411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 10.29.02


Hopefully I’m done having my column bounced all around. Doing so many of these so close together is killing me. I enjoy it though so I’ll be shutting up now. I need some rest thus today will be the no frills edition of the Down-Lo. What that means I don’t know, but whatever. On a side note (as though I actually started a coherent thought to begin with) I would like to thank everyone for his or her overwhelmingly positive feedback and thoughts. It lets me know you are actually reading this stuff and I’m not just wasting my time. Yes, I even send my thanks to the one person who flamed me. That was a new experience for sure, but from what other columnists are telling me including the more popular 411 Wrestling guys, I’d better get used to it.

No sense in stalling so let’s jump right into it. Just so that everyone knows, these stories are not made-up by myself but all have somewhat credible to credible sources from those close to or within the videogame industry. Those who don’t believe that can, again as I’ve said in the past, press the BACK button on your browser and go read some hard news from Ron Yip. This place is not for you. For those unfamiliar with my rating system here’s the deal: the higher the DOWN-LO RATING the higher the reliability of the rumor (scale 1-10). Please enjoy.

This is the Down-Lo.

Nintendo is known for two things: 1) Producing the most amazing, innovative, and groundbreaking games ever made. 2) Taking FOREVER to make said games. Most don’t mind number one so much, but number two drives gamers worldwide insane. It took us six stinking years to get a proper Mario sequel. Who knows how long it took for Metriod to come back to us? And we’re still waiting for a new Legend of Zelda! I’m not asking Nintendo to pull a Tomb Raider on us (releasing crappy sequel after sequel every year), but come on we need our gaming fix. The greatest game designer that has ever lived a.k.a. Shigeru Miyamoto acknowledged the problem in a recent interview. When asked about shortening the intervals between games in a series he stated, “…people who used to work together on the Mario series have been split into several teams in order to introduce Mario games with less lag time between them. We are taking a similar approach to the Zelda series.” He then continues with another time saving technique, “Standard character models are being created by one team at Nintendo, which will be shared by other game-creation groups. This is one way to shorten the development time: by improving the R&D circumstances.” One of the teams to benefit from all of the restructuring could be Nintendo’s U.S. development house, Nintendo Software Technologies. Even though we don’t have the newest Legend of Zelda spinning in our GameCubes yet rumor has it that another Zelda will be here sooner rather than later. NST looks to be working on the next Zelda for the GameCube even as I’m writing this and it may be a remake (Resident Evil style) of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask all rolled onto one disk. Now people who salivated at the early screens of GameCube Zelda (you know, before it became the Legend of Cel-da) may have their dreams come true. What’s the best part? We won’t have to wait another five years for it. Miyamoto said so,… sort of.

I’m starting to hear rumblings coming from inside one of the top game studios in the world, GameArts. It’s been too quiet over there lately. Hold on, I’m listening in on one of their board meetings right now. Hmm… Grandia Extreme isn’t selling as well as expected huh? I thought so. What’s that? Making another Grandia anyway? Really… sounds good. Man nothing really juicy here yet. Yeah yeah yeah, stock going down… yup. No end of year bonus… whatever. Oh wait! Wow you gotta be kidding me? People are going to wet themselves. This is incredible! Biggest story of the century! *takes off headset* Well I suppose you want to know now huh? Sorry but there’s no way you’re (LUNAR 3!) going to get it out of me. That would be a serious (FREAKING LUNAR 3!) breach of security and I would never be able to live with myself if I was the one to leak (THAT THE MOTHER-FATHER OF ALL 2-D ANIME RPGS LUNAR, IS GETTING A SEQUEL ON THE PS2!!) such sensitive information out. No, don’t try to convince me. It’s not going to (OH MY GOD!) happen. Not one tiny detail (SUCH AS THE POSSIBILITY OF THE SERIES REBOOTING WITH A WHOLE NEW WORLD AND CHARACTERS!!) will escape my lips. Uh-uh, I’m super fortress Bebito today yes sir (*FOAMING AT MOUTH*). OK all I’m going to say is Winter 2003 that’s it. Be happy you got that. *passes out*

Guess what I know? No, not who J-Lo is going to sleep with next because that’s anybody’s guess. Try again. Give up? Ok here’s a REALLY BIG hint: Look at the name of this Down-Lo. That is correct ladies and gentlemen Sonic the Hedgehog is coming back. No, I’m not talking about Sonic Adventure 1 being re-released on the GameCube (you should buy that too though). I’m talking about an all-out new game from Sonic Team. Details on it are a little sketchy though. It is definitely on the way to GameCube no question, but this is one of Sega’s biggest cash cows and they would make an absolute killing if they released it on all 3 next-gen systems. Rumor has it that it’ll come to Nintendo’s GameCube first, with the X-Box and PS2 versions being released six to twelve months later. I personally don’t believe that (I just wanted to let you know what’s going around). Sonic’s new game will most likely stay exclusively to GameCube despite what you may hear anywhere else and you can quote me on that. Anyway the game will lose the “Adventure” moniker that the series has gained in the last two installments. It seems that Sega is listening to the fans this time around. They’re trimming the fat when it comes to the exploration parts of the game, and they’re going back to a more action-oriented style. They started this change in Sonic Adventure 2 where the levels were strung together more like the old Genesis games. This was opposed to the format of the original Sonic Adventure that had an over-world connecting each stage forcing the player to have to find them. Now it’s being refined even more, with some of the tedious gameplay of Sonic’s friends being thrown out to make room for more of the speed and action that Sonic’s own levels bring to the table. That’s right no more fishing, shooting, and hitting things with pink hammers. Let’s be honest, how many of us here were sick and tired of Knuckles’ frustrating, go find the freaking chaos emerald levels? Who here just wanted to run fast, kick butt, spin a lot, and turn into Super Sonic? That’s what I thought. Expect the game’s new title to reflect the change of pace in gameplay (let’s just hope it’s not “Extreme”; that is so played out). We can look forward to seeing Sonic himself along with Tails, Knuckles, Dr. Robotnik (not all of them playable), and rumor has it that Shadow will be back too. For long time readers that know me, it is no secret that Sonic the Hedgehog is one of my favorite game series of all time so I can’t wait for this thing. Sadly don’t expect to see much on this very soon from Sega. Right now they’re milking Sonic for every dime he’s worth so that means giving attention to the GameCube remake of SA1. If I had to guess *looks at calendar* I’d say that Sega will spill the beans first Quarter next year. As always, I’ll keep you posted. Oh and before I forget, there are a couple of “screenshots” floating around the net claiming to be from the aforementioned game. I assure you that these pics are faker than 90% of Pamela Anderson’s body and are to be ignored. The screenshots that is, you can stare at Pamela all you want. I mean who hasn’t seen her boobs or stared at them flopping around?

And that’s the Down-Lo. As always questions and feedback are welcome so send away. I’ll be back again next week. Until then, help control the pet population. Have your dog or cat spayed or neutered. *wonders if Bob Barker ever got tired of saying that* Peace.