Hump Day Otaku News Report 11.05.03

Welcome to the epitome of fun and excitement! Well, it’s exciting to me anyway.
I have to keep myself entertained lately, or I’ll go crazy. To answer the question of no one, I am still unemployed. I’ve applied and submitted resumes to several places, but none has called me back, which sucks. I’m worried I may have to settle for a shit job.

So what the question now becomes: did I f*ck up? Yes, I f*cked up a long time ago. See, I was a student as the University of Oklahoma in 1996-97. I had a blast there. I had so much fun, in fact, that I screwed around all the time. I missed a bunch of classes in the first semester, and almost failed them, but I managed to pass them all, and vowed I would never do so poorly again. And then the next semester, I did EVEN WORSE, and failed ALL my classes. My parents and I decided it would best if I didn’t waste any more money and came home. I went to Tulsa Community College for a semester, and passed all my classes, and even made an A in one. But I couldn’t afford to go anymore, and never got even an associates degree. So yea, I f*cked up, and here I am. I hated the best job I’ve had (it was at one point) and quit, and now I’m unemployed. So I’m a good example of what NOT to do. For you guys who are in college, go to classes and pass them. For you who are in the workforce already, don’t quit until you have a new job already. And drink your milk, say your prayers, and take your vitamins.

So with that out of the way, let’s get to the news while I go hunt for a job. If any game companies read this and need someone in QA, I’m your man!

Gaming News

Xenosaga III Subtitle?
How do these people find out these trademarks? That’s what I’m wondering. Anyway, it has been announced that Namco has copyrighted the phrase “Also Sprach Zarathustra” which means “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. The fact that this is a well-known German phrase, and also since it is another book by the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, it seems to indicate that this will be the next Xenosaga subtitle. The last time we heard something like this, it was absolutely correct, so chances are this is as well. Most people have also probably heard of this phrase because it is one of the most well known classical pieces of music ever. Though the piece by Strauss is actually based on Nietzsche’s work, it has recently been used as the main theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the theme for wrestler Ric Flair.

Dragon Quest V Remake
Square Enix has announced that they’ve gotten Matrix Software, the makers of Alundra, to remake Dragon Quest V. It will be getting a graphical overhaul, probably like Dragon Quest IV did, though it will not match the standards set by Dragon Quest VIII. At this point, it’s unknown whether or not it will make it to the states, but I’m guessing no, based upon the fact that the localization project for Dragon Quest IV was abandoned well into the translation process, so I don’t know if they are willing to risk that again. My question is: why are they still remaking these games? To be honest, what they end up being isn’t THAT much above what they were before? And I’d much rather they work on new and innovative DQ games, rather than releasing what has been out before. That is, unless they do it for the GBA.

Shining Soul II Coming To America!
Atlus has confirmed what many had already suspected; they will be releasing Shining Soul II in America. No concrete date is set, but it should be released in Early 2004. Now here’s to hoping somebody will release the original Shining games here!

Dungeon Siege Movie
In our “oh no” story of the day, a movie studio has acquired the rights to produce a movie based on the excellent PC RPG Dungeon Siege. Here’s where the “oh no” comes in. As everyone is aware, video game adaptations of movies are rarely very good. In fact, most down right suck. And for some reason, there is one guy that people seem to think that the worst in movie adaptations involve a guy named Paul W.S. Anderson, who was the maker of the original Mortal Kombat movie (which I personally loved) and Resident Evil, as well as the forthcoming Aliens vs. Predator. But he’s not the director of Dungeon Siege. It’s actually worse. The director and producer will be a guy named Uwe Boll, who is a German director who hasn’t really made much worth of note, but for some reason, has started picking up game after game to make into movies. His first, House of the Dead, which is widely regarded to be completely awful, is already out. He is also currently working on Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne. I fear for these movies.

Christian’s Crazy Game Releases
Keep in mind, these are ship dates and are not set in stone. Game companies LOVE to push stuff back at the last minute, so don’t blame us if it’s not right. Also, since it is a ship date, it may take several days to arrive at your favorite store, depending on what it is, so please call before rushing over to pick up a game that may or may not have arrived.

Nov 2
Carmen Sandiego (GC, P2)
CIMA: The Enemy (GBA)
Super Trucks (P2)
UFC: Sudden Impact (P2)
XS Moto (GBA)

Nov 4
Fire Emblem (GBA)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (GC, P2, XB)
NFL Blitz Pro (XB)

Nov 5
Bratz: Formal Funk (GC)
Brother Bear (GBA)
Cat in the Hat (GC)
Dora the Explorer: Super Spies (GBA)
Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends (P2)
FIFA Soccer 2004 (GC, GBA, P2, XB)
Gladiator – Sword of Vengeance (P2, XB)
Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack (XB)
Little League Baseball (GBA)
Maximum Chase (XB)
Powerpuff Girls: Relish Rampage (GC)
Robocop (GBA)
Risk (P2)
Tom and Jerry: War of the Whiskers (GC, XB)
True Crime: Streets of LA (GC, P2, XB)
Yu-gi-Oh: Falsebound Kingdom (GC)
Yu-gi-Oh: Sacred Cards (GBA)

Nov 7
Rogue Ops (P2)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Stop by your local Game Crazy and sign up for the Mario Kart Double Dash tournament on the Game Cube on Nov 22 where you can win a copy of the game!

Christian’s Comments: Just as big a week as it was last week…SOCOM II, the GTA Double Pack, True Crime and LOTR. It looks like the game companies have really put their best foot forward this holiday season. They want to get the stuff on the shelves for what looks like they’re projecting to be a rush. Nintendo may get some solid numbers out of True Crime and LOTR, simply because they are some rock solid games this year for all systems, and with the $99 Cube…

Lee’s Comments: The games this week that I’m most interested in are Fire Emblem and True Crime. Fire Emblem is another of the great new crop of RPGs on the GBA, and it’s the first one in the states, so if I can get the money soon, I’m definitely picking it up. And True Crime was one that I’ve steadily grown more interested in as time goes on. And the recent announcement that Snoop Dogg is an actual character in the game only makes it more interesting.

Survey Time
Last week, the survey was about what Halloween character you’d dress as. As it showed in the Halloween party skit, I was Cloud, though in reality I didn’t dress as anything. I’m a boring ass like that. But let’s see what some of my other readers wrote.

Matt Weinburg is first again this week. Being the anime fan he is (hey, he’s the guy that corrects me when I f*ck up all the time!), he’s done his share of cosplay, but very little dressing as game characters:

For a video game character, I’ve talked to my friends about working on a Denjin-J outfit. Denjin-J is a robot featured in some Beatmania IIDX songs: “The Theme of Denjin-J” and “The Strong Jaeger.” That’s as close as I come to dressing as video game characters.

Unfortunately, this gaijin can’t play Beatmania. So I don’t know who Denjin-J is, but it’s by Konami, so he’s probably pretty cool. Maybe. Hey, I don’t know, it’s a robot, what can I say?

And Matt Hardin returns this week with some answers to past surveys as well:

man, my unwillingness to actually sit and write made me miss some good surveys… doh. anyway, the big duh for the whole anime to video game thing for me would be, of course, gundam. the trick is, they have to make it GOOD. federation vs. zeon came close, but was lacking. the new one supposedly stinks. oh well. i think a najica/agent aika game would rock, tho, heheh. as for costume… hmm. if it were anime, that would be easy. KABAPU~! Kabapu rocks. I could dress as E. Honda, but nobody wants to look at an almost naked fat guy. hell, I dunno. Maybe Flik from Suikoden. he had a cool outfit.

There HAVE been Gundam games, but I don’t know if they have been good or not. What they really need to do is make one big mecha fighting game, where you can choose from Gundam, Robotech, Battletech, Evangelion and Transformers. That’s what some company should do. It’d be MUCH cooler than the Dream Mix fighting game. And you just want a Najica/Aika game for the panties, you pervert.

And though Flik was cool, I dunno about a costume of him. And E. Honda WOULD be scary. But I definitely think a Kabupu costume (from Excel for you readers) would be hella sweet, but ONLY if it included the spinning mustache.

This week’s survey will be the easiest one yet. Or will it be the most difficult? Anyway, I’ve been considering getting an Xbox for quite a while now. But I haven’t because I don’t see any reason to. The only reason I DID see was Knights of the Old Republic, but that will soon be released on the PC, so I will get it for that. But I do still want an Xbox at some point, but I need to know what game(s) to get for it. So give me some suggestions. You can even include games coming out in the near future, like up to February. Convince me to get one. I probably won’t be able to right now, since I’m still unemployed, but for the sake of argument, say I had like enough for an Xbox and one game, what game would it be?

Anime News

GTO Boxes
For those of you out there who have been (like me) waiting on getting the GTO anime, our time has almost arrived. Tokyopop will soon be releasing the first box set for GTO. It will come with the first half (5 discs) of the series, as well as a GTO t-shirt. No price has been announced that I’m aware of, but expect it to be in the area of $100, which will definitely be a bargain. It should come out on December 6th.

Geneon Licenses
Geneon has announced that it has licensed 4 new shows for American consumption. First is Gad Guard, a sci-fi mecha type show that is due out late summer/early fall of 2004. Then there is Hajime no Ippo, a boxing (yuck) anime that should be out mid 2004. Next is Demon Lord Dante, which had previously been held by Media Blasters, but it appears they released the license. There was no release date announced. And finally, the best sounding of the bunch is Ikki Tosen, aka Battle Vixens. You know I love my robot women shows. This one should be out in the late summer of 2004.

AODs Weekly Anime Release List

November 4
.hack//SIGN Vol. #5 Special Edition (Bandai)
Boys Over Flowers Vol. #2 (Viz)
Love Hina Movie Box Set (Bandai)
Medabots Vol. #12 (ADV)
Original Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy (ADV)
Please Teacher Vol. #4 (Bandai)
Risky Safety Vol. #3 (AN Entertainment)
s-CRY-ed Vol. #3 (Bandai)
Sin Special Edition (ADV)
Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #18 (FUNimation)

Thanks to Anime on DVD who posts these release dates and I rip off on a daily basis. This site is one of the best places for anime news and reviews, as well as having the best anime forum on the web.

Release of the Week: Please Teacher Vol. #4
This week wasn’t QUITE as difficult as past weeks because though there is a few great releases, only one really good series is ending, and that’s what I picked. This is the final release in the Please Teacher series, until (I assume) Bandai licenses Onegai Twins. Until then, download the fansubs to get a preview. I haven’t seen the release yet, or anything but disc 1 for that matter, but I’m hoping that everything is nicely wrapped up because I really liked what I saw of this show.
Purchase at Anime Corner Store and The Right Stuf.

Anime Bargains
Here’s the link to the main bargains page at TSRI, so clicky clicky.

Bundles are big again this week. The first one we have this week is Black Heaven, the story of an average guy in middle management who moonlights as a guitarist for a metal band. Little does he know that only he can save the universe! Sure it sounds odd, but it’s 4 discs for $44, and it’s by Pioneer/Geneon, which is definitely a plus.

Last week, they offered two Robotech bargains. Well, those two are still on sale, but now they have added a third. The New Generation Saga is going for $20, so pick it up if you like the series. Man, I wish Ranma boxes were going for this price so I could finish off my f*cking collection. Only 3 to go though!

Finally, we have something for you hentai lovers out there. The D+VINE [Luv] box set is on sale for $45, and it’s regularly at $80. So if you’re into this type of thing, that’s a pretty good deal.

The Anime Primer Update
Last week, I discussed the ins and outs of the terms shounen and shoujo. This week, I’m going to pass along some information that Matt Weinburg sent me. This guy REALLY knows his stuff, and sends me great stuff like this all the time, so here it is:

Lastly, about shounen-ai. I saw a few titles of in while manga shopping in Japan, the most memorable named one was “ex-men” (tee hee). Anyway, I was told that the main point of shounen-ai was for young girls to read about relationships, but not feel threatened by male/female pairings. In reading about same-sex relationships (with no sex), one can obverse something that’s more innocent than the standard male/female relationship. They’re not a big part of manga, although ravenous American fans seem to become oddly obsessed with them… stay away from these people at all costs.

I concur with the obsessed part. I’m going to make an admission now that some people may not like. I like reading manga scanslations. For those who don’t know, a scanslation is the manga equivallent of a fan sub. The group will scan a Japanese manga and translate it, and then replace the Japanese with the English text. These guys are every bit as good as the fansubbers, and most follow the same code of not doing licensed manga. But for some reason, scanslations are frowned upon by some people that accept fansubs, and I just don’t understand why.

Anyhow, it seems like the vast majority of groups primarily do shoujo works, and it also seems like if there are any same-sex relationships, they are yaoi. I have yet to find any shoujo-ai or yuri manga at all (other than Utena). You’d think there’d be more, considering how perverted some Japanese males are. I mean, I’m not bashing ALL Japanese males, but it seems like there’s SOMETHING going on considering the following: In Japan, apparently there is a major problem with men groping women in trains and subways, and it was such a problem, some rail lines started making female only trains. Despite that, guys would STILL get on the train! What’s the deal with that? Maybe Matt Weinburg can shed some light on that as well.

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
I have to agree with Bryan in his commentary. I’ve never really enjoyed any baseball or basketball titles the way I have football and hockey games. Which reminds me, I STILL need to rent ESPN Hockey. Because if there’s one person’s opinion I take as far as sports titles go, it’s Bryan’s.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
Lucard had Shining Force, and now Liquid is doing his History of Mega Man. I’m honestly not as fond of the blue guy as I used to be, back during Mega Man 2 and 3 (I sucked balls on MM1), but his highly informative history makes me quite nostalgic.

We Want Our Tea Back! – Misha
This week Misha talks about why it’s good to be a gamer in the UK. I can’t say myself since I’ve never been there, but I’d personally rather have a ton more crap and still get all the good games. I mean, whenever I say I wish I lived in Japan, I’m dead serious. They get ALL the crap and ALL the good games. DAMN THEM!

Encore Extra Stage News Report – Alex Williams
Alex #2 is a busy man, but he still has time to crank out wonderful columns every single time. This week, he’s got the 411Games Halloween party, and the return of the haikus! Rock on!

Retrograding – Alex Lucard
Fridays are great with the Alex tag team at the reins. This week’s Retrograding is a mailbag issue, including the special Halloween edition with readers scariest moments in gaming.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Two people that Cory hates most got together and played a game. But what did Cory REALLY think about Matt Wong and Shannon Sharpe in the same room? Obviously, it wasn’t pretty.

The Gamer’s Conscience – Frederick Badlissi
In this week’s column, Fred gets metaphorically raped by a giraffe. Honestly, Toys R Us isn’t the best place to get games, but they’re one of the places I tend to go first, but sometimes their selection is worse than Best Buy’s.

411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
This was just posted as I finished writing the report, so these guys almost didn’t get linked. Alex is the shiznit as usual, with an excellent commentary on how similar writing and games are, as well as plugs in haiku format. I can’t get enough of haikus.

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
Chuck is truly a god. No, seriously. He asks the hard-hitting questions and designs the games that no one else thinks of. I would personally love a Moogmania game. Of course, Konami will now make a Moogmania, and subtitle it, “Nya Nya Baka Gaijin”. Thanks Konami. Thanks a lot.

Did they light a fire under our asses, or what? Tons more reviews coming at you.

Review: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (PS2) – Lee Baxley
I truly went to a lot of effort to make this review special, considering my love for the series. How did I do? As for the game, I don’t think it was the best game in the world, but I think it accomplished EXACTLY what Konami set out for it to do, and that was successfully take the Castlevania feel into the third dimention. Now if only they’ve put in RPG elements and make it A LOT like Vagrant Story, then I’d be a happy camper. Or just make another Vagrant Story SQUARE.

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds (Xbox) – Cory Laflin
Though I’m not a big fan of Buffy (used to be, but then I wasn’t anymore), Cory loves the show, and you know that he was extra critical of the game because of it. Despite that, he gave the game good marks, and Buffy fans would probably enjoy it.

Review: NBA Jam (Xbox) – Cory Laflin
Cory is pulling double duty this week! And poor him, he volunteered to review a game by Ack!lame! He didn’t really like the game much, and I can’t really blame them. No other company can f*ck up something good than Ack!lame.

Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GC) – Alex Lucard
I used to love the old TMNT cartoon when I was younger, just as Lucard did. I had most of the action figures too, until it got silly and they were releasing as many variations as Barbie. So this game sounds like a blast, even though it’s based on the NEW cartoon. Still, if it plays like the arcade games, I’m down with that.

Review: Disney’s Haunted Mansion (GC) – Alex Lucard
Alex REALLY likes this game, and it’s very obvious from the review. Even I think it sounds great, and I too don’t really like platformers. I’ll definitely give this a rent.

Review: WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain (PS2) – Cory Laflin
Cory seem to think that this game is pretty good. I’m not too big on wrestling titles but this one sounds somewhat interesting, so I may have to give it a rent.

Review: Tony Hawk’s Underground (PS2) – Lee Baxley
This is my review of the latest in the Tony Hawk series. Personally, I found the game to be MUCH more fun than THPS4, though still not as fun as THPS3. But they’re moving in a new direction, and these most recent two titles are still in a transitionary phase, and it’s certainly going in the right direction.

Well, that was certainly fun. What, you still don’t think it was fun? Ah, well, whatever. I try to be as fun as I can be. Read everybody else on the site and come back next week. Enjoy!

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.