Thank God It’s Thursday News Report 02.13.03

I bid you welcome to the first edition of the Thank God It’s Thursday News Report. Though I hate Thursday with a passion, I will try to make it better for all of us by reporting on the video game news that matters (or is really easy to make fun of). So keep your expectations low, and come along for the ride.

Final Fantasy Origins
This one-disc release of Final Fantasy I and II for Playstation 1 (?) will be “shipped” on April 8. The game will be receiving upgrades in the graphics and music departments, along with the requisite cut scenes.

In other words, they’re going to f*ck it up. Remember when the Police came out with their updated version of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”? It sucked! This is going to be kind of like that. Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to play the original again and not have to worry about holding down Reset when I turn it off. But either leave it be or don’t bother.

Nintendo’s antipiracy campaigns have resulted in the discovery of over 300,000 pieces of pirated software, not to mention various devices to create the illegal goods, in China. Nintendo also claims that it loses $649 million in sales each year due to piracy.

Good god, that’s a lot of money. If you go by these numbers, well over 4 million illegal GameCube systems are manufactured and distributed each year. Or 13,244,898 games. If these numbers are accurate (and I somehow doubt they are), that doesn’t say a lot about gamers and financial honesty.

Big Mutha Truckers
Big Mutha Truckers will be headed to the GameCube in April. The game is already available for X-Box and Playstation 2.

To be honest, I don’t really know anything about this game, but it’s the type of game I’d play just because it has a really cool name. From the looks of the press release, it sounds very stereotypical of the redneck community. Rednecks should be more like other minorities and get offended by everything.

Nintendo is starting a pre-order campaign for its upcoming releases for the Game Boy Advance, Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire. As incentive, Nintendo is offering a free hologram coin to those who agree to pre-orders.

Only an idiot Pokemon-obsessed kid would be excited about this news – get another version of the same old crap, AND get a coin! How generous of Nintendo! Even though they are losing $649 million a year, they still know how to please their fans by offering them stupid hologram coins. Basically, you can count on 4th graders being murdered over these coins very soon.

They’re not making sports games for the GameCube anymore. GameCube owners will have to look elsewhere to find superior sports games that inexplicably don’t sell as well as EA’s tired rehashes.

The real good part, to me, is Sega’s hilarious public statement on the matter. See if you can read through the corporate speak bullshit and figure out what they’re really trying to say:

“Sega has been evaluating its resources and product lineup to ensure it is bringing the right games to the right platforms as the company builds toward becoming a profitable, independent content publisher. After careful examination, Sega has made the strategic decision to support the Nintendo GameCube with a priority on delivering its leading entertainment properties such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Monkey Ball, proven franchises which have been top sellers on the system. Sega will focus its sports development resources on delivering its Sega Sports games to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on time at the start of each season. Sega is committed to the Nintendo GameCube and will continue to support the platform with its leading entertainment properties, including the recently announced Sonic Adventure DX, as well as many other titles yet to be announced.”

Phantasy Star Online
You can now play a special “Valentine’s Day Quest” of GameCube’s Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. Interested gamers have until February 17th to take advantage of this.

This news comes as a great relief to single loser gamers everywhere, as they now have something to do besides masturbate and pop their zits.

The first ever plug of the Thank God It’s Thursday News Report goes to Bebito Jackson. See, when I wrote my last column, I wasn’t sure if it was good or not, so I sent it to Bebito to get his thoughts. His encouragement led me to believe it was okay. I never acknowledged that in the column itself and I felt really bad about it, so here’s the long-awaited plug to Bebito.

Next plug goes to Alex Lucard. This guy rules. It had been a whole week since his last column (seemingly an eternity for Retrograding fans to wait), but he delivers the goods with his latest work. Did you ever play a round of golf and totally suck and have a lousy time, but hit one awesome shot, which stuck in your mind and made you want to go out for another round the next day? Alex lists ten video games that feature a similar phenomenon – they suck, but have some sort of redeeming quality that keeps you coming back for more.

Getting the “bronze” this week is Joseph Stanley with the hilarious “Weekend Wipe-Up”. If you haven’t read it already, feel free to leave this column and do so. You won’t find funnier fake quotes anywhere on the Web.

Ron Yip talks about the NBA All-Star game and video games in his SimColumn. Chris Pankonin pulls double news report duty this week, not to mention his Monday wrestling news report, so it’s really triple news report duty.

In the non-news report realm, The Scotsman is back with another diary-esque piece on a game called “Primetime”. Lastly, welcome the new guys on board. Lee Baxley reviews Skies of Arcadia Legend for GameCube, and Matthew Cress reviews the X-Box version of NCAA College Basketball 2K3. Color me impressed with the new guys – at first, I didn’t even realize that these were their first submissions. They tell you how the game is, NOT how much they liked it or hated it. That’s always a very important thing.

Non-411 Link of the Week’s Guide to Survive in Any RPG. Check it out.

Mr. Perfect
We lost one of my all-time favorites this week, Mr. Perfect. Read Ken Anderson’s wonderful piece on the man. I remember the time my buddies and I were sitting right by the entrance ramp as Mr. Perfect was leaving. As any good nine-year old kids would do to a bad guy, we gave him a hard time. He responded by telling us all to “Shut the f*ck up”. That was certainly a highlight of my life.

A more recent memory I’m sure you’ll all appreciate. At last year’s Royal Rumble, Mr. Perfect made an appearance. If you remember, he was one of the last five or so to come in. Upon entering the ring, he was promptly beaten down in the corner. As he was lying there getting kicked, he managed to spit out his gum and swat it into the crowd. That was great.

Mr. Perfect will certainly be missed by wrestling fans everywhere. Come to think of it, he already is.

It’s been a fun first day on the job. I hope you enjoyed your experience. Don’t hesitate to let me know what worked and what didn’t – it might take a while to get things going as they should.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day. If you’re fortunate enough to have a girlfriend, Friday is the day to show her you care. Pull out all the stops, and don’t take her for granted. If you’re single, rejoice in the fact that you didn’t put all of your money into chocolate that will be gone within a week, roses that will die within a week, and a piece of jewelry she’ll find something wrong with and stop wearing within a week.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Pankonin tomorrow and Stanley during the weekend. Take care.