Gaming Zen 1-23-06

Howdy bowdy faithful readers. I’m Tom Pandich and this is your Monday info blast of all things gaming, some things zen, and a few things Gaming Zenny. There was no real feedback last week (other then a Duke Nukem Forever) joke so that got the axe. There are a few major things to talk about this week, I delve into what we call fantasy booking in the wrasslin world, and I may even toss in a Lucard joke or two. Let’s mix it up a bit and start with game of the week and end with the top ten.

Game of the Week

We’re almost out of the hell month that is January. We’ve got a few titles worth looking at. True Swing Golf is hitting the DS and so are a bunch of um Paintball games. Who doesn’t love paintball games? Also, Torino 2006 comes out. Has there ever been a good Olympic game ever? If you’re into sports, True Swing Golf may be worth looking into but the game of the week will be….*drumroll*…… The Re-release of Devil May Cry 3!!!

DMC 3: The Special Edition has a new boss, a new playable character, and a survival mode called “Bloody Palace”. Devil May Cry 3 was a pretty solid title and the special edition has a few new bells and whistles, not to mention a $20 price point, then we’ve got a really decent package. We’ve got a few more weeks of crapiness, but the games will get better soon.

What I’m Playing

Another new week, another new game. Let me show you what I’ve got.

Wild Arms 4: I really don’t know what to think of this one so far. I’m reviewing it so I better hurry up and figure it out though.

Puyo Pop Fever DS: Not a bad game but I’m less in love with it then I should be. I like classic Puyo Pop much more then I like “Fever” Puyo Pop which comes off as pretty gimmicky. The eight player multiplayer is pretty difficult to use because so little of your screen is occupied by what you’re controlling. The English voices are pretty damn grating too. Thankfully, there is a Japanese language option that I am now taking advantage of. It’s a solid game, it just won’t really convert anyone who didn’t care much for Puyo Pop before.

The News!

As far as I’m concerned, there really were two pieces of news this week in the gaming realm. Let’s knock out the meh news first then. People are dying all across Asia playing MMORPGs by not stopping and being general asshats. As you may know, I’m no fan of MMORPGs, and these stories make me happy because it proves what asshats these people really are. Sony is passing around surveys that may indicate the implementation of an Xbox Live-ish service. It’s about time. Finally, SNK released some Metal Slug 6 images, Sega announced an exclusive Sonic for the Revolution, and EA delayed the Godfather game by a few months, but announced a new Lord of the Rings game for the 360.

On to the real news now. The first was 1up.com’s interview with Peter Moore and Dan Hsu growing a pair and thinking EGM is plowing ahead to establishing some sort of print version of a truly independent magazine. Long time readers of Inside Pulse have seen the many articles of us yelling back and forth with game companies and criticizing the press for not doing the same. Lucard’s article about our run in with a nameless company, Lee and his troubles with some other games, and our blacklisting on Gamerankings are just some of the many problems we’ve had.

Here’s my take on all of this. It’s nice to see someone else being critical for once, but Moore brought up the big problem with EGM. EGM’s “reviews” are two to three paragraphs at most. Our reviews are at a minimum of six pages. EGM has made some strides with the numerical scores, but their actual reviews are still crap and their heads are still up their asses because EGM is sucking developer cock for interviews and such, just not as much. Hsu’s self back patting is not well deserved, and comes off as pretty annoying. When EGM comes out with a full expose in print (not online) about the corruption of its own industry, I’ll give them some props. Until then, f*ck them. (Magical Lucard Editor Note: You forgot the fact I exposed some months ago their sucking Sega’s virtual wang and giving Shining Force Neo a 9.0 when it was critically panned.)

The other major news story concerns the Nintendo Revolution. Satoru Iwata said the Revolution will be out by Thanksgiving and will not cost 50,000 yen. The latter news is obvious; the former news is a little surprising as I personally thought it would be out in Spring 07. I’m happy to say I’ll be plopping out money for that system come November. That and we’re starving for Revolution news as far as I know.

The Top Ten

Typically when I do top ten lists, two things happen. One, the name becomes completely inaccurate because I never actually rank what I’m talking about. Secondly, I usually think up something while I’m writing. I know this shocks and amazes most of you, but let’s get passed my sarcasm and to the point.

For this week’s top ten, I was inspired. The Revolution announcement of an official release window excited me so much so that I engaged in the most horrible thing a gamer can engage in. I dreamt up 10 games for the Revolution that I would like to see. For the most part, I avoided using the incredibly popular Nintendo franchises (Mario, LoZ, Metroid) to create this list or if I used the characters, it was a new take on the character. I put a decent amount of thought into it and hope you enjoy this list.

Tetris Generations: With a new Tetris coming out on the DS, I think there is a pretty good chance there will be an online Tetris for the Revolution. Tetris Generations would offer a unique fusion of previous Tetris games. Taking the classic Tetris rules as a base, Tetris Generations would feature several different styles from other Tetris games. All of the rule sets and variations from the original Tetris, Tetris Worlds, Magical Mickey Tetris, The Next Tetris, Tetris DS, and the fantastically good Card Captors Sakura Tetris would be available in addition to two new game types.

Item Tetris would allow you to purchase items based on a preset handicap that changes the gameplay in your favor whether it be offensive (faster falling pieces for your opponent, more difficult shapes to work with) or defensive (a higher percentage of straight lines, lower percentage of odd shapes). The other new game type would be Digger Tetris in which you try and work your way down to eliminate a row at the bottom of your screen. An additional roulette mode which randomly pits you and your opponent in one of these game types would be available online in addition to all the other modes, a ranking board, and downloadable themes based on everything between in game accomplishments to it being Christmas or Halloween.

Battleclash Revolution: The classic Super Nintendo game comes back in a whole new way. Using the Revolution controller as both a beam sword and a gun you and your mech take on a 50 different enemies as 10 different mechs. In addition to the classic story mode, a tournament mode, time attack, and endurance mode will be available.

While keeping to the classic perspective makes an online versus mode impossible, there will still be multiple co-op missions. In addition, you will be able to use points earned from in game accomplishments to purchase new skins for your favorite mechs and their pilots or design your own offline. Nintendo and Gamespy will occasionally release the skins of some of the cooler home brew designs to the general public.

Advanced Wars: World at War: Rather then being confined to just a strategy game, Advanced Wars: World at War would take advantage of some of the newer ideas experimented with in Dual Strike and the Gamecube’s Battalion Wars. The draw of this game will be the unique blend of being a strategy game and also a squad based first person shooter. One player handles the strategy aspect of the game while the other ten players act as the “General’s” squad. While an infantry unit won’t decimate a squad of heavy tanks, a few skilled players may be able to take out more then the computer usually would. All of vehicles will also be player controlled.

While the focus of this game will be on the co-op and versus online modes, there would still be expansive story modes for both the strategy game and the team based shooter. In addition, the new Advanced Wars game will record lifelong stats that will allow you to boast your online and offline accomplishments in an online hall of fame. The game will also allow easy creation of clans, a map and level editor and downloadable scenarios.

Mario Olympics: Mario and friends have played a shitload of sports. Why not bring them all together in a Mario Olympics? In addition to soccer, baseball, tennis, and golf, Mario Olympics will feature twelve additional sports including basketball, fencing, swimming, and track and field. While obviously not as well rounded as its singular counterparts, Mario Olympics will still have multiple “levels” for each of the sports included in the game. The single player story mode will have you pick from one of ten teams (or a customized team) featuring a variety of differences. Rather then work with one base character and build a team around them, this game will allow you to pick a previous Super Mario Brothers game to form the base of your team (including variations of Mario). For example, if you picked a Super Mario Brothers 3 team, Mario would have access to the frog suit for swimming and a long jump, but would be weaker in a 50 meter dash because of his slowness.

As far as online play goes, there will be several game modes. You can choose to use a pre-made team or put together your own team based on a certain amount of points each character has (depending on their strength) or play in an unlimited league where there are no class restrictions. In addition to team based play (both unlimited and restricted in points), there will be individual event play, easily accessible clans, a “create a flag” mode, the ability to be a spectator on other competitions, and a weekly “Sportscenter” wrap-up show which shows off the best matches and plays of the week. In addition, downloading some of the classic Nintendo games will unlock variations of characters in this game (SMB 3 unlocks the full raccoon suit for example which would have different stats then just the raccoon tail).

Nintendo Pinball History: Nintendo has had a pretty excellent history with pinball games. The Pokemon Pinball games have been great as was the recent Metroid Prime Pinball. I’d like to see a Revolution pinball game featuring over 20 different Nintendo themed tables. Each of the initial tables is based off of a Nintendo system rather then a particular game. By playing through each table, you’d be able to unlock different character themed tables. High scores would be used to purchase and design your own pinball parlor. Those parlors could be viewed in an online gallery in addition to an all time high score leader board. Downloadable content would become available during holidays, your birthday, or any other reason Nintendo decides to promote something. Also there would be several unlockable videos focusing on the characters portrayed in the game.

You know what? This is a long ass list. Fuck it, it’s a two-parter now. I’ve got other stuff to do today. Thinking over the other five games I have makes me realize how long this damn thing is going to be so tune in next week for the other five games.

I’m doing Raw Live coverage permanently now so come check me out over on the wrestling section to do that. I’ve also got a couple of reviews going up. Make sure you check out Mark B’s column too as it is great. Fantastic even. I really need to start doing a legit plug page. Maybe next week.

Just as another quick little FYI, don’t be surprised if the game section starts hiring pretty soon. As you may notice, we’re a tiny winy bit short staffed at the moment. Just think, you can bitch about games and receive hate mail just like we do!

Until next time folks, take care.