Week in Review – 01/20/03

January 25, 2003

You have to love a busy week in the gaming world. I’ve read so
many press releases this week I think my brain is going to explode
with information. In addition to all the happenings this week, I’ve
been devoting most of my free time to Final Fantasy VII. For those
of you who are new or don’t know why I’m playing an old PSone game
I’ll fill you in. I’ve never been a fan of RPGs. I picked up Wild
Arms 3 for the PS2 a few weeks ago and actually did enjoy it for
a while. Pickle seems to have made it his life goal to get me to
agree with him that Final Fantasy is the greatest game series ever.
Never having played a FF game before, Pickle took it upon himself
to force me to play VII. So I’m being a sport and giving it a shot,
he’s convinced it is the greatest game of all time. It remains to
be seen if this will be the game that converts me in to an RPG fan.

We hit 1,000 posts on the forums this week.
I have to say that I’m pretty blown away by that since we’re still
less than a month old. I also want to invite everyone to get involved
in the forums that currently are not. We have been getting a ton
of traffic to the site and the majority of our visitors haven’t
gotten involved in the forums. We’re here to provide a gaming community,
not just a news and reviews site. This site is only going to be
as good as our users make it. So get involved!

Metal Gear Solid for the PSone is one of the greatest games I’ve
ever played. Yeah it was a little short, but it was damn fun and
had a great story line. Metal Gear Solid 2 was a different story.
I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something just not right
about that game. I own it, I played it a lot, and yet I never had
the endurance to finish it. I think that part of the problem was
that they tried so hard to recapture the success of MGS and neglected
the story a bit. When I played MGS I was so involved in the story
that I couldn’t sleep because I had to know what was going to happen
next. While I don’t have anything extremely positive to say about
MGS2, I don’t have anything extremely negative to say about it either.
The reason I’m giving you a brief history of my feelings toward
the MGS series is to give you a little background before I start
talking about MGS3. I read a brief interview with Konami producer
Hideo Kojima over at Xengamers.
Konami has already begun work on MGS3 and Kojima is heading up the
project again. After reading the three-paragraph interview I gained
a lot of respect for Kojima. Gamers everywhere are probably thinking
that Konami is beating a dead horse with the MGS series after MGS2
and MGS: Substance. I don’t blame Kojima for trying to recapture
the early success of MGS and releasing another entry in the series,
he’s just doing his job. I really got the feel from his interview
that he understands that many gamers were let down by MGS2 and that
MGS3 is really going to have to be something special. When asked
what we should know
about MGS3 so far Kojima replied, “To be
honest though, I didn’t want to do a third installment. I don’t
like how companies feed off the popularity of a series and continually
release sequels. In this case however, the outcry from the fans
has been overwhelming and I’m convinced there’s enough new ideas
for another Metal Gear.”

Kojima also went on to discuss the visual and technological leap
that they were able to make from the PSone to the PS2, and the difficulties
that they were going to encounter making another game on the PS2
without the same jump in technology they had last time. “Developing
another installment on the PlayStation2 will force us to maximize
the capabilities of the hardware. That’s one of the reasons why
I originally wanted to develop Metal Gear Solid 3 on PlayStation3.”

I, for one, feel extremely positive about MGS3 and I think that
everyone who is interested should definitely take a chance to read
the entire interview. It’s good to see a game producer who doesn’t
just answer the typical pre-programmed responses when asked about
a game. I think that Kojima really has a desire to please the fans
of the series, and that type of devotion to the fans usually spells
out quality results.

As I’ve learned from the forums recently that the second I mention
the words “Playstation 2” I get bombarded with people
telling me how much the PS2 sucks and so on. So immediately a lot
of gamers are going to be disgusted that MGS3 is going to be on
the PS2. Since I have the luxury of spewing my opinion in a format
other than the forums I am going to do so now. I own a PS2, if I
had the money I would probably have an Xbox as well. I consider
the Xbox to be the superior console on the market right now, but
PS2 did beat it to the market. I’ve noticed that people seem to
have forgotten that PS2 beat the Xbox and the GameCube to the market.
Yes, PS2 has flaws. Yes, it is not the best console on the market.
But it is leading console as far as game sales go. PS2 is not a
“bad” console. I like my PS2 and I still think it is best
console for sports games. And why do you people keep bitching about
the controller? If you’ve ever played SSX than you know that the
PS2 controller is perfect for this type of game. I have played the
GameCube enough to know that with the exception of Animal Crossing
the games are crap. Crap! If it weren’t for Animal Crossing and
the up-coming Zelda I would be in a total fit about the GameCube.
Personally I do not like the GameCube controller at all! The buttons
aren’t in the right positions and I don’t feel like it’s very designed
very ergonomically. Unfortunately I don’t have anything bad to say
about the Xbox, I don’t think it’s fair to even try and compare
it to the Cube and PS2. With all that said, I just want people to
calm down on the PS2 ripping a bit. It has its advantages and drawbacks,
just like everything else in the world.

Now that I’ve defended the PS2 I’m going to take my shots at it
as well. I was one of the poor suckers that bought this thing off
Ebay the day it came out. I paid way too damn much money for it.
Now every time I put a damn game or DVD in my PS2 I get that “Disk

Read Error.” Every god damned time! I have to sit there and
fidget with it for 15 minutes just to put on a movie. And where
are all the damn upgrades I was promised when I bought this thing?
It’s two years later and the online capabilities still don’t seem
as popular as they made it seem they were going to be. I sold my
damn DreamCast to get enough money to pay for the PS2. I’ve got
Sony’s back for now, but I would jump ship to Xbox at any given
time if I had the money. PS3 better kick some royal ass or Sony
is going to get buried. My relationship with my PS2 is basically
love-hate as you can probably tell. It’s like having a girlfriend
that you’ve been dating for forever and kind of want to dump but
it’s still hard to let go. I think my PS2 and I need to see a relationship

The news that spurred this kind of pissed off state I’m in about
my PS2 is that Sony is releasing components to try and turn the
PS2 into some sort of all inclusive home entertainment system. They
are calling it a “digital hub.” Sony is releasing some
sort of add-on for the PS2 so that you can store, edit and save
digital photos. Gee Sony, that would be fucking fantastic if I knew
that it wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg and that every
time I try to work with a photo I got a “Photo Read Error.”
Following this component is a harddisk and Internet software. You
know what, I’ve just changed my mind, I hate the PS2 now. How much
do you think I could get towards and Xbox if I traded it in? One
of you EB guys let me know.

In movie news, Nintendo reportedly sold off the movie rights for
Metroid to Variety. If the movie is half as bad as Metroid Prime
the game then this will be another game turned movie flop. In the
“who gives a flying fuck department”, Angel of Darkness
got pushed back. I’ve never played a Tomb Raider game, never seen
the movie, and I never intend to do any of the aforementioned. News
on F-Zero GC is starting to heat up. I am pumped, I love F-Zero.
The screens look absolutely fantastic. All the news about the Warcraft
III expansion pack came out this week. All the details have pretty
much been covered in the news section and the forums so I don’t
have to go in depth. If any of you follow my articles than you know
that I am obsessed with Warcraft III. This expansion pack could
be the thing that pushes me over the edge of failing out of school.

Ok, that covers anything that I deem important for this week.
Pickle may be out of commission for a while because he played the
Zelda demo. He has been known to vanish for weeks at a time whenever
he gets into an RPG. Snackbar t-shirts are being designed right
now and will be on sale sometime soon. Time for my usual shout-outs;
EBgames Hueber Oaks guys kick ass. They do more for our site than
anyone. Paladin IT Services kick ass as well. They are helping us
get our hosting problems fixed and they are great contributors to
the site as well. Google is dangerously close to getting the official
SB middle finger because their stupid spider won’t go through our
site correctly. That’s all, Soda out.