PulseMAX: News News Revolution (7.23.04)

Hello once again, my friends. It is I, Alex Williams, ready to bring YOU the LATEST in NEWS and INFORMATION about THE video GAMING world! (I gotta learn not to type like that…)

So, I’m back from Las Vegas, for the seventh straight year in a row. I can honestly say I had fun this year. No, I didn’t gamble my life’s savings away, or get married, or get struck down with appendicitis. (That happened two years ago anyway.) However, I spent much of my time arcade hopping, playing the many arcade forms of Bemani, as well as becoming thoroughly addicted to Maximum Tuned. Anyone know where to find a decent machine in Maryland? Anyone?

But now that I’m back, I’ve been slowly getting back into the groove of normal, everyday life. You know, playing games, waiting for college to start again and counting the days until my Live account expires. That sort of thing. And other than that…things have been pretty quiet lately. No earth-shattering news, no super-major releases…not much else going on. Maybe I should go and make some friends…nah! I have VIDEO GAMES! SCREW REALITY! *cough*

I recently picked up ESPN NFL 2K5 (which is one of the best football titles I’ve ever played), and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (yes, I’ve finally caved in) for the XBox. Both are fun titles, and I’ve been playing them to death Come to think of it, its been a while since I got new XBox games to BEGIN with, so its nice to go back to a system I’ve been neglecting for a while.

And now we come to the NEWS section, which is why all three of you (HI MOM!) have clicked here in the first place. Too bad there’s not all that much of it. (Darn E3 for sucking most of the COOL news out of the summer months!) But I’ve scrapped up as much as I can to do my job and make you happy. So…

ON WITH THE NEWS!


Konami: DDR Ultramix SP6 Out For Download

In what seemed like an ENDLESS wait from Konami and Microsoft (well, mostly Microsoft), the sixth songpack for Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix has finally been put up for download. The songs are as follows:

Baila! Baila! — DANDY MIERNO
(Appeared on Dance ManiaX [JP])

Broken My Heart — NAOKI Feat. Paula Terry
(Appeared on Dance ManiaX [JP], DDR 5th Mix [JP], DDRMAX [US])

Gorgeous 2012 — THE SURRENDERS
(Appeared on Dance ManiaX [JP])

Infinite Prayer -floating flock style- — L.E.D. feat. GORO
(Appeared on Beatmania IIDX -7th Style- [JP])

Mad Blast — THE INFECTION
(Appeared on Dance ManiaX [JP])

Except for Broken My Heart all songs listed are exclusive to the XBox game, and have not appeared in any other version of DDR. And as always, the song pack is premium content, and costs $5.00 to download.

And if you DO purchase this song pack…well, you might want to spend some time in Edit Mode. While the Light and Standard steps for the new songs are pretty good, the Heavy steps are insanely difficult. And when I say “difficult”, I mean that the step patterns have almost no flow to them, and are near impossible to complete. I mean, Broken My Heart is listed as a 9-Foot song, yet it has easier-to-follow steps than the other four songs on Heavy.

Anyways, the SONGS are worth your purchase. The STEPS to the songs…you might want to make your own in Edit Mode. Just a precaution.

(Credit goes to MYSELF and DDRFreak)


Activision: Spiders & Ogres Make Great Cash Cows

You know, it must be great for a company to be sitting on two of the biggest movie licenses to make two nice games off those licenses and rake in money like you wouldn’t believe. And for today, the company in question is Activision.

Activision recently reported that thanks to excellent game sales, mostly thanks to Shrek 2 and Spiderman 2, their earnings for Q1 2005 are $12 million. To make things more amazing, this amount is nearly TRIPLE from their Q1 2004 earnings. ($4.2 million).

Activision hopes to continue this trend by continuing to pump out their franchises, like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, as well as developing “groundbreaking, original content” in the same vein as True Crime: Streets of L.A. and Call of Duty

Personally, if Activision announces Kaboom 2005, they’ll never have to worry about going bankrupt ever. But that’s a simple pipe dream. Ah well.

(Credit goes to CNN and Gaming Age)


Atlus: Either Way, You’re Going To Hell

For all you SMT fans out there, be prepared as this RPG universe is finally going online.

Atlus announced that they’re developing Shin Megami Tensei Online Imagine for the PC. And within it, you have the option of joining two sides: Satan’s side, or Lucifer’s side.

I’d crack a joke here about this, but then I’d get a VERY long lecture from Lucard about how I’ve (1) Yet to play Revelations: Persona, even though I own it, and (2) Have no idea of what I’m talking about. So, we’ll let the headline do the talking, and I’ll leave it at that.

(Credit goes to RPG Gamer)


Capcom: Just When You Thought You Couldn’t Get Enough Street Fighter…

It’s been recently announced that the Street Fighter: Eternal Challenge art book will be localized for American audiences by Udon Entertainment, and be published by Devil’s Due. The book is 270 pages, containing original Capcom artwork, concept art, and other sketches.

You know news is light this week when I’m covering friggin’ art books…

(Credit goes to Games Are Fun)


I HATE a slow news week! So do many other people when they get stuck with nothing. And without a decent commentary lined up, this column’s gonna fall a little short. However, I’m going to make it up to some of you with…


EXTRA: Dance Dance Revolution Edits

Every now and then, I get a little tired of playing the same step patterns over and over in DDR. I mean, as much as I love the game, playing the same things gets repetitive after a while. So, in order to keep my enjoyment level up, I proceed into the game’s Edit Mode and create my OWN steps. It’s actually very fun and rewarding, seeing as I can make my own edits and share them with people all across the country. So now, I’m going to share one of these edits with you, my fellow readers.

This one comes off the new Ultramix song pack that was released the day before yesterday. As I stated above, the actual SONGS are awesome, but the Heavy steps are…well, not very good. In fact, they’re…well, kinda bad. It usually takes a lot for me to admit that step patterns are bad, but this time around…well, they are. So, I’ve decided to remedy that with my own steps. Here are the vital statistics:

SONG: Infinite Prayer -floating flock style-
GAME: Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix (US XBox)
STEPCHART: Answered Prayer (ANSPRAYR)
DIFFICULTY: Between 8 and 9 (Out of 10)
DOWNLOAD: Here (Right-Click It)

When copying the edit into the game, make sure to start on the 4th Measure. That way, the steps will sync up properly.

I’m not sure if this will be a one-time thing, or a regular thing as of yet. But hey, for those who are interested, please take part!


PLUGS & SHILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS

Behold the awesomeness that is EVERYONE ELSE!

News You Can Use

The Friday Fill-In News ReportA.J. Angeloni
Many thanks go out to A.J. for covering for me last week. He’s got Pokémon Emerald and new Custom Robo covered, as well as some other odds and ends. If I still gave out Kliq Points, he’d be VERY deserving right now.

Gamer’s Hangover News ReportCory Laflin
You know, I guess I should be glad that I wasn’t saddled with a dance in his latest Pimp section. And if you need to ask why…you haven’t been paying much attention on Fridays at 411, have you? And Matt Wong is back making Cory’s life a living hell, yet making us laugh with his stupidity.

The Casual Gamer’s News ReportMatthew Yeager
Matt hits us with Smackdown! VS RAW details, another study on women gamers, and the fact that Pure Pinball is FINALLY coming to the XBox, and with an ACTUAL publisher to boot. Thanks, Matt!

Thank God It’s Thursday News ReportBryan Berg
Instead of a full-blown news deal, Bryan has a commentary on how Sega’s price strategy involving ESPN NFL 2K5, as well as their other sports titles, will do more to hurt them than help them. I can see where he’s coming from, but I don’t ENTIRELY agree. While there is some merit that Sega may be tarnishing its reputation by trying to target the casual gamer, its not like Sega decided to include JUST enough to warrant a $20 price. They included more than I thought would be possible in this edition, and the player will see that as well when they pop the game in. I mean, this is kinda like the upgrade from VF4 to VF4: Evolution. They may be different genres, but both upgrades contained quite a few extras, a polished look, and they were both $20.

Views You Can Use

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
This week, LC responds to a letter he received for last week’s column. And you know what? I agree with LC’s sentiments. While Nintendo is a great company and creates great games, they simply LOVE to rerelease them in non-anthological form for your dollar. The closest we’ve ever come to a classic Nintendo Anthology came in the form of Animal Crossing, and even then you had to unlock them, AND Nintendo decided to release the same games on $5 e-Cards (which was a cool idea, actually), and on $20 GBA carts (a 95% BAD idea). So as much as I love the Big N, we will NEVER see a cheap, easy Nintendo Anthology, and that sucks ass.

Reviews You Can Use

Pokémon BoxAlex Lucard

Spider-Man 2Michael O’Reily

ESPN NFL 2K5Chris Pankonin


PARTING THOUGHTS

And once more, we come to the end of another wonderful romp of a near-newsless week. I had fun scraping together some somewhat amusing stuff! Did you enjoy reading it? All three of you? Excellent, excellent.

Next week, I’ll dig up another game I hate and tear it to shreds. And if it’s another game that fell off of Seanbaby’s list, that is PURELY coincidence. I truly hate EVERY SINGLE GAME I talk about. I just happen to agree with Seanbaby completely.

So until next time…um…go here! Go and laugh your ass off!

Alex Williams, The Norwegian Athlete