Gamer’s Hangover 07.28.03

I apologize to everybody, from Pankonin on down, for this being late. I had fully planned to have this pounded out and in the ol’ Outbox by 11:30, but a friend in dire need of some counseling showed up at 10:30 and priorities are priorities. It appears she’ll be okay, this will be a couple of hours late (not that you’ll notice) and all’s well that ends. Period.

Quasi-random thoughts:

In a real fight between Britney Spears and Christne Aguilera, I’d have to give it to Aguilera. I know, Spears has a huge size advantage, but I get the feeling she’s soft. This is what I get for watching E! when trying to put my son to sleep.

I’m looking forward to seeing the Chiefs Gatorade commercial another 3,000 times during the course of the NFL season.

If Shawn Michaels is going to wear those outfits, he’d better damn well shave his chest hair.

On the flip side, Chris Jericho needs to lay off the back bacon for a while.

Rob Reiner was at RAW on Monday (not to be confused with Scott Steiner, who still thinks he’s on Nitro). Why couldn’t HE be the one to get beaned with a microphone, or a crutch, or a steel chair, or be put through a table, or two, or chokeslammed off the stage, or the building, or out of a helicopter?

Now, don’t get me wrong, “The Princess Bride” and “This is Spinal Tap” are two of my favorite movies of all time, and “A Few Good Men” is already a movie classic. But name one other good movie that he did. You said “The American President” didn’t ya? Nope. Sorry. That might have been a good movie except for two things. 1. It was possibly the single biggest act of ass-kissing I’ve ever seen an entertainer do to a sitting President. He even made it an escapist fantasy for Clinton by making him a widower. 2. The evil Republican Senator from Kansas. We get enough bad press as it is, we don’t need that yahoo picking at our wounds. Jeez, Rob, why didn’t you just lose the pretense and name the guy Bob Dole?

Then he dropped all illusions of shame and fellated Gore nonstop during the last election. I despise anybody who shows that level of political partisanship, Republican or Democrat. It demonstrates to me that they’re joiners, and that they can’t be bothered to apply critical thinking to something as important as governmental leadership. Hollywood types are the absolute worst, though, because a lot of them couldn’t reason their way through a four-way stop sign in the first place. If I were in the leadership of the Democratic Party, I’d start *begging* Barbara Streisand to start writing pro-GOP letters.

Just so you know, in the last Presidential election, I voted Libertarian. So there.

As for his other movies, I don’t count “Stand By Me” or “Misery” because Stephen King handed those to him; and “When Harry Met Sally” owes ALL of its success to the fact that Meg Ryan is a screamer.

Okay, my friend Cris has two bad knees and a gimpy ankle, and I’m pretty sure HE could beat Billy Gunn if it meant having sex with Torrie Wilson.

VH1’s latest clueless attempt to rank people: The Top 200 Pop-Culture Icons of All-Time. How misguided was the ordering on the list? Jerry Seinfeld (just to remind you: ONE series. ONE.) was #13. Bugs Bunny was #77. John Wayne was #54. The Simpsons were #21. #1: Oprah Winfrey. All together now: Huh?!

If anyone from PepsiCo is reading this; if it comes down to Mountain Dew LiveWire or Mountain Dew Code Red, LiveWire wins. No contest. My caffeine addiction thanks you.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is probably the best RPG I’ve ever seen for a console. I’m only going to be able to scratch the surface before I take it back to Hollywood. ALL of my hangover this week can be attributed to KOTOR. I only hope I can stay awake at work tomorr . . . today.

I didn’t get the Vengence PPV, and I stand by that decision, just because seeing Undertaker refuse to do the job AGAIN would have pissed me off too bad.

NEWS

Unless otherwise directed, assume this is from GameDaily.com.

The first two items have already been covered by our crack 411-Games staff, but I thought I’d throw my two cents in. Enjoy.

Video Gamers Go for the Gold
The Global Gaming League, in partnership with the Gravity Games LLC, announced today that it will provide the extreme sports event with an unprecedented live professional video gaming competition at this year’s event.
The GGL will host daily competitions on site at the Gravity Games, and three evenings of special events on the main stage. all of which will be seen by the Gravity Games’ live audience of over 160,000. In order to discover and sign the country’s most talented gamers, the GGL is embarking on a nationwide audition tour this summer, currently underway at 32 locations across the USA.
This year’s Gravity Games is scheduled for September 10-14, 2003 at Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor, behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Oh, that’s it. 411-Games needs to have a team there. Between the core writers, we pretty much have every genre covered. Me and Panky and Berg can tag-team it on the sports games. Bebito and Baxley have the RPGs covered. Lucard and Williams will handle the shooters. We’ve got it covered. Get that schmuck from Florida up there. We’ll take him and his Mario maneuvering to school.

Really, how hard would this be to do? What games are they going to be playing? Who do we know in Cleveland who would let us crash at their place?

Oh, wait. September 14? Sorry. Chiefs game. Priorities again. Maybe next year. . . . or if the sports games run early . . . .

UGE Delay Forces Phantom’s Hand
Citing the “sudden postponement” of the Ultimate Gamers Expo, where Infinium Labs had planned to unveil its new Phantom videogame console, the company has charted a new course and will debut its product online.
Interested parties will now be able to get a glimpse of the Phantom at midnight on Sunday, August 17 at either www.phantom.net or www.infiniumlabs.com. Infinium Labs made the change in order to “maintain market momentum.”
Infinium Labs will also “explore” exhibiting the Phantom at this fall’s COMDEX.
An announcement regarding the fate of the Ultimate Gamers Expo should be released soon, but according to a source, it is expected that the show, designed for gamers themselves, will be pushed back until sometime next year (2004).

Why do the words “smoke and mirrors” keep entering my mind on this topic? “Explore” exhibiting at COMDEX? Dude, you’d BETTER show at COMDEX if you’d like any possibility of having credibility, let alone competing with THREE established console systems. The other 411 writers seemed to think that the internet unveiling will be a good thing, and I am inclined to agree with them. It’s just the feasibility of entering into a market that’s already known to be near it’s maximum sustainable supply. Hey, it Phantom kicks ass, great. Maybe it will displace the weakest of the established systems, then again, which was the better console, the N64 or the Dreamcast? Wait, don’t answer that.

And to prove that I’m the most hypocritical bastard on the planet, I signed up to be a beta tester.

Here’s news from a company that’s already seen the writing on the wall:

Sega’s Ambitious Five-Year Plan
According to a Dow Jones report, Sega Corp. plans to double its software sales over the next five years.
Hisao Oguchi, president of Sega, allowed that the company hasn’t “secured as much market share of packaged video game software as we’d like.” He added, “Given our resources, and with the launch of next-generation game consoles, we can double the sales of our packaged software to about 20 million units in that (five-year) time frame.”
Sega plans to sell about 9.25 million software units in its current fiscal year, which ends in March 2004. According to the company, April through June sales surpassed expectations by nearly 19 percent, reaching 1.45 million software units sold.
For the July — September period, Sega plans to release 11 new titles in all and is eying sales of 1.57 million units total.

I can only hope that means more Sonic titles for the non-GC consoles. Given that Sonic is their trademark franchise, and they’re already releasing one new Sonic game cross-platform, and that GameCube seems to be doing everything in its power to stay third in a three-horse race, I’d say that’s pretty much a certainty.

Note: I’m not enjoying seeing the descent of Nintendo, but one can only play the contrarian for so long. I’m seeing uncomfortable parallels between Nintendo now and Apple in the late 80’s. Bill Gates’ involvement in both is just damn scary, considering he’s the POPULIST in both situations.

NPD Top PC Games (Weekly)
NPD Techworld has released a list of the top-selling PC games for the week of July 6 through July 12.
The top 10 were:
1. Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Expansion Pack
2. The Sims: Superstar Expansion Pack
3. Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
4. The Sims Deluxe
5. Neverwinter Nights: Shadows Of Undrentide Expansion Pack
6. Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos
7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
8. The Sims: Unleashed Expansion Pack
9. Diablo 2
10. Rise Of Nations

You know, I hope, for Mr. Eric’s sake, that this isn’t the extent of innovation in PC games. The reviews may get pretty damn tedious if it is. This week: Exactly the same game I reviewed last week, except with different graphics and sound files!

I know, this is just the high volume stuff. It’s a joke. Laugh. You’ll live longer.

DOOM 3 DM at QuakeCon
Activision, Inc. and id Software announced today that a multiplayer component of the upcoming PC game DOOM 3 would be playable at this year’s QuakeCon 2003.
Attendees will get to try DOOM 3’s four-player Deathmatch mode in a single level that was co-developed by id and Splash Damage Ltd.
The event takes place on August 14-17 in Dallas, Texas at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.

This just in from Vegas: The Over/Under for “# of days before QuakeCon when Activision withdraws the DOOM 3 demos” is 7. Place your bets now.

VidTrac Results
The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) has announced the top renting games for the week ending July 20, 2003.
Here are the top 10:
1. Enter the Matrix—PS2
2. Midnight Club II—PS2
3. Hulk—PS2
4. Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness—PS2
5. NBA Street Vol. 2—PS2
6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic—Xbox
7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City—PS2
8. Brute Force—Xbox
9. Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Operation Resurrection—PS2
10. Midnight Club II—Xbox

Summer continued to take its toll on the game rental market, with this week’s top earner raking in an estimated $0.34 million in weekly rental income, down from last week’s $0.38 million in earnings. Still, the weekly haul was enough to push the PlayStation 2 version of Enter the Matrix above the $7.0 million rental income figure, as the game has earned approximately $7.12 million since its release.

Frankly, they’ve been making more money off of me this summer, since I’d rather stay inside where it’s something approaching livable, instead of playing outside in the 105 degree heat.

My quickie reactions: #1: Given. #2: Huh. #3: Whatever. #4: Sucker. #5. Deserving. #6: UNDERrated. #7: Okay. #8: Really? #9: Cool. #10: Huh (but less so).

Savage to Support Linux
Savage: The Battle for Newerth, the upcoming strategy shooter from developer S2 Games and iGames Publishing, will support the Linux operating system right out of the box.
Retail copies of the title, scheduled to ship to stores on August 25, will contain both Windows and Linux versions of the game on the same CD-ROM.
“We’ve found that a great deal of gamers would like the option to play and/or set up servers on the Linux OS so we went that route with Savage,” said Jesse Hayes, COO of S2 Games.

Nice idea, hope it gets them customers, because “Newerth” doesn’t sound like it would carry on its own merits, especially if the story is correct and they’re using *A* CD-ROM, and it holds BOTH versions on it. As always, I can’t be asked to check facts. Not when I’m this late.

NON-GAME NEWS

Alec Baldwin creates anti-meat documentary
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Alec Baldwin wants you to “Meet Your Meat.”

“The Hunt For Red October” actor has narrated a new documentary short for the activist group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals that shows images of animals raised for food.

In a grass-roots bid to disseminate the short, neither PETA nor Baldwin copyrighted the film, hoping people who buy a DVD or VHS for $5 from the group’s Web site will make bootleg copies for friends or post it on the Internet, said PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich.

In a letter to journalists, Baldwin said the film “documents the routine and horrific abuses that animals raised and killed for food endure and makes the case for Americans to adopt a vegetarian diet and enact humane legislation to weed out the worst abuses.”

“Animals on factory farms are never allowed to do anything that is natural to them – breathe fresh air or feel the grass beneath their feet or the sun on their faces. Any kind person would be appalled at their current living and dying conditions,” he wrote.

Baldwin has previously narrated the fictional comedy “The Royal Tenenbaums” and the TV specials “Walking with Cavemen” and “Into the Shadows: The CIA in Hollywood.”

Change “Meet” to “Beat” and you pretty much have what Alec’s been doing since the breakup with Kim Basinger.

PETA is one of those groups who never cease to piss me off. Not because they hold an opinion contrary to my own, I can live with that. It’s because they’re more interested in shocking and shaming people than presenting them with the facts; and quite a few times, they’ve blatantly lied to people just to push their agenda. More often than not, the shock statements they make offend far more people than they persuade.

Case in point: I used to be a fairly regular watcher of “Politically Incorrect.” (In my opinion it was at its best when it was still on Comedy Central, but that’s not important here.) One night, they were discussing animal rights. Bill Maher, for those who don’t know, is on PETA’s board of directors (pretty knee-jerk reactionary stuff from someone who claims to be a conservative, but I digress). Bill made the statement, on-air, that he believes Christopher Reeve “got what he deserved” for competing in equestrian events.

Needless to say, I changed the channel.

I have friends who own a horse ranch and friends who have competed in equestrian events themselves. Believe me when I say that the horses that compete ENJOY competing. Anyone who’s worked with horses can back me up on this; they can be stubborn enough just moving them from one place to another. Any horse that can run an equestrian course at competition level enjoys the work. Also, the horses on my friend’s ranch have it about as good as they can get. Lots of open pasture to run in, a lot of other horses around to socialize with, food, water, snacks and pats on the neck from people like my wife, shameless sex out in front of God and everybody, this is the cruel life of the domesticated horse. If only you and I had it so easy.

The bigger issue, though, is the utter arrogance of the statement and the apparent order of priorities that it shows. Remember, Maher is on PETA’s national board of directors. What he says can, and SHOULD, be considered to be part of PETA’s doctrine, as Maher is partially in charge of making that doctrine. If competing in equestrian events is justification, in PETA’s collective mind, for being inflicted with lifelong paralysis; that shows that they are willing to put ending ANY perceived “animal suffering” ahead of even the most basic human needs. I’m not even talking about the need to eat, I’m talking about the need to MOVE YOUR ARMS AND LEGS.

Here’s the message PETA is sending: The life of any animal is more important that your own.

Now, I could buy into to the life of an animal being more important than my convenience; such as limiting development of land in the Caribbean to protect the habitat of endangered species; or wearing synthetic material coats instead of my cherished leather jacket; or even giving up an unnecessary vice food to help prevent animal cruelty (veal, perhaps). But to put the life of a frickin’ COW ahead of my own; by effectively saying that, if someone were going to shoot the cow, you should take the bullet for it, that goes against natural law, let alone any sort of moral and religious teaching. The first rule in ANY animal’s mind is self-preservation. If it’s me or the cow, f*** the cow.

It would be one thing if PETA came forward with a cohesive campaign outlining WHY you don’t have to eat meat and WHY you would be healthier without it. Sing the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle, THEN link the “unnecessary” act of eating meat to large scale corporate farming. That sort of a two-prong approach would be far more effective than their current M.O.

The problem is that they can’t. They can’t come out and say absolutely that eating meat is bad for you, because it isn’t. Red meat may not be the healthiest kind of meat, but poultry is. And even the “tofu and seaweed” eating Okinawans who live and are active at ages past 100 eat a pretty good amount of fish, and having fished and seen fish cleaned, I can say that that is far crueler than any “atrocity” I’ve ever seen on any farm.

I’m going to stop here because I could easily rant for another couple of pages. Short form: Alec Baldwin hasn’t done anything relevant since Malice and this continues that streak. Enjoy the steak. Tip your waitress.

Kobe update

I have a feeling something was fishy about this. Kobe is an egotistical young moron, but I don’t think he’s a rapist. So now we have witnesses saying that, three days after the alleged attack, the victim was at a party bragging about her and Kobe doing it.

Marvelous. What you’ve got is a small-town ho, probably with some mental problems, who got lucky with a visiting basketball player, then decided for whatever reason (hush money, book deal, always wanted to be on CNN, voices in her head told her to) to cook up the sexual assault story. The Vail DA has a huge hard-on for it since Kobe is famous and he’d get to be on CNN, so he goes forward with filing charges without doing the slightest bit of investigation. Now, the DA is completely fukt, Kobe’s rep is supposedly shot (even though this *is* the guy who got married because he knocked up his girlfriend. Moron), and the ho will probably still get her friggin’ book deal. This is such a classic American cluster-f*** that it’s actually going to be fun to watch it play out.

I know what you’re saying, “What if he really DID rape her?” Okay, then she’s got a bunch of people in Vail who are so pissed at her that they’re willing to perjure themselves on worldwide television just to keep her rapist out of jail and make her look like a pathetic slut.

So whom would you assign this case to: Judge Judy, Mills Lane, or Lance Ito?

NOT-SO-DAMN-SERIOUS-NON-GAME NEWS

Lima continues to give Royals an unexpected lift
DETROIT (AP) — After beating the Detroit Tigers, Jose Lima wanted to look ahead instead of harping on old grudges.
Lima won his seventh straight start, and Angel Berroa and Desi Relaford homered as the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-1 Sunday.
Released by the Tigers last season, Lima claimed Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski sent a letter to other major league teams advising them not to sign the right-hander. Dombrowski has denied that.
“No more talk about Detroit and no more talk about Dombrowski,” Lima said. “It’s done.”
He was told that Sunday was Dombrowski’s birthday.
“Happy birthday to him,” Lima said. “I wish him health for many, many, many years.”
Lima (7-0) continued his remarkable major league comeback, giving up four hits in five shutout innings.
A 21-game winner and NL All-Star with Houston in 1999, he began this season with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League — the same team Rickey Henderson was playing for before signing with the Dodgers.
Lima, 30, signed a minor league contract with Kansas City on June 11 and was called up four days later. He got a no-decision against San Francisco and has won seven starts in a row since.
“I was out of baseball pretty much,” Lima said. “But now I’m having fun again.”
With a stellar 2.17 ERA, Lima is a big reason the young Royals have been able to maintain their lead in the AL Central.
After missing his last scheduled start because of a groin injury, Lima struck out three and walked one to become the first Royals pitcher to win seven consecutive starts since David Cone won eight straight in 1994.
“For us, it’s just like facing any other pitcher. He just did well today,” Detroit’s Carlos Pena said. “He had his stuff going, throwing strikes, spotting the ball very well. That’s what he’s been doing since he came back. He’s back. He’s feeling good and he beat us today.”
Royals manager Tony Pena pulled Lima after five innings because he didn’t want to take any chances with the groin.
“I told him he had one more inning after the fourth,” Pena said.
Sean Lowe, Jason Grimsley and Mike MacDougal finished the five-hitter for Kansas City.
Tigers starter Mike Maroth (5-15) allowed five runs and seven hits in seven innings.
The Royals have capitalized on their chances all season.
“We’ll have a game like today where we’d only have six or seven hits and get five runs,” Relaford said. “That’s been our M.O. for success. It’s not how many you get, but when you get ’em.”
Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly.
The Royals made it 3-0 on Ken Harvey’s RBI double and Berroa’s sacrifice fly.
Detroit threatened in the fourth when Bobby Higginson led off with a double and moved to third on Dmitri Young’s single. But Lima got Kevin Witt to pop out to shortstop, Pena to pop to left and struck out Shane Halter to end the inning.
“That really hurt us,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “Who knows what might have happened? But to get nothing out of that is very disappointing.”
Berroa homered in the sixth to give the Royals a 4-0 lead.
Witt’s homer in the sixth off Lowe put the Tigers on the board, but Relaford led off the seventh with a home run to restore Kansas City’s four-run lead.
Game notes
Lima pitched for Detroit from 1994-96 and 2001-02. … Beltran has 13 RBI and is batting .412 (21-for-51) in his last 14 games. … Higginson’s fourth-inning double was the 244th of his career. That ties him with Harvey Kuenn for 10th place on the Tigers’ all-time list. … Berroa has homered in five of his last 12 games. … Attendance was 35,326.

Lima is the spark plug; the veteran that actually got the fabled second chance. Adding him to the mix just makes the Royals story this year that much more fun. I’m still in shock and awe that the Royals are above 0.500, let alone that they’re in first place of the AL Central.

The Mike Sweeney Suicide Watch is now down to 24 wins.

PLUGS, PIMPS, AND THANKS

Oy. This is what happens when I let one uncork, huh? “Easily his best work yet”? A gold medal from Berg? I’m flattered as much as I can be, and just a little bit embarrassed, and worried that this one week will stink up the joint.

I also had my heaviest e-mail load of the week so far. If this trend continues, I’m going to have to start choosing which e-mails I include (although I swear to you all right now, that if you send me an e-mail, I WILL respond to it.)

The first one shows the rewards of a life of virtue. Take it away Adam:

Great column. This was my first time reading one of yours (besides the review, yes I’m lazy) and I really loved reading it. That and your review of F1 career challenge was a good read, as well as spot on. I also have plenty of respect for you, since you actually were NICE to someone who apparently takes offense to you having an opinion.
Anyway, it’s sad hearing about the state of arcade gaming. I prefer my consoles and PC to the arcade, no matter what it’s doing, simply to avoid leaving the house. However, I have some relatives (3, to be exact) who own and operate an arcade. I need to take advantage of the free gaming, and I want the stuff I play to be more than The Simpsons and Soul Calibur II.
The Mystery Science Theater part on SD: HCTP was great. I hope to see more of that sometime soon…

I’m sure I’ll eventually get completely jaded and callous to the mountains of hate mail I’m almost sure to receive, and when I reach that point I’ll probably hammer on my hate mail worse than any other writer on this site. Until then, I’ll keep trying to be nice to everyone who writes me. . . . unless they get personal.

Apparently, there’s a Chiefs fan/411-Games cross population out there that was just waiting for a champion:

I just read your column and I wanted to share a little bit of info
with another chiefs fan. As far as Larry Johnson is concerned, I am a
University of Illinois fan and I have seen this guy in person a couple of
times. I hated his guts because the bastard always killed the Illini. Better
than average strength and break away speed, the man was a stud. So hopefully
he doesn’t go the way of Curtis Enis and KiJana Carter, even then you have
to hope that they don’t need him until the fourth quarter this year. I think
that the biggest thing that is eluding people’s minds this year is the fact
that Trent Green was not injured this year, so you know he is due for some
type of debilitating ailment this year. I am already biting my nails,
praying that he can stay healthy. The most exciting thing for me this year
is the Defense. They made the moves that they had to, now let’s win a
SuperBowl dammit.

Rob Williamson

Mr. Johnson has impressed the hell out of people in camp so far. I’m all for having two quality halfbacks on the roster.

And Rob, I felt the same way about Neil Smith, back in the day.

And I was also contacted by the elusive Chiefs fan/411-Games reader/Wrestling fan:

Hey Cory,
I was just dropping you a line. I read your column every wee and I can’t help but notice you’re in Kansas City alot. I live in Liberty, so if you want to have some sort of 411 hullaballoo, I’m in. I’m definitely going to the Foley signing on the 5th and I might make the house show on the 11th. So, umm yeah. I dig the work and I’ll talk to you later,
Chuck Platt

I told Mr. Platt that he could find me in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium on September 14, eating barbecue and drinking beer before noon, and possibly burning Tommy Maddox in effigy.

My affinity for Hollywood Video garnered me an email from an ex-Canadian named Christian: That Chris. . . . naaah:

Thanks for the Hollywood Video financial news…

I just started working for Game Crazy two weeks ago. I finished up
training on Friday, and this week we’ve been doing the renevations to
get my Game Crazy up and running.

I don’t want this to sound like a plug, but I just moved to the
Lafayette, IN area from Canada (where my game store experience was
limited to Microplay and Babbage’s, with a smattering of EB). I
checked out Gamestop and found their prices to be rather high, and they
don’t offer much on trade-in’s.

Game Crazy will get you good prices on any trade-in’s (from NES and
Sega Master System up), and you can try any game before you buy (Hell,
just ask us).

I’m really glad you consider the company I work for to be “good
people”, and your vote of confidence just might entice others to give
their local Game Crazy a try. If you decide to post this mail in your
column, here’s a message to your readers: If you have a Hollywood Video
in your town or city, and it has a Game Crazy, stop by and chat. If it
doesn’t, ask when they’ll be getting one put in.

It’s good to see the place where I work making news in a good way…

=====
“I know it’s crooked. But it’s the only game in town.” -Canada Bill Jones

Okay, I want a Game Crazy in Wichita, and I want it NOW.

Lucard gave me a heads-up on some possible incoming hate mail that, fortunately, never came:

LOL. As Arabrabbi and LC can tell you, my ex had her first post break up freak out this weekend. She read my Mailbag from the 12th, when we were still a couple, missed that little fact, read a letter where the one fan talks about his goth chick ex and how she was fat and nuts, misses the fact it was a letter from a fan and not at all in my writing style and has a public freakout with me over it.

So if you get an email about your goth chick bit on your column, it’s probably
from her!

And there are two EXCELLENT Gi Joe games out. But they’re for the NES. And thus very old.

And I’d kill for a Mutant League game. :-)

And when is a Vampire game EVER interesting. Take it from someone who used to write for White Wolf. The game sucks unless you have people willing to make fun of it.

Alas, that sort of thing happens among the freshly broken-up, and while the observational errors may be “her fault” in the strictest sense, nobody can be expected to be operating on all cognitive cylinders so soon after such a life change.

I once lost 90 minutes of my life being taken to task by a newly ex-girlfriend in the stairwell of the WSU student center. It was absolutely amazing how she talked nonstop for the entire time. She must have been able to take air in and expel it simultaneously, like a bagpipe. Of course, after the hour-and-a-half dressing down, as I was opening my mouth for my rebuttal, she immediately retreated into the women’s restroom. A tactic that, while apparently common, I consider to be extremely cheap.

And Veronica wonders why I love her so much.

Pankonin is alive and well after braving South Padre Island for a week. I feel I should apologize for insinuating that he was Texan in last week’s column.

In a completely unrelated note, ESPN released it’s preseason top 25 this week. Big 12 entries were: #1 Oklahoma, #7 Texas, #10 Kansas State, #22 Texas A&M, #25 Oklahoma State. Gee, it seems like there was a team missing that’s usually there. Huh. Oh, well.

Bebito exposes the dark underbelly of life as a famous game columnist. He also thinks I use the word “retard.” I tend to eschew that word, due to the rather ugly political correctness connotations it carries. I much prefer softer terms like moron” and “clod” and “cerebrumless motherf***er.” It’s just less uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Baxley experiences CTD: Column Title Dyslexia, but it all turns out okay. He talks a lot about games with names that I can’t pronounce, but somebody has to. Oh, and Lee correctly said that SW:Galaxies isn’t a Neverwinter Nights rip-off, but an Everquest Online rip-off, which was exactly what I was thinking. If only I can get what I’m thinking into the written word correctly. Fat chance of that happening.

Berg beats me to the punch (kinda) with NCAA Football 2004, and gives me a gold medal for stating the obvious. Personally, I thought Baxley’s quote should have won.

Watson talks about the Jaguar and movies that could be good games. How about good games that could be good movies? Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comes to mind. Just don’t let Lucas write it.

Lucard does some much needed emotional purging, finishes his history of Shining Force, and brings up one of the most underrated game systems of all time: The Sega GameGear. I spent the better part of a summer playing my girlfriend’s GameGear. She dumped me the following spring. I ended up marrying a woman who bought me a PS2 and an Xbox. I think I came out ahead.

Next week, more news, Les Nessman (it’s late. Leave me alone).

Until next week, get some sleep.

-Cory