Hump Day Otaku News Report 11.19.03

This will probably be a tad bit late, and because of that, I am sorry. I rented Gladius, and got very involved in it, not to mention that my wife was using the computer, and we all know how that goes. The womens get priority.

Anyway, it’s time for a job update. Yesterday, I applied for a job that is similar to what I did at my previous job, but appears to a) be a better company and b) pay more, not to mention the fact that it ISN’T where I worked before, which is a definite plus. I took an assessment test, did extremely well on it, and did a pre-employment screening, which I think was a good sign. I think they’d be foolish to pass over me at this point, but I don’t think that’ll be the case. The bad news is I have to wait 5-7 business days to find out if I DID get the job, and I overheard someone say that the next training class will be on December 8. So I need to find a way to get money in the meantime. Fuckin’ bills and shit.

Still, the time off has given me plenty of game time, and I’ve played tons of Disgaea, Rogue Squadron III, Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure, and Gladius over the past week. So expect reviews of the latter 3 in some form (either in this column or on the main site) and hints for Disgaea, if some of the other guys want to pitch in. Anyway, let’s get on with the nitty gritty.

Gaming News

Final Fantasy XII Screens and Details
That’s right, people. The folks at GamesareFun have posted the first true screenshots from the twelfth official Final Fantasy title. The main characters will be Vaan and Ashe, a guy and girl (respectively) that will eventually hook up. The world in this game is Ivalice, the same in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. In fact, the Bangaa and Viera races will also appear in the game (as evidenced by the teaser containing a Bangaa). It appears to be an extremely futuristic world, and it is said this title will tie in heavily with FFTA. I’m not impressed with the character designs thus far, but the graphics look fantastic. But that doesn’t matter, really. If the story sucks, I’m done. Finished. Or as Square prefers, Fin. This is your last chance guys. Make it good. I know that I won’t be the only one to bail if it sucks.

In an earlier article, GamesareFun had a few tidits from Yasumi Matsuno (the game’s developer). The game will ship on 2 DVDs (no surprise, it’s Square, lots of cutscenes), the love aspects will be toned down (good, because they’ve been lame since FFVI), the game style will resemble Vagrant Story (two words. Fuck and Yea), the world map will be huge (WILL there be a world map? I hope so), it will be a different FF title and the controls will be tight (I’ve never played an FF game where the controls WEREN’T tight). The official unveiling with be TODAY, so I may post some details on the main page when it comes out.

Phantom Brave Screens
GamesareFun also has screens from the next title from Nippon Ichi, the same folks who made greats like Disgaea, Rhapsody, and the upcoming (in the states) La Pucelle. This title looks very similar in style to Disgaea, which is a very good thing. No word on a US release yet, but hopefully Atlus will be nice to us and localize it. If not, maybe Mastiff, the folks who are releasing La Pucelle will bring it over. Start praying to your diety(ies).

Final Fantasy Radio
GamesareFun is also reporting that Square Enix and AOL have gotten together and have started a Final Fantasy radio station on AOL and Netscape’s radio services. It’ll be under the Soundtracks and more category, and will feature over 200 songs from the series. Personally, I think this is great news, because if there’s one thing I’ve NEVER been disappointed about the series, it’s the music.

Dragon Quest V Screens
RPGFan (betcha thought I was gonna say GamesareFun!) has posted some screens of the new Dragon Quest V remake, and I have to admit, I think it’s gonna turn out good. Sure the style resembles that of DQVII, but it looks much, much better, and is head and shoulders above VII in looks. I’ll admit, I wasn’t very supportive of the game when it was announced, but after speaking with a few people about it, they made me realize that it’s not such a bad thing after all.

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 16
PBA Bowling 2004 (XB)

Nov 18
Broken Sword (XB)
Mario & Luigi (GBA)
Mario Kart: Double Dash (GC)
Music Mixer (XB)
NCAA Final Four 2003 (P2)
NCAA March Madness (P2, XB)
Need for Speed: Underground (GC, P2, XB)
Warhammer 40K Fire Warrior (P2)

Nov 19
American Idol (GBA)
Battlestar Galactica (P2)
Bey Blade: Ultimate Blader Jam (GBA)
Counterstrike (XB)
ESPN College Hoops (P2, XB)
Final Fantasy X-2 (P2)
I-Ninja (P2)
Kao the Kangaroo 2 (P2)
Kya-Dark Lineage (P2)
Magic: The Gathering (XB)
Manhunt (P2)
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System (GC, P2, XB)
NBA Inside Drive (XB)
NHL Rivals 2004 (XB)
Prince of Persia (GC)
Project Gotham Racing 2 (XB)
Secret Weapons over Normandy (P2, XB)
Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon (GBA)
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (XB)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (GBA)
Thunder Alley (GBA)
Top Gun Live (XB)
Whiplash (P2)
World Championship Pool (GC, XB)

Nov 20
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (GC, P2, XB)
Looney Toons: Back in Action (P2)

Nov 21
American Idol (P2)
Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts (P2, XB)
Culdcept (P2)
Spawn (GC, P2, XB)

Nov 22
Hot Wheels World Race (GBA)
Space Channel 5-2 (P2)
Spyhunter 2 (GC)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Buy 2, Get 1 Free! Or buy $50 worth and get the system! The Used Game Sale, on right now! Check your local Game Crazy or for details. Offer good on all first and second generation systems.

Christian’s Comments: There’s something for everyone this week, and I don’t think Lee will disagree with me. FFX2, Counterstrike, NFSU, Mario Kart, Jedi Academy, College Hoops. It’s all here this week. But some you should check out though are Metal Arms and Secret Weapons over Normandy. With all the big releases, those two could be sleepers if enough people hear about them.

Lee’s Comments: Christian is right. This week is HUGE. Seriously. A few he didn’t mention are Mario and Luigi, I-Ninja, Magic: The Gathering, Project Gotham Racing 2, and Spawn. And what about Space Channel 5-2? Is this right? If so, it slipped under EVERYBODY’S radar, because I haven’t heard shit about that. But the only one I really and truly care about is FFX-2. I guess I’ll rent it this weekend and see how it is.

Survey Time
Ok, I didn’t have a survey last week, but I have a completely non-game/anime related survey this week. One of the questions that I’ve been asked several times when hunting for a job has been, “If you witness one of your co-workers or superiors doing something immoral or illegal, what would you do?” My answer has always been, “I’d report them to the proper people, be it management or whatever.” That was a paraphrase mind you. Anyway, does anybody have a better answer for this? It can be serious or whatever.

Anime News

New Anime Announcements
AnimeNewsNetwork has announced the announcement of several anime shows, most of which are sequels, that will be airing in Japan. First is the sequel to the fan service (ecchi?) laden show show, Hanaukyo Maid Tai, which was never released in America. This one is subtitled La Verite, which means True Smile, and will air in April 2004. Next is the OVA sequel to Animation Runner Kuromi, which will be released on January 28. Then there’s Samurai 7, which is based on Kurosawa’s “The Seven Samurai”, and will air in the spring. And lastly is the sequel to Jubei Chan, which is surprising and awesome at the same time. It will also premier in January.

Anime on TV
One day, America will completely succumb to the wonders of anime. And it will be good. But until then, we’re lucky if we get any on TV, but it’s getting better. TechTV has announced that they will be airing Geneshaft, which is cool. But not near as cool as what Cartoon Network has. They’ve got Witch Hunter Robin. Hell. Fuckin. Yea. It’s one of the most incredibly stylish shows I’ve seen in a while (rivaling Hellsing) and definitely deserves to be seen by the masses.

AODs Weekly Anime Release List

November 18
.hack//SIGN Vol. #5 Special Edition (Bandai)
Aura Battler Dunbine Vol. #4 (ADV)
Babel II: Testament of the Apocalypse Set (Media Blasters)
Berserk Premium Collection Set (Media Blasters)
Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie 2 (Geneon)
Ceres Collectors Edition Vol. #2 (Viz)
City Hunter TV Season 2 Collection 2 (ADV)
Cyber Formula GPX Box Set (Bandai)
Edens Bowy Vol. #5 (ADV)
Figure 17 Vol. #2 (Media Blasters)
Geneshaft Vol. #4 (Bandai)
Infinite Ryvius Vol. #2 (Bandai)
Last Exile Vol. #1 w/ optional artbox and extras (Geneon)
Maison Ikkoku Box Set 2 (Viz)
Midnight Sleezy Train (Kitty Media)
Pokemon: Adventures on the Orange Islands Vol. #3 (Viz)
Ranma 1/2: Ranma Forever Box Set (Viz)
Rune Soldier Vol. #5 (ADV)
Rurouni Kenshin Wandering Samurai Premium Box Set (Media Blasters)
Twelve Kingdoms Vol. #3 (Media Blasters)

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: Rurouni Kenshin Wandering Samurai Premium Box Set
In another big week of new releases and kick ass box sets, I thought the choice would be difficult, but it really isn’t, even though the final season of Ranma is on the list. But it gets old after season 3 anyway. But Rurouni Kenshin is a series that many people love, and even the one episode I saw was very good, and this box is the first season of the show that many call their favorite. Based on all the good things I’ve heard about it, I’d highly recommend this box to you if you’re a fan of historical or action anime.
Purchase at Anime Corner Store and The Right Stuf.

Anime Bargains
Sorry I flaked out on this last week, but I got lazy. I’ll try to not do it again. Anyway, this is the full list of bargains from TSRI this week. Get them now, because they’ll probably change tomorrow.

This week, there are mainly Pioneer/Geneon box sets up for grabs, so I’ll just list all the good ones here.
Adventures of Mini-Goddess – Regular $80, Sale $53
Fushigi Yugi Box Set 1 – Regular $200, Sale $130
Fushigi Yugi Box Set 2 – Regular $200, Sale $130
Hellsing – Regular $125, Sale $80
Serial Experiments Lain – Regular $120, Sale $84
Trigun – Regular $200, Sale $130

I’ll leave it at that. Now I’ll be perfectly honest guys, you will probably never find as good a deal on some of these series’ ever again. The Fushigi Yugi sets, Lain, and Trigun are expensive as hell, and all are supposed to be great shows (otherwise they wouldn’t be able to sell them for so much, now would they?), and this is an incredible bargain. I promised myself I wouldn’t complain about having no money, but really, this makes me cry twin waterfalls of sadness! So Hardin, which ones you getting? Come on, rub it in why don’tcha!

Links to the Past
Short version this week. Sorry folks. It’s my puragotive. And no, I’m not Bobby Brown. I do more drugs in one day than that pansy and his pansy wife have EVER done.

We Want Our Tea Back! – Misha
Misha talks about how videogames are an artform.

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Berg talks about shitty made for TV movies.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
Liquid gives us part 3 of his excellent Mega Man series.

Encore Extra Stage News Report – Alex Williams
Williams gives us kick ass haikus in Prinny form. Fuck yea!

Retrograding – Alex Lucard
Lucard splooges all over his Neo Geo. And that’s before he sticks in the SVC Chaos cartridge in.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Laflin talks about lesbians. Enjoy those 3 extra hits man!

411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
Williams serves up part 3 of the Spike TV Video Game Awards, and I want to see how awful the show turns out.

Retrograding Mailbag – Alex Lucard
It’s Lucard and a mailbag. Nothing more needs to be said.

Review: Double Dragon Advance (GBA) – Alex Lucard
Wait, somebody else does reviews around here?

I’m kidding folks. I know everyone else has a job and a life and stuff, so I have no excuse NOT to churn out 50 reviews, considering how many games I’ve been playing lately.

Well, that’s a wrap. Come back next week when I proceed to club baby seals. Or not. I’ll just club some old people. Nevermind, I’ll stick with clubbing my stuffed doggie. Enjoy the rest of your week.