Mid-Week Mid-Boss

Hey Yo. Welcome to the Mid-Week Mid-Boss! Yes, yes, I have returned, once again. I think I’ve left and come back way too many times, but then again, I’m Kliq 4 Life!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a self-proclaimed video game and anime addict. Though sadly, I haven’t had the funds for anime in quite some time, so that particular addiction is on hiatus for a while. Video games are a cheaper obsession though, so that’s still going strong. There’s not much else to say, since I’m a pretty boring guy. I work and I game and that’s about it.

For those of you who remember me, I’ll give you a little update. Over a year ago, I printed my last Mid-Week Mid-Boss. Around that time, it was determined that News Reports should go the way of the dodo, and I stopped doing my column. I showed up and did a few reviews, and then vanished. That’s because my life took a big turn in October of last year.

For those who weren’t aware, I was working at 2015, the game studio that developed Men of Valor for the Xbox and PC, and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for the PC. In October, it was determined that I wasn’t needed anymore, so I we let go, which is perfectly fine. I hold no ill will or anything like that. But I went on unemployment. I kept looking for a job, and during that time was just having problems paying the bills. I did end up getting World of Warcraft, and played it from January to June. I ended up getting two characters to level 60, and was on my way to a third when something clicked in me and I got dreadfully bored of the game all of a sudden, and quit playing.

It was about that time that I got a call from a place I had applied to, and they wanted to interview me. I ended up getting that job, and started in July, and have been working there ever since. It’s a great place, and I really like it. But around that same time, I realized that my relationship with my girlfriend was basically over, so I actually did the deed and broke up with her. So here I was, single and with a new job making good money. So I figured what the hell, I’ll come back and start writing for Inside Pulse again.

This column will follow the basic format I used to follow on my news reports, with a few differences. First off, no game releases, since those have been taken over by Misha, who has been doing a great job with it. Second, no anime. Like I said, I haven’t watched any anime in a while (except for Bleach, which is a fansub), so I can’t realistically report on the goings on in the anime world. And finally, since it’s more of a column than a news report, it’ll probably end up being more freeform than it used to be.

So sit back and relax and let’s have some fun.

In The News
According to the release dates on EBGames.com (which may or may not be correct) Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PC has been delayed until November 21st, putting the release in line with the release of the Xbox 360 version
Honestly, this is no real surprise. There was really no reason for the release dates to be separate to begin with, and Oblivion is very important to the Xbox 360. They will have a good variety of games at launch, and it’s VERY good if they have an RPG there too. Hopefully they will have it finished by launch. (Source: Action Trip)

A couple of pieces of Megami Tensei news. First of all, Atlus has announced that they are producing a Megami Tensei game for the Playstation 3, but no other information was revealed. Also, Atlus is offering a pre-order bonus for Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2. Pre-order it from the usual suspects and you get a bonus soundtrack.
The PS3 announcement is no big deal in my opinion. I doubt they’ve even started work on this game yet, and are probably just in the early planning stages, which means that there is no information to be gleaned. They are still working on Devil Summoner: Kuzuha Raidou, which is a spinoff of the series, so I expect them to finish that first. And it’s cool that they’re offering a soundtrack. I think that will soon be a standard practice. It’s too bad that it won’t be the “real” soundtrack, and to get that you’ll have to import it. But at least it’s something. (Source: Games Are Fun, RPGFan, Gamefront)

Sega and Petroglyph are teaming up to release a brand new Real Time Strategy series to PCs. For those who are unawares, Petroglyph is made up largely of people who used to work for Westwood, who are responsible for the creation of the RTS genre with games such as Dune 2 and Command and Conquer. No other details are known.
Petrogylph is currently hard at work on Star Wars: Empire at War, which will be yet another foray into the RTS genre for the Star Wars franchise. Hopefully it will be better than the last several tries. I like that the former members of Westwood left the company to do what they do best, which is make games, rather than doing what they were doing while at Westwood, which is getting screwed over by EA. (Source: Games Are Fun)

Game girls will appear naked in Playboy again, in what apparently has become an annual event. “Hotties” from several games, including Indigo Prophecy, Darkwatch, Blitz: The League, and 50 Cent: Bulletproof, will appear.
You knew it had to happen. And as expected, most of the games are just no-namers that are looking to drum up some publicity. I’m rather surprised that Indigo Prophecy is contributing to it, since that game not only seemed more straight laced, but also sounded pretty cool, so just the fact that it’s on this list makes it drop a few notches in my “interest” book. (Source: Gamespot, CNN Money)

What I’ve Been Playing
Well, mainly I’ve been playing Radiata Stories, but you’ll be getting a review out of me on that game, so I’ll talk about another game I played recently that has a bad rap:

Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Yes, the game exclusively features emotionless large breasted women as characters, which is the main reason people didn’t play it. It was regarded by many (including myself) as a worthless skinfest. But there are a few things that make it worthy of play.

First off, it’s a damn good volleyball game. Now, I haven’t played a volleyball game in a while (like since NES days), but this is still fun. It’s relatively fast and action packed, and it’s just fun.

Second, I like the collection aspect. There are over 300 swimsuits you can collect, with quite a bit of variety. In addition, there are like 150 wearable accessories (like hair clips, hats, sunglasses, shoes) and 150 collectables that don’t really do anything, but you can collect. It’s fun to try to collect everything.

And lastly, it’s got really good graphics. Some of the best graphics I’ve seen in a console game. Tecmo really knows how to get the most out of the Xbox in my opinion, which is why Dead or Alive 4 is going to be one of the first games I’m getting for the Xbox 360. More on that later though.

The game does have its flaws though. While the volleyball is fun, it suffers dramatically from what I’m gonna call sports game syndrome. See, in a sports game, the way the difficulty is adjusted is with the AI. The harder the game, the smarter the AI, and the other way around. This game is no different, except that you can’t really control the difficulty. Now, I know for a fact that the first game you play, the AI on your opponents is turned to “Mental Deficiency”, but it seems to jump around erratically from there. Some games, it’s easy to crush the opponent 7-0, but the next game, against the same opponents with the same partner, they can kill you 1-7. It didn’t make much sense. Games like that, where you lost simply because the computer determined it wanted you to lose were VERY frustrating.

Equally frustrating is trying to get all the swimsuits. Each girl has a certain amount of suits only THEY can get, and the only way to get ALL the suits on one girl is for them to be given all the suits from all the other girls, and the only way to realistically do that is to play as that girl and give it to your “main” girl as a present. The only problem with that is that if you give your “main” girl a present, she may throw it out before you get control of her again. It’s hard to describe, but needless to say, it sucks spending a ton of money for a suit and it getting thrown away.

Regardless of these flaws, the game is a lot of fun, and I recommend it for a rent at least.

What I’ve Been Watching
With the new fall season coming out soon, I’ve really been getting into the TV mood lately. I know this isn’t a TV column, but it’s MY column, so I can talk about TV is I want. Nyah.

Anyway, a few months ago, I was intrigued by the trailers for a little movie called Serenity, so I decided to check out the show it was based on. I watched the first episode of Firefly and was totally blown away. I know some of the other guys on the site probably think it’s lame, but chances are, they either haven’t watched ANY of the show, or didn’t start from the beginning. Personally, I think the show is great, and after hearing the commentary tracks, it really makes me appreciate what they went through to get the series made and to see it cancelled. Hopefully the movie is a big hit and it gets picked up for either more movies or even better, the series gets renewed on Sci-Fi (which currently has the rights).

My family also got the first season of Lost, so we’ve been watching it. It’s a pretty good series. I wasn’t totally excited with it as some people have been, but it’s a good story, and the presentation is very good. The flashbacks are really cool. My only problem is that there is quite a bit of having to suspend disbelief for the show. I mean, moreso than normal. But it’s still fun.

PC Game Demos
So I was bored this weekend, and I didn’t know what to do, so I went and downloaded a few PC game demos.

The first I played was Starship Troopers. If you haven’t seen the movie, you HAVE to rent it. It’s awesome. It’s made by Paul Verhoeven, the guy who introduced us to Sharon Stone’s beaver. Anyway, it’s about a bunch of marines fighting a bunch of aliens. Kinda like in the movie Aliens except on a VERY large scale. Anyway, the demo was decently fun, but I honestly don’t see myself going out and getting this game. I like the movie and all, and the game seemed to capture that somewhat, but it just didn’t click with me. I don’t know why.

Next I installed F.E.A.R., which was developed by the fine folks at Monolith. We’ll just forget their mistake called The Matrix Online and remember their wonderful games like No One Lives Forever 1 and 2 and Shogo. This game may seem at first like your standard First Person Shooter, but you quickly realize it’s more than that. It’s closer to a FPS-Horror game. There are several times where you see ghosts, much like Fatal Frame, and boy is it creepy. Just this demo was much scarier than Doom 3 ever was, and it didn’t even use the Doom 3 crutch of “omfg it’s dark!”. I think this game uses the Doom 3 engine though, so I think it’ll be a good use of it. I’m definitely looking forward to this game.

Lastly, I played Age of Empires 3. And from what I’ve seen, the game has a lot of potential. Sadly, the demo isn’t all that great, and you essentially get no tutorials and are just thrown into the fire. A lot of the concepts are interesting, and it plays a little differently than previous RTS games I’ve played, but I’ll have to check out the finished product before forming an opinion. And I don’t know if I’d be willing to spend the money on it.

If you’re interested in downloading any of these, you can get them from Fileplanet.

So Am I Crazy?
Well, I already know the answer to this, but I thought I’d lay it out anyway. See, for some reason, I’ve whipped myself into an excitement frenzy over the Xbox 360. Yea, yea, I know, it makes no sense, but the frenzy is there. The games being released for it in the immediate future don’t make me all giddy, but I still want the system.

So I went ahead and preordered it from Walmart, since they have the best bundles, where you can actually choose the two games you get with it. And you get the premium set, a second wireless controller, a charge and play kit, and a 12 month subscription to Xbox live, so it’s all stuff I wanted to get anyway. I figured why not.

The games I picked were Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland. I don’t know if either will be available at launch, but I hope they will be. I have a buddy who works at Bethesda, and he says Oblivion is incredible (but couldn’t give any more info than that really…damn NDAs). And Tony Hawk is Tony Hawk.

I’ll probably preorder Dead or Alive 4 from somewhere as well, or just buy it at launch, since I doubt there will be a shortage of games. Hell, I don’t even know if Walmart.com will get enough 360’s in, but I’m hoping that since I preordered on the first day the bundle was available, I’ll get one of the first batch. I know I probably won’t enjoy any of the 3 games enough to merit buying the whole system so early, but I don’t know, it’s just kinda something for me to work for. A goal to attain.

Yea yea, I’m f*ckin crazy, I know.

I may have had different methods of doing this before, but I’m just gonna give you guys a hodge-podge of all my favorite reads.

Eric S. – As is my tradition, I’m pimping him first. He’s still the man.

Lucard is the man as well, but in a different, spookier way.

Gloomchen isn’t a man. If she is, she does a good job of covering it up.

Coates is somebody I don’t know, but I like his column, and he gets bonus points for the whole Douglas Adams theme.

Madden 06 pissed me off and even though it is the only football game released in the year that I just happen to get back into football, I will not be buying it. I spit on you EA. I spit on you NFL. And I spit on you Madden. Oh, you’re old. You’re used to saliva being all over the place. You drooling freak.

Well, that’s it for this week. Hope you liked it. If not, well, that’s cool too. Let me know either way. I love hearing from people. Just ask Matt Hardin. He used to email me all the time and now we like do stuff together, like umm, chat on AIM and stuff. So yea, if you play your cards right, you may end up like that!

Anyway, chill out and have fun. Seeya next week.