shocked ‘Home Alone’ type expression.*


*Scene focuses inside of Chris Pankonin’s office. Chris is seated at his desk looking very tired, sifting through old wrestling tapes and Xbox games. Bebito cracks open the door and slowly peeks in.*

Pankonin: Come in Bebito.

*Bebito walks in, sits down in a seat in front of Chris, and starts looking around. Catching a glimpse of a copy of Midtown Madness 3 on his desk, Bebito quickly goes to reach for it.*

Bebito: Oh! Is this for me??

*Chris takes out a flogger and hits Bebito’s hand with it.*

Pankonin: No! Keep your hands to yourself.

Bebito: OW! *licking fingers* Hey, listen Chris, this better not take long. I’m in the middle of the Down-Lo and I need to get back. And what the heck are you doing with a flogger man??

Pankonin: This IS about the Down-Lo. That little stunt you pulled putting “WWE: SmackDown! 5” in your tagline…

Bebito: Yeah that was great wasn’t it?

Pankonin: NO!

Bebito: …

Pankonin: We were all just having a conference meeting about you.

Bebito: ‘We’? Who else is…

*Chris presses a button on the underside of his desk and the false wall surrounding the backside of his office begins to lower revealing several large TV monitors. They all switch on at the same time and Ashish, Widro, PK, and Ben Morse each on their respective monitor, appear with somber looks on their faces. Ashish stands out in the center screen, as he seems to be the most angry out of everyone and is seen stroking a small cat laying on his lap.*

Bebito: Sweet!!! It’s just like the Matrix… kinda, sorta.

Ashish: We are not amused Mr. Jackson!

Bebito: Oh, oh…. I know! It’s totally like Max Headroom, right? You guys remember him? That was a great show…

PK: Yeah that was a pretty good show.

Ashish: Everyone quiet down…

Bebito: Max Headroom ruled! I used to watch it all the time after Doogie Howser!

Ben Morse: Doogie Howser MD! Now THAT was a great show! Remember the little Italian kid who was his friend that would never get any? I knew another twelve guys just like that growing up…

Ashish: Will everyone SHUT UP. Listen! You cannot go lying to the audience like that. If we do, eventually they won’t believe 411 as a credible source for info.

Bebito: Wait. Don’t you people work over in the Wrestling Zone? All you guys report ARE rumors! Didn’t you even allow NoSoul to run a false news story about Bradshaw humping Triple H or something too? And you’re coming to me talking about credible information?

Widro: He’s got a point.

Ashish: SILENCE #2! I will not tolerate your insolence!

Bebito: Look guys. I have to get back to the Down-Lo. Statistics show that 30% of my audience will give up on games altogether and start watching What’s Happening reruns if I’m not around, while the other 75% will actually go and pay to become an IGN Insider! That’s a scary thought people…

Pankonin: You’ve been developing a quite big ego lately Bebito. And wait… isn’t that 105%??

Bebito: Excuse me, Chris! I wasn’t a History major. And I don’t have a big ego; I’m way too cool for that.

Pankonin: This is insane.

Bebito: Well that’s why they read me. *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*

Ashish: The bottom line is this Mr. Jackson. You advertised a story on WWE: SmackDown!: Here Comes The Pain, and you’re going to deliver one! OR ELSE.

Bebito: Or else what?

Ashish: Or else I get angry Mr. Jackson. And when I get angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset… *pushes button under table* people die!

*Suddenly Ben Morse is seen on his screen falling back behind his desk consumed by a fury of flames. The sound of Ashish’s laughter drowns out Morse’s screams for mercy as Widro looks on shaking his head. Seeing this Chris Pankonin quickly jumps up out of his seat and stands a few feet away looking at his chair suspiciously.*

Ashish: I think I’ve made myself perfectly clear Mr. Jackson. Smackdown rumors… OR ELSE. Good day.

*All the screens abruptly switch off.*

Bebito: *getting up from seat* Chris, remind me to never become a 411 Editor. You guys all totally need a vacation.


Well I’m in a dilly of pickle now aren’t I? The Rumor Monkey is sick, so he’s not bailing me out this time. And I have a limited period to come up with some SmackDown! info before it’s too late. Eh… I’ll think of something. I always do. ;)

Seriously, how do you people put up with retardedness I spoon-feed you?

Behold the “Ooooo…” Edition of the Down-Lo. There’s a DLR as usual that you shouldn’t pay attention to this time, but more importantly just have fun with whatever industry gossip or misinformation I give. Enjoy. I do.


This is the Down-Lo.

ACTUAL NEWS?? IN THE DOWN-LO?? GET THE F OUT!
Here’s a new rule for the Down-Lo boys and girls. Even though it’s among the rarest of rarest sites to actually see any concrete… *shudders* news around these parts, I’ll be making a few exceptions. If the 411 staff has blatantly missed something so earth shatteringly important that I simply cannot hold it in for fear of soiling myself then there’s a small minute chance that you’ll see it here in the Down-Lo. Lo and behold, the planets have aligned.

During E3, Konami announced that it had commissioned Ikaruga developer and cult legends Treasure to develop the latest installment of Gradius, the famed horizontal shooter series and one of Konami’s leading franchises. Nope, I’m not kidding. Right about now anyone with one grain or more of sense just had Gradius V skyrocket up their most-wanted lists. We can now expect what is shaping up to become one of the greatest 2D shooters of all time, fusing treasure’s game-mechanic mastery with the dark, evolving and brilliant world spawned by Salamander all those years ago. Truly exciting news.

It’s easy to understand how this bit o news fell through the cracks. Chris and the late Joseph Stanley did a bang up job with their E3 coverage, but let’s face it… there was a LOT to cover. Still I’m personally visiting each of their homes and proceeding to vigorously flog them. Not hard, but it’ll sting a bit because I’m making sure to catch them as they get out of the showers. It’s only fair. Sorry, but there’s really no excuse to miss something that important. The only way to look over an announcement such as that is if they were coming back to their hotel rooms after the show and engaging in highly immoral animalistic sacrificial altar burnings, while playing Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness and sniffing Coke.

I tried sniffing Coke once, but the ice cubes got stuck in my nose.

BUY IKARUGA!
DOWN-LO RATING: IT’S NEWS PEOPLE. SO… 11

YU SUZUKI AND FRIENDS PRESENT…
Hopefully I can get this to you people before it happens, otherwise I just reported on more news. Yuck.

According to reports from last week, Yu Suzuki’s AM2 department over at Sega Japan is poised to make some kind of announcement. This might be a new game, or perhaps one of Suzuki-san’s amazing money-squandering ideas, involving a game needing 70 years development time, and an arcade cabinet so complex it cannot be made by humans alone. While thought to have been coming at the recent E3 show, it now appears that whatever he has up his sleeve is dropping this week. Among the expected announcements is the Next Gen Outrun that we’ve been hearing about forever, the long-overdue VF Quest we’ve been hearing about for even longer than forever, or perhaps even something to do with the future of Shenmue series that was first reported on in the garden of Eden when God created Earth.

411 will keep you updated with anything that comes up. Stay tuned.
DOWN-LO RATING: 9

THE FAMITSU DOCUMENTS
In the soon to no longer be latest issue of the most respected Japanese game mag, Famitsu, the editors took a moment to sit down with game companies to either dispel or confirm the latest rumors/gossip going around. Let’s go through it topic by topic shall we, as I try to decipher which companies are telling the truth, and which are hiding spasm inducingly awesome gossip:

Square Enix


When will we see games based on what you learned with the merger?
Square Enix: Those are still to come, I think. The games in our current lineup were all started before the merger, so that probably won’t start before the end of the year. Next year, though, and the year after that we’ll see titles that got the full effect of the merger.

Is a FF-DQ crossover game coming?
Square Enix: That’s an interesting topic, but we’ve still only just merged, so cooperative projects like that are still a long way away.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: When it comes to a new FF-DQ crossover game, “That’s an interesting topic,” is code for, “Of course we’re going to exploit this thing for every juice laden penny we can squeeze out of it.” A lot of times in this industry when people don’t say, “no” to something it’s a pretty sure bet that it’s in the works. Believe me. Whether it’s the new MMORPG that Square announced (not FFXI, but a brand spanking new one set in a completely different setting) or a straight up traditional title just mixing the two brands’ characters, take it from me, you can hold your breathe for this one. You’ll be holding it a long time but still…)

Nintendo


So how is the next GameCube working out?
Nintendo PR: Development is proceeding, and we won’t be putting it out after other companies’ launch periods, but all I can say for now is that we’d like for you to wait and look forward to it. However, Nintendo has always been striving to create, develop and chase after new forms of play, so I think we’d like to have a platform where we can make that kind of software.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: No more headstarts. You’ll see the new Nintendo console at the same time you see the new Sony and Microsoft ones. Looks like they finally figured it out.)

Will it be network compatible “for reals”?
Nintendo PR: As long as the rate of broadband installation isn’t up there with TV sets, then online play can’t be the core of business development no matter what hardware manufacturer you are, regardless of whether it’s included as a feature or not.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: “We’re stubborn and won’t admit that we’re angering millions of gamers by not going online and supporting our own network adapter.” That’s what he meant to say. No worries though, because it’s highly doubted that the next Nintendo console will come out the bat without a modem of some kind included in the box. Not even Nintendo can ignore the online evolution for THAT long… can they?)

Will it launch with Mario?
Nintendo PR: I can’t say anything about that at this point. If that’s the image our fans have, though, then I guess that shows how expectant everyone is.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: “Don’t worry, there won’t be any more games with Luigi and vacuum cleaners. We know what to do this go round.”)

Can you connect GBAs to the net via the GameCube?
Nintendo PR: It might be possible from a technological standpoint, but whether that works as an fascinating form of play is a different matter. Games like Pokemon and Animal Crossing work because they let players communicate via exchange; they place importance on the warmth and happiness of people.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: “We at Nintendo don’t like the internet. It’s not a place of warmth and happiness. Don’t bother us about the mean, cold, scary internet anymore… See, now you’ve gone and upset me. I need my teddy bear.”)

So how about a 20th Anniversary Famicom, or a party, or something?
Nintendo PR: Looking back to the past never matched with the direction Nintendo has taken in the past, so we’ve never held “memorial ceremonies” or anything like that. However, we’ve gotten a major response from the press and users with regards to ceasing Famicom manufacture, so we are thinking about some kind of 20th-anniversary plan or another.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: “Hey, whatever makes us money. Except going online. That place only has witches, Goths, and perverts.”)

Microsoft


Is the rumor about a smaller Xbox model coming to Japan true?
Masahiro Koide, MS marketing: We will probably not release a small version. Even if we did do something like that, we’d be more likely to work on making the next machine smaller.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: No smaller version of the Xbox? He’s FULL of it! They’re TOTALLY up to something.)

Is the system the size it is because Americans like big things?
MK: Actually, we get told in America that it’s big, too. (laughs) The U.S. controller we prepared for the Xbox launch isn’t on sale anymore because it was too big. [The Japan controller] is the standard size now in the stores.

Will there be a portable game system in the future?
MK: There are devices that work with PCs, and I’m sure applications for those devices will continue to come out, but there are no plans for a portable game machine as part of the Xbox line.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: He meant to add “…that I can talk about,” onto the end of that. As sure as I told you that Sony was up to something last year and they pop up with the PSP at E3, is as sure as Bill Gates will release a device similar once he smells dollar signs. And he ALWAYS smells dollar signs. Right now Microsoft is looking into the handheld market and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)

Is Microsoft buying Sega?
MK: There is no truth to that.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: Believe dat. Pretty much everyone’s had their way with Sega recently and she’s now considered used goods. That has nothing to do with Microsoft not buying Sega though. They have a conflict of interests in that Sega wants to develop games mulitplatform, and aligning with Gates and co. would surely stifle that.)

Misc.


Will there be a Persona sequel?
Atlus PR: There are no plans for one, but it’s a popular series so there is a possibility.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: No, he’s not talking about whether or not the latest, already released in Japan Persona will make it over to the states. This was in regard to a completely new installment. This series of games, much to my bewilderment, has obtained cult-like status among fans, and sometimes it pays to play to the hardcore. The answer Atlus gave above is the standard one for games that are coming but can’t be talked about yet. So Persona fans rejoice! *Alex Lucard shouts ‘Hooray!’*)

Will there be a new game in the Tokimeki Memorial series?
Konami PR: I can’t comment on any concrete developments at this moment, but TM is an important brand to Konami, and we are continuing discussion on the series, keeping the hopes of the fans in mind.

(Bebito’s Two Cents: Whatever. I’m not even going to pretend to know what the Touchme Imorally or whatever the heck it’s called series is. But to the six people who read the Down-Lo that know what that gibberish above was about… it’s probably coming… I guess. Yeah.)
DOWN-LO RATING: NONE FOR WHATEVER I JUST DID

WRESTLING GAME MONTAGE
Well it’s do or die time. Gotta come up with some wrasslin’ game info or Bebito’s booty is toast for sure. What to do, what to do… *paces back and forth* Yo, I know! Since this is a rumor column… I can simply make up garbage and you’ll all buy into it regardless! You know you people probably won’t even be able to tell the difference. *audience starts to boo* Geez, fine! Since when do I have to make the general populace happy too? I’ll tell you what; this is the last time I’m ever pulling a stunt like this. Should have clearly made my column tagline, ‘More unintelligible crap as per usual,’ and been done with it. But noooo… Bebito had to prove how smart he was and…

*There’s a knock at the door. Bebito looks over surprised.*

Hey hold on for one sec guys. I have to get this.

*Bebito opens the door looks around and sees no one. Just as he’s about to turn away he notices an obviously critically ill Rumor Monkey collapsed on the ground, eyes rolled into the back of his head, barely breathing, with a hot water bottle in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. Bebito picks up the piece of paper, reads it for a second, then smiles, just before slamming the door and turning his attention back to the audience.*

Err, sorry about that folks. That was just one of those um, Mormons. Yeah… Mormons. So anyway, I just realized that I DID have some news on the latest SmackDown! games. As a matter of fact, I have some tidbits from ALL the next few wrestling games. Yes, yes, I know, I’m the man. No need to tell me. Taken from gamingring.com is a question and answer session with Mike Regan, who just recently talked to a few of the future WWE games’ developers. It’s not much, but should prove to be interesting to those who want to know as much as possible about all this crap (which would be 90% of you I’m guessing). Check it out:

****

Mike Regan: We have talked with the developers and asked them what we could expect to see. Keep in mind, that in development things often change. So what has been reported previously may have been changed. Again if you have any questions feel free to email me at mike.regan@gamingring.com.

1. Will Raw2 have weight detection?
A: Unknown at this point. But then again, Raw 2 is the more simulation based wrestling title then Smackdown.

2. Many Japanese games and our AKI games and even the Yukes WMX8 game do not have finishers ALWAYS ending a match. Will the Smackdown system of finishers virtually ALWAYS ending a match be tweaked?
A: Well I see where your coming from. But really how fun and realistic would it be for your opponent to hit his finisher in the opening of the match and pinning you. I know a lot of people wouldn’t like that very much.

3. Is THQ the PUBLISHER aware of the kind of much more advanced wrestling games being made by companies like Spike and what do they do to ensure that the developers they pick develop a game on this level?
A: Yes, THQ is very aware of Spike and their Fire Pro series. The American and Japanese audiences are very different. While there are certainly American fans of the Fire Pro series but unfortunately for the most part American fans do not have the patience or the dedication it takes to really appreciate Fire Pro Wrestling. Also developing a 2D wrestling game is very different then developing a 3D wrestling game. Also keep in mind that with a license like the WWE, THQ is very limited on what it can put in its games. The WWE is very protective of its image and its properties. I think for the most part, THQ does the best job it can when it makes wrestling games. Often circumstances, beyond their control effect the overall quality of the product.

4. Will the create mode include more options in the CPU logic like King of Coliseum does, so we can really customize the CPU’s AI?
A: Again I refer back to the differences of the American audience and the Japanese Audience. Its felt by some that it would be a waste of resources to dedicate the time and energy to a part of a game that would not be fully appreciated by the majority of the audience that THQ is aiming for. Unfortunately, the American audience has the perception of a lack of a attention span.

5. What in any of the new games are developers doing to improve the AI? Smackdown is known to be very easy.
A: Computer AI comes from 2 camps. 1 is extremely easy and 2 is extremely hard. AI is very difficult to master and to program. That’s why I think wrestling games are best played with multiplayer.

6. What are they doing to make the Smackdown games play longer and have more of a back and forth flow?
A: Well Smackdown Shut Your Mouth improved on that tremendously. The reversals were a great addition to the game play. I imagine that they would expand on that and keep on improving the animations.

7. If SD 5 is improving submissions does that mean they are putting in location specific damage?
A: That is what they are working on. A few months ago shortly after Smackdown SYM was released in the states a United Kingdom site prevented a interview regarding the next edition of Smackdown and that was one of the key points they were working on.

8. If they had to describe SD 5 would they say it will be more arcade or more sim? Basically is this the Madden or NFL Blitz of wrestling?
A: Definitely more arcade like. But they are always looking at adding more sim elements to the game.

9. Have the developers been given any feedback on the THQ survey? How is that information being implemented in the games currently in production?
A: I am sure they have. THQ is very interested on fan feedback. In fact at every event, that I have personally attended with THQ. Someone has asked me my opinion on their games or something they are working on for future WWE titles.

10. Have they seen the new The Wild Rings game in development form Microsoft and how would they compare their game to it?
A: I did speak with someone from Yukes who has seen Wild Rings in action and he said he liked what he saw.

11. How would they compare Raw/SD5/WMX9 to King of Coliseum by Spike?
A: Very different games, to compare to. KOC is a game dedicated to Japanese pro wrestling, some say it does a very good job of capturing that style of pro wrestling. While Raw/SD/WMX9 captures the WWE sports entertainment style very well.

12. What are the major game play enhancements concerning the engine for Raw/SD5/WMX9 etc ?
A: Well, obviously Raw 2 will have a improved grappling engine. The multiplayer season mode is said to be off the charts. Very unlike anything we have ever seen released in a wrestling game. SD5 continues with a more refined engine. Better animations, more reversals, etc, etc. And Wrestlemania X9 is said to be a huge improvement over the last game. Animation, reversals, controls, basically every category a game can be improved in.

13. What led THQ to take the Touken Retsouden New Japan engine and make it arcade type? Who’s choice was this – the developer or THQ?
A: Most likely it was a combination of the 2. Again, it all has to do with the perception of the American audience.

14. Now that SD has made changes with every release making it more towards a Sim – how would you describe the next version?
A: The next step in the evolution of the series. There are fans out there that do like the arcade like game play of Smackdown. As long as they continue to improve the sim aspects of the game, THQ and Yukes are going in the ring direction.

15. How would THQ responded to the AKI response of their feeling that THQ doesn’t value a good developer?
A. I am sure that’s not the case at all. THQ has several great developers under its belt that develop games for it.

16. Whey did THQ end their agreement with AKI?
A. I personally think its a combination of a couple of things. 1. money 2. creative 3. ego. I don’t work for THQ obviously, but usually its either one of the three or a combination of all of the above.

17. Do they feel that a mediocre WWE game will do better because of name value than a better playing generic game or unique license like Def Jam?
A: Of course. That’s not to say that THQ sets out to develop a mediocre wrestling game. But a WWE licensed game will sell better then a non licensed game. And that goes for any game. Would you buy a football game that didn’t feature the real NFL players and teams. Of course not. It would not sell well at all.

18. Do they value the opinions of gamers on the net in their development process?
A: Yes actually they do. But I think for the most part the fans are overly critical when it comes THQ. They want the perfect wrestling game. And unfortunately there never will be a perfect wrestling game.

19. Is there any chance of getting the internet gamers more involved in submitting ideas and really shaping how the games come out?
A: That’s why THQ did the fan feedback survey and that why they visit the forums and take a look at what the fans have to say. The gamingring forums are a huge resource for them and believe it or not they do utilize that. Many of the ideas that were given to me by THQ that they are looking to implement in future WWE titles were first given by fans much like yourself in the forums. If you have a great idea for a wrestling game. Post it in the appropriate forum. They do take notice.

20. How many more nose operations will Michael Jackson be able to get before Raw 2 is released?
A: The answer is 4. Fall 2003. Its coming its just taking longer then they expected.

*****

There, you happy now? Leave me alone.
DOWN-LO RATING: I CAN’T RATE ALL THAT GARBAGE

And that’s the Down-Lo.

Thanks to Spong.com, GamesAreFun, GameFront, and Gamingring for today’s stories.


THINGS I FOUND THAT MAKE GREAT COLUMN FILLER
In an effort to further prove that they are the most perverted game developers alive, Tecmo has decided to sell the bikinis from the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball series to the general populace. Normally quirky merchandise like this would stay in the land of the rising sun, but they’ve decided to bring the bikinis of the DoA girls here to America for you to show everyone just how big a dork you are after you purchase them without having a chick to try it on for you.

Don’t waste any time, in showing them your pitifulness however. The bikinis are only available for a limited time.

These suits are available only at Tecmo’s official site: www.tecmogames.com and retail for just a partly $149.99 each. *cough* Of course, what would a Down-Lo be without random pictures of half naked women. So for the discreet buyer, here’s what Tecmo is selling, conveniently modeled by women still not hotter than Bella, but good enough for the purposes of this column:


“I look cute, yeah? Watch I as grasp my firm buttocks. Ooooo…”


“Silly boy. If you’re dorky enough to pay $149.99 for a bikini, you’ll never have me.”


“Playing Dead Or Alive Extreme Volleyball turns me on. It really does! Ooooo…”


“Silly boy. If you’re actually reading the Rumor Down-Lo, you’ll never have me.”


MY READERS ARE AWESOME AND I’VE GOT PROOF!
Let’s shave it down to two this occasion. I’ve got to save time for something at the end:

At 411 We’re All A Sonic err… Team
You let Alex Williams review Sonic DX before you? That’s wrong. For shame, Fat Tony.

Anyway, onto the latest Down-Lo…

You weren’t kidding about there being no rumors. Seriously, you shoulda just made some up. It’s not that hard. For Example:

Eidos has just announced a Matrix/Tomb Raider game. Tentatively titled You Will Buy This No Matter How Much It Sucks And Then Complain That Companies Don’t Make Good Games, it is expected to include nothing new and will actually just be Lara Croft doing Matrix missions. Says co-producer Atari: “We are so happy the gamers think they’re so smart but are in fact some of the biggest morons on Earth”

See, I guarantee you would get e-mails about that one.

And Matt Hardin gets Wawa references! He is now my 2nd favorite writer here on 411. Are there more? Could a 411 New Jersey Posse form? First the Garden State, next… the WORLD! No wait, WWE closed it down. Never mind.

And Bogey was a good choice. Beyond the great, accurate gimmick, he also shows the love for the SNES. Despite my love for all things PlayStation, SNES is still my all-time favorite system. I only owned maybe 5 games total for it, but I rented tons of ’em and loved them. And might I add, it was home of THE greatest game ever: NCAA Basketball. Hot damn that game ruled. Still does.

And that’s it.
— Jim Moore / Down-Lo Devotee

Well if you haven’t figured it out by now, while Alex Williams was giving you an excellent review of Sonic Adventure DX, I was busy busting out a preview for the new Sonic Heroes. Between Alex, Scott Keith, and I… we form the 411 Sonic Team! And nothing can stop our relentless Sonic praising, not even YOU, Mr. Moore. And if you’re wondering how Keithey fits into all this, check out the joint Sonic X anime review he did with me. (And yes, I’m going to shill that EVERY time you complain about Sonic).

The Nintendo (the original) is definitely one of the greatest systems of all time. Right up there with the GameBoy (series), the Sega Saturn, and (as much as I hate to say it) the PlayStation. Only owning five games for it is a crime though.

Oh and please don’t joke about a joint Matrix Tomb Raider game. That stuff is more scary than anything.

My Readers Are Smoking Crack And I’ve Got Proof!
fo’ shizzle.

yeah!

i see you mean business when you said that all reader mail from the staff get printed… don’t tell me i have to use proper punctuation… [pedro]NOOOOOOOOO~![/pedro] and… wtf?!?!?! where did all these gnats come from all of a sudden??? *squishes one on his monitor* i guess it’s time to clean the old room… [pedro]NOOOOOOOOO~![/pedro] or maybe my room is possessed by the amityville horror [pedro]double shock![/pedro] no, wait, that was flies. phew.

believe it or not, most people don’t even notice my dementia.

thanks for the vote of confidence on the writing thing, but even though i think i have the 411games mindset down, i really wouldn’t fit in the format… i don’t have the patience to do a regular (and by regular i mean equidistant in the space-time continuum, not regular as in normal) news column, i don’t have the time to post newsbits throughout the day, i hardly play any new releases (example: i bought vice city just after christmas, but didn’t start playing it till last month, and i’m JUST NOW playing hitz 20-03) (another example: i preordered wind waker, started playing it immediately, and managed to lose interest in it when faced with the choice between following the story or mapping out the entire ocean. yes, i’m VERY odd), and you already have a resident rpg guy that’s infinitely more knowledgeable, experienced, and elitist than myself. (alex: i liked most of the final fantasy games. you’s not gonna change my mind. NEENER! ;-p) plus, it’s nearly impossible to get ANY material out of me on a regular basis (just ask pk >_<). if pank wants someone to do random-topic rants which may or may not have anything to do with anything current, and most assuredly will be turned in late and/or really late, and most sentences will end in an ellipsis (...), then by all means sign me up. i think my first column will be titled "why final fantasy x didn't suck" with a teaser of "to be written when i actually get around to playing the damn game. title subject to change." i don't think i should hold my breath waiting for chris to email me, lol. sqoon posted a newsbite earlier about acclaim dropping gamecube support. f*ck ’em. they have made nothing but junk for years now, yet they have the audacity to blame the gamecube for low software sales. here’s a clue: *magically transports acclaim’s suits to a vast, sunshiny wheat field* [creepy disembodied whisper]if you make games that don’t orally massage descended genitalia, they might buy them. assholes.[/creepy disembodied whisper] that goes for capcom, too. you’d think the would’ve fixed the resident evil controls by now, but NOOOOOOO! i have the urge to swear profusely now, but i won’t. hey, how about starting a rumor that high-ranking executives from various game companies were replaced with robots intent on destroying the world via overflowing it with crap? no? oh well, i tried. hey, wait… you print all this stuff… so i guess i DID start the rumor! ^_^ you can feature it in the down-lo in a few weeks if you like, just let me bask in the glory for a while… *basks* RANDOM INTERJECTION
dammit, where’s my gameboy player??? no shipping notice from ebgames=one pissed off me

anyway, i think i’m gonna take a quick dip in the pool before the sun comes up… no, wait. it’s dark, and i can’t see the spiders. word on the street is that if i fall, in the water, i’m in trouble, the spiders will come after me… meeEEEEEEeEEeEeEee!

reference? check.
obscure? double check.
thanks to bebito for another column, if woefully short on rumor
content? check.
wistful glance at the monkey? check.
end of email? check.

— Matt Hardin / 411 Figures

Yeah, when I heard about Acclaim dropping GameCube support it didn’t surprise me. You don’t really hear about too many developers that actually make good games dropping support for Nintendo’s fun box. Case in point, Capcom, EA, Sega (if you ignore Sports), and even Squaresoft all seem to be happily enjoying their relationship with the Big N. In other words, publishers that have games worth buying don’t have to worry about which system they release their stuff on (to a certain extent; some consoles yield gamers that have tastes towards certain types of genres). In most cases, it’ll sell regardless.

And Matt, your emails are starting to get more disturbing than my columns. That’s scary man… ;)


THE SCOTSMAN & ME
bobEblaze: yo scotty
ScotsmanWU: yo
bobEblaze: so that’s what you meant by you were doing some new content for 411 games soon, eh?
ScotsmanWU: Yhup.
bobEblaze: doin’ anyting else?
ScotsmanWU: I’ll post my old reviews soon
ScotsmanWU: Plus I got some exclusive previews
bobEblaze: exclusive? exclusive what…?
ScotsmanWU: cant say.
bobEblaze: oh come on! it’s me! we go waaaaay back man! we go back like car seats. spill it…
ScotsmanWU: :-)
bobEblaze: hmf. well at least let me know if it’s console or PC related.
ScotsmanWU: Both
ScotsmanWU: Neither
bobEblaze: whatever. what you’ve done so far has been pretty good, so i’ll look forward to it, WHATEVER it is. keep it up, and one day you’ll be as good as me. talk to ya laterz.

*5 minutes later*

bobEblaze: OH COME ON! TELL ME!
ScotsmanWU: lol
bobEblaze: bleh. fine, I’ll leave you alone. I’m sure you have to beat Keith in cribbage now anyway or some garbage like that

(You too can have shamefully meaningless conversations with Bebito Jackson! Just hit me up at bobEblaze on AOLIM! I’m unbelievably friendly to all those who want to chat. Unless you say something ridiculously stupid like Final Fantasy Tactics being better than Shining Force. In those cases I’ll make some explicit comments about your mother’s occupation and then block you.)


THE DLV OF THE WEEK
Nintendo has just been whoring out their franchises lately haven’t they? Thankfully they’ve been going with the right developers but it’s getting kind of ridiculous. Sega handled F-Zero. Treasure nurtured Wario World. And now Namco is taking the reigns on Star Fox. Makes me wonder if Nintendo even makes games anymore.

Speaking of Star Fox, here’s the latest video of the game in action for the Nintendo GameCube. Lots of controversy surrounding this title, especially the heavy focus on multiplayer portions. See it for yourself and you be the judge.


(DLV OF THE WEEK: STAR FOX)

Now that that’s all over, let’s talk for a minute. That’s right, just you and me. *points at reader* Look… you know how awesome 411 Games is. I know how awesome 411 Games is. But believe it or not, there are some people that don’t even know we exist… *gasp of shock from audience* No, no, I’m serious. There are those out there that don’t know about Alex Lucard. They’ve never heard of Chris Pankonin. And God forbid, but they’ve never read a Down-Lo! *sounds of disgust and murmuring from readers* I know. It breaks my heart too, believe me. That’s why I have something very important to ask of you people. Something that only YOU can do. First thing’s first, though. I want you to bookmark our page. No, I’m not talking about the 411 Mania main page. I’m talking about 411 Games. Bookmark it, add it to your favorites, paste the link to your forehead, whatever it takes. Just get it so that with one click of the button you can get here in a moments notice. Don’t try to look down at our little rectangle within the 411Maina/411Wrestling main pages anymore. A lot of times stuff will be updated here at 411 Games well before it even shows up on there (this very column for instance) and you’ll miss out if you’re waiting for something out there. So if you like us (and you DO like us), THIS is the place to be. Ok then, go on ahead. No, really go back out to the 411 Games page and do it now, I’ll wait…

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Done it yet? No… ok, I’m still here.

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Hey you! Yes, you stupid! You’re the only one that didn’t do it yet! Hurry it up; we all don’t have all day!

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Finished? Good. Alright people, this is what I need you to do: Take that link you just bookmarked and spam the bloody mary out of all your friends telling them how much we’re the foshizzle. No seriously, email a good ten, twenty, heck make it a hundred of your closest and not-so closest friends and tell them to jump on the 411 Games bandwagon. Link em’ straight to your favorite columnist if you want. Give them a direct taste of what’s going on over here. We’re building a community guys. All of us. For the last 8 months that I’ve been around doing this for you (granted not a long time; yet and still), I’ve never asked you people for anything, NOTHING, not one bleeding thing. But I’m asking now. You all are among the most hardcore of the hardcore fans a semi-insane videogame rumor columnist could ever have. The best we have of any game site anywhere. Let everyone know why.

Don’t let me down. Peace, I’m out.

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)