Ok, it’s the last day of the year, and we all know what that means. No, not “It’s time to get wasted.” That means that another great year has passed and we can look forward to the next one. Ok, in all seriousness, last year wasn’t all that great. Our president started a war with another country, and our people are STILL getting killed over there, even though the war is supposedly over. And on top of that, the Ngage AND a new Tomb Raider game were released. At least most people agree that both weren’t quite as good as they were hyped to be. And I almost feel a little pity for the suckers that actually spent money on them! Ok, not really.
So what do we have to look forward to in 2004? Well, I’ll make a few predictions in my commentary, but I think that 2004 will be a better gaming year than 2003. Either way, it’s a new year, with new hopes and dreams, and we have to make the best of it either way.
My new job is going splendidly. Nobody has asked yet, but I’m not going to say what company I work for, for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say, I’m loving the job. The first couple of days were very physical because I had to do a lot of moving, but that’s out of the way for the most part. This week, I get to help install some shelves and mainly get my office set up. On Wednesday last week, I had a blast, because although a few hours were spent moving stuff, the rest of the day was basically spent messing around. I had to set up my computer, which was a lot of time waiting. I had to install a new hard drive and format it for Windows, and that took a good 2 hours, which was spent hanging out with my bud who got me the job. Oh, and I got to do some gaming too. Gaming at work, and it being allowed, is always cool. But this week will be pretty easy too, because we get Thursday and Friday off. After that, I suppose it’ll be normal work, but it’ll still be fun.
Christmas was fun, but I didn’t get any gifts really worth noting. My mattress is shitty, so my parents got me a new frame, a foam thingy to go on top, and new pillows and bed sheets. The rest of my presents mainly consisted of money and Walmart gift cards. We got the Sims: Bustin’ Out for the Gamecube with that. Oh, and my wife gave me Pokemon Channel. That’s the extent of the games I got for Christmas. Sadly, almost all the money I got will be going to paying off bills. That’s what I get for quitting my job.
Sadly, on the 27th, my beloved ferret Mokona died. My wife noticed on Christmas Eve that Mokona was very skinny, except for a bulge in her back end. She was very worried, but there were no vets open that late (it was 5pm) on the 24th, and of course none would be open on Christmas, so we had to wait until the 26th. We took her to the vet, and she was examined. The vet said she had an enlarged spleen and had tumors in her prostate, as well as low blood sugar. So we got some medicine for her. The vet didn’t act like it was life threatening, but when we woke up this morning, Mokona was dead. It is a sad time for us all, but we’re trying to make light of it so we aren’t so sad. We joked that she died because she hated the medicine that she was taking. I know it’s not very funny, but we try to find any levity possible at this point. Either way, it was her time and she’s in a better place, so no need for condolences or anything like that. Death happens, and live goes on, and all we can do is grieve for a while and move on.
So, with that out of the way, let’s move on to good times, and read some gaming news!
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Site Opens
Square Enix has designed a website specifically for its next foray into the world of non-interactive film. FFVII:AC tells the story of what happens to Cloud after the events that transpired in FFVII. Real details of the movie aren’t very prevelant, but it appears that it has something to do with clones of Sephiroth. The big S himself will appear in the movie, but it is unknown whether or not it will be in flashback. Barrett, Aerith and Vincent will also appear in some form or another (Aerith OBVIOUSLY in flashback form).
The site doesn’t have a whole lot up yet, but I’m sure more will come. It’s mainly in Japanese, but navigating is easy. It features some desktop wallpapers, a trailer, info, and other details on the movie. I’m still pretty skeptical about this movie, not because of Square’s LAST Final Fantasy movie, but because I think they should have made a game out of it. But I’m still holding out hope that this will be good.
New Nintendo Hardware in March
No, it’s not a new Gamecube. No, it’s not a new Gameboy Advance. That’s about all that we know. Nintendo’s president says that Nintendo will unveil something very new and different, and it will work along side the Gamecube and Gameboy, but will be considered Nintendo’s third big piece of hardware.
I can’t even begin to speculate what this may be. I racked my brain, but it just told me to go to hell, so I can’t imagine what Nintendo has up their sleeve here. I guess we’ll have to wait until March to find out. Hopefully, it won’t be another Virtual Boy.
Ok, that’s it for news this week. Sorry, there just isn’t enough worth commenting on!
Commentary: Predictions for 2004
Everybody is posting their best of 2003 stuff, but ours is going to be a feature in the very near future, so I’m looking ahead to next year!
This year has been the year of the Playstation 2. There haven’t been that many SPECTACULAR games, but most of the ones that come to mind were to be found on the PS2. That being said, I believe that 2004 will be the year of the Gamecube. Several high profile games will be released on the system, ones that I am very fond of. Namely Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Tales of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos. In comparison, the Xbox will have Fable and Sudeki, the Playstation 2 will feature Final Fantasy XI, .hack Part 4, La Pucelle Tactics, and Star Ocean 3. In addition, the PS2 and Xbox will both have Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II. So while the PS2 may win in numbers, I personally think that the Gamecube has higher quality games on the way.
Another prediction is that the MMORPG juggernaut won’t even slow down. More and more have been appearing, and it doesn’t seem like that will stop anytime soon. As much as I hate to say it, MMORPGs are extremely popular, and with some of the releases this year, it will be a tough decision for MMORPG addicts. This year will mark the release of World of Warcraft, The Matrix Online, Ultima X: Odyssey, Mythica, Lineage II (released by Richard Garriott’s new company), and City of Heroes, not to mention a new Everquest Expansion AND Everquest II. It also appears that Turbine’s Middle Earth Online will probably come out this year. So by the end of this year, I think that probably 50-75% of all gamers will have tried, if not gotten addicted to, some MMORPG. There’s a hell of a lot of choices out there, so choose wisely!
One thing that you may have noticed over the past couple of years is the explosion of war games. Titles like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Battlefield 1942, and Call to Duty have become extremely popular. In 2004, the war will change from WWII to Vietnam, especially with the release of Battlefield: Vietnam and Men of Valor: Vietnam (from Tulsa’s own 2015 studios!). It’s likely that people will start to forget WWII entirely, and there will be a huge explosion of titles based on the war in Vietnam. Who will reign supreme? Whichever one can make the perfect compromise: being as historically accurate as possible, while still being fun and action packed.
2003 was also the year that 411mania was officially born, and we’re now riding high. We aren’t the most popular site out there, but I think that in the year 2004, 411mania (and 411games in particular) will finally get the mainstream recognition we deserve. So here’s to a good new year!
Christian’s Crazy Game Releases
Keep in mind, these are ship dates and are not set in stone. Game companies LOVE to push stuff back at the last minute, so don’t blame us if it’s not right. Also, since it is a ship date, it may take several days to arrive at your favorite store, depending on what it is, so please call before rushing over to pick up a game that may or may not have arrived.
December 29, 2003 – January 2, 2004
Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa is done for another year. Now get all the
games you DIDN’T receive, most at up to 40% off at Game Crazy. Find the one nearest you at GameCrazy.com!
Christian’s Comments: Nothing to report this week…we’ll just have to be stuck playing all the games we got for Christmas. And a small reminder: Check out the used walls at your local store. You can certainly find some gems. Also, ask for the store’s full list of games, many may not have cases.
Lee’s Comments: I know I’ll be waiting for some other games to come out. I got the big one I wanted (Pokemon Channel), but there isn’t a whole lot else that interests me at the moment. I am looking forward to Harvest Moon for the Gamecube. If only they wouldn’t keep pushing it back!
Links to the Past
Here at 411Games, we don’t believe in that “Christmas means a day off” nonsense. We still produce stuff!
We Want Our Tea Back! – Misha
Misha delivers to you the Year in UK Gaming. And we deliver to him: banning! HAHAHAHA!
Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Bryan also delivers on Christmas Day with some news on Take Two and dropping stock prices, as well as why the PSX (the DVD recorder one) was a really bad idea. He also has two great commentaries, so check it out!
411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
Alex gives news on the Mega Man anniversary releases, Dual Shock 3, Mythic/Microsoft Lawsuit, and the PSX thing as well. He also has HAIKUS, Cheat! and an Import review of DDR Party Collection.
Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
You know, nobody makes up news better than Cory. I’m not even that good.
Clap Hands It’s News Happiness Time! – Chuck Platt
Chuck once again proves that he is a genius with his wishes for 2004 and best of 2003.
Review: Links 2004 (Xbox) – Cory Laflin
The world’s greatest golf game comes to the Xbox. But is it any good?
Review: Midways Arcade Treasures (GC) – Alex Lucard
You can’t go wrong with this one, folks.
Review: CIMA: The Enemy (GBA) – Alex Lucard
Ick. Icky, icky poo. That’s what the game is.
Well, that wraps up the last edition of the Mid-Week Mid-Boss report for this year. It’s been a fun one, and I hope there are many more to come. Please guys, if you’re gonna get shitfaced tonight, do it responsibly. There’s nothing stupider than people dying when they’re having fun. Kind of like those retards who play games for so long that they forget to eat and DIE. Then again, maybe it’s better that way. Just don’t go ramming your cars into people, ok? See you next year!