Encore Extra Stage News Report 11.05.03

Welcome to Week 3 of the Encore Extra Stage! And I’m not burnt out yet! (I’m determined to outlast Bryan Berg’s prediction by at least a week. We’ll see, though.)

In some slightly personal news, I now have Tony Hawk’s Underground on the ‘Box, and I’m enjoying it muchly. It has the most depth out of any Hawk game I’ve played, although the amount of actual goals has been cut back from the last game. Expect a full review of the X-Box version as soon as I can pump one out.

Also expect a full review of Simpsons: Hit and Run for the X-Box soon. I KNOW I said that before, but this time, I mean it!

And that’s about it. Introduction over. News: NOW
TOP STORY: DDR Ultramix Website Opens!

Sheesh, more DDR details, more top stories. See a trend here?

Anyway, the official website for Dance Dance Revolution: Ultramix went live a few days ago, and can be found HERE. It may have just gone up, but it has a lot of information already, including how to play the game, the base song list (which I reported last week), some feature descriptions, and a summary of what you can do on X-Box Live.

There’s also a spot for secrets, but there’s nothing in there yet. One can assume it will be updated in due time.

The best thing on there right now is the gameplay demo movie. Here is our first real look at the final product, and it looks SWEET. They also play several songs, including one not listed in the base song list: Gradiustic Cyber from the old Club Mix games. So we can add that to the list of unlockables, along with Colors and .

Things just keep getting better and better.

(Credit goes to DDRFreak)
No More Laqsuits!…er…Lawsuits!

(That’s the last time I let Lucard put my name on a news bulletin…)

Seriously, Activision representative Leslie Shawn e-mailed us HERSELF to let us know the lawsuit brought about by Robert Crais has been dropped. You may remember a week or two ago we reported that Crais sued Activision over the main character in True Crime: The Streets of L.A.. Crais believed that the main character in True Crime and the main character in his stories infringed upon his copyrights.

Well, after Crais reviewed a pre-release copy of the game, the complete script, flow charts, and other materials, he concluded that Activision did not infringe on the lawsuit, and dropped it.

So remember kids: make your main character in a video game a retired cop who wears sunglasses! You might get sued!

(More information can be found on Crais’ website)
And For That Matter, No More Street Hoops

While it may not have a lawsuit against it, Activision is still losing money. So in order to compensate, they’re cutting several titles from their line-up. These titles include Shaun Palmer’s Pro Snowboarder 2, Trinity, and Street Hoops 2.

Thank goodness this didn’t impact such games as the PC version of Activision Anthology. I would have been crushed if that happened.

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
The PSP Design Revealed?

Recently, Sony released a preliminary design of what their upcoming handheld, the PSP, might look like. Sony says it’ll look a little something like this:

It’s the PSP! Maybe!

Holy crap, I made a picture appear! In the news report! Wow, I’m GOOD!

(Ahem) Anyway, this is NOT the final design, but its along the lines of what Sony wants it to look like. Looks kinda sexy actually…

(NOTE: The opinions of this writer are that he’s NOT sexually attracted to the unit mock-up. He is NOT a pervert! Thank you.)

(Credit goes to Spong.com)
And you thought the GameCube would FAIL?!? HAH!

Man, it’s really been night and day for Nintendo lately, hasn’t it?

Ever since the GameCube price drop, Nintendo’s percent of the market share has nearly DOUBLED. They went from 19% to a whopping 37% in just over a month.

This is some very good news for Nintendo, especially since Sony and Microsoft both lost points during this period.

And speaking of Nintendo, here’s a tasty treat for all you GC owners out there…

(Credit goes to Gamespot)
Want Your Zelda? Already have a GameCube? No Problem!

As the title implies, there IS a way to get that special Zelda bonus disc without actually buying a GameCube! And Nintendo is offering you two ways to do it:

1) Starting November 11th, if you register your GameCube, and any TWO of the following titles: Mario Party 5, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario & Luigi: Super Star Saga, or 1080 Avalanche, you get the disc for free!

2) Starting November 15th, if you subscribe to Nintendo Power magazine, you can get the bonus disc as a free gift!

The only catch is that you have to register with “My Nintendo” first. So go HERE for more details.
Encore Extra Stage Weekly Recap

Time to perform my favorite gimmick: the HAIKU RECAP!

Lots of new details
About the new Ultramix
Click found here to see more.

Their no longer sued!
Activision is now safe
From that Crais guy’s wrath.

Dungeon Siege movie?
Why do I have a real bad
Feeling about this?

Europe’s GameCube deal
Includes system, karts, and Link!
Zelda bonus disc!

Atlus and Spumco
Working on the same game? Cool!
Their characters rule!

Tim Burton’s “Nightmare”
Will be released next year on
Halloween. Hoo boy.

Xenosaga III
Might have a subtitle. Square
Had reserved that right.

Dragon Quest V will
Be remade for PS2
Over in Japan

The PS2’s price
Was dropped over in Europe
Could this be a sign?

Nintendo rules now.
GameCubes flying off the shelves
Increase market share!

X-Box and pizza?
Anything to sell these things
Over in Japan.

N-Gage still sucks ass.
No real news, just thought I would
Remind everyone.

Look here, Alex 2,
Post the news and cut the crap.
Lest you pay the price…

Eggplant Wizard, why?
I thought you LIKED it when I
Bash the N-Gage hard!

This is news RECAP
Not using a springboard for
Your own opinion

It’s MY column, sir!
Besides, why are you keeping
Me from doing this?

Okay, fine…this time.
Next time this happens, you’ll be
One huge, squashed eggplant!

(Okay, back to work…)

Debts and cancelled games
Plague Activision right now
That’s really too bad.

The PSP looks
Pretty nice. Scroll up and see
The picture right here!

Feeling confused, yes?
Read the other news reports
To get more details.

Whew…big news week this week. Yes, the haikus are over. Off to other stuff now.
Plugs and Shills That Pay The Bills

We’re gonna go quick here, so bear with me.

Top Billing

411 Exclusive Interview: True Crime: Streets of L.A. — Chris Pankonin
We ask the creators of True Crime ALL the hard-hitting questions. Yes, ALL of them! READ IT!

The Ratings Drive-By: November ’03 — The 411 All-Stars…and The Eggplant
We take our opinions on the last month’s games, and condense them into bite-sized nuggets! READ US!

News You Can Use

411MAX: News News Revolution — Me, Myself, and I
I reported news, and wrote a pretty good commentary! READ ME!

Hump Day Otaku News Report — Lee Baxley
He’s the man that doesn’t like FFXI, but loves anime! READ HIM!

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report — Bryan Berg
He’s into fantasy football, and just turned 22! READ THE BIRTHDAY BOY!

A Review You Can U…se

Tony Hawk’s Underground — Lee Baxley
Lee reviews the latest in the awesome Tony Hawk line of games. READ HIM!

Columns You Can…uh…Use

A Thumb To The Eye — Chuck Platt
Chuck gives us several ideas for future music games. And if you take him seriously, you missed the point! READ HIM ANYWAY!

The Angry Gamer — Liquidcross
LC continues his history of the Mega Man games. READ HIM!

We Want Our Tea Back! — Misha
Misha asks the question “Why do we play games at all?” He also messed up his HTML. READ HIM! (AND ADD QUOTES TO YOUR LINKS!)
Parting Thoughts

And so ends another action-packed week here at 411Games! But there are so many questions left unanswered. Will Lucard ditch his goth life to achieve his dream of becoming a country singer? Will Cory overcome the odds and with the beauty pageant? Will Baxley summon enough courage to ask the Puma twins out for a night on the town?

Will I get enough sleep to not write these dumb-ass jokes?

Find out next week, along with a decent dose of news, commentaries, haikus, and other wacky stuff I decide to stuff the columns with!

Until next time, get some sleep. Those 7-hour binges on Everquest into 3 AM aren’t that healthy.

Alex Williams