Rumor Control: Xbox Pirates! and the pre-E3 gossip frenzy

Fake Nintendo flyers, Guardian Heroes, console booty, Shield sex shows, a DS deluge, and more.

RUMOR #1: Sid Meier's Pirates! will plunder Xboxes as well as PCs, arrr!

Source: Freewheelin' UK news site Computer and Video Games.

The official story: "We haven't announced plans to develop the game on any other platform."--Atari spokesperson.

What we heard: The PC Pirates! will revamp Sid Meier's 1987 classic buccaneer adventure with the GameBryo 3D engine used by the Morrowind series, and let players engage in open-ended advenure on the high sea. Since Elder Scrolls III was ported painlessly to the Xbox (besides the annoying inventory screen, anyway), there's no reason to think the same couldn't be done to Pirates! However, the spokesman we talked wouldn't even concede the possibilty, saying only the PC version will be on display at E3. For its part, the C&VG story only cited a "reliable shipmate" as saying the anticipated remake will be ported to the Xbox.

Bogus or not bogus?: Given Morrowind's success on PC and Xbox and Atari's penchant for market-plundering, we're going with not bogus.

RUMOR #2: A two-page flyer revealing Nintendo's entire E3 lineup has been leaked to the public.

Source: EU Nintendophiles GameCube Europe.

The official story: "It's fake."--Nintendo spokesperson.

What we heard: After sending the GameSpot GameCuber forums into a frenzy, the GameCube Europe "exclusive" was reposted countless times on various sites. At first glance, the flyer looks legitimate, as it includes many games already announced by Nintendo (Paper Mario 2, Metroid Prime 2, Wind Waker 2, etc.) and sports copyright fine-print at the bottom. However, a closer look raised some questions: Why was the Donkey Konga ad in Japanese? Why was Too Human on there, given Silicon Knights' recent split with Nintendo? The answer came yesterday, when a group of Spanish gamers revealed on Vandal.net that they had made the flyer in Photoshop and "leaked" it via fake e-mail accounts. The pranksters even gleefully listed all the forums the flyer appeared in, proving that it's never too late for a good April Fool's joke.

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus, by the creators' own admission.

RUMOR #3: Nintendo will unveil 30 games for its double-screen DS portable at E3.

Source: Reuters, the gold standard of journalism. Seriously, they are.

The official story: "We can't comment on statements made by third parties."--A Nintendo spokesperson.

What we heard: In the article, Hirokazu Hamamura--President of Famitsu magazine publisher EnterBrain--did indeed say he expected Nintendo to unveil 30 DS games at E3. However, the confusing wording of the article made many think Hamamura's comments were an official Nintendo announcement. The confusion started with this line: "Nintendo continued to benefit from its strong position in the handheld market with its Game Boy Advance and EnterBrain President Hirokazu Hamamura said he was eagerly awaiting the company's new handheld Nintendo DS." Many readers unfamiliar with Hamamura read "its Game Boy Advance and EnterBrain President" and thought Hamamura was Nintendo's Game Boy Advance President. "We don't even have a Game Boy Advance President," said a half-exasperated, half-bemused Nintendo rep. However, given Hamamura's Famitsu connection, his words are pretty hard to dismiss....

Bogus or not bogus?: Thirty DS games sounds kind of high, but there will almost certainly be a bunch on display. Not exactly bogus.

RUMOR #4: Sega is porting its Sega Saturn adventure Guardian Heroes to the Game Boy Advance.

Source: Online retailer Amazon Japan.

The official story: No comment.

What we heard: According to the Amazon Japan listing, a game called Advanced Guardian Heroes will be released on September 16 with a retail price of 5,040 yen ($46). Released in 1996, the original Guardian Heroes was a side-scrolling adventure whose branching storyline made it an instant cult classic, and the prospect of a GBA port had many old-school gamers excited. However, that nostalgia dissipated when Japanese site GameOnline reported that Advanced Guardian Heroes will NOT be a port but rather a sequel, with new characters and a new story (or stories). For its part, Sega has not made any official announcements whatsoever.

Bogus or not bogus?: Given GameOnline's knowledge of the Japanese market, we'll have to go with bogus.

RUMOR #5: To promote its game based on FX series The Shield, Sammy Studios will stage a full-on sex show at its E3 booth.

Source: The usually solid but apparently delusional Eurogamer.

The official story: "Hahahahahahaha!"--Sammy spokesperson.

What we heard: According to the Eurogamer article, a member of The Shield's development team recently spilled some juicy information about the PlayStation 2 title. Speaking at an undisclosed location, Point of View's Rob Sandberg said that, given the intense nature of the TV series, the Shield will be the most adult game to date. "We've been told to really push the ERSB ratings by our publisher, Sammy," Sandberg allegedly said. To drive that point home, Sammy supposedly planned on going one step beyond the scantily clad "booth babes" that dot the E3 landscape. "The E3 booth is a sex show," Sandberg was supposed to have said. Apparently, though, Eurogamer's "sex shocker" is just an old-fashioned misunderstanding. "In the Shield demo, players start off inside a sex shop," said a Sammy spokesperson. "We told Point of View to push the limits of the police-game genre's realism. By no means are we going to try and push the ESRB."

Bogus or not bogus?: Sorry, E3-goers, looks like you'll have make do with the booth babes. Bogus.

To see the video edition of Rumor Control and all the latest gaming news and reviews, tune in each week to Let's GameSpot!

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