Casual Gamers News Report 06.09.04

Casual Gamers News Report 06.08.04

THE NEWS


Game ‘Critics’ Give E3 Awards

Several news sources and video game magazines came together and announced the winners of apparently annual awards they give out to games that were on display at E3. Of the awards given, the award for Best of Show went to none other than the Sony PSP despite some analyst already badmouthing the portable system, not to mention Sony themselves showing some doubt as to when they’ll break even on the PSP.

I wasn’t at E3 but I question if there were even any demos for half the games given awards. If not, are these awards just given to whoever has the most impressive video footage? Also, was Def Jam: Fight For New York honestly the best fighting game there, because then I’m worried about the state of fighting games.

You can check out all of the nominees and winners at Gamecriticsawards.com for a full list.


Interplay forced to shut down

Following up on the troubles of Interplay that Pankonin covered earlier this week, the California State Labor Department has forced Interplay to close it’s doors after several employees complained about not receiving pay, and it was revealed that the company had not paid it’s rent since January.

CEO Herve Caen still asserts that it’s not over yet for Interplay. The company is known for it’s development of the Baldur’s Gate: Dark alliance and Fallout titles.

This just proves that some people can stay optimistic in the face of anything. What surprises me the most is that they still had employees showing up to work even though they hadn’t been receiving paychecks. That kind of company loyalty just blows my mind. I’d like to rag on them for treating employees so badly, however they have to be doing something right by them in order to inspire such loyalty.


Viacom shoots down speculation over EA purchase

According to a story from Rueters Viacom sets any rumors that they might purchase EA straight saying that the purchase would be too expensive.

Viacom has been rumored to be looking for a fast growth asset to boost their sagging stock price which is down 16% this year. Chairman and Chief Executive of Viacom Sumner Redstone has ruled out EA because of the cost, which could be as high as $20 billion.

The really isn’t much out here for news this week, blame post E3 blowout for that I would guess, almost all of the big surprises and news were broke a couple weeks ago.


Christian’s Crazy Game Releases
Jun 6-12

Jun 7
Jimmy Neutron #1 (Movie) (GBA)
Legend of Zelda – Four Swords Plus (GC)
Paper Mario 2 (GC)
Sabre Wulf (GBA)

Jun 8
Ribbit King (P2, GC)
Room Zoom (P2)
Shining Force (GBA)
Smash Court Tennis 2 (P2)
***
The Used Sale Continues! Hundreds of used games, some up to 30% off their regular price. Find PS2, Xbox and Cube titles for as low as $2.99! But this is only on until June 12th, so hurry in!
***

Christian: I was right about Kingdom Hearts. We got notice that Kingdom Hearts on the GBA isn’t until September. Also, it looks like all the Classic NES Goodness got pushed up a week. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Excitebike and Xevious all came out last week. If you head to your local Game Crazy, the first 20 people to buy GBA Classic NES games get 5 Scratch and Sniff Stickers. (Hey, Nintendo sends them, I give them out. But they did send me a sweet yellow Super Mario t-shirt). Onto this week though! Shining Force – Get it. Love it. Or Lucard will smack you verbally upside the head. (I actually had someone pre-order it based on Lucard’s review). Paper Mario, I’ll believe when I see it. Otherwise Smash Court Tennis 2 is the only other thing that looks good this week.
***
Matt: What the hell is a Ribbit King? Looking forward to seeing how the US version of Shining Force does in translation otherwise I’ll have to take Lucard’s advice and just import the Euro version. I thought the classic titles were supposed to be this week too, so I’ll say what I’ve got about those. Come on Nintendo, selling them separately for $19.99? They could’ve easily put two of those games on one cart at least for that price. You can just buy the GBC version of Super Mario Bros used for less than that. I’m with Christian, don’t get excited about Paper Mario for this week, that’s gotta be some kind of error. If not, then I’m buying it! I loved the first Paper Mario.


Cheep, Cheep, Sweep

Just looking through weekly ads here:

You can get Red Dead Revolver for $39.99 at Target if you missed out on getting it for $29.99 just a couple weeks ago.

The GBA Classic games Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros can be bought for $17.99 this week at Best Buy. Still overpriced. You can also get Dragonball Z: Budokai 2 or Medal of Honor: Rising Sun for $20.

Nevermind Best Buy, Circuit City has several of the GBA Classics for $14.99, Shrek 2 (PS2) for $29.99, Fight Night (PS2) for 34.99, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Xbox) for $29.99.


The Corner:

I only got one feedback to the report from last week, but it was so good (and I’m to lazy to write anything) that I’m going to share it with y’all:

I think you hit a proverbial nail on the head. My love for Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and especially FF6 have strongly influenced my RPG experiences. This was probably a huge factor in my absolutely loathing FF7 (to be fair I did play the bloody thing through an entire disc, and just wasn’t having fun), and I’ve always been hugely picky when it has come to playing RPGs, and actually any games.

Starcraft was so unbelievably perfect that I can’t help but pity all the other RTSs I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot, from Total Annihilation to every C&C to Homeworld, even to Submarine Titans, for crying out loud) for lacking one or more of the important elements of story, balance, strategy, or fun factor. The aforementioned RPGs have set the bar for RPGs very high, and only FFX and the two Golden Suns have really broken past recently (not counting the pure bliss of Tactics RPG games, which I put in another category).

Half-Life and especially Counterstrike have ruined me for FPS games, with the possible exception of Battlefield/Desert Combat for good vehicle melee. I finally played Halo for the first time a couple months ago when the PC Demo came out, and man was I expecting more from all the hype. Sure it’s pretty, polished, has some neat weapons and vehicles, and has an amazing visual in the Halo on the horizon, but come on. I think everyone were just amazed that a console FPS didn’t suck. The vehicles didn’t control as well as Battlefield and Desert Combat, and the FPS gameplay was more Quake 3 than anything else (i.e. point near moving thing, hold down trigger until dead). And don’t get me started on the horrendous AI (I drove a Warthog within 20 feet of a half dozen enemies, not even behind cover, and just sat there killing them one by one as they either casually ignored me or ran back and forth briefly).

I could go on and on about genre-makers, but the fact remains that games coming out have taller and taller hurdles to jump, all based on what a player considers to be a genre-pinnacle and what a player has a big heart for. What a rush.

-Parhaum

Thanks for the great feedback, it’s always appreciated. That is exactly what I was talking about when I meant nostalgia having the effect of ruining not just going back to a game you used to love, but other games in the same genre.

Thanks also for anyone else who sent feedback on the Van Helsing review.

I’ll have more next week on a different subject.


Pimps Up, Links Down:

News Reports

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report from Bryan Berg”¦.and that’s it. Thought there would be a lot more news to report because of Cory and Misha being absent, but there really wasn’t much out there to report on, if there was I missed it somehow. I did hear through the grapevine that Marvin was tired of sharing the column space”¦

Reviews:
Breakdown and Red Dead Revolver are have both been reviewed by Michael Donaghue. Good stuff. I have Red Dead Revolver and think it’s rockin personally.

River City Ransom by Alex Lucard.

Columns:

Retrograding: Countdown #1 game! the real #1 game this time as Lucard finishes up his epic.

The Angry Gamer-Sluggish from Liquidcross who also give his impressions on The Nokia N-Gage QD.

Previews:

Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne (PS2) from, uh, The Games Staff *big grin, thumbs up*. I’m looking forward to this depending on how I like Persona 2.

Other Links:
Nick D is a fellow member of the Bebito fan club and for that reason I’ll give him a pimp. He writes a music column for a different site.

Ron Gamble over in Black wrote his title in Greek. I took language classes in the language so I was able pronounce the words, and that made me feel proud of myself.

And Eric S is taking triple duty on the site now in the middle of all that he’s got going on.


That’s it folks, zip it up and zip it out