411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 07.15.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 07.15.03

4 DAYS AGO

*Alex Lucard, Lee Baxley, Bryan Berg and Bebito Jackson are all sitting round a table inside of 411 Games Head Editor, Chris Pankonin’s office. It’s uneasily quiet as for seemingly the first time since everyone’s known him, Chris has a hard time finding the words to express what he has on his mind. Realizing there’s no easy way to verbalize his thoughts, Chris finally just comes out with it…*

Pankonin: I need someone to review Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness.

*Immediately all four writers get up, tripping over themselves making a desperate run for the exit.*

Pankonin: The door’s locked people. Everyone sit down.

*With terrified looks in their eyes, the four sit back down, still ever vigilantly looking around the room for an alternative way out.*

Pankonin: Look, the game’s been out for a while now. And 411 needs a review. Simple as that. Between the four of you, you’re going to have to decide who’s going to do this.

*Chris throws a copy of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness across the table in front them.*

Pankonin: And no one’s leaving this room until a decision is made. Period.

*Chris gets up and walks toward the exit door.*

Pankonin: When it has been decided, only then you can you give me a knock and you’ll all be let out. Sorry, I’d do it myself, but err… I’m going on vacation next week to a beach in South Padre Island. Otherwise, you’d all know I’d be all over this. Yeah. *stifles laughter* Anyway, decide!

*Chris slams his door shut. Several clicking noises (way too many for a simple office door; and how did he do it from the outside?) reaffirm that indeed they are locked in until a decision has been reached. The foursome all look over at each other wondering what will become of this. A few moments later Lee looks at the game and hesitantly picks it up.*

Lee Baxley: Wow. So this is what it looks like.

Bryan Berg: Lee touched it, so he has to review it!

Lee Baxley: Uh uh! That’s not how it works!

Bryan Berg: Uh huh! Yes it is! Lee touched it so he and the game are now cosmically bonded to each other for the rest of their lives. He has to review it!

Lee Baxley: Uh uh!

Bryan Berg: Uh huh!

Lee Baxley: Uh uh!

Alex Lucard: Stop this juvenileness! Listen, I know an easy and impartial way to decide all of this. Whoever’s name is Bebito has to review the game. Fair? Ok then. My name’s Alex so it’s not me. What’s your name Bryan…

Bryan Berg: Bryan.

Alex Lucard: Alright, and what’s your name Lee…

Lee Baxley: Lee.

Alex Lucard: Fine. And what’s your name Bebito…

Bebito Jackson: Bebito… Darn it! I knew I was going to lose!

Alex Lucard: I’m sorry man but you know the rules. Everyone had a chance.

Bebito Jackson: This kind of stuff never works out for me…

*Bebito begrudgingly takes the game from Lee and he gets up making his way towards the door to inform Chris of their decision in order that they can all be let out. While Bebito is away the remaining three all breathe a sigh of relief.*

Bryan Berg: Thank god for stupid people.

Alex Lucard: Amen to that.



411 Games Quote of The Week
Sometimes game companies will release a game, and it will be really good, and you sit back and say “wow, that was really good”. Lost Kingdoms III will be one of those games. Until then, get used to the gameplay with Lost Kingdoms II…
— Michael Blaszkowski (Review: Lost Kingdoms II – GC)

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE 07-15-03: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and I’ve actually played Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. Unfortunately, I’ve taken several showers and the dirt STILL WON’T COME OFF.

So yeah, I figured I’d give you guys a sarcastic laden review for 411 detailing just how bad the ins and outs of the game truly are. It was going to be the funniest review of all-time. Really lowbrow, sick, demented, great, great stuff. But I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the game. It’s worse than I ever thought. Worse than any of us ever imagined it could be. The storyline inconsistencies, the plethora of now you see em’, now you don’t glitches, the heathenistic amounts of slowdown when you do anything more than stand in one place watching Lara’s breasts jiggle, and the god-awful, no excuse it for it, worse than the original Tomb Raider controls, were just too much for any man to handle. Every time Lara encountered an enemy attack dog that only moments ago savagely attacked her causing considerable amounts of damage, but now somehow was able to be walked straight on through ignoring the laws of science and physics without any consequences, I cringed. Every time Lara did something as small and trivial as taking her gun out and the frame rate came to screeching and careening halt, I winced. And every time the unbelievably frustrating controls caused me to fall seventy stories to my death for no good reason, I contemplated slitting my wrists. And the thing is, I actually gave it a chance! I cleared my mind of every sort of bias that could be had towards it, and tried my best to look for the positive. Do you want to know what the positive is?? When you hold down the triangle button, Lara bends down and you can make her walk around on all fours. That’s it! That’s the most redeeming feature I can come up with about this game! I swear to the most holy I was trying my best to have fun playing this pile of fecal matter. I swear! Time after frustrating time I sat through the mind-numbingly long loading screens after dying (and you WILL die, over and over, and over, and over, and over, and…) hoping that this would be the time… that this would be the time that it all would come together and show some glimmers of innovation, of forethought, of coherence, of fun, of anything. ANYTHING AT ALL! But it just never happened. What did happen was me almost breaking down into tears. At some point, the only way further playing of the title could be justified was by thinking that I was performing a public service to the game playing community. That somehow through my suffering others could be educated and made aware in order that they may protect themselves and their PS2s. Even that could only take me so far however, until I ended up in the corner tucked into the fetal position, shivering, listening to the Linkin Park suicide song before Bella discovered me and unplugged the Playstation.

Thus there will be no review. Not from Bebito Jackson anyway. Let some other shmuck do it. There won’t even be a diary of my playing experiences within the Down-Lo as previously planned. I simply don’t want to relive those memories as much as I truly want to cry out in agony over them. So, for my own good and to keep myself from whining about Tomb Raider, I’ll be censoring myself and instead be showing you all this…


Pictures from the Japan-only, virtual picture taking, Motion Gravure Series for the PS2. Gratuitous for sure, but it’s videogame related and it’s the only way to keep this column from turning into any more of a cry-baby-fest than it already has. Hopefully I won’t get the urge to complain about TR: Angel of Crapness too often, otherwise pray your mom, boss, or social worker doesn’t walk in on you while reading today’s column.

Behold the “It was worse than we all thought!” Edition of the Down-Lo. You know the rules with the DLR, and the rumors, and the thing. So let’s jump right in. Enjoy. I do!



This is the Down-Lo.

STAR WARS GALAXIES FOR THE PS3?
IGN recently had an unofficial conversation an with Lucas Arts employees and learned that there is about a 1%-2% chance that Star Wars Galaxies will arrive on this current generation of consoles (maybe even a 3% chance). Doesn’t sound good does it?

The reasons are numerous, but the company wants to focus on the PC game, which just shipped, and with good reason too. Reportedly they are having tons of problems just keeping the servers from crashing with the amount of players they already currently have. Plenty of patches and upgrades for the PC version are the order of the day so no go for the current consoles. Besides, at the very least the PS2 version (which was the most heavily rumored) would require the hard drive, which wouldn’t even be released in the US until the first half of 2004.

Thus talk of the title hitting the next generation of platforms has been rumored with the PS3 at the top of the list. So any hope of console players obtaining a bug-filled, crashing version of Star Wars Galaxies of their own seems like a long way off.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

MONKEY MONSTERS!
Here’s a fun little tidbit for you all.

It has been learned that the upcoming Tecmo game, Monster Rancher 4 may feature Ape Escape 2 monkeys! No, I’m not kidding. Cross marketing at it’s finest! Sony Computer Entertainment and Tecmo (and perhaps even Ubi Soft) have apparently worked out a deal to permit Temco to use one of those kooky monkeys from Ape Escape 2 in Monster Rancher 4. So, while you’re playing MR4, you just slip in the Ape Escape 2 disc and boom you have your monkeys.

Only 1/16 of you guys care about this, but it was too fun not to report.
DOWN-LO RATING: 7

NINTENDO LET SONIC SLIP
Sonic The Hedgehog is one of the greatest series in the history of videogames. It’s fun to play and continues to impress with each additional installment. Unlike Tomb Raider and its retarded…


With the announcement of Sonic Heroes going multi-platform one might imagine that Nintendo would no longer be the one receiving the majority of the hedgehog lovin’. But if Nintendo of America is to be believed, Sonic Team’s commitment to the GameCube is just as strong if not stronger than ever. Recently NoA accidentally revealed that an all-new Sonic the Hedgehog title is currently in development at Sega HQ. The news appears to have been leaked at the recent Nintendo Gamer Summit.

Could that have been a mistake? They surely must have been referring to Sonic Heroes, right? Wrong. The Nintendo representative made clear that the game is not Sonic Heroes. So is it possible that a new Sonic compilation is coming our way? Perhaps a “Sonic CD” Mega Collection? It seems more likely as the time passes by. Especially considering that not too long ago, Cord Smith, Sega product manager in charge of the GameCube release of Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut was quoted as saying that Sonic CD was the best Sonic title of the series and he expressed a hope that he would personally love to see a Sonic CD standalone as a bonus for a future Sonic game.

Things that make you go, “Hmmm.”

Whatever it could be it’s starting to sound apparent that something is coming. Guess we’ll stay tuned.
DOWN-LO RATING: 5

SPOILER ALERT: METAL GEAR SOLID 3
A lot of you are Metal Gear Solid crazy. As you should be, awesome game series that it is. However a few of you take this obsession too far. You stay awake at night, awaiting every new screenshot of the latest game. You scourer the internet looking for all the newest info on each and every title whether it’s essentially true or not. You actually watch X-Play on Tech TV hoping they’ll show you a Metal Gear Solid related trailer. And you stage elaborate schemes trying to break into Konami’s fortress just to get a glimpse of the title in action. For those people, this is for you. GamesAreFun has posted tons of info on Metal Gear Solid 3, the newest Hideo masterpiece, that’s so detailed I can’t even bring myself to look at it all. That’s right, this is one rumor Bebito doesn’t even want to see for fear of spoiling it for himself. But I bet 99% of you guys couldn’t care less about spoiling anything and are just drooling on yourselves right now to get just a glimmer of info on this hotly anticipated game. So without further adieu, here it is, complete and uncut. Enjoy. I couldn’t…

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I wish to warn my fellow Metal Gear fans that this article contains some pretty massive spoilers, and if you choose to stop reading now, Serafitia will understand. Though, keep in mind that at this point, these are just rumors! Ok, that was your last warning. Here I go…

As of recent, news concerning MGS3 was scarce, but now, courtesy of MGLegacy we’ve got some amazing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater info. Brace yourselves!

The MGLegacy informant had this to say:

Solidus will NOT return, he really is dead.

Otacon may betray Snake in this third installment.

It is definite that Raiden returns, but he won’t be alongside Snake. He won’t even be at the jungle at all.

There will be a new boss character that Snake must battle during a free fall.

Solid Snake is manipulated by the Genesis Army.

Big Boss was cloned and rejuvenated after his death in Zanzibar.

One of the new characters are Crimson Blade, a Cyborg Ninja that will help Snake.

Here is a short sound clip of Colonel Campbell’s briefing to Snake. Master Miller’s voice may also be heard near the end of it.

PLOT DETAILS!
The plot consists of Solid Snake infiltrating a terrorist region near a mountain range, which is supposedly the whereabouts of Olga’s missing child. Apparently, the Patriots are also there. Naomi and Mei Ling were kidnapped shortly after the Shadow Moses incident; the task will be to rescue them. Snake will use a jet vehicle (and aquatic scooter). New weapons include a harpoon, a hook, a knife, and a spy camera.

As you may notice in the dialogue below, Meryl will be returning. At some point, Snake says to her, “Meryl? What are you doing here? They… they told me that you died.” Also returning (I use the word loosely) is Grey Fox. He was cloned through Naomi’s gene therapy and returns in his human form, Frank Jaeger. He also seems to have some connection to Vamp. They are sworn enemies ever since an event in Romania, but are also both under orders from the Patriots. One of them holds the key to the end of the Patriots. There also seems to be a factory that produces exoskeletons in the jungle similar to the ones Grey Fox and Olga wore. One of the reasons Raiden appears in the game may be aid in the rescue of Olga’s child as Snake will be busy searching for the Patriots.

Ok, what you’re going to read is some extracted script from the game. I need not say the amount of spoilers that are here:

Snake: Where is she?!

Col Campbell: Snake, calm down, concentrate on the mission. You know Meryl can handle herself, we both know that.

Snake: Colonel, where is she, where have they taken her? She’s your neice, your own blood, are you going to sit there and let her die?!

Col Campbell: You think I don’t know that?! You think I want her to die?! Snake, I know you care for her, we both do, but you have been trained to complete missions without interference of your human emotions.

Snake: I used to be able to do that. There were a lot of things I used to be able to do…I used to know you, now I’m not so sure anymore. You’ve changed Colonel.

Col Campbell: So have you Snake. We’ve all changed, and if you don’t do something in 72 hours, the whole world will change.

Snake: In 72 hours, I’m gonna rip that Metal Gear into pieces, AFTER I’ve found Meryl, now WHERE is she?!

Col Campbell: My God Snake! What are you hiding from? For the first time since I’ve known you, I can see something in you that I never thought I’d see…fear…you’re afraid aren’t you…you can’t do it anymore…you’re father was the same.

Snake: My father is DEAD! Don’t bring him into this!

Col Campbell: But you said it yourself Snake, it was him you saw on the plane, he could be the one behind this, you know it as well as I do…Big Boss is not dead, he lives still!

Snake: Right now…I don’t know what to believe, I don’t care anymore. I car about only one thing, just ONE thing…finding Meryl. Now, I’m going to ask you for the last time, where is she?

Familiar Voice: Nanomachine research shows that the FoxDie virus has many adverse side-effects, the most potent of which…is a terrible temper and increased aggression.

Snake: NAOMI?! Colonel, what the HELL is she doing here?!

Colonel Campbell: Put the gun away Snake, she has her reasons for being here. At least let her explain.

Snake: I don’t have time to catch up on old times. Spare me the technical mumbo-jumbo and give it to me straight; what are you doing here?

Naomi: Like the Colonel said, I have my reasons. One of these reasons is personal, the rest, purely based on the mission. The personal reason involves an old acquaintance of yours. I knew him by the name of Frank Jaeger…you knew him as Grey Fox.

Snake: Grey Fox?! But he died! I was there!

Naomi: Yes Snake, he died…but he’s also here, at least someone that looks like him is.

Snake: Mr X? It can’t be…

Naomi: This can wait till later. You want to know where Meryl is? The longer we talk, the further she is moving away from us.

Snake: Where?! Where is she?

Naomi: She’s on the plane Snake, the same plane you were thrown from. You didn’t recoginse her because she was disguised as one of them and gagged. Even if she recognised you, she couldn’t have said anything, or maybe she’s afraid of you, she has a reason to be right?

Snake: You’ve said enough and I’m wasting my time listening to you.

Naomi: Where are you going Snake? To rescue her? Are you sure she will appreciate that after what you did? The fairytale is over Snake, now it’s time to face the reality…you have a mission to complete and if you don’t complete that mission, then it’s over, over for all of us. This is the end now, the end of all things that we have come to know. Yes Snake, Meryl is on that plane, but your mission lies in Russia.

Now you have a choice to make; do you follow the plane and hope to God that Meryl can forgive you or do you head to Russia and stop the Genesis Army.

That is your choice Snake…that is your mission…you have 72 hours.

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Naomi: Frank? It’s me. Don’t you remember?

Grey Fox: I have no name…where is the Snake Eater?

Naomi: What is it you want from him?

Grey Fox: Forgiveness…I couldn’t stop it.

Naomi: He told me you thought well…he said you loved me, said you were sorry…

Grey Fox: My mind is no longer my own…I remember not what I said…only what I did…or DIDN’T do. The Snake Eater will lead us to freedom, freedom we have long sought. There are only 48 hours left…the end is near.

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Revolver Ocelot: The Snake Eater is dead…or at least he should be. I don’t know what happened, I can’t explain it, but somehow…he’s been reborn. What should we do Boss?

Unidentified voice: Put him back out on the battlefield with the Rookie…let’s see just how powerful he is.

Revolver Ocelot: Did you see him? Did you see what he did? He’s not human is he? No human could have destroyed that tank like he did.

Unidentified voice: His strength is increasing rapidly. Soon, he will be strong enough to lead the Genesis Army and the Genesis Project will finally be a reality. Long have we dreamt of this day Shalashaska…let it begin!

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Crimson Blade: What brings you here? What has led you to your doom? This may perhaps be your undoing, the end of your hopeless life. I too seek freedom, like many others, and like many others before me…I will fight to the bitter end.

Snake: Be quiet! I want answers and I want them now. Where is this plane headed?

Crimson Blade: You know where! You’ve always known…back to the very beginning, where the Genesis Army was born.

Snake: What?! But I thought the factory in the jungle was where they were born…

Crimson Blade: No, the factory is not for their creation…it is for their destruction. One final battle to end it all. Just as it has always been with this world, creation triggers destruction.

Snake: You’re crazy, and I’m short on time. Who’s flying this plane?

Crimson Blade: What does that matter? You have stepped beyond the line of sanity. No-one will believe you now, no-one has any reason to. You’re alone, as many of us are, alone with nothing but you’re will your to survive to comfort you. I hope it comforts you well because the clock is ever-ticking, yet it must stop ticking eventually, and when it does, so your heart stops beating.

Snake: …I…I have to try…that is what drives me, not the will to survive, but the hope that I can end it now…the realisation that it is worth fighting for.

Crimson Blade: Is it? You know as well as I that if darkness falls on this world, all that will remain is the sickening realisation…that it wasn’t worth saving in the first place. Who are we to even question that? What gives us the right? Aren’t we the seedy type? The ones that roam the black streets like fetid zombies, decaying with every step we take, with every choice we make? That is what you will come to realise, not that is worth fighting for, but that it ISN’T, it truly isn’t. That is why you are here, that is your purpose.

Snake: Then who are you? Why should I listen to you?

Crimson Blade: Do you know why they call me Crimson Blade? No? Because my sword is forever smeared with my victim’s blood. I do not clean the blade, for I see no need to wipe the memories of my greatest foes. Do you truly want to join them? My blade is hungry for your blood…and I do not want to disappoint it…now FIGHT!

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Big Boss: We are truly alone in this world…it’s always been this way.

Snake: Not always. At least it doesn’t have to be that way…not if we can stop them.

Big Boss: They hid you from me for so long and I never understood why. I was made out to be some kind of monster, just because I fought for what I believed in. And then he came…

Snake: You mean Liquid?

Big Boss: Is that what they called him? But it was he who received the dominant genes…how can someone so powerful be labelled so weak.

Snake: What about the FoxDie program? I still don’t understand it’s true purpose.

Big Boss: She developed the program for me…she knew I wasn’t dead.

Snake: Naomi?

Big Boss: I never knew her by name. I knew only that I was her target, and that she would stop at nothing to have me killed.

Snake: But why? Why would she want you dead?

Big Boss: At first, I couldn’t figure it out, but after I was supposedly killed, somehow she knew I was still alive. When I heard about the mission at Shadow Moses and about what happened after, I finally understood…she thought I was you…she thought I was on Shadow Moses.

Snake: But what’s the reason? Why did she want you dead?

Big Boss: In a way, I was there, or at least I was close…

Snake: You were at Shadow Moses?!

Big Boss: The reason was to do with her ‘brother’ I believe.

Snake: Grey Fox? I…killed him in…

Big Boss: Maybe you did…but she didn’t know that. All the time, she thought she was talking to me.

Snake: But Liquid wanted your…remains. Naomi knew this, why would she still think you were alive?

Big Boss: They didn’t tell you everything did they? They never do…that is why we are alone…

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Snake: It’s almost over…we have so little time.

Otacon: Are you ready…ready for the end?

Snake: I don’t know, I mean, I thought I was…until…until he left me again.

Otacon: He didn’t mean to. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He told you that, it was the last thing he said.

Snake: I know, but something inside tells me that it was supposed to be this way…that we really are alone.

Otacon: Not alone…not anymore. I asked you once what I was fighting for, what you were fighting for. You said if we made it out alive, you would tell me…you never did.

Snake: The truth is…I didn’t know the answer…I still don’t. It always seems so pointless when I’m out here on these missions. I just do what I came to do, I don’t question it.

Otacon: And why should you? Why should you even be here? You never asked to be here, you never do…but still you come. Why?

Snake: So many people want to be heroes in this world…none have realised the truth…there are no heroes…there never were.

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The following describes a Boss Fight with the Grey Fox clone:

You fight Grey Fox in the jungle itself after he attacks you. The problem is it’s so dark you can’t even see him so amazingly, you have to rely on sound to figure out where he is, and that’s why the game has improved sound, Dolby 5.1 or whatever, I’m not into sound statistics. Occasionally, flares will be signalled by Otacon who is close by so that you can temporarily make out where your opponent is. It is by all accounts, one of the hardest boss battles in the Metal Gear Solid series.

When you defeat him this cutscene kicks in:

Grey Fox: You fought well…Snake Eater. It is true what they say about you then, your strength has increased, it increases still. You have proved yourself a worthy opponent nonetheless and I would ask you to join me this night so that we may end this together. He is still weak and so we may strike him now before the end comes…before everything we have fought for proves useless.

Otacon (voice): Don’t listen to him Snake! He’ll say anything to get you to follow him, you’ll be dead before the night’s out!

Snake: Quiet Otacon! Don’t let him hear where you are!

Grey Fox: Tell your friend he can come out now, the game is over. I already know where he’s hiding. If I wanted to kill him…I would have done it already.

Snake: I don’t understand…you can’t be him. Not Fox…not the Fox I knew.

Grey Fox: Time is short, we must move quickly. They have already sent out a patrol team to find you. I know a quick way to get out of here. It is a long journey but if we leave now, we can make it.

After this Otacon comes out of his hiding place and he and Snake follow the Grey Fox clone to a jeep near the edge of the jungle. By the time they get there, it is now morning and their pursuers are close behind. As Fox takes control of the jeep, Snake takes the passenger seat with Otacon in the back. They drive out into an open field with fairly long grass within the jungle. As they are driving, they notice more jeeps up ahead and a transport truck. Naomi is one of the captives on board the truck, which also holds Mei Ling and a few other prisoners (Col Campbell is missing at this point). Naomi is the reason Grey Fox wants to catch up with the truck. It isn’t long before the soldiers in jeeps notice them following and open fire and so begins the in-game action:

As Snake, you have to fire upon the jeeps in front while Fox drives, trying to avoid fire from the soldiers in front. Before you know it, more jeeps burst out from the jungle behind and so you must return fire on them too. Transport trucks then also join them from behind. Revolver Ocelot is on board one of them with Crimson Blade and two other bosses I haven’t mentioned yet. A short cutscene during the in-game action shows that these transport trucks are carrying Genesis Soldiers (the soldiers in the jeeps in front are normal human soldiers like those seen in the trailer; so the soldiers in the jeeps in front and the soldiers in the jeeps behind are NOT working together).

Switching back to in-game action, you must continue to fire upon the jeeps both in front and behind. Amazingly, animals are involved in the chase and join the chase since they are aggravated by the commotion. Watch in awe as a rhinoceros charges into the jeeps behind, exploding them in an amazing display of twisted metal, flame and smoke.

As the transport trucks behind move in closer, Genesis Soldiers begin jumping out of them and attempt to board your own jeep. You must shoot them off quickly before they kill you, Fox or Otacon. The animation here is superb: it looks like a goddamn cutscene, but it’s in-game!

With the jeeps and transport trucks behind now losing you as they fall back, you must return your attention to the transport truck in front holding the captives. Fox suggests that you disable the vehicle rather than destroy it so you must shoot the tires; this isn’t so easy when the truck is moving around constantly and your own jeep is swaying side to side to avoid oncoming fire. Once you make that all-important hit, a cutscene kicks in as the truck rolls and slides across the field, finally coming to a stop with the captives seemingly unharmed.

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Revolver Ocelot: What’s wrong? Isn’t this what you wanted?

Snake: I never wanted to die.

Revolver Ocelot: Nobody wants to die, but death can sometimes be rewarding, don’t you think?

Snake: I will never understand why it has to end like this…I always thought I understood the purpose of war. No matter what the war was over, I could always find an excuse to justify it, but where is the justice in this war? Where is it?

Familiar voice: It is in your very blood. You ARE the purpose of this war, your brothers too. You are the very justification of this war, you were created primarily for that purpose…to rebuild…to start again. Creation triggers destruction, and what then? … Rebirth.

That’s all, for now. You may start breathing again. It looks like Kojima’s taking all the right steps in this sequel (not prequel!). So-called gamers left stupefied in the aftermath of MGS2’s story should be pleased to learn that the series is going back to its roots. No, not the complexes of MGS, but to the roots of Metal Gear (the one to appear on the MSX). Serafitia, the daughter of liberty, is done!

P.S. – Thanks again to Haliocide of the MGN Forums for the tip!

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So how in the world am I giving a Down-Lo Rating to something I didn’t read? Watch me.
DOWN-LO RATING: 10

And that’s the Down-Lo.

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



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 –
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

System – Nintendo GameCube
Genre – Adventure
Publisher – Nintendo
Developer – Nintendo
Rating – (E)veryone: Animated violence

Bella Jackson: So its been a while since I’ve written anything. But I had to write up this one because (drum roll please) for the first time in my life I beat a videogame. Ok, well of course you all know Bebito does the real work. He fights all the big battles. I figure out the puzzles, explore, and sail the ship. I wasn’t sure if I would like this game. I was a fan of the original Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo. But I played the Ocarina of Time and it was not very interesting. Of course Bebito made me try Wind Waker and surprisingly I fell into being hooked. We had to always play the game per my request.

I’m not going to go on and on about this. The game speaks for itself. It has all the basics for a good game. The puzzles, the boss fights, the music… This is an enjoyable game for everybody. Again it’s something two people can play even though it’s not two players. Just take turns and have fun!
Bell’s Review: 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars (Yes, almost a 5, but I haven’t found a perfect 5 yet.)

Bebito’s Two Cents: Don’t you just love how Bella goes into the intricate details and finer points on whatever game she’s reviewing? Reminds me of the old GameFAN reviews of old. *cough* I’ll be nice. It IS the soft-core gamer’s perspective after all. In keeping with her review, I’ll be just as succinct: It’s a new Zelda. On GameCube. What else is there to say other than that my wife has extremely high standards?
The 411: 10 out of 10

Send Feedback To Bella Jackson



MY READERS ARE AWESOME AND I’VE GOT PROOF!
Been doing it for a while now, but if you couldn’t tell I’m no longer printing all feedback. What will and won’t be in the column has been and will be based on the following factors. First, it must be legible or horribly and comically illegible. The second predictably will be whether I like the letter or not. (But some of things you people say HAS to be in the Down-Lo, thus my heading for this section.) And third, how much you write me. Down-Lo Devotees like Mike V, Jim Moore, Tack Angel and the rest always get printed because they’ve been writing forever. The only other writers with these privileges are 411 Mania staff, as they are naturally above everyone else in the universe. It’s that simple.

So what was up with explaining all that? Well figured it’d be fun for you guys if I instituted a sort of Toejam & Earl style ranking system for regular writers-in. The more you write, the higher you’ll be promoted, and the more likely you’ll get printed. It means nothing in the grand scheme of things because I’ll always respond back to you and more than likely you’ll get in the column anyway, but at least now you’ll have a spiffy title after you name! Here’s the ranking going in ascending order:

– Dufus
– Poindexter
– Regular
– Homey
– Rap Master
– Funk Lord
– Down-Lo Devotee
– 411 Mania Writer
– ?????

I’ll always make a big deal about it to commemorate when you get promoted in the column. Your current ranking will be after your name when you send something in just like you’ve seen before. I’m resetting everything so everyone starts at “Dufus” except for those that are already Devotees and the Mania guys.

Oh, and as for the “?????” ranking… that’s something the Devotees and Writers can aspire for because eventually I’ll promote them and give em’ the option to add an appendix onto their title. (For instance: — Bebito Jackson / 411 Games / Sega RPG Whore.) Again it all means nothing, but if you want to have some fun and humor a lunatic (i.e. me), well then there you go. Enough time wasting, on with… you:

And That Puts Us Over The Top
Hey Bebito,

Tales of Symphonia sounds interesting, so I’d like to see a preview. At least that’s one vote.

Later,
— Tack Angel / Down-Lo Devotee

I said I only needed three, and Tack put me over the top with his third request for a Tales of Symphonia Preview so it’s on. Been a bit preview happy lately if you haven’t noticed. Look forward to first looks at the aforementioned Tales of Symphonia for GameCube and if you’re all still good little boys and girls maybe there’ll even be a Castlevania: Lament of Dissonance Preview for the PS2 floating around somewhere.

Am I Bullet Proof?
If anyone had a problem with the Crack Patch commercial from our good friend Precious Roy… they should go to Hell. Or at least a Pankokin column. THough no appearance by Chester? During a commercial for CRACK? Something seems wrong there…

You know what I hear goes great with a crack patch? Pepsi Twist! It’s cool, refreshing, and has Halle Berry in the commercials. Yum, Pepsi Twist!

I feel nothing when it comes to Sega Rally, but when it comes to the new Outrun… yes. Yes, I like it. First a new Altered Beast, now the new Outrun… I am digging Sega.

Ugh, that’s all I got this week. Sadly, filling e-mails with filler isn’t an option. :(
— Jim Moore / Down-Lo Devotee

I’d be black balling you for your Sega Rally comment, but you dig Outrun so it’s all good. Different strokes for different folks.

Ya know, nobody has ever been offended by anything put in the Down-Lo surprising enough. At least no one has written me about it. Despite false advertising for column content, me admitting I liked the Spice Girls, and commercials for crack, no one has taken offense to anything. It’s scary. Yall show a brotha too much love. Fo shizzle.

Sifl & Olly Will Always Rule
Hey Bebito,
Thanks for making me look bad. Now NOBODY is gonna read my column. Wait, most people don’t read it anyway. Ah well. I did a good job of alienating most people last week anyway, so I think all the damage that could be done IS done.

Great Sifl and Olly stuff. I miss it so very much. *sniff*

I’m gonna have the thing about the EBGames/Tales of preorder in my column too, but that’s because I wrote it before your column came out and I don’t want to have to scour the net for more info. Also, if you’re right about FF VII-2 and the PSP, then they’ve got me as a definite sucker, I mean consumer. And you’re right about Vagrant Story. They NEED a sequel to that, dammit!

Anyway, talk to you later. Great stuff all around, as usual. Enjoy.
— Lee Baxley / 411 Games

I’m scared of what Sony’s going to do with the PSP. Of course I want one. I even want FFVII-2 if it really exists (and it does but shhhhh…). It’s just that there’s this scary thought at the back of my head that the PSP could completely ruin what I like about handhelds. How can I put this…? The PSP is supposed to be as powerful as the PSOne. Splendid! More power is great, right? Well that depends on who you ask. The era of 3d spawned on the Playstation, and thus the era of mainstream gaming. Sounds good on the surface but afterwards everything 2d pretty much died! Handhelds became the only place to enjoy a little bit of old-school lovin’ from 2d overhead Zelda games, or retro Mario, Sonic, Rayman, and countless others. If Sony gets its grip on that market as well… I don’t want to think about what could happen. I really don’t…

Finally! Some Hate Mail! Oh wait… Nevermind.
Bebito! You suck! I’ve been reading your column for a long time, and really, it’s amazing how much you suck. You’re the suckiest suck that ever sucked (oh, like that joke hasn’t been killed…but really, the Simpsons is just too good not to quote at every possible opportunity).

Oh, wait a second, that’s not your gimmick anymore, is it?

In all seriousness, I love reading your column. I don’t visit the Games section too much, but I make sure to read the Rumor Down-Lo whenever it goes up. Great stuff!

Couldn’t agree more on Family Guy. A very underrated show. I urge everyone to pick up the first DVD set if they haven’t, and the second one as soon as it comes out. A talking dog, people. A talking dog.

Of course, I also agree with you on No Mercy being the last great wrestling game. You know, this whole agreeing thing is far easier than having my own thoughts! I don’t suppose you read comics on a regular basis? Stealing from you would really make my job reviewing the latest comics over at 411Comics (thumbs up, cheap pop) much easier! The Dark Overlord’s always going on about deadlines this, and eating souls that…it gets rather tiresome after awhile.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know you’re one of the few writers I make sure to read whenever I see their name attached to a column. People can learn a lot from that…if you want me to read your column, lie and say you’re Bebito. It’s as simple as that!
— Kyle Litke / 411 Comics

lol. Now that’s one of the greatest ways I’ve ever been complimented!

I’m glad to hear that one of my fellow elite 411 Mania writers actually takes the time to read my column and better yet, wrote me about it. This does two things. 1.) It greatly increases your chances for a Lo-Down! Award next year. *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing* And 2.) you receive a cheap plug and a short sucking up too. And you especially deservedly so, because you’ve actually gotten some mainstream attention as of late. In the August issue of CrossGen’s The First it carried a quote on the front cover from a 411 Comics review by none other than our own Kyle Litke! That’s too sweet, particularly when you consider that all the other 411 Zones sans Wrestling are considered underground for the time being. Keep it up man!

You had me going there for a while. Thought I had finally gotten some hate mail. Funny thing is, I almost forgot that quickly that my old gimmick was about me sucking. Now I don’t really have one anymore. Heh. Wouldn’t it be great if I totally went the other route and became a pompous, “I’m better than you”, heel-like, egomaniac? Bryan Berg said I should just completely be like, “I don’t suck! I rule! You people all suck!” But I’m way too nice for that. Anyway, thanks for the compliments, and yes I read you too. (Even if I didn’t, I would say I did regardless because I’d look like a complete dooche bag if I was all like, “Sorry. Never heard of you. Do you work here?”)

Ok. It’s Time To Make Restrictions On Letter Lengths
yo dude, sorry i didn’t write last week, but when your truck explodes into a fiery inferno, you tend to reorganize your priorities. ok well, it didn’t really explode, but the head gasket went, mere months after the intake manifold gasket, one of the valve cover gaskets, and a distributor o-ring went. so i picked it up and smashed it against a handy cinderblock wall. ok, well that didn’t happen either. but it is in the shop getting the auto equivalent of an everything transplant. except the colon, which got replaced a few months ago. figuratively speaking, on the truck of course, not MY colon. my colon is currently being lusted after by lee baxley, apparently. lee, i don’t mind you calling me awesome in public, but the late night phone calls HAVE to stop. people are gonna start talking….hmm? oh crap, that’s right. bebito prints everything. I guess I didn’t help things any, huh? well since he’s printing everything, i might as well take this opportunity to say something completely irrelevant:

WAWA TUNA IS LACED! I GET A BUZZ WHEN I EAT IT! IT’S REALLY FUCKING WEIRD!

ok, I’m done.anyway, loved the commercials. I’m still trying to figure out how a sock puppet can walk off of a set though. disturbing thought for the day: my little sister was hooked on sifl and olly when she was 11. i mentioned this to my parents at the time and they saw the socks and said they didn’t see the problem. yeesh.

am i the only person on earth that liked FF8? it sure looks that way. anyway, everyone disses square on the whole ripping off ideas thing, especially ff tactics. now so far as their claims of innovation on that particular front go, i can’t say myself because it was smack dab in the middle of my sony boycott (which made me miss some good games at the time but saved me a hell of a lot of money in the long run) and was paying absolutely zero attention to anything playstation-related. However, I do remember reading from a reliable source (and not, say, a rumor site ;-) a few years after the fact that square actually hired away the developers responsible for tactics ogre from quest/atlus and had them work on fft. If this is the case, it can’t quite be called ripping off, can it? bob and steve (or toshi and jun in this case) made both games, just under a different company. it’s like john fogerty being sued by his old record label for plagiarizing his old creedence tunes. same creator, right? i have no idea if there’s any truth to this, and I don’t even remember which magazine i read it in, but it doesn’t sound that far fetched. any chance anyone else remember hearing about this, or possibly have a way to verify it either way? it would be nice to know for sure.

wow, that sounded way too serious. it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth. lemme fix that. *licks the monkey’s thighs* ahh, much bet–*GAG! COUGH!* oh, sorry, hairball. as far as a ff7 sequel on psp goes… great. just what we f*cking need. MORE sony dominance. you knew that f*cker was gonna sell even if the screen falls out after 2 weeks, there’s so many f*cking sony fanboys. now with something like ff7-2 as a launch title, there’s no hope. if this comes to pass, nintendo gonna get passed so fast in the handheld market that after whatever their next home system is called bombs (and you know it will, nintendo’s gotten so good at shooting itself in the foot lately that there’s no chance they’ll stop now) they’ll have no choice but to sega-fy themselves, leaving the bottomless pockets of microsoft and sony’s shitty quality control to rule the console market.oh wait, there’s always the phantom.(anybody who did NOT get that sarcasm needs to go back a read the past 6 months of 411games archives. see? i can shill too. now where is that email from pank offering me a job? it must have gotten lost in cyberspace…) oh yeah, last week. um, smackdown games… um… suck and stuff. it actually made me want to NOT click on your column. personally, i prefer virtual pro wrestling 2, but since that came out before no mercy, i’ll have to concur with you.

RANDOM INTERJECTION
i really need to play a 3-player advance wars 2 map with sami, colin, and sensei. IT’S MECH FLOOD MADNESS BAYBEE!

hey, sweet, nobody got my obscure reference from the other week. rock on! i want SOMEone to get it tho, so how about a contest? ok, everyone go back and read the feedback section of the july 1st down-lo… hell, why not read the whole thing? and click on some ads, too! anyway, the first female to correctly identify the obscure reference in my letter to bebito and send it in along with a naked picture of herself holding up a sign that says “INCOGNITO EXACERBATING DILLSOCK ETUDE” will win their choice of a GI Joe figure or a spatula. Just send your responses to bebito and he’ll forward them to me. right? bebito? are you listening? oh, wait, i think bella’s beating the crap out of him… *winces* sorry, man… ok, how’s this: DON’T send your responses to bebito *wink wink nudge nudge* you know what? it’s great that you print everything. it’s like having my own column within a column! wait… that sounded REALLY gay. not that there’s anything WRONG with being gay… it’s just not me, you know? speaking of gay, scotsman should hurry up and post his old review archives, those were the shiznit. tom talker kicks ass. you know, i’m damned near out of things to say. and you know what that means… *puts on his Matt Trakker mask and heads out to the playground* spectrum, ON! hey, wait… isn’t this the one that lets you see through stuff? where are all the frilly panties? oh wait… *looks at his watch* it’s 4am. doh.BAM! double reference, not quite so obscure this time. and why am i wasting these gems here? i should save them for my own stuff. wait, i haven’t written in a couple months. dammit, why did i have to get stuck on this boring ass figure? *sigh*anyway, thanks as always for the column… and you might want to put some ice on that >_<
— Matt Hardin / 411 Figures

*shaking head* Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt… Do you realize that this letter was about as long as the winner of the last Down-Lo Contest’s column was? For shame abusing your posting privileges. Shame I say! Don’t force me to begin editing…

As for your comments on Final Fantasy Tactics, for the most part you are absolutely correct. The makers of Tactics Orge from Atlus made FFT for Squaresoft. And there in lies my entire gripe. When Square braggingly proclaims the huge amounts of critical acclaim and sales for the title, they act as though they did it all themselves. Never making mention of the fact that they didn’t even develop it in-house. It’s a pet peeve for both Alex Lucard and I to be honest… It keeps me awake at night that people credit it all to Square while completely ignoring the Tactics Orge series that spawned it in first place. Bleh. And ya know what else makes me sick?? Tomb Raider! That game makes me want to throw up a protein shake and then redrink…



THE DLV OF THE WEEK
Worms 3D! Hooray! Oh come on… don’t tell me you’ve never played a Worms title? Those buggers are some fun strategy games if I’ve ever seen one. At least give the video a look. Then if you don’t like it, you never have to think about it again. Promise.


(DLV OF THE WEEK: WORMS 3D)

Well that’s it. No more. “Go get some sleep.” “TTFN.” And all those other clichEs. Thank goodness this is over. Because believe me, I’d have complained about you know what another dozen or so times. Not that I wouldn’t be just in doing so. Normally I’m a pretty happy guy about videogames. Not really jaded. But when a game is just so bad as… err, you know what, I can’t really keep my mouth closed.

Oh screw it! Don’t buy Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness! I’m begging you! If you do, it’ll…

Oh and for God Sakes! If that freaking camera didn’t stop careening all over the blasted place, I was going to tear out my right testicle and feed it to my Rumor Monkey! Why couldn’t Eidos have just…

And what’s up Lara suddenly getting stronger from hitting down random doors and kicking at benches? Wouldn’t that make her WEAKER! People get hurt doing crap like that, but all of a sudden she says in a generic voice that…

In conclusion, this game should not be bought by anybody, anywhere, at any time. Do the world a favor and ensure that no more of these are made.

Thank you. I had to get that out of my system.

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)