Right. We know the point of this column by now. Let’s dig through the sack…

You are the greatest gamer ever. Ikaruga rocks I bought it the second
I played it at gamestop. Its a pity Dragon Drive wont come to the US.

Well we all knew that, right? ;-) Seriously though, it doesn’t hurt to start a campaign if you really want Dragon Drive. It worked with Ikaruga. And fans shat on Atari. Maybe it’ll work this time, so some company can get shat on again! I’m all for trying to get Dragon Drive in the US, but even if it doesn’t happen, it’s why Cthulhu made import stores!

Good column, I just started reading and I am very pleased. I agree about FFTA, although I enjoy Squares battle system I don’t like the game. Dragon Warrior (any of them) is a much better game than most realise and I would have to say that I like it more than any FF game (except for the Japanese IV, better knowen as II).
Unlike the rest of the people who apparently ‘read’ your column I think you gave Wrestlemania 19 too good a review, Revenge mode is a terrible idea, and far too easy, 18 was bad too. I do like pinpointing body parts, and the weak and strong grapple is cool for an old Revenge/No Mercy guy like myself, but the game is bad.
Finally the thing that really made me email is about the kid who wrote in about the guy who didn’t know anything about SNK.
King of Fighters is my personal favorite series(with Street Fighter 2 turbo being a better game.) Whenever I play any of the Capcom vs SNK games I’m alway SNK fighters(except to throw Ken in there occasionally). For anyone to not know SNK is sin in my book. I long for the 2d return to America, and still try and play the old Neo Geo stuff for it.
2D and Raiden forever

Old letter responding to the October 1st mailbag here. But it’s starting a trend. You’re coming out of the woodwork to praise SNK. You’re clogging my inbox with devotion to SNK! And I don’t know if 411 just had a shitload of closet KoF and Neo Geo fans, or my insane devotion to them has caused an influx of fans. Either way, I don’t care. I’m just proud of you all.

At least someone cares… ;-)

Brandon Smith
Senior Public Relations Manager
Atari Los Angeles

Atari love me. I love them. They gave me Ikaruga and D&D gaming goodness! Brandon rocks BTW and has just sent us beta copies of Magic: The Gathering. Look forward to those previews coming soon.

I have to thank you for your Shining Force reviews, because as a result you piqued my interest. So I’m surfing eBay about a week and a half ago, looking at GBA games, fully aware that Shining Soul was coming out in the states in about a week. Well then I see a listing for said game for $9.99 so at first a figure it’s a scam. But I’m bored, and at work, and have nothing better to do. So I check it out, and it’s the European import version and the seller is a Power Seller with a ton of good feedback, from actual people and not just the same name repeated 50 times here and there. So for 15 bucks I got my copy and have been playing it non-stop since then. But I have to thank you, because I never even would have picked it up if it wasn’t for your articles.

Keep up the good work.


You know. I get this a lot. At least once a day one of you emails me and thanks me for letting them know about a game they would have otherwise overlooked. That they know love and cherish. And that means the world to me. That you respect my taste and judgment and that even though all you know of me is that I’m usually an arrogant prick with way too much gaming knowledge, that we can sit down and share the love for a good game. Even Daniels from 411Music is considering getting Shining Soul. See? Anyone can be a closet Shining Force Freak!

And speaking of other 411 staff members..

Excellent column.

Isn’t it ridiculous how people can get? It’s not limited to games, either. Comics fans are the same way. They seem to get a complex that they’re better than everyone else, and thusly, their opinion is the only correct one. Even other gamers/comic readers are absolutely wrong.

The 411 boards are good, as are a couple other comic message boards, but go to the “major news sites”, and it’s sickening. People throw fits and whine like children if they don’t get their way. When a company doesn’t go into full detail on something that’s happening (that really isn’t the business of anyone other than the companies shareholders), people demand to know the exact details. And when the company is nice enough to appeal to these people, they call them liars, then pick apart their entire message, ignoring the entire thing save the one line that looks bad if you go by a silly misinterpretation.

Recently some financial statements were released by one of the comic book companies, followed by various people stating that they know exactly what it means before going into detail about all the horrific things the company was doing. So a lawyer came into the thread and explained exactly what the entire thing meant (essentially nothing). Do you think these people realized their mistake? Ha! No, they called the lawyer a liar, claimed they knew better (because whenever I’m looking for someone to explain law to me, I always go to random fan #1 rather than an actual lawyer), and then accused him of lying about being a lawyer!

I guess I’ve been noticing lately the many parallels between the comics industry and the gaming industry. It seems like many people are only fans of companies these days. Sony fans declare that everything put out by Nintendo and Microsoft sucks, Microsoft fans think Sony and Nintendo suck, and Nintendo fans think Sony and Microsoft suck. It’s the same way in the comics industry.

What happened to just being a gaming fan, or a comics fan?

Kyle Litke, 411 Comics

Sadly Kyle, it died with the onset of major corporations taking over the playing field. Sony and M$ ruined the fun of being a fan of one system. Now instead of light hearted ribbing, it’s dirty and profanity laden. Same with comics.

Bottom line is, most fans suck. I won’t even get into what it was like at Botcons when I did stuff for them. Yeesh.

And that’s the problem. Most fans think they know everything. They think buying a product or watching a TV show makes them smart. But all it does it make them arrogant and stupid. I have a real problem when a person who has no true inkling of the inside of an industry acts as if they know more than people that actually do stuff in it. It’s bullshit and just annoys the creators and the people who actually put their blood and sweat into a product. But that’s the problem with most fan boys. They think that being a fanatic equates to wisdom. And that’s just so insane I’m going to shut up right now.

Now for something in regards to a column all the way back from Feb 12th!

Yeah, I know, this is a reply to a terribly old article. Sorry, I’ve got about a month before I start working and everyone around me is either in college or working so I’ve got 8 shitloads of free time and your columns are really entertaining. You’ve already convinced me to buy Lovecraft novels (I’m an English Major and I’ll read most anything), but you also convinced me to buy a Dreamcast, GBA, and Game Cube (mostly because I can’t stand handhelds so I’ll hook it up to the GBA). I’m not a hardcore gamer but we enjoyed most of the same older stuff, and any of the newer stuff you’ve reviewed I’ve found myself mostly agreeing with you (Pokemon for an easy and oft repeated example). Thanks for including me in the last mailbag too, by the way. Okay, okay sorry, here’s the point.

“Then you write No beer and no TV makes Homer something something’ and your college dorm buddies find you have eviscerated your Korean exchange student roommate and you’re slurping up his intestines saying Asians do make good Ramen.’ That wasn’t a true story. Really.”

I did a triple take when I read that. When I was a freshman in college we got really drunk, quite a bit stoned, very lazy, and somehow playing FF8 (which I hated except the card game and never finished). Being plasterred and the game being horrible we (I) ended up writing No Beer and No TV makes Homer something something on the hallway walls, while my friend’s Korean roommate stared at me like I was insane. Immediately after this we stole his Ramen noodles (he make did make them really good) and went to find some other friends who were just getting back to hide and eat it. True story, I swear. Wierd coincidence maybe… You a psychotic stalker, more likely. Later.

A Terrifed Fan

Again we see people listen to Alex and his purchase advice. YAY! And man. I guess EVERYONE has a wacky Korean exchange student roommate story, huh?

It’s sad that I don’t do this more often – as I really appreciated your feedback to my review of Darkened Skye…But I read something in your last mailbag that I felt I had to respond to:
Maybe they should’ve let somebody who was a little more open review this game. You obviously are biased towards Japanese wrestling, therefore you hate the game. Yet, I bet if New Japan released a game that was exactly like this……it would be a 9.5 on the Lucard scale.
I too rented Wrestlemania XIX, with the intent of reviewing it, hopefully to get back in the habit of writing reviews. However, I got lazy, and you beat me to it, you crazy-bastard-with-a-work-ethic. Anyway, I came to pretty much the same conclusions you did: Controls are OK, but a bit clunky, the tutorial was neat, save for having to hear Al Snow say the same three things over and over, and the Revenge mode was very disappointing, especially after the degree they used it in SD!2. It also makes little or no sense. I most likely would have given it a score in the 6 range, and I don’t even WATCH Japanese wrestling.
Actually…Truth be told, I had one issue with your review: A “badly designed” Stephanie McMahon? I don’t know…Broad shoulders, puffy face, kinda has that she-male thing going on…Looked pretty accurate to me.
Question: Did you ever have it where one of the motorcycle guys, one of the cops, and one of the construction workers all fighting you at once? I did. I wondered why I was fighting the Village People.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that at least one of your 411 Games cohorts agrees with you, even if he has remained dormant for some time.
I enjoy reading your stuff, keep it up…And tell Bebito he’s on my Crap List for not listing Eternal Darkness on his top 10 list of Reasons to Buy a GameCube.

A few things. The first is Bebito didn’t write the Ten Reasons to love a Gamecube. We all did. You think Bebito could ever be that insane over Ikaruga? Nooooo. He just released the lock on my cage and ran for holy hell cover on that one. Second, Eternal Darkness is by far and away one of the best games on the Gamecube. But we were only covering new games. And Ikaruga because I refused to shut up about it. IKARUGA! IKARUGA! Finally, dammit Jason! Write more reviews so I don’t have to!
Hey there,

so you’ve left the mailbag wondering about your role, you rmission. Well if you haven’t figured it out yet, your welcomed to listen to what I feel.

I really like when you talk about old classics, or forgotten gems. This allows me, and a lot of others I’m sure, to hear about those games we overlooked in our youth or were too young to have been blessed with playing them. You’ve reminded me to check out the old Phantasy Stars, something I had peg to do at some time, eventually wrote off as “don’t think it’s worth the time”, and after your good words came the thought “ok, let’s take a look at this thing”. Do I need to tell you how glad I am to have read your top 10 RPGs column and Phantasy Star Antology review?

BUT, you also do this thing where you try to put focus on those obscure recent games. And you’ve been doing Retrograding-Advance since almost the very beginning so I don’t think it’s that big of a change for you. Even if the success of these is limited, even if Ikaruga didn’t sell to the levels you would have hoped, I’m sure just by you mentioning that game you helped move out a couple of units. There’s only so much a single man can do, after all.

And after all that, there’s the special features. The Shining Force history or Custumer Service special (SWEET idea!). And these ruled also. To be honest, it seems you can do no wrong.

So the conclusion is… whatever you wanna do, I like it all. I hope you keep a little dose of everything. And if you’re looking to cut something out to have the time for the rest, well stop talking about goths! This is a topic I couldn’t care less.

Next topic, you berated someone over who’s the major owner of Square-Enix, and this triggered a little newsbit I remembered hearing: Didn’t Electronic Arts buy Squaresoft a few years ago? Or was it just a studio or distribution rights or something like that?

Visionaries :) Sweet! Loved that show. I always though they could have shelled more than 1 puny season out of this. And it needed more catfight (or in this case, dolphin vs shark), really the girls got almost no screen time in there. I’m betting it’s by bastard cousin Paul again!

So, with hope to hear back from you, I shall leave thee for the joy of getting rid of those pesky Humans in that Master of Orion II thingy (I f*cking AM retro, by gawd!)

Serge Levesque

I hate most Goths. I really truly do. They suck. And I’m glad to know you readers tend to enjoy the fact I’m multi-faceted. That I do a lot of retro stuff, but also obscure stuff, and even occasionally do a review for you on games I hate.

EA owning Square? Never heard that rumour.

And I still do get feedback on that very first column where I listed the ten best RPG’s. Glad it did so well. But it was geared for people who were new to RPGs. When this 411mania was still knee deep in wrestling stink. On my 1 year anniversary, I’m re-doing the column. As a scary gamer writing to other scary gamers. Instead of a scary gamer writing to RPG virgins. Hope you enjoy!

Hey what is up Alex,

Loved the column is usual. Thank you for shitting on the N-Gage, I’ve been saying for a long damn time that it is a waste of money, maybe it’s the loss of my Dreamcast online, that’s something, but it also doesn’t help that the thing is a rip off. Nice move with Neo Geo pocket, great system, great games, to good to be true, but atleast there is still some life in it.

Good luck with Sega CD article, I never really played it (my friend had Sonic and Star Wars.) so I don’t know were to stand but I’ll show it to my friend who thought the system was absolute shit.

Hey man keep up the good work, and hell yes I would love to check out your idea for reviewing, I just like to know what others think of games, I might play, or ones I have.

Your column is the best thing going, and even if I have to read S. Keith to get yours I will because I at least know there is something that doesn’t suck around.

Rock on

Anyone that says rock on automatically gets bonus points from me. By now I’m sure you’ve seen the new review standard. And another person shows their love for the NGPC. Trust me, if I haven’t won you over with my rants about the NGPC, this mailbag and your fellow readers better!

PS. I edited out Matt’s Scary moments in Gaming’ comments because they’ll be saved for the Hallowe’en edition of the mailbag in two weeks. Remember to get those in people! You still have two weeks!

I’m going to dive right in here:

I say go to that 10 point scale outlined in your previous Retrograding column. I use alot of 411 reviews to sell the games at my store (and just so you know, Game Crazy is NOT selling the N-gage. Let EB take the loss…). I tell my customers that I trust your reviewers opinions, and I tell them the good and the bad points about a game. It may have good graphics but the gameplay is not quite there. The music is excellent, but it can get a little tedious at times…FFTA has great
tactical gameplay, but the story bites the big one.

If you guys went to the ten point scale, that would help me help my
customers immensely…


As you guys have seen in Lee’s last column, it appears the 10 point method of reviewing is going to be the standard around here. I know Bebito’s Billy Hatcher is written in the same format and so are the DemiKid reviews. Glad to see an overwhelming positive response to the new format!

Hey Alex,

I emailed you about 4 months ago about MDK 2 asking your opinion on it and such. You mentioned that you played a lot of Grandia 2 and kept pimping it in your columns. Now I had heard of Grandia 2 at that point in time except I couldn’t realize from where. I kept thinking about it and then I went through my DC collection and realised I actually owned the friggin game. You must be asking how in the world could you not know that you owned a game? Let me explain. I bought like 3 games and 2 controllers (for $45) from my brother when he decided to sell his DC. This game along with Fantasy Star Online and some other game were the ones I got. I always remembered Fantasy Star but never remembered that I also got Grandia 2 in there. I also have like 20+ DC games and tend to forget which ones I have.

So after your immense pimping of the game I decided to play it. Now I’m not a huge rpg fan. In fact I just don’t have the patience to get things done in them. Typically the story moves to slow and the game is just to damn repetititve. With Grandia 2 I barely experienced any of these problems. The story was very good and also moved quickly. I played on average 1-2 hours a night during the week. Within those 1 to 2 hours I was shocked at the amount of storyline happening. Every night the story would change and most likely not in the way I thought it was going to. The battle system was awesome, I liked the characters, and powering them up was fun since you could pick and chose what you want powered up. This game was not about leveling up but about picking what your character would be strong in. This kept my interest much more than just mindless leveling up that I HATE. Well I loved this game and it filled in nicely in my gaming days while my wife was playing Shenmue 2 on our newly purchased used xbox.

A couple of thoughts here about your comments on how retail companies whored themselves out to the N-Gage. Isn’t it in their best interest to try and sell new gaming systems so they have a new stream of revenue? I would rather see these companies try to stay in business than to not be around to buy games from. I used to live in an area where the nearest Gamestop/video game store was 30 minutes away and you pretty much needed to hop on the freeway to get there. For me that sucked since I like to hit the stores everyonce in a while to check out the new hardware and such. Just my two cents on that.
I wouldn’t worry about the N-Gage. It is obvious that the N-Gage is going to fail because of its price point. Its just to expensive. You don’t pay that type of money for a handheld gaming system. Nokia is used to people paying lots of money for their high end cellphones but this is aimed at a completely different. Business people will drop $400-$500 on a phone because its a status symbol and it probably has a built in schedular. Gamers on the other hand will not. When you have other hand held gaming options you will take the cheapest pricepoint with the better gaming library everytime over something that is new and over priced.

This brings me to the neo geo pocket deal at Gamestop. This looks like a damn good deal and if I had any money I’d probably buy that for myself since I love cheap pricepoints (all my DC buying was done when it was on its way out, the most expensive game I ever bought for it was $30). In fact I’m going over to my local gamestop to see if they have one for me to check out. I guess I have one question about the Pocket how does it stack up against the GBA? I know it blows the gameboy out of the water but the Advance? I’ve been wanting to pick up an Advance (or a GBA reader for my cube) for a while now since the games are cheaper sound pretty good. But this Pocket deal sounds awesome. So a recomendation from the King of handhelds would be great.

Keep up the good work.


I love the Grandia series! Great plots. Great character development. BEAUTIFUL battle system.

As for the NGPC vs the GBA? Ouch. Tough call Gregg. See, the GBA has far more games, now is backlit, and offers a wider option of games. The NGPC is technically dead, but has a shitload of great games. And is cheap as f*ck. I would honestly suggest the NGPC if you are a fighting game fan. If you love your 2D fighters, the NGPC destroys the GBA. If you want RPG’s, go GBA. Sports? NGPC does have Golf and BASEBALL STARS!!!! GBA has umm…I really don’t pay attention to sports games except BASEBALL STARS!!! Personally, for the cost of a GBASP and a Game, you can get a NGPC and TEN games. So for value, you can’t be the NGPC. For variety and a library, go GBA.

I waffled, didn’t I?

Hey, I completely agree with you on the N-Gage thing. It seems like they
tried to build in all these functions, including mp3 playback, email
software, etc, but none are worthwhile. Anyway, real reason I’m emailing
you is to let you know that Gamestop(soft. etc., babbages, etc) have the
same NGPC pack with the 6 games on sale for $70.
You can see it here:
They don’t have the 4 game pack though.
Also, the ten point system is a lot better.
Keep writing great columns, or uh, Tifa will smother you? =]

-Jason Kungl

I wonder if anyone is keeping track of number of people worshipping SNK in this mailbag….

Dear Alex,

Just checked out the newest Retrograding, and I have quite a few comments.

To quote Penny Arcade “wow, it’s like they combined a shitty cel phone with
a shitty game system.” While a guy at my local EB claims the N-Gage that
GMR magazine (the propaganda mag you get when you sign up for the EB
discount card) reviewed was an early version, the button layout, game
selection, design, the mess you have to go through to change cartridges–I
long ago decided against it.

However, on my way to classes when I stopped by the EB, I asked if they had
NGPCs–they’ll be getting them in soon. So looks like I’ll be getting one
soon. I never even dreamed they had any because they never even so much as
put a sign up showing they had any ever. Thanks for letting me think to
ask. Other readers may have to specially ask for it.

Incidentally, is the King of Fighters out for GBA a stripped down version of
a NGPC game? If so, I may just get the NGPC game because those trigger
buttons suck for playing fighters.

More people would probably have gotten the NGPC if they knew it existed in
the States. I’m pretty certain department stores didn’t carry them, and
freakin’ EB and Gamestop don’t even tell you that much.

Speaking of Neo Geo, if you don’t put this in your mailbag, I’d like to
request you at least let people know that Metal Slug 3, which is rumored to
come to the States or not come to the States depending on who you ask, is
going to be on its way to the US PS2, God willing. Supposedly it will be
December, but it may be later. For those unaware, find a copy of Metal Slug
X for PS1. Grab a friend, and play. It’s like Contra, except without
aiming specifically to piss off everyone who plays it but the most expert
gamers. I’ve never played 3, but I’ve played enough of 2 (X on PS1) to know
I love the damn series. If it doesn’t come out, there’s still Metal Slug
Advance (is that a NGPC port?) and there’s always online import stores and
PS2 flip tops. Beautiful art, humor, massive explosions, huge bosses,
high-powered weaponry, lots of killing, the ability to ride tanks and armed
camels and blow away your opposition–HOW COULD PEOPLE NOT LOVE THIS TITLE?!
Hopefully 3 comes to the States, although I expect it to be practically
unmarketed while a title like FFX-2 gets shoved down U.S. gamers’ throats.

In the meantime, get Metal Slug X. Unlimited continues for those who suck
at games like this like me, mission select when you beat the game, training
missions and ranking modes, and probably features I forget since I’m in
classes and don’t have the game right in front of me.

By the way, you mentioned Vampire Chronicles–a title I didn’t know existed.
Is there any incentive for a Saturn owner who has Nightwarriors and
Vampire Savior to get this title? Especially one who hates the DC pad for

Why didn’t Sega just put VMU slots on the NiGHTs pad? The L buttons on
controllers are NOT made to pull off special moves or combos in a fighting
game. I’m not double-jointed and I’ve never heard anyone complain about the
Saturn pad, so what the hell?! At least the Playstation 2 pad has two R
buttons that work fine for 6-button fighters–the R’s are perfect for

Take care,


1. EB has actually emailed me and thanked me for sending so many NGPC fans their way. How cool is that?

2. Nope. The GBA KoF game is NOTHING like the KoF games for the NGPC. Good game though. I still prefer MotM however.

3. I put a newsbit up about Metal Slug last week. I loves me the Slug. And own Metal Slug X for the PSX. Great side scrolling shooter.

4. Not anymore. Vampire Chronicles was all about the online play. However, VC can still be played at home, giving you access to all the characters from all three Darkstalker games and lets you pick grooves for each character. That might be worth picking up if you can get it cheap and want to show your Dreamcast some import lovin’!
5. No idea about the Nights pad. I actually hated those things.

I bought a neo geo when they first came out, back when it was $100 for a system and one game. I chose sonic the hedgehog since my dad let his friend’s kids “borrow” my genesis for the past 5 years. Unfortunately my neo geo was lost (please have mercy), or possibly stolen by the leprechaun that keeps taking my socks. I did play it until I could clearly hear the music 3 hours after I stopped playin. why these people didnt get one is a mystery to both of us. but since you have told me about a neo geo and 10 games for $120 im probly gonna get another and tell others to get it while im there.
Darth Charizard

I hate those Irish Drunks! And glad I could help rekindle your NGPC love!

Re: Neverwinter Nights Gold News Bit
Actually if you have the game already you can just go to the bioware site and get all those mods anyway so, to me, its not worth the 40 for that. But the two games are still going for more than 40 combined and the fact you dont have to bother to download all those other mods probably pays for itself. I knew i shouldve waited. but of course they also have another version coming out, Hordes of the Underdark, which will make a package later so when do you buy and when do you wait! Lol

Im glad we finally have some pc love

john derry nh

Atari gives us news. We report it. But they’re really the only PC company we have constant contact with. But we’re getting more and more requests about PC gaming her at 411, and well…you asked. And we bitched. And Widro broke down and gave it to us to stop our whining. So we’ve got a PC section. The html has been made. We just need…reviews.

Greetings, Alex Lucard. I really enjoy your column and this is about my third time writing you. I think it would be great if you did full blown NGPC reviews in the handheld sections. I love that little system that should have succeeded. I picked up the NGPC solely to play SNK Vs Capcom on before I left to the middle east. Let me tell you this great machine had all my attention during my 4 month military turn, I just could not put down this machine. MOTM, King Of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, & Pac-man helped all those long days in the middle of the dessert in a tent fly by. I did not touch my GBC with pokemon the whole time that is how much I loved this system! I would also be great if you could do some mini guides to help some people out. I have super real mahjong and damn if I have ever gotten one of the girls naked. Got any mahjong tips? I am also really intrested in hearing reviews on the wonderswan. I would like to get one but I have not been able to find any informative reviews on the system and games. Thanks from the proud owner of 2 NeoGeo Pocket colors, 11 unique, and 3 spares for multiplay, the link cable, and The Dreamcast link (I earned the Capcom Vs Snk points the fun, easy minigame way).
I would like my collection to grow larger and reviews would help. So until ebay sellers learn that just because the NeoGeo Pocket cartridge is in one piece it is not complete! I want the box and instructions. Take care,

What is the story I have heard other 411Mania writers mention that Konami cannot use the name Alucard due to a lawsuit by you? Is it the real deal or just a running joke? I would really love to know. Castlevania is my favorite series ever, I play through SOTN at least once a month and I still am surprised by some of the secrets and little details I missed on my first run through.

1. Crap Batfan. I mean. I love NGPC. But to never touch POKEMON? Oh wow. I can’t fathom that. My dream is to have Gamefreak VS. SNK or Pokemon on the Neo Geo. God I’d love that.

2. Liquidcross and I love the Wonderswan Crystal. And there’s also a big thread about the Swan in the 411 general gaming forum started by Diesel. Go check it out.

3. Mahjong is not my forte man. Sorry.

4. The name Alucard is mine all mine. A. Lucard after all. As of right now, I can’t really discuss the matter because of the Takara buying out Atlus thing in Japan. Atlus can and has used my name (I’m in Disgaea baby!) because I love them so. But as Takara also controls Konami…well, it’s for the lawyers to decide. But fear not, the end result is most likely going to end with me agreeing to let Konami use my name. And I’m sure in return they’ll get Atlus to bring over more Megaten game.

Yeah right. Konami’s inability to bring over SOTN to the Saturn (a MUCH better version BTW) is what causes the whole debacle in the first place. Lying f*cks.

Oops. Said too much.

Y’know… I used to love SH. But then I caught it on
Toonami as an adult (well… as a non-preteen, at
least) and realized for the first time how hideously
bad the show was from a voice acting and plot point of
view. Essentially, it’s just Thundercats in space, and
with the same horrendous voice cast (another show that
had its luster ripped away from my memories via
Toonami; thankfully the old lion Voltron held up). You
could even substitute Mon-Starr’s “Moon Star of Limbo”
chant with Mum-ra’s “Ancient Spirits of Evil” without
missing a beat (it helps that it was the same voice

I still like the concept (of both shows) and will
always have a warm place in my heart for the memories
thereof, but as a reasonably sane adult I don’t think
I can watch them again without wincing, let alone play
a game based around them. o_O

In other news, I just finished Golden Sun: The Lost
Age… Actually, I beat it three times: once without
all the Djinn, once with all the Djinn and combo
summons (Dulhallan was a bitch-whore) and once again
because I accidently hit “B” after the second time
when it asked me if I wanted to over-write my save
file with my clear data. >_< My g/f’s actually 3/4 done with the original GS now.
Until she met me she’d never beaten a game without
using a cheat device, and now her total is nearing
double-digits (mostly RPGs like Pokemon, Skies, and
Lost Kingdoms). :)

And finally… f*ck you. I now have the Silverhawks
theme song running through my head. CURSE YOU, LUCARD!


I will always love Silverhawks. Especially the quizzes at the end! Damn Copper Kid!

I got a NG…
Yep, but the cell phone part didn’t work…
cause the Neo Geo Pocket dont got none of that cell phone shit on it!

bahaha, i got the neo geo pocket man and i friggin love it. I had wanted one
a few years ago, but never really needed a hand held system for anything.
Now that i have free time at college, i wanted to get a hand held system but
didnt want to get the GBsp.

The neo geo pocket rules man, and ima pick up the other four game pack for
it too.

Did anyone mail you who bought the N gayge?

And i would Love to see NGP reviews, and the new ratings drive-by column

take it easy

No one has yet to admit to owning an N-Gage at 411. However, that’s about to change.

You see my readers. I am about to reveal a terrible, terrible dark secret. Nokia called me last night. A lovely young woman rep. Who offered me an N-Gage. And I said yes.

That’s right people. Alex is getting a free N-Gage courtesy of Nokia so I can review their games.

Do you see what I do for you people? Do you? Can you understand the horror I am putting myself through in order to help you and to flesh out 411games more. Do you see the untold weight of the world that rest of my shoulders because I’m the handheld guy here at 411? I HAVE AN N-GAGE!

At least it’s free, right? But it’ll take time away from my GBA and NGPC. Oh well, that’s part of being in the games industry. Now the question remains, what to do with it six months from now when there are no more games for it? I’m sure my readers can come up with things for me to do. I’ll even devote a column to it called ’99 things to do with a dead N-Gage’ or something like that.’ Write me!

And also forgive me for agreeing to take a N-Gage. I feel so dirty. But I didn’t buy it! I DIDN’T! And I still love my Lynx, my game gear, my NGPC and my GBA scads more! Even my! EVEN MY GAME.COM!!!


Good column as usual, hell yes I would like to Neo Geo pocket color reviews up on this web site. Don’t bother with that N-Gage shit, it’ll be done after no one buys it in the Christmas season.

I have a question about Demikids, did you start with the light or did you just do the Dark, I want to know so I know that I can start with the expert one and not have to go through all the easy stuff.


Well Mr. Widro. Mr. Ashish. Mr. Pankonin. You heard the fans. They want a NGPC section! They NEED a NGPC section! Give the readers what they want! GIVE THE READERS WHAT THEY WANT!

However, here is the closest thing to anything negative yet said about the NGPC by anyone so far who has bought it.

Mr. Lucard,

This marks an interesting occasion for me as it is the first time I have
ever written anyone regarding a column of any kind on 411, Wrestleline,
Smarks and so forth.

So it takes an interesting reason to persuade me to comment back rather
than just be entertained by those whose columns entertain me on a daily
basis. I bought a NGPC based completely on your recommendation (that and
one really cannot beat a system and 10 games for $130).

I must say I am under-whelmed thus far. The selection of games revolves
highly around fighting games, which I happen to love; however, this system
has a odd fixation on kid-esque fighters with perhaps iffy controls. I
admit that I could be still in a learning curve phase, but thus far I am
not terribly impressed. Not that I do not like it, call it say a 5.5 on
your scale.

The lack of a backlight is a bit of a pain as well, I will need to secure
a light of some sort. As well as an RPG and perhaps some more puzzle games
for this NGPC.

Now that I have said my piece I ask for your advice again. How should I
view this unit? It certainly pales compared to recent GBAsp offerings, but
some of the games have some promise to entertain me and that is the
ultimate goal with a game, to have some fun. Can you suggest a few games
or accessories I should look at?

Thank you for your time and entertaining prose,


PS: I felt the need to RIP on the N-gage inside EBX. To my surprise the
entire staff agreed and began to complain about removing the battery. That
or one does not argue with the man who just dropped $130 and is asking if
they have any more NGPC games.

MY original email response to him:


It’s always nice to hear from someone as eloquent as yourself. I’m so used to bad grammar and insane ramblings.

The thing about the NGPC is that SNK mainly makes well…fighting games. That’s why the set of ten that you get will in fact be 50% fighting games.

Out of them all Capcom vs SNK: MOTM is considered to be the best fighting game ever made on a hand held, and actually one of the best fighting games ever made period. I myself am a fighting game nut and love having an actual joystick on a handheld instead of a f*cking D pad. ;-)

The kid esque graphics threw me for a loop as well. SNk is generally dark and gritty in terms of the look. But for some reason they went with super deformed graphics. Perhaps to seperate the difference between the PC and the awe inspiring (and frighteningly expensive) MVS or AES Neo geo systems. Or perhaps because the bigger figures were easier to do on a portable game.

I will say this is the first time I have ever heard ‘iffy’ as a description of the controls for any game on the NGPC, so you may be right. it may be a learning curve. However, it could just not be your thing. All a matter of opinion.

You want some RPG’s huh? ;-) Here’s a few for you

Faseli! It was Advance wars before Advance wars even existed. By far one of the best tactics RPG’s ever.

Dark Arms: A weird different RPG in terms of play. Think of it as a Demon Hunting game.

Cardfighter’s Clash. There are two versions of this game: Capcom and SNK And I HATE CCG’s. HATE them. But I worship this game. Everyone seems to love it. It’s just so fun and addictive.

All three of these games can be obtained for under $20, and some as low as 8$.

Puzzle games include Puzzle Bobble which should have come with your NGPC, Pac-Man, Picture Puzzle, Pocket Reversi, Mahjong, Puzzle Link1, Puzzle Link 2, and Bust a Move.
I’ll also give you the official website for purchasing NGPC products. Games there are either more expensive or less expensive than you can find on Ebay. In addition to games I thought you might like from your above choices, I’d suggest Baseball Stars and Gals Fighter. Both of which are excellent games.

Now, if you can handle it, I’d also suggest OGRE BATTLE POCKET COLOUR. The only downside is that it is only in Japanese. But you can again get it for under 20$ on Ebay.

Accessories? Well, are you a Capcom vs SNK fan? If you have a Dreamcast I’d consider getting the DC -> NGPC cable that lets you connect the two systems. You can unlock all sorts of hidden stuff in both games this way.

In the end, I’m going to feel like crap if someone went out and spent 130$ on my say so only to regret the purchase. Especially since right now you’re the only one upset by the purchase and because it stands out, it makes me worry all the more.


His response:

Last short statement before I check out your suggestions later, and I
thank you for the quick and large list.

I am not upset with you at all. Caveat Emptor, I took your advice and I am
responsible for doing so, especially on a system I have never tried, or
even seen before.

But $130 for 10 games and a system? That is the best deal I have received
on a game purchase in some time (I did buy the Q). I give it an average
already and I have not had time to adjust to the mini-joystick with my
absurdly sized hands. Think “original Xbox controller was comfortable”

Fret not and Thanks again, Foltz

So see? Everything works out in the end. Foltz had/has some niggling problems with the NGPC, but even he called it the best deal in gaming that he’s seen for a while. Makes me very happy to know he didn’t blow over a C-not on my say-so

Dude, your challenge -almost- makes me want to break out my NGPC and MOTM and
start practicing… but then I remember I’m just a button-masher with no real skill at fighting games and you’d kick my ass no matter how much practice I get in.

Now, if you wanna play Card Fighters Clash, -that- I stand a chance at beating
you at.

Than again… how many 411 readers are there in MN, anyway? I don’t know of any
here in Moorhead…

–Ian Parmenter

Well people? You heard Ian? Who in 411mania land is from MN? And who would be up for a statewide 411mania fighting game tourney? This has some potential here!

Holy crap was that a long mailbag. TWENTY PAGES of your letters. Every week, the amount you people send me grows. It’s getting to the point where I nearly considered doing two mail bags this week. And I still may. There’s another 39 letters I wanted to put in this, but it just got too damn long.

Oh, okay. One more.
How long have you been at The ‘Mania for? Ages, and it’s taken me this
long to work our your pseudonym. Dracula, very clever.


I’m going to have to end this column with: ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!