Mid-Week Mid-Boss News Report 03.10.04

Rather than do my standard intro here, I’m going to rip off another Kliq member. Why? I dunno, it seems to go with what’s running around in my head.

Lee’s Rip-Off of Cory Laflin’s “Quasi-Random Thoughts” Sans Catchy Title Because Lee Was Lazy

– Nothing much happening lately, except for more time spent playing games than normal.
– Rented Drakengard, liked it for what it was, and will be reviewing it within the next few days.
– Actually purchased Horizons, and as I expected to happen, my wife got hooked. Hopefully, they will allow you to purchase a separate CD key for $5/mo, which is what they claim, so that we can actually play at the same time!
– One thing I’ve realized a lot lately is that there is very little good on TV. Between the music, religious, and crap channels, there is just so much garbage. I know others will disagree with me though. Maybe I’m just getting old.
– My mainstays are still Discovery, TLC, and occasionally Animal Planet.
– Oddly enough, after admitting my love for American Chopper and American Hot Rod, Discovery has announced a new show. It is called American Beauty Shop. Scary. I don’t know if it’s a one-shot or a series, but it looks interesting enough to take a look at on Friday.
– Has anyone seen the Chevy Colorado commercial where the guy is singing the Shania Twain song? I’m sick of that f*cking commercial. They play it all the time. It’s so stupid simply because if the other four men in the car were so bothered by the fifth singing, they could have done any number of things. Changing the station is one. Asking him to stop is another. Shooting him in the face and tossing his lifeless body from the car while still in motion is yet another. But no. These men apparently fear conflict more than I do, and so they just look all disturbed and stuff.
– Because of the Drakengard review, I’m going to be a lazy ass this week and not do an anime review. In fact, this week has been relatively light on all fronts, so the column as a whole will be shorter than normal.
– And though it’s a couple of days early, happy anniversary to this column!

Gaming News

Growlanser Generations Bonus
Anybody who knows Working Designs probably expected this, but they are planning on releasing a special edition version of their next title, Growlanser Generations. Unlike previous titles, there will be two versions, the special and the not. The not version will be just the game, but the special version will come with extras like Working Designs is so famous for, like a game themed wristwatch and case, a ring on a chain, the games OST, and a deck of Growlanser playing cards. You can check out pictures of the items at the link below. Personally, these are the best looking extras I’ve ever seen in a game. I just hope that it doesn’t set the game back any. Working Designs is one of those companies that should never set release dates, simply because they ALWAYS break them. Despite that, they will certainly get the preorder from me!
Credit: Games are Fun

Tales of Symphonia Release Confirmed
As I’m sure it has been accepted, Tales of Symphonia WILL be released in America. I don’t think any sort of concrete release date has been announced, but the latest word is that it will be released sometime in the Summer of this year.
Credit: Gamespy

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.

Mar 9
Tenchu – Return from Darkness (XB)
The Suffering (P2, XB)

Mar 10
Corvette (P2)
Firefighter FD 18 (P2)
Mafia (XB)
Metal Gear Solid – The Twin Snakes (GC)
MVP Baseball 2004 (GC, P2, XB)

Mar 11
Scooby Doo: Mystery Mayhem (GC, P2, XB)

Mar 12
Colin McRae Rally 4 (XB)
Lifeline (P2)
Worms 3D (GC, P2)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. For the month of March, get your strategy on at Game Crazy! Purchase any new game and get 33% off the corresponding strategy guide. See your local Game Crazy for details!

Christian’s Comments: The solid hits (no pun intended) just keep on coming this week. Mafia FINALLY gets released on the Xbox, MVP Baseball steps up to the plate, and Metal Gear Solid takes centre stage. Some other titles to check out, The Suffering (one of the freakiest demos I’ve ever played) and Colin McRae Rally 4 (just $19.99 for excellent rally racing action).

Lee’s Comments: None of these games excites me, but there is quite a bit to offer nonetheless. Ninja fans who have gotten tired of or already won Ninja Gaiden have Tenchu, stealth fans have MGS: Twin Snakes, and racing fans have Colin McRae. There’s just about something for everyone, except for me!

Anime/Manga News

Mahurabo OFFICIALLY Licensed

I reported on this a couple of weeks ago, but this is just an update. It’s true, it’s true, Mahurabo has been licensed by ADV. The series should start being released sometime later this year.
Credit: Anime on DVD

Tales of Symphonia Anime

In more Tales of Symphonia news, in another bit that is not really surprising, Production IG has announced that they are starting work on a Tales of Symphonia anime. This isn’t surprising because the same company played a part in the creation of the game in the first place. No word on release dates.
Credit: Anime News Network

Anime/Manga Press Releases

Wizard World – Los Angeles

Wizard World will be holding a convention further west than they ever have before. Held in Los Angeles on March 19-22, the popular convention has two cool distinguishing things about it. First of all, it will be the North American debut of Bandai’s Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Second of all, the guest of honor will be Kevin Smith, only one of the coolest people alive today. In addition, guests like Ron Perelman, Guillermo Del Toro, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes and artist Alex Ross will appear. Makes me really wish I could go!

Anime Releases

Release Dates provided by Anime on DVD. See past releases at my website.

March 9, 2004

Arcade Gamer Fubuki
Central Park Media
Birdy the Mighty Vol. #1
Central Park Media
Boys Over Flowers Vol. #4
Chobits Vol. #7
Cyber City Vol. #1
Central Park Media
Initial D Vol. #4
Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #2
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Vol. #3
Neon Genesis Evangeion Director’s Cut Vol. #2
Private Psycho Lesson (H)
Anime 18
Someday’s Dreamers Vol. #3
Tenchi Muyo GXP Vol. #1
Tenchi Muyo GXP Vol. #1 (w/ artbox)
Urotsukidoji: New Saga Collection (H)
Anime 18
Wedding Peach Vol. #1
Wedding Peach Vol. #1 (w/ artbox)

Note: In the above table, TSRI stands for The Right Stuf International and ACS stands for Robert’s Anime Corner Store. (H) means Hentai, so Adults Only on those!

Comments: This is a pretty big week in more ways than one. Central Park Media is starting up a few series, just like ADV with Wedding Peach and FUNimation with the latest in the Tenchi series of shows. Several other series are trucking along just fine, and then there’s Geneon’s two finales this week. Chobits is a keeper, and Someday’s Dreamers looks good. Great week overall.

Matt Weinberg’s Anime You Should Know

Sometimes an anime series is made that comes to define its genre. When I, or any anime fan, thinks of Samurai anime, we should think of Rurouni Kenshin.

Once again, Kenshin began as a manga series and was adapted into an anime. Roughly one hundred episodes of a TV series and several OAVs depict the life of the man named Himura Kenshin. This is his story, a story of redemption.

The plot of Rurouni Kenshin is very interesting in that unlike most anime, Kenshin is historical fiction. The people, places, and events that transpire are based upon things that actually happened during Japan’s 1870’s. Our hero, Kenshin, was an assassin who fought in the troubled times of 1860’s Japan. Having had his fill of bloodshed, Kenshin has decided to help people any way he can. With his powerful “Hiten Mitsurugi” technique accompanied by a reverse-blade sword, he can defeat any opponent without killing them.

The TV series can be broken down into three major arcs: the first “Tokyo” arc, where Kenshin meets friends and has several adventures; the “Kyoto” arc, in which Kenshin and friends battle Makoto Shishio, Kenshin’s assassin successor who seeks to rule Japan; and a final arc, the second “Tokyo / Religion” arc in which Kenshin battles new foes and political issues. The OAVs deal with Kenshin’s life as an assassin in Kyoto in his youth, as well as his final days.

Animation for Kenshin may seem a little crude these days although the series is only ten years old. However, it’s a period piece, so the animation is well suited. The music is simple, this major Japanese rock-stars performing the opening and closing themes. Judy & Mary’s “Sobakasu” (Freckles) is very famous from its inclusion in Dance Dance Revolution 6th Mix. Do yourself a favor and check out the music themes for Kenshin.

That having been said, it’s time to come to a close. If you like Samurai anime, you need to see this series if you haven’t already. Rurouni Kenshin is an anime for the ages; one of the best. Without a doubt, an anime you should know.

Links to the Past

One thing I’ve learned from Eric S. Pimp him, and he pimps you. He rocks that way. Wrestling from yesterday, Black from last week. A few things I want to touch on. It IS cool that the games Kliq has come together, and had we not, I probably wouldn’t be here anymore. It has made the site much better, even if most people don’t notice how. Also, the EA Prez is just copying the rest of us. We were bashing it long before he said anything, so he’s just trying to pretend that he’s hip and cool. And I don’t deserve any pimps, much less the Pimp God Slot, but I am very appreciative nonetheless.

Thank God It’s Thursday News Report – Bryan Berg
Berg talks about one main thing: how games supposedly make people fat. Why is it whenever somebody does some sort of analysis on this type of thing, it’s always total bullshit? Sure, I’m fat, but it’s not because of video games. In fact, I’m unable to play games as much, AND I walk at least a mile or two at work daily, but I’m STILL fat. These are the people that want everybody to be a jock and not enjoy intellectual pursuits LIKE video games and reading.

The Angry Gamer – Liquidcross
LC dishes out some random rants for Mega Man groupies, FFVII: Advent Children, and GTA San Andreas.

411MAX: News News Revolution – Chuck Platt?!
Chuck fills in for Alex this week and gives us news on The Shield game, the Pink GBASP, and Tron 2.0 on the Xbox. And yes, a game for The Passion would SO kick ass.

Retrograding – Alex Lucard
Alex’s RPG Countdown, 18-16, and 3 games I wish I had.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory Laflin
Cory is PISSED. That doesn’t stop him from giving us news on Worms, Tomb Raider and the Xbox’s Flash Memory system.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Video Games – Misha
Misha goes over the Nintendo Sequels at E3 (ohhhh, I wish I could go!), Resident Evil 4, and Serious Sam.

A Thumb to the Eye – Chuck Platt
Chuck scares me more every day. He has joined the ranks of the Otakukin. There is nothing more I can say.

Tons of reviews this week. More to come I’m sure.
Review: Mega Man: Battle Chip Challenge (GBA) – Liquidcross
Review: Rise to Honor (PS2) – Matt Yeager
Review: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) – Alex Lucard
Review: Intellivision Lives (Xbox) – Alex Williams

That’s it for this week. My Drakengard review should be out soon, so look for it. Also, a Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life review should be coming from me in a few weeks. So read everybody else and especially the non-games stuff, because it all (or most of it anyway) rocks!