Hump Day Otaku News Report 09.24.03

Hey yo, I’m back with another edition of my look at the news in the world of games and anime. I’m still alive, though still in pain. I got my teeth pulled and replaced with a big hunk of plastic and is really irritating, but I’ve gotta get used to it because it’s gonna be there for the rest of my life. Soup and pudding are on the menu today, and every other day. The day I can eat a hamburger again will be the day I die and go to heaven.

Nothing really is gonna be special about this column, but hopefully I can get something good to throw in. Something everybody will love. As always, no promises, but I’ll do what I can. So let’s take of the kid gloves and go to the news, otaku style!

Gaming News

TGS Excitement
Ok, as you all know, I’m a big Japan nut. I don’t speak Japanese (except for a few words here and there) and I’ve never been to the country, but considering the fact that my two favorite loves are video games and anime, well, Japan is my Mecca. Well, there’s a little video game show that’s happening at the end of this week that may have a few good games at. I’m talking about the Tokyo Game Show, Japan’s premier gaming event. Let’s see what good games will be on display this year.

Aruze has Shadow Hearts II, the sequel to an excellent title that had a much more interesting story and graphics equaling Final Fantasy X. Atlus will be displaying not only Growlanser IV, but also the sequel to Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children (Demikids in America). Bandai is showing several anime-based titles, the most interesting of which is an Evangelion title that had been given the moniker of Evangelion 2 at some point. Konami will show Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, DDR Extreme, DDR Party Collection, Suikoden IV, Gradius V, and Karaoke Revolution, all good titles by one of the best companies out there now. But they can’t beat Namco and Baten Kaitos, Xenosaga I (Reloaded) and II, Tales of Symphonia, and that nifty looking Nina game. Many other great companies will be there, including Sega, Square Enix, Tecmo, Sony, SNK Playmore and Sammy. It looks like it’ll be a fantastic show! Wish I could be there. *sniff*

Front Mission Hype
Apparently, Square Enix has been putting more and more resources behind the future of the Front Mission Franchise. They want to strengthen it and make it more popular, which to me is a great thing because it means they care about more than Final Fantasy. They need to focus on every game other than Final Fantasy, because when they don’t, it ends up like Unlimited Saga.

UPDATE on Dream Mix TV Fighters
Though I’m still not sold on this game yet, I’m closer to there with this most recent update. Why? Because motherf*cking Optimus Prime is in the game!! Hell yea! And it’s rumored that Megatron will be unlockable as well! Still no news on a “Dracula’s Son” type character, but that’d put me over the top, if they had the name and all.

I Hate the Taste of Blood
You know when you’re a kid, and you accidentally cut yourself and lick the wound and say, “Hey, blood doesn’t taste bad after all. Maybe I COULD be a vampire!” Well, f*ck that. I’ve swallowed so much blood in the past week that I could have started my own blood bank. The next time the f*cking Red Cross calls to bug me about it, I’ll say, “Hold on, let me puke it up!” Seriously, what happens is that the holes in my gums (you know, where the teeth were) bleed, and even though it’s slowed to just a trickle, that blood collects in my denture, and if I tip my head back, it’ll roll off the denture on to my tongue and then down my throat. And since it’s blood, it likes to clot IN MY THROAT so I can taste it for hours. I think that’s the reason I’ve been getting so many sore throats lately too. So no, I don’t want to be a vampire, and I’ll smack any of Lucard’s “vampire” friends. No, I’m not talking about goths, I’m talking about, ah, you know who you are.

New Game Releases
* Ship Date — 09/22-23/03
Beyblade: Super Tournament Battle (GC), Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (Xbox, PS2, GC), NHL 2004 (GC, PS2, Xbox), Digimon Battle Spirit 2 (GBA), Shining Soul (GBA), Wallace and Grommit in Project Zoo (PS2, Xbox, GC), DDRMAX2 (PS2), Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GC), NBA Jam (PS2), Freedom Fighters (PS2, GC, Xbox)

Wow, this is a lot of stuff! Ok, so let’s cut the crap and figure out what’s good. Beyblade, which is about tops, is obviously cut. I’m sorry, but an EA golf game means nothing to me, and anything by EA, including NHL, means little to me after Sega and ESPN joined forces. Wallace and Grommit? Aren’t they British? No thanks. NBA Jam used to be cool, but it’s off the radar now. And what is Freedom Fighters? Never heard of it.

Ok, that leaves us with Digimon Battle Spirit 2, which probably won’t be great, but so what? Next is Shining Soul, which is by Atlus. Which means it’s probably gonna be cool. Hell, Lucard reviewed it and said it was cool, even if it wasn’t REALLY part of the Shining Force series. Next is DDRMAX2, which is DDR and has a buncha licensed tracks, so umm, yea. And lastly is Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, which may turn out to be a big hit. You know you want it.

Links to the Past

Cheat! – Alex Williams
Oh poor, poor Williams. Lost to the sea of time, never to be seen again. What was that? He isn’t dead? I thought we fired that bastard. Shit!

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
The man, the mystery, the myth. With non-light news and commentaries that will split your whiskers, Berg knows.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
Liquid likes Megaman. But he thinks that Capcom has gone too far. You tell them LC! Tell them to stop making these shitty RE games! What? This is about SF2? SHIT! Why doesn’t anybody tell me these things?!

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Not only is Microsoft evil, but so is My Little Pony. And he can prove it.

The Gamer’s Conscience – Frederick Badlissi
Fred asks a question that is one I think I can answer, so I will do so. He wonders how people who play 50+ hour RPG still have a real life. The answer is simple. If a person has a full time job, then they can’t have much of a life. Take me as an example. I come home from work and play games. That’s what I do. I don’t have any desire to go out and hang with friends, because my wife is my best friend and she spends most of her time playing games too. So though it’s not very fulfilling, we enjoy it.

411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
What the f*ck? Not only is he not fired, he also gets promoted to Bebito’s slot? What’s up with that? I’m only kidding. Alex #2 is great, and his debut news column is excellent as well. He is truly a worthy successor to Bebito’s timeslot.

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
Chuck makes some good points by comparing Pac-man to myths, and it really makes your mind swim. I guess there’s something wrong with me because I never really think like this when I play games. It’s like “Ooh, there’s a yellow guy going and eating pellets. Ooh he’s dead. This is boring, let’s find an RPG” with me.

Review: ESPN NFL Football (Xbox) – Cory Laflin
Cory gives his take on this excellent title, this one from the Xbox, and I think he feels basically the same as I do.

Review: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA) – Alex Lucard
As the tagline states, it’s Alex and Final Fantasy. And surprisingly, it wasn’t ripped too bad either. He’s a bit meaner than I am, but he’s still very fair. And yea, the story does suck.

Review: Wrestlemania XIX (GC) – Alex Lucard
Alex reviews one of the newest wrestling games, and gives me some good reasons not to play it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of wrestling. Just not the shit that WWE puts on TV and the shit that THQ puts on store shelves. I’ve never played Tetsuken Ryoohkidoken or whatever, but I have played those cool WCW games on the N64, and I liked those, so it’s just a matter of making a wrestling game good. I don’t think Yukes has it in them anymore.

10 Reasons to Own a Gamecube in 2003 – The Staff
Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four
This is something that a bunch of us got together and did to convince people that a) it’s ok to own a Gamecube and b) the Gamecube isn’t dying. But people didn’t get it. Ach, just read my commentary and I’ll explain better there.

Hump Day Commentary
I didn’t plan on doing this again for a while, but I felt like I had to, based upon the feedback that we’ve been getting from the Gamecube feature. Many people thought we were selling out and sucking up to Nintendo because of it. Others just thought we were lame by supporting a kiddy system. Will you people please give it a rest?

We aren’t saying the Gamecube is the best system out there. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t own any of the other systems. We’re saying that now there isn’t any reason for you to NOT own a Gamecube!

For many months now, people have been predicting the imminent demise of the Gamecube. They’ve been saying that Nintendo isn’t selling enough, and the same thing that happened to Sega will happen to them. And you want to know why that happened to Sega? Because people kept saying they’d fail. Nobody would give them a chance (me included) and ended up skipping their product, and not only missing out on some great games, but missing out on the experience as a whole.

I don’t know what you people have against Nintendo. Yes, developers are making children’s games for the system, but that’s DEVELOPERS, not Nintendo themselves. And if you think that Harvest Moon is a kid’s game, then you need to actually play one. It’s not for children, because kids simply do not have the patience for that type of game.

It’s a good time to own the Gamecube. That’s what we are trying to say here. A lot of good games are coming out for it, THIRD PARTY games no less. It’s got the support of big names like Capcom, Sega, Square Enix and Namco, all producing high quality exclusive titles for the system. What more do you want? If you want Nintendo to die, then don’t buy any of their products. And let us that WILL buy their products enjoy ourselves. Just because you can’t have fun with games doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t.

New Anime Releases
* Release Date — 9/23/03
Blue Seed: Beyond (ADV), Rune Soldier Vol. 4 (ADV), Sailor Moon Season 2 Box Set (ADV), X Vol. 7 (Pioneer)

Not a whole lot to see this week, except some stuff from ADV and X. Really, the only must haves on MY list are the Sailor Moon box and X, because I collect both.

Well, I didn’t expect it to be THIS short, but that’s what happens when life bites you in the ass. I had to go back to work this week, and it’s been very painful, besides, I’ve been told that I need to write a certain review this week or else I will be shot in the testicles. So I need to do that. Well, I’ll see you guys later! Have a happy week!

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.