Hump Day Otaku News Report 11.12.03

I’m gonna do a quickie intro this week, since I don’t have much to say. I still haven’t found a job, and I’m considering trying to get rehired at the company I quit. I don’t want to, but I’m getting really desperate, so I may have to. Other than that, when not job hunting, I’m playing more games than ever, but it’s just not as fun considering I don’t know if I’ll have to sell all my worldly possessions to pay off my bills. Oh well, that’s what I get.

So on to the goods. This is the piss and vinegar version of the Hump Day Otaku, where we take a look at one of my favorite companies, and see if they can get in my good graces again. That company is none other than Square Enix.

Gaming News

Final Fantasy Online Launch Issues
As I reported some time last week, many people have been having issues installing Final Fantasy Online (I’m tired and I almost put in that blasted Roman numeral!). Some people are able to install it fine and are having fun (for some reason), but I personally know several people who weren’t able to install it due to defective discs. One person returned his copy twice, and each time it was defective. His woes continued when he called up the tech support line, which is apparently run by Sony. They referred him to an FTP server where he could download the discs. The download was dreadfully slow, and it timed out at 94%. He tried over the weekend, but the server was shut down, and so was the tech support line. He tried the download again on Monday, and was actually able to download it at a brisk 45 k/s. And then he went to install it. But alas, it requires an nvidia Gforce card with 32MB or higher, or a ATI Radeon 9000 or higher, but he had an onboard motherboard card that was equivalent to those. So he was unable to install the game, and therefore paid $50 for something he can’t play and can’t return, and he doesn’t even have good discs for it. And sadly, he’s probably not the only one. I’m not trying to badmouth Square here, but I do want people to be aware of this issue, because I don’t know of any sites reporting these problems happening.

Square Enix Going Into The Toy Biz
GamesAreFun has reported that Square Enix will be producing toys of Final Fantasy characters in the near future. There are seven total, and the characters featured are: Cloud, Sephiroth, Rinoa, VIVI, Yuna, and Lulu. There is also a secret character. Click the link for pics. Personally, I think the figures look great. One thing jumped out at me. I know people have made the connection before, but now more than ever, I realize that if you take the toy of VIVI, change the robe to red, the hat to lavender, and slap an O on his chest, it would so f*cking be Orko. I mean, seriously. No, really. Maybe they used the Orko mold or something, because I’ve never seen it look SO much like the O dude. Oh, but they’re screwing us over. This is Japan only. Square says they’ll release the figures in America once we get rid of all the gaijin.

Fullmetal Alchemist Website Opens
RPGFan is reporting that Square Enix has opened a site up devoted to the game for Fullmetal Alchemist. Good luck reading it, unless you’re Alex Lucard. Yup, it’s in Japanese. I hope this game makes it here, and if it does, then I expect the anime and manga will too, it one big package. Or that’s where they’ll kick you anyway. Fullmetal Alchemist game – $50. Fullmetal Alchemist DVDs (6 discs) – $120. Fullmetal Alchemist Manga (10 vols) – $100. Enjoying being kicked square in the nuts, er, wallet – Priceless. Oh, and for the record, I’ve got the first three episodes of the FMA anime downloaded, and plan on watching them, whenever my wife watches them with me, because if I don’t watch anime with her, I’m the one who gets kicked in the nuts.

Ico 2 in the Near Future?
Ok, so this isn’t about Square Enix. So screw me. Anyway, GamesAreFun is reporting that the Official Playstation Magazine in the UK will be releasing information on ICO 2 soon. Expect it to be completely lame and not have any real information. Look for something to the effect of “Sony IS making an ICO 2 and it will be released sometime in the next 10 years.” I wasn’t a big fan of the original ICO. The concept was cute, and the graphics and style was incredible, but the gameplay was blah. Yea, it had puzzles. Yea, it had bashing monsters on the head with a stick. But that’s it. Even though it only takes a few hours to win, I was happy those few hours were over with.

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 11
Bratz: Formal Funk (P2)
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (GC, P2, XB)
Justice League Chronicles (GBA)
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (P2)
Urban Freestyle Soccer (P2, XB)

Nov 12
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (GC)
Beyond Good & Evil (P2)
Corvette (GBA)
Crash Nitro Kart (GC, P2, XB)
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (GBA)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance (P2, XB)
Links 2004 (XB)
Looney Toons: Back in Action (GBA)
Mario Party 5 (GC) [Wal-Mart broke the street date, should be available
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (GC, P2, XB)
Muppets Party Cruise (CB, P2)
Onimusha Tactics (GBA)
Ratchet and Clank Going Commando (P2)
Spy Muppets: Licence to Croak (GBA)
Tonka Rescue Patrol (GC)
Wheel of Fortune (P2)

Nov 13
Fairly Odd Parents: Breakin’ Da Rules (GBA, P2, XB)
Gladius (GC)
Monster Rancher 4 (P2)

Nov 14
Barbie: Wild Horse Rescue (P2, XB)
Blowout (P2, XB)
Cat in the Hat (P2, XB)
Eye Toy (P2)
Masters of the Universe: He-Man Defender of Greyskull (GC, P2, XB)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (GBA)

Nov 15
Arx Fatalis (XB)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Visit the site and use their store locator to find a Game Crazy near you.

Christian’s Comments: Another big batch this week, with only a few standouts. Legacy of Kain, Links, Mario Party, Medal of Honor, and possibly Crash Nitro Kart. We’ll see how that stands up to Mario Kart. There’s at least one good point about Onimusha Tactics. Stories about politics in ancient China are certainly more decipherable than FFTA.

Lee’s Comments: I don’t know about what’s popular, but there are several games that I am interested in. Beyond Good and Evil sounded pretty cool from Bebito’s preview, but I’m not sure. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town will be great, because it’s a remake of the PS1 game that was my favorite of the series. And there’s also Monster Rancher 4, which may be very cool, since I used to be a huge fan of the series.

Survey Time
Let’s jump right in, shall we? The topic was which Xbox game OTHER than Knights of the Old Republic would be a good selling point. Christian is first:

Well, this one should be easy considering my profession.

If you had just enough to get an XBox and 1 game hmmm…If you’ve already discounted KOTR then this makes the job much harder.

Well, coming out in the RPG vein is Fable and True Fantasy Live, but if you’re looking for something to play now, I’d have to suggest Crimson Skies. It’s got a great single player campaign, and it also has stellar multiplayer mode.

However, the thing I would suggest most, cause I know you’re that kinda player, is the XBox and XBox Live Starter Kit. It comes with the headset, 12 months of Live service and a full copy of Mechassault, which is a seriously awesome game. Then with the 12 free rentals you get for buying your Xbox at Game Crazy, I’d send you over for KOTR and Crimson Skies.

Plus with the Christmas promotion, you already get 2 free games with your XBox….

He’s always the salesman. I hope he’s getting commission for this! Anyway, I like the ideas of Fable and True Fantasy Live Online, because I may be able to get into those games. And admittedly, I have been quite curious about Crimson Skies. And Mechassault is a given, because I used to be a HUGE Battletech geek. So Christian, if I had money, you’d have sold me, that’s for sure, especially on the Xbox Live. Next up is John Hall:

if i were to buy an xbox i would buy fable with it. Sounds like its gonna be a kick ass game.

Another vote for Fable. I hope to have an Xbox by the time it comes out, because it does look really sweet. It has a lot of things that make it sound like it’ll be worth it, but we’ll have to see once it DOES come out. Last up is Matt Weinberg, whose name I’ve been misspelling for weeks now. Sorry dude!

If I bought an XBox, the only games I see worth buying at the moment are made by Sega. Jet Set Radio Future would be first, Phantasy Star Online would be second, and Panzer Dragoon Orta would be third. That’s it.

What, no Fable? I was looking forward to Jet Set Radio Future, and I’m kinda pissed that I missed out on the freebie, but then again, that was before there were other games I wanted for the Xbox. PDO is another one I’m somewhat interested in, but may not buy. And I’d avoid PSO, just because I don’t like those types of games. But who knows, I may give it a try someday when I have tons of money, like in my FUCKING DREAMS. Ah, those are good dreams, the ones that you can mold to whatever you desire, including tons of money and happiness at the same time. Then you wake up and you just want to die. Life, it is fun, is it not?

No survey for this week. I’m in an uncreative mood, and starting to get stressed about my own particular situation, so I’ll have to think of a good one for next week.

Anime News

Battle Vixens Errata
Matt Weinberg wrote me regarding this show and some errors I had made last week. Man, I’ve got my own little staff here: Christian on release dates, Weinberg on anime and Japanese mistakes, and Hardin on general razzing. Here’s what Matt Weinberg says on the series though:
I’ve seen episodes 1-12. It was licensed just before episode 13, the final episode, was fansubbed. Haven’t heard the name “Battle Vixens” before, and there aren’t any robots in it. It’s just martial arts and some panty shots. Check out the Rival Schools/Project Justice video game series and gender switch (there are more females than males in Ikki Tousen). It’s a fine series, plot’s nothing serious, but good none the less. The last episode looked like a doozy, but alas, American anime companies hate me (Gundam SEED was licensed when I was on episode 42 of 50).

Tokyopop Manga Licenses
AnimeNewsNetwork posted an article about how someone looking on the Amazon UK site figured out that Tokyopop will be releasing a slew of more manga in the near future. It may be considered rumor, but the most interesting ones (from my standpoint anyway, click the link for the full list) are Crest of the Stars, Heat Guy J, Suikoden and Metroid. The last two will probably be good buys, depending on which game story line they follow.

AODs Weekly Anime Release List
November 11
Brigadoon Vol. #4 (Tokyopop)
Cardcaptor Sakura Vol. #18 (Geneon)
Chobits Vol. #5 (Geneon)
Gall Force: Earth Chapter (Central Park Media)
Gloria: Private Lessons (SoftCel Pictures)
Heroic Legend of Arislan: Age of Heroes (Central Park Media)
Martian Successor Nadesico: Prince of Darkness (ADV)
Najica Blitz Tactics Vol. #3 (ADV)
Reign: The Obsession of Alexander Box Set (Tokyopop)
Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. #10 (Central Park Media)
Sakura Wars TV Vol. #5 (ADV)
Zaion Vol. #2 (ADV)

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: Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. #10: Finale
For me, this was a no brainer. Very few shows have the style and elegance that Utena seems to pull off. The show is sad, it’s funny, it’s exciting, and it has everything one could want from an anime. Plus it has great music. So of course, since this is the last disc in this classic series, it’s a must own for anyone who is a fan of great anime.
Purchase at Anime Corner Store and The Right Stuf.

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Bryan talks about the PS2, Nintendo AND Xbox. And he asks the burning question: are games addictive? The answer is yes, and I’m happy to be a junkie.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
This week, LC covers the Mega Man X titles. And it keeps getting better! Man, everybody should do a history of article!

We Want Our Tea Back! – Misha
Misha asks why we play games. Are the fun? Well, yea. Is it because we’re bored? Sure. But the real reason we play video games is because if we didn’t, we’d be out smoking crack cocaine and beating up people. Oh wait, I do that anyway.

Encore Extra Stage News Report – Alex Williams
More haiku! Horray! He also talks about DDR, the PSP, lawsuits, Zelda, and everything in between. READ HIM!!!

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Cory mails it in, but gives me the Pimp Coat in the process. Fuck yea! You can mail it in anytime, buddy!

The Gamer’s Conscience – Frederick Badlissi
Fred talks about his anticipation for the new Legacy of Kain title. To be honest, this is a series I’ve always wanted to try out, but never have. I may have to give it a rent or something.

411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
Alex sends his condolences to the family of Crash Holly, as well as everyone in Quebec. Though I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to live in Quebec, because it’s probably one of the main reasons Canada has such a bad rap. Damn Frenchies. (Note: I’m only joking, and this was not meant to offend anyone, especially not the damn Frenchies).

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
Chuck is truly a genius, because he and I agree on many things, and I’m a genius as well. He writes a letter to Square Enix, one that is similar to one I would have written, but his doesn’t have any curse words. And he also loves Disgaea. If you don’t love Disgaea, you will rot in the deepest, darkest depths of Hell. I’ll be there too, so it’ll be my job to eternally kick your ass for not loving Disgaea. So love it, or pay the price.

Review: True Crime: Streets of LA (PS2) – Lee Baxley
Ok, suddenly, after all the reviews that we all did, there’s nothing but me? Then again, I don’t have a job or school like the others, so it’s understandable. Check out the review to see why this game isn’t just a GTA ripoff.

November Ratings Drive-by – The Kliq
Disgaea baby! Sure there were other good games, but none quite matched the overall popularity of Disgaea. It’s a game worthy of any collection.

Sorry if this week seems kind of rushed. I’m not feeling well right now, and I’m tired as well, but I hope that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. Hopefully, I’ll be fine next week, and hopefully with a new job as well! Seeya then!

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.