Raincheck for the Wii, Sex and Violence don’t mix, and Christmas Nights in Japan? – Welcome to the column that promises to have a very merry christmas but still undecided on the new year known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. I can safely say this past week, I did zero gaming. Yep, zilch, zero, nada. That’s what going up to Ohio and spending seven days in some remote frozen tundra will do for you. I did stop at one Gamestop though. Bought 2 games and 4 dvds (buy 2 get 2 free) for $40 and some change. Final Fantasy XII (Collectors Edition) for PS2, Dead or Alive Ultimate for Xbox were the pickups for games. The girlfriend will be playing FF XII shortly. I will be playing DOA when I get to it I suppose, I just like the double disc package as it was in near-mint condition and complete. The dvds I procured was Hellboy: Blood & Iron, The Prestige, Producers (2-disc SE), and Dead or Alive: The Movie. Yes I bought it, how could I not? Bad movie making at it’s finest. I’ll let you know how awful it is sometime soon. More than likely, the games will be much more entertaining than the movie. Me< ---sucker for video game-related movies (but for some strange reason I don't own Super Mario Bros or The Wizard).
Another interesting picture for this week. Kinda of a business sense if you will. Morgan certainly can have the professional look and that is what we are seeing here. We love the fun Morgan that dresses in zany outfits and different colored hair dyes. But we also appreciate the down to earth Morgan that just hangs out with you and shoots the breeze.
Reggie Fils-Aime may have referred to it as a raincheck program, but GameStop’s official name for their pre-pay Wii program hitting on Dec. 20 is the Wii Certificate Program. There are a couple other things Reggie was a bit off on, according to the details released this morning from GameStop.
The Wii Certificate program will run just one day, Friday, December 21. Customers will be able to go in and hand out the full $250 to reserve a Wii console for pick-up on January 25. Reservations must be made in-person at any GameStop or EB Games location in the U.S., including those in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The number of reservations available at each store is limited and only one Wii can be reserved per a household.
The certificate itself will be in a custom-designed DVD case featuring a picture of the Wii and Mario. Once the reserved Will arrives customers will receive a telephone call saying it’s available for pick-up.
I have to admit I’m a bit tempted by this. However, I’m not buying the farm on this one. How much do you want to bet that not everybody will get their Wii on January 25th regardless of reservation? If Gamestop/EB gets flooded on December 21st, Nintendo won’t magically make more to meet production needs. They are already reporting they are at capacity making Wiis. If they do make more to meet needs, then they are lieing to us about previous production capabilities. Catch 22 if you will. Not to mention, it kinda kills the christmas spirit. I can imagine the conversation between parents and kids now:
“Hey Jr, open up your Christmas gift!”
“Wow, ok; I hope I got a Wii from Santa this year”
*unwraps gift*, sees a dvd case with a note attached.
“What the F— is this?”
“It’s a promise that you will get a Wii, but on the 25th of January; isn’t it great?”
“Ummmm no! I want it now. I’m going to go over to Johnny’s house, he has a Wii and we are going to smoke pot. Take care now, bye bye then”.
Meanwhile, Dad will sell the dvd case and raincheck slip for ten times what it is worth on Ebay. Everybody makes out as far as I can see.
Sega Japan announced today that the upcoming PS2 remake of the original Nights: Into Dreams will include a mode of play called Christmas Dream. To access this mode, which takes place in a snow-filled world and features Santa clothing for the Nights character, you’ll have to clear the main game.
Fans of the original Nights will have probably made the connection by now, but Christmas Dream is based off Christmas Nights, a Christmas themed bonus disk for the original Nights that was given away to Sega Saturn owners both as a special pack-in with the system and bundled with a magazine. As with the rest of the remake, Sega has updated the visuals for the PS2.
The PS2 Nights: Into Dreams remake, Christmas Nights and all, hits Japan on 2/21. A release outside of Japan has yet to be announced.
Nice, I happen to own Nights for the Sega Saturn and while I don’t fully understand the game; I do appreciate the pretty visuals and like playing it on occasion. The Christmas dreams bonus disk is a little on the hard to find side so I really haven’t pursued buying it for the Saturn. To be honest, I would not expect this to hit American shores outside of the Wii overhaul version which is out this week. The only way an American PS2 copy will happen is if it gets strong sales on the Wii. So folks, everybody who has a Wii; go buy it! It’s still funny how one can get more excited for a potential PS2 release than most PS3 releases. The PS2 is still a goldmine for remakes and compilations due to broad appeal and millions of consoles across the world. I really hope it continues for a couple more years.
Sex Workers Anonymous
You may not be aware that today is the fifth annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, but the Toronto Sun and Anastasia Kuzyk of the Sex Workers’ Alliance of Toronto are. The latter was quote in the former as saying that “Sex work is a job, and violence isn’t in the job description” and points to depictions of violence against prostitutes in popular culture as legitimizing. Specifically, Kuzyk points a finger at Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series.
There’s a video game out there where you can run down prostitutes and kill them and beat them up and take their money. It feeds into the whole subculture of allowing the violence to continue. Violence against sex workers should not be normalized, but it is.
It’s somewhat of an odd aside for the topic, but I suppose it warrants discussion. The beating of hookers is one of the Grand Theft Auto’s focal points when discussing its level of violence, mostly due to the perception that one benefits greatly or is scored better somehow for the killing of the game’s street workers. However, virtually any bystander can be beaten and killed for reward.
One might think that Rockstar would be better off dropping this gameplay aspect in Grand Theft Auto IV and future entries in the series.
If Grand Theft Auto ever removed that feature, people would stop buying the game. Seriously. I understand that selling your body (translation: sex) for money is the world’s oldest profession but come on, do you think you really have a leg to stand on in this?
“If it may please the court, we would like to present evidence of prostitutes being lured into the car and then driven into an alley. There we have sex, as shown by the car bouncing up and down. We are then let out and here the driver gets out, beats us up, kills us and then we drop money where the driver can get our services for free….this depicts violence against…”
“If I could stop you right there miss, you have sex for money?”
“Yes, I’m a part of the Sex Workers’ Alliance; this negatively portrays…”
“Case dismissed, and arrest that lady and bring her into my chambers. Have a pot of hot coffee ready and be sure to take my car for a new paint job and engine at the Pay n Spray before bringing it back here”
Sure violence against these women is wrong. But what are they expecting to be done? Make the game more realistic? Perhaps a setting where after you perform such a deed, a guy in gold chains and a purple velvet pin-stripe suit runs down the street screaming “You killed my bitches, I’ll kill you!” or receiving a random STD would be more appropriate.
The world’s simplest and best soccer simulation (don’t tell EA!) hits XBLA this week. This is basically a very fun and deep soccer sim which originally cropped up in the 90’s when soccer games were not the norm. Therefore it did real well, especially in the market where people wanted realistic soccer. You know futbol. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t stand soccer but I would give this a try at 400 points. 800 is a bit much in my opinion when you consider that the game is pretty old and is basically only getting 480p graphics and multiplayer Live options. I’m an american sports snob, I confess.
Since Space Giraffe was released a few weeks ago, it makes only sense that we get the original in classic and enhanced forms. However, for a very cheap 400 points you get 4:3 or full 16:9 mode along with full screen anti-aliasing. Also included is something called Throttle Monkey mode. This is Tempest on crack and speed which will help those who play Tempest normally on crack and speed and don’t have money this week. I kid but the main allure is the old classic version. The old classic version was one of the first video games I played in the arcades. I’m very tempted.
Cybernator is an interesting forgotten game that was released on the SNES. You play as Jake who pilots a Federation Assault Suit. The Suit fits Jake’s body but also includes weapons and special accessories. Kinda of a mech feel. Naturally the game takes place in the future where a massive war is taking place between the Axis and the Federation. The game featured good action and even got a follow up remake on the Japanese PS2 in 2004 but was mostly ignored.
The next game, Alien Storm was published around the same time Altered Beast, Golden Axe and other side-scrolling adventure games were. I wasted a few quarters on this one as I found the action to be comparable to the jillions of Golden Axe quarters I threw away. However, what always frustrated me was when they would switch the action to a first person shooting mode. It didn’t make much sense and seemingly was trying to combine 2 games into one. Outside of that, it was enjoyable and certainly worth a look.
Also known as Wonder Boy III, this title was half arcade shooter and had some platforming elements. In the beginning of the round, you had a sword that would shoot (kinda like Valis) where you collect powerups. Then the second part of the round you could ride a dragon which you used to shoot enemies and defeat the boss at the end of each round. It was fun, even if it was a bit childlike in appearance. All titles look kinda interesting this week, its that “kinda” week.
MX vs ATV: Untamed
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
MX vs ATV: Untamed
Luxor: Pharaoh’s Challenge
Atari Classics Evolved
MX vs ATV: Untamed
MX vs ATV: Untamed
Nights: Journey of Dreams
Kidz Sports: Basketball
Rig Racer 2
Elements of Destruction
MX vs ATV: Untamed
Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command
Indianapolis 500 Legends
Slow weeks are upon us again for releases. Neo Geo Battle Coliseum got pushed to this week, and you know what I could still use a copy *hint hint*. Nights Journey into Dreams is the obvious big title this week as the classic game finally gets an overhaul. I might celebrate by throwing the old Sega Saturn game in the drive. But enhanced graphics and better gameplay should make this a good purchase, especially for those with kids. MX vs ATV gets a mass release, I’m sure there are a few fans out there; just not my bag to be honest. As mentioned last week, watch what the Wii is putting out and be careful with what you purchase. I swear there was a PC version of Rig Racer and it was marked as one of the worst games ever. The PS2 version of RockBand also hits streets as a complete money grab due to the wide user base. I’m still not sold on RockBand and while I like the concept, it just doesn’t seem to be selling very well. Scared of the price most likely.
For the 4th year in a row, my group of gaming friends had our annual Christmas Swap-A-Thon. This year, I received Oblivion, Game of the Year edition which includes Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine extra content on a second disc. Only odd thing is that you have to still download the content to your hard drive. Mine is already sitting at 10.8gigs free, so an extra gig off is kinda scary. I will probably temporarily remove the Lost Planet content since I’m not using it right now once I start playing. Then just get it back if I need too. Yeah, yeah I should get the bigger hard drive. But even though I’m only on my second 360 (only, ha!); I’m holding off for the current point in time. I’m seeing how the Elites fare in the RROD department. If it is significantly better, I might go ahead and buy an Elite, do the transfer thing and dump the old 360 on Ebay. Might make sense, you know? In the meantime I just might have to be a bit more selective of which arcade games or DLC packs I procure. Have fun kids and a very merry Christmas.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)