Gamer’s Hangover News Report 11.10.03

Quasi-random thoughts:

If ESPN Gamer knows what’s good for it, it needs to drop Matt Wong and hire Patrick Hruby full-time. Of all of the “columns” I’ve seen (most of which I lampooned here) his were by far the best stuff. I actually enjoyed his little play session with Jan-Michael Gillman, and I wasn’t pissed off about it because Patrick’s day job is a tennis journalist for the Washington Times.

Of course, those pathetic little “reviews” they have are about as informative as a Microsoft press release, so don’t even go there. Stay right here. It’s live.

If Tony Pena doesn’t win AL Manager of the Year, I will declare jihad on Bud Selig “¦ again.

A-Will: They’re not “beauty pageants,” they’re “scholarship competitions.” (Name the movie.)

Seven days from today I will purchase my GameCube, and my dream of game platform hegemony will be complete! HA! HAHAHAHAH!!

1 f0un6 0u7 7h47 3n91n33rs 60n’7 l1k3 17 wh3n u r1t3 m3m0s 1n l337.

Ever have one of those weekends where everything goes wrong? Well, this one was capped off by the fact that I had left the Hangover at work all weekend, so this is late AND somewhat mailed in. The good news is that there wasn’t a whole lot of news to begin with, other than 3rd quarter reports for everybody and their dog.

Still, as messed up as the weekend was, it could’ve been worse. Veronica and I are okay, the boy is okay, the Chiefs won, and the Raiders lost. I’ll take it.

NEWS
Mailed-in courtesy of GameDaily.com and my weekend:

Best Buy Announces Worse Customer Service For Holidays
In order to keep holiday shoppers happy, Best Buy Co., Inc. said it would boost staffing in its U.S. stores by an average of 32 percent.
The company plans to have its over 580 stores fully staffed by mid-November. It is still accepting applications for some positions, which can be applied for here or in any Best Buy location.
– Which increases the probability that whatever salesperson you get to help you won’t know anything about anything.

Heath, You Magnificent Bastard
Matrix Games and TriSynergy have signed a development agreement with Playnet and Cornered Rat Software, the online operator and developer of World War II Online.
The deal will result in the expansion of the massively multiplayer online PC game, with new features and combat forces to be released in the future.
David Heath, director of operations for Matrix Games, said, “We believe this is an exciting opportunity to participate in the continuing development and enhancement of this massively multiplayer wargame.”

Arulco, Isn’t That The Northern Neighbor Of Spumco?
Strategy First and i-Deal Games will release Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire in the first quarter of 2004.
The PC game will focus on the country of Arulco, where the main export is drugs. The North American Drug Agency has had enough and sends in a small team (with the player as the leader) to take out all of the government’s key personnel.
When released, the title will include the original Jagged Alliance as well, for an MSRP of $19.99.

I’d Still Rather Read Clear and Present Danger
Ubisoft will release Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Jungle Storm for the PlayStation 2 in the first quarter of 2004.
PS2 owners with a Network Adapter will be able to take the title online, complete with voice chat and command and online statistics and ladders.
The game was originally scheduled for release in time for the holiday season.

Another PS2 Sweep!
The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), on behalf of Home Video Essentials and Rentrak Corp., has announced a preliminary list of the top renting games for the week ending November 2, 2003.
Here are the top 10:
1. Tony Hawk’s Underground—PS2
– Whatever. (I LOVE that song.)
2. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain—PS2 I almost wish I could write a addendum to that review, so I could praise the season mode some more and bitch about some of the A.I.
3. Madden NFL 2004—PS2 – J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!
4. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence—PS2 – That Medusa thing looked pretty cool.
5. SSX 3—PS2 – I miss the Tokyo map. I’ll admit it.
6. Jak II—PS2 – Not as good a title as Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando.
7. NBA Live 2004—PS2 – I miss the days where you could intentionally flagrant people.
8. NCAA Football 2004—PS2 – Now selling really well at Miami, and I ain’t talkin’ Ohio.
9. Enter the Matrix—PS2 – And exit the movie”¦.as fast as humanly possible.
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—PS2 – Dontatello needs more play. Just an observation.

MAIL

A couple of Smackdown:HCTP e-mails, plus the props I promised for my MST3K buddy. Lets get this out of the way first.

I liked your review, but I think you failed to mention a few specfic flaws in the game:

A) Miniature roster – With only 54 current talents included (and I’m
using the term “talent” loosely, since that number includes the likes of Vince, Bischoff, and Stephanie), the roster is incredibly barren of active WWE superstars. Where is the likes of La Resistance (RAW tag champs for the majority of the time HCTP was in production), FBI, APA, Jamie Noble, Nidia, Molly Holly (woman’s champ), Gail Kim, Maven, Christoper Nowinski, Bashams, Shane McMahon, Billy Gunn, Billy Kidman, Spike Dudley, Shannon Moore, Spanky, etc, etc…??? The idea of having to make all of those (and more) as CAWs is daunting, and disappointing! You would think they would’ve at least included the outdated SYM models of some of those guys (Al Snow, Bradshaw, Kidman, Gunn, Faarooq, Hardcore Holly, Mark Henry, Maven, Molly, Scotty 2 Hotty, etc), since that’s what it appears they did with the likes of Jazz and Edge…

And while I might not have set out to play as many of those
characters, or gone through a season with them, I know I would’ve appreciated having them around for diversity’s sake, since you can only play against Stone Cold or The Rock so many times before it gets old…! Plus, on occasion, it was sweet to take Spike Dudley and kick HHH’s ass! That kinda thing isn’t quite as possible in HCTP, since the only real jobbers included are Steven Richards and Rico (both in outdated attires, I might add)…

B) Speaking of outdated attires, I’m especially surprised to see
names like Randy Orton, Goldberg, and Rey Mysterio without their latest
attires!! (All have no alternate costumes) And in Orton and Goldberg’s case, their attire is painfully old…And it’s not like they switched recently, Orton’s been wearing black trunks since he came back from injury nearly a year ago, and Goldberg hasn’t worn the plain black attire since his WCW days…Really shocking, and I’ve heard many people online say Orton is ruined for them, since he just doesn’t fit with Evolution in his babyface blues…

C) Another disappointment is the fact that CAW mode has barely
changed at all…Sure, SYM’s CAW mode was revolutionary, but not much was done to improve upon it. In fact, some things were even taken out! (Hair styles, clothing, etc). And, you would think they would’ve followed RAW2 and WMXIX’s lead by adding a “Create-an-Entrance” feature, but again, we’re left with very few music, video, and walking styles…with no ability to customize whatsoever…The addition of Entrance Attire, though, is much appreciated!! It was long overdue…

Anyway, just wanted to add those comments, since you didn’t seem to
consider them in your review…

Name omitted

I could go through these point by point, and when I wrote him back, I did a bit, but the bigger point was, did you see how long the review was? At some point I have to edit for length, like it or not. When *I* get tired reading my own work, it’s too damn long.

Since I’m here, I might as well go point by point, quickie-style though. A) They can’t put everybody in, and leaving off the Heat/Velocity people is as good a cutoff as any. The Bashams would have been nice, and I personally like Spanky, but I can’t fault them cutting the roster off at some point. It’s not like it’s that tiny. It’s just not comprehensive. B) I’m sorry, I don’t really look at Randy Orton or Goldberg’s trunks when I watching WWE; although I LOVE the wardrobe Molly Holly has been getting of late. C) Why make a major overhaul of a success? I’m actually kind of glad they took out the few options they did, so it doesn’t take me so damn long to surf through all of them; and I question whether they really took that much out, since they’ve added some new features, like editing hair length.

Now a shorter, friendlier e-mail from Mark:

dude i think u invented a new phrase for no-sell. Homer Sell. as with everything in life. Simpson’s did it.

Indeed. I still need to see the South Park episode where the bad guy du jour kept doing things that had already been done on The Simpsons.

I don’t think I’ve ever coined a phrase myself before. I’ve used a lot of coined phrases from other people, but I think this is my first original one. “Homer Sell.” I like it. Thanks, Mark!

Finally, we hear from MST3K fanboy Parhaum Toofanian

You are now officially my favorite human being for busting out the MST3K references from ‘Space Mutiny’. Besides being one of the few MST3K’s I managed to see (never could figure when it was on), those lines were some of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Are those ever going DVD-bound? Or am I just screwed?

– Big McLargeHuge…er… Parhaum Toofanian>

Okay, Mr. Toofanian “¦ IF THAT IS, IN FACT, YOUR REAL NAME “¦ sorry. Had to do that. Considering this is the Sci-Fi network we’re talking about, I can’t see them not trying to make a buck on this, so keep your eyes peeled. I haven’t seen any of the late season shows (Sci-Fi) on VHS or DVD yet, though.

They really did shaft the show it’s last season or so. Kept moving the time slot around. I think it finally settled in on Saturday mornings until they quit. I remember watching the last show with friends over that fateful Sunday night. It was time. Nothing against Brantseg or Corbett, but when Trace left, something really was missing from the show, even moreso than when Joel left. Still, some of those late shows are absolute gems; Space Mutiny’ and Prince of Space’ being two of the notables. Keep circulating the tapes, brother.

PIMP-LICIOUS

Already so late it’s not funny.

Pimp Coat: Baxley goes sequelly. Actually, I’m doing this for him so it’ll look good on his resume. Shhh. Don’t tell him.

Pimp Stick: Berg is now officially Not A Kid, but he’s still the smartest guy on the site (I’m looking at YOU, Lucard!) so read him.

Pimp Boots: Misha talks Rugby, Guy Fawkes, and game addiction. Also, don’t bellyache; you got to keep Canada. *snicker*

This week’s Ho Train:
LiquidCross finishes his history of Mega Man
Alex. Williams.
Chuck talks music games “¦ gets A-Will all hot and bothered.
Fred has emotional issues with giraffes.
Lucard is AWOL. Release the houds.

Next week, something. Until then, STOP STEALING MY FINISHERS, WILLIAMS “¦ er “¦ get some sleep.

-Cory