The Casual Gamers Corner 04.07.04

THE CASUAL GAMERS CORNER
The Wednesday News Report 04.07.04

Let’s get the party started. I’m Matt Yeager, don’t worry about remembering the name because it’ll be raining pink slips once I reveal what I decided to buy instead of a Dreamcast in 1999. But that’s for later. I also just want to take a second to thank Lee Baxley for all of his Mid-Week news reports, and you should thank him too. He set a standard I can’t possibly live up to. If you missed the announcement check out the final Mid-Week Mid-Boss News Report.

Now shut up, sit down and let’s get to the news.

The News


Midway Gets Surreal
Chicago, Illinois, April 6, 2004 — Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY) announced today that it expects its operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2004 to be ahead of the financial guidance provided by the Company on February 25, 2004. For the quarter ended March 31, 2004, Midway expects revenues of approximately $18.0 million, or 50% more than the Company’s previously issued revenue guidance of $12.0 million. Midway also projects a net loss for the quarter smaller than the Company’s previously issued guidance of $19.0 million but not proportionate to the increase in the revenue guidance for the quarter. Midway attributed the improved financial outlook primarily to strong initial sales of the Company’s recently released action-horror game The Suffering. Midway released The Suffering for PlayStation 2 and Xbox on March 8, 2004. Midway also announced today that it has acquired privately-held Surreal Software Inc., developer of The Suffering, in an all-stock transaction for 540,317 Midway common shares. Midway President and Chief Executive Officer David F. Zucker commented, “The positive market reception to The Suffering illustrates our ability to successfully develop and release entirely new properties that resonate strongly with the growing audience of sophisticated, mature gamers. The acquisition of Surreal Software Inc., the visionary developer behind The Suffering, strengthens our internal product development team and reinforces our ability to create high quality games.”

Midway has been in some trouble lately so I’m glad to see that sales from The Suffering are helping them out. Also, it means that The Suffering is selling well, as it should be.
(Credit goes to Midway’s Homepage)


Haven’t Had Enough of Dynasty Warriors?
Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires Coming to North America This Fall 2004
Burlingame, CA — April 05, 2004 — KOEI Corporation today announced the next phase of the top-selling video game, Dynasty Warriors 4, with the upcoming release of DYNASTY WARRIORS 4: EMPIRES. The Tactical Action game will be available exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system In March 2004, DYNASTY WARRIORS 4: EMPIRES debuted as the number one selling software title in Japan. KOEI plans to ship the North American version in September 2004, with a retail price of US$29.99.

“Selling nearly 7 million units worldwide, the Dynasty Warriors franchise has embodied the state-of-the-art for action games,” said Amos Ip, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at KOEI Corporation. “Building on the successful Dynasty Warriors 4, this game will offer new twists on the Tactical Action genre. We are certainly looking forward to the game’s formal North American introduction at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.”

I think they’re going for the record on how many times you can remake the same game.
(credit goes to Koei’s Website)


RUMOR: Halo Developer Involved With Goldeneye 2?
Rumors are flying around that one of the developers from the popular Xbox game Halo is now part of the development team working on EA’s sequel to the N64 Goldeneye game. Makes sense to me, you want to make a sequel to an almost legendary FPS, than get someone who helped develop a massively popular FPS game.
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-Great, first week doing this and there really isn’t very much news out there that hasn’t already been covered.


Christian’s Crazy Game Releases
I liked this part of the Wednesday New Reports and I’m glad to say that with Lee’s blessing and Christian still willing to send this in, this part will continue.

Please note that the dates listed below are the ship dates and are subject to change. Call your local gamestore ahead of time to double check that the game is in stock as it can be several days from the release date till they get the game. In fact call them over and over again, I heard they like that ;)

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Apr 4-10

Apr 5
Fight Night 2004 (P2, XB)
NBA Ballers (P2, XB)
Warioware Inc. – Mega Party Games (GC)

Apr 6
Alias (P2, XB)
ESPN Major League Baseball (XB)
Ten Pin Alley 2 (GBA, P2)
Thunder Alley (GBA)
World Championship Pool (GC, P2)
XS Moto (GBA)

Apr 8
All Star Baseball 2005 (P2)
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This Saturday, April 10th at 1 pm, Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! It’s Fight Night 2004 Tournament at your local Game Crazy. Fun, Cash Prizesand Special Surprises! See your local Game Crazy for details!
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Christian: We’re back with the New Releases and a good week to do it! This week, the main releases are all sports related. EA shall take it this week with Fight Night. There’s no doubt about that. The fight will be whether Midway or Sega can overcome established EA franchises with NBA Ballers and ESPN Major League Baseball. If you’re not into sports though, you’ll defintiely want to give Warioware Inc a try. It was good on the GBA, and it’ll be good on the Cube

Matt: I’m not much of a sports fan, but I might actually check out NBA Ballers. I love some of Midways fast paced sports games and NBA Street 2 so who knows? I’m also interested in Fight Night, I haven’t really played a boxing game since Punch-Out but I thought the demo for this game was pretty cool. I’m keeping an eye on Warioware, but I’ve heard all of the mini-games were the same from the GBA version.


Cheap Cheap Sweep
Just a heads up on a good deal going on at Target this week through Saturday, you can buy either the GTA: Double Pack(with GTA 3 and VC) or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for $24.88. At least it’s like that I my local Targets, you might want to double check the weekly ad for your area if you are interested at Target.com.

Found this out on my own, however if you are cheap like me and looking for great gaming deals be sure to check out cheapassgamer.com from time to time.

The Hype Machine

You know the feeling you get when you’re looking forward to a game that’s coming out, and then you run out and buy it when it gets released and pop it into the system? I love that feeling and there are always games I’m looking forward too. So I’m wondering if I serve up a batch of Hype Kool-Aid, does anyone want to drink it? If so I’ll throw in a short preview of a game I’m looking forward to every now and then.

Like this one:

Dinosaur Hunting
Platform: Xbox
Current Release Date: 4/27/04

Maybe I’ve still got a case of Jurassic Park fever, but any game that features Dinosaurs immediately grabs my interests. I played the first Dino Crisis, even though it was Resident Evil with a different skin, for that very reason. Of course after that I’ve been more careful with the Dino games I choose, however this game looks great so far.

Already released in Japan (how many Xbox games are released in Japan first?) Dinosaur Hunting is loosely based on Sir Aurthur Connan Doyle’s novel The Lost World, set in 1910 Dinosaurs are discovered to be still wandering the Amazon, proving they were never really extinct they were just hiding. Sneaky bastards. The Ark Company hires a lot of hunters to go in and bag a couple of live Dino’s. You get to play as one of those hunters. Instead of being more action oriented like the Turok or Dino Crisis series the game apparently relies more on following tracks and Dino dung (commonly known as poopie or crap) than shooting.

Other details:
-52 different kinds of dinosaurs
-Strategy involves mixing tranquilizers that have varying effects on different dinosaurs
-9 levels
-Couple of different weapons including a handgun, shotgun, sniper rifle, and flash grenades.
-Features both a story mode and an open hunt mode

I think someone already claimed the review, so stay tuned for that.


THE CORNER

Welcome to my corner of the world, have a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’ve got a confession to make; I’m a casual gamer. I lined up in front of my local gamestore for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I liked FFVIII. When the Dreamcast came out I had enough money to get one but decided not to buy it. Know what I bought instead?

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

I’m entirely serious about that, and in fact have never owned a Sega made system. Now I’ve got to move quickly before the lynch mob shows up at my door for even saying that but I had to get that out in the open. I purchased a handful of systems when I was much younger, and for reasons I wont disclose they’ve all disappeared within about a year of buying them so I never really got around to playing many games as a kid. About 5 years ago I suddenly had the chance and the money to buy whatever game system I wanted without worrying what would happen to it. I bought a Playstation for 2 reasons. I thought the 3D graphics were amazing, and it was cool to own a Playstation.

Since then I’ve had the time and money to play many video games(and I’ve made MANY horrible buying decisions-see above) and to this day I’m still discovering games that are widely different than any I’ve played before. This is one of those games:

Rizing Zan: The Samurai Gunman

Ninjas! Cowboys! Super Ultra Sexy Heroes! This game has it all. At a time when I was blindly walking into gamestores and picking up whatever looked the most interesting off the shelf and buying it, it’s no surprise why I chose to pick this game up. It has BOTH Ninjas and cowboys in it! Luckily unlike some of the other games I had the misfortune of buying (like Urban Chaos or Tomb Raider) this game wasn’t that bad at all.

The story of the game goes like this: Johnny lived in a small gold mining town and had many dreams, one of which was to become the greatest hero that ever lived. He and Sheriff spent much of their time roaming around in search of adventure. One day, he heard a rumor that people began being reported missing at a nearby ravine. Sensing grave danger, Johnny went to the ravine to explore. There they were, strange-looking folks start attacking Johnny. He fought back, but he did not stand a chance with a man with MASK. Suddenly, with a flash of light, Johnny fell to the floor unconscious, with blood flowing from his face. Suzuki, his father’s lifelong friend from Zipang, saved Johnny. Johnny begs Suzuki to teach him Zipang’s legendary fighting technique. He agreed to teach Johnny. A days later, Suzuki and Johnny departed to Zipang. Many years have passed… Johnny is now a master of both his own traditional fighting method and Zipang’s. He announces himself as Super Ultra Sexy Hero, and commits himself to his new name ZAN and returns to his hometown

That’s straight from the game. Any grammatical errors are all apart of this games unusual style. The rest of the story plays out in the same odd mix of spaghetti western and badly dubbed kung fu movie with odd humor and sexual innuendo thrown around. There are some awesome lines in this game such as Gua Gua Gua, Prepare to feel the power of my Gondola!’ and Oh my god, you killed Sumo Man, you bastard!’. That’s right, a South Park reference in a kung fu spaghetti western.

After picking the game up again recently I went back and checked out what people had to say about the game at that time. I had no access to the internet at that time and had no knowledge of any review for the game. Oddly the game is compared to Tomb Raider and Tenchu, which is weird because it doesn’t really play like either of those games. The game has much more in common with Devil May Cry on the PS2 or Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. Perhaps there weren’t any 3rd person 3D action games like this over here at that time and this was one of the first? I have no idea, but I’m trying to find out. Like Devil May Cry, you have to use both a gun and a sword to hack and blast your way through every level and after you complete a level you get a ranking on how well you did ranging from You are Chicken’ to You are Super Ultra Sexy Hero’. Zan has a couple of different moves he can pull off with his sword and gun, and has the ability to occasionally go into Hyper mode wear his sword grows 3x longer and he rund around much faster. Really weird stuff. If you happen to be a Super Ultra Sexy Hero’ on all of the game’s difficulty levels”¦you unlock the ability to play as Zan in his underwear.

The best part about the game is the theme music appropriately called Super Sexy Hero’. If anyone can tell me if there is a place where I can download it LET ME KNOW. I’ve got the damn song stuck in my head. It’s an odd mix of eastern and western music that somehow works with the game. RIIISIING ZAAAAAAAAN, samurai gunman, RIISIING ZAAAAAAAAAN, john-ny no more.

That’s not to say the game doesn’t have issues. The camera sucks, the graphics are bad even for the time it came out, the controls are occasionally unresponsive and stiff. The moral here is there are games that are so bad you’ll want to break the disk into thousands of pieces and hide the evidence that you ever played the game (which happened to Urban Chaos btw) and then there are games that are bad but you still can enjoy playing. Rising Zan is that game for me.

Like I said, I’m still a casual gamer and I’m still discovering what games are out there. Hopefully if I’m still doing this over the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to cover other types of games, but we’ll see how that goes.


PIMPS UP, LINKS DOWN

News Reports:

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Misha. He talks about individuality and a cool stuff from the other side of the ocean that I wish they would’ve had here. This week that cool thing is Digitizer, check it out.

<a
href=”http://www.411mania.com/games/columns/article.php?columns_id=2300″>Thank
God It’s Thursday by Bryan Berg-The April Fools edition. What’s real and what’s fake? He also continues his predictions about what the Big 3 have up their sleeves. Go read it!

<a
href=”http://www.411mania.com/games/columns/article.php?columns_id=2309″>411MAX:
News News Revolution by Alex Williams. He deconstructs one idiot about DDR, and helps another (me) get this column together.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report by Cory Laflin. Big Brother IS watching and he’s got all of the details. Those interested what I was listening to while writing this, I was listening to ‘Pulse of the Maggots’ the new song by Slipknot and NPR. And I would be up for an Xbox Live meeting.

Reviews:

We’ve got dual Motorcross reviews up:
MTX Mototrax by Alex Williams and MX
Unleashed
by Cory Laflin. I like motorcross games and didn’t have much fun with either game.

Lowrider gets reviewed by Bebito Jackson, which you’ve gotta read if only to share in his pain.

You haven’t bought The Suffering yet? What the hell is wrong with you! Alex Lucard explains why everyone should play this game except those who have heart conditions and are pregnant.

Is it okay to pimp myself? If so check out the review on Champions of Norrath

Columns:

Lucard is also back with another Retrograding column which was gone for too long. I started getting the shakes from withdrawal.

Liquidcross gets Gamestopped in The Angry Gamer. That would explain why I can’t find a used Dreamcast around here. That also REALLY SUCKS.

And last but not least Chuck Platt reveals The End of Otakukin Part 1 and End of Otakukin Part 2 which includes yours truly embarrassing himself. Someone save us if he ever decides to seriously consider being a con-man.

I’m outta here, zip it up and zip it out!