The Casual Gamers Corner News Report 04.14.04

Week #2 and I’m still here, so let’s sit back and enjoy this party while it lasts. I threw a bunch of stuff in here last week just to see experiment with a few ideas and I’m not sure if I’m going to keep all of them going, so if you see something you like or don’t like feel free to shoot me an email, the feedback link is provided at the bottom.

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


The News
Silicon Knights No Longer Nintendo Exclusive
Yesterday, Silicon Knights president and founder Denis Dyack surprised the game industry, revealing his company has ended its exclusivity deal with Nintendo.

For the past four years, the Canadian studio had an agreement to develop games solely for the Japanese giant’s GameCube console. The deal produced two acclaimed titles: the 2002 horror adventure Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, this year’s Metal Gear Solid remake

I haven’t played MGS: The Twin Snakes, but I looooooooooooved Eternal Darkness. I hope they’ll be able to put their talents to use for all of the systems now, and hope that they’ll still work on a sequel to Eternal Darkness.
(credit goes to Gamespot)


Want To Own a Piece of Midway?
Now you can:
CHICAGO–April 13, 2004–Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY) announced today that it has agreed to sell 11,350,000 shares of its common stock at $7.25 per share for aggregate proceeds of approximately $82.3 million, before placement fees and other offering expenses. The sale is expected to be completed on Wednesday, April 14, 2004. The net proceeds of the financing of approximately $78.4 million, will be used for general corporate purposes including for working capital, financing capital expenditures, research and development, marketing and distribution efforts, and, if opportunities arise, for acquisitions or strategic alliances.

Call your broker quick because the sale of stock ends today. Like I said last week, I’m for anything that will help Midway at this point. If I knew anything about stocks or the stock market I’d probably try and grab a piece myself.
(credit goes to Miday’s Webpage)


Press Release: Ubisoft and Gearbox team up for WW2 Shooter
San Francisco, CA — April 13, 2004 — Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, today reinforces its strategy to dominate the war games market by announcing a long-term deal with award-winning developer Gearbox Software to publish a new military franchise: Brothers in Arms┞¢. With its breakthrough squad-based combat mechanism and unprecedented realism, the first game in the series is poised to revolutionize the WWII genre when it ships on consoles and PC starting Holiday 2004.

“The WWII theme is one of the fastest growing segments of the military shooter market and we believe that Brothers in Arms is the ideal title to expand Ubisoft’s new catalog of war games,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO and President of Ubisoft. “We were blown away by the immersive and realistic combat we experienced when playing this game and anybody who knows the reputation of Gearbox Software will understand the magnitude of this deal.”

Created by Texas-based Gearbox Software, Brothers in Arms is the most realistic and authentic WWII shooter ever. While other WWII games have sugarcoated the war experience, Brothers in Arms is based on a true story and will immerse gamers into the gritty, uncensored and emotionally-charged side of war. The game puts you in the shoes of Sgt. Matt Baker, a D-Day paratrooper squad leader, and asks you to lead the squad as you balance their lives with the success of the mission. The true stories and historical events you experience on your perilous journey take you through real battlefields meticulously recreated from aerial reconnaissance images, US Army Signal Corps photos and eye-witness accounts of war-torn Normandy. Players of all skill levels can battle their way through this intense experience because of Brothers in Arms innovative and accessible command and control system

Sounds good, but there are a lot of squad based war shooting games out there right now and I’ll wait to hear what actually sets this game apart from the already harsh competition.
(credit goes to Brothersinarmsgame.com)

And that’s all I’ve got right now.


Christian’s Crazy Game Releases
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 ;)

***
Apr 11-17

Apr 12
Serious Sam Advance (GBA)
UFC – Sudden Impact (P2)

Apr 13
Serious Sam – Next Encounter (GC, P2)
TOCA Race Driver 2 – Ultimate Gaming Simulator (XB)
World Tour Soccer 2005 (P2)
***
It’s time for a Spring Freebie at Game Crazy! Purchase $40 worth of
Game Boy games and get a Game Boy Color free. Or Purchase $100 worth
Of Game Boy Advance games and get a Game Boy Advance free. Only at
Game Crazy!
***
Christian-After a big one last week, it’s a slow one this week. The only stories
to really see is whether World Tour Soccer stands up to Winning Eleven
7. TOCA Race Driver 2 might be good, but I haven’t seen much on it.
Other than that, get playing your Fight Night and NBA Ballers!
***
Matt-It’s Serious Sam week! The only game I’m actually looking to play on that list is UFC: Sudden Impact to see what improvements they made from last years game. This doesn’t have to do with new releases but Gamecrazy is also doing a deal where they’ll find you that rare game you’ve been scouring eBay for and get it for you, and sell it for it’s used price. There is a shipping charge of $6, but that’s pretty much what you’d get for going through eBay as well. I’ll I know is that I’m getting Earthbound for $20 baby! Christian has also informed me that over 1300 special orders have already been made and every game so far found. Seeing as Gamestop has started getting rid of all it’s older used games stock(BOO!), this is a blessing for people like me.


Retraction
Readers Timothy L. and Dan B. both noticed something wrong with my Champions of Norrath review. I mentioned that there was no quick way of switching between melee and ranged weapons but I was wrong as you can switch between the two with the L1 button. My bad. I suffer from a chronic illness known as Foot In Mouth disorder and will probably miss more stuff in the future, thanks for keeping me posted.

Man, I really can’t figure out how I missed that. I beat that game and never once switched weapons that way. The score remains the same since the final score is higher than the average overall score anyway.

Timothy also thinks my views on the story are lame. What story? There was a story in that game? Could’ve fooled me.


Cheap Cheap Sweep

I think it’s been said before, but if not go get A Neo Geo Pocket Color and six games all for the same price a new game will cost you. A system +6 games over just one game. Just buy it.

Getting a game cheap is great, but getting a game FOR FREE is even better. Currently there is a poll on the net where if you get all the questions right you’ll get an Xbox or Gamecube version of Midways Arcade Treasures(which has a lot of kick-ass games on it). Just go here.

Also at the Best Buy’s near me you can pick up the Game Boy Advance game Ultimate Muscle for $5. If you’re looking for a quirky wrestling game that is actually pretty good give it a shot. I picked it up because of the low price and have never really watched the show but I’m still having a good time with the game.


The Hype Machine

Last week I talked about a game with both Cowboys and Ninjas. Unfortunately not all games can be as cool as to include both. Someday maybe but till then we’re stuck with a bunch of games with Ninjas and only a couple of games with just Cowboys. In fact you can probably count all of the cowboy related games on one hand, so when one comes out I sit up and pay attention. This is one that’s about to come out in a couple weeks:

Name: Red Dead Revolver
Release Date: 04.27.04
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: 3rd Person Action
Platforms: Xbox and PS2

The game has been in development purgatory for awhile. It originally started as a Capcom game till for some undefined reason they decided they were unhappy with the progress in the development of the title and axed it. For almost a year it sat at the sidelines till in December Rockstar picked up Angel Studios and this title. I know what some people are thinking, QA issues, long delays, and being fixed up by a different developer aren’t positive signs for a game. Time will tell though and already the game looks like it has a lot going for it.

The game takes place in the Old West(duh) and takes you through the story of the main character Red. What makes this game a little different than other 3rd person action games is that you’ll also play through the roles of 6 different characters including Red. One of those characters also includes the stories main antagonist General Diego. The story is one of revenge, and I’m really interested in how the story plays out through the use of all of the characters. They’re also said to play a bit differently as well.

Like many other action games the characters will be able to shoot, walk, run, crawl, slide along walls, and jump over small objects. In addition to all of that each character will have a special move that they can unleash. For example, Red can lock onto multiple enemies with his special move and can mow down all the enemies he has targeted at once Gunslinger style. Everyone has a different special ability as well giving some variety to each person. Dueling is also included in the game though there aren’t many details out there on exactly how this will work. Of course, what would a cowboy be if he couldn’t ride a horse? You’ll be able to not only ride a horse but you can watch the baddies run in fear while you ride them down on your”¦.cow? That’s right, you can ride other animals such as cows and bison.

Excited yet? Between this game and Dead Man’s Hand this is practically a flood of new Cowboy games.


THE CORNER

Welcome back to my little corner of gaming heaven. Can you remember the first arcade game that hooked you so completely and deeply that it sucked up your quarters and spare time? The one game you’d sit and wait to play even if there was a line just because you had to play it?

There have been more than just one game like that for me, however the very first one that took up more of my time and money than any amount I’ve ever spent at a strip club would have to be Area 51. That game had me near OCD levels of addiction; I could almost not pass one of those machines no matter what I was doing without at least playing the game. For those unfamiliar with the game it was a lightgun game that had you pointing and shooting your way across the top secret government research base by the same name. Area 51 is supposedly the place where they took the remains of the UFO that may or may not have crashed at in Roswell, New Mexico. So guess what you’re shooting? Lock and load its alien hunting season.

This game combined two things I already loved, shooting guns and alien conspiracies, how could I not love it? Whether that was the reason or not I spent a lot of time and a lot of quarters standing in front of that machine picking off aliens. Part of the reason I don’t like FPS games is that I always loved actually holding a gun in one hand, I still think it provides a deeper game experience than anything you’ll find using the thumbsticks while playing Halo. The game itself is set on rails automatically propelling you through the top secret base while it throws a horde of aliens at you. It’s the same pattern every time you play and after awhile I had the pattern down perfectly and STILL loved every minute.

The game faded out of arcades, and arcades themselves have slowly been fading out. However a couple months ago I was going through a discount PS1 game rack at Funcoland and found a copy of the game. I was shocked, I really had no idea the game had ever been released for the home console. I immediately bought the game for $11 and two lightgun controllers. I was never impressed by playing lightgun games at home so I had never bought a guncon prior to that point but this was different, this was Area 51!

Everything plugged in, loaded the game up perfectly on my PS2, turned up my sound system and got set to immerse myself in the good times all over again. It worked. Everything from the game was the same with some additional options for continues, difficulty levels and a couple other extras. Well, not everything. Playing it on my TV was just”¦.different. You’d think it would be even better, no one waiting for a turn, no yelling kids, bigger screen and much louder sounds. Something intangible was missing from the experience. Nevermind, something very tangible was missing, The Arcade. I had never considered the Arcade to actually be a part of the reason I enjoyed the game so much, but it was. Now that I have it and can play it anytime I want to, I hardly ever do. Although I did get my girlfriend to play the game and we beat it together (on easy) which was great because I was able to share something I had enjoyed so much growing up with someone I love. I’ve been trying to convince her for an Area 51 themed wedding if we ever get married.

Have you ever loved a game that you played in the Arcade but just never felt right playing it at home? Or share a game you enjoyed with someone you care about? Feel free to use the feedback link below and I’ll post the replies as I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this way. Or am I?

I’m not done with the arcade issue yet either.


Pimps Up, Links Down

There was no News News Revolution last week as Alex Williams has a lot going on in his life right now. I am still pimping him because even though I ripped off his format and inflicted WWE Crush Hour on him, he still helped me get everything together for last weeks report and he is still reporting the daily news and game hints along with Bebito which they both do an awesome job on.

Eric S. mentioned me over in the Black Zone, and it wasn’t in the You’re A Moron section. Yet. Give it time. Don’t expect to see any PC games in here Eric, I only got my first computer about 2 years ago and it was out of date then. Head on over and read him his opinions are always a good read.


ReportsThe Hitchikers Guide to Video Games by Marvin? Our resident pessimistic robot takes over for Misha this week. He talks about robot stuff like Microsoft and Apple, and also talks about Jak 3(go watch the video! I can’t wait for this game!).

Gamer’s Hangover News Report. Cory Laflin’s a lefty and I am too and that’s enough right there for a pimp from me. He also talks about video game nielson ratings, sports and responses to reader mail. Did Matt Wong die or go into hiding? I miss seeing an MST3K shredding of the poor guy.

Thank God It’s Thursday. Bryan Berg continues his industry predictions with the Big N that you should check out if you haven’t already. Then go back and read his thoughts on Sony and Microsoft, it’s really a good read.


Columns
Retrograding Alex Lucard is now on #15-13 on his Top 30 RPG Countdown, and I’ve actually played one of them back when it was on the PC even if I only got to play it in spurts when I went over to the persons house who owned the game and PC. I’m up to a grand total of”¦.2 games played from the countdown. But go read it if only because Alex Lucard is a god among men and the showstopper himself.


Reviews
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Lee Baxley fills us in on the latest version of Harvest Moon. I picked up the N64 version last week and was worried how much I would like a farming sim but the N64 version rocks, and I’ll probably be getting this version too in time.

Firefighter FD18 A firefighting video game? Bebito Jackson reviews this weird title and let’s us know if it’s worth the time.

That’s it for this week, zip it up and zip it out!