Hump Day Otaku News Report 05.14.03

Well, Hell Week has come and gone, and I’m still broke. More and more stuff is coming out that I want, but cannot afford. Which is why I’m looking for a higher paying job. Wish me luck people. I need it.

Since I am looking for a job, this will have to be a quicky edition. I’ll still have all the goodies I normally do, but it pint size format.

Gaming News

Rare at E3
Some of the biggest news to come out of E3 so far is what former Nintendo, now Microsoft studio Rare has to show. First, they have shown the action-RPG (I think) called Kameo: Elements of Power. It looks to be not only pretty, but interesting as well. Next, was the odd looking title Grabbed by the Goulies. It’s a multiplayer action game (in the vein of Gauntlet perhaps?) and it looks, ummm, interesting. Last, and certainly not least is Conker: Live and Uncut. Unlike the previous Conker game, which was a platformer, this is supposed to be a straight team-based multiplayer shooter game. While I’m not a big fan of shooters, if it has the complete irreverence of Bad Fur Day, you can count me in.

Sequel to the Greatest Survival Horror Game Out There!
No, I’m not talking about Resident Evil. I hate that series. I’m talking about Tecmo’s Fatal Frame. The sequel is supposed to have the same type of gameplay as the original, where you control a character and use a camera to take pictures of ghosts, which damages them. This time around, the main characters are twin sisters who seek shelter in an abandoned mansion (I don’t know if it’s the same mansion, or a different one from the original) and have to fight spirits using the mystical camera. Titled Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly (Zero is the Japanese game for the original Fatal Frame), the game is scheduled to be released for the PS2 in Autumn of this year, and I imagine it will be ported later. I’m sure the game will also be released in America as well. If not, there will be hell to pay!

Gameboy Killer? Say it ain’t so!
Sony has announced what may be good or bad news, depending on how you look at it. Named the PSP, their portable system sounds like it is an improvement on nearly everything the Gameboy Advance has to offer. First and foremost is the disc-carts. Games are stored on what is called a Universal Media Disc, which is a 60mm disc with a 1.8GB capacity, and the disc is enclosed in a cartridge. Next is the screen is 16″x9″ and has the capability play MPEG-4 encoded video. The screen is backlit and you can connect USB 2.0 devices to it. Personally, this thing sounds pretty badass. It’ll be expensive for a portable system, but knowing Sony, it’ll be much more than just a portible game system. I can’t wait.

Nintendo Announcements
Nintendo is pulling out all the stops and announcing an assload of games. They’ve announced Star Fox 2, which sounds more like a traditional Star Fox game, yet still has some fighting type elements. There’s Mario and Luigi, which is another long awaited Mario RPG game, and hopefully Square will get involved with this one too. They’ve officially announced Metroid Prime 2 (horray!). Also, there’s Metroid: Zero Mission, which looks like a remake of the original (double horray!). They’ve finally announced Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3. Also, we’ll be seeing Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords on the GameCube, but I don’t know if Link to the Past is part of this one. Also, there is Legend of Zelda: Tetra’s Trackers, which looks more like a party game than a traditional Zelda game, but it’s hard to tell from the pictures. Whew, they’re coming out with a LOT of interesting looking stuff.

New Game Releases
* Ship Date – 5/13/03
Enter the Matrix (PS2, GC, Xbox)

That’s pretty much the only thing coming out this week. And I WANT IT.

Props to my Homies! (aka Plugs)
Since it’s E3 week here, and Chris and Joseph are in LA (the bastards), we’ll have an unusual plug section, because I don’t know if the normal columns will be posted. Hell, I don’t know if MY column will be posted, but I haven’t heard anything yay or nay, so I’ll do it anyway.

First, check out the excellent Bebito Jackson’s review of the anime Sonic X, which I haven’t been able to check out yet (sorry Bebito), but I will at some point.

Next is Chris’ E3 Preview where he gives a rundown of what is to come.

And then there’s Chris’ report of The Microsoft Media Briefing with Doom III and Halo 2 goodness. Check out the preview of Halo 2 as well.

Chris will be popping in and out for the next few days, so be sure to keep up.

Bryan will be back tomorrow with a normal update, that is if Chris doesn’t steal ALL our thunder.

New Anime Releases
* Release Date – 5/13/03
Chobits Vol. 2, Devil Lady Vol. 4, Noir Vol. 4, Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. 6, Revolutionary Girl Utena: Black Rose Collection

With the exception of Devil Lady, these are all shows I collect and love very much. I’m very much behind on Utena though, so it’s kinda on the back burner. Noir and Chobits are another story. Anybody want to hire a webmaster? I’m cheap, I’ll only ask for $11/hr!

Mini Anime Reviews
Every now and then, a show comes along that is not of established franchise or by an established group of creators. So the show gets a trial run of sorts, and is sent direct to video with a few episodes to try out, sort of like a pilot for a TV series. Like many pilots, oftentimes these shows do not get any more episodes. The next show is a good example of one of these shows.

The story starts out pretty simple. A high school boy named Go Takarada wants to be a treasure hunter, just like his parents. He wants to seek out fame and fortune just like a modern day Indiana Jones, and often looks in the oddest of places for treasure. Ok, here’s where it gets messed up. On one of his adventures, he finds an elf named Rane, but due to the differences in their languages, Go just calls her Elfie. With Elfie in tow, Go is even more determined to find treasure than before. And oddly enough, he gets a lot closer to finding it with her around.

The reason this show is so good is because of the wacked out comedy element involved. While not as screwed up as Excel Saga is, it comes pretty close at times. The show is directed by Akitaro Daichi, who also did Jubei-Chan, so it’s understandable why it’s so weird, yet so very entertaining. The plot as a whole doesn’t amount to much, but the characters are crazy. Go himself is ignorant to basically everything going on in the outside world. Several times, he sees naked women, but it doesn’t affect him since he’s out for treasure, whereas most men in would start shooting blood out of their nose. There’s Go’s best friend, Mari, who is deeply in love with Go but of course, Go is oblivious to that. Mari finds an elf of her own, the witch named Leen, who is out to kill Rane for some strange reason. There are also Go’s sisters, who are all identical, and there are at least 7 of them. And last, but not least, is the wackiest character of them all, Takuma, a guy who is in love with Mari (he works for Mari’s father), and speaks gibberish most of the time.

While the animation isn’t the best, it’s understandable considering that the show was made in 1995. And the voice talent isn’t A-list people, but they play their voices well. Sadly, the show is pretty good, and I would definitely have gotten the entire series, but it ends after just two episodes. I suppose not enough people bought it the first time around to merit a full series release. As I said before, there are other shows that this happens to that are very good. The other two good ones I can think of are Angel Sanctuary and Gestalt, both of which I’ll review in the future, after I rewatch them.

This show is great fun, but I recommend avoiding it if you have a problem with the story ending. There is no ending, nothing to tie anything up. It looks as though they were expecting to continue the series, but couldn’t. There is even a preview for Episode 3, which never came out. The show is a non-stop comedy with a good amount of fan service to boot, so I’d recommend it, because there’s no long-term commitment and it should keep you laughing for about an hour or so.

Well, here’s to hoping I can get a good job so I can buy more anime and games. I’ve got quite the backlog now, so hopefully it all works out.