Straight Scoop Vol.1 No. 9

Article

posted 11/4/2002 by Michael Askounes
other articles by Michael Askounes
Hello to everyone out there in e-land, it’s your man Mike with another poorly written but seldom read edition of the Straight Scoop – the column where we tell you the news the way you ought to hear it. Also, a quick note to the one person out there at reads this column (no, I’m not counting you, Editor!), I’ll be taking next week off as I’ll be in sunny San Francisco attending a party that Westwood Studios is throwing to kick-off their new title Command & Conquer: Generals. They’re even picking up the tab!

On to The Straight Scoop… remember that this is an editorial take on the news, so the author (that’s me!) will definitely make his opinions known and will try to put more of a gamer’s perspective on the news as opposed to the usual PR Department-driven copy that you usually find on the ‘Net and in print. We hope you enjoy the Scoop, and welcome your feedback as well as your financial contributions. Not necessarily in that order…

As always, if I decide a story is not interesting enough I completely reserve the right to make stuff up.... If you’ve got any “dirt” you want to share with me, or just want to give me a hard time, contact me at michael@md.adelphia.net.

Lay down all thoughts… surrender to the void…


Monday, October 28

Microsoft has teamed up with the “king of beers” Budweiser to market its X-Box console. Under the deal, Budweiser will help the Microsoft rotate 300 X-Box units through thousands of bars in the United States. “Guess they’re marketing to the ‘so drunk they’d buy an X-Box’ crowd,” said Gern Blensten – my Ethiopian houseboy – “beats going home with the fat chick, I suppose.”

It looks like Nintendo is in a bit of hot water with the European Union, as the political body has fined the console giant $160 million for unfair sales practices dating back to the mid-90’s. It seems that Nintendo purposefully stemmed the flow of games during this time in order to artificially inflate wholesale prices of its products. Nintendo’s lawyers have responded by collecting coins, jumping on turtles, and eating mushrooms. [insert canned laughter]


Tuesday, October 29

Microsoft and Ensemble Studios today released a whopping 350MB demo of its much-anticipated upcoming game Age of Mythology. The trial version allows gamers to play through five scenarios and test their strategy across two random maps using the Zeus civilization. I’ve played through a late beta of Age of Mythology, and I can tell you with much confidence that if you liked Age of Empires II, you’ll like AoM. I can’t say anything further than that, as Microsoft’s Bill Gates has subcontracted out-of-work deity Zeus to make sure that no journalist passes judgment on an unfinished version of the game.

Infogrames announced the release of the add-on pack Civilization III: Play the World – an expansion that will allow gamers to play Civilization III against other humans across the Internet. In addition to multiplayer capabilities, Civ III: PtW will also includes single player enhancements such as new scenarios, new civilization, and interface enhancements. Better start researching those “Jolt Cola” and “Depends Adult Diaper” technologies!


Wednesday, October 30

The final roster for the upcoming PS2 title WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth has been announced by THQ, and rasslin’ fans will be happy to hear that it includes old WCW and ECW stars as well as long time WWE wrestlers. Chris Jericho, Booker T, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam are among the 60 grapplers you’ll be able to choose from in the game. No word on whether “’roid rage” will factor into the onscreen game play – we’ll have to wait at see.

Australian’s hot ‘n’ sassy Environment Minister Sheryll Garbutt has issued a country-wide plea for her countrymen and women to start taking showers together! This statement comes about due to a severe drought that has ravaged the “Land Down Under.” “It’s a very popular idea around my office for people to be showering with a friend,” says Ms. Garbutt.

In unrelated news, I’m moving to Australia and applying for a job at the Department of the Environment.


Thursday, October 31

As expected, Infogrames’ Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 shot to the top of the sales charts in no time flat, making it the must-have game for the holiday season. Sources are also predicting that it will be at the top of the “returned games” list next week, when consumers realize that there is pretty much no difference between Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 and the original. We waited almost 4 years for what?

Eidos Interactive has announced that it is going to take advantage of the gaming public’s thirst for games in which they can simulate being a murderous sniper by porting Hitman 2 over to Nintendo’s Gamecube console in Spring 2003. Game play should be similar, although in the GC version the protagonist (known only as “47”) will wear big red shoes, overalls, and use a water gun instead of live ammo. Players will collect coins and play mini-games to upgrade their weapons. There no truth the rumor that I just made up stating the game will be renamed The Legend Super Hitman Party Prime Advanced 2. Although that would be funny, wouldn’t it?


Friday, November 1

Bethesda Softworks has announced that the expansion pack The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind: Tribunal has gone gold, and should be appearing on store shelves within weeks. The add-on – apparently targeted to unemployed persons who have a lot of free time – includes a new central plot that meshes seamlessly with the original, new cities and dungeons to explore, and new weapons and monsters to experience. If you want “bang for your buck,” there no doubt that Bethesda will deliver. If you want “stable relationships” or “physical health” you may want to look elsewhere…

Ubi Soft announced that it is working on a sequel to the popular Batman: Vengeance console title, and it shooting for a Fall 2003 release. The title will be an action/arcade affair where Batman will get to use his wide variety of weaponry to fight off Gotham City’s villains. Philippe Erwin – Vice President of Incoherent Sentences – stated, “After the success of Batman: Vengeance, the popular Batman franchise will continue to make strides in the gaming world with a sequel.” When I figure out what that statement actually means, I’ll get back to you.


That’s all for this week, check back next Monday morning for the next edition! Same Game Time… Same Game Channel!