The Daily Pulse MAILBAG 10.04.04

Yep, it’s my first mailbag here at InsidePulse. Back when I was doing Retrograding, the MAILBAG tended to be a popular add on in addition to my normal column. And seeing as I haven’t had time to do anything but put together couches and move dressers and put things in shelves, I figured I’d do one of these and manage to keep my title as the only guy who actually turns out their column every week here. ;-)

Let’s read some letters, K?

FABLE FEEDBACK

Two BIG things that bothered me with Fable I’d like to mention, and they both
stem from the same part of the game… right after escaping from Jack of Blades’
dungeon.

The first thing I noticed is that even though I had spent a year in the dungeon,
the “Game days” only showed 6. That ruined a lot of the game for me… that and
the fact that even though only six days have past my character has aged 30
years.

The second thing that bothered me is that all the quests I had signed on for
were still waiting for me, even one that had me performing some sort of escort.
Am I to believe that these people waited for me for a YEAR while I was in
prison?

And I won’t even mention what effect this year in prison on me had on my wife,
becuase frankly I haven’t been back to check. :)

Clay Hamilton

As you can see, I’m not the only one who had annoyances with Fable. Amazingly, all but one of the letters I got were agreeing with me that the game nowhere lived up to the hype and that the game had some serious flaws in logic and play. The age aspect was supposed to be innovative, but was merely asinine.

In your review of Fable you mentioned several times things that were advertised originally as being in the game but got cut out because they couldn’t so them, what kind of things ended up not making the final version?

Chris Walker

Chris, there were a LOT of things missing from Fable. One of the big ones was the fact game play was supposed to change as you got older to indicate the passage of time. The multiplayer aspect is gone as well, which was going to be a big selling point for me. And they took out the ability to spawn children. And a few other things like that. Just doing a search online will most likely show you everything that was left out of the game.

I think you summed it up pretty well. Everything in the game was rather generic. Even Danny Elfman’s theme. And I LOVE Danny Elfman! I’ll probably play through a second time as hard-core evil, but for now, I’m digging Phantom Brave a lot! :)

-Lee Baxley

Old 411 and IP staff member Lee chimes in with his agreements as well. And yes, Phantom Brave > Fable.

But hey, there’s always one dissenter. So I should probably include that letter as well, eh?

I just read your review on fable and I have to say are you kidding me??? If
your going to give it the stupid raiting of 6 then at least talk about the
great stuff… first off sound a 6/10 is a complete joke as that game has
some of the best music in a game ever… seriously and it only manages to
get a 6?? Second of all the graphics are much better than you gave it credit
at least an 8 out of 10… The story is one of the weak points of the game
but a 5 out of 10??? Thats just stupid a 6 or a 7 is suffice. As for control
shows what you know as the camera control in ninja gaiden rocked… as well
as in fable.

1.I never heard anyone say you “age in real time” but you do… if you sleep
in a bed when you wake up your a year older same with experince.And at 80
years old (You cant even grow that old to my knolwege) yes you are the
master leader you should have maxed out stats.

2.The marriage was just really a filler…sure its not complicated but if it
was we would have been waiting another year for fable..this isent the sims
this is fable.

3.Just a cool feature they added in… its like gta that keeps track of the
weird facts.

4.Cause its your choice…think of it as your ultimate choice to redeem
yourself.

5.This is just logic… anyone can work out and earn strength…everyone can
do drills and become fast but its diffcult to read…and learn which is
exactly what you do to earn a spell.

Obviously game play is a 9.10 a brillant part of the game.

Your playing this game with the thought of hype in your mind which is
wrong… yes there is stuff it did not live up to forsure not a question…
but tyou need to play this game as its a new rpg game that came out of no
where then you wouldent be giving it as low scores…

Replayibility a 6 out of 10 is just stupid… I and my friends have played
it two times beat it and our on our third time around…its fun to keep
playing.

Epic 40-80 hour rpgs??? yeah what are you smoking buddy I have seen mabye a
select few of rpgs that long… and if you say morrowind thats bull follow
the story and youll be done in the same amount of time as fable. But yes it
was short which is dissapointing.And no AI??? Again a comment that makes no
sense as the AI is good.

Oh and tell me where scarring has been done before and by who??? The
scarring system was brillant in this game.

Addictivness is a 10 out of 10 …

This game is the best rpg by xbox on far better than morrowind and Kotor
(which are two great rpgs dont get me wrong)

Fable is an awsome game and your review is border line on being biased to
morrowind. Sure you dont have a ps2 and are waiting in breaths for The New
Final Fantasy?

Dorian Brown

Anyone who says “Ninja Gaiden’s camera angle rocked” automatically loses all validation as a credible and intelligent commentator. Especially since even diehard NG fans complain about the camera in the game. Either Dorian is 15, or is working at a gas station because I can’t imagine anyone who can’t name at least 2 dozen RPG’s that are at least 40 hours long off the top of their head. But hey, everyone is entitled to like whatever they want, right? And zillions of people shelled out money for Fable at full price. Me? I call them suckers.

Daily Pulse 09.27.04 Feedback

Since this had two topics, Nintendo’s strategy and Hawkeye, let’s cover both of them.

Hey…me again.

I hear you on that bullshit. I have seen it happen way too many times…when some dipshit writer can’t make a strong story and has to resort to killing characters off just so that people will remember SOMETHING out of it. Remember Kevin Smith’s much-ballyhoo’d Daredevil run? You know…the one that Wizard magazine SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS? The only thing ANYONE remembers out of that whole story is the fact that Bullseye pops up out of nowhere and kills off ANOTHER Daredevil girlfriend! OHHHH…how INNOVATIVE…how ORIGINAL…how RIVETING…how STUPID. Nobody remembers anything else out of it! I remember all those times when they slaughtered all those Spidey supporting cast members in an attempt to “shake up the Spidey books”. What they wound up doing is crippling the Spidey books to the point where Spidey only has TWO supporting cast members…Aunt May & MJ…and they tried to kill THEM off, too!!

Now, Mr. Mono-Syllablic Dialogue himself, Brian M. Bendis, decides that in order to make his mediocre Avenger run remotely memorable, he has to kill off one of the greatest Avenger characters of all time. Ignoring the long-term remifications for the sake of some short-term shock value.

The messed up part about this is that in all these cases, none of these hack writers have been capable of creating any new characters to replace any of the people they killed off, and the ones they do create wind up being forgotten.

Just like you, I hate the way comics have been writen over the past several years.

-Phil Watts Jr.

I agree with Phil big time. I think Bendis is highly over-rated and doesn’t know his characters at all. I’ve been picking up Avengers Disassembled and think it’s one of the worst story arcs I have ever read. Now I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of any of the crap that passes for plots in comics today, but until things get good again in terms of plotting, characterization, and dialogue, I just won’t pick up comics.

I totally agree with you about Nintendo. I just recently got a X-Box, that was
because I wanted to play games online. I’ve
been a loyal Nintendo user since I was a kid, and I have a lot of friends that
are the same way. Sure playing new games is good, but there’s nothing like
playing a brand new Zelda or Mario game. And thats what makes nintendo special.

Keep up the good work.
~Thegomez

I can’t believe the debate my commentary caused. Both in the articles section and in emails. I have to admit, I’ve NEVER been a Nintendo fan. I preferred Sega and the TG-16 in the 8 bit and 16 bit and 32 bit wars. I’ve never liked a Mario game other than SMB3 and I’ve always thought the Zelda games were merely okay. Nintendo has always been, in my eyes, a company that is hit or miss with me and just happens to have made my beloved Pokemon franchise. So my commentary wasn’t Nintendoite fanboyism. It was made by a person watching and listening to the younger generation of gamers.

But isn’t this exactly what was supposed to happen last time? Any competition Nintendo had among 8 bit consoles isn’t even worth mentioning. The “aging gamers” (like me) were all loyal Nintendo zombies when we were growing up. The thought of getting a Sega Genesis was heresy. But gamers did grow up, and Sony (then later Microsoft) jumped in to fill the gap that Nintendo refused to fill. Why would the current young gamers act any differently than their predecessors?

Stephen

Nope. Last time, there wasn’t a choice. Remember Nintendo dominated the 8 bit wars to the point of monopoly. Sega actually won the 16 bit wars. And Sony won the 32 and this generation’s battles.

What’s different is that with our generation, we didn’t have a choice. We had Nintendo and that was it. We weren’t loyal. We were under a dominance not seen since the days of oil barony. So when the 16 bit systems came out in the 1990’s, a ton of people flocked to the Genesis because we were given a choice. This generation has started off with a choice. They’ve seen Sony and Microsoft only cater to our age group. Only Nintendo has given them games all ages can enjoy, and that’s inspired a loyalty. In the days of the 16 bit systems, Sega and Nintendo equally appealed to all age gamers and that’s what made the war so competitive. There was something for everyone and Nintendo couldn’t dominate because Sega had the same marketing and business plan as they did. They knew to get them while they were young in order to establish loyalty. And it worked. Sega killed itself with some crappy marketing with the Sega CD, 32x and Saturn. If they had done something right for even one of those systems, the Dreamcast would have survived.

Now we have kids that only have Nintendo as an option, creating an even stronger loyalty. 7 years olds can’t play GTA. They can’t play most of the games on the PS2 or Xbox. And so as they grow up, they’ll be established Nintendo zombies. Sony and Microsoft are only paying attention to us Gen X’ers. And that will cost them in the long run.

Gradius V Feedback

Well, it’s official. I will now both love you and hate you forever. Thanks
to you, my soul has now been eaten by Gradius V, and I couldn’t be happier.

Last week I picked up Fable, having bought into all the hype surrounding that
game. And I have to say that I was incredibly disappointed. For a game that
had so much promise going into it, it just seemed to kind of fall flat. I was
expecting more of a Grand Theft Auto meets Baldur’s Gate, and instead ended up
with just another generic Dungeons & Dragons style game that had a few
semi-interesting aspects to it. Worth a rental, I suppose, but it definitely
wasn’t worth my hard earned $50.

And then this week you post your review of Gradius V. After spending a rather
boring week attempting to find joy in Fable, I decided to head out to the
store and pick up Gradius. I got home, plopped it into my PS2, and proceeded
to spend the next 7 hours with my eyes locked on the screen and my thumbs
flying rapidly over the controller which was locked in a death grip in my
hands. I completely forgot to eat dinner, and ended up going to bed with my
hands cramped up beyond belief. And I was looking forward to doing it again
the next day!

So for that, damn you Alex Lucard! Your recommendations have gotten me to
pick up The Suffering, gotten me addicted to Pokemon, and now gotten me to
sell my soul to Gradius V! And the worst part is, I can’t wait for my brother
to come visit this weekend so I can show him the game too.

In all seriousness though, I’m glad you did a review of Gradius V, as I didn’t
even realize another Gradius had come out, and probably never would have found
it. Keep up the good work over there at Inside Pules, and I hope that if you
end up reviewing Fable that you enjoy it more then I did.

– Tom

One of the best letters I’ve ever received. I was really touched by this. Another person disappointed by Fable but LOVING Gradius V. I’m really happy to see all the people that went out and bought this game on my recommendation and loved it as much as I did.

A great review and an enjoyable read. I don’t game much anymore, but reviews like this make me want to. ;)

-Frost

Cheap plug to say Frost is the best bartender ever.

Hooray for Gradius. I haven’t played a game on this series since III on the SNES!

-Will Quinn

Our newest staff member chimes in with his love of GV as well.

Guardian Heroes Advance Feedback

Dear Alex,

..I just *now* find the new site. I noticed 411Games seemed up to and
vanish, but I didn’t realize you guys moved to another site. Did I miss an
announcement about it, or was the split from 411 games not exactly amiable?
No need to massive details…just curious.

Sadly, due to just now finding your review, I wasn’t prepared for the
disappointment I was nailed with when I picked it up. I knew beforehand it
wasn’t going to be like GH. However, I didn’t expect…well…this.

I blindly picked up Astro Boy, and was delighted with a game that, while *at
first* seemed a bit limited (I still hoped for a new spin on Mega Man rather
than a beat ’em up with lots of explosions, but I’ve grown to love the
gameplay…now where the **** do I go next? Well, guess I gotta check
GameFAQs). So Treasure renewed their good will with me after Stretch Panic
and the only-decent Wario World. Yeah, I didn’t think WW was exactly
awful. Then again, I loved Spinning Pile Driving punks into the concrete on
Final Fight and still enjoy Final Fight One; I have a soft spot for beat
’em ups. Of course WW had no lasting appeal and I got rid of it. Well, in
any case, Treasure lost my good will again.

I had also trusted a number of positive reviews about this. Damn.

Maybe it is my fault. Maybe Treasure tried to warn me. Surely there was a
reason it was named so you could abbreviate it “AGH” instead of GHA. Well,
off to sell it…

— Andrew

Yep. 411games moved to Insidepulse.com a while ago. The split was amiable and yes, you did miss a LOT of announcements Andrew. ;-)

I’m sorry for each and every person who assumed AGH was going to be good because of how much I loved the first one and ended up as crestfallen as I was.

Maybe now games companies will stop rehashing old games. It just pisses people off. Seriously, coud you have expected a good Guardian Heroes game on the GBA? No. It was always going to be shit. You reference River City Ransom EX as being shit as well though I’ve played neither the original or the new one, this illustrates my point as well. If you hear of any more re-makes/sequels to ancient games bar ports, run. Very fast.

-Ryan Davis

Ryan makes a good point, but I do have to point out that Shining Force GBA is a GOTY contender here at Insidepulse.com and that was a remake of the original.

Thanks for your review of AGH, Alex. As a fellow Guardian Hero fanatic, I was *pumped* for this game. Now I know the level of disappointment I’d be in for if I bought it. I’m staying far away from this! Thanks for ruining your nostalgia to save ours, your sacrifice will not be in vain.

-Kenny Cather

Thanks Kenny. I’m sorry Treasure had to let down at its fans like this.

Send me the cartridge, and I’ll seriously take a dump on it.

-Liquidcross

That’s our LC.

Wow, I actually feel vindicated, now, in regards to my opinion of Treasure. :) Ten bucks says Halverson and Play give it a 9.0.

-Pantherwill

Nice inside joke there from Will.

They made the original group bad guys?

I almost cried when I read that.

This f*cking blows… terrible!

What the hell were they thinking? This was supposed to be a triumph and from the sounds of it it sounds like a complete rape of the Guardian Heroes legacy.

It is like they didn’t even remember the best endings of GH.

The Tecmos people really did mess up RCREX.

-Dave Olivera

No shit, eh Dave? Treasure bastardized their own reputation and one of the most awesome games ever, for some cheap GBA money. Sigh.

Silent Hill 4 Feedback

Just a quick note on what I thought was an otherwise fair and balanced
review: There are several more unlockable game modes you didn’t mention. A
save on Gamefaqs includes both the green and purple modes, which are
accessable once you complete all 4 endings on a single save and get 90% or
higher (9 big stars) respectively. The green mode gives you a choice from an
arsenal of weapons at the outset of the first third-person level. Not sure
about the purple mode. There is also a channelling stone in the game
(required to reach the UFO ending in the 1st game but no one has yet
determined how to use it in the 4th) which is available by using either a
GameShark code or by (rumored) having all 3 PS2 saves (SH2, SH3, & SH4) from
the same country on one card.

Natiahs

PS: My poorly HTML’d review of the game is here if you care to check it out
– http://www.news-4u.com/reviews/sore.html)

Yes, I do allow cheap plugs in here. And he’s right about the channelling stone, but as I told Natiahs, Konami already confirmed that is just in there to mess with you. There is no UFO ending in the game.

hey man. I played the demo of SH4 and just couldn’t get into it. However it reminded me of a great book called House of Leaves. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d be more than happy to mail it out to you.

-Richard Mimms

That was a really nice gesture, and Richard gets mentioned in here JUST for making that offer. I do own and enjoy House of Leaves big time.

Now for just some odds and ends to end out the mailbag today.

I’m going to have to stop you before you take this “disprove the girl gamer stereotype using me as an example” any further. My sisters would make far better candidates for that argument because they’ve played a good variety of games too and…well…I’m not a girl. Yes, my Mom gave me an effeminate name, yes I trample about on the internet using a screen name that can influence people to question my sexuality, and I grew up in a house of mostly women and all my closest friends are women, but I still have 21 digits, and I wouldn’t look good in a skirt. So I think I’m disqualified from the girl gamer category (barring considerable surgery of course). I’m sorry I didn’t correct you on this sooner; people always get my sex wrong, so I don’t think much of it anymore and figured to just let it go. Your article is the most recent addition in an ever growing list of funny stories regarding my! name; it even ranks up there with the time I got an invitation in high school to compete in a beauty pageant for a college scholarship. Anyway, since my relative
anonymity has triggered this slip up, allow me to better introduce myself. Here: a profile pics (the only place I currently have either online)
http://www.okcupid.com/profile?tuid=6542972406106808412

I’m a little surprised you’ve actually heard of my mod. I tossed aside the thought of modding the plot since I wanted the mod to be about the actual gameplay (I’m really tired of playing one hack ‘n slash after another where money is mostly useless), so I wouldn’t expect it to be something that would get your attention. It’s not something I’ve worked on in several months (and don’t plan to right now), but it still gets me a few e-mails from new players making suggestions and asking about updates from time to time.

Courtney

Oops. Now I feel like Laflin when we first thought Misha was a girl. Really, really, REALLY sorry mate.

Lucard, I picked up Shining Force for GBA entirely on the strength of your review, and I wanted to thank you. It’s been a long time since I had so much fun playing a game.

-Gordi.

The more people that buy Shining Force GBA, the more likely we are to have SF 2 on GBA. And my god when that happens, I will scream with joy so loud, even the dead shall be able to hear it.

The question to ask though, are games this year just that blah, or is Shining Force that timeless and amazing that ten years after its original release, the remake can get GOTY nominations?

Alright, no recipe for today, but there ARE some plugs.

Liquidcross hits the Pokemon Center and give a full pictorial on what is my own person interpretation of Heaven. Too bad he doesn’t admit in his feature that *I* was the one who got him addicted to Pokemon.

Will Quinn joins the IP Games team with a great first review. The moral here is: always hire your long time friends for your website section. It pays off in the end.

Morrison covers the Gwen Stacy is a whole debate.

Mathan covers Hellblazer #200, and reminds me why I am so angry Keanu is playing Constantine.

Eric S brings you the only WWE and TNA recaps I find worth reading. Especially because there are pictures!

No Mercy Recap. Snore.

Fernandez keeps up the best music column on the net.

Gloomchen turns out as many music reviews as I do games ones it appears.

I don’t watch sports, but I do read Laflin.

The Presidential Debate was actually watched this year. And it appears from every poll on the planet, save Fox News of course, that Kerry trounced Bush.

And with that, I am out of here for another week.