Mid-Week Mid-Boss 08.18.04

Welcome back to the Mid-Week Mid-Boss! Well, I guess not necessarily welcome BACK. This may be the first time for some of you. In that case, you’re a Mid-Boss virgin! Time to pop that cherry!

Ummm, anyway, I got some good feedback last week in regards to starting an anime sub-section here at Inside Pulse. It’s not going to happen immediately, simply because after I get the go ahead from the boss, we’re going to have to do hiring and all that fun stuff, and who knows how long it’ll take. So it’s on hold for now until things get settled, and that’s just fine with me.

I’ve been reading all of Chuck Palahniuk’s books lately, except for Diary which I can’t find, and man does his work blow my mind. So smart and witty and disturbing and funny all at the same time. He wrote Fight Club, and Hyatte talked about Choke in one of his columns. All his books are good reads, so I’d recommend any of them. Survivor and Choke are probably my favorites, but if you pick up a book with his name on it, you won’t be going wrong.

Man, there are going to be some good games coming out soon, so I may do a little preview thingy this column. I don’t know yet. I think I’m gonna ditch the news entirely, simply because you’ve read all of it elsewhere. Sure, if I find something to comment on, I will, but for the most part, it’s just rehashing what other people have said. So let’s get on to the column.

Game Previews
There are going to be quite a few good games coming out within the next few months, but there are some that are MUST GETS for me. These are ones that you’d have to cut my left nut off to stop me from getting. And even if you called me Lance Armstrong, I’d STILL get it. These are the game that are on the top of my list, and maybe I’ll give you an idea why they should be at the top of yours too!

Star Ocean III (PS2)
I’m not looking forward to this as much as my girlfriend is. She counts Star Ocean 2 as one of her favorite games, and we’ve both been waiting for this game to be released in the states. And waiting. And waiting. Seriously, this game has been delayed so many times. Fortunately, Squenix decided to be nice to us gaijin for once and they’re throwing the Director’s Cut in to the package. So we’ll get the definitive Star Ocean 3 package here in the states, finally. And it’s only a week away.

Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 (All)
I’ve always been a fan of the Tony Hawk franchise, and each release seems to evolve into something new and different, and this title is no different. We will see more evolution from what occurred in the previous title, which is a good thing. I don’t know exactly where they’re trying to take the franchise, but every one gets better and better, and the series sets the bar so high that very few companies will even attempt to make an extreme sports title. Oh, and if the game wasn’t going to be awesome just because it’s Tony Hawk, you can also get Phil Margera (Bam’s dad) as a skater, and he’s only wearing his boxers! How f*cking cool is that?

Half Life 2 (PC)
I’m not SUPER excited about this game, but I will play it regardless. Thanks to the good folks at ATI, and having my job, I get a free copy of Half Life 2 when it’s released. As the time draws closer, I get more excited, because I really enjoyed the first game, and I know the folks at Valve know how to make a good shooter with a good story. In fact, I have already preloaded the Counterstrike Source Beta stuff, so sometime today I’ll be able to play that, to get a little sneak peek at what this engine can do. And then I’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the game itself. Bonus: It comes with the original Half Life, except they imported it into the Source engine, so the graphics and physics are updated. Sweet!

Men of Valor (Xbox, PC)
Yes, I’m f*cking biased. Leave me alone. Ok, this game is by the company I work for, 2015. It’s a Vietnam War shooting game, but unlike previous games they focused on historical accuracy almost as much as pure fun in the game. And it IS a lot of fun. Some battles are hectic, and you actually FEEL like you’re in the jungle. Pick up the Xbox Magazine and get the demo. You too will see how this game will redefine war shooters. Ok, I’ll shut up now.

Fable (Xbox)
As everyone knows by now, I love RPGs. I am also a huge fan of free-form gameplay, a la Grand Theft Auto or Spiderman 2. Well, Big Blue Box and Lionhead apparently decided to take those two ideas and combine them into a freeform RPG where pretty much anything goes. Ok, so you’re walking through town, and you talk to some random guy. You don’t like what he says, so you flip him the bird. He gets really pissed off and is really rude to you, so you kill him. This is just one example of one of the many things you can do in this game. I can’t describe it very well withough making it sound really weird. Here’s a preview on IGN that really lives up to its name. I’m not the biggest IGN fan, but this preview is excellent. The insane things you can do in this game make it sound like it could end up being one of the greatest RPGs of all time. It’s too bad I can’t do the review for the site. Grrrr.

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.

August 17
Alida (PC)
Astroboy (P2)
Astroboy: Omega Factor (GBA)
Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2005 Adventures (PC)
Ghost Hunter (P2)
Hot Shots Golf: FORE! (P2)
Marine Heavy Gunner (PC)
Pro Fishing Challenge (XB)
Starsky & Hutch (GBA)

August 18
Dark Fall: Lights Out (PC)

August 21
Half-Life 2: Behind the Game (PC)

Release dates courtesy of Christian at Game Crazy. Game Crazy has decided to stop having monthly MVP Events. We felt it just wasn’t enough! So starting August 23rd, Monday through Thursday at MVP Bonus Days! Up to 30% off selected items and they change every week. See your local Game Crazy for more details.

Christian’s Comments: Not much this week. The biggest looks to be Hot Shots Golf: FORE! It’s going to be a good one, kinda like Mario Golf for the PS2. Ghost Hunter might be good as well. I’ve seen some good shots of it, but the early reviews paint it as merely average. At the very least, it’s rental to see if you like it. Astroboy looks pretty decent as well. Next week is looking huge though, with things like ESPN NHL, NASCAR, SRS, Star Ocean, Phantom Brave, and Gallop Racer.

Lee’s Comments: Christian will be happy to know that there are now a few Game Crazy stores in my area! In fact, one is just down the street from me. Haven’t paid a visit yet (damn money) but I’ll check it out soon. And I’m with him on this. There isn’t anything this week that catches my fancy. Hot Shots may be appealing for some people, but I can’t say about the rest. I’m going to be saving my money for Star Ocean next week!

Fansub Theater
I’ve done this once before, and I’m going to do it again. As a sort of disclaimer, this is not to promote piracy or anything of the sort. In fact, I want people to buy more anime. But only from reputable sources, so be careful on ebay.

First, is this article that goes into details on something that fansub fans already knew. Read this first. Finished? Ok, good. For those of you who didn’t read it, it basically says that anime fansubs are responsible for the anime explosion in America, which is absolutely true. This is an age where the RIAA will LIE and say that music sales are down because of illegal song downloading, and sue at the drop of a hat, and neglect to realize the reason is because music sucks and the record companies have been price gouging. At the same time, anime companies are doing pretty well, and anime popularity is growing at a phenomenal rate. Don’t count out a fan. Treat your fans well, and they’ll treat you well in return.

Ok, now on to the guts of this section. Today, I’m going to talk about a show called Oruchuban Ebichu, or Ebichu, the Housekeeping Hamster. The premise of the show is simple: Ebichu is a hamster who can talk. She lives with her master, known only as Office Lady (OL). And Ebichu does the housework and takes care of the house while her master is gone. Oh, and she doesn’t like her master’s boyfriend.

Ok, the premise out of the way, I have to tell you why I’m talking about this show. First of all, it is NOT for kids in any way shape or form. This is despite the fact that the show is drawn in a fashion that makes it look kiddie, and Ebichu is very cute, but this show is very adult. It’s not pornographic, but the content is quite mature in nature, involving a lot of sex.

To put it bluntly, this show is very f*cked up. It’s at least as, if not more f*cked up than Excel Saga. And the laughs are pretty much non-stop. Every episode made me laugh out loud a lot. It’s just very ridiculous and hilarious how some of the situations arise.

I don’t want to spoil any of the laughs, but needless to say, if you want a good laugh over sexual-related humor, you need to watch this show. You can download it at AnimeSuki. The title currently isn’t licensed, and it doesn’t look like it will be at this rate. I suppose it’s just too risky a title. Since it’s not hentai, the hentai companies won’t go for it, and due to the adult nature, most of the other companies would pass. I would love to see an American company release this show though. It deserves it.

As an aside, this show is actually made by Gainax, the same people who made Evangelion. Scary, eh?

Links to the Past (Week)

Wrestling, Daily – Eric gets the top slot because he’s the MAN. But wouldn’t that be bad since the MAN is holding me down? Either way, read him.

Rapid Fire – This is Berg’s new column, and honestly, it’s some of his best work yet. It flows much better than his news reports (not that they weren’t good, this is just BETTER).

The Pulse Cannon – Michael O’Reilly’s new column talks about what games he’s been playing as of late.

Encore Extra Stage – Williams brings out the nude code again. How many of you fell for it??

The 10th Art – I’d like to publically welcome Ben Parfitt to the ranks of Inside Pulse Games. This is a great article, and though it’s something that Misha and others have said, it’s nice to hear it from more and more people. Welcome, Ben.

From a Gamer’s Basement – A.J. Angeloni’s first piece for Inside Pulse is the too true statement that most gamers aren’t made of money.

Gamer’s Hangover News Report – Cory talks about the differences between Madden and ESPN and why ESPN is sooooo much better! Actually, he doesn’t say it quite like that, but that’s the truth.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Video Games – Misha and Marvin made their return to England and are serving up their usual goodness.

And of course, here’s a rundown of the reviews:
Sudeki (Xbox) – ME!
Hamtaro: Ham Ham Games (GBA) – Lucard
Puyo Pop Fever (GC) – A.J.
Karaoke Revolution Volume 2 (PS2) – Williams
Echo Night Beyond (PS2) – Lucard
NCAA Football (Xbox) – Cory
Pure Pinball (Xbox) – Yeager
Astroboy (PS2) – Michael Donahoe

Well, that’s another week in the bag. There are some good an exciting things coming in the near future, so be sure to keep reading.