411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 01.07.03

Now, I have lists and lists of why the game is bad, now that’s my opinion, you may have your own. It’s probably somewhere along the lines of “dRagonball RULEZ! i can be goku and vegeta and cell and trunks and i very good at button mashing and im a fanboy and i love dragonball z! im suppose to love the game because infogrames said so…” That’s pretty much the gist of the letters I’ve received. And for the record the final score is now 4.5/10.
“¢ Ron Yip (SimColumn News Report – 12.31.02)

Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and I used to be Zack, the original Black Power Ranger!
Shame on some of you guys! A few of you turned in your answers to the Down-Lo Console Compatibility Quiz a full week late. What disappointed me most however was that our own Ron Yip was among the slow responding culprits. *shaking head* I’m a nice guy though, so the two or three stranglers from last week can check out the results to their quizzes at the bottom of this column… yet again. And if you’ve been out of the loop so long that you don’t even know what the Quiz is and how it got started, then go away. I don’t want you reading my column anymore. *gives reader the hand*
I actually have some extra time this week, so let’s take a look at the old Down-Lo Mail-bin. It’s been a while. Besides, just like all good internet writers, I thrive off of these things. So if you read my stuff and haven’t sent me an email yet, then stop messing around and let me know what you think! That’s right, that means YOU.
Hmm. Um… Down-Lo, only display four. We don’t have all day. My columns are long enough as it is.
What up B.
Man, you are just getting NO love when it comes to that “Do I suck?” question. But I guess that’s the price of greatness. Everyone keeps hating on you. Or maybe i’m just wrong. (?)
Anyway, what do you think about this “sonic related” game? Do you think we’ll be seeing a strait sonic adventure sequel, or just some sort of sing and dance type crap? Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing the return of sonic spinball, or pinball, or whatever.
“¢ greydragon

Yuji Naka was just quoted as saying in an interview in Dorimaga, a Japanese gaming magazine, that they would be revealing a “Sonic Related” title for GameCube early in this year, to confirm what I said in the last Down-Lo. Sadly, the last time I heard “Sonic Related” come from Yuji Naka, it was when Sega gave us the abysmal Sonic Party for Sega Dreamcast. (Why, oh why, were those load times so stinking long!?)
My take on it is this… Yuji may have been careful to say that they were doing a “Sonic Related” title instead of an actual Sonic Adventure sequel, in view of the fact that they are trying to move away from the “Adventure” moniker that the series is rumored to drop in the next installments (they’re putting an emphasis back on the action parts of the game). So I believe that this new title to be revealed will be part of the long running line of Sonic The Hedgehog platform games. Let’s hope so anyway, because just about every spin-off Sonic game has been a complete disaster with the exception of compilations. Oh, those and maybe Sonic R for Sega Saturn… that was kind of cool (and I even liked the funky music that everyone complained about).
And no one hates me here at 411. No matter what they say to the “Do I suck?” question, I know deep down inside that they all secretly love me, worship me, adore me, and read the Down-Lo every time it gets posted at the stroke of mid-night for Tuesday morning. Just like all of my readers do… All five of you.
A few things…
Thanks for putting me in some small way in your column. I’m glad to be the X Box rep, seeing as how I own a GC and an X Box already. I’ll get the PS2, after I get a GBA and all I need for the GC and X Box. Which means after the next price drop a year from now.
Any news on Nintendo’s BIG ANNOUNCEMENT? It’s practically 2003, where the f*ck is the DECEMBER BOMB?
“¢ J Kyle

You took the Down-Lo Console Compatibility Quiz, so of course I was gonna put you in my column in order for you to see your results. And don’t look now, but you’re in it again…
Honestly, I have no idea what happened to the Megaton Announcement. Nintendo themselves hyped it up for quite a while as something that would “significantly increase the sales of GameCube hardware.” Then December came and went, and here we are in 2003 with nothing to show for it.
Personally, I still think it’s coming. Nintendo has a tendency to delay games and hardware. Maybe that extends to announcements now? I don’t know. I’ll wait and see along with the rest of you.
Hey dude, you talk about the running gag that you suck, but I couldn’t even get a response off the sample column I sent in to get hired, so you at least know your better than me.
“¢ SFVis420

Don’t you dare feel bad about not getting picked to work here in the least. Do you have any idea how MANY applicants sent in sample columns to get hired? I got some, and I’m not even the boss of 411 Games! I know for a fact that some people who write some good stuff won’t be working here, just because there were so many talented writers out there who sent in their work. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that you suck. It just means that a lot of other people don’t. That goes for the rest of you former 411 hopefuls too.
And I’m “better” than no one. I’m just a gamer like everyone else.
Hey man, just read your last Lo-Down. Thanks for the kind words as always, but you’re leaving? NO! WHY? Are you really ill? That sucks worse than having to watch Buff Bagwell matches on a daily basis! I hope it’s just the lack of sleep in me that missed some sort of joke or faux nature at the end of that! You’re the best thing on 411 Games and it’ll be weird not being able to kiss up to you!
“¢ Alex Lucard / 411 Games

Looking at the rest of my email it seems that I’ve scared many of you last week into thinking that I was truly leaving 411 Games, even on a limited basis. Sorry. It was all a joke to set up the “I won’t be back until at LEAST next year,” punch line. Ya know… 2003? (Hey, I said it was lame.)
Unfortunately, I believe our own poor Alex Lucard nearly had a heart attack after reading that. Please don’t worry Alex; I’m not going anywhere. That is unless Chris Pankonin fires me for getting on his nerves all the time. But he wouldn’t dare do that. Ashish likes me too much *thumbs up, smile with teeth showing*.
Next week is a big week here at the 411 Games Rumor Down-Lo. Not only do I plan on getting the cream of the crop when it comes to juicy rumors and tidbits (even more so than usual), but next week will feature the first ever Lo-Down! Awards show! The Lo-Down Award is the highest honor I can bestow upon a writer here at 411 Mania. Only the best of the best from each section of the site get one of these babies, and all different types of genres will be represented, including but not limited to: Best Videogame Reviewer; Best Wrestling TV Re-capper, Funniest Movies Writer, and Best 411 Mania Writer. Expect special guests to appear from all over the site to accept their Lo-Down Awards, because really… who would miss this HUGE of an event… the biggest in 411 Mania history!? Nobody that’s who (except the people who couldn’t care less about it). So stay tuned ladies and gentlemen!
Behold the “Soccer With Weapons” edition of the Down-Lo. Let’s be redundant once more: The higher the DOWN-LO RATING the more I believe in these rumors of mine (scale 1-10). As always these are just rumors (which is why you read me in the first place), so either you’ll sit back and have some fun here, or you’ll get upset when these all don’t come true. Enjoy. I do.

This is the Down-Lo.
Hideo Kojima is a brilliant, world-renowned game designer, who is respected by his peers, and has talent to spare. So when the maker of the Metal Gear Solid series says that he’s making a game, even if it’s for a handheld system like the Gameboy Advance, you better pay attention. *forcefully points at reader*
Gamers.com is reporting that the name of Kojima’s new Gameboy Advance project is tentatively titled “My Sun.” And what a fitting name that is proving to be…
Sources confirm that the cartridge will come with some sort of funky looking solar panel on it to measure the amount of light around you. The panel will be external of the cartridge and will be above the Gameboy Advance, so as to acquire maximum energy.’
Wow. That’s quite an innovative idea there. What’s all of this “high-tech” stuff going to be used for? Well the light will affect the various situations you come across in the game. Extra amounts of light could come in handy if you were… oh, I don’t know… let’s say battling a vampire. It would definitely be easier to defeat him during a certain time of day when the sunlight is more prominent. Or lots of sun could be extremely detrimental to you if… oh, I don’t know… YOU happened to be part vampire. Yes, accordingly, the amount of sunlight will affect the main character as well as his surroundings and enemies.’ It is as cool as it sounds.
Here’s a thought, however. Did anyone in Kojima’s staff ever think about the fact that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to even see the Gameboy Advance screen without direct sunlight, let alone play it!? Wouldn’t it be a jacked up situation to lose tons of health because you need to actually see where you’re going? I just don’t get how this is going to work. *sigh* Nobody listens to me when it comes to these things, though. And that’s probably a good thing. My curiosity to see how this one pans out is overwhelming.
Kojima’s Gameboy Advance project is due out next summer in Japan. Stay tuned for the Down-Lo.
Game Labo is the greatest Japanese gaming magazine of all-time! Ok, no… not really. I can’t back that up. But they do have a Rumor Section, so of course Bebito is interested.
Here’s a little RPG tidbit for you. The magazine hints that Enix is working on remakes of previous installments of the Dragon Quest franchise for the Playstation 2.
This is not unheard of. Enix released remakes of DQI, II, and III on the Super Famicom (that’s the SNES here in North America) and they did one on the Playstation as well with Dragon Quest IV. As you could of guessed, none of these bad-boys made it to America.
Whether or not the newly rumored remakes make it to the states will have a lot to do with the US sales of Dragon Quest VIII. If that doesn’t sell well, then don’t hold your breathe for the remakes. If they even exist.
I’ll give credit to Gamers.com and GamesAreFun.com in a two-punch combo for this rumor. I know, I know… me giving credit for a rumor? It’s been known to happen.
As you may have already heard by now, Pokémon is coming to GameCube boys and girls, but the first installment may not be the way we thought it was going to be. The Japanese newspaper Keizai Shinbun had an article up talking about the newest installment in the popular Pocket Monsters series of RPGs on Nintendo’s GameCube. And boy did they drop some mad stuff on us.
First, the good news: Pokémon for the GC will retail for only 4800 yen, which is about $40. Sounds like a deal to us in the US, but in Japan, this is an awesome buy because it’s less than the cost of a first-party Game Boy Advance game over there. So for you and me, it’s like the equivalent of it being released for like $20-$25. Nice. Also on the good news side of the coin is that it’s expected to ship as soon as this coming summer. That’s just too sweet (at least if you live in Japan).
But now for the Scandalous’ news: The console version will only work if the player has a GBA and a copy of either Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire. Oh, that’s just evil.
It’s speculated that this information may indicate that the disc will be more of a supplement to the Game Boy games than an actual game itself.’ I know Nintendo is high on games that make use of their spiffy GBA/GC link-up ability, but that’s just crazy if they’re making it so that one title is required to play another.
Crazy or genius.
I’ll keep you posted on this one. Let’s be hopeful that Nintendo really isn’t this evil. I’m going to be spending enough money on them soon as it is. *watches helplessly as money flies out pockets and into Nintendo’s wallet*
Ever hear of a game called MBX? No? Good. You shouldn’t have. At least not yet…
IGN.com’s Off The Record stumbled across info that EA Big has a top-secret game under works that’s supposed to be a hybrid extreme sport, adventure platforming mountain biking game.’ It hasn’t been announced yet, and it may never be. Looks like EA is having a hard time trying to find a way for all of these different elements to gel together properly. They’re apparently having a difficult time finding the exact angle to take, the right mix of elements, and the right direction.’
Are the makers of SSX out of ideas already? Let’s hope not, because EA Big makes some awesome games. Hopefully this secret game will come out at all.
Here’s a quick little bitty for you.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicle is one of the bigger games hitting the Nintendo GameCube this year. Even though it’s not a traditional Final Fantasy, GameCube fans were simply ecstatic that Square and Nintendo finally kissed and made up, to allow any sort of Squaresoft game on the system at all.
But how deep a kiss was it? Was it little peck on the cheek? Did Nintendo slip Square the tongue? Was it Church tongue? Or was it down and dirty, sloppy, wet… well nevermind. Basically, how deep does this current friendship extend? Pretty far, actually. Nintendo is the one publishing this game in the US and Japan, not SquareEA, so that should tell you something (remember that Sony, at first, started out publishing FFs on Playstation 1).
So rest assured that this isn’t a one-night stand with Final Fantasy. Unless the game sales fall flat (yeah, ok), expect these new Crystal Chronicles to become a long-standing series within Nintendo’s systems. In other words don’t be surprised when this time next year you’ll be waiting for Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicle II.
Nothing earth shattering. It’s quite logical actually, but at the same time good to know. I’ll keep you updated.
That last GameCube rumor made you feel pretty good didn’t it? Well sorry, I’m going to have to bring you down from there, because there’s bad news in Nintendo-Land.
The Q-Man’s sources are indicating that much of the Third-Party support for Nintendo’s GameCube may be dropping out this year. Supposedly several projects that were in development for the Cube were just (and I mean JUST) cancelled. The consensus is that GameCube owners only buy the big name games that come out for the system (which mostly consists of First-Party titles), ignoring nearly all other games. So there’s not enough money in the GameCube Third-Party market, it would seem, for non-standout projects to be worth continuing.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Nobody’s having harsh flashbacks of the N64 right now are they? Man, I hope it doesn’t come to that again. I can see the logic here, however. GameCube owners bought that system because they’re Nintendo fans. They want Mario, Zelda, Metriod, Star Fox, basically Nintendo franchises and not much else. True, some Third-Party developers are doing great on the Cube, like Sega with their Sonic Adventure 2 and Phantasy Star Online titles and Electronic Arts with their Madden and Live franchises. Those however are BIG games, so the point is kind of made right there.
Then again, enough heavy hitters are coming our way this year to ignore what may not be coming. We’ve got Soul Calibur 2, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Animal Crossing 2, a REAL Star Fox game, Mario Kart, the new Sonic The Hedgehog games, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicle, Camelot’s new RPG (What, you haven’t heard about that yet?), Mario Tennis 2, Virtua Fighter Quest, and all the stuff that Capcom is making. That’s only skimming the surface.
So don’t worry, if anything, this will only get rid of the crappy games that nobody wanted to buy in the first place. And what’s wrong with that? A system with only Triple-A+ titles doesn’t sound so bad to me.
And that’s the Down-Lo. Want more dirt? Chris Pankonin, who’s always on top of things, has News stories up about Xbox Next and possibly more info on the GameCube Pokémon. Consider it part of the Down-Lo. Give it a quick read.

At the overwhelming request of you people, I will soon be doing a Down-Lo Spotlight on myself. No idea why in the world anyone would want that, considering I tell you about myself every time I write a column. But who am I to disagree with what the public wants… even if it makes no sense. The best way to do this is to get one of 411 Games’ other personalities to interview me. So, once again, I’ll let you decide. Which of these 411 Games Superstars should have the privilege of interviewing me, Bebito Jackson: Ron Yip, Jason Masters, Alex Lucard, Eric Williams, Chris Pankonin, Robert Florence, or Frederick Badlissi. Let me know, and we’ll see if we can make it happen.
Let’s get started on today’s guest, because I’m sure all of you want to know, just as badly as I, what games my fellow writers like to play. So let’s find out together. Enjoy. I do.

Introducing the first lady to be featured in the Down-Lo. It’s Claire Flynn Boyle from 411 Music, and she’s one of the nicest people that I’ve ever cyber-met. She was cool enough to chat with me one evening about gaming and the like. So check it out:
This is the Down-Lo Spotlight.
Bebito: Hello Claire, thanks for joining me. How are you doing this evening?
Claire: I’m fabbo as always, cept being in Melbourne it’s the afternoon and I’m at work!
Bebito: Oh yeah! The time difference, sorry. Let’s start with that. Let everyone know where exactly you’re from, Claire.
Claire: I was born in Melbourne Australia and I’ve lived here my whole life except for four years in the UK. I live in Richmond to be exact.
Bebito: I know a guy should never ask this to a lady… but how old are you?
Claire: I’m a rapidly aging 24 years of age… too old for most Melbourne nightspots, which love Avril Lavigne a bit too much.
Bebito: Yuck. I can’t stand Avril Lavigne myself. She’s hot, but not much else…
Claire: Oh don’t get me started on her… we could be here for a while… just look out for the essay on that subject…
Bebito: An essay bashing her? Heh. I’ll be looking forward to that. (Bebito’s Note: It’s actually up now, and you can read it HERE.) So what do you do at 411?
Claire: I write a column/news report called the Bubblegum Complex (an affliction my ex said I suffered from) in which I just basically ramble on about anything that comes into my brain. I wouldn’t call it essential reading, it’s more like a comfortable read.
Bebito: Sounds pleasant. How did you end up working for the site?
Claire: Someone knew I had a collection of obscure or silly wrestling clips, and sent me an e-mail saying 411 needed video reviewers, so I reviewed one of my silly wrestling videos and they gave me a gig. I ran out of source material for that, and asked to do music instead.
Bebito: Cool. Now I know many girls aren’t really that keen on videogaming, but I’m taking a chance here. Tell me Claire, how much are you into vidoegames?
Claire: Hand on heart honest I play three… anything in the FIFA series, and two odd German skateboard games a guy who does programming made for me.
I have been WAY into them before, but right now sitting down and playing something is hard… especially when if I play a game, I get very shitty if I don’t win!

Bebito: Really? You can’t stand to lose, eh?
Claire: I remember one time my dad and I sat down to play a soccer game in a pub, and I won like 10 games in a row, but on the last game I nudged the wrong button and my goalie threw the ball in the net… I’ve never forgiven myself…
Bebito: Ouch! Losing to your dad does suck, but believe me though, it happens to the best of, Claire. Don’t sweat it. So do you actually own any videogame consoles?
Claire: I have a Playstation, the basic one, but I unplugged it when I moved and haven’t plugged it back in… Oh, and this is hip… I have a Game Gear that still works.
Bebito: A Game Gear!? lol. You’ve got to be kidding me? I used to love those battery munchers. Still play it?
Claire: From time to time… it’s still in the box, but that was my gaming obsession… Shinobi on the Game Gear… I’ve got Baseball, Soccer and Golf I could go play.
Bebito: Aw, that’s too cool. So what your favorite console out of the two that you own?
Claire: That’s like picking your favorite child! Er…The Game Gear is good for nostalgia, but the Playstation has FIFA, so it’s the Playstation.
Bebito: In your humble opinion Claire, what is the greatest videogame ever made?
Claire: I have a huge soft spot for Shinobi but I always really liked this soccer game for the Neo Geo… it was in Glasgow, and it was like Soccer with weapons… so I’ll go with Soccer with weapons.
Bebito: Ok then. Anyway, I used to like Toejam and Earl a lot myself for the Sega Genesis. They’re back out on the Xbox now with a new game, so tell me… Do Toejam & Earl still got the funk?
Claire: Erm…I guess so…as long as the kids love them, they’ll do OK.
Bebito: *smiling* You have no idea what I’m talking about do you, Claire?
Claire: I promise to do some full research on the subject as penance…
Bebito: No, don’t worry about it. It’s ok.
Claire: I could mention something obscure too you know… lol
Bebito: lol. Hey! Wait a minute… Toejam and Earl “obscure”? Ok, now that’s whack!
I’m going to say a word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

(Videogames) – Diverting
(Nintendo) – Game Boy
(Sega) – Game Gear
(Xbox) – The name of a porn film I saw once…no wait, that was XXXBox…
(PS2) – Loved by the kids
(Grand Theft Auto) – A felony in most states
(Sonic The Hedgehog) – Get the rings!
(411) – Cooler than 311
(J-Lo) – FROM THE BLOCK! She’s real dawg…
(U2) – Never forget Negativland
(Eminem) – Loved by the kids more than PS2
(Puff Daddy) – Finished, responsible for Selwyn
(Britney Spears) – Unfairly criticized, but killed by Shakira
(Ashish) – Mr. Impartiality
(Widro) – King of the one line e-mail
(Bebito Jackson) – The new Dominik Diamond
(Claire Flynn Boyle) – Pop lover, Avril hater

Claire: Incidentally Dominik Diamond is an old computer games reviewer from the UK. You might have known that!
Bebito: Actually no, I was gonna ask about that one. Thank you… I think. Alright Claire, this is where I allow you to plug yourself. Tell everyone why he or she should read your work and how great it is and all that jazz.
Claire: If you want a comfortable, lighthearted read about music, you should read me. I would never say I was great…that’s for you, the humble reader to decide…me, I’m much too modest for that…
Bebito: In my opinion, it’s a great read. Thanks for joining me Claire. One last question and I’ll let you get back to work. There’s a running gag here at 411 Games (at least I think it’s a gag) that I supposedly suck. Honestly though Claire, do I suck?
Claire: Well I don’t think so, but it’s what you think of yourself that counts… that’s important. Let in the sun, as the Polyphonic Spree says, and the world is your oyster.
Bebito: Hmm. Well in that case, I guess I don’t suck! Sweet!
Claire: I’m here to help.
Isn’t she a sweetheart? Give this girl a read. She’ll give you the skinny on everything the music world has to offer. And her writing perspective is like none other on the site, because she’s all the way in freaking Australia for goodness sake! See her. Read her. Enjoy her. *reads the reader’s mind* No, not that way you sick pervert! I meant: Enjoy her writing. She’s a good read, and she’s also nominated for a Lo-Down Award for next week. That should tell you something. (Pfft, I wish.)
You can email Claire Flynn Boyle at: claire_flynn_boyle@yahoo.com.au
And you can read her latest column: HERE. Plus you can check her out every Thursday in the 411 Music Zone News Reports Section.
Sorry kids, but no gamerview next week. In lieu of the Down-Lo Spotlight, we’ll be having the Lo-Down! Awards. But look forward to future gamerviews from my favorite writers across the 411.

Well here’s what left of them. If you turned yours in late, then this is where you’ll see your results. Enjoy.

(TITLES SUITABLE FOR SUBJECT: Resident Evil: Code Veronica; Final Fantasy X; Star Ocean 3: Till The End Of Time, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
The only reason why I’m recommending the PS2 to you is because you trust Sony the most as a company. Otherwise, both the Xbox and the PlayStation 2 is a perfect match for you.

(TITLES SUITABLE FOR SUBJECT: SOCOM: US Navy Seals; Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring)
So, you say that you’re an “avid reader of the Down-Lo”, eh William? That’s great! But why did you turn in the Quiz late then?? You shall be forgive for this transgression… but don’t let it happen again my disciple. Another close race between the Xbox and PS2, but clearly the PS2 is the console for you, Will.

(RON YIP: 411 GAMES -)
(TITLES SUITABLE FOR SUBJECT: Metal Gear Solid 2; Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
Quote from Ron Yip: “God please tell me I’m a Sony guy because I’d go insane if I wasn’t.”
You can rest easy at night Ron, knowing that you’re a PlayStation man. Although, you were pretty close to being a Microsoft guy when it came toward the end of the quiz there. Better pray harder next time.

Ya know, this whole rumor thing sucks kind of. Why? Because gaming gossip, unlike actual news, is more time sensitive. The later I get it to you, the less impact the story makes. There’s plenty of dirt that I’m going to find out tomorrow… or maybe even today. Yet I have to wait a full week to report it to you. Some of the reporters here are starting to post rumor news and speculation under the News Section, which is great, but there are just so many things that are still passed by every week, that it gets ridiculous. Hmm. Maybe I could post rumors in the News Section along side Pankonin, Yip, and Peebles. That way you’d never miss anything. Would you like that? I dunna know… most likely I’m too lazy for that sort of thing… And eventually, I may run out of stuff to write about in the Down-Lo itself. I’ll have to think about this one. (Moreover, Chris might not let me anyway. He’s a stickler like that.)
Well, see you next week. I brought up plenty of topics for discussion today, so be sure to email me about some of them. Look out for the Lo-Down! Awards, and enjoy the rest of the crew who will hopefully be back from their two week hiatus starting tomorrow! I think some guy named Clayton is up next. Or wait… is it Jayon? Mason? It’s been so long… Whatever. Whoever he is, read him tomorrow. Peace. I’m out.