Hump Day Otaku News Report 12.03.03

Hola! Welcome back for another week of fun exciting adventurous happy fun time! I’m starting to sound like Chuck, aren’t I? Oy.

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? Mine was the same ole same ole. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sause and rolls. And I surprisingly didn’t eat myself sick!

Anyway, since I’ve been keeping everyone updated on my job situation, I may as well continue that. The job that I banked everything on fell through and my hopes were destroyed. So now I’m going to have to get a job no matter what. So that means I’m going to go check out pizza delivery places, temp agencies, and if need be, Wal Mart. I may even try to go back to the place that I had quit from, but that’s a last resort, mainly because if they DO hire me, it will take them a while to get their shit together, and that’s time I don’t have (which is why I’d prefer pizza delivery, because tips are decent money quick).

The time has given me more time than I had ever hoped for. Because I can’t buy or rent games, I’ve taken to checking out books. I finally got to read Book 10 of the Wheel of Time, which was good, but nothing really huge happened, and the story didn’t advance much. I imagine that the next book in the series will be HUGE, and hopefully the rest will as well, up until the end. The next book on my plate is the next book in the Dark Tower series.

Ok, so let’s go ahead and get to the news. Nothing really big this week, so I’ll just get right in to it.

Gaming News
Ouch, make that hardly any news at all. I’ll post what I can, but there’s not a whole lot that can be said about much of this. Oh, and all of these come from

Digicube Bankrupt
The company that has been behind Squaresoft’s soundtracks for a long time has filed for bankruptsy. They blame the “delay” of Final Fantasy XII as the reason for the problems, but it more likely has to do with the fact that they’re putting all their hopes on one company, one that has been less productive (but admittedly, has been producing higher quality titles), and hasn’t been all that profitable. It’s no big loss if Digicube goes away, because I’m sure someone else will take their place.

Baten Kaitos in Famitsu
The forthcoming Namco/Monolith RPG that DOESN’T have Xeno in the title has been reviewed by Famitsu, which are the Japanese Magazine Gods. They are usually pretty harsh on games, but they rate Baten Kaitos a very respectable 31/40, earning it the Silver. The breakdown of the 4 reviewers is 8/8/8/7 (out of 10). This is pretty good for a game, but not great. The game comes out in Japan on December 5, and will hopefully come here in the not to distant future.

Xenosaga Trademarks
Though these aren’t as important as previous trademarks, Namco has made two new trademarks that we should be aware of: Xenosaga Freaks and Xenosaga Extra. Nothing else is known, but if I had to venture a guess, I’d have to say that Xenosaga Freaks sounds like a Fan Club of sorts, and perhaps Xenosaga Extra is a newsletter for that same Fan Club? That’s all a guess, but it sounds feasible to me.

Final Fantasy Staffer Leaves
Kazushige Nojima, scenario writer for Square Enix, has left the company. He was an integral part of the company, writing the scenario for Final Fantasies VII, VIII, X, and X-2, as well as Kingdom Hearts. Normally, I would say good riddance, but X-2 was written very well, so maybe this guy will be missed more than before.

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 30
Lowrider (P2)

Dec 2
1080 Avalanche (GC)
Advent Rising (XB)
Blowout (GC)
Music 3000 w/Microphone (XB)
NFL Blitz Pro (GC)
Pokemon Channel (GC)
Road Trip – Arcade Edition (GC)
Sword of Mana (GBA)

Dec 3
Armed & Dangerous (XB)
Beyond Good and Evil (GC, XB)
Culdcept (P2)
Disney’s Hide & Sneak (GC)
Dragonball Z: Budokai 2 (P2)
Deus Ex 2: Invisible War (XB)
Funkmaster Flex Digital Hitz Factory (P2, XB)
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (P2)
Mission Impossible: Operation Sumra (GBA, XB)
Yu-Yu-Hakusho: Spirit Dectective (GBA)

Dec 5
Broken Sword (XB)
Curse (XB)
I-Ninja (GC, XB)

Dec 6
Resident Evil Code Veronica X (GC)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Everyday at Game Crazy, you get 12 Free Rentals (Good on either movies or games) at Hollywood Video with the purchase of any new or refurbished console. That’s a $72 Value! Check Game for the store nearest you!

Christian’s Comments: Hope everyone picked up the glut of last month’s releases during the shopping frenzy last Friday, but I also hope you saved some for this week. Max Payne 2 for the PS2, 1080, Sword of Mana plus the epitome of all cool: Funkmaster Flex! Or maybe not…And does anyone have a reason why I shouldn’t laugh when someone wants to buy Pokemon Channel? From my information, it sounds like you watching Pokemon watch Pokemon Themed TV. Am I wrong here? Also a couple of release date changes: Ninja Gaiden pushed to Feb 10, and Pokemon Collesium pushed to Mar 1.

Lee’s Comments: Christian risks drawing the ire of Lord Alex Lucard! Seriously, Pokemon Channel is on the top of my list as well. Then again, it sounds like Pokemon Snap, and that’s good for me. And of course, Sword of Mana. Another game that may be good, though probably not, is Deus Ex 2. From what I’ve heard, it’s vastly inferior to the original, and I didn’t even like the original much. Either way, it’s only on the Xbox, so I couldn’t play it anyway.

AODs Weekly Anime Release List
December 2
Argentosoma Vol. #6 (Bandai)
Banner of the Stars II Vol. #3 (Bandai)
Blood Shadow (Anime 18)
City Hunter TV Season 3 (ADV)
GTO Box Set 1 (Tokyopop)
Humanoid (Central Park Media)
Iczer Reborn (Central Park Media)
Inu Yasha Vol. #12 (Viz)
Inu Yasha Vol. #13 (Viz)
Kikaider Vol. #3 (Bandai)
Legend of the Dragon Kings Vol. #4 (Central Park Media)
Original Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia (ADV)
Pokemon: Journey to the Johto League Champion Vol. #6 (Viz)
RahXephon Vol. #7 (ADV)
Saint Seiya Vol. #2 (ADV)
Spirit Warrior Vol. #2 (Central Park Media)
Steam Detectives Vol. #2 (ADV)
Vixens (Anime 18)
Witch Hunter Robin Vol. #2 (Bandai)

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: GTO Box Set 1
This is a series that I’ve heard absolutely nothing bad about. Everyone I know who has seen it loved it. The series is one that contains a good mix of drama and comedy. The original premise is of a biker named Onizuka who, for whatever reason, decides to teach school at a high school where his students are primarily delinquints. I haven’t seen the show myself, but this is definitely a box I plan on getting when I can afford it. And in addition to the first 5 discs of the 10 disc series, you also get a free t-shirt. So this is a show that everybody should check out.
Purchase at Anime Corner Store and The Right Stuf.

Anime Bargains
I’ve decided to stop doing these bargains simply because there isn’t much point putting bargains up on Wednesday, when they change on Thursday. But who knows, that may change in the future. Or whenever the site goes Black, I may even have a column there. We’ll see.

Commentary: Friends
This past week was a difficult one. I’ve been extremely depressed because of my lack of job, but at the same time, I hate LOOKING for a job, so I haven’t been working at it as hard as I could have been. Plus my parents are cracking down on me because they have been helping me out with my finances, and they can barely afford to take care of themselves, much less me and my wife. It didn’t bug me so much before, because I had a way to keep my mind off things: games. But since my freedom pass expired, I hadn’t been able to rent anything new, and I didn’t want to play anything I had. I was just very meloncholy for all of last week.

It came to a head when I became selfish. I felt that I was not getting the appreciation I deserve by writing on this site. I saw that others get a ton of email and even some from game companies, and it bothered me that I never got anything like that. I felt like my words were being read by a few people, but not enough to make it worth my while. It was an odd feeling. I felt like I was too good to not get appreciation, but at the same time wasn’t good enough to stay.

So I decided to quit.

I figured the site didn’t need me. I just did a few reviews and a weekly news report that few people were reading, while the other guys are much more popular. I don’t know how I came to this conclusion, but I think it had to do with my depression over everything else. But thanks to my friends, I changed my mind.

The guys that write for this site are excellent. They are the best. There is a reason why we are called the Kliq. We truly are the best of friends, and want to stick together through thick and thin. And because of everyone else, I decided that I didn’t want to leave. While I may not be as popular, I still love writing. So I’m going to stay around, hopefully for a long time to come. I was here during a time where 411 was suffering and many writers were too busy to do anything, and it was primarily Bryan Berg and myself, and I don’t want to see that again.

So I’m very thankful for my friends for putting up with my ass. These guys are the best writers on the net, and together we form an unstoppable force. Someday, the world we’ll see that we’re the best damn game site out there. And because of that, we’re still evolving, so expect some possible changes in the future. And I’ll stick with it until they kick my ass out!

Links to the Past

Thank God It’s FRIDAY News Report – Bryan Berg
Bryan discusses Vice City’s new lawsuit, PS2 price drop, GBA and Ninja Gaiden. I tend to agree with him on the lawsuit. It seems like the Hatians are after either money or fame. Yes, you can kill Hatians in the game, but you can also kill Cubans, white people, women, etc. If it were truly racist, then the minorites would be the only ones you could kill, but really the only type of person that seems to be off limits as far as killing goes is children. There is nary a child in the game, but I think that in and of itself is a good move.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
Liquid is on part 5 of his History of Mega Man. This week he focuses on the Zero titles. Keep up the great job Liquid!

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Cory talks about the Peugeot based on Halo, Culdcept, and the ratings system. Oh, and for the record Cory, the Blockbuster in my area is similar with the ESPN games. They had football on the first week it was out, basketball just arrived there like 2 weeks ago, and they still don’t have Hockey (the only other one I’m interested in). Weird.

The Gamer’s Conscience – Frederick Badlissi
Fred pulls a Lucard and answers a ton of letters he’s gotten recently.

411MAX: News News Revolution – Alex Williams
Alex goes over the DDR World Record being broken, Beatmania being continued for the PS2 in Japan, more shitty Ngage games, and a Virtua Fighter RPG. I have to comment on almost all of these stories. A) With the world record holder, why did he pick a charity that had to do with pregnant women? The only reason I can think of is he either knocked up his girlfriend or can’t get any. And that’s not meant as an insult to DDR people, I just think there is a lot of better charities out there. B) Konami f*cking SUCKS. They’ll go and make a petition to see if people want more Beatmania in Japan, but won’t do any sort of thing in America. C) And yes, I saw those commercials with Fifa and Madden on the Ngage. Man, the graphics looked SHITTY, and I noticed that it lagged like all shit, especially when the ball was snapped on Madden. And this is supposed to sell MORE Ngages? If so, excuse me while I LAUGH MY ASS OFF.

Review: Karaoke Revolution (PS2) – Chuck Platt
This game sounds great, and I’ll hopefully be able to get it sometime before long.

Review: Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2) – Lee Baxley
This game IS great, and I want it as well. See a trend here?

Review: Jak II (PS2) – Bebito Jackson
Surprisingly, I don’t want this game. My brother has it, and I could borrow it at will, but I’m not the platformer guy. Bebito likes it though.

Sorry that this column was a little shorter than usual. I’m going to have to think of something else to do to bulk it up, after taking out the bargains. And the slow news week didn’t help things. Oh well. Today I get to do some massive job hunting, so wish me luck! Enjoy your week folks.