Otaku Hump Day News Report 07.23.03

This week is going to be a little bit different for me. For one thing, I have to work a lot of overtime at work (have to being the operative word…if I don’t, it’ll hit my attendance and I’m already on the edge of the cliff for that). For another, my better half has been using the computer all weekend and I didn’t want to kick her off. And finally, I’ve been playing Legaia 2 all weekend and didn’t want to do the report just yet.

Well, after my procrastination, it is now Monday, and I’m at work. I’m going to try my best to write the entire column at work, since I have little better to do here. Not supposed to surf, can’t bring my GBA, not really a whole lot else that CAN be done here. So I’ll write this. I don’t plan on doing this often, because it’s not good for my train of thought, but it needs to be done for this week.

I’m not sure what the content will be this week. It all depends on what I do tonight. I can do a review of Legaia 2, I could watch some anime I haven’t watched yet (Noir Vol. 2 and .hack//SIGN Vol. 1), I could write a column. Who knows? I can surprise you as much as I do myself. So venture on, brave warriors! Discover what destiny awaits you! Man, I play too many games…

Gaming News
I’ve been busy with work, so I haven’t been keeping up to date very much. Let’s see what we have on the board…

Xenosaga: Episode II Info Galore!
Namco and Monolith Soft have finally started revealing some information about Xenosaga Episode II. First of all, as I reported previously, the sub-title has been officially confirmed as Jenseits von Gut und Bose (Beyond Good and Evil) which sounds like a cool title. But one thing that worries me is the artwork, which is said to be drastically changing. They are going from an anime feel (which I dearly loved) to a more realistic feel. Most of the characters look completely different. For most, it isn’t a bad thing. Chaos, Jr, and Ziggy don’t look that different, but KOS-MOS, Shion and Momo do. So I don’t know if this is going to be a good thing or not, but I have faith in Namco. In fact, it seems as if my faith in Square is slowly migrating towards Namco.

Also, it has been revealed that Shion’s brother, Jin Uzuki will in fact be a major character in this one. Not much else is known at this time, but I’ll keep you updated for sure. If you want to see some of the screens of the new characters, check out GamesAreFun.

Shenmue III
GamesAreFun is also reporting that Shenmue III has been confirmed to be in development. Entitled Shenmue III: Special Edition, it will supposedly contain SM1, 2 and 3 in one bundle. I for one think this is a great idea, because it means they will all be for the same system, and I won’t have to go out and buy SM2 seperately! Personally, I don’t care what system they choose for this, though XBox would likely be the best bet, since they already have SM2 for it, and they know how to program for it.

Baten Kaitos
Monolith Soft’s other big project has very little information about it at the moment, but this GameCube exclusive sounds pretty interesting. It sounds like it’s a card based RPG, but possibly more in a traditional sense than Lost Kingdoms was. What I do know is that the graphics look amazing. Check out RPGFan for some screens. Also, that link has a bunch of screen for Xenosaga Episode II, and the characters look better than I thought, but still, I prefer the anime style.

411 Newsbits
It’s my take on the non-RPG news that was posted here on 411Games.
-Donkey Kong Record Set. Or is it DK Jr.? Oh well, it’s not like anyone cares. Others have said it better than I, but we all agree on one thing: it doesn’t really matter if someone beats a record on a game that’s almost as old as I am (I’m 25, Eric).
-RAW 2 for XBox Box Art. It has HHH and Scott Steiner, with Goldberg featured in the middle. I don’t think anything else needs to be said. No, wait, something has to be said. I’m not the biggest wrestling fan ever, but I used to be pretty big into it, and what I see here are three of the biggest reasons why wrestling is unwatchable right now. Does anybody in their right mind think these three together will help sell the game?
-Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain Official. Bleh. I hate the title still. And I don’t know if the game will be good or not, but I probably won’t play it. I tried playing the last one (or was it the 2nd one?), but it wasn’t really worth the money I spent on renting it. Please, God, let some other company make wrestling games that feature good wresters! How about a ROH game! Or NWA:TNA or something. I doubt THQ is ever going to relinquish the rights to the WWE license, but until they make a very, very good game, I won’t play any more.

New Game Releases
I’m not being a slacker, but seriously, nothing looks worthy of mentioning. Half the stuff has already been mentioned before (Dinotopia, Aquaman, and Robocop) and the rest just doesn’t look worthwhile.

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
This week, Bryan talks about Tomb Raider (ick!), the Voice Acting in XIII (interesting premise for a game, the style looks pretty good for a cel shader), Narc (more on that in a bit), Sony hiring emulator programmers (which is a good thing!), and Vice City (the question is: will they fix the bugs? If so, I’d consider buying it again). As for Narc, normally I’d be very happy to see a game like this being remade, but I don’t think that they can possibly capture the feel of the original. It was so funny simply because they went to the most possible extremes imaginable to prevent impressionable children from getting into drugs. They showed that cops are cool guys in motorcycle helmets that drove Porches and KILLED drug dealers and hookers on the spot. Never before (and never since) have I seen a game that misportrayed a group of people (in this case, the cops) so much. The original was so much fun just because it was so incredibly screwed up, but I have little faith that the remake will be that good.

Friday’s Slice O’ News – Jeff Watson
This week, Jeff discusses XIII, Vice City, games boosting visual skillz (I thought they determined a long time ago that games improved hand/eye coordination?), Sega-AM2/Bandai making Macross game (not a big Macross fan, but this could be very very cool), Transformers Armada game (could be cool, but as Jeff says, likely won’t be), and Hunting for Bambi (a past time for rich but lonely guys…I don’t have a problem with it, and I would say that the women are stupid for risking bodily harm for something like this, but on the same token, I’d definitely do the same thing for the money they’re making!). Also, Jeff starts a new top 10 area where he lists his top 10 favorite multiplayer games. Oh, and I hereby give Jeff my permission to review Knights of the Old Republic. I want that game more than life itself, but that means buying an XBox, which I can’t feasibly do right now. I guess I’ll wait until it’s out for the PC.

Retrograding Weekend News – Alex Lucard
In this edition of Retrograding, Alex posts the finalists to the EWR contest he held. Before this column was Part One of the contest, which contains one very long entry. And no, I didn’t win, and I didn’t deserve to. I thought I had a good idea, but as with many good ideas, I couldn’t execute it well. Congrats to the winner, who stole my copy of Persona 2!!!!

Gamer’s Hangover – Cory Laflin
I’m really starting to like what Cory writes every week. This week he posted something that I never thought about, but would be really cool. A GI Joe squad based game. That would rock. And I would be one of the ones that fights over Storm Shadow instead of Snake Eyes. Oh, and Galaxies isn’t an NWN ripoff. If anything, it’s the EQ ripoff and Knights of the Old Republic would be the NWN ripoff. He talks about Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, and sounds about as interested as I am (though I know he’s just pretending…he REALLY wants this game).

The Lo-Down: 411’s Disturbing Feedback – Bebito Jackson
Bebito’s normal column has been pre-empted this week for this hilarious look at some of the fan mail that the other writers of 411Games gets. Personally, I don’t get that weird of mail from people unless it’s from Matt Hardin, but that doesn’t count, because he reminds me of me when he writes, so that’s all good.

Review of G.I. Joe vs. Cobra B.A.T. Army Builder Pack – Matt Hardin
Speaking of my favorite person who writes me all the time (ok, he’s the ONLY one), Matt has returned with another review of G.I. Joe figures. The review is excellent, but nothing beats the picture of the figures dancing at the top. Great stuff, Matt.

The Angry Gamer: Shooters vs. FPS – Liquidcross
411Game’s newest columnist shows his stuff here with an article proving why FPS games are inferior to shooting games, and I agree. The only FPS games I have truly liked are Metroid Prime, which is the shit, and Half Life, which is cool for like the first half, but once you go to the alien planet or whatever, it’s too f*cked up for me.

Review of Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA) – Lee Baxley
Yes, I was the first to post a GBA review for our new GBA column. Peeples doesn’t count because his was like from a year ago. Anyway, my review basically says that the second game is better than the first, but you’ll have to read it to find out why!

Review of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (PS2) – Polecat
I used to have a lot of respect for Polecat before I read the first sentence. “When the first [Tomb Raider] came out, it was a FANTASTIC game.” So much respect flushed down the toilet so fast. It’s like saying, “Well, you know, I rather enjoyed putting those staples in my ballsack, but now that I’ve moved up to a nailgun, it’s just not as fun.” There’s your quote Berg. Anyway, at least Polecat said that this game was shit, so I guess he deserves props there. And for the fact that he played it at all, but then again, he probably enjoyed the game on some sick perverted level.

Review of Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II (GBA) – Alex Williams
Another GBA review, but of a game I won’t play. Sorry, may be a good game, but the fact that I HATE DBZ means I couldn’t stomach the game. Alex says it’s good though, so if you like DBZ and were a fan of other shitty DBZ games like Budokai (I miss Ron Yip too!!!), then you’ll dig this.

Review of Jet Grind Radio (GBA) – Bryan Berg
And yet another GBA review! Debut a new section and they will come. I’ve always wanted to play this game for the DC, and now it’s out on the GBA. I’ll probably go for the DC version still, but this one sounds pretty good none the less. Now where is Lucard and his Ulala??

New Anime Releases
* Release Date – 07/22/03
FLCL Vol. 3 w/ Box, Full Metal Panic Vol. 2, King of Bandit Jing Vol. 1 w/ Box, Saiyuki Vol. 3, X Vol. 6

Fooly Cooly is the first series that is doing what many are hoping to be a new trend: releasing a box with the last disc rather than the first, just in case you don’t like the series from the start. Of course, we have our usual suspects from ADV and Pioneer. I need some more money because I want some of this stuff bad!

Ok, so I said I’d include all this extra stuff, but didn’t. So sue me. It’s early Tuesday morning, and it’s time to turn in my report so I can get some sleep. I’m pulling 10 hour days for the rest of the week, so I need as much sleep as I can get so I don’t go insane. I’ll definitely write up at least a mini-review of Legaia 2 for next week, and maybe more. Enjoy the rest of the week!