Encore Extra Stage #01

Hello, and greetings, one and all! BEHOLD, for I have officially transferred to the Inside Pulse community!

*crickets chirp*

Yeah, that’s the response I’d thought I’d get.

For those who know me, HI! How ya doin’? Good? Sweet deal. For those who don’t, the name’s Alex Williams, and I’ll be your host for the Friday column spot. For those of you who clicked here to find out the “nude code,” well, we’ll get to that in a minute. First, a short introduction.

Those of you who remember me from the “old site” will know that I’m a multi-purpose man. I helped take care of news bulletins, posted cheats and codes periodically, had my own, personal Sonic 1 & Knuckles level password guide posted (Which will NEVER be finished. And the reason why is NOT because of lack of interest!), authored plenty of reviews, chipped in with some previews, managed to score a couple of interviews with music game designers, and authored THREE COLUMNS at one time or another; The latest (and longest running) column of mine being [CENSORED]MAX: News News Revolution.

Oh, wait…I can’t say [CENSORED] anymore. I’ll just go with what my columns were renamed: PulseMAX: News News Revolution. (Whew. Lawsuit successfully dodged.)

So maybe you’re wondering why I switched column names, aside from the fact that I had to get rid of ties to the “old site”. Well, for a good chunk of time between October and December, I ran two columns a week: PulseMAX on Tuesdays, and Encore Extra Stage News Report on Fridays. Tuesdays contained news, as well as whatever commentary I had planned for that week. Fridays consisted of MORE news, and a quirky little feature where I transformed the daily news into haikus. I’d gladly do it again, given the chance, but that’s for another time.

I thought I was the MAN, running a total of two news columns a week. Then I obtained official “burnout” status. So, I relinquished the Tuesday spot, retired the Encore Extra Stage name, and moved PulseMAX on Fridays.

But for the site changeover, I was informed that I would no longer be bound by posting news. That I was free to post whatever I dang well felt like in a games column. Seeing this as an opportunity to start fresh, I decided to discontinue PulseMAX, and revive Encore Extra Stage, without the “News Report” portion, of course. So now, you get the ORIGINAL Friday Games column. Lucky YOU!

No, my ego isn’t big. It’s simply overly large. There’s a difference.

So what can you expect from me now that I’ve switched sites and ditched the news (for the most part)? Well, you can expect commentaries and coverage of games you’re probably not used to playing. Games that are usually non-mainstream titles. Games that will probably require additional hardware for you to fully benefit from playing.

For you see, I am an active player of the more “obscure” titles that come out. I’m a HUGE fan of music games, and therefore, I play Dance Dance Revolution, Karaoke Revolution, Samba De Amigo, and even Parappa the Rapper. I’m a pinball fanatic, and therefore, will actively seek pinball machines to play, as well as “simulated” pinball video games like True Pinball, and Pure Pinball.

And if I’m not actively talking about the games I LOVE, I’ll be going on long tirades about games I HATE. Over on the “other site”, I managed to rip Bible Adventures, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, and Final Fantasy 8 to SHREDS. Who KNOWS what games will piss me off now that we’re at the Pulse.

And what if what I talk about doesn’t fall in either of the two categories? Well, I hope to talk about…whatever, really. Gaming covers a lot of facets of life, nowadays. Some weeks I’ll focus on a topic, and try and provide some thought-provoking insight to it. And who knows; maybe I’ll even PULL IT OFF one day!

Or maybe I’ll just pull up old stuff from older columns and try to present it as new. Either way, I’m meeting the Thursday night deadline, right?

In any case, I hope to provide something outside of the norm every week. Or at least the weeks where college isn’t trying to kill me with massive work loads. Or unless my family obligations come in the way. Or unless the new DDR mixes come out, I say “Screw this!”, and end up not turning anything in for the week. Or if I end up going on vacation. Or if I get burnt out. Or…something. I ran out of advanced excuses.

In any case, this is probably not what you clicked here for. You probably came in here for…that thing in the teaser. Well, far be it from me to disappoint you. So, here’s…


THE “NUDE CODE”

For most of you, this is what you came down for. You’ve probably scrolled right past my slightly humorous introduction and all my credentials just to see if I revealed a way to get either Lara Croft or one of those hotties from DOA Volleyball to take off their clothes. By definition, this makes you perverts.

You don’t know how many times I’ve traversed message board after message board with people either asking for or “revealing” the infamous “nude code” games with busty women seem to have. “OMG!!!111!11 I foun d teh scret cod that gets lara coft nekked YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!11111!!1” Those who have apparently FOUND these nude codes are all liars. They have nothing better to do than go on these message boards and display their complete lack of knowledge about everything. And for those who actually ASK about this stuff? They fall into one of two categories: (1) Prepubescent teenagers who have never seen naked women in their lives, or (2) Guys pushing their 30’s who never got laid and spend their Saturday nights jacking off to Miss October in Playboy.

There is a general rule of thumb to follow here concerning nude codes: There AREN’T ANY! Unless a certain game has garnered an ESRB rating of “Adults Only”, you won’t be seeing nude codes in ANY game whatsoever!

Right now, I bet you’re saying “But Alex, we’ve seen nude and lewd content in our games before!” And indeed you have. I have as well. So lets take a look at what the ESRB website has to say about this:

“How are the games rated?

“To get a game certified with an ESRB rating, publishers fill out a detailed questionnaire explaining exactly what’s in the game, and submit it to ESRB along with actual videotaped footage of the game, showing the most extreme content and an accurate representation of the context and product as a whole. Working independently, three trained raters then view the game footage and recommend the rating and content descriptors they believe are most appropriate. ESRB then compares the raters’ recommendations to make sure that there’s consensus. Usually, the raters agree and their recommendation becomes final. However, when the raters recommend different ratings, additional raters may be requested to review the game in order to reach broader consensus. Once consensus on a rating and content descriptors is reached, ESRB issues an official rating certificate to the game’s publisher.

“When the game is ready for release to the public, publishers send copies of the final product to the ESRB. The game packaging is reviewed to make sure the ratings are displayed in accordance with ESRB standards. Additionally, ESRB’s in-house game experts randomly play the final games to verify that all the information provided during the rating process was accurate and complete.”

(Taken from the ESRB Rating FAQ)

So what it boils down to is that to get the game slapped with an appropriate ESRB rating, you’re going to need to disclose the full extent of the content you’re going to include. If the worst stuff you have is playing a game of horseshoes, the ESRB will rate accordingly. Same if you include a scene of hardcore pornography. As long as you disclose it to the ESRB beforehand, you’re perfectly okay. You may get slapped with a high rating depending on the content, but hey, such is life.

Getting back to the nude codes: If you’re going to include a hidden easter egg which makes your leading female run around in the nude, you’re going to need to say so in your report to the ESRB. Failure to disclose this fact could mean a LOT of trouble once your game ships and the easter egg is discovered. You let a game with a Teen rating get out with a nude code? There will be a factory recall within 20 minutes of the news of the code, guaranteed.

Now granted that several games out there have featured partial nudity and lewd content. Games like Fear Effect (PS1) and Dead or Alive 3 (XB) both have cut scenes depicting women seen nude from the back taking steamy showers. Yes, you get to see their asses, big deal. But the fact was that the developers / publishers let the ESRB know of this, and let them view it for themselves. Plus, these cut scenes were more of an artistic endeavor, rather than blatantly saying “Hey! Look at this girl’s ass!” It’s just like that scene in NYPD Blue. That, and the fact these are CUT SCENES, not CODES.

Then we have BMX XXX, with strippers and the ability to create characters that are topless women. Same deal here. The ESRB was notified first hand, and the rating was influenced accordingly. And since there weren’t blatant depictions of sex, or even full frontal nudity, it skirted by with a Mature rating.

Speaking of ratings, here’s the official ESRB descriptions of game ratings from Teen on:

TEEN: Content may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older. May contain violent content, mild or strong language, and/or suggestive themes.

MATURE: Content may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. May contain mature sexual themes or more intense violence or language.

ADULTS ONLY: Content suitable only for adults. May include graphic depictions of sex and/or violence. Not intended for persons under the age of 18.

Therefore, scenes like those in Fear Effect and DOA3 are considered suggestive, and not graphic depictions. BMX XXX has mature sexual themes, but no actual ACTS of sex. There’s a big difference when comparing these to scenes of the nude female body from the front.

And thereby explains the rule above: You WON’T see nude codes UNLESS the rating is ADULTS ONLY!

But of course, that’s only a rule. And rules are meant to be broken.

There IS a “nude code” in existence.

Come on, you wouldn’t have seen the words “nude code” in the column’s teaser if I wasn’t going to include one, were you?

This is my favor to all you horny teenagers out there. The ONE and ONLY nude code in existence unless someone out there proves me otherwise.

The console game it’s for? You’re not going to believe thisâ┚¬Â¦

RINGS OF POWER (Sega Genesis)

“What?” you ask me. “I have to go play an old GENESIS game to see some titties?”

My answer? Yes. Yes you do. And if you want to see some titties so bad, go to a porn site. Or buy a copy of Penthouse. Or go get a girlfriend and get laid. Or SOMETHING other than this. Pixilated titties are not worth their weight in spewed semen. This code is strictly for fun. Taking it seriously is just pathetic.

(Spewed semen? Where did I come up with THAT one?)

Anyway, back to the code. The funny thing is that this isn’t even part of the main game. Rings of Power is just a mediocre strategy RPG released in the days of Phantasy Star II and Shining in the Darkness. I rented it once, and it’s not even worth playing these days. (By the way, that’s my opinion. Others may vary.) The code works only for the Naughty Dog title logo animation. While I had the game for rental, I flipped through an old issue of Tips & Tricks I had, and BINGO. A nude code. (Come on, it’s not an Inside Plus exclusive. It’s just not as “widely spread” as some people would have liked.) Because I was curious, I tested it myself. It took a few tries, but lo and behold, it worked. It is Alex Williams, and essentially, Inside Plus approved.

Now for the code itself. The unfortunate bystander we’re going to unclothe is this nice-lookin’, pixilated woman we see before the Naughty Dog logo appears on the screen. (The mascot looks like a cross between a dog, a moose, and Joe Camel, but I digress.)

Here’s the code: Plug a controller into Port 2 of your Genesis, and make sure the power is OFF. Hold Down/Right A B C Start on Controller 2, turn the power on, and continue holding them until the Naughty Dog title sequence. You’ll know if it worked or not if you see the mutant mascot first instead of the girl. Then just wait a few seconds, and there she is, with a hell of a lot less on. You’ll see her from the back, but you’ll get to see an ass and a nipple.

There you have it. The ONLY code that will take all the clothes off of ANYTHING. Just don’t come cryin’ to me when your Genesis controllers are all gooed up fromâ┚¬Â¦ uhâ┚¬Â¦ entering the code so much! Yeah, that’s the ticketâ┚¬Â¦


And THAT…was the first commentary I ever wrote for the first column I ever had: Cheat! It’s been slightly updated, but the fact still remains: You STILL skipped my intro just to see if what I said was true. You STILL act like perverts, even 13 months later. HAH!

You don’t know how popular this column is with the other staffers here. I think its still the one that I received the most hits for.

And now, lets head into some…


I GOT MAIL?!?!?

Every so often, I get e-mail relating to the columns of the previous week. These e-mails are responses to my Final Fantasy 8 bashing I did on the “other site” two weeks ago. Let’s see how everyone responded to my final [CENSORED]mania commentary:

Je ne sais pas.

Close, but no cigar

And yes, FF8 blew. Huge.

Chad Smith

Chad tries to correct me on my French, which I haven’t actively used since 10th grade. I’ll give him the “sais”, as I should’ve known that. But I’m PRETTY sure that it’s “Je ne sais quas,” and not “Je ne sais pas”….

No, wait…he’s right. Altavista’s translator proved me wrong. DAMN YOU ALTAVISTA, AND YOUR…CORRECTNESS!

Of course you shouldn’t play Final fantasy VIII, because you can’t. Just like you can’t play any other Final Fantasy game. They aren’t games. Even when you should be playing the most, during a fight, all you do is select an attack from a menu. Where’s the fun in that!? Turn based fight’s are dull and repetitive. They are ridiculous to watch as you allow your enemy a turn to hit you and he honourably allows you a turn to hit him. It’s just like playing one of those card games anyway. I don’t see the point personally.

Mike

Now while I agree that FF8 can’t be played, I have to disagree with the fact that “turn-based RPGs” aren’t games. There are MANY RPGs, both classic and modern, that use the “turn-based” system as the engine for combat. You select an attack from a menu, and then your player attacks. Pure and simple. Lunar uses it. Chrono Trigger uses it. Hell, most strategy games use it if it’s not an RTS. Besides, 9 times out of 10, do OTHER THINGS besides battle. That’s what completes the game. (Unless you’re stuck watching movies all the time…)

Hey, guys!

You guys brought me some bad memories when you brought up this game! This game was striaght HORRID!!! Everything you guys said about it is true: Story: SOAP OPERA TRIPE. Characters: WHINY BITCHES. Graphics: ENOUGH OF THE CUT SCENES ALREADY! Gameplay: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

There is one other thing about this game that sickens me, an aspect that you guys didn’t mention: THE FACT THAT THIS GAME HAS BEEN SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS BY EVERY MAGAZINE AND MEDIA OUTLET IN AMERICA!!! Every magazine rates this game as a CLASSIC (every magazine except one…GAMEFAN, R.I.P.), and tells everyone that if you don’t like it, YOU’RE A CRYBABY!! The best way to get me to hate something is to tell me that I AM SUPPOSED TO LIKE IT.

It’s because of all this that I REFUSE TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH SQUARESOFT EVER AGAIN. I’m sure that Square has made some decent games since releasing FF8, but Square has totally lost my trust in them because of FF8. If they go out of business, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

Phil Watts, Jr.

Dude…all that hatred…are you trying to apply for a job here?

Seriously, Phil brings up a good point that game magazines, websites, and whatever else will usually take a crapfest like this and praise it to high heaven solely because it has the Final Fantasy label attached to it. Its these same sites who will give “perfect scores” to any and all Grand Theft Auto games when they are simply clones of the ones before it. And why? They want the companies to send out “reviewable” copies to them before the rest of the people get them. They probably promise a good blowjob review solely for free games. Luckily, we here on Inside Pulse will not allow ourselves to blow ANYTHING for freebies. A game should be rated on its merits, and not for its name. A name could be famous, but the products could be manure.


PARTING THOUGHTS

And my first column on Inside Pulse ends here. An intro, a retread, and some mail. Not a bad start, if I do say so myself.

I’ll see you next week, hopefully with something I’d said I’d do up at the top of the page.

So until next week, I’ll be playing DDR. Big f*ckin’ surprise to some of you, I’m sure.

Alex Williams, The Norwegian Athlete