411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 01.21.03

411 Games Rumor Down-Lo 01.21.03
…a Microsoft spokesperson revealed that they will be releasing a patch for Blinx: The Time Sweeper. The patch is said to make major improvements to the game, such as adding “good gameplay” and “fun”. No date has been set for the Blinx patch.
— Joseph Stanley (The Weekend Wipe Up – 01.19.03)


Hi, I’m Bebito Jackson, and odds are the server just crashed because all of you rushed on here at the same time to read the Down-Lo. Everyone calm down. There’s enough of me to go around. Hmm. What’s that? Scott who?

I love getting reader feedback. One question though, that I seem to get all too often in my Down-Lo Mail Bin is:

Why do you always say that you suck all time? You don’t really believe that, do you? I mean are you ok, man?

Of course I’m Ok! I just suck! Ask anybody here. But recently, one of my readers really struck a cord with me when they wanted to know if it was a self-esteem problem, or worse… was I… depressed?

Absurd, I said to my reader and myself. I’m quite happy with my life. My wife is HOT. My job is fulfilling. I own nearly every videogame console since the mid-nineteen eighties. My wife is HOT. I work for 411 Mania. I have enough money to support my family and to own a house of my own at the young age of 22. And for God’s sake, my wife is HOT! What else could a man ask for?

Yet, when an ad for Zoloft entered onto my radio’s airwaves while at work yesterday, my reader’s question still resided in the back of my feeble mind. “Just for fun”, I decided to answer the questions that the commercial poised towards the listener to help him or her determine whether they possibly had depression:

Do you have trouble concentrating on things?
Are you feeling tired or having little energy?
Do you have difficulty making decisions?
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep, or do you end up sleeping too much?
Do you at times feel like you can’t do anything right?
Sometimes. Yes.
Do you have a poor appetite or are overeating?
Overeating. Yes.
Do you do things slowly?
Err… yes.
Are you angry or frustrated?
Yes. Ok. This can’t be good.
Have you gained weight without really trying?
Aw man! Yes. Am I going to die or something?!

If you answered yes to four or more of these questions…
Four or more? I said “yes” to all of them!!

Then you may need to speak to your doctor, who can provide help for you and diagnosis your clinical depression.
I can’t believe this!

While the cause is unknown, depression may be related to an imbalance of naturally occurring chemicals between nerve cells in the brain. Zoloft, a prescription medicine, works to correct this imbalance. Try talking to your doctor about Zoloft and how it can help you. When you know more about what’s wrong, you can help make it right.

At this point, I’m all jacked up. I’m thinking… “Maybe I am depressed. Maybe my readers are right. Maybe I do need some help. Maybe I should take some Zoloft.” But then the rest of the commercial aired. You know, the part where the girl with the sweet, soft, 900 number sounding voice starts talking…

Zoloft may cause dry mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea, and sleepiness.

Whoa! Let’s think about this for a second: Some people get insomnia and others get sleepiness? Wasn’t that one of the symptoms for depression in the first place? Diarrhea and nausea don’t sound like things that will make me happier. And they don’t detail what the sexual side effects are but we can assume it doesn’t have the same results as Viagra because I’m SURE they’d have mentioned THAT. So it is safe in assuming there is no sex after taking Zoloft. Maybe I didn’t mention it before… but my wife is HOT. So needless to say, impotence is not an option. Honestly, even if I were depressed (which I ain’t) I would rather take that over dry mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea, and sleepiness any day of the week. So I guess I’m not doing so badly after all. When you look at the alternative, depression is da bomb.

Behold the “Zoloft” edition of the Down-Lo. And you know this… MAN: The higher the DOWN-LO RATING the more likely these bad boys are true (scale 1-10). As always these are just rumors (which is why you read me in the first place), so stop your whining if these don’t pan out. Enjoy. I do.

This is the Down-Lo.

Quaterman has got the skinny on the third part of the Oddworld quintology for you Xbox loving freaks out there. He warns us to brace ourselves, and with good reason… because this is the weirdest thing I’ve EVER heard.

‘Apparently, it involves a half-monkey, half-horse, centaurish main character who’s got a psychic connection to (get ready for it…) his boat. Your job is to transport some “things” down a river in said boat.’ I’ve always known that the Oddworld series was a bit off… but this is just plain nuts.

Supposedly the gameplay relationship is similar to Sony’s genre-breaking Ico. The horse guy’s relationship with the boat is close to what Ico’s relationship with Yorda was like. Lorne Lanning, the creator of the Oddworld series, was said to find the inspiration for this new direction directly from Ico itself. Well, I guess if you have to copy game ideas, you could do worse than Ico, but does it have to be so darn weird?

Koji Igarashi’s got a secret console project. Quiet. Don’t tell anybody…

According to GameSpot, Igarashi confirmed that he is working on a new console game that will be unveiled at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) later this year. Then Koji gets stingy on us, as he wouldn’t provide any further information to confirm what console the game was going to hit, or what it was called.

Last Thursday Konami’s event revealed Koji’s new title for Game Boy Advance, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. The guy is becoming synonymous with the Castlevnaia series, so it is reasonable to believe that Kojia Igarashi’s secret game is the oft-rumored true next-generation installment in the Castlevania series (hey the handheld stuff is nice, but give us something on a system with more power please). If the rumor holds true, expect for it to be a PS2 exclusive.

We’ll know by E3; that’s for sure. It takes place during mid-May this year; from the 14th to the 16th. Stay tuned… I will.

It’s a good time to be a GameCube owner. Metriod Prime is out. Phantasy Star is finally Online. Mario is still a little Mexican jumping bean. Zelda is coming with two free games. And Capcom is making five awesome GameCube exclusives. *rumor monkey taps Bebito on the shoulder* Huh? Oh hey rumor monkey. How are you doing’? *rumor monkey whispers to Bebito* Oh my! That IS quite the news there! Thanks rumor monkey. *rumor monkey swings away* He’s a good monkey.

The rumor monkey is reporting that contrary to previous news, the “Capcom 5” (Resident Evil 4, Viewtiful Joe, Dead Phoenix, P.N. 03, and Killer 7), with the exception of Resident Evil 4, are not GameCube exclusive and most likely will appear on other consoles.

How did this seemingly huge mix-up occur? Well at first Capcom Entertainment previously said that all of the “Capcom Five” games announced last November were totally exclusive to Nintendo’s cube machine. Now, just recently, they it called the information wrong, citing a “miscommunication”, at its annual Gamers’ Day event in Las Vegas this week.

Somebody most likely is being spanked over at Capcom right now. Badly. Right after they got out the shower, dripping wet, with a leather belt. And they deserve it too. You don’t make mistakes like that.

So Resident Evil 4 is the only exclusive for the GameCube. Everything will probably show up on a PS2 or Xbox near you. Ah… who cares anyway? GameCube owners are still getting the titles first. That’s what counts in my book. You can’t blame Capcom for wanting to spread the gaming love.

Coming from one of Bebito’s Top 10 Most Unlikely Sources is this tidbit. CBS Marketwatch reports our Sonic Team rumor for today. After talking extensively about their plans to launch Phantasy Star Online for the Xbox this March, as well as the new games starring their popular mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, Yuji let slip some interesting information. It seems that Phantasy Star Online and Chu Chu Rocket will have company, because Sonic Team is working on new software that takes advantage of online play. Another online game from Sonic Team? That’s so Sweet! Sadly, he then refused to reveal any other information (big freaking surprise).

If we combine rumors from previous installments of the Down-Lo, we can speculate that this online game may be the new PS2 project of which Naka had earlier insinuated they were working on. Only time will tell.

Anyone who reads the Down-Lo on a semi-regular basis knows that Shenmue is one of my favorite game series of all time. So when I found out this one, I was very disturbed.

Here’s the ugly rumor that has my panties in a bunch. News has come up that Shenmue III will appear only as a CGI movie, and not a game. I got wind of this over at Cinescape, and I was close to starting my mourning period when I decided to check the validity of the site’s statements. (It’s what I do normally anyway.) Apparently the source for this rumor was from none other than the game’s official site! Oye Vey! The site repeated a statement by Yu Suzuki in a recent magazine interview, saying that there would be no third game, but rather another CGI movie, like the one released from footage of the original game that’s packaged in with Shenmue II for the Xbox.

That was enough for me. I was just about to burn the incense when I noticed this later clarification by AM2, which says that, “it is rather useless to make a film while there is no game (yet).” So what the blood clot is up here? I only wish I knew. For now it looks like whatever work “was” going down on Shemue III is on indefinite hold and that just bites. We may end up seeing the game on a future console or something… but until this whole thing is cleared up, I have no idea.

This is all YOUR fault! *points at reader* If you ignorant little non-quality recognizing, Tomb Raider buying, BMX XXX playing, wouldn’t know a good game if it hit you on the head with Nintendo’s Official Seal of Approval on it retards had bought Shenmue II when I told you to, we wouldn’t be in this mess! Argh! *calms down* I’m sorry. That’s not like me at all. I didn’t mean most of that. Maybe the part about Tomb Raider… but everything else was just said in anger.

In any case, hopefully AM2 will give a full clarification soon. The legions of Shenmue fans need to be appeased. As of now… Shemue III seems like a pipe dream.

And that’s the Down-Lo.

“I want to rip his heart out and feed it to him, I want to kill people, I want to rip their stomachs out and eat their children.”

That is why Mike Tyson will never be in the Down-Lo Spotlight.

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.


How many bosses do I have anyway? There’s Ashish, Chris Pankonin, and Widro. Man. Talk about over inflated management. Anyway, Widro was nice enough to sit down with me one late evening at midnight to talk videogames. Let’s see if either one of us falls asleep. Check it out:

This is the Down-Lo Spotlight.

Bebito: Thanks for joining me Widro. I know you’re a busy guy.
Widro: Good to be with you tonight.

Bebito: It’s all my honor “boss”. Let’s get started… Where ya from?
Widro: I’m originally from Long Island, moved to New Jersey in 7th grade.

Bebito: Nice, I live in the “Garbage State” too. Got used to the smell yet?
Widro: I tend to think New Jersey has quite a nice smell actually.

Bebito: Maybe the part where I live is just ghetto then. Whatever. So how old are you?
Widro: That would spoil my unique aura!

Bebito: Oh come on… I’ve gotten female 411 employees to spill the beans… and you mean to tell me you’re keeping it secret. Ok. It’s your “aura”. I’m curious… have you ever read my column?
Widro: Yes I have, it is filled with rumors from legit rumor sites and other stuff you just make up… it’s a nice read.

Bebito: Thank you! Although, I make nothing up… I just don’t always tell you my sources. But that’s beside the point. I’ll take the compliment and run with it. So how did you and Ashish hook up to become partners with this whole 411 deal? I know he started and owns it right?
Widro: He started it and owns the site… I came on board as a Thunder reporter, took over Nitro, then took over as Webmaster when Dave Gagnon bolted for Scoops.

Bebito: You and Ash ever actually meet? And how does this whole partner deal work. Who gets the final say?
Widro: We meet every Friday for drinks and good times.

Bebito: Wait a sec! According my records… Ash lives in Houston!!
Widro: Yes that is true, we charter the 411 jet either to Houston or to Manhattan.

Bebito: We have a JET!?
Widro: The execs of 411 do, yes.

Bebito: Well… what do the rest of us peons who aren’t named Keith or Hyatte get?
Widro: Well you get the standard 2 weeks vacation… and the full 401K program after 6 months.

Bebito: Huh. Funny, Chris never mentioned that. But I guess you’re higher up on the chain then him, so I’ll go with what you’re saying. We’ll talk about a raise after the interview ok? Currently, I make… nothing…
Widro: You get cost of living plus 5% every 18 months.

Bebito: 5% of nothing is… *thinks for a second* Still, nothing. Like I said… we’ll talk. So what things do you do here at 411, ya know, besides just being the boss?
Widro: I do all the programming and database work… the graphics… various TV report coverage… news-reporting, countdowns, all tech issues… I run music…

Bebito: I’m getting the point. Spam near everything huh?
Widro: I do my share.

Bebito: So how much are you into videogames?
Widro: I am pretty into them… I actually don’t play them as much as I want to with my job and 411… but I like to collect them.

Bebito: What are all the game systems you own?
Widro: I own every system since NES except 3DO.

Bebito: Say what?! That’s incredible!!! I’ve never heard of anything like that before. You mean to tell me that you don’t own a 3DO? Amazing.
Widro: I know! It’s a real gap in my collection.

Bebito: *shaking head* You disappoint me, Widro. Anyway, out of the hundred or so that you own, what’s your favorite system?
Widro: Hmm… I’d say Nintendo64.

Bebito: Really? Why?
Widro: I like a lot of the games on there… Waverace, Mario, Mariokart, Diddykart, Yoshi, Zelda…

Bebito: What games have you been playing lately?
Widro: Metriod prime, Mortal Kombat, Kirby and Zelda GBA.

Bebito: There’s a ton of great stuff coming out soon. What games are you looking forward to their release?
Widro: Panzer Dragoon for Xbox, Devil May Cry2 for ps2 and Zelda for GC.

Bebito: Bro, you’re a gamer after my own heart. So that makes me real curious about this one… In your humble opinion, what is the greatest videogame ever created?
Widro: That’s a very tough question.

Bebito: No kidding. That’s why I ask it…
Widro: As an old school 2d fan, I’ll go with Mario World on SNES.

Bebito: Nice choice. Safe one, as well. Well, as a 2d fan, I’m sure that you enjoyed the original Toejam & Earl on the Sega Genesis. They’re back out on the Xbox now, and I want to know: Do Toejam and Earl still got the funk?
Widro: Yes they do, I enjoyed the Xbox version.

Bebito: Me too… just got finished playing a minute ago actually. You’re giving all the right answers Widro; keep it up. Let’s do the Word Association thing.

I’m going to say a word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?


(Videogames) – fun

(Nintendo) – my favorite

(Sega) – making great games

(Xbox) – disappointing

(PS2) – best system on market

(Grand Theft Auto) – revolutionary

(Sonic The Hedgehog) – mega collection should have had sonic cd

(411) – mania

(Triple H) – political

(Chris Beniot) – crippler

(Ashish) – 6

(Scott Keith) – witty

(Chris Hyatte) – controversial

(Bebito Jackson) – the future

(Widro) – overworked


Bebito: I’m “the future”? Hmm. I could probably take that as a compliment too. Thanks. Well it’s a new year Widro. Take a second and let everyone know what we can expect from 411mania in 2003…
Widro: I think I’ll let the site speak for itself on 03.03.03

Bebito: Thank you Widro. I know you’re probably very tired right about now; so taking the time to do this with me was cool of you. One more question and you can go to sleep. A running gag here at 411Games (at least I think it’s a gag) is that I supposedly suck. Honestly though Widro, do I really suck?
Widro: Sometimes.

Bebito: *takes two Zoloft*

I think The Scotsman said it right in a past D-Lo Spotlight when he yelled, “Widro Rules It All!” The guy is just one of the most down to earth people that you’d ever want to meet, and one of the best people you could ever hope to almost, sort of, work for. If you see a column, TV report, Game Review, or anything by this guy… needless to say: READ IT.

You can read Widro’s 411 Games Review of Toejam & Earl III for Xbox: HERE. Plus you can check him out practically anywhere on the site. The guy does so much…

Like I said in the beginning… I have too many bosses. Oddly enough, I’ve almost interviewed them all. The only one left is the guy directly over me: Chris Pankonin. Watch me suck my way up into his heart in next week’s Down-Lo Spotlight.


Well the Lo-Down! Awards were last week, and I must say that it was the most disaster of a column that I’ve ever produced. What was I thinking? Anyway it was nice to find out how many of the award winners from all around 411 Mania actually liked my work too. It turned out to be a great little inside thing for the staff of the site. Which does you, the reader, no good but I digress. Shame on you if you missed the Lo-Down! Awards. Catch up on it HERE.

Due to those awards, here are the best plugs that I’ve received from all over the site within the past week:

I would also like to take a moment to thank 411VideoGames tycoon Bebito Jackson whose latest column names the 411 columnist of the year. The winner you ask? You guessed it, JAY BOWER! What kind of opiate Bebito was experimenting with when he came to this conclusion is still in question, but I am glad that my hours of hard work were recognized by one of the most entertaining writers on 411 that you may not be reading. Scroll WAYYY down to the bottom of the page and check out his new column along with my tearful acceptance speech, you will be glad you did. Congratulatory gifts of fruit and pastries can be sent me way if you so desire.
— Jay Bower (The Smarks News-Center! 01-15-03)

Jay, your fruit basket is in the mail. Sorry… I can’t bake pastries too well. Oh, and there seems to be some “rumors” going around that I “burnt” Jay last week at the awards. This is NOT true. What happened is too long for me to explain, but bottom line is… Jay really does deserve this award and he’s a great columnist.

The Final Continue Eleventh Anniversary Awards: I’m not going to pretend that it’s a real awards ceremony, since I’m not, and that would be stupid, so let’s get right to the awards.
— Jason Masters (Final Continue 01-16-03)

That’s as close to a plug as I’m ever going to get in Final Continue.

Well, I’ve made it clear that I don’t care about awards shows. Eminem won. Lots of folks lost. I didn’t watch. The awards that did matter to me, the Lo-Down Awards screwed me over. Claire wins Best News Report and Cody wins Best Column? Claire’s report is more of a column, and Cody’s is more of a news report. I love Claire’s stuff, and she deserved to win, but Cody wins two? Bebito, you really do suck! Man, I’m bitter.
— Jeff Modzelewski (411 Music Weekly Rewind 01.18.03)

You were my biggest dilemma with the awards show Jeff. You excelled in several different categories. You just weren’t the best in any particular specific area. If I had a category for best all around writer at 411 Music, you would have won. Ah well.

And Jeff… you’re just now figuring out that I suck?

The kind Bebito Jackson gave me two Lo-Down Awards for my column, Funniest and Best, but all the prestige went away after Claire won one, then a couple paragraphs down all value was restored with Evocator Manes getting one for his hard work. Quite the rollercoaster.
— Cody Webster (The Good, The Bad, And The Sad 01.19.03)

Man! Can’t I make ANYBODY happy with these things? Geez.

…I’d like to publicly thank Bebito Jackson for such a great column last week, he truly is a hard working man and deserves every bit of praise that people give him. I should note that he did all the writing; I didn’t do much at all so all the credit should go to him as well.
— Ron Yip (SimColumn News Report 01.20.03)

Ron is way too modest. He DID help me with that thing, and for that I am grateful. There’s no way I’m going to take all the credit for that wreck of a column anyway.


I’ve decided to put ALL reader feedback at the end of my columns from here on in. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bashing, praising, or asking questions… unless you tell me not to, it’ll be in the Down-Lo. And of course, if there’s no reader feedback then they’ll be no letters to print. No biggie. But if you like, show some love (or hate) and drop me a line. It’s always an enjoyment.

Oh! And one more thing. Got any rumors? If you do (and ya got the source to back yourself up… even if it’s a lame one) email it to me, and it’ll be in the Down-Lo with your name as the credit. Just email your full name, what city and state you’re from, and of course… the “Down-Lo” to me. And then keep reading… right here

All I want to know is, who’s idea was it to have the awards? Because that was just pure ratings gold my friend.

By the way, congratulations on your award. You earned it. *thumbs up*
— greydragon

Thanks. Everything was my idea. I hand picked every columnist or writer who won. And it was really fun reading the acceptance speeches.

The column wasn’t read as much as I would have liked, however. Nearly every Monday night into Tuesday morning the server that we’re on here at 411 Mania crashes. By the time we’re back up, my column is buried underneath News and has lost its chance at garnering the most exposure possible. Meaning those of you who still read me on days like that are among the hardest of the hard-core Down-Lo devotees, because you actually keep an eye for my column, rather than just casually seeing it and clicking.

And yes, you’re right. 411 GAMES: SUCKIEST WRITER AWARD; I did earn that. I have it sitting on top of my Xbox right now.

Yo. My name is Mike, I write for our little homeland of 411 Games, and after reading your rumor report, I figured I’d send you this.

About a week ago, I bought GMR, Electronics Boutique’s new magazine, produced by Ziff Davis, also known as the makers of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Inside this debut issue was a regrettably short interview with Yu Suzuki, creator of Shemue, Virtua Fighter, etc. On the subject of “Can you tell us what you’re working on now?”, Suzuki responded with “We’re currently testing Virtua Cop 3 in Japenese arcades. We were inspired by The Matrix, so it has a lot of cool effects. We’re also working on the new OutRun arcade game.” So, straight from GMR, there’s your “low-down” on Virtua Cop 3.

Other things of interest in the article include a brief story on the origins of Shemue, what the next chapter of the series will probably be like, and the continued work on Virtua Fighter Quest (an RPG). If you want quotes about any of those, lemme know. Hope that helps some. Peace out.
— Michael Blaszkowski

Mike is one of our reviewers here at 411 Games and 411 Music. Keep an eye out for his stuff.

Thanks for the info Mike. If you read Ron Yip’s SimColumn yesterday you know that Virtua Cop 3 actually has a sweet looking trailer up. If you didn’t read him, then you don’t deserve to see it.

I am looking forward to both of these games, but I’m more curious about what’s up with OutRun. Hopefully there’s a console version coming somewhere down the line. I’ll see if I can dig up some rumors on it…

Hey man sorry for not e-mailing you sooner but I’ve been low on time lately and really never read your whole column until today. Man, that’s a whole lot of writing. I’m very impressed, you did some good work, I hope you don’t work that hard all the time you might bust a vein or something. You should relax, too much stress is bad for you.

Anyways, I enjoyed that a lot and I really enjoyed my role in the column. You definitely need to make this an annual thing, it’s got some good legs.

Take it easy,
— Ron Yip

I did bust my butt writing that. Glad you enjoyed it Ron. I was thinking of making that into an annual thing, but if I did the format would be different. Instead of the awards for each section being done in one long column… I’d break it up from week to week, one week for each section. Which would mean that it would take almost a month and a half to do. We’ll see. I’ve got a year

You were already my favorite writer for mentioning my name in the “Which System is Best for You” thing, but then you mentioned Sifl and Olly… you are forever cemented as my favorite writer ever.

However, that requires my overlooking your hope for an Eagles victory, but you’re from South Jersey, so you just aren’t lucky enough to know better.

— Jim Moore

Thanks, Jim. Glad you like my stuff so much. You must have terrible taste…

Sifl and Olly are the official sponsors of the 411 Games Rumor Down-Lo. They’ll be running commercials between rumors with the Precious Roy line of products possibly as soon as the next column. They wanted me to inform everyone that they were sorry they missed the Lo-Down! Awards. Chester got into quite the car accident while driving them there. Police are unsure, but he may have been under the influence of some sort of an illegal substance. Thankfully, everyone is ok.

And to tell the truth, I’m not even really an Eagles fan. I’m actually a New York Giants fan… but it’s kind of hard to mention that around these parts without getting beat up right about now. The Eagles are my “if the Giants screw up like they do every year” back up team. So you’re right, I don’t know any better. Whatever… they choked just like they did last year, anyway.

It’s interesting to see you doing actual news now. Tell me, how did this turn of events come to be?
— greydragon

Grey emailed me yet again when he saw me reporting actual news in the News Section last week. The deal is I just got tired of our site missing so much gaming news, that I had to take things into my own hands. Don’t expect this to be a normal thing though. For the most part, I’ll only report on news that I previously had talked about as a rumor in the Down-Lo.

Such is the case with the Castlevania game announced for Game Boy Advance last week. I told a rumor on Tuesday that the game would be shown that Thursday, and it was. So I reported on it. If more stuff like that comes along… then I’ll be reporting on that news as well. Don’t worry though, I’ll never be a serious news reporter. I’m still all about gaming gossip.


Joseph Stanley. AKA “The New Guy.” He’s loses points for being friends with Jason Masters, but the guy is still awesome. Read him. The perfect person for the weekend News Report. No idea where Chris found him… but good work.

Yip, Bebito, Masters, Williams, Pankonin, and Stanley. We are now complete. Alex Lucard’s plan to recreate GameFAN is coming along nicely. Be afraid… be very afraid.

Read Alex Lucard. Read Ron Yip. Read Joseph Stanley. Read everybody. And I’ll be back next week, so read me. Oh, and don’t forget to go buy Scott Keith’s book. I’ll have a mini-review up of it soon. Peace. I’m out.