Hump Day Otaku News Report 08.13.03

Hey yo. I’m back this week with more of what you’ve come to expect from me. RPG news and stuff, and me slacking off in some way or another. I know I promised that I’d review one of the anime series I purchased (which DID come in), but I haven’t watched any yet. Hey, I’ll only watch them with my wife, so if she doesn’t want to at any given moment, then we don’t watch it. I’ll find some way to make it up to you.

I had asked Alex Lucard, since he’s the resident Lovecraft expert, what books I should get. He suggested one, but basically said I should dive in. And I did. And now I’m a card-carrying member of the church of Cthulhu. I even have been considering getting a degree in theosophy from Miskatonic University in Arkham, MA, and I don’t even know what theosophy is! In Alex’s email, the subject line was “Damn you Lee for getting me started!” Well, I have a witty comeback, Alex. Fuck you, Alex, for getting ME started! Not only has he gotten me hooked on this shit, but I expect to be hooked on Persona as well. I purchased it (and Parasite Eve II) and am just waiting for the arrival. I haven’t purchased Persona 2 just yet, but I will soon. In fact, I’m listening to the soundtrack now, and it’s every bit as good as Alex said. It’s very Jazzy, but great nonetheless. And I wanna know where to get the Velvet Room version he’s referring to, because the only one I’ve found is short as well.

While we’re on the subject of Lucard, I’d like to say that I agree with him wholeheartedly with the comments he made in his mailbag regarding what WE as the games staff would like. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE 411Mania as a whole, and have always loved 411Wrestling since as long as I remember (which was in their DX color scheme days, IIRC), and we owe everything to the popularity they received. But now we are 411Mania, and we are not just wrestling! No one area is better than another, and that’s what’s great. So if you’re reading this, and you like the site, please tell your buddies. Even if you don’t like ME, tell your friends about the site and tell them to avoid the crazy otaku guy who likes to hump things. We want the word out, because we feel, as do many of our readers, that we have the best writing staff on the internet, as far as games is concerned, and we’d love to be able to accomplish on the games side what the wrestling side has done, which is to become the most popular independent games site on the internet. So please, tell your friends and keep coming back, because we’re only going to get better. That’s a promise. And would The Bad Guy lie to you?

Gaming News

Tokyo Game Show Goodness
The biggest game show in Japan is going down next month, and some companies have announced what they’re showing there. The winner is Sega, with 28 titles. The biggest ones to note are: Sonic Heroes, Sega GT Online, Altered Beast remake, Virtua Fighter Quest, Sakura Taisen 5 (please localize this Sega, and I’ll love you forever!), and Phantasy Star Online Episode III. They also announced tons of other games, but didn’t give names. Other companies will show other games as well, but they are all ones we’ve heard about. Hopefully this show will be very exciting. I wish I could be there. Hey, Lucard knows Japanese, he should go report for us.

3DO Auction
As most people are aware of, the 3DO company has gone bankrupt. Well, maybe you aren’t aware of it. Well, they have. Surprisingly, it was only recently that this happened, considering the fact that they had one of the biggest console busts ever and it seems like the only games they’ve made for years have been Army Men games. Anyway, now they’d dead and they’re selling off their properties. There are a bunch of big name companies interested in the goods: Microsoft, Ubi Soft, Namco, Eidos, Crave, Turbine, and Jowood. Wait, wasn’t Eidos going to go bankrupt themselves? No matter. Anyway, some people may be wondering why I’m bothering to post this at all? Well, there’s one game that 3DO had in the works that looked SWEET: 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Being that the story of the Horsemen is one of my favorites (funny how all my favorite stories in the Bible regard the Apocalypse), I couldn’t wait for this game to be made. Hopefully a good company (Namco perhaps?) will get the rights.

I’m Out Of Beer
I just ran out of beer, and the bottle of Jack has been empty for 3 hours. I would greatly appreciate it if one of you kind folks would email me a 6 pack, or if you can manage it, a full keg. I probably won’t be very coherent if I’m sober!

411Games Newsbits
Gah, slow news week all around.
-411Games Interactive Countdown: Widro must not be much of a gamer, because the games that were added to the countdown this week blow donkey ass. Yea, Chaos Legion should have been good, but I’ve heard otherwise. And he mentions Splashdown and Freaky Flyers before it anyway. I don’t expect any of those to contend. It’s nice to see that there are 2 games above Smackdown, but there should be MORE. And it’s also nice to see that 3 big RPGs are on there. Keep voting for those, and not for the wrestling games. Because you can’t tell me that the wrestling games are the best games out there, period!
-Hogan Pulled From Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain. Aw, damn. That’s too bad.

Survey Time
Hey yo. Ya know, I come out here every week and write news and bitch about stuff for you guys, and this is how you repay me? No, seriously, it’s kind of hard to have an audience participation area, when no one wants to participate. Well, I did get one letter. Let’s see what it says:
About Final Fantasy CC. Myself and my friends around here are all stoked about it. Granted, we know that it’s not going to be a real “FF” game. Square has this nasty habit of using the Final Fantasy name is disguise other games that they want to sell. Examples: Final Fantasy Tactics (a strategy game) and Final Fantasy 11 (an MMORPG). I could swear that there’s another but it’s not coming to me.
That being said, we’re expecting FF:CC to be much like Secret of Mana, a game which we all remember fondly as “the 3-player Legend of Zelda.” The GBA connectivity also seems like a great idea, as it will prevent the main screen from being clogged up with individual status windows. Since we already all have GBA’s (gotta play Advance Wars 2 somehow…), even if FF:CC is only playable with the GBA, that’s fine. In fact, we’re already figuring out who is going to be in each group of players for FF:CC, as we have about 9-12 people who are totally behind the idea.

That’s the only thing I got. It’s from a different Matt (meaning not Matt Hardin). He makes a good point. The Mana games are very popular, and this one will probably play some like a Mana game. I still don’t like the character designs, but the play control could be pretty sweet. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. And since Matt was the ONLY person who wrote on the subject, and nobody wanted to back up my arguments, he wins. One more”¦for the good guys.

The next survey is about something that I referred to earlier, that being the fact that 411Games is separate from 411Wrestling, and should not be viewed only for wrestling game content. We have great writers here that focus on all sorts of game types (RPG, fighting, shooting, sports, action, adventure, you name it), and quite frankly, it makes me frustrated to see that consistently the top hits are going to news about wrestling games. So what do you think? Do you like us the way we are, where we write about whatever the hell we want to? Or would you prefer we write about wrestling only?

Movie Mini-Review
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of movies. In fact, lately, I haven’t been truly excited about seeing any movies, which includes Matrix Reloaded and X2, both of which I liked. But occasionally, my family will go see something and I’ll tag along. This time, we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean.

First of all, I want to say that the acting is excellent. Orlando Bloom (we call him Legolas because that’s who he is, kinda like how LaVar Burton is actually Geordi, even if he’s in Reading Rainbow or Roots) played the role of Will Turner excellently, and was excellent with the sword. He needed to whip out a bow, but I don’t think pirates used those. Keira Knightley played the role of Elizabeth Swann excellently as well, and I can’t help but think how much she looks like Natalie Portman in this movie. Hard to believe she’s only 18. And then there’s Johnny Depp, who plays the lead in the film, Jack Sparrow. Depp is every bit as good as you’ve heard, and even more so. I can safely say that this movie wouldn’t have been near as good without Depp’s performance. Not to detract from Legolas or Natalie v.2.0, but Depp MADE this movie.

There are a lot of comedy elements in the film to offset the drama and action, but they’re light and give the film a lot of character, rather than detracting from the experience, which is something I’ve seen often before. The swordfights are pretty good, but the best is pretty early on. The fight betwixt Jack and Will is almost Jackie Chan-ish in nature, and easily surpasses the fight scene at the movie’s climax. The CGI effects that were used were very well done, except for possibly Barbossa’s face, which looked fake. The end was satisfying to a point, but there could have been a couple of things that made it better, namely two characters sailing away on a certain ship. Despite that, it leaves it open for a sequel, but not so obviously as other films I’ve seen.

Overall, the movie is a fun ride, with good action and comedy, and doesn’t try to be anything grand or spectacular, and pulls that off without a hitch. It is definitely worth the money to see it in matinee in any large theater, and probably even worth the night showings too. Now if only the same could be said about Haunted Mansion, of which a trailer is shown. I like Eddie Murphy and all, but Haunted Mansion could be made as a good suspense or horror flick, but it looks like it will be a more kiddie movie than even Pirates of the Caribbean was. I’ll see when more ads come out for it.

New Game Releases
* Ship Date – 8/11-12/2004
Madden NFL 2004 (PS2, XBox, GC, GBA, PS1), NeoGeo 4 Games Bundle (NGP), NeoGeo Pocket Arcade Bundle w/ 6 Games, Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly (PS2), Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (PS2), Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII (PS2)

It’s a big week here, but there’s only two I really want to touch on. First off is Fatal Frame 2, which is the sequel to an extremely good survival horror type game, which I personally like much better than RE and Silent Hill games. If I can rent it (or even buy it for that matter) I’ll review it soon. The other big release is the re-release of the NeoGeo Pocket Color and games! This is fantastic news, since it was a very good system. Hopefully it can sell better this time around!

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Bryan switched things up a little bit this week when he gave some suggestions as to how Nintendo can get themselves out of the rut they’re in. The funny thing is that not long after he wrote this, Nintendo actually had a press release that spoke of things that they were going to do to ship up, and some things were similar to what Bryan wrote. So either Nintendo is stealing his shit, or Bryan is just psychic. Either way, excellent job Bryan.

Friday’s Slice o’ News – Jeff Watson
Jeff had his normal news and stuff. Funny how he mentions the Dreamcast games I bitched about. And I’m wondering how anyone can own more XBox games than PS1, PS2 (since he apparently doesn’t OWN one) and Dreamcast games combined! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see more than 20 games worth playing on it. Wait, do they even HAVE 100 games for it??

Retrograding – Alex Lucard
Part 4 of Shining Force. This one is all about Shining Force 3 (since there were 3 different games based on it) with the final installment forthcoming. Also check out the Mailbag. Alex is God, and don’t you ever deny it.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Cory makes a few changes to his column, all of which make it even better. Great news. Great MST3K news area. And great everything else. And yes, being a Dolphins fan, one who doesn’t actually keep up with the sport much anymore, hearing about Seau is not only wrong (in the sense that he’s been a Charger for sooooo long), but right because the Dolphins deserve him.

Rumor Down-Lo – Bebito Jackson
Poor Big Daddy. The CRACKHO was laid down on him and was given PENIS by his wife for being Sith in KotOR. The Down-Lo 2.0 looks great, and Bebito rocks the house. He needs to include more of his pictures and less talk of BOOTY.

Cheat! – Alex Williams
Our resident cheat column keeps getting better. I don’t use cheats that often, but I still read the column anyway. Alex is a great guy and I can’t wait for his Nokia N-Gage Bashing, err, I mean Preview. Yea, that’s what I meant.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
Liquidcross hasn’t said much since last week when some of us gave him hell, but in all reality, we were just giving you a hard time, man! I doubt you read this, but I’m serious. That’s what opinions are for: some people have them, other people bash them for them, and the one that can take it is the winner. Well, I’m always a winner either way, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, this week LC talks about how people bitch about the short length of games, and is absolutely right when he says that just because a game is short, doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s hard to make a game JUST the right length, and I’d personally rather play a game that’s too short rather than a game that’s too long.

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
Chuck talks about several games that I thought were awesome, but never sold well enough to warrant a sequel. I never played said games, but Chuck knows his shit, and is easily one of the most hardcore gamers we have here. One game that I’ve been BEGGING for a sequel to is Vagrant Story, which looked like it was part of a grander story. It’s most likely my favorite Square game (I know, I know, you were expecting an FF game, but sadly Square left story by the wayside when the PS1 came about, and focused primarily on graphics. VS has it all: story, gameplay, graphics, sound, you name it.), and I’d kill to play a sequel of it on the PS2. IF they didn’t f*ck it up, that is.

Review of NCAA Football 2004 (XBox) – Cory Laflin
Cory rocks and this game sounds cool. Coincidentally, after reading this review, I went to rent the game at Blockbuster and was disappointed because it was out. Read more about that adventure below.

This is Why I Don’t Rent Games
As I said above, I had the hankering to play something a little different. Having virtually ALL RPGs, I was looking for a sporty type game. The two I had in mind were Mario Golf and NCAA Football 2004. Well, I went up to Blockbuster and they had neither. So I could have done what any rational person would have and left. Nope, I wanted to rent something anyway. I noticed that they had Guilty Gear X2 in, so I grabbed that. The game has really cool graphics that are very anime based, which I like. But it’s a fighting game. And though I like fighting games, I suck at them, and since it’s probably the most complex fighting system EVER, I wasn’t able to do much. The other game I rented was SUPPOSED to be Zone of Enders: The 2nd Runner, but either a) some dumbass employee put the wrong game behind the box or b) some punkass kid did it. They did the same thing with Mario Golf, but I had the presence of mind to CHECK before going to the counter. With this game, I didn’t check. And I came home with Yu-Gi-Oh. My wife looked at me funny and said to just take it back. But I didn’t because a) I’m a guy and I don’t like to admit I f*cked up, b) I wanted to give the game a try, and c) I was lazy. Needless to say, I played the game, suffered through the slowest tutorial known to man and got my ass handed to me in the card games I could play. I had a choice of two, and I could die a quick death, or die a really fast death. So after spending 20 mins on the tutorial (at least) and maybe 10 mins on the games, I gave up. This shit is supposed to be for kids right? I’d be pissed if I was a kid. And Konami attributes this game to their profit? I implore you, stay away from this game. It is shit in game form.

New Anime Releases
* Release Date – 8/12/03
Beyblade Vol. 4, DNA2 Vol. 4, Dragon Knight: Wheel of Time Vol. 2, Elven Bride, Inu Yasha Vol. 8, Master Keaton Vol. 2, Project Arms Vol. 6, Spirit Warrior Vol. 1, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 Vol. 1, Sugar Vol. 3

Only two releases this week have caught my eye. Steel Angel Kurumi is one of my favorite Robot Maid shows (but then again, all are my favorites) and this sequel proves to be interesting considering that Kurumi has a new master that’s female. Mmmmm. And we have Sugar which is a cute show that makes your teeth hurt. No wonder I need all new teeth.

Fansub Theater
Now, I did say that I wasn’t going to review Gasaraki or Boogiepop Phantom, but I felt so bad about not having any anime related reviews lately, I decided to do something new. I may not do this every week, but I’ll try to do so at least when I have no anime or game reviews. This is a taste of Japanese anime that hasn’t been licensed, either because it wasn’t popular enough, or because it just hasn’t been announced yet. As I’ve stated before, I don’t support the downloading of fansubs after a series has been licensed, but before that, it gives you a glimpse at some great stuff that before only the Japanese were able to see.

Before, I had said that I wouldn’t provide links for anime fansubs due to the legality, but I have decided to take that back. Lately, American companies have admitted their openness to fansubs in a way, AS LONG AS THE SERIES ISN’T LICENSED. So here is a good site with anime Bittorrent links. None of these have been announced as being licensed, so give them a look. The site is AnimeSuki.

Chrono Trigger OVA
Well, not really. This is what it is being billed as, but the title is actually Time and Space Adventures: Nuumamonjaa. While it appears to be a spoof of sorts of Chrono Trigger, it actually stars two monsters: a cute little furry one and a big round one. They come to the monster’s millennial fair to recruit people to their group, but no one wants to join the two of them. They have various adventures, including having a run in with Gonzalez (Gato in the US version of CT) the robot. It’s pretty short, lasting only 16 mins long, but the two do a lot in that time. While the animation isn’t that great, the show is funny and serves its purpose of making you laugh. And keep a look out for Chrono and Luca. They have a real quick cameo at the beginning, and a much more obvious one at the end.

Well, we’ve survived through yet another week of fun and excitement. Next week, I’ll try to get a review of one of the series I recently got, and maybe a review of a game or something. As usual, there’s no telling what will show up. I may even include my ideal, perfect RPG ideas with you. And if you’ve gotten this far, please tell every gamer you know about the site, and tell them that we DO rock, and we’re NOT just a wrestling site. Anyway, have a nice week.

This is The Bad Guy. Seeyas.