Thank God It’s TUESDAY News Report 01.06.04

Welcome to this very special edition of TGIT! It’s not TGIT as you know it; instead, it’s Thank God It’s TUESDAY! This means that I only need to write a report on Monday and Wednesday to have covered all five weekdays, which would be a pretty monumental feat.

But trust me, I’d much rather not have to do this report. Simply put, Chuck Platt has some serious real-life stuff to attend to. Having been in his position before, I know how tough it is and I wanted to do my part by filling in for him this week. The reason I say that I’d rather not do the report is that I hate to see a friend have to deal with the situation that he has to deal with. But he’s a trooper and he’ll be alright, and most likely back in action next Tuesday.

This week marks a very important time in 411’s recent history – for the first time in two weeks, you’ll be reading news reports with actual news in them. Damn the others for going on extended holiday break – what are they, in high school? Report news for Christ’s sake! Anyway, it should be a nice reprieve from what you’ve been reading recently. So enjoy!

Pre-Order Sin City Before It’s Even Announced!
If you’re fortunate to live in the UK, is the place to be! This site is so good that they have the ultimate inside scoop about the next GTA game, and you can even pay for it now! Even before Rockstar mentions ANYTHING about the game!

Rumor has it that the next GTA game will be based in Las Vegas and subtitled “Sin City”. Amazon’s UK site has taken the ball and ran with it, so far that they’re taking pre-orders for the game. The game will cost 29 pounds and has a release date of November 5 according to Amazon. Of course, there hasn’t even been an announcement of the game, so Amazon has either pulled off a stroke of genius or really screwed themselves.

Amazon may be trying to latch on the success of the GTA Double Pack and the recent controversy regarding the Haitians and Vice City. And it appears to be working – the unannounced Sin City is already the 139th most purchased item in all of Hey, if people are going to buy games before they’re announced, then Amazon’s done a better job of getting the pulse of the public than maybe they should be doing. And yes, it’s already been reviewed.

In any event, whenever this game is finally announced (and the rumor has been going around about Sin City for at least a year now), we’ll be covering it here at 411 Games. THEN you can pre-order it!

Nintendo Saves Face In Europe
While us American gamers have been living it up with the Legend of Zelda collection throughout the holiday season, our friends in the UK haven’t been so lucky. Turns out Nintendo has made the disc a little too limited edition overseas, and made it near impossible to obtain. Only 1,000 copies were pressed and 4,500 “stars” were required to obtain the collection – in other words, you’d have to buy a Cube, a GBA SP, and FOURTEEN full-priced games. To put it mildly, gamers weren’t pleased.

So Nintendo has made it right for its English fans. The Zelda collection is back in circulation. And it’s way easy to obtain now – all someone has to do is purchase one full-priced game or two Player’s Choice games. That’s it. That’s how it should be done. Somewhere along the line, Nintendo forgot that the Zelda disc was supposed to be an obtainable incentive to thank Cube owners for their business in 2003 and made it into a battle for GC supremacy instead. Nintendo deserves criticism for bungling the situation in the first place, but credit for rectifying the problem.

Beyond Good and Evil is Beyond Cheap
After reading Alex Lucard’s review of Beyond Good and Evil (which will be up on Wednesday), Circuit City has slashed the price of the PS2 version of the game down to a mere $9.99. This follows the suit of Amazon and EB, who are now selling the game for $19.99. Evidently, Beyond Good and Evil didn’t sell nearly as much as Ubisoft expected, despite getting solid reviews on other sites.

But something tells me that there’s something more to this story than is available to the public. You don’t just go selling a game that won a GameSpot award for Best Story for $10 just to get rid of inventory. If the game’s as good as some people say, the stores wouldn’t have a problem moving it at normal price. With the $9.99 price tag, the game will sell like wildfire, but the quick price drop says something about the quality of the game. It’s like when the development team of RAW 2 was fired right after they finished making the game, only this is something the public is going to see and react to. Of course, they’ll react in a way that translates to buying a cheap game, which will give Beyond Good and Evil a best-seller accolade that it doesn’t deserve. There’s another piece to this story, and hopefully we’ll get it soon.

Rainbow Six 3 = Porn?
This one is just funny. In a level of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3, there’s a level with a website URL along the wall. The URL has since been purchased by an unemployed tech worker, who decided to increase traffic to his just-purchased web site by linking it to porn sites. Smart thinking, dude.

Now, gamers everywhere will have access to free porn, even if indirectly, through Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six on X-Box. Who said games can’t have social value?

When asked for comment, the URL owner made a very significant claim – the game is made for someone 18 or older and is supposed to be sold to someone 18 or older, and someone 18 or older is legally able to procure pornography is most areas. This rationalization of his actions obviously doesn’t satisfy Microsoft or the game’s producers, Ubisoft, but does bring up an important point. You’ll see a ton of people who are out to get the gaming industry jump all over this story, linking gaming to porn and claiming that kids shouldn’t be subject to content of this nature. Of course, if the games were actually sold the way they’re supposed to, it wouldn’t even be an issue, but that’s a wishful thought if there ever was one…

And the Haitians STILL Aren’t Pleased
Take-Two Interactive responded to the recent Haitian cries of racism by removing lines of dialogue that were deemed to be offensive to Haitians. Evidently, this isn’t enough to please the Haitians, who are now seeking $15,000 in damages and the cessation of the sale of Vice City. The suit will be heard in court by the Florida State Circuit Court.

Game fans everywhere will cry out “Frivolous Lawsuit!” at this, but think for a minute. This isn’t suing Wal-Mart for $246 million. This is a group who wants, above all else, their people to benefit. The $15,000 is a relatively nominal amount that is merely there just to get the case into court, in all likeliness. And I think the court will see this, which could have huge ramifications for Take-Two and the industry as a whole. If the game is found to be offensive enough that its sales need to be banned, imagine how future games will be treated! Hopefully, the parties can resolve their dispute before Take-Two loses a significant source of its income.

I realize that I haven’t done plugs in the past two news reports. This is because the past two haven’t really been very news-filled. With their news-lackingness, I felt it would have been… how shall I say it… odd. So they’ve stayed out. But now they’re BACK! So I’ll go back to New Year’s Day and plug everything we’ve done since then. Sound good? Hope so.

Alex Lucard – Retrograding Mailbag. Alex kicks off the year with the first piece posted at 411 Games in 2004! And it’s a good one to boot! BTW, Golgo 13 RULES.
Here’s a hint people: Golgo 13 for the NES. There is your GTA before there was GTA. And it’s SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Alex Lucard – Sword of Mana. Our first review of 2004! Did you know that the Final Fantasy Adventure games were really the Mana games in Japan? Mind-boggling!
When a major character dies, the hero calls out for example. “Blast it! BLAAAAAAAAST IT!” Ugh. Who actually would say Blast It having spent their life killing for the amusement of rich people and politicians. I guess they just wanted the E label that badly”

Alex Williams – 411MAX: News News Revolution. AW is suffering from the same Newsitis that has bit all of the news reporters recently. That should change on the upcoming Friday!
Not only that, but they are also going to be giving away 70,000 copies of the Tomb Raider N-Gage game.

Yes. 70,000 copies.

That’s more copies of the game than N-Gages sold to consumers, I’ll bet.

Frederick Badlissi – The Gamer’s Conscience. A really neat article that should get some companies to look at their games to make sure you can actually play through the damn thing before they release it. Well done, Fred.
To think- I dropped 50 of my hard-earned dollars on an installment to, in my opinion, one of the most refreshingly original representations of a classic story of revenge and sacrifice, ONLY TO HAVE IT NEARLY END DUE TO ONE LOUSY F-ING GLITCH!?!?!?!??!?!

Bebito Jackson – Top Spin. God, this game is awesome. It’s awesome that Bebito reviewed it rather than one of us sports fanboys, and it’s even better that he agrees that it’s awesome. Awesome!
Honesty time, people. This type of game has been around for a loooong time. No matter how much we try to dress it up, tennis games come down to a glorified version of Pong.

Cory Laflin – Gamer’s Hangover News Report. Cory makes a great argument against Sony’s proposed “Video Chat” system that requires use of the Eye Toy. A must-read.
Here’s to hoping that it’s not true; that anyone with a Network Adapter for their PS2, or anyone with an OUT-OF-THE-BOX PS3 can hook into Sony’s proposed Wonderland.

Commentary of the Week
Sorry Fred… gotta do a sports one today, especially with the big news coming out of New York…

Stephon Marbury is coming home.

In what one sports-talk-radio host called “the biggest trade in Knicks history”, the Knicks acquired Marbury, Anfernee Hardaway, and a European for Antonio McDyess, Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley, two Europeans, and two draft picks. They gave up a LOT, but they got a top-tier point guard and a guy who can be a great 6th or 7th man.

Say what you want about Isiah Thomas being the new president, but he’s at least done SOMETHING to improve this team besides sign Utah Jazz castaways. He’s changed the entire team atmosphere. They won four in a row last week! I was at the Garden when they blew out the Heat by 29 and you could tell that something good was happening with this team. Van Horn is playing amazing basketball, Mutombo has been blocking everything, and Houston’s been Houston. Add a starting Kurt Thomas and newly-acquired Marbury to the picture and you’ve got a team that will not only make the playoffs, but could do some damage once they get there.

There’s a possibility of clashing egos on this team. This is where we’re going to see how good a coach Don Chaney really is. He’s gotten a raw deal since Day 1 with this team, being forced to replace Jeff Van Gundy after he quit out of nowhere, then having nothing to work with. Now, we’ll see what kind of job he can do with a legitimate NBA starting five. Hopefully, it’s a good one, because even though the Knicks dumped a lot of salary, they also took on a lot. They can’t very well go out and acquire another star. What they have is, for the most part, what they’ll have in April and (hopefully) May. And that had better be enough.

But the prevailing feeling is that it’s now exciting to be a Knicks fan again. I’m tired of being beaten in Inside Drive games on Live with the Knicks and their crappy roster, and I’m tired of seeing the Knicks lose 75-71 games over and over again. This trade has definitely made the Knicks a team to watch this season, and that’s enough for me.

That does it for the very special Thank God It’s TUESDAY edition of TGIT. I’ll be back Thursday with the usual Thursday goodness. Thanks for reading. See you Thursday!