411MAX: News News Revolution 11.04.03

Welcome to the first Tuesday of the month! And I’m here to greet you! Unless you clicked over to the Smackdown review instead and left, not clicking here at all…but then you wouldn’t be reading this at all…and then…um…boy, now I’m confused.

Anyway, confusion aside, its officially crunch time here at college. I got plenty of projects due, as well as tests. (And I’m doing two news reports a week? AND planning on doing more reviews? Whew, what the hell am I thinking?) So if quality suddenly takes a sudden dip, its because of school. Or me playing too much THUG. Either one will suffice.

But you came here for some actual NEWS, didn’t you? Well, I guess its time to go ON WITH THE NEWS!
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TOP STORY: Additional DDR Ultramix Details Revealed!

Recently on DDRFreak, Daniel Tyrrell recently revealed some new details regarding Ultramix! So it gets the top story. Deal with it.

Anyway, here’s some more stuff Tyrrell clued us in to:

–In addition to the 42 songs already revealed, there are 10 other songs that can be unlocked.
–There are a total of four licensed songs. There would have been more, however, there were problems with licensing early on.
–Difficulty-wise, there will be a couple of 10-Foot step patterns on Heavy, as well as plenty of 9-Footers.
–The payment method for the premium content was also revealed: once a month, 5 songs will available to download for $5 a piece.

Wow, I’m getting more excited over this mix every day. The 18th can’t come soon enough!
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Europe’s Got A New GC Bundle!

The reasons to buy a GC keep growing, it seems. And in Europe, it’s no different. Starting on November 14th, Nintendo of Europe will release a special GC bundle for 149 Euros. It’ll contain the following:

–A GameCube
Mario Kart: Double Dash
–The Zelda Collection disc

A system, five games, and a demo for $150, eh? Pretty cool. Now all I gotta do is wait for one of those Zelda discs to show up in the used bin at EB. (Yeah, that’ll work…)

(Credit goes to Gamespy)
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Atlus + Spumco = 2 Very Happy Alexes!

The REAL news of this article is that Atlus has put up a website for its new GameCube game, Go!Go! Hypergrind. And you can find that website…HERE!

The site gives a short synopsis of the story, character backgrounds, gameplay features, and more screenshots than you can shake a stick at.

Anyways, I am now officially drooling over this game. Not because it has the Atlus tag, oh no no no! Because it has the SPUMCO tag! Yes, Spumco!

Huh? You don’t know what Spumco IS?!?

It’s the animation studio that gave us Ren & Stimpy, The Ripping Friends, and George Liquor (American)! And now, they’ve lent their animation talents into rendering all the characters for the game!

Drooling now? I thought so.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
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Only 363 Shopping Days Before The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Recently, Capcom announced that they will be releasing they highly anticipated Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas game in the US, Japan, and Europe on Halloween!

Next year.

Uh…

So, theoretically, Capcom could be finished designing it in March, but be sitting on it for months just to meet with some kind of gimmick?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But still, now I’m going to have to keep count of how many days it is until its released! Thanks a lot, Capcom!

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)

And with that, we have all the (important) news of the week! So now, we’ll go ahead and…
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CHEAT!

And this time, we have some passwords that can REALLY help you CHEAT! And they’re for…

STAR WARS ROGUE SQUADRON III: REBEL STRIKE

Using the force since 1970…uh…something…

Here are some passwords to unlock things earlier:

Ace Mode: WHATTHE?
LOOKMOM!
Documentary: THEDUDES
Easy Mode: WIMPIAM!
Star Wars Arcade Game: FREEPLAY

(Credit goes to GameFAQs)
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Commentary: Games and Writing – How Close Are They?

You know, sometimes a business writing college course can bear some strange fruits…

I was talking with my professor one day last week, and I mentioned that I wrote for this little site called 411 Games. He seemed genuinely intrigued by this, and asked for a sample of my work. I obliged, and gave him my Super Mario Advance 4 review.

He then explained to me an assignment he used to give to his other classes. He would have them play a video game (it didn’t matter which), and compare the experience to the experience of writing.

Now it was my turn to be intrigued.

It wasn’t an official assignment, but I wanted to do it anyway. To compare the two hobbies I love the most in the world: gaming and writing. To see if they are very alike, or very different in execution.

So instead of doing this for a grade, I’ll do this for all of you.

I’ll use these two items for comparisons sake:

An e-Reader level from Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Brothers 3

An essay due for college

And so we begin.

I scan in a new level for SMB3, and I’m ready to play.

I start a new Microsoft Word document, and I’m ready to write.

My first attempt at this stage, “Wild Ride In The Sky”, is not a pretty one. I’ve never seen this level before, and don’t know what to expect. And after a small time, I miss a jump and lose a life. Back to square one.

My first attempt at this essay, I don’t know what to write. I have a general idea of how to go about it, but I don’t like how the words are coming out. After the first few sentences, I end up deleting the entire thing. Back to square one.

My second try is much more fruitful. With the level fresh in my mind, I’m able to try new things. I time my jumps better, I collect more coins, and get farther into the stage. But another jump slightly to the right of a moving platform causes another life lost. This time, however, I have much more to go on.

I try writing my essay again, and this time, I like what I’m seeing. The ideas are coming out with more force, and more clarity than before. I already have an introduction, and two out of the three points that I’m addressing in writing. But now I’m stuck on the third point. Writer’s block. I take a break for now, but I have much more to go on.

Third time’s the charm, I guess. This time, I know where to jump, where to dodge, and where plenty of coins are. And using some basic strategies, I get to the end of the level! Not a perfect performance, but I get to the end nonetheless.

When I come back to the essay, I finally get my third point down on paper. And with that part finally passed, I easily summarize the whole thing in the conclusion. And lo and behold, I have my first draft! Not perfect, but at least I got to the end.

Now I may have beaten the level, but I didn’t collect everything within it. I still need to collect all the giant gold coins, as well as develop strategies to keep myself at maximum power. So I play the level a few more times to find all the power-ups, collect all the coins, and kill all the enemies. This way, I fine-tune my playing style and get better.

The essay looks finished, but this is only the first draft. My ideas are out in their “raw” form. I’ll need to go through the essay several more times to “fine-tune” my ideas and make them clearer. There are also several typos and grammatical errors I’ll need to fix. This way, My essay will look better, and possibly get a better grade.

My final play-through of this stage is practically flawless. I’ve been through the level enough times to know where all the coins are and power-ups are. I know how to kill the grounded enemies, and how to dodge the enemies I can’t kill. I even know all the methods to gain extra lives here. So after going through the entire level with a fine-toothed comb, I’ve done the best I can here.

My final draft of my essay is almost perfect. I’ve gone through the essay enough times to find all the errors, and flesh out my main ideas. I make the essay fit the assignment’s criteria, and even include a little something more. So, after going through the essay with a fine-toothed comb, I’ve done the best that I can.

Well…looks like writing and gaming aren’t as different in execution as I originally thought…
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Plugs & Shills That Pay The Bills

I’m feeling pretty poetic this week, so in a special Tuesday appearance, everyone gets plugged in haiku! Just another product of me not having a life…

News You Can Use

Hump Day Otaku News Report — Lee Baxley
Eggplant Wizard holds
Us all in the palms of his
Sweaty eggplant hands

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report — Bryan Berg
Bryan’s into sports.
And he ranks them! Pretty cool.
Football’s Number #1!

Encore Extra Stage News Report — Me, Myself, And I
The Halloween Skit
Is here if you want to read
A weird fiction piece.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report — Cory Laflin
Cory’s MST
Really, REALLY made me laugh.
I love Tom and Crow!

Reviews You Can Use

Demikids: Light (GBA) — Lee Baxley
Here’s an RPG
With massively sick concepts.
I got my copy!

Shin Megami Tensei: Darkness of Day (GBA) — Alex Lucard
It’s “Demikids Dark”!
At least that’s what Atlus calls
The US version.

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (XB) — Cory Laflin
Never seen the show,
But Cory has, and he thinks
This game’s pretty good!

NBA Jam (XB) — Cory Laflin
NBA Jam, huh?
Remember the 2D games?
Now THOSE were awesome.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2) — Lee Baxley
Drac’s back in 3D.
At least its better than those
N64 games

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GC) — Alex Lucard
Man, I love these guys.
But like Lucard, I lament
For the old voices.

Haunted Mansion (GC) — Alex Lucard
I think all of the
World’s problems can be solved if
You add more cowbell.

WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain (PS2) — Cory Laflin
People here will buy
This game no matter what score
Cory gave this thing.

Columns You Can…uh…Use

A Thumb To The Eye — Chuck Platt
Chuck gives us a quick
Update about himself here.
He plays Disgaea!

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
Liquid’s history
Of Megaman begins here.
Classic, classic stuff.

We Want Our Tea Back — Misha
Misha is English!
Cory thinks he is a girl!
Better than Watson!

Retrograding — Alex Lucard
Halloween mailbag
Where scary moments are shared.
And one VC piece.

The Gamer’s Conscience — Fredrick Badlissi
Freddie’s sacred store
Did not have the game he wants.
Stupid Toys R Us!
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Parting Thoughts

You’ve probably noticed a huge lack of Eggplant Wizard this week. And for that, I apologize. He’s still feeling the effects of the Halloween party, and the massive chaos that ensued. That, and he’s been hitting the bottle kinda hard the last couple days, so there was nothing really “ha ha” funny to put him in.

And if Alex Lucard links me to any more stories that contain Tifa-poo, I’ll find him and strangle him. (You had to have been there.)

Come back on Friday for the Encore Extra Stage, where I’ll try to write it on 3.0, Reverse, Sudden Death. (Get it? Don’tcha get it? It’s DDR humor!)

Until next week…wonder why I use “until next week” when I have a news report coming on Friday.

Alex Williams