Inside Pulse 12

Retrograding 10.08.03

Retrograding 10.08.03
Teaser: State of the Union Address

Right people. You’ve probably noticed I’ve moved from Friday’s to Weds. That’s because Alex Williams has moved on to doing news and that leaves us with a blank column. Until we fill this spot, I’ll be doing Weds news. We’ve got three people we’re waiting to hear back from about today’s spot that I know of: Misha, Bill Quinn, and old Ron Yip. We’ll see what happens, but until that time ol’ HBK is pulling double duty on hump day. I’m sure I’ll get some comment about that ;-)

Anyways, let’s cover a few things.

Upcoming Features

You loved the Gamecube feature. We know. We thank you. We appreciate it. And because you’ve let us know what you like, we’re going to be doing some more wacky shit for you guys.

1. Proof that the Sega CD system did not suck

That says it all right there. Myself, Liquidcross, A2, Big Daddy Cool, Bryan Berg and Fred Badlissi are putting it together, showing why we’re all proud to own the Sega CD, and why it’s got a fond spot in our heart. Not like that damned CD-I. I got too close to that thing and my doc is STILL trying to figure out how it managed to damage my colon like that.

2. The Scariest Moments in Video Gaming

Consider this the ULTIMATE Mailbag edition of Retrograding. We want letters. LOTS of letters. Yes, even more than I normally get. ;-) We want your stories, your experiences, and even your cheesy one liners about moments in video gaming where you actually jumped, got creeped out, or crapped your pants. And who better to collect them all then the IRL twin of Yoshitaka Amano’s most beloved creation. And if any of you actually think it’s Cloud Strife…I’m going to weep in shame.

Seriously though, write in. Tell us how the original Scissorsman scared the living hell out of you even if the graphics weren’t the best. Or How you freaked when Eternal Darkness told you your memory card was erased. Or when you saw people buying Tomb Raider; Angel of Darkness and trying to convince others to join them down the path of insanity.

And of course, your favorite games team will put in their two cents as well. Anyone guess if I’ll mention HELL NIGHT?

3. 411Comics + 411Games = Holy Mega Bruce Lee and Dick Ward style team ups Batman!

Simply put, I’ve been working with Daron, the Dark Overlord of 411comics on this little baby. And who better to team up between the zones? Both resident lords of evil baby! I think a few members of out staff are slightly aware of what’s going on, but by the time you read this, we’ll just be laying out the final ground work for this ubersized project. And it’s going to involve three certain companies that are used to teaming up together. And a lot of 411 fan participation.

Seriously though 16 teams. 48 familiar characters. And NO Pikachu in sight. But hey, as long as I get to see Shingo Yabuki with Rom the Space Knight or Blue Mary vs Morrigan, I’ll be a happy mother f*cker.

4.The Ratings Drive-By

Quick little mini reviews of all the games we covered in the previous month. I can’t believe how close Pokemon Pinball came to kicking Football’s butt for Game of the Month. And it SHOULD have. If only to make you all realize how great that game is. Why of why can I convince you all to buy Hamtaro but not Pokemon?

Seriously though, it’s a great read, even if we all do find Soul Calibur 2 over-rated.

Alex’s N-Gage Launch Party

Right. So besides today being the day Demikids came out. Or Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children to elitist f*cks like myself, It was the launch of the N-Gage today. A day that will live in infamy. It’s funny to see how many people in the VG journalism industry have whored themselves out to Nokia’s pocketbooks. Gamespot and EB Games are the worst of the lot and I have to say I’m very ashamed of them. And so me being me (aka a complete and utter asshole), I decided to save people for the horror of the N-Gage while on my lunch break.

Sure enough there were actual half a dozen or so people playing with the N-gage demo in Electronics Boutique when I went in to pick up my precious Demikids games so that Lee and I could have reviews done by this weekend. But alas, they weren’t coming in until tomorrow. Bastard store. But instead of getting mad, I instead noticed tucked away against a corner was a little sign reading ‘Neo Geo Pocket Colour: System + 6 games: 79.99$; 4 game expansion pack: 39.99$’ I of course asked if they in fact had any Neo Geo Pocket Colours left, and proclaimed my amazement that such a great and wonderful system featuring games like Capcom vs SNK: MOTM, Baseball Stars, and Samurai Showdown 2 could possibly be left. ESPECIALLY when one could get a system and ten games for under 130$ when the N-Gage was twice as much for JUST the system.

Obviously the storekeep was a bit miffed that I was talking down the N-Gage, especially after EB was basically forcing their employees to pedal this gigantic piece of crap. But he sure wanted my 130 bones, especially as he knew I was coming back to give him another 60 tomorrow. So he handed it over. And here’s the really evil bit. I had batteries with. And popped them in. And started playing Match of the Millennium right there. And the wacky pack of N-Gagers took one look at the shitty Tomb Raider demo or game or who cares as it had shitty Lara Croft on the screen and thus played like it was made by drunken Irishman, but considering Eidos is a UK Company it probably WAS made by drunken Irishman ,but who cares because the game’s shit and there’s no such thing as a sober person on ANY of those Isles anyways, or anyone with naturally straight teeth as well, f*cking England can go to hell especially Croyden and the Home Office, that bunch of inbred cockney speaking retards, and YES I obviously do still have issues about the hell that was my year living abroad and YES I realize this is supposed to be the worlds longest run on Sentence and Yes I am about to end it right now. And then they looked at how much better the old and wonderful Neo Geo Pocket Colour looked and then the magic happened.

“Holy shit. I want one of those.”

Four kids. FOUR OF THE SIX who were actually trying to be entertained by the horror and kick to the balls of video gaming that is the N-Gage walked up to the counter and wanted a Neo Geo of their own. See, the realized they could get nigh a dozen games AND a system that could have competed with the GBA had people only stopped being stupid f*cking sheep and actually purchased the NGPC after years and years of whining about Nintendo dominating the handheld scene only to be revealed as the poseurs they actually were when a better product came along. Sorry. You guys know how easily I get pissed when I think about my beloved.

But see, 66% of the people interested in the N-Gage today realized they could get a system for 300$, spend an extra 100$ for a memory card and then another $100 for three games for a grand total of 500$ lost to the evil that is Nokia. OR, or or or or or, they could have spent a FOURTH of that money and picked themselves up a Neo Geo Pocket Colour. A REAL video game system. And ten games. What you rather have people? Tomb Raider or Fatal Fury? 380$ left over to make a car payment or a student loan reduction or a good chunk of rent being paid? Or an N-Gage? People, don’t be that guy who buys an N-Gage. It’s like being a guy who goes to a concert and wears a T-Shirt of the band he’s going to see. DON’T BE THAT GUY!

And to cap off my Neo Geo loving, I bought two copies of Cardfighter’s Clash (SNK and Capcom versions) And Dark Arms tonight. Now, if anyone has a copy of Gal Fighters or Baseball Stars they are willing to sell, well you know my email.

Now you may ask, “Alex, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to condemn the N-Gage, when you love all handheld systems? When you’ve tried to convince your readers to buy a Wonderswan? Or a NGPC? Or a GP32?” Well, to that I say no. None of those systems took away my ability to PLAY DREAMCAST GAMES ONLINE! No More Touken Retsuden 4! No more Vampire Chronicles! No More Super Street Fighter 2 For Matching Service! All gone! ALL GONE! And it’s because of Nokia. So f*ck you Cellphone boys, you crossed the line when you destroyed my ability to play as the king of all fighting game characters, Donovan Bane, against people who language I probably butcher to the point of embarrassment every time I speak it. Plus Nokia was stupid enough to trash talk the GBA to the point of looking like arrogant idiots, and then proceeded to give us a third rate system that the GAME GEAR could have out performed. I have NEVER, EVER wanted to see a system die as much as I do the N-Gage. Not the CD-I. Not the Jaguar. Not even the 3DO. But Nokia has created a system that f*cks over the gaming public every step of the way and actually expects people to buy it. You can by a PS2 AND a Gamecube for the price of an N-Gage. Seriously people, if any of you actually have the balls to buy a N-gage, please, PLEASE email the 411games staff. We need to ear your logic for buying a piece of crap that actually charges you a C note just to save your games.

But for those of you still looking for an alternative to shitty cell phone based gaming, or just want an option other than the GBA, it’s not too late for you to stand up and grab that NGPC. Here, I’ll even include the links for you.

System and 6 games for 80$!

Four more games for 40$!

Buy it people. BUY IT! Ten games and a system for 120! That’s 12$ a game. GREAT Games. Puzzle Bobble! Sonic! Last Blade! SNK VS CAPCOM! These are games you will only find on the NGPC. And you can get them for DIRT CHEAP! I can’t stress enough to you how buying this ‘dead’ system will send a message to not only Nokia, sowing you prefer something GOOD over something new, but to Nintendo as well, showing them an old system still has life as long as the games are GREAT. And also to Sony. Telling them to make sure the games on the PSP are good as well or they too will suffer the fate of the N-Gage. And of course, to SNK. Because buying this will show them how much we love them. And love getting SVC Chaos on the DC. And the eventual Samurai Showdown 0 game. And that they must never, EVER, go away again. Or Alex will snap big time.

Redoing the Ratings System

We’ve been talking about this for months on the 411games forums. And actually, I’ve been talking about it since I came on board. Right now, we’re considering changing how we do reviews big time in the games sections. Doing away with the 4 point standard we use, and possibly going to a ten point set of criteria by which to judge games. You’ve already seen us list our ratings scores on the Ratings Drive-By column that went up Monday. And hopefully people that just do reviews around here will have read that. Not because they suck. Far from it. Just so we have a unified Scoring system. So we all know what a 7.5 or a 4.0 means for a game. This came about because we noticed Chuck, Bebito and myself were using a 5.0 for an average game, and Pankonin and Lee were using a 7.0 or so for an average game. HUGE difference there. So of course the side with Big Daddy Cool and HBK won.

Seriously people, check out the ratings score. It’ll make things a lot clearer to you.

But there’s a second part to it. The original Retrograding from way back in January that sparked this discussion. Please 411games readers. Re-read it. And let us know if you’d prefer a more in-depth analysis covering a game on these ten points instead of just control, graphics, sound, and fun factor. Either way, it’s up to Pankonin. Unless he decided other than what I want and I’m forced to stoop to blackmail. KIDDING! KIDDING!

Bookmark it though people. As it just may be the new standard bearer for 411games.

Of course, I COULD keep going down the Ultimate Rudo road I started last week by pointing out Chris and Widro had a talk about the ratings change and now there’s a discussion on the staff forums about a mania wide change over, but if I did that it would only further point out that we’re innovators and arrogant jerks to boot. ;-) HEEL! HEEL! HEEEEEEEEEEEL!

So you like reviews, eh?

Alright. I’m working on a database of games for 411 games. Inside will be literally HUNDREDS of quicky reviews for all systems, from the NES to the Turbo Duo. I did two dozen GBA games over the weekend and I’ll be adding more to it this week. But before it goes up we need two things. The first is of course Widro and Ashish to find a way to make it work on the page. That’s a wee nip of a problem to figure out. The second is making sure you guys would want that. Who’s up for a few hundred quicky reviews that you can search by score instead of a big 4-5 page writeup? Would you be willing to have that in addition to the usual reviews? And would you rather have it readable on line ala a search engine or would you prefer it to be a downloadable Excel or Word based table that you can download each week with new content. Enquiring minds want to know!

If you want an example aka be a Beta Tester for the idea, email me and I’ll shoot you over a sloppy word table of what it will contain and the GBA games reviewed so far.

The End

Right. That’s most of what’s going on beyond the scenes at 411games right now. Not your usual Retrograding article, but then, as I’ve learned from your emails, Retrograding appears to be more about the eclectic than the antiquarian. And I’ll be back Friday or Saturday with another RG column. Until then, get those emails coming!