Gamer’s Hangover News Report 11.17.03

Quasi-random thoughts:

Well, it was fun while it lasted. I can console myself with the fact that Kansas State beat Nebraska at Lincoln for the first time in my lifetime. (Chris, I’m not purposely trying to bust your balls. You just have the bad luck of having aligned yourself with the forces of darkness. It’s nothing personal.)

The Chiefs just looked timid yesterday. Up until the last 8 minutes of the game, that is. The Bengals just wanted it more, and hats off to them.

Still, do you know what fashion is all the rage in Cincinnati at the moment? Wearing a DB on your back for the entire game. I thought one guy was going to propose to Tony Gonzalez. (What? You expected me to be completely civil about the loss?) Apparently “spooning” isn’t a penalty in the NFL.

I could start on the “great Dolphin conspiracy,” but that would just cross into silly.

My wife asked me a long time ago why men enjoy watching lesbians. “Why would you be interested in women that obviously have no interest in you?” I’ve pondered this question for quite some time and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just because straight guys don’t consider other guys to be sexy. At ALL. Guys like the bits where they show the women; but we suffer, and I really mean suffer, through the parts where they show the men. It’s almost as bad as sitting through the actual plot areas of the porn; the only thing that makes it better is that we know we don’t have to wait as long to see a woman having sex. Moreover, straight guys have a bit of a fear of seeing another man’s penis. I don’t know if we think we’re going to turn gay if we look at it too long or what, but that’s the deal. Lesbian porn, by contrast, has no such downside. We straight men can relish in every single second of the scene without fear of seeing something we really don’t want to see.

There’s probably also some sort of male dominance issue at work. Seeing a guy and a girl get it on reminds the guy watching, on some level, that’s he’s not the alpha male in this particular situation. Or, more to the point, there’s a hot woman having sex somewhere in this world with a guy that isn’t him. It’s primitive, yes, but that’s exactly the sort of instinctual behavior that has kept the human race breeding like bunnies and insuring its own survival to this point. A guy watching two women having sex probably doesn’t trigger the same fight’ mechanism, thus leading to a more lighthearted, enjoyable experience for the viewer.

And then there’s the actual question Roni asked: “Why would you be interested in women that obviously have no interest in you?” Well, the answer to that is, we aren’t. That presupposes that straight men believe porn is real, or at least representative of some facet of real life. Anyone who appreciates porn knows that this isn’t the case. Just because the violent side of our ids go nuts when we see another guy doing it doesn’t mean our egos can’t tell the difference between an actual homosexual relationship and some well-done adult entertainment.’

So there you go. Another of Man’s mysteries solved.

Today”¦.ah, the sweet Now”¦.I buy my GameCube and get my free Zelda compilation disk. Master’s project? What Master’s project?

I’d like to give a shout out to my playahs on the Valley Center Chess Team, just because I haven’t yet, and just because I can: Jessica, Wes, Lance, Trenton, Jen, Chris, Kenneth, Eddie, Christian, Matt, Andrew, Aric, and Kate; you guys rock. And, of course, props out to Bonnie for being the best sponsor a club could ever ask for, and for asking me to be your coach.

NEWS

$27 Million Loss + PSP = Put Up Or Shut Up Time For Nintendo
credit: Spong.com
Last Thursday Nintendo announced that it would debut new hardware at next spring’s E3 game industry show. This was a bit of a shock, since it was widely believed that no new hardware would be ready for view for another year at least. No one knows if the new hardware will be a home console or a handheld or something else entirely (I’m keeping an open mind, here), but it was reported that Nintendo was telling journalists at the press conference in Japan that the new hardware “would not be a successor to current hardware.” Me, and my colleague Mr. Williams are inclined to believe them. Given the surge in popularity of the GameCube in recent weeks, it’s very possible that announcing a new home console could alienate a lot of new GC buyers.

What drove this surprise announcement? The news that Nintendo posted their worst half-year results since 1962. Nintendo has lost $27 million in just the first half of this year. However, with a drop in GameCube production (which lowers costs) and with thousands of new GameCubes out on the market, even if each is being sold at a net loss, and with the Christmas season fast approaching (with new full-price games being sold to put in those GameCubes) a recovery to the black for the year isn’t out of the question for Nintendo.

Still, with the PSP looming (the good chaps at Spong calling it a “threat to combine the iPod and PlayStation2 in minature form”) Nintendo needs to step up. It is hoped by this columnist that this is Nintendo’s way of stepping up to the plate to meet the challenge, and not just a hasty business decision based on weak 1st half financials.

Guys, WINDOWS Is Even Backwards Compatible “¦ Sometimes
credit: Spong.com
Long story short. Xbox 2 is using a completely different chipset than Xbox 1, so that means Xbox 1 games will probably not play on Xbox 2. Two words, guys: Software. Emulator.

THERE IS NO HALO “¦ er “¦.. ONLINE
credit: Spong.com
Proof of the power of boredom in small groups: If you were waiting by your computer all day Saturday to hear the announcement of Halo Deluxe Edition, a new version featuring online play, repeat after me: I’ve. Been. Had. Seems that a group of bored forum users started spoofing news sites with news of the imminent announcement of Online Halo, even going so far as providing screenshots from a fictitious TV commercial for the “game.” Behold the power of Photoshop. Anyway, it’s not true. There’s no Halo update, and you wouldn’t think there would be, with Halo 2 looming. Or would you?

Why Do I Have A Bad Feeling About This Console?
Infinium Labs, makers of the upcoming consoley-type-thing known as the Phantom, have announced a deal with Microsoft Licensing (uh oh) that will allow Infinium to use a version of (deep breath) Windows XP as the operating system.

Windows XP Embedded is based on the same binaries as Windows XP Pro, but “delivers the power of the Windows operating system in componentized form,” and will allow Infinium “to embed the Windows XP features it needs for a customized, reduced-footprint PhantomOS.” “Reduced-footprint?” My question is, where can *I* get a copy of XP Embedded? An operating system that only does the operating system part of things? Brilliant!

Seriously, guys, make this puppy PC-installable. You’ve heard the Windows gripes for a decade now. People will BUY this shizzle! If you’ve already got it developed, just slap it in a box and sell it!

The Games We Were
credit: GameDaily.com
Home Video Essentials, a product of Rentrak Corporation, has released a list of the top renting videogames for the week ending November 9, 2003.
Here are the top 10:
1. Tony Hawk’s Underground—PS2
– Wow, Beaker of the Muppets made it in”¦.oh, wait”¦that’s Tony Hawk. Sorry.
2. SOCOM II: U.S. Navy Seals—PS2 – I’m afraid to play this. It feels like if I do too well, I’ll end up winning an all-expenses-paid trip to downtown Baghdad.
3. WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain—PS2 – That story mode gets better the more I play.
4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six—Xbox – “Trade show virus!” “Super Bowl nuke!” “TRADE SHOW VIRUS!” “SUPER BOWL NUKE!”
5. Madden NFL 2004—PS2 – %&*@#$%!
6. True Crime: Streets of L.A.—PS2 – “But honey, you’re a COP this time.” “No.” “You actually get docked if you kill someone you’re not supposed to.” “No.” “All the other Game guys are playing it.” “No.”
7. Tony Hawk’s Underground—Xbox – Now who WOULDN’T want to joyride in a Soviet-era tank? That’s an NRA icebreaker right there!
8. Enter the Matrix—PS2 – Denial, you’re soaking in it!
9. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence—PS2 – Just in case you’re tired of being the guy who eats bugs and gets the “funny” syphilis.
10. Grand Theft Auto III/ Vice City—Xbox – “But dear”¦” “No.”

RADAR “¦ er “¦ INBOX LOVE

Lots of stuff this week, so let’s get to it. First up is Jason with some comments on my revies of Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain.

Thought I’d toss in some bits of info since i managed to make it through season mode.
It only lasts 1 year sadly enough, and with all the crap I had to do to make it into the main event of WrestleMania, it made up for it.

The “hidden moves” in the move lists aren’t really bought during season, they are actually moves of the unlocked Legends wrestlers that you gotta buy ($35000 Smackdown Bucks per Legend, and that’s a lot of wins to get just one) I unlocked Old School Undertaker and it unlocked a lot of sweet moves, such as this killer DDT called Black Dragon DDT, its very awesome once you get it. (Note, some moves unlocked when you unlock a legend aren’t necessarily that of the wrestler, for some reason) The “moves” that you do unlock/buy are movesets that are pre-set movelists such as for example, Bret Hart or Ultimate Warriors moves.

Some classic stuff is brought up during season mode, such as if/when you get to create a faction, you have to choose some names (choose, not create), some of which are D-X or New Age Outlaws, nWo, or my favorite, Dangerous by Design.

Then there are some old storylines revisited, such as when Angle drives the milk truck to the ring, or when Austin sprays the ring with beer/soda. Or when Austin destroys the DX Express Bus (or, for instance you choose the faction name of “nWo” it will be called “The nWo Express”)….

I ended up winning the Royal Rumble after eliminating Benoit, and the next night on Smackdown (the brand i chose), he came to the ring with “video” that my feet touched first. It was actually pretty intense rivalry, which made gameplay much more interesting. All in all, I beat him in a Last Man Standing match at No Way Out which took literally 45 minutes to keep him down for a 10 count….hes tough as a Waffle House steak BAH GAWD.

Well that about does it, hope this kinda gave you an insight of what Season is kinda like, as ive played through it with different storylines each time, so enjoy and be careful who you talk to.

I have been blown away with this year’s Season mode. I’ve been through that Royal Rumble storyline you talked about and the bus demolishing. Folks, if you thought last year’s Season mode was great, give this year’s a rent. Please. Like he said, it’s only one season, but you can carry title holders over from one season to the next, so you’re effectively playing as many successive seasons as you want. One beef though: You STILL can’t play women in Season Mode, and that pisses me off.

Next up, Aaron to talk a little MST3K:

Hey man,Just wanted to give you another “nicely done” for your continued MST3K references. Space Mutiny was indeed a great episode (something McRunFast was my favorite, but I can’t for the life of me remember the first name they used).

I also wanted to put my $.02 in about the whole Joel/Mike,
Trace/Corbett thing. Now, I realize that people tend to get into some heated debates about this issue, but I just want to give some observations. Believe me, I don’t think there’s a right answer to this. :)

I started watching the show late in it’s life when Mike and Corbett were on the SOL. To me, they’re hilarious and are what define the show for me. That’s not to say that I don’t find the Joel/Trace stuff funny, but there’s something about the other two that make it right for me. I think it just comes down to when a person began watching the series. If you started with Joel, Mike will never seem right to you and vice versa.

Either way it was a brilliant show (funniest thing on TV), that deserved much more than it received. I’m glad there are still fellow Misties around, and I’m certainly ready and willing to keep circulating the tapes. I have a decent amount of episodes (not the greatest quality) from the later seasons, but I’d love to get my hands on some of the older stuff.

Anyway, sorry to bug you, just wanted to say hello.

Take care,
Aaron

P.S. Watch out for snakes! (Who said that?)

I failed my reference check this morning, Aaron. You’ll have to help me out with that one.

I totally agree with you. I was baptized on Late Joel/Early Mike shows that had copious amounts of Dr. Forrester, so I’m biased towards Trace more than anything else. Corbett picked up Crow extremely well, and I really started to like the Brain Guy in the host segments by the end of the show, but everything just seemed a little darker than when Trace was there. It’s not a quality of show issue to me at all, it’s just a personal preference. (Besides, was anything “¦ ANYTHING funnier than Forrester and TV’s Frank? You know that Frank Conniff went on to work on the short-lived-but-much-appreciated show Invader Zim. The guy is pure genius.

Next, Darren with a little Smackdown music news:

Just a small note on the theme songs, RVD’s theme in the game is the song he used when he returned to WWE in July 2001 (as part of the ill-fated “InVasion” storyline). He kept that song until January 2002, when he switched to the “One Of Kind” theme he has now. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that “One Of A Kind” is just a remixed, vocal version of the song RVD has in the latest SmackDown! game. And Victoria’s SmackDown! theme song is just an instrumental version of her Tatu theme.

Keep up the good work,

Derren

Yeah, I know that, but I still like it better than the old music. And if they could make instrumental versions of the licensed music, would it really have cost more in money or storage space, to use the actual music? As best as I understand it, using the same tune, even if it’s obviously a different version, is exactly the same as using the original music itself. Maybe a copyright expert can hip me to this.

Ray smacks me down with a controls correction:

Just a couple of points. To steal an opponents smackdown move it’s actually “L1 & L2”. The season is only a single year, with the option of continuing with the title information into a new season.

You are correct sir. I bow my head in shame.

Kellen has two entries this week, the first about RAW 2:

One of my favorite option in RAW 2 is the fact you can use the music downloaded on your X-BOX for wrestler’s entrance themes. For instance, I gave Rob Van Dam his theme from ECW(“Walk” by Pantera),the Rock’s theme from the Aggression CD,Triple-H’s Forceable Entry theme, ditto for all three Dudleyz, Stone Cold Steve Austin and I gave Hogan his “Real American” theme from the Anthology Federation years. I can actually give some created wrestlers their real theme music and not some pathetic BGM theme. Is there any way to get rid of allies you don’t like, when in Season mode?

Dude! RVD used “Walk”? I need to dig out my Vulgar Display of Power CD! Even better, I could dig out Cowboys From Hell and give Undertaker “Cemetery Gates.” Sweeet.

And the second about the bane of my gaming existence:

I have tried out this game and I think that it sucks. First of all, the stuff that they do in this game should only be seen on Jackass. Why, because Backyard wrestling is just that, a wrestling form of MTV’s Jackass. I have yet to get one offensive move in. Whomever thought that a video game about backyard wrestling was a good idea should be dragged out into the street and shot, or at least be forced to play this game. If they are smart they will not come out with a sequel. But I don’t expect too much of them sanity-wise. Hopefully this will be the first and only BYW game ever.

We can only hope Kellen. We can only hope.

PIMP-LICIOUS

Pimp Coat: To the biggest playah out there, Lucard, who made my weekend by affirming that I was not alone in my Guile-hatred and for the phrase, “Sub-Zero ultra cheese.” Good times.

Pimp Stick: This is, what, the zillionth time Berg has made the top three? Maybe I’m just biased. Is this why you retired the medals in the first place, Bryan?

Pimp Boots: Misha sees the art in video game construction.

This week’s Ho Train:
A-Will does it twice again. The kid’s got stamina to go along with them brains.

L.C. with even MORE Mega Man historical goodness.

Freddie goes fanboyish on Legacy of Kain. Forgive him.

Chuck starts the concept of the anti-feud.

Lee may be down on his luck, but as any writer will tell you, that just gives you more good material.

Next week, hell if I know. Until then, get some sleep.

-Cory