411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 08.19.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 08.19.03

LOGIN NAME: BEBITO411
PASSWORD: ROOOOOLLING START!

ACCESSING…

(411 DOWN-LO ONLINE: BEGIN TRANSMISSION…)

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

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*Teenage Timmy runs into room crying as Uncle Bebito quickly turns off his Sega CD with NIGHTRAP spinning inside and hides a bottle of baby oil.*

Uncle Bebito: Dagg blast it boy! Can’t ya see, I’m err… watchin’ the news! Important eventerations are taking place in the world!

Teenage Timmy: *sniff* …whatever man.

Uncle Bebito: You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re over 17 years old, and you’re still acting like a pansy? I knew your mom shouldn’t have breast fed you until you were 12.

Teenage Timmy: You wouldn’t understand man.

Uncle Bebito: Oh come on now Timmy. You’ve been coming in here for years cryin’ and whinin’ about something or other. And after you tell your good ole Uncle Bebito about it, don’t you feel so much better?

Little Timmy: NO!

Uncle Bebito: Sit your tart butt down boy and spill it, or I’ll get my whacking stick. Or speaking of whacking sticks, how’d you like it if I make you stay over your Uncle Chester’s house again!

Little Timmy: No, no! Not Uncle Chester!!!

Uncle Bebito: Then sit down and talk boy! I’m here to ascertainment your problems and help, is all.

Teenage Timmy: *sigh* Alright. But none of your crazy lies! I don’t want to hear about old war stories from wars that never existed, or about transvestites teaching the elderly how to roller skate nude, or about lesbians having sex with Muppets, or any of your other usual insane lunacy!

Uncle Bebito: You deeply wound me boy. To even insinuate that anything I’ve told you could be considered a fib… why, just be happy I lost the feeling in my right arm during the War In The Istanbul or I’d smack ya one hard, boy. But I understand how you teenagers got your hornymoans raging, so I’ll let it slide.

Little Timmy: Whatever. Ok. Well you know Jessica? We’re getting serious. Real serious. And the today she asked me by to meet her parents for the first time… Everything was going fine and I was feeling surprising comfortable. Probably too comfortable. I started horsing around, balancing stuff on my head to show off. Cups, plates, bowls, getting progressively larger stuff. Then I balanced this vase on my head, and everyone freaked out. It threw me off my balance and I broke the vase… and inside were the ashes of their deceased great grandfather. I felt terrible. Her dad went totally ballistic on me, and banned me from their house and ever seeing her daughter again. It’s all my fault! If I hadn’t been such a jerk… *sniff*

Uncle Bebito: Now listen here, Timmy. Stuff like this happens to the best of us. Nothing ever goes smoothly when you’re dealing with a girl’s parents. Believe me there young boy. Why I remember when I was courting your Aunt Bella. Now THAT was a respectable thing. Not like you kids have now, where it’s all wham bang thank you sam. What we had was special! I remember the first time she asked me to come over to her house for dinner with her parents. And boy was I one happy whippersnapper. Not because I liked the thought of meeting her folks for the first time. Oh no. You’re Auntie said that since this is such a big event and “crucial stage in our relationship”, she told me that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

That’s right! Pootang! I was ecstatic, but I had never had sex before. And you didn’t talk to your parents about that sort of thing back then. They had the correct view that sex should never have anything to do with family. You learn it out in the streets, and you do it out in the streets! Why I remember when your Uncle Chester went to the local day care center and…

Little Timmy: You’re rambling Uncle Bebito… And could you PLEASE not refer to Aunt Bella as a piece of pootang??

Uncle Bebito: Hush boy! You might learn something! Anyway, I wanted to find out how to do the hanky panky spanky, so I took a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helped me for about an hour. He taught me everything there was to know about condoms and sex. Heh. I remember being at the register and him asking how many condoms I’d like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or the family pack and I insisted on the family pack because I told em’ I thinks I’ll be rather busy, it being my first time and all.

That night, I shows up at your Auntie’s parents house and meet her at the door. “Oh, I’m so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!” she says. I go inside and I go to the dinner table where her parents are seated. Quickly, I offer to say grace and bow my head.

A minute passes, and I’m still deep in prayer, with my head down. 10 minutes pass, and still no movement from me. Finally, after 20 minutes with my head down, your Aunt Bella leans over and whispers to me, “I had no idea you were this religious.”

I turn to her, and whisper back, “I had no idea your father was a pharmacist.”

Teenage Timmy: Ya see! This is why I don’t talk to you! GOD! Why can’t I have a normal family!

*Timmy storms out of the room. Uncle Bebito looks to make sure he’s gone. Assured, he pulls back out the baby oil and turns on the Sega CD.*

Uncle Bebito: Wish this game was out when I was teenager. It sure would have saved me a lot of trouble!

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



Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and just for the record, I was a virgin up and till the day I married Bella. No hanky panky spanky.

Some Random Notes:

– What’s the best game on Sonic MegaCollection for the GameCube? Sonic1? Sonic 3 & Knuckles? Nope, sorry. It’s a game called Ristar. If you missed this little gem when it was released late in the lifespan of the Sega Genesis, do yourself and a favor and check out this platformer gaming masterpiece. Worth the purchase of the disc for this game alone. Seriously.

– Alex Lucard and I will be doing a joint Preview of Castlevania (PS2) soon. Find out how the guy sued Konami over the series and won!

– I’ll tell you what. When the world goes out of power, and the planet is in chaos, it’s always nice to actually WORK for the electric company. I wasn’t home when the problems hit, but lets just say MY power wasn’t off long, if at all! Heh. Ha. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

– Oh, and by the way, we’re raising your electric bills to make up for the problems we came across. Get ready to bend over! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Wooo! We’re just terrible.

– Quick rebuttal; I have to disown my Dogg, Cory Laflin. There’s a couple of things you don’t mess around with in this universe and the Virtua Figher series is one of them. Let’s take a look at his comments quickly:

The game is rated “T” for Tedious . . . er . . . Teen, and in possibly the biggest warning sign, has an MSRP of $19.99. The same, of course, as Big Mutha Truckers.

I’ll overlook the “tedious” crack because it was slightly witty, and that’s just your way. But cracking on the MSRP of $19.99? What’s up wit dat? Oh I see! You like your updates to cost a full blazing $50 like the Tekken series. How can I put this? When Tekken throws out a “sequel” (if you can actually call them that), like let’s say Tekken Fag Tournament, with it’s two to three updated characters, and the added feature to well, tag… kind of, we call it a revolution and spend a full wad on it. Capcom has this same tendency to throw out “updated” fighting games with very little to consider updated just in order to make a few more bucks off the general populace charging the unwary buyer FULL PRICE, when the game isn’t even truly worthy of sequel status. Sega, in the first time I’ve seen a fighting developer do this, actually admitted that the game wasn’t the all out mega-sequel that other series out there pretend their stuff to be, and priced it accordingly! I mean they DID call the thing “Evolution”. So instead of getting a Greatest Hits version of the original VF4 at $19.99, they give you an updated special edition at that same price which still turns out to be the greatest 3D fighting game on the PS2, let alone arguably of all time! If the original VF4 came out at $19.99 (like with Big Mutha Truckers; and did he just compare that game to Virtua Fighter!??), then ya, your argument would have some merit; but in a world where you can add an “Turbo”, or a “Tag”, or even an added numeral value onto the end of an undeserving title and pass it off as something new, it’s nice to see somebody be upfront with us for once while still proving to be better than the rest.

Why am I so tough on Virtua Fighter, you may ask? Weeell, not to be insulting to our Japanese friends, let along Mr. Baxley and Mr. Lucard, but sometimes it seems as though they think the entire idea of fighting without weapons was conceived by East Asians.

No my friend. It’s not that the entire idea of fighting or fighting styles was conceived by East Asians. It’s the fact that 3D FIGHTING GAMES were entirely conceived by said East Asians (is there such a thing as a West Asian?) and if it wasn’t for the first ever 3D fighting game in Yu Suzuki’s original Virtua Fighter, and pay close attention because this is important, THERE WOULD BE NO TEKKEN. So show some blasted respect for the series that made what you like to play now possible!

Bottom line: I want to play Capoeira. I can do that in Tekken and I can’t in Virtua Fighter.

Hold on! Wait! That’s what this was all about? All of this VF bashing was based on something as trivial as you liking Capoeira? CAPOEIRA?! Are you serious?

*pats Cory on the back* That’s my boy! I can’t dispute with arguments based off lack of complete and utter logic in favor of unsupported opinion and bias! Makes me proud to know that while people are arguing over substantial things like graphics, gameplay, music, and balance my Road Dogg over here simply says, “But it doesn’t have Capoeira!” I can’t hate on that. lol. All is forgiven young grasshopper. Your apprenticeship continues.

No sense in delaying anymore. Time to jump into the rumors. Each story has what I like to call a Down-Lo Rating. The DLRs tell you how reliable each of the rumors are. The higher the rating, the higher the chances the stories have some merit.Please ignore them. They mean nothing. This feature is the most important part of my column, so pay close attention.

Enjoy. I do!



(LOADING 411 GAMES RUMOR DOWN-LO 08-19-03… DISPLAY)

This is the Down-Lo.

THE VIPER COMES BACK TO BITE
“Ok Bebito we get it, Virtua Fighter is your favorite 3D fighting game. Blah blah blah. But Tekken is your second, right?” Of course not, that honor goes to Soul Calibur!

“Well ok. But after Soul Calibur then?” Hmm. Well I guess it would be Tekk… WAIT! NO! Have you ever heard of Fighter’s Megamix for the Sega Saturn?!? It combined the two gameplay styles of the Virtua Fighter characters with the Fighting Vipers. One of the most original ideas I’ve ever seen! One not duplicated until SNK and Capcom came together.

“Fighting Vipers? Speak English man!” Come on! You’ve heard of Fighting Vipers! Armor based gameplay. Button-masher friendly. Excessive use of instant replays. Girls attacking using their butts with their panties visible. Kick opponents through 10-foot high walls of concrete and off of the screen! It was one of the funest and funniest ways to spend a quarter.

Speaking of which, the aforementioned entertaining weapons-based cousin of Virtua Fighter, is supposedly set to receive a third in the series. Yes third. Us North Americans got screwed over with a release of Fighting Vipers 2 in the arcades AND for the Dreamcast. Don’t get me started. Anyway, rumors are circulating that the title promises its own version of VF.net, which Japanese sources are calling ‘Vipers-Net’. This system would use data cards in the same way as VF.net, and probably include neat touches such as customizable armor.

It’s been rumored to be coming for a while, but recent sentiments are that this is closer to coming down the announcement pike than was previously anticipated. Keep your fingers crossed fighting fans. Now all we need is a sequel to Last Bronx.
DOWN-LO RATING: 6

NINTENDO SAYS THE FUTURE IS READY TO GO
Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, has revealed some interesting new ideas for the industry stalwarts. As expected, Iwata confirmed there would be a successor to the Gamecube, with a likely launch date of late 2005 or 2006. This sorta contradicts earlier suggestions that Nintendo was going to bring out their next machine before either Sony or Microsoft get in on the act, but there’s still plenty of time to reshuffle schedules. Besides, aren’t we used to them delaying systems by now? Should it really surprise us that they’ve already begun delaying it before they even announce the thing? No. It’s Nintendo. God bless them.

Iwata also announced some blather about a customer loyalty scheme or some crap like that that nobody cares about. No, I’m not going into detail.

And last, and most intriguingly of all, Iwata stated there would be a totally new game product revealed by Spring 2004. Hmm… what could it be? Well let’s see. What is actually making Nintendo money? I’ll give you three guesses and three letters. Your letters are: A’ B’ and G’. Go.

“Nintendo’s making money off of a BAG’?” No, but you’re close. Guess again.

“Nintendo’s making money when people GAB’?” Geez! Are you retarded!! No. One more try.

“Nintendo likes FAGS’?” NO! What’s wrong with you people! Where did you even get the F’ and the S’ from?! It’s the GBA, GBA, GBA! The GameBoy Advance idiots! That’s what’s making Nintendo money. Their handhelds. *wipes sweat from forehead* So with THAT said. What would you guess the new game product to be revealed this Spring will be?

“A robot that makes BAGS’?” *breaks down weeping* Ya see, this is why I had to invent the PHONE-IT-IN-MACHINE.

Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata recently commented on the next version of the Game Boy hardware, which is said to be in the planning stages thus far. All Game Boy units have relied on the cartridge format until now, but Iawata has not ruled out the possibility of using discs with the next Game Boy. He said that if Nintendo could solve problems related to unit weight and size, as well as energy consumption problems, then using discs might be a viable format for the next Game Boy.

A disc-based Game Boy? What would that look like? We don’t even know what Sony’s PSP will look like as of yet, so while all of these disc-based handhelds certainly sound cool, size is definitely an issue. But if anyone knows how to make a comfortable handheld, it’s Nintendo. We’ll keep you updated on this as soon as we know more.
DOWN-LO RATING: 5

SOMETHING ABOUT BASEBALL? I DON’T KNOW…
IGN has a rumor about some baseball games or whatever.

I’m not a sports gamer.

I’ve got space to fill.

With that said PHONE-IT-IN-MACHINE time again!:

According to the sell-through numbers on Electronic Arts’ renamed debut baseball game, MVP Baseball 2003 sold better than most, if not all, of its competitors, including Acclaim’s All-Star Baseball 2003, 3DO’s High Heat MLB 2004, 989 Studios’ MLB 2004 and Midway’s MLB Slugfest 20-03, which is neither here nor there out of context.

Sweet mercy! How many of these god awful things are there? MVP, MLB, 3DASB, OPP, STD, it’s all just too much. Wish something would happen to thin out the numbers a little.

But apparently because EA’s game performed so much better than its competitors, Acclaim and Midway may back out of the baseball market this upcoming spring. That leaves only two to three baseball games left (including 989’s, EA’s and Sega’s).

Oh. Well… Nevermind then.
DOWN-LO RATING: 4

THE DOWN-LO ON GRAND THEFT AUTO
Laziness, breeds… well more laziness. Let’s keep the machine running to the very end:

After having spoken with a handful of people close to Rockstar Games (we were completely unable to attain a single word from Rockstar representatives), we have learned that the makers of the Grand Theft Auto series are doing some interesting things with the Grand Theft Auto series. The game, currently rumored with the names Grand Theft Auto: Los Angeles/Sin City/San Andreas, is, as you already know, not coming in 2003. It’s believed to appear exclusively on PlayStation 2 in fall 2004. If Rockstar remains consistent with its release dates, that means it’ll appear around October 22 -29, 2004.

All stuff we’ve heard before, let’s keep it going…

Apparently Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) has formed two new-ish developmental teams, not to mention the Manhunt team. One is working on the next GTA, which may very well feature online components. There also is suggestive talk about a new direction for the game, as well as speculation about either heavily revamping the current engine or creating an entirely new one. It’s also believed to take place in Los Angeles, with a focus on the movie industry in Hollywood, CA.

Either way, the game is definitely going to be aimed at out-doing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, it’s 7-million-plus-unit selling monster. The second team is in the very early designs with what we’ll refer to as GTA5 (for lack of a better name), and is being created for the PlayStation 3 (which we suspect will appear, at earliest, sometime in 2005). Perhaps we’ll hear more about GTA after the Xbox version comes out…

And there you go.
DOWN-LO RATING: 6

And that’s the Down-Lo.

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



SCREENSHOTS SO PRETTY YOU’LL SMACK YO MOMMA

It’s a Down-Lo racing game explosion! Ok, so it’s not really an explosion since I’m only showing two games this time… but it’s a Down-Lo racing burst at least? Whatever.

Driver 3 (PS2, XB)

By reader request, here are the newest screens on the game series that spawned GTA3. We all know it’s true.

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)

And how could I NOT put up pics of this beauty. Even I wonder if this thing is running on a PS3 sometimes…

Screens courtesy of Kikizo Games and 411 Mania.
(*Disclaimer* If the links are broken, tough cookies, it’s not my fault.)



MY READERS ARE AWESOME AND I’VE GOT PROOF!

“Write me or I’ll run for President!” *sigh* Does anyone else besides me miss GameFAN? Anybody? Gamers’ Republic at least? How about Next Generation? Please don’t tell me you all just read EGM.

Here’s the ranking going in ascending order:
– Dufus –
– Poindexter –
– Regular –
– Homey –
– Rap Master –
– Funk Lord –
– Down-Lo Devotee –
– 411 Mania Writer –
– ????? (Custom Made Title) –

(LOADING DOWN-LO MAILBIN 08-19-03… DISPLAY)

DO YOU PEOPLE TAKE CREDIT FOR EVERYTHING?

“So I checked out Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic for Xbox, and let me tell you this has to be one of the best American made rpgs I’ve ever played.”

Sorry to contradict you, but you’re wrong. It’s one of the best Canadian made rpgs you’ve ever played. Just because it’s not from Japan doesn’t mean you Yanks made it. :)

yrs,

— Tempus Thales / Dufus

Yes, you are absolutely correct my friend. Hopefully our buddies at Bioware in Alberta, Canada can forgive my slip of the tongue. What I meant to say is that Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic is the best North American rpg I’ve ever played.

Bleh. Once again, I can always count on you fine folks to let me know when I’m wrong! Good thing it hardly ever happens. Why do you think I do rumors!

SO DUDE, HOW HOT IS SHE?

Bebs,

Longtime reader, first-time writer. Enjoyed your ‘Smackdow…’, err, I mean, ‘Crackhoes vs. Penis’ debate greatly. I own Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth, but still adore the gameplay and features of No Mercy.

Anywho, I’m gonna hit you on a tangent here. Everyone knows of your glowing adoration of the exalted Bella, the Princess to your Mario. However, have you ever provided visual confirmation so that the rest of the readership may confirm the hotness factor? A stray digital pic, to remove any shadow of doubt or question among your constituency? I know my curiosity is not the only one peaked. Fear not, my fine fanboyish friend; I myself am happily married, but cannot help but be intrigued by the consistent referencing by yourself to her jaw-dropping good looks. Could the vaunted Rumormonger be lovestruck beyond rational thought process, or are the praisings indeed a phenomena that have widespread consent? Hope this isn’t too strange a request; then again, you are the guy who receives gaming info from a small simian.
Adios for now.

— Jay Martin / Dufus

I’ve actually talked to Bella about this before. And she has some concerns. She doesn’t want her picture up on the internet and have GOD knows what being done to it. No no, I’m not talking about people saving the thing and posting it all over message boards. I’m more talking about what people will do whilst looking at it. Err,… how can I say this and still be subtle.

I don’t want you perverts masturbating to pictures of my wife!

There that was delicately said. Yes, the girl is that fine. It sounds pretentious I know, but we’ve had problems with this sort of thing BEFORE so I’m not just coming out from no-where with this. Don’t ask me how or where, just know she prefers to keep to herself. Sorry guys. I personally wouldn’t mind it.

And why doesn’t anyone ask to see me!

WHERE’S MY THONG AND CORSET PICTURES?!

No T and A from Bebito and no thong and corset pictures. I’m going to have to resort to sex with my girlfriend. Do you wan that to happen? Do you? It’s on your heads.

— Chuck Platt / 411 Games

WHAT IS THIS!? First you guys ask to see how hot my wife is. Then you beg me for more T&A pictures! Are you all sex obsessed?? No, seriously? I STILL get reader mail from my “I hate Tomb Raider so much that I’m going to show you pictures of half-naked Japanese chicks” column! It’s insane and baffles my feeble mind. Go buy some magazines people! Or better yet, look around. This IS the freaking internet. You can’t always come into my column and expect me to post stuff like this…


Or even this…


And you’ll MOST CERTAINLY never catch me putting up stuff like this…


It’s just totally against my principals as a writer, and I’ll have no more of it. You hear me! No MORE!

(Stay tuned to the 411 Games Rumor Down-Lo for your T&A fix! Right here, only at 411 Games! *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*)

You people all make me sick…

IN THE BOX

Bebito,
I haven’t written you specifically in a while, and I want to see my name in that big red box!!!

Down-Lo 2.0 looks great. I like the new feel. You make the rest of us look bad though. Damn you and Lucard for stealing the spotlight.

It’s too bad that you couldn’t be Sith. I’m gonna do that myself whenever I can play the game. My B-day comes up in October, so hopefully I can beg everyone to get me an XBox and that game. I WANT IT. Oh, and my wife would let me become Sith AND give me the nookie, so nya.

Regarding the Square RPGs, it’s good that you picked that one up, because though I read about it, I completely forgot to include it in my column, so kudos to you. But if you want to be technical, Square would probably be the house that Cecil/Cain built, because FFIV was one of the first truly great Final Fantasy games (released over here anyway) and one of the first RPGs on arguably the best RPG system (that being the SNES of course). But Cloud brought it mainstream. Which could be looked at as the downfall of Square. And yes, I’m turning into an Atlus whore (Thousand Arms and Persona? Yea!) but there will always be a fondness for Square in my heart. Unless of course they f*ck up FFXII.

Starcraft Ghost does look wonderful, but there is one game that I can think of where the ingame cinemas matched prerendered FMVs – Shenmue. I don’t know if there WERE any prerendered cinemas, and the hands alone in that game were AWESOME. Easily the best graphics I’ve seen on the Dreamcast.

And quit getting peoples hopes up. Dracula’s Son is NOT going to be in Lament of Innocence, unless it’s a cameo like Aria of Sorrow, in which case I’ll COMPLETELY FUCKING MISS IT and my 13 year old brother will have to tell me about it. Yes, I’m a retard.

Was Matt Hardin talking about me or you going psycho? He said a certain reviewer and news reporter, and I think I’d fall under that category moreso than you would. If he was talking about me, sadly, it’s too late. As if I wasn’t psycho enough, reading so much Lovecraft has been giving me messed up dreams. Then again, Golden Sun did the same thing.

Anyway, that’s enough out of me. I need to finish up my own column and send it in. Great work as always, Big Daddy. You should jackknife the hell outta that Skylar guy. Or hell, I’ll do it for you. We Outsiders have to stick together!

— Lee Baxley / 411 Games

Glad you like the new DL. It’s still evolving so we’ll see where it goes.

Yes, Shenmue was pretty impressive. But a lot of what you saw in real-time that looked close to FMV quality were close-ups of eyeballs or extreme close up of people’s faces. When the game had to render the characters along with environments the quality dropped considerably. Think about it. If the quality WAS that good, there’d be no complaints of how the game wasn’t optimized for the Xbox version.

And God only ever knows what Matt Hardin is talking about, Razor. Cast in point…

THE LEGEND OF HARDIN

What’s this now? I’m a dog? *moves aside his long blond hair and takes off the metal-blasting headphones* Ohhhh, a dogg! *consults his ebonics dictionary* Hmm, apparently that’s a good thing. Thanks, dude! *goes back to headbanging to “Seasons in the Abyss”*

You know, I caused a traffic accident once by bending over. Well, I wouldn’t say I *caused* the accident, per se. I was bending over to catch the soda that I knocked over while gesturing wildly during a cell phone conversation, and all of a sudden this asshole in a BMW was in MY lane. I swerved to avoid him, but the stupid bitch in the next lane didn’t get out of my way in time and she f*cking hit me. In the middle of an important call! The nerve.

As for the Square rumor… YES! I was talking with Lee a few months ago about how they were gonna release FF3, and one of us had the disturbing idea that it would be released with Secret of Mana. I thought, “aw, f*ck!” They already trashed the other 2/3 of the Holy Trinity in the PS1 rereleases, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to bear SoM with loading times and slowdown. However, since I didn’t get very far when I started playing SD3 via ROM (there was something funky with the video and it kept switching resolutions), I’ll prolly be able to bear it PS1 style. Old school Square rules. Now if they don’t release that shiznit over here, I’m gonna haveta head over to Japan to find someone to string up by the balls.

Um, haven’t those GameCube price cut rumors been circulating since, like, Christmas and stuff? *hands Bebito a ball* You might wanna get on this, dude. ;-P

And it’s a shame that Zelda’s not growing up any time soon. Why does almost everything Nintendo releases have to be cute? That more than anything else is what’s been holding them back. By insisting that every game has to make all the little Japanese kiddies go “Uwaaah~!” they’re making far too many “mature” gamers (and believe me I use that term loosely) turn their noses up. What Nintendo needs is to make a game that simply can’t be ignored, and the Zelda franchise is the perfect vehicle for it. Imagine this: standard Zelda opening, with its own continuity and everything (none of this “every hundred years a hero in green shows up and saves our asses” crap). Must save the princess, yada yada. Except Stalfos is a hulking monster with bits of flesh hanging from his frame. Everything dark, everyone scared of Ganon; no enemies in bright, unimposing primary colors. Now fast forward to the middle of the game. Link tracks down Ganon in his castle. Ganon has Zelda on a dias, all prepared to sacrifice her to break the seal protecting Hyrule once and for all. Link bursts in, ready to fight. Ganon just laughs and impales Zelda with a dagger, a little squirt of blood splashing on his face. Link falls to his knees and just screams as the dear princess convulses to her death. Meanwhile, Hyrule becomes Hell. Not some magical alternate dimension, but the real Hyrule is destroyed, with no spiffy-neato fix this time. Now tell me that wouldn’t kick ass. There’s so much that could be done from there, too (as long as none of it involves saving Zelda in the end; she’s DEAD, deal). Nintendo needs an attention getter, and having one of their biggest heroes actually LOSE would be a sweet way to do it. And the first step towards that is ditching the cute.

Not quite manifesto-length, but then again, I wasn’t trying, either. Tease me, will you? Muahahahahaha! You’ll be sooorrrrryyyyyy! >:-)

— Matt Hardin / 411 Figures

All I have to say is, please tell me where you live and drive around, so I can move far, far, far, away from wherever that is.



GRUTMAN & ME

My comp caught the dreaded “Worm” last week and since my machine is slower that the loading screens in Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness, I was up till all sorts of unsanctioned hours with the help of Chris Pankonin trying to purge my system of it. Lo and behold Grutty comes online and in my half awake stupor I remind him that he promised me a Down-Lo Spotlight interview, so we give it a go. But it was such insanity that there’s no way I could have made a coherent Spotlight out of it. Since when my Spotlights have been coherent I don’t know but… yeah. Anyway, what exactly happens when a half-asleep Bebito Jackson meets up with a fully awake Josh Grutman? The mess that ensues…

bobEblaze: yo it’s Bebito. want to do that interview thingy proper? i know it’s late
VPJG: Sure! Not a problem
bobEblaze: Ok, then! just let me get my notes…
bobEblaze: oh screw those. it’s like 1:30AM, i’m not gonna find them
bobEblaze: so you like videogames or something?
VPJG: Sure. I like everything.
VPJG: I’ve been playing more PC games as of late.
bobEblaze: PC games? We don’t cover those here. We have a permanent bias against that stuff, and we’re trying to keep that going.
VPJG: Sorry. I love consoles. They’re also DVD players.
VPJG: I’m looking forward to that Simpsons meets GTA game.
bobEblaze: What system you got? PS2?
VPJG: Yes.
bobEblaze: What made you pick that one?
VPJG: It’s the big one. It had GTA 3. Easy call.
bobEblaze: It wasn’t Xenosaga that won ya over huh?
VPJG: Xenowhatnow?
VPJG: If you’re going to use confusing words, I’m going to end this interview NOW.
bobEblaze: Xenosaga. The sequel to Quest of Gears VII
VPJG: There were 6 other Quest of Gears?
VPJG: Okay. I’ll take your word for it.
bobEblaze: Yes, I’m the expert
VPJG: Bebito. What the hell kind of name is that?
VPJG: Sorry, sorry. Go on.
bobEblaze: What kind of name is VPJG?
bobEblaze: I mean really, what does that stand for?
VPJG: Vice President Joshua Grutman.
bobEblaze: Vice President of what?
VPJG: High School Student Government. 6 years ago. Everyone knows it now so I didn’t change it.
bobEblaze: You were Vice President of your High School Student Government and you’re never heard of Quest of Gears?
VPJG: Amazing, huh? Let’s get to the real questions. You want meat? I got meat.
VPJG: You a wolf or a lamb?
bobEblaze: Lamb.
bobEblaze: what the blood clot are you talking about
VPJG: Cause a wolf wants meat! You’re asking questions like a lamb! Be hungry! Be a wolf!
bobEblaze: ok… i can be a wolf.
VPJG: Okay then. Ask the tough questions.
bobEblaze: so… um, you like videogames?
VPJG: Kind of, yes. meheheheheheh.
VPJG: (Lamb sound)
bobEblaze: hey! i’m trying over here!
bobEblaze: i said i don’t have my notes!
VPJG: Go on.
VPJG: Go on.
bobEblaze: just hold on a sec
bobEblaze: just you wait till i have my notes!
bobEblaze: then you’ll see!
VPJG: Man, not one much for improv are we bibeto?
VPJG: By the way, Bibeto is better. Use it. It’s free.
bobEblaze: Err, thanks. I think…
bobEblaze: Got them! Ok, here we go….
bobEblaze: Do Toejam & Earl still got the funk?
VPJG: Yes. They’re both very good. It was a stupid fun game.
bobEblaze: Dear god, these questions are whack. I can’t believe I used to ask these to people.
VPJG: Really.
bobEblaze: Um… I mean. WORD ASSOCIATION TIME!
VPJG: NO!
bobEblaze: I say something, and then you say the first thing that comes to mind.
VPJG: No way!
bobEblaze: what? why not???
VPJG: We’re going to turn the tables.
VPJG: You want to see a wolf go after the meat?
bobEblaze: ok. Anything to save this godawful interview.
VPJG: You’re the interviewee. I’m the interviewer. Let’s go.
VPJG: How old are you?
bobEblaze: Ready!
bobEblaze: 22
bobEblaze: err… 23
bobEblaze: I meant 23!
VPJG: Man. Okay. 23. And video games are your love?
VPJG: Your passion?
bobEblaze: No, actually my wife Bella is both of those. Videogames are my hobby
bobEblaze: she’s insanely hot ya know
VPJG: Right. Aren’t video games for children? You’re a 23-year-old married man. Shouldn’t you be watching football on Sunday and spend the rest of your time complaining about your wife and working?
bobEblaze: Videogames are for everyone. I spend my time on Sunday sleeping and spend the rest of my time banging my wife and working.
VPJG: Good answer! Now, how many times are you able to go with your wife? Enough to satisfy her?
VPJG: What’s wrong, lamb?
VPJG: Afraid to look the wolf in the eye as he eats his meal?
bobEblaze: what?
VPJG: Video games!
bobEblaze: she’s more than satisfied…
VPJG: We’re off that subject.
bobEblaze: oh…
VPJG: When did you first know that Mario represented Hitler?
bobEblaze: well, I was playing Super Mario Bros. 3 when… WHAT?!
VPJG: Come on! Wiping out entire races because they look different! The mustache! It’s anti-semitism at its most base.
VPJG: What’s your favorite video game?
bobEblaze: Hmf. He DOES go around stomping on people…
VPJG: We’re off that subject!
bobEblaze: oh…
VPJG: Favorite video game!
bobEblaze: Sonic!!
bobEblaze: I don’t know!
bobEblaze: YOu happy!
bobEblaze: I don’t know!!!
VPJG: The Hedgehog? Blue, runs quickly.
VPJG: You know that means you hate your father. Why do you hate him?
bobEblaze: yes. i love Sonic
VPJG: KEEP UP!
bobEblaze: wha? Oh come on! can i take back control of the interview now
VPJG: Damn you Bebito, we’ll make a wolf out of you yet!
VPJG: There you go! Yes! Take control! Be the wolf!
bobEblaze: i think i’m getting the idea…
bobEblaze: ok you ready for this gruntman??!
VPJG: Grutman. I don’t like Gruntman. Use it again and this interview is over.
VPJG: But very wolfish!
bobEblaze: You’ll take that name and like it!
bobEblaze: how was that?
bobEblaze: not too bullish?
VPJG: Not good. I really will leave if you use Gruntman again. You need to pace yourself.
bobEblaze: ok….
bobEblaze: HERE WE GO!
VPJG: Now BE THE WOLF!
bobEblaze: so you like videogames or something?
VPJG: :sigh:. Let’s do word association.
bobEblaze: hooray!
bobEblaze: Triple H
VPJG: Failing to win me back.
bobEblaze: NWA TNA
VPJG: Good match tonight between Lo Ki and AJ. First time I watched in awhile. Lo Ki is quickly becoming my favorite wrestler.
bobEblaze: Chris Beniot
VPJG: Bland but always delivers.
bobEblaze: Sega
VPJG: Genesis.
bobEblaze: PS2
VPJG: DVD’s.
bobEblaze: Xbox
VPJG: What I stick my cock into.
bobEblaze: Sonic The Hedgehog
VPJG: The reason you hate your dad.
bobEblaze: Ashish
VPJG: My best friend of all time.
bobEblaze: Widro
VPJG: Can’t act a lick. Good guy.
bobEblaze: Alex Lucard
VPJG: Was he capt. of the Enterprise or something?
bobEblaze: Chris Pankonin
VPJG: Pank likes to spank.
bobEblaze: Bebito Jackson
VPJG: meheheheheheheheh
bobEblaze: Joshua Grutman
VPJG: How I loathe him.
VPJG: bobEblaze: I hate black people.
VPJG: FOR SHAME!
bobEblaze: dude. i’m black
bobEblaze: that’s so not cool
bobEblaze: you honkies are always trying to keep us down
bobEblaze: you guys and the spics
VPJG: Man, I knew I’d offend a black person eventually. Who knew today was that day?
VPJG: Hey! My housekeeper is SPanish!
bobEblaze: i doubt she reads the down-lo
VPJG: Man, you gotta jazz up your questions some. The Toe Jam thing is weak.
VPJG: Agreed. Anything else?
bobEblaze: Have you had sex with Hyatte to get this job?
bobEblaze: this won’t be in the column
VPJG: Nope. I just wrote really well.
bobEblaze: I promise it won’t be in the column, i’m just curious
VPJG: It can be.
bobEblaze: oh come on, you can tell me
VPJG: Nope. Hyatte turned me down.
VPJG: Have you been to Flea’s new site?
bobEblaze: yup.
VPJG: Have you been there in the past 6 hours?
bobEblaze: nooooo
VPJG: There is a new addition, and it is I!
bobEblaze: plug it!
VPJG: I did f*ck Flea to get that spot.
bobEblaze: really? and yet you didn’t score higher on the IWC 100
bobEblaze: you must have sucked.
bobEblaze: ok, yeah. i’m tired
bobEblaze: let’s end this. thanks Josh
bobEblaze: any ending thoughts to wrap up this disaster
VPJG: www.1ryderfakin.com is my new home on the net! Check it out! And Bebito, let me tell you something.
bobEblaze: hm?
VPJG: You got it.
bobEblaze: “it”?
VPJG: You got it inside you. You need to let the wolf out. I’m going to recommend Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Two.
VPJG: You see these films.
VPJG: You grow as an interviewer.
bobEblaze: ok. that’s as good as any reason i can think of to kill this segment permanently
VPJG: Also, I’m sorry I made the black joke. I have three balck friends. At least I think of them as friends.
VPJG: Black, rather.
VPJG: Not balck.
VPJG: And Bebito?
bobEblaze: are you sure they’re not just one guy dressed different from day to day?
bobEblaze: yes?
VPJG: You the man!
bobEblaze: i know! *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*
bobEblaze: and um, you are too, i guess. whatever. this was weird!

(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 the Legend of Zelda sucking because it’s a cel-shaded kids game. In those cases I’ll make some explicit comments about your mother’s occupation and then block you.)



411 GAMES QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Well, the N-Gage may be one hell of an advanced system, but such advancements in technology come at a price.
Alex Williams — (Cheat! 08.13.03)

Cheat! (To Win!) is quickly becoming one of my favorite columns within the 411 Games family. In his latest edition not only does AW throw out the latest and hottest codes for your favorite game releases, the guy comes up with the most detailed look at the Nokia N-Gage that I’ve seen ANYWHERE and compares it to the current handheld champ, the GBA. That’s more than worth the price of your click right there. Read Cheat!, because anyone who’s a fellow Sonic fan MUST write one heck of a column.

ALSO: Be sure to read A Thumb To They Eye by Chuck Platt, here every Tuesday with the Down-Lo. Meaning that guy is on the site RIGHT NOW. Go check him out.



DLV OF THE WEEK

Thanks to import shop NCS, we now know the Japanese ship dates for the PS2 Sega Ages series. The first three volumes in this series are Phantasy Star, Monaco GP, and Fantasy Zone, and are set to ship on August 28 with a retail of Y2500 each (about $25). For those who don’t know, Phantasy Star is the initial installment in Sega’s famous RPG series, which features interplanetary travel and talking cats. Yes, I said talking cats. It’s still awesome. This game was also re-released on the GBA’s Phantasy Star Collection, but the PS2 remake features sweeter graphics and will also probably sound a bit better. In addition Sega plans on releasing remakes of subsequent Phantasy Stars with the same updates.

Monaco GP is a racing title, plain and simple. But given the history of Sega’s racing titles (Outrun, Sega Rally, Daytona), this title is sure to feature the same tight control and fun gameplay fans have come to expect.

Fantasy Zone is a horizontal shooter, and was last seen on the Sega Master System. It was also accessible as a hidden mini-game in Arnold Palmer’s Tournament Golf for the Genesis. This title is probably the lesser known of the three remakes, but all of you PSO mag hackers will recognize the Opa Opa ship immediately.

And Space Harrier is… wait, ya know what? You should KNOW what Space Harrier, Golden Axe, and all of these titles are! They’re the bloody classics for sweet Mary’s sake! How can you NOT pick up a remake of the original Phantasy Star for only $25! NO, SERIOUSLY, how can you??!? It’s like buy one get one free time at those little shops in the mall that make the cinnamon-sugar covered pretzels for an entire week! You can’t beat that kind of deal! Yall know what I’m talking about. Especially when they just got done making them, and they’re all still warm, and the freaking pretzel melts in your mouth with the tastes of sugar, butter, and some fantastic flavor that can only be described as happiness. That’s what Sega Ages is like! Delicious guilty-like pleasures without the high cholesterol! If for some ungodly reason you don’t know what the dilly-o is with these games, or you doubt the quality of the remakes, please download one of these videos. I’m making it easy for you people. They’re in ASX format, easily watchable on Windows Media player, and I’ve given you two versions to choose from. One for you snail modem users, and one for those of you, probably at work, that can partake of the high-speed goodness. Takes only seconds either way. See why I’m going to LOSE MY MIND and gnaw off my left foot in a bloody display of cannibalism if Sega doesn’t bring this version of Phantasy Star, or all of the other Sega Ages remakes here to the North America. Not exaggerating, I’ve got the fork and knife READY.

Down-Lo Video Preview:

(DLV OF THE WEEK: Sega Ages 2500 — 56k, Low Quality)
(DLV OF THE WEEK: Sega Ages 2500 — ISN-DSL, High Quality)


Video & info courtesy of GamesAreFun.

That’s a wrap! Next week, I’m going to do something that I’ve NEVER done in my entire career of writing for the site. I’m taking a week off. Bella and my 1-year-wedding anniversary is this Saturday, so taking the time to even think about anything 411 related sounds ridiculous to my brain right now. Thus you’ll have to do without your rumor / comedy / T&A / Matt Hardin email fix for one week. Hey, two people in love over here! Hope you all get some this weekend too! Peace, I’m out.

SIGNING OFF…

(411 DOWN-LO OFFLINE: END TRANSMISSION…)