Hump Day Otaku News Report 09.10.03

Ok, just so you know, this is going to be a quickie week. I’m not gonna slack off and speed it all up like last time, but I am going to have to slack off on content. No reviews or bonuses this time. Sorry. I had to review a game and that took a lot of time. The other guys threatened to break my pinkies if I didn’t!

I also have some bad news and good news. Bad news is that you won’t see the comparative analysis between Madden 2004 and ESPN Football 2K4 in this column. The good news is that it will be a larger FEATURE and will involve more of the staff, so look for that sometime soon. Also, I’m gonna leave out the anime stuff this week, since I’m getting depressed. I’m one week away from getting my teeth pulled, and I’ll need plenty of money to pay that, so looking at a list of stuff coming out means that’s more stuff I’ll want. But I do have vacation next week, so I may do some extra special stuff in return.

Oh, and one last thing. If you have Rogers Internet and have read my column or anything, RUN A FUCKING VIRUS SCAN. Seriously. Somebody from Rogers Cable has the Sobig.F virus and has been spamming my email with it. It wouldn’t bug me except that a) I use Yahoo, which doesn’t automatically delete virus-infected mails, and b) I have a 5MB limit. The Sobig virus attachment is 100k in size and I’ve been getting roughly 5 of these an hour, so it really adds up. So if I’m getting them from you, whoever you are, do yourself and everyone else in your address book a favor and scan for viruses. I have your IP address, and I’ve already contacted Rogers, so they may do something else, but for your own sake, scan your machine. Oh, and some more tips: 1) Don’t run Outlook, because it can automatically run viruses of this sort, 2) Even if you don’t run Outlook (or if you do, either way), never open attachments unless you know who they came from and you know they intended to send them to you, and even then be wary, and 3) if you do use Outlook, for Godsakes, run a virus scanner!! All the time!

Gaming News

Front Mission Foursssss
Not long ago, it was announced that Square Enix would be remaking the original Front Mission game. There was also speculation that a new Front Mission title was in the works, and I suggested that it could be an Online version. Well, it appears that there IS a new title, but whether or not it has online capabilities remains to be seen. Titled Front Mission Force (or perhaps Front Mission 4: Force, or they could be cool and call it 4ce, even though that would actually be Ace in 133t speak), the game is actually set between the first two in the series, and there are two main characters. Little else is known other than there will probably be mech combat in the game. Now here’s to hoping Square Enix can make this one a game to remember.

Square Enix at the TGS
Credit: Gamefront
Here’s a bit of news I held off posting as a full news post. I gotta have some stuff in here dammit! Anyway, Square Enix will reportedly only show 7 titles at the TGS this year. The titles are: Final Fantasy XI (PC/PS2), Drag-on Dragoon (Drakengard in the US) (PS2), Front Mission 1 (PS1), Bakusou Yankee Damashii (PC), Cross Gate (PC), Shinyaku Seiken Densetsu (Sword of Mana in the US) (PC), and a mystery title. The console ones announced should be no surprise. I have no idea what the PC games are, but the Yankee one means something like Funny American Cheater or something. And the mystery title really is a mystery at this point. It could be Front Mission Force, or it could be Final Fantasy VII-2. Or it could be any number of other sequels that I’m praying for. For all we know, they could be working on Final Fantasy X-3: We Didn’t Fuck It Up Bad Enough Yet. We’ll have to wait and see.

Monolith Soft ROCKS
Dammit, I’m gonna have to start making up news, since I’m running dry. Oh, here’s one.

It has recently been announced that Monolith Soft, the makers of Xenosaga Episode I and the forthcoming Baten Kaitos and Xenosaga Episode II, officially kick ass. When I interviewed a random person off the street whose name was certainly not Lee Baxley, he said, “Man, that Monolith company is sooooo cool! I’d seriously consider taking it up the ass to be able to play Xenosaga Episode II right now! And I’d do it for sure if they threw in Baten Kaitos as well!” While he didn’t refer to what “it” was, we don’t recommend taking ANYTHING up the ass, since it would probably hurt. Though it may be worth it for Xenosaga.

Gamecube outsells Playstation 2?!
Credit: Alex and Bebito
Though Bebito credited ME in his column yesterday, I was only the messenger. This info came directly from Mr. Lucard, who personally knows his future self, and came back from a day in the future and broke the news to the present version of Alex. Alex then told me, and Bebito from the future threw in some more details, and thus we made history. And I don’t know about Gamespot ripping it from us word for word, but sure as shit, we were the first to post it. High fives all around.

But what does this news really mean? Well, it means that the Gamecube accomplished what they where hoping to. Will the trend last? Probably not, but that’s not what matters. Sony will make excuses, but the point it, they were beat. Why? The GAMES. This thing proves that it’s the games that sell the systems, and hopefully Nintendo will REALIZE that. And the kicker was that it was THIRD-PARTY titles in this case (FF:CC and Tales of Symphonia) that did the deed, not one of their first party games. So the winning combination is to have exclusive, third party titles, and that’s how you win the game.

New Game Releases
* Ship Date — 8/8-9/03
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA), Wrestlemania XIX (GC), Starsky and Hutch (PS2, Xbox), P.N.03 (GC), Lethal Skies (PS2), .hack//OUTBREAK (PS2), ESPN NHL Hockey (PS2, Xbox)

This is actually a very high quality release week. First is the excellent new tactical game for the GBA. No, it’s not REALLY a FF game, but neither was the original. This one definitely looks like a worthy successor of the name. Next is the newest Wrestlemania game for the GC. Then we have the title that’s based on the TV show. Or is it based on the new movie? Then there’s the new action title from Capcom that is part of the Capcom 7 on the GC. Then a flight sim, which may or may not be good. And the next in the .hack game series. And finally, we have the next in the ESPN Sports series from Sega, which could be just as good as their football title. All in all, a solid week. The only one I actively want is FFTA, but .hack and ESPN Hockey may be good as well.

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Bryan had a hard time coming up with news last week, but he pulled off his column with the excellence we’ve all come to expect from him. He discusses the GTA Double Packs, the PS3 backwards compatibility, and the rising costs of game development. Plus, he also gave me a Gold Medal, which I probably do not deserve, but I am appreciative of it anyway.

Retrograding – Alex Lucard
In what is quite possibly his best column ever, Alex gives us 10 games that were based on classic literature. I don’t know about you guys, but I would KILL to be able to play a game based on anything by James Joyce.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Cory has another great column, this time focusing primarily on football. It is that time of year, after all. He has a great Deconstructing the News, which goes over a preview of all the major football games out there (except for the best of the bunch). Great, great stuff as usual.

Rumor Down-Lo – Bebito Jackson
It’s been a bad week for Bebito, who has been very busy behind the scenes, so this week, he gave us a look at a person who may join us here at 411Games. Misha is good, and Bebito has a good track record for guest columns, so if you like Misha (and we all do), tell the boss what you think.

Cheat! – Alex Williams
Alex is the master of the cheats! He’s got tons of more greats this week. Plus he has a minicommentary about the Gamefaqs character battle. I agree with him for the most part. The characters from FFVII shouldn’t dominate. But the characters from Xenosaga should. KOS-MOS is easily one of the coolest characters I’ve seen. She’s a woman, and she’s a bad ass, and she’s very conflicted, and it’s hard to tell where her loyalties are. I want Xenosaga II now!!!

The Gamer’s Conscience – Frederick Badlissi
This week, Fred talks about the lack of parenting in some families today, and how that leads to socially deviant behavior, which is then blamed on games. The points he makes are excellent, so you have to read this if you’re a gamer and plan on having kids, because if guys like Lieberman had their way, nobody would have any sort of enjoyment.

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
It’s a mailbag column! Yay! I could fill three or four of those with the conversations I have with Matt Hardin! Plus, it has all of the skull f*ck story I referenced last week, so check it out dammit!

Another week is done. I feel much better about my slackage this week than the one two weeks ago. It’s just been really hectic trying to do several things for the site (ask all the other guys, who are wrestling with the same issues), and having to schedule it around my wife’s computer time (she’s the woman, she always wins) is difficult. Next week and the following will be great though, because of my vacation, so I hope you’ll like it. Wish me luck on my teethies. This is the Bad Guy. Laters.

Lee Baxley is THE Bad Guy. When not downing a bottle of some alcoholic beverage, he can be found taunting people by either throwing his toothpick in their face or feigning fright, or sometimes even both. Despite these pastimes, he still enjoys playing RPGs and watching anime. You can read about his further exploits on his blog.