Mid-Week Mid-Boss News Report 03.24.04

Hey, I’ve returned! Miss me?

First off, I want to say thanks to Alex Williams for covering for me last week. It was greatly appreciated. I think he did a great job filling my shoes, and even threw in some anime news so you guys wouldn’t miss me TOO much. It’s great to work with the coolest guys in the world, where someone will always fill in if need be.

With that said, I have to do something that is very hard to do. So I’ll just come right out and say it. I am officially resigning my position as news reporter here at 411. I will no longer be doing a standard weekly column here. But fear not, I will not be leaving the site entirely. I will still do reviews and possibly fill in for other writers if they need a week off. In fact, I may continue to do a report for the next couple of weeks in this spot, until they find a permanent replacement for me.

You may be wondering why I would want to do such a foolish thing. The reasons are simple and complex all at the same time. First off, it has nothing to do with any of you readers or any of my fellow staff. In fact, if it were left up to those two aspects, I’d stay here forever because you readers have been great and the group of writers we have here is nothing less than spectacular. The reasons are all in my head.

See, I’ve written a report every week without missing a one until last week. And finally, it clicked. I’m not enjoying this anymore. I don’t know why. I guess I just burnt myself out. See, I wanted to make each and every column I wrote a special one. But each one turned out to be not only overly anal, but also overly boring. There were some gems in there, but those were mainly the ones where I didn’t care or was just too tired to write with any sort of structure. And I had always said that when I didn’t think it was fun anymore, then I’d leave. And it’s not fun for me anymore.

Who knows, I may come back in a few months, but I don’t think so. It’s just not something I can see myself doing. In fact, I kicked around the idea of starting my own anime review site, but I don’t know if that will happen either. My motivation is at an all time low, and taking on a project of that magnitude (which would include web design, scripting, database design and admin, etc) all by myself would be not only time consuming, but very difficult for me to accomplish in my current state.

So with that out of the way, what can you expect some differences when I do a news report, including this one and any others, like if I stand in for people. Anime is gone. I know that may disappoint a lot of you, but that is one of the parts that became so overly structured and anal that it just got old for me to do every week. Speaking of structure, there will be very little of it. All free form from now on. I’ll try to make it interesting, at least more so than it has been in the past.

Oh, and before I start with the report proper, I have one more thing to say, a little secret to reveal, if you will. I work for a video game company. You do the math.

Da News

Skies of Arcadia 2
Though it’s been heavily rumored for a while now, we now have SOME sort of confirmation that Sega MAY in fact be working on a Skies of Arcadia 2. Noriyoshi Oba, the big guy at Overworks, was stated that Skies of Arcadia 2 was in the “planning stages”, which could mean nothing, but I have high hopes since the original RULED. Out of all the games that I love, there are only 2 that I want sequels to be made of more than anything, and this is one. The other is Vagrant Story. So here’s to hoping. Thanks to Games are Fun.

Front Mission Paper Dolls
Over on 1up.com, they have the coolest thing ever. Well, maybe not ever, but it’s pretty damn cool. They have these Front Mission Paper Dolls that you basically print up (using a color printer on glossy card stock, preferably) and then cut out and put together. I’ve never seen anyone do anything like this before! Wish I had a printer that was capable of such beautiful work, because I doubt a black and white laser printer would do these things justice. I can’t give you the direct link because their site isn’t loading right now, but go there and you’ll see it I’m sure.

Xbox 2 So Soon?
The big buzz going around the game industry is about the next Xbox. It’s rumored to be unveiled (or at least TALKED ABOUT) by Microsoft today at the Game Developer’s Conference. If they do, chances are, the buzz will continue to grow, since they will officially be the first to talk about what their next console can do. And assuming it comes out around the same time that the PS3 does, it may be a lot better race this time around. Here’s to hoping Nintendo can get their act together and make it a three-way battle for supremacy.

News/Editorial: World of Warcraft
The beta for the World of Warcraft has started, and I was not selected. Many people I know and work with signed up, but were also not selected. The pisser of the whole thing is that EVERY game website I go to has gotten a beta account. That irritates me because it makes me wonder if ANYBODY but game sites got one. Should I contact Blizzard to be put on this beta?

See, I really wanted to do the beta not so I could find out if I liked the game. No, I wanted to honestly report my feelings to you, the audience. This is a big game, and has the potential to become one of the most popular MMORPG titles in existence, and it deserves to be covered, especially since I have gotten addicted to MMOs myself.

In fact, Blizzard, if you are reading this, I’ll tell you what. I have a bunch of friends who play MMOs, and I have a decent amount of influence. If you can hook me up with a beta, and I can witness what all the hoopla is about, I can not only potentially get the interest of my readership, but I can also let my friends see it first hand, and possibly get some converts from other games. I’m not saying they’ll leave the other games, but they’re curious about WoW, and think it looks good, but if they can see it, they may be convinced that it’s God’s gift to man.

Or, if you are in fact a regular person and you were accepted to the beta, or know someone who was, let me know. I want to know that it’s not just these big websites who got accounts. And if anyone does have an account that they wouldn’t mind parting with (yea right), let me know. I want to see this game in action. Come on Blizzard, hook me up!

Da Releases
Mar 22
Pokemon Colosseum (GC)

Mar 23
Cy Girls (P2)
Final Fantasy XI w/HDD (P2)
Mission Impossible: Operation Sumra (GC)
Onimusha Blade Warrior (P2)
Rainbow Six 3 (P2)
Samurai Jack – Shadow of Aku (GC, P2)
Seven Samurai 20XX (P2)
Splinter Cell – Pandora Tomorrow (GBA, XB)
Ten Pin Alley 2 (GBA)
Thunder Alley (GBA)
Trivial Pursuit – Unhinged (P2, XB)
XS Moto (GBA)
Yu-Gi-Oh: Dawn of Destiny (XB)

Mar 24
Dinosaur Hunting (XB)

Mar 25
Judge Dredd (GC, P2, XB)

It’s the Sports Madness Sale! 30% off such a huge array of sports games that each store didn’t get a list of what IS on sale, they got a list of what’s NOT on sale. Major Sports, Extreme Sports, even wrestling. All at 30% off. See your local Game Crazy for details.

Christian’s Comments: After a short week last time, this week is huge out of the gate. The 23rd is a big day with Final Fantasy XI, Splinter Cell, Pokemon, Rainbow Six 3. At the very least, there is something for everyone. However, if you didn’t pre-order some of this big stuff, you may be out of luck until stores can get replenished.

Lee’s Comments: This is a HUGE week. The biggest so far this year as far as big name titles go. Most aren’t my cup of tea, but I MAY end up getting FFXI if only for the hard drive. I’ve already got my personal form of MMO crack, and it ain’t that one. PokeCol sounds pretty cool though.

Da Thoughts
Why is it that driving turns me into an asshole? What’s up with that? I mean, I’m not a outward asshole, but I’m the type that wishes it were a GTA game and I could just shoot some of these people. See, I live 3 miles from where I work, and it’s a straight shot. Get out on 81st and drive East for 3 miles, and I’m basically home. Well, for the past few weeks, they’ve had the road a mile over closed, so everybody is taking MY street now. It wouldn’t be so bad except that for about 1/4 of a mile, it’s 4 lanes, and then the rest of the way both directions is 2 lanes, so inevitably, the merge lane creates a bottleneck that slows everything down. Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but what happens is that when traffic is backed up, people WHO KNOW BETTER will go into the right hand lane in an attempt to pass the slow moving traffic on the left. Since the right hand lane runs into a merge lane, the people who go there try to cut in line, which SLOWS DOWN TRAFFIC. Solution? If these people wouldn’t get into the right hand lane and then try to get back in the left lane again, traffic would move faster. Simple.

So, I’ve been hooked on Horizons lately. It’s the MMORPG I did a review over. I’m growing more and more fond of it. Addicted if you will. And on Monday, they patched the server and added the ability to dye armor, and man, am I hooked on that shit! See, I’m a crafter that makes armor, but I can’t make the dye since you have to be an alchemist to do that, but I can buy dye. There’s some nice people who are selling it for cheap at least. Not the blue dye though, unfortunately, which is the color I want most. But you also have to get special techniques to be able to apply them, and I’m hunting down the techs for a few colors now. Man, it’s retarded how much fun I have going and mining ore and then turning that into bronze bars and then turning that into armor. So, if you play on Shadow server in Horizons, look me up. Name is Darrithan, and my armor is a nice miz of bronze and green (until I get the blue to make some new stuff).

Da Thanks
Before I get out of here, I want to give some shouts out to the people that have made this such a pleasurable experience for me over the past year.

First off, I want to thank Bebito Jackson and Alex Lucard for not only being my favorite writers prior to being hired here, but also for founding and leading the Kliq, which has made us one of the strongest families of writers out there.
I want to thank Chris Pankonin for hiring me originally as a reviewer (Skies of Arcadia was my first), then as a news reporter, and for giving me a chance to write about something I love to do, and to share my passions with others.

I also want to thank Bryan Berg for hanging in there when it was just the two of us on a regular basis. If he didn’t stick in there then, I don’t know if I would have been able to go it alone. But since it was the two of us every week, we both kicked ass.

Thanks have to go to the Kliq as a whole. These guys are amazing and brilliant. Each and every one of them is so talented that I can’t heap enough praise on them. They do what they do oh so well. And together, we are an unstoppable force!

I also need to thank Eric S, since he has not only pimped me just about every week for the past few months, but he’s also praised me as a writer, which means a lot since he’s my favorite non-Kliq writer. His reports have also helped me stay sane, because it makes me realize that it’s ok to bash shit when it sucks.

I have to thank Christian, who has provided weekly new release dates for the past few months for me. He didn’t get paid for that, and he didn’t need to do that, but he did it anyway. It’s greatly appreciated. And on top of that, he hooked me up with Einhander! And I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate him once again on becoming a daddy!

I need to thank Matt Weinberg for his “Anime You Should Know” Columns, since he put a fair amount of work into them and asked for nothing in return. Plus, he’s a cool guy and yes, he knows his anime.

I also have to thank Matt Hardin, who is my #1 reader. Before we started talking on aim, we’d trade letters about my column that were longer than the column itself. He’s been a big supporter and has always told me when I rock and never when I suck.

And lastly, I have to thank all of you. Thank you to the readers who have written to me and maybe haven’t written to me. I never really did it for the readership, but it was always a bonus to hear the feedback of others, be it negative or positive. It was great to hear that people liked what I did, and I even enjoyed when people said that there was room for improvement. Without that feedback, I may well have stopped doing this long ago. So thanks to every one who has ever read my column. It’s been greatly appreciated.

Da End
Well, it’s been a fun ride. And it’s sad to see a good thing end. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. Maybe not everybody thought it was good, but I sure did. So thanks for reading.