411MAX: News News Revolution 02.13.04

Welcome to 411MAX! The column that’s called 411MAX because if I called it “Gamer’s Pre-Hangover,” “The Hitchhiker’s Almanac,” “End-Of-Week End-Boss,” or “Thank God It’s Friday,” someone on the staff would be VERY angry with me.

So, what’s new with me, you ask? (Even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you. Deal with it.) I’ve once again outdone myself in the world of DDR. For starters, I got my second-ever arcade AAA in the form of Right Now on a 5th Mix machine. (Again, it was on Light, this time a 3-Footer, but an arcade AAA is still an arcade AAA.)

But that ain’t nuttin’ compared to THIS:


Bow down and WORSHIP ME!

I AAAed my first ever 9-Foot song.

For those who can’t read the song banner, the song was Irristiblement. Again, it was 9-Feet. I hit every step perfectly on my shiny metal pad. 90,000,000 points out of 90,000,000 points.

For the record, yes I did it at home. But it doesn’t matter to me. For weeks, months and YEARS I’ve been practicing at home. And now, I’ve gone so high, it’s not even funny. This is a CATASTROPHIC-LEVEL SONG! Most people DREAM of perfecting even the EASIEST of them! Not many players have come this far, either at the arcade OR at home. But now I can say that I’ve reached one of the ultimate milestones of this game. There’s not much higher I can go from here.

Of course this doesn’t mean I’ll be stopping any time soon. There are still TONS of step patterns I’ve yet to complete. Never mind that I’ve done 438 AAAs already. There are plenty more where those came from, and I’m going to ace as many as possible.


Me and my baby. My baby and me.

However, you probably didn’t come here to witness my grand achievement. You came here to read news. Therefore, you GET news! LOTS of news! So, ON WITH THE NEWS!


Nintendo Console Confusion

One advantage to this “new” format I’m running is that if I write something up at the beginning of the week, and it changes mid-week, I can re-write it so I can include all the changes. This is one of those stories.

When Monday rolled around, Nintendo announced that they were going to concentrate more on the handheld market, and announced that they were working on brand new peripherals that would expand on connection between the Gamecube and GBA, as well as the upcoming DS system. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also claimed that the Gamecube has “not reached its full potential yet”. Leading some to believe that Nintendo would delay their next-gen console for a while and focus on the preexisting hardware.

So then, rumors started to fly. Nintendo wouldn’t debut their new machine until 2007. Nintendo was supposedly done with home consoles all together. It made very interesting reading to see people who knew nothing of Nintendo’s plans talk out of their asses as to what was going to happen.

Finally, Nintendo stepped in to officially quiet the rumors down. They clarified their position, stating that they’ll release their next console when Sony and Microsoft do, which should be between 2005 and 2006. They also stated that the next console (codenamed the “N5”) would officially be on display at E3 2005.

Considering we have over a year to wait, we have very few clues as to what’s in store for Nintendo’s next machine. The did state, however, that it will be centered around new types of gameplay, rather than becoming another “all-in-one” type system with tons of technology stuffed into it like PS2 and Xbox successors are. (Games, Internet, DVD-Player, CD-Player, etc).

So there you have it. To sum it all up, Nintendo’s going to come up with new, innovative ways to use all their existing hardware, and they’ll give us all a sneak peak at their next-generation hardware in a year and three months. It’s good to see that Nintendo is stepping up to the plate in regards to the handheld market. Considering that they’ll have some serious competition in the form of Sony, building up their portable division is a good move. The DS might falter, but the GBA is still going strong.

In any case, now we know what the plans are, only time will tell if they come to fruition.

(Credit goes to Gamespot, Games Are Fun, and 1Up.com)


Over 20 Million Served

Now for some Nintendo news that’s more CONCRETE.

Reuters has reported that the Game Boy Advance has sold over 20 million units in its 2 1/2 years on the market. This includes both the original and the SP models. These are incredible numbers, considering the original Game Boy only sold 2.4 million units and the Game Boy Color sold 14.3 units during their 2 1/2 years on the market respectively.

You see, Sony? THIS is what you have to contend with. So far, it’s 20 Million to none. Lets see if you can catch up…

(Credit goes to Gamespot)


Sega Throws Some Money Into A Black Hole!

Well, Sega has announced they are going to waste some of their money. Well, technically they said they were going to develop two new N-Gage games. However, that basically means the same thing, now doesn’t it?

The games in question are Virtua Cop and Alien Front. Both games will feature Bluetooth multiplayer features, as well as online ranking via the N-Gage Arena.

In other news, once Sammy caught wind of Sega’s latest announcement, they purchased 5,000 shares of Sega’s stock, and sent it to bed without any supper. Sammy was quoted as saying “There will be NO support of dead handhelds in THIS house as long as I’M in charge!” Sega grumbled, went to its room, and snuck out the back window to begin development.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)


Sega Uses More Of It’s Money For Worthwhile Purposes!

In other Sega news, they’ve said they’ll support Sammy’s arcade hardware. This is the first time that Sega has officially announced its working with Sammy since the acquisition of Sega’s stock.

They’ve also hinted at working with the upcoming DS and PSP handhelds. While not officially “announcing” support, they’ve commented that they have a DS development kit, and they are prepared to release PSP titles when the system launches.

So it looks like Sega apologized for its bad behavior, and promised to behave. Sammy also apologized for flying off the handle like that, and returned 1,500 shares of stock as a peace offering, but with a STERN warning as to not do announce games for the N-Gage again.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)


Sluggin’ It Out On The Xbox

So, any Metal Slug fans in the house? Hands? Anyone? (Put your hand down, Lucard. We already know YOU are.) Okay, second question: Any Metal Slug fans who own an Xbox? Hands? (Lucard…)

Well those who raised their hands to both questions: you just took directions from a computer screen! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

(CUT! That was a HORRIBLE line!)

GAH! Eggplant Wizard! You’re back!

(You were supposed to announce that Metal Slug 3 is coming to the Xbox! Not insult those who actually rose their hands!)

Fine. I’ll do it YOUR way…

(Good. Take two. ACTION!)

To those who raised their hands to both questions, you’re in luck! Metal Slug 3 is coming to the Xbox this May! While I may not know everything about it myself, Metal Slug 3 seems to be a fan favorite for SNK fans. They’ll also be happy to note that it will take advantage of an Xbox Live leader board, where players from across America can upload their best scores and see who reigns supreme.

As far as a PS2 version…um…well, there probably won’t be one…uh…DID I MENTION THAT I AAA’ED IRRISTIBLEMENT ON HEAVY?!? Here’s another pic in case I forgot!


My grand achievement…at ANOTHER ANGLE!

Couldn’t resist. Heh.

(Credit goes to 1Up.com)


Ninja Gaiden Update

Last week, I reported that the three NES Ninja Gaiden games would be playable in the upcoming Xbox version. Well, it turns out I need to modify that statement a bit.

It’s true that Ninja Gaiden 1-3 will be playable, but they’ll be the SNES updates from the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy cartridge. The graphics and sound are touched up a bit, but there really isn’t that much of a difference.

Which means we STILL need to watch out when Jaquio bleeds on the staff…


It’s 2AM…Do You Know Where Your Mother Is?

I’m thoroughly convinced that the following is made up, but I’ve been wrong before…

According to a study recently released by America Online, it turns out that women over 40 years old are the largest demographic that play online games.

Now before all you Neverwinter Diablo Everquesters start flame bombing me for not saying that the “19-year-old college freshman with pimples that live with their moms and don’t see the sun for months at a time demographic”, hear me out!

The study concluded that the 40+ women demographic play mainly puzzle and word games (ex: online crosswords), but spend over 50% more time playing them than men, and they play on a more daily basis than men do. They’re favorite time to play is between 12:00 and 5:00 AM. Also, 20% of these women managed to forge friendships online, and carry them to the offline world.

Now, without insulting anyone woman who is over 40 and might be reading this, I can understand why this must be. A large group of these women must be stay-at-home wives/moms who have the time to play these word games on sites like Pogo.com, as well as meet people. Either that, or I’m way off the mark here.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)


Sony Can’t Wait For The PS4!

Sometimes, you gotta wonder how far Sony will go to keep their Number 1 spot. They’ve already got the PS4 in its preliminary stages! Well, they’ve at least started development on a new super-chip more powerful than the Cell.

Here’s Gamespot with all the specifics:

According to multiple media outlets (including Reuters), Sony and Toshiba are beginning development on a new microprocessor that will be smaller and more powerful than their Cell chip. No project code name has been announced for this new chip, which is expected to be completed by late 2005.

The new chip will be designed with a 45-nanometer circuitry, an architecture that is much narrower than chips used in the current market. Narrower circuitry allows more transistors on a chip, and also allows for a higher maximum clock speed. It can also reduce the size of the chips, allowing the manufacturer to efficiently produce more chips out of a single wafer.

In the current market, 90-nanometer circuitry chips are considered state-of-the-art. PSX, Sony’s latest console product released last year, utilized a CPU with 90-nanometer circuitry. But even the PSX came under debate from researchers who questioned if its chip was completely developed under the architecture. Starting from this month, Intel is also releasing “Prescott” Pentium 4 chips for the PC that run with 90 nanometer circuitry.

The new chip with 45-nanometer circuitry is expected to run with higher capabilities and less energy consumption than the “Cell”, a 65-nanometer circuitry microprocessor that is currently in development between Sony, IBM and Toshiba. The Cell, which will be used for multiple products including Sony’s next-generation game console, is expected to begin mass production in early 2005.

Sony and Toshiba will invest 20 billion yen ($190 million) towards the new chip. Development costs and project staff will be split equally between the two companies. Toshiba’s laboratory in Japan’s Yokohama and Oita prefecture will be the site of the development, and approximately 150 engineers will be involved.

While no date has been set for the new chip’s mass production, analysts expect that it will be released in 2007. While the chip will have multiple capabilities and may possibly be used for a game machine, the two companies have not made any statements on what kind of products will use the new chip.


Pokémon on FIRE! And, uh…LEAVES! (Do they need to go into rehab for that?

A Pokémon RPG is always something to behold. And when one comes out, they fly off the shelves. This one is no different.

The GBA remakes of the original Pokémon RPG, Fire Red and Leaf Green sold over one million copies COMBINED within a WEEK of their releases in Japan. Fire Red sold 518,000 copies, and Leaf Green sold 485,000 copies.

You know that something is hot when a game goes platinum in less than a week. And Pokémon is HOT. No matter how many people say the RPGs are “kids games”. No matter how many times an RPG comes our way. They MUST be played.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)

And, there you have it. A nice little synopsis of what happened over the week.


PLUGS AND SHILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS

And by bills, I mean points!…apparently…Anyway, lets see how many Kliq members I can get to jump through the hoop THIS week!

News You Can Use

Gamer’s Hangover News ReportCory Laflin
Cory’s got THQ, Marvel, Kasumi, EA, and sports/political views on tap for the week. Plus, he bribed me with a Pimp Coat for more points. The FOOL! Doesn’t he know that all this bribing is actually WORKING?!?!?
Reward Points: 150 / Total: 745

The Hitchhikers Guide To Video GamesMisha Surma
Misha covers Sega’s recent announcements, the rebirth of Tamagotchi, and dissects an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto, and does it with class. He also called me a Norwegian athlete…FIVE BONUS POINTS!
Reward Points: 115 / Total: 545

Mid-Week Mid-Boss News ReportLee Baxley
Lee’s back with all your favorite RPG and anime news. He’s got Front Mission and Drakengard, as well as a look at an anime entitled “Ultra Maniac”. He also thinks Nintendo should focus more on the lesser franchises, and less on Mario-based games. AND, he outdoes Misha by naming me the Norwegian Athlete THREE TIMES! That gives him FIFTEEN BONUS POINTS!
Reward Points: 120 / Total: 660

Thank God It’s Thursday News ReportBryan Berg
Bryan’s been at the TGIT for an entire year now, leaving us all in awe of his seniority. Extra points for pumping out excellent news reports each and every week for a year, and for being an all-around awesome guy. As for what’s in the column, he’s got the Nintendo stuff covered, and assigns us all positions on a hockey team. Luckily, I made my position choice easy for him…TEN BONUS POINTS!
Reward Points: 175 / Total: 945

Reviews You Can Use

Rainbow Six 3 (XB)Matthew Yeager
Another review from a freelance writer. He’s not so big on first-person shooters, and if you read me, you know that I’m not either. However, he still played the game, and gives us his opinion.
Reward Points: 50 / Total: 100

Sonic BattleMe, Myself, and I
It’s my first review with self-inserted pictures! It looks all pretty and stuff! Oh, and there’s also the best damn review on Sonic Battle you’ll ever see as well. Check it out!
Reward Points: N/A / Total: N/A

Columns You Can…uh…Use

RetrogradingAlex Lucard
Lucard’s started his Top 30 RPGs with the first three: Slayers Royal, Sword of Vermillion, and Dragon Warrior. Trust me when I say this is one heck of an entertaining read. And there are nine more parts to go!
Reward Points: 120 / Total: 900

The Gamer’s ConscienceFredrick Badlissi
This week’s offering is a bit short, but it’s awesome nonetheless. He talks about the wonderful classic that is Dr. Mario! Nothing like a good dose of medication to put out those pesky viruses! Even if they DO amount to a lethal dosage.
Reward Points: 90 / Total: 565

A Thumb To The Eye (Last Week)Chuck Platt
A Thumb To The Eye (This Week)Chuck Platt
This week, Chuck gets SUPER PLUGGED! Why? Because I missed a quotation mark in one of my links last week, and it erased Chuck’s plug off the face of the earth. So, in order to save face and not fall victim to a fate worse than masturbating to death, he gets two plugs, 2 1/2 weeks worth of points, and my accolades. He is a great guy, and a good friend when it counts. Chuck knows what it means, and that’s why he’s so deserving of points.
Reward Points: 310 / Total: 710

The Angry GamerLiquidcross
LC’s mad at the fact that 3D has taken over RPGs, and that graphics have taken away from decent story telling. You know, the more I think of it, the more I agree. With so many games taking advantage of 3D processing power, it leaves so much else on the cutting room floor, it’s not even funny.
Reward Points: 125: / Total: 480

Absentees

Bebito Jackson
All Sonic games have been covered now, so Bebito takes a break. What the hell, he gets TEN POINTS for having a Rumor Monkey!
Reward Points: 10 / Total: 420

Chris Pankonin
Chris didn’t add a review, but he DID give me news and hint posting duties. And look how much better off we are! (Heh) He deserves a kickback.
Reward Points: 50 / Total: 300

Non-For-Points Pimps

The News Section
Before this week, the news board has been stagnating, with only one or two items being updated a week. Well let me tell all of you that the board has gone under a little pick-me-up. You’re going to need to be FAST to get caught up with it now! So get started! CLICK THE LINK!

The Hints Section
As Bryan Berg says, I took a fledgling section and turned it into my own personal stomping grounds. Who knew that my crappy Cheat! columns would start something so huge? All it took was some time. Check out all the cool codes, as well as our first real guide! CLICK THE LINK!


PARTING THOUGHTS

Well, we come to the end of yet another Friday, and I can’t think of a creative way to end the column…uh…FLUSH TOILETS! Yeah, that’s random enough to make you scratch your heads!

Coming soon from me will be reviews to Intellivision Lives (I FINALLY found a copy!), and Metroid Zero Mission. Expect one, if not both, of those next week.

Until next time, know that my talent knows no bounds!


They’re gonna LOVE me in Norway.

Alex Williams, The Norwegian Athlete