41MAX: News News Revolution 7.9.04

Hello once again, fellow players of various games! (Okay, that’s my worst introduction ever. I admit it.) I’m Alex Williams, and I’ll be bringing you news upon news upon NEWS!

That is, of course, if I can find the time to actually FIND said news these days, as the dwellers of this house have been frantically packing and getting ready to leave for Nevada this Saturday. For every year, we make the sacred pilgrimage to the vibrant city that is, was, and forever shall be…Las Vegas. The vacation spot that always makes me…happy. The glittering lights! The amazing diversity of people! The multitude of arcades and arcade machines! The gambling atmosphere! The…the…the f*cking blackjack tables that took a good $200 of my god dammed MONEY LAST YEAR! YOU BASTARDS AND YOUR RIGGED DECKS! I SHALT RETURN WITH A VENGENCE!!!!!!

…Sorry, lost the happy there. But THE HAPPY’S BACK!

If you’re still with me, and haven’t clicked the back button to reread Berg’s report, than thank you. By now, I would’ve given up on me as well.

In any case, things are a bit hectic around the house as of late. I’m doing my best to keep up with everything, including reviewing certain games to go along with packing, cleaning, and more of the first two. Thus, I haven’t been able to devote my entire time to the column. But the time I HAVE been devoting to it…boy, are you guys in for a TREAT!

Assuming you can find it, that is.

Anyway, you didn’t come here to see me talk about halfway phoning-in a performance. You came for the news. And I shalt supply some. Maybe not now, maybe not in a few minutes, but…oh hell, here it is. Let’s get it over with.

ON WITH THE NEWS!


Nintendo: Misha Is Sorely Pissed Off

Which is funny, because usually it’s Liquidcross who’s the angry/pissed one around here. But Misha has good reason to be.

For those who live in Europe, I’m sorry to say that the E-Reader has been cancelled for a release in your territory, and Nintendo has no plans to bring it back.

I believe the exact words from Misha were these:

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Or something like that. Hard to remember AIM conversations without saving them.

However, Nintendo DID state that the exclusive e-Reader content certain games contain may be available via “other means”. We have no idea what that means, but as soon as the “other means” appear, we’ll let you know. Maybe.

(Credit goes to Spong.com)


Microsoft: New PGR2 Download Pack Available

A new Project Gotham Racing 2 expansion has just been released for XBox Live. For $4.99, you get to race on tracks in Long Beach, as well as eight brand new cars, which as follows (taken from 1Up.com):

–Ariel Atom 2
–Dodge Ram SRT-10
–Dodge Challenger R/T Hemi
–Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
–Porsche 911 GT2 Clubsport
–Radical SR3 Turbo
–Subaru Impreza 22B STi
–Volkswagen Nardo

Long story short, that’s another $4.99 sucked out of my wallet. DAMN YOU, PREMIUM CONTENT!

(Credit goes to 1Up.com)


Sega Sammy Holdings: Live, Sonic Team! LIIIIVVVEE!

Way back when, Sammy (in all their f*cking glory) decided they were going to reorganize the Sega brand by closing down the many development studios (like Amusement Vision and Sega WOW) and reintegrating them back into the main product.

Of course this means Sonic Team would disappear was well, bringing the fiery death and destruction of the company at the hands of Sega fan-people along with it.

However, it was recently announced that Yuji Naka’s beloved Sonic Team would STAY in operation, albeit some minor changes! Which is some GOOD news for a change.

Curse Sammy for completely taking over my beloved Sega, and curse them for removing much of their uniqueness, but kudos for leaving Sonic Team alone for the time being.

(Credit goes to Spong.com)


SNK: SVC Chaos Gets Dated

So far, it looks like SNK VS Capcom: SVC Chaos is only coming to the Xbox here in America, however, it’s been announced that it will arrive here 9/28/04.

Therefore, it’s only fitting that you XBox junkies who still have Capcom VS SNK 2 will be practicing it in anticipation, only to find out it was developed on the SNK side of the fence, and plays more like an SNK game.

This would be funnier, yet there’s nothing else to add. So MAKE UP YOUR OWN DAMN JOKE!

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)


Geez, once I’m putting up game release dates as actual NEWS, you KNOW things are slow going. I blame E3 for stuffing three months of news into a three-day period, and leaving us reporters with NOTHING to shove in our columns. MAN, it makes me angry. And hey, as long as I’m in the mood, I might as well jump into the next installment of…


COMMENTARY: This One Goes Out To The One I Hate (Volume II)

A few weeks ago, I began a semi-regular series based on games that I truly, truly, TRULY hate. Games that are so bad, that they must be celebrated. Games that I will voluntarily play through myself (eye-gouging and hair-pulling along the way) so you’ll hopefully NEVER have to.

Hey, I’m a machocist at heart. It helps when playing through bad games in order to accurately review them.

Today’s nugget of CRAP takes us WAY back to the Atari 2600. It’s a game based on a popular movie license, but takes it to levels of bad and horrible that the Batman Forever game could never hope to achieve. The movie was amazing, touching, and a classic. The game would be mistaken for fecal matter if you accidentally stepped on it. And with that intro, I HATE…

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (Atari 2600)

Ah, E.T. A timeless classic if there ever was one. The story of a young boy befriending a homesick alien has touched the lives of so many millions of its viewers it defies belief. The action. The comedy. The tragedy. The heartwarming story. The tear-jerking ending. The amazing flying bicycle scene. All of it so wonderfully put together, and so incredibly filmed…wait a second, this isn’t a 411Movies special! This is “This One Goes Out To The One I Hate”! And I’m talking about the GAME based on the movie! That changes everything! I can’t go a week without having nightmares about that piece of shit!

Okay, lets say you have this movie that has grossed millions of dollars in the box office, and is an incredibly hot commodity. Lets also say that you just shelled out a pretty penny for the rights to this franchise to make a hit game based upon it. And finally, lets say that you f*cked up this opportunity even worse than your projected worst-case scenario. Then you’ve probably filled in the blanks already. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial is your game, Atari is your company, and the f*ck-up is one of the HUGEST of all time. I mean, on our scale of 1-10, where 1 is the absolute worst, this game resides at about a -487. It’s that bad.

The premise of the game involves you moving E.T. around and finding pieces of a phone in order to construct that super-incredible space-transmitter thing from the movie to get back home. Simple, huh? HA! In order to FIND the phone pieces, you’ll need to…get ready…fall down a bunch of pits. Luckily, the game supplies you about 15,000 individual pits stretched out over 17 screens to search in. And you need about 5 phone pieces all together. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

When you walk over a pit (or come within a 15-foot radius of anything resembling a pit), you’ll automatically appear on the infamous “pit screen”. If you’re lucky, there will piece of phone to collect, but 10 times out of 10, there isn’t. Now to LEAVE the pit, you’ll need to extend your neck, and very…veeeery…veeeeeeery…slooooooooooooooooooooooowly float back to the surface. This usually takes about 3 years per attempt. And once you finally reach the surface, try and attempt to move. Go ahead! Move on to the next pit! Whoops! SURPRISE! You just fell down the SAME PIT! Now you’re going to have to REPEAT the process! SEVERAL MORE TIMES! And that’s with ONE LOUSY PIT! BLARGH! Games like this make stuff like Superman 64 and Scooby Doo: Mystery Mayhem actually PLAYABLE.

And to make matters WORSE, there are a bunch of guys running around who kinda look like agents from the government. Yet they dress as “secret agents”; probably in order to hide their identities from being mocked by friends and family for appearing in the game. If they catch you, they’ll take you to somewhere that looks like a Roman prison (E.T. Phone Rome?), completely sidetracking you and throwing you off your game. You could be only 3 pits and 75 years away from your last phone piece, but then the GOVERNMENT gets in the way and moves you 87 miles AWAY from your goal! (I knew the government had problems with games, but to go this far is simply appalling.) It’ll be about this time when you wish you could beam your cell phone directly to that funky alien and spring for the long distance charges.

A game this bad can’t possibly exist. It simply can’t. Yet I’m staring at a working copy right now. (And yes, the rumors are true. Looking at the cartridge DOES INDEED burn the eyes.) I must be one of the lucky few, because the majority of these carts couldn’t even be given away. Hell, I actually bid on this thing on eBay in order to track down a copy, and won it for the initial 50-cent bid. The shipping for it was $5. Something about that doesn’t seem right, but is completely justified for this game.

The game sold SO poorly (even WITH the E.T. license) that the extras had to be buried in a New Mexico landfill. But hey, you could probably make some money if you have a plane ticket, a shovel, and an eBay account. That’s about the ONLY thing this game is good for.

And there’s another game that I HATE. Pure and simple. Find a copy if you must, but I warn you, you’re risking your general health and well being if you get anywhere near it.


I GOT MAIL?!?!?

Never let it be said that fake pouting never got me any mail…

Hey what’s up? Just wanted to ask a couple questions and such about the article in the subject line. This fellow asks about the Ultima Online story found in last week’s column…

First of all, you pointed out that Bryan berg actually gets email…well, I am the first person in the mailbag thing onhisa most recent TGIT report, and I felt kind of bad for you. So here you go.

Anyways, what I wanted to ask about was Ultima X. I have been following the development of this, albeit rather loosely. I have played Ultima Online since sit’s inception WAY back in 1997, and I was interested in what they could do with a new Ultima MMORPG. To be honest though, I stopped playing on the OSI servers (known as “shards” to players) (the ones you have to pay for) pretty much when EA bought out Origin. They totally ruined UO, since they made it WAY too easy. I mean…a world where you can’t get killed by “player-killers” if you venture too far into the wilderness? Phooey. Just like this, EA seems to ruin every franchise they get ahold of (see Goldeneye 2) and they had to do it to my precious UO. I don’t mean to sound fanboyish (although at one point..while in high school no less…I would litterally play for 18 hours a day), but still. I remember how if you were a mage…you weren’t just able to pick up a sword/mace/bow and kick ass with it. I remember having to work for the 600 gold to buy a pack horse to put more iron ore in to smith and sell. Well, that is about all I got to say…except for one last thing…are they going to make another Ultima Online? I know they were working on UO2, but that got converted into the most recent expansion pack…

Brandon Ratiff

To tell you the truth, Brandon, I’m not that interested in Ultima Online, or that many online RPGs in general. The only MMORPG I ended up playing was Ragnarok Online, and that’s only because it was complete FREE for 15 days and didn’t require me to buy additional software. However, I DO know that Ultima is a major RPG franchise spanning several years, and the cancellation of one of their games seems to be worthy news. Therefore, it made it to the column.

As far as making another Ultima Online game, the story last week said it all. While canceling Ultima X, they did mention that a new Ultima Online expansion, as well as a separate game, were in the works. I’m not too sure on the details myself, but that seems to be a good enough reason to expect a new game.


PLUGS & SHILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS

News You Can Use

Gamer’s Hangover News ReportCory Laflin
Cory’s an awesome guy, but his plug for me was completely blank! Not that I’m complaining, or fishing for compliments or anything. Really, I’m not. I’m just guessing that he lost his train of thought somewhere and

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Video GamesMisha
Misha has actual NEWS in his column this week, but I’m sure that it’s solely because he got to the new Famicon Mini series before Bryan or I could. Now, if Super Mario Brothers 2 makes it over here as Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels, I’ll GLADLY pay the $20. Or I’ll just find a used copy of Super Mario Brothers Deluxe somewhere, which contains BOTH SMB 1 and 2 (Japan). Either or.

Thank God Its Thursday News ReportBryan Berg
This week, Berg takes the words spoken by the immortal Satoru Iwata and rips them into shreds. It’s settled. Us news reporters have our “fun gimmicks” now. Cory’s got Matt Wong, Misha’s got Marvin, Bryan’s got Iwata, and I have handheld consoles that try to be more than just gaming machines. No word yet to when Yeager’s getting his, but we’ll see soon enough, I guess.

Reviews You Can Use

Duel Masters: Sempai Legends (GBA)Me, Myself, and I

Xevious (GBA)A.J. Angeloni

Driv3r (PS2)Michael Donohoe

Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun / Blue Moon (GBA)Liquidcross

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (XB)Michael Donohoe


PARTING THOUGHTS

Well, the column ended up a bit better than I expected! Some quasi-funny jokes at the news, a solid ripping on E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial…good times, good times.

Next week, I’ll be in Vegas, so I’m taking another break. But when I come back, I’ll be back with (hopefully) some interesting news, as well as a retrospective covering my DDR obsession. Why is it that I chose to begin playing, despite its odd premise? What has kept me going? How has the game impacted my life? This self-serving commentary may SURPRISE YOU!

Or not. I can’t exactly say for certain.

So until next week…er…two weeks from now, please, please, PLEASE don’t buy ANY console version of Yu-Gi-Oh! It’s just not worth the heartache and pain associated with it!

Alex Williams, The Norwegian Athlete