Is it Tuesday yet? It is? GREAT! I get to do another news column!
Last week was cut a bit short due to the holiday, but this week is a different story. Here, you get TONS of news, a brand new commentary, and the Cheat! section from two weeks ago. I’ll explain THAT part later.
Anyway, I picked up two Atlus RPGs during the weekend. Thanks to Lucard and crew, I’m now the proud owner of Demi Kids Light Version and Dis… uh… Disgaea? YES! I SPELLED IT RIGHT! Anyway, I’m liking the titles so far. I’m having a bit of trouble with Disgaea since I have no idea which characters to create. But I have a decent team right now, so things should work out for the best.
Anyway, I’ve kept you up here for too long. Time to get you down THERE where all the good stuff is. ON WITH THE NEWS!
DDR Extreme CS Released in Japan
If you read me, you know that if ANYTHING involving DDR happens, it gets the top story. And lookie here, a new DDR’s been released!
The official home version of DDR Extreme was released last Thursday. (For those who want to know, “CS” means “Consumer Soft”.) Included in the game are a LOT of things:
–111 Total Songs
–25 Nonstop Courses, including Custom Order
–30 Oni Courses, including Custom Order
–58 Dancing Characters
–Diet Mode with Workout Courses
–7 Songs from MAX2 USA
–4 Songs Never Seen on a home Console, including a new Max remix (MAX. [Period])
I have to say that despite all the repeats and other things I’m a bit iffy on, this is one cool mix. The only thing that I don’t get is that I’ve seen importers complain about some of the same things when they appeared on MAX2 USA a mere two weeks beforehand. Again, it gives them a reason to compare apples to oranges (Japan to America) and label our DDR games as inferior. Never mind that we don’t have arcade mixes to serve as guidelines. Never mind that Konami of JAPAN develops our mixes. Never mind that they include some great stuff on our home mixes before Japan ever SAW them at home. (Oni Mode, Workout Courses, a grand total of 18 songs, dancing characters on a MAX/Extreme interface) It gives me a headache just thinking about it.
(Information can be found at DDRFreak)
I’ll Give You Two Terry’s For Your Mai!
Next month, SNK is going to release King of Fighters 2000/2001 for the PS2. They’re also going to include a ton of extra stuff for you SNK loyalists.
First, SNK is going to add a few new modes to the games. In KOF 2000, you’ll be able to choose new strikers in the main fighting modes. There will also be a “Memory Mode”, where you can view the opening movies of past KOR titles.
In KOF 2001, there will be “Party Mode”. So far, it looks like a special survival mode, but we don’t know much more than that.
Also included with the package is a pack of special trading cards. Each pack will contain 5 cards out of a set of 27. The catch is that these cards won’t be available outside of buying the game. So, if you want to complete this collection, you’re either going to have to (1) Buy copy after copy of the game, or (2) Pray that eBay has some sweet auctions going on.
Now who here do we know that would go to such great lengths to complete such a collection…hmmm…let me think…Bebito? Nah…Baxley? No…Just WHO am I thinking of?!?…
(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
No Outrun For You! NEXT!
Going back to Japan for a bit, it turns out that Sega decided NOT to release X-Box versions of Virtua Cop 3 and Outrun 2. Which seems weird, because the games run on the X-Box based Chihiro arcade hardware. Port of the two games would have been VERY easy.
Virtua Cop 3 was canned because developing the right light gun would have raised the price of the game too high. Outrun 2 was canned due to declining sales of the Japanese X-Box.
Now, I have NO idea if this impacts any American releases of these games, but you’ll know when I know. And I don’t know. So YOU don’t know. You know? No, you don’t! ‘Cause I don’t know! And if I don’t know…you don’t know…so…I’m confused…
(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
GTA3: Great Things Additional…uh…3
More news just came out about the special GTA Double Pack for the X-Box, all of it on Grand Theft Auto 3. Apparently, the game is receiving a MAJOR overhaul for the PS2–>X-Box translation. Quoted directly from Games Are Fun)
This Just In! Nintendo Kicking Ass In Europe!
I was about to end the news section of the column, but I HAD to report this. As you know, the GameCube not only received a price drop here, but in Europe as well. Right now, its only effective in the UK, but it WILL be effective in the rest of Europe by the 17th of this month.
Anyway, in the UK, the GC is now Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£79. And in the first two days of the price drop, GC sales rose 400%. Nintendo is obviously VERY happy with…
…Hold on, let me read that again…
GC sales rose 400%.
FOUR HUNDRED FUCKING PERCENT!!!
Lets let that sink in for a while.
Anyway, Nintendo is very happy, and is looking to capitalize on this massive increase with their killer software line-up come Christmas time. As for the rest of Europe, keep an eye out when the GC drops to 99 Euros this Thursday. And it will be sweet. Oh yes. It WILL be sweet!
(Credit goes to GameSpot)
And that’s this week’s news. Now for something that should have been in this column two friggin’ weeks ago…
I had this exact section in the column two weeks ago. The catch is, for some reason, it got lost when it was posted. An entire section. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Still, it’s a new week, so lets see if the game actually shows up. So, this week’s game is:
THE SIMPSONS: HIT AND RUN (GameCube, X-Box)
The Simpsons finally found their niche in the video game world: ripping off other games. And they do it again here!
Anyway, to get these codes to work, go to the Options menu, hold L&R together, and type these codes in:
BABA: New Camera Angels
YYXX: One hit kills (all cars will explode if you ram them or if they ram you, including cops and bosses)
XXXY: Press your horn for high flying jumps
BBYX: Secret cars replaced by red box racer
YYBX: Show speedometer
XXXX: Super Fast Cars
ABAB: Unlocks all cars for new game. Must be typed in with complete save loaded.
YAYA: Your car is Invincible
YYYY: Your cars are 5 times faster than normal
The button combinations are the same for both systems, or so I’m told. And I apologize for not having the PS2 version codes here. I just couldn’t find them for some reason. (D’OH!)
(Credit goes to GameFAQs)
And now for something pretty special…
Commentary: I Ain’t No Sheep
Bear with me as I come to a very sensitive subject. A subject that’s been discussed so many times, it’s become redundant. You’ve heard the term before, I’m sure. Trolling along a message board or two, a rabid discussion about Game X going on, when all of the sudden, so ignorant no-name decides to flame with this word:
Yes, fanboy. It’s a literal dirty word in our gaming community. Mention it in ANY given forum at ANY given time and watch the flames pile up.
But just what is a fanboy, anyway? Well, from what I understand it, a “fanboy” or “fangirl” is just that; a fan of a particular thing. It could be a gaming company, like Sega or Nintendo. It could be a game series, like Zelda or Street Fighter, It could be a home console. An arcade game. ANYTHING fits in this category, as long as it has fans.
Now, it’s okay to be a fan, but a “fanboy” will take the fandom to unhealthy levels. They’ll accept anything in the category of fandom as 100% gold, despite any major flaws, kinks, or loose ends addressed. They’ll devote their entire lives to the given subject. They’ll talk about it endlessly in chat rooms, message boards, and real life friends. They’ll obsess over ever little detail. They’ll worship the ground that company walks on for producing such a “fine” product. They might even write fanfiction and/or compose music based on their love. (Which isn’t too unhealthy, but if left unchecked, could produce drastic results.) And they’ll end up annoying the crap out of those just couldn’t give a damn.
Many of us have seen these fanboys out and about. On the Internet, they’ll talk at length about their passions everywhere they go. Say something to the contrary, and BOY, they’ll let you have it! Off the Internet, you’ll see them dressed in meticulously designed costumes of their favorite characters in a convention, or chatting it up with the local comic book storeowner about every nuance of a given subject. If you’re not a fan, or have nothing to add to the conversation, it gets annoying to hear them, doesn’t it? I’ve dealt with my share over the past eight years or so, and it isn’t fun, believe me.
The other thing about fanboys, I’ve noticed, is that they love converting other people into equal or lesser fanboys on the same subject. Someone hasn’t heard of Final Fantasy? Well, the FF fanboy easily trains that someone by letting them play all the games, read all the literature, reciting detailed bios of all the characters from memory, etc. And when THEY become the fanboys, they’ll develop the same tendencies as their mentors. And we have a NEW generation of know-it-alls on our hands.
Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating here, but for the most part, I’m not. I’ve known plenty of fanboys, and a lot of it is unhealthy. Perhaps you know them as well. Go to your local Star Wars geek and watch him/her ramble for hours over the schematics of the Millenium Falcon. Watch some Trekkies argue over who is the better captain: Picard or Kirk? Look to your right to see your best friend recite every lyric from Eminem’s latest album… backwards. Fandom is all around us, and it ain’t the healthy kind.
However, a lot of us pity these fanboys. They don’t know what they are missing out on with all these other games on the market, right? We’re obviously more intelligent than they are when telling what sucks and what doesn’t, right? We can make them look like complete and utter fools because we know better, right?
Hold on there, Sparky. This thing goes both ways, you know.
For every fanboy there is in the world, there’s an anti-fanboy to take their place. An anti-fanboy is the exact opposite of a fanboy. They HATE the material the other fanboys like. And there isn’t any logic to support this hate, either. Its just blind hatred, with no rhyme or reason to support it. And these anti-fanboys can’t keep this hatred to themselves, no no! They have to tell EVERYONE about how much something “sucks” so badly, or how a certain character displays homoerotic tendencies. They’re the bullies at the schoolyard that make fun of the young Trekkies. They’re the morons on the Internet who troll on fan boards and blast games, systems, companies, and anyone who may show a slightest bit of interest towards them. They’ll set up anti-fan web pages. They’ll compose fanfiction where everyone dies a gruesome death just to prove the point that they hate, hate, hate this game/company/system/etc. Never mind if they’ve been banned from 18 different forums for this. They’ll go somewhere else and continue the verbal spew of sewage.
And look at what happens when THEY convert someone! Using Final Fantasy as an example again, I’ve seen complete and total loyalists to the game turn a complete 180 and go “You know what? You’re right! This game DOES blow!” because of the anti-fanboys. They’ll get rid of all their games, trade in the system they played it on, and get something else they THINK they’ll have more fun with. Never mind that they spent hours having fun with something they enjoyed. All of that time is somehow magically WASTED now as they sit with there new, “better” games, looking for the same enjoyment they found before. And yet, they feel somehow empty inside.
I know, because I feel the same way.
I used Final Fantasy as an example because I do enjoy the series. I liked going through Final Fantasy VII once, even with all the plot holes. I like FFIX, even though I never got to finish it. I played FFIV when it came out on the PSX, and downright LOVED it when I couldn’t say the same for any other Final Fantasy game released. I even enjoyed FFX. I thought the voices really brought out the characters in a way the other FF games couldn’t have. The story seemed a bit more cohesive, and a tiny bit easier to understand than its predecessors. I liked the game. Not as much as I love other RPGs, but I liked spending time in that game.
Then some anti-fanboyism got into me thanks to this big ol’ Internet of ours. I began to think that the FF games were now all CRAP because there were infinitely “better” RPGs out on the market. Sure there WERE quality wise, but most didn’t interest me. The FF games sat on my shelf, unplayed. I’m not a FF or Square fanboy by any means, but I still scoffed at the games I previously enjoyed. Then, I traded EVERY ONE I GOT to buy Xenosaga. It was what I thought was a good decision at the time. Now, I curse myself for getting rid of such gems as FFIV and FFX. I mean, Xenosaga is an EXCELLENT game, but now IT sits on my shelf, only 35% completed, not played in months. I’ll probably have to start a brand new game to get the story down again. That is, IF I play the game again.
So I’ve been thinking recently. Between the fanboys and anti-fanboys, there really isn’t much difference between them. They display the same characteristic, the same flaws. They act completely the same in their behavior. It’s only what drives it that makes them different. Love or hate. So I’ve come to a conclusion. I’m going to take every fanboy or anti-fanboy and group them into one category:
A sheep is someone who displays unhealthy tendencies to either worship or damn something that does not deserve such treatment. The sheep have been conditioned to act this way through some means. Whether a game company shoved it down their throat, or someone told them to like or dislike an item, they are part of a collective dedicated to the love or hate of that item. Game system, game company, game…anything can fit in that category. Sometimes the sheep will change flocks, but they are still sheep; forever being herded by a few unstable minds.
Well, I for one am not going to be a sheep any longer.
I’m going to be my own person.
I’m going to play the games I enjoy, and dislike the games I can’t get into. Someone may have a different opinion, but I’ll respect it. Someone may agree with me, but not as much, and I’ll respect that.
And by the same token, I will not convert anyone to my way of thinking. When I do these commentaries, they largely involve my opinion of things. You may not agree with my opinions, but that is your right. No one said you HAVE to take everything we here at 411Games say as the universal truth.
And I will not endlessly obsess over games either. I may like a game, know a lot about it, and play it a lot, but NO game completely rules my life. I can’t let that happen anyway. I have school to finish. I have a family that needs me. I have friends I want to spend time with. I’m engaged to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’m gonna MARRY her some day! Sure, writing the occasional fanfiction piece is okay, but I will NEVER let a game rule my life.
And that is my stand. I will not be part of either extreme. I will be my own person.
But the question is, what will YOU do?
And if the answer is “Hey, you’re right! I want to be exactly like you!”, than you missed the point entirely.
Plugs and Shills That Pay the Bills
Another week, another ton of all-star material. Lets get to it…
News You Can Use
BAKA News Report — Lee Baxley
The Hump Day gets a name change for one week only, if only to educate some yahoo about otakuism and such. And he does it quite well, if I do say so myself. So the lesson is clear: NEVER cross The Bad Guy in a bad mood. EVER.
Thank God It’s Thursday News Report — Bryan Berg
Bryan doesn’t need to change the name of his column to generate attention. (Neither does Lee, but he’s in a league all his own.) He talks about the ERSB, Half-Life 2, and the Zelda disc. He DIDN’T talk about the N-Gage being a flop among flops. He reserves that job for yours truly. (BA-ZING!)
Gamer’s Hangover News Report — Cory Laflin
Cory’s happy about the Chiefs. I’m pissed about the Redskins. Thank GOD they don’t meet up this football season, otherwise I’d have to start a Net feud with him on that given week. And I hate to say it, but I didn’t fast on Yom Kippur for reasons I care not to disclose. God punished me by glitching my DDR pads the night before. (D’OH!) And no, that does NOT mean I used a holiday as an excuse for a short column! So BACK OFF…er…imaginary accuser!
Reviews You Can Use
Cabela’s Deer Hunt 2004 Season (XB) — Jeff Watson
Jeff Watson likes shooting innocent animals…and he still works here? (BWAHAHAHA! I took a clever jab at Jeff again! I might be starting a pointless Internet feud! And he might retaliate in the next column! I’m SO-OO FUNNY1 HAHAHAHA!)
Retrograding ADVANCE: Shining Soul (GBA) — Alex Lucard
Lucard reviews the new Shining game, and gives it a 6.5. Don’t let that fool you, however. According to Lucard, it’s better than average. And soon, it will be according to everyone else as well!
Columns You Can…Uh…Use
A Thumb To The Eye — Chuck Platt
Chuckie is now my favorite writer on the site. This column is easily the best he’s ever done. It’s a “Where Are They Now?” column involving rare/obscure game characters. It also reveals the REAL reason on how I got the choice Tuesday spot. Thanks, Chuck! I’m in your debt!
Retrograding — Alex Lucard
It’s a hodge-podge column this week in typical…uh…Lucardian style. He talks about upcoming features on the site (proving WE ARE KICK-ASS!), his experience with the N-Gage (i.e. converting people to the NGPC), our new, upcoming ratings system, and our review database. And he still rules all while doing it.
The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
LC speaks out against morons who label games like Kirby and Mario as “kiddy games”. I mean, sheesh guys! Do you REALLY expect 4 or 5 year olds to pull off those complicated moves in Super Mario Sunshine? Wind Waker MAY look childish, but controlling it takes precision and fine motor-skills. LC is dead on here.