Encore Extra Stage News Report 10.24.03

Well now, this is interesting! Me covering the Friday spot? Where’s the guy that’s usually here?

It’s a sad story, really. Little ol’ Jeffy admitted to buying an N-Gage. And as we all know, that’s a mark of DEATH amongst the 411 Staff. So Lucard, Jackson, and Baxley, and myself dragged him kicking and screaming to our gaming GOD: Eggplant Wizard. He in his infinite wisdom administered an adequate punishment: turning him into an eggplant! (Granted this is the ONLY punishment he gives out, but who am I to judge the great Wiz himself?) Anyway, once the deed was done, the Rumor Monkey appeared out of nowhere! He got carried away, and ATE the eggplant formerly known as Watson! It was horrible, yet strangely erotic in a way. Eggplant juice was EVERYWHERE. Rumor Monkey nearly got penalized for cannibalism……Of course, I’m just kidding!

I don’t know if this is going to be a weekly gig or not. I DO know that I got the definitely have THIS week. So if you came here expecting Watson, I’m happy sorry to disappoint you. If you just come here for Friday news, you won’t be disappointed in the least, I promise.

But there will be a “slight” change in the format. NO SHORT TOP TEN LISTS!

Introduction: finished. News: NOW!
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TOP STORY: The N-Gage: Too Funny For A Witty Title

Well, there haven’t been any real DDR revelations in the past few days, so today’s top story goes to something else. Today, it’s everyone’s favorite whipping boy, the N-Gage.

I realize this has been pointed out already, but I just can’t stop beating this dead horse. During the N-Gage’s launch week, fewer than 5,000 units were sold. That is a pitiful number, especially when you consider that during the GBA’s launch week, 540,000 units were sold.

So when comparing the two launch weeks, the GBA outsold the N-Gage by 108 times the amount. 108 TIMES!!!

Excuse me for a second while I clean the laughter drool from my keyboard.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
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It’ll Still Gather Dust, No Matter HOW Much It Is!

Another N-Gage story. Nothing’s confirmed yet, but Nokia’s “considering” lowering the price of their phone/game system to $199.99.

Oh yeah, that’ll work! That’ll make people play it! Especially since I’d STILL be able to buy a GBA SP and three excellent games for the same price!

Is there any truth to this rumor? Does anyone really CARE?

(Credit goes to The Magic Box)
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Thanks to DOA XB, My Fears of Hot Women Are Cured!

In a recent study, the researchers at the “Universite du Quebec en Outaouais” in Quebec, Canada say that video games are useful in treating and curing certain phobias. Examples cited include treating arachnophobia with a Half-Life environment full of spiders, or using Unreal Tournament to treat the fear of heights.

In a related story, the researchers used Disgaea and Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete to cure Final Fantasy addicts who were afraid of good RPGs. Details at 11!

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
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OMG! teH Ston e cOLd STunner!!!11 H3’s 1337! h3s 1337!

One, I apologize for the title of this story. It won’t happen again for the rest of the day.

Two, Yukes is developing an online wrestling game in Japan, and has released some interesting details. Here’s a quick run down of things old and new:

–The game is called “On-Line Pro Wrestling
–The game is for the PS2, and will support the online adaptor and hard drive.
–You’ll be able to play others online, and download additional content.
–It will cost 500 yen ($4.50) a month for service.
–The game will sell for 4,800 yen ($43). This is lower than normal for a new release.
–No real-life wrestlers will be licensed, but you will have the option of creating them.

And for the record, this is the first Yukes title since NJPW to NOT feature the WWE license.

An interesting development. I think we can safely assume that WWE Smackdown 6 will make use of this engine, thus rendering an outside life for Scott Keith virtually useless. (Kidding! I’m kidding!)

(Credit goes to Gamers.com)
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And Now, A Retraction

Everybody makes mistakes, right? Just look at Jeff Watson. He makes one every week! (BWAHAHAHAHAHA! This NEVER gets old!)

Seriously, in my last 411MAX, I reported that the famous Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games were going to be remade and put out in a collection on the X-Box. Well, reader Myles McNutt wrote to me, claiming that the story was more along the lines of an IGN rumor. Which is odd, because I pulled the story from Games Are Fun. So I go back to check the site, and lo and behold, I couldn’t find the story anymore! Pulled, perhaps?

So anyway, I officially retract the story as fact, and will leave it as “rumor status.” (Hey, a few more rumors, and I can call this the Down-Lo!)

(Thanks to Myles McNutt for clarification.)
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CHEAT!

Tuesday I gave you classic tips for SMB3 on the NES. So to compliment it…

SUPER MARIO ADVANCE 4: SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 3

I don’t have much on the game yet, but here are some interesting bonuses you can get:

–Once you beat the game, you can go back to ANY stage you’ve beaten. This includes Hammer Brothers, Fortresses, Castles, Toad Houses, and Sliding Puzzles.

–In certain stages, you’ll see a special “coin emblem block”. Touch it to activate a special mission where you must collect a certain number of coins. If you accomplish this, you’ll receive a secret item from a Toad House!

Short, but sweet today. Check back on Tuesday for more!

(Credit goes to Me, Myself, and I!)
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Encore Extra Stage Recap

Assuming I keep doing this weekly, Fridays will be a bit different than Tuesdays. Commentaries will go on Tuesdays like always, while on Fridays, I’ll have a quick “news of the week” recap section…done entirely in HAIKU! Enjoy!

G-T-A X-Box
Will have custom soundtracks. Duh.
Like you are surprised.

X-Box DDR
Ultramix has now gone gold!
It’s in stores next month.

N-Gage didn’t sell
Even five thousand units.
Laughed until I cried.

Studies indicate
Phobias can be treated
With video games?

It’s a controller
Made for the first person games!
I ain’t buyin’ one.

Sam and Max will be
Offered free if you pre-buy
Armed and Dangerous

Activision is
Getting sued by Robert Crais.
What a waste of time.

Sega profits up!
Arcade machines doing well
Over in Japan!

Takara now owns
Atlus and Konami both
Alex Lucard weeps.

Leisure Suit Larry
Might be coming back again.
Horny teens unite!

Billy Hatcher was
Reviewed by Bebito, and
He REALLY likes Nights!

Confused by these things?
Read the other news reports
For extra details.

That was quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, now that I think about it. Which means, of course, that it will be featured AGAIN in some way, shape, or form.
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Plugs & Shills That Pay The Bills

There’s ALWAYS time for more entertainment from the 411 cast. Here’s what happened between Tuesday and Thursday:

News You Can Use

411MAX: News News Revolution — Guess Who
As of right now, I give myself FULL SHAMLESS SELF-PLUGGING PRIVILEGES! And I start with Tuesday’s column! Go read the Squall bit again. Or for the first time. Or…whatever, really.

Hump Day Otaku News Report — Lee Baxley
Light on gaming news, but makes up for it tremendously with survey results, the “Obaka-san” of the week, anime news, and a mini-review! He is also a devout worshipper of the Eggplant Wizard. And as long as I have a voice, he WILL be the 411Games mascot! And this week, I have two! Be afraid, Widro. Be VERY afraid.

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report — Bryan Berg
Bryan Berg’s got a WONDERFUL piece on the N-Gage, talking about flawed marketing strategies and the questioning of who the audience is. Now, I like a good N-Gage bashing as much as the next guy, but Bryan took it to the next level. Clear, concise arguments, complete with a cool attitude! I salute you. Bryan. Truly, I do!

Reviews You Can Use

NBA Live 2004 — Chris Pankonin
The boss man puts out a bang-up review of the latest PS2 basketball offering. I’m not the biggest fan of basketball, but Chris liked it, so read the review and give this game a whirl! (And THEN make Eggplant Wizard our mascot! You can convince Widro!)

Backyard Wrestling — Cory Laflin
Probably one of the worst games to cross our path, and Cory got reviewing rights! Cory proves the game to be almost as useless as the N-Gage. (BA-ZING!)

Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg — Bebito Jackson
Proving he isn’t dead, Bebito gives us one of the funniest reviews I’ve read in a LONG time! It’s almost like a mini-Down-Lo in a way. (Hmmmm, Mini-Down-Lo…you think he and the Rumor Monkey will one day star in a buddy picture?)

Mega Man Zero 2 — Liquidcross
Our resident Mega Man lunatic delivers two reviews in the same week! He likes the game, and lets you know why.

Columns You Can…uh…Use

A Thumb To The Eye — Chuck Platt
My favorite writer returns with why he wants Intelligence Qube without paying enormous amounts of money. It’s like he’s reading my brain waves! I, too, love this game with a passion…but not as much as I love YOU, oh high and mighty Eggplant! (Whew. Safe for another day…)

Retrograding The VC Volume III, Issue #1 — Alex Lucard
A bit of a change from past weeks as Lucard lets us in on his past, as well as delivering us two EXCELLENT essays on vampires. While I may not share the same love and interest for them as I do my other hobbies, these are still excellent reads for ANYONE. Check him out. Please. I insist!

We Want Our Tea Back! — Misha
Two columns on Wednesday? And one of the ISN’T Cheat? Sweet deal! Allow me to be the first to welcome our newest columnist, Misha! Hailing all the way from the UK, Misha will give us an insider’s look to being a UK gamer, as well as pretty cool commentaries. Again, welcome to the fold! Lets just hope WWOTB lasts longer than “Full Circle” did. (As thousands don’t get it.)

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
And we come to the end of the plugs with our resident anger management lacking gamer yelling about…MONKEYS! An enjoyable for monkeys everywhere. Even the Rumor Monkey put down his feces for a second to give this bugger a read! I just wish he didn’t put it on my keyboard. Now I’m gonna have to clean it up!
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Parting Thoughts

I promise that today, there will actually BE stuff in this section. I swear!

Hopefully in the next week, I’ll have reviews for Super Mario Advance 4 and Simpsons: Hit and Run for the X-Box up for your viewing pleasure. If not, blame school.

It was kinda fun doing Friday for a week. Will I do it again? Eh…who knows. All I know is that I got schoolwork I need to finish up. (Damn real life…) So let me go do that.

Until next time, WORSHIP EGGPLANT WIZARD!

Alex Williams