411MAX: News News Revolution 12.19.03

It’s Friday again! So guess what? It’s time for the Encore Extr…(ahem) Let’s try this agian. Old habits die hard.

It’s Friday again! So guess what? It’s time for 411MAX: News News Revolution! Back after ONE FULL WEEK, I’m here to dish out the news you crave so much!

Just in case you weren’t reading last week AND completely missed Chuck’s report, here’s the deal: I gave Tuesday news to Chuck Platt because he deserves it. I’m keeping the Friday spot, moving 411MAX here and semi-retiring Encore Extra Stage. (It’ll return just in case I need to fill in for someone, because it’s an ENCORE performance that week!) Everyone on the same page? Good.

The good news is that this is the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL FOR ME! The bad news? I have finals. So keep in mind that this news report comes to you during the wonderful time that is finals week, and if it’s missing anything, blame school.

On more thing: I’m not including a commentary this week either due to the aforementioned exams and moving back home. But fear not! You’re getting a HUGE column anyway FULL of news, haikus, cheating and plugs!

Anyway, as I’m typing this, my killer Stats final is looming over my head, so lets make this quick. ON WITH THE NEWS!
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N-Gage Exclusive Game Announced. Millions Ignore.

In a bizarre turn of events, Nokia is actually releasing a first person title for the N-Gage! It’ll be called Ashen, and it will be (surprise!) a first-person shooter. Included will be eight maps, and multiplayer support.

I guess Nokia thinks that since EVERYONE likes FPS games, that playing one on a tiny screen with 2D sprite graphics ala SNES Doom will draw in hundreds upon THOUSANDS of people to play the dang thing. And as far as the whole multiplayer thing goes, you’ll be lucky to find someone in the neighboring STATE to play with.

Besides, all FPS games are the same. Run around a map, grab random weapons off the ground, use them to kill people. The formula has NEVER CHANGED! Not even squad-based combat like SOCOM. Sure its a bit more involved, but you still pick weapons off the floor and kill people with them, right?

Okay, rant over. Let’s continue with some “pleasant” news.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
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Hey! X-Box Live Content For Crimson Skies! That Applies To Me!

As good ol’ Chris Pankonin posted on our news boards just the other day, there is new content available for Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge. You can download a new plane called Fury to use in multiplayer mode, as well as a new map called Caverns.

The cool thing was I was able to download BOTH yesterday upon hearing the news! Live is COOL like that!

(Credit goes to Chris Pankonin…and wherever he got it from.)
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Hey! X-Box Live Content For Rainbow Six 3! I Don’t Have That!

What Panky DIDN’T tell us, however, was the fact that Rainbow Six 3 ALSO has brand new X-Box Live content to download. For this game, all we have is a new map that’s based on a Carnival, but its NEW, dammit!

Now, if only Konami would get the next DDR song pack up and running…

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
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Mario Kart: Double Dash Sells 500,000!

In a bit of news that…really shouldn’t surprise anybody, Mario Kart: Double Dash sold VERY well during the last two weeks of November. The game managed to sell over 500,000 copies, becoming the top-selling title for a single console for that month.

Yes, people, 500,000 copies in TWO WEEKS. This is why the tiny little system rules, and all others on the market tend to drool. (While this hasn’t been scientifically proven, I’m sure that at least ONE of them emits saliva! Really! The little birdies told me so!)

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)
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He Sucks! Then He Blows! Who Is He? Why, Kirby!

Famitsu magazine reports that everyone’s favorite little pink sucker Kirby (well, what else would you call him?) is slated to make a return appearance on the GBA come this March in Japan. The game will be called Hoshi no Kirby: Kagami no Daimeikyuu, or for those who aren’t Lee Baxley, Kirby: The Labyrinth In The Mirror.

The game will feature the same 2D action we’ve come to expect from Kirby platformers, and will also include multiplayer features, which allow up to four Kirbys to go through a single level. We don’t know exactly what new stuff will be implemented in this game, but I’m already looking forward to it!

The report also mentions there will be three separate mini-games that up to four players can compete in. My guess is that they’ll be the same games from Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland, and that they’ll be backwards compatible as well, much like the Mario Bros. game in the Advance carts.

No US release date has been announced yet (dammit), but we’ll keep you posted!

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
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Europeans LOVE Flailing Their Arms Around!

Sony’s EyeToy peripheral is selling like hotcakes over in Europe. If it wasn’t apparent enough when we reported that they stepped up production, it has recently been reported that EyeToy: Play has shipped more than 2 million copies thus far! The video-camera accessory also has been difficult to keep on the shelves over there.

With sequels due out next year, including EyeToy: Groove and EyeToy: Play 2, this thing looks to be a massive hit overseas.

This just in! The EyeToy has outsold the N-Gage in Europe by a margin of 4000-to-1! Congratulations, Sony!

(Credit goes to GameSpy)
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Where Capcom Loses, Rockstar Gains!

Recently, Rockstar Games announced that it will publish the game Red Dead Revolver, a game that was dropped by Capcom earlier in the year. It will be an arcade-style third person shooter, and will be released sometime in Spring 2004.

Expect to be able to steal any horse from any stable, get missions from randomly placed telegraph offices, intercept “corn” deliveries from the Indians, pick up ladies from the local brothel to restore health, and outrun armies of sheriffs if you’re caught doing the wrong thing!

Or not. I have no clue how this is gonna work. When we know, you’ll know!

(Credit goes to GameSpy)
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Special GBA SP To See Limited Release Next Year!

Starting on 2/9/04, Nintendo will release a special two-tone GBA SP unit to celebrate the GBA’s strongest year in its history. The handheld itself will feature a black lid on a platinum base. Quoth the George Harrision:

“With more than 40 percent of Game Boy Advance SP players over the age of 18, the system is enjoying an expansion toward an older demographic,” said George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “It’s easy to see how these celebratory silver-and-black versions will appeal to an older audience. And with a limited supply, they’re likely to become collector’s items.”

Something tells me that this is a product of having not enough silver lids and black bases to make enough monotone GBAs, so this unholy hybrid came about. Still, beggars can’t be choosers. So kudos to Nintendo for such a successful GB line!

(Credit goes to Gamespot)

Wow, there’s plenty of news today! Now that I’m back to one report a week, it doesn’t have to get split up anymore! COOL!

That, and as of this typing, I have ONE more exam to go! Pray for me that I don’t screw it up.

So now what do we do? I know, lets get to one of my favorite things…
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THE ENCORE EXTRA STAGE WEEKLYNEWS RECAP

The column may be semi-retired, but the HAIKUS aren’t! Let’s go with them for a bit…

Line-up changes have
Rocked the 411 this week
Do you wanna know?

Chuck Platt on Tuesdays!
He is still my fa-vor-ite
Writer on the site.

Baxley has split up
His column. Games on Wednesday,
Anime in Black.

Encore Extra Stage
Is on the back burner. Now,
Here’s 411MAX!

Microsoft to use
New medium for next gen
System? Stupid move.

New Zealand has banned
Manhunt from their little shores.
Claims you kill people!

Duh. Duh duh duh duh.
OF COURSE YOU KILL IN MANHUNT!
MY GOD! WHAT A SHOCK!

Tony Blair gives his
Thanks to UK game market
For making money.

Halo now for Mac?
Microsoft game…on Apple?
This Bizarro World?

A Warhammer game
To hit PCs sometime soon.
Little plastic dolls!

New details revealed
For Xenosaga fan disc
And for F-F-12

Namco will release
Tales of Symphonia on
6/30/04!

Black Friday saw that
Sony led system sales, yet
Gamecube’s Number 2!

The PSX is
Selling well, despite the fact
It’s one weird machine.

Ashen for N-Gage.
Really, does anyone care?
Anyone at all?

There’s new Live content
For Crimson Skies and Ranbow
Six 3. Download now!

Mario Kart sells
Lots and lots of copies! Wow!
Best of November!

Kirby sucks and blows!
No, really! That’s what he does!
New game due out soon.

EyeToy selling well
In Europe. 2 Million shipped!
Must be popular.

Read Dead Revolver
Is Rockstar’s game to put out
Now! Sorry Capcom.

Special GBA
Goes on sale February
Limited offer!

You want more details?
Go check on the other guys
They will tell you all!

And THAT’S a long haiku section! Amazing, no? Now onto a 411MAX mainstay…
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CHEAT!!!

This week’s CHEAT!!! is in honor of Ron Yip coming back to the 411 fold! I picked this game ESPECIALLY for him. I give you…

DRAGONBALL Z: BUDOKAI 2 (Sony Playstation 2)

BWAHAHAHAHA! Yip hates me now! Yay!

In any case, here’s a list of unlockables:

Regular Unlocks
Android 16: Beat him with Goku
Android 17: Beat him with Piccolo
Android 18: Beat her with Krillin
Android 20: Beat him with Goku
Cell: Beat him with Goku
Frieza: Beat him with Goku
Future Trunks: Beat Vegeta on Namek with Kid Trunks
Ginyu: Beat him on Namek with Vegeta
Great Saiyaman: Beat Cell with Adult Gohan the first time he appears
Hercule: Beat Fat Buu with Great Saiyaman
Nappa: Beat him with Vegeta
Raditz: Beat him with Goku
Recoome: Beat him with Goku
Supreme Kai: Beat him with Goku
Teen Gohan: Beat Cell with Adult Gohan the last time he appears (OR you can load a Budokai 1 save file.)
Vegeta: Beat him on Namek with Goku
Videl: Beat Super Boo (with absorbed Gohan) with Hercule
Yamcha: Beat Nappa with Tien

Babadi’s Ship Unlocks
Dabura: Get 100 Kili
Majin Buu: Get 1,200 Kili
Super Buu: Get 2,400 Kili
Kid Buu: Get 3,600 Kili
Absorption Technique: Get 10,000 Kili

Dragon Ball Unlocks
Wish for these items when Shen Long is summoned:
Alternate Bulma Costumes
Babadi’s Ship
Breakthrough Capsules
Gokule Fusion
Kabitoshin Fusion
Tencha Fusion
Vegetto Fusion

There might be a few more I’m forgetting, but this is a big list anyway. Enjoy!

(Credit goes to GameFAQs)
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PLUGS & SHILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS

A full week of writers for a full week of FUN!

News You Can Use

Gamer’s Hangover News Report — Cory Laflin
Cory has got THUNDER in his belly this week. He insults Al Gore (damn), complains about his bathroom, AND hands us a new MST!

Clap Hands! It’s News Happiness Time! — Chuck Platt
MY FAVORITE WRITER IS BACK! And he’s got my news spot to prove it! It’s a little on the short side, but he’s new at this thing, so give him some time to adjust. And thanks to him, it also just sunk in that for the better part of two months I was responsible for 40% of the news here. (I was Eric S. of GAMES, DAMMIT!)

Hump Day Otaku News Report — Lee Baxley
It’s a fun filled Wednesday as Lee kills the Hump Day in cold blood and splits it into two separate, yet equal pieces. One piece stays here, as the yet-unnamed PURELY GAMING report. You can see the other piece in 411 Black in a little something called…lets see if I can pronounce this right…Burakku Kin’youbi Anime. OTAK PRIDE, BITCH!

Thank God Its Thursday News Report — Bryan Berg
Bryan comments on Black Friday, Microsoft’s XIII giveaway, and discusses what systems came with for their prices for their time. His commentary is one of the best I’ve read in a while, and you should give it a read as well. GO! GO NOW!

Reviews You Can Use

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA) — Me, Myself, and I
I love this game. One of the my Top 3 Mario titles. Read why!

ESPN NBA Basketball (PS2) — Ron Yip
Remember Ron Yip? Yeah, me neither. Apparently, he wrote for THIS VERY SITE once! And he just returned with a review of this hot sports game! He likes the game, and he tells us why.

SSX 3 (XB) — Cory Laflin
Remember Cory Laflin? OF COURSE YOU DO! You read him last Monday! Anyway, he also offers us a taste of his reviewing prowess with a look SSX 3. See what he thinks of the third entry in EA’s extreme snowboarding title!

Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix — Me, Myself, and I
Would you expect anyone ELSE to review a DDR title here? I think not! Anyway, read the review and pay no attention to the pictures. They’re from the E3 build, and have no bearing on the final product, which looks 50x better.

Columns You Can…uh…Use

Holy crap, all these came out after my last report was submitted? Yikes. Some people are gonna get double plugs!

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
LC cuts down Final Fantasy several pegs for being all eye candy and no substance. Now I’ll go as far as to say there is SOME substance in a Final Fantasy game. It’s just how the substance is executed. And most of the time, it’s executed rather poorly. (see: Final Fantasy VIII)

We Want Our Tea Back! — Misha
Short one, but makes up for it with his most recent entry. Scroll down for his second plug!

Retrograding — Alex Lucard
Geez, I turn back for ONE SECOND, and Lucard bangs out THREE columns in the span of four days. Damn. Anyway, this one deals with those who jump on a bandwagon because of what they read, or what they see without actually taking part in it themselves. I’ve been guilty of that on more than one occasion, but I’m getting better! I swear!

The Gamer’s Conscience — Fredrick Badlissi
Fred’s done with his finals (and by the end of today, so will I), and wants to kill time by playing games. Sixteen of them, as a matter of fact. The cool thing is that WE get to pick what he plays! I suggest Virtua Fighter 4, Sonic Adventure 2, and Gunvalkyrie. But then again, I’m a Sega whore, so I’d pick those from any list.

Retrograding Mailbag — Alex Lucard
Lucard answers e-mails from a bunch of dweebs, geeks, and weirdos. He also gives us Lara Croft nudie pics to view, twisting a few facts in the process. (1) I never said I had a nude code for Lara Croft, therefore, did not lie about it. (2) I did give a WORKING nude code! Tested it myself. WITHOUT WHACKING OFF! HA!

SimColumn — Ron Yip
He does columns, too? Interesting. Anyway, Yip is back in the saddle of SimColumn. Used to be a news report, now it isn’t, but still thinks it’s a news report. Eh. Can’t think of anything else funny to say about the guy, so just read him and welcome him back.

Retrograding — Alex Lucard
Geez, does he ever STOP?!?!? The most current Retrograding reflects on the past year of his time at 411, as well as giving thank yous and kudos to everyone here. I just find it amazing that we BOTH sent out Ikaruga reviews on the same day, and had much of the same gaming tastes. It’s been a good year of reading you, Alex. And I hope to stick around another six months to do a year reflection of my own.

We Want Our Tea Back! — Misha
A much better outing for Misha here, and probably one of his best. He gives us UK releases, as well as talking about what “inspiration” from video games turns into. He also gets official “line of the week” status for his strikethrough statement at the end. I actually laughed out loud. Not the “lol” kind either!

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
The most current Angry Gamer has LC wanting a new 2D Mario game. My advice to him is to pick up Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. While it’s not a platformer in the traditional sense, there is LOTS of platforming elements here, including some throwbacks to the classic games. Waste your time there while waiting for a new Mario 2D platformer to arrive. It WILL happen…one day…

And that, my friends, is the LONGEST plugs section in the history of 411Games! And if anyone wants to disagree, Eggplant Wizard will retort via eggplant transformation. It’s Win/Win!
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PARTING THOUGHTS

Before I go, I want to wish all our Jewish readers out there a happy first night of Hanukkah! Light the candles, say the blessings, and share the light that has guided our people through so many centuries of suffering.

Then get presents. Preferably video games. Then play the shit out of them.

And since Christmas happens in the week between Friday reports, have a Merry Christmas as well. The present thing applies to you guys as well.

And with that, I’m off to take my last final, clean this dump of a room, and head on home for some winter break lovin’. And to try and cure this addiction to Project Gotham Racing 2. MAN this thing is captivating!

Until next time, have a happy holiday. Whatever you celebrate, make it a good one.

Alex Williams