by Shane Satterfield
Yes, I'm back and jet-lagged to the hilt. Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, but by the time I got into the office at 10:00 in the morning, it was almost 2:00am Japan time. Needless to say, I was and still am a bit wiped out. But I've gathered the questions and supplied the answers per The Spot protocol, and you can look forward to yet another bootylicious episode tomorrow. While I'm here I'd like to thank you all for treating Miguel with the same respect you've shown me, and I'd like to give props to big daddy M for doing an excellent job in my absence. Hopefully, you'll all take me back. But enough of the formalities. It's time to get this week into high gear.
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PC on the PS2
I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer:
1. Do you know if The Sims or EverQuest PC games are going to be on the PS2?
2. I think someone answered this before, but can you get online with the PS2 without the hard drive?
3. Which do you think is better: SmackDown 3 or Raw is War? The latter has very good graphics and a deeper grappling system but the former has more people on screen, and a lot more matches.
I was under the impression that Sony would show EverQuest for the PS2 at E3, but I was dead wrong. It seems like a no-brainer to me. Why launch the PS2's online network with a game like SOCOM: Navy Seals when you already have a bona fide killer app in Evercrack? You can play online games with the PS2 without a hard drive, and you should be able to download smaller files (like roster updates for sports games) as well.
Nintendo Loves Japan?
Hey Shane, I've been reading the site for about a month now, and I'm enjoying it. Keep it up. My question to you is this: Do you think that Nintendo has been considerably more favorable to the Japanese market than to the U.S.? I realize they are based there and Japan is where it all started for them, but I can't imagine that the U.S. is any less important economically. It just seems to me like every policy Nintendo employs caters to the Japanese market. I guess my main example is the new look of Zelda. I admit that I was (and
kinda still am) disheartened when I saw the one-minute trailer. I imagine though, that this change will go over much better in the anime-crazed homeland than it has over here so far. I could bring up more examples, but I'll keep it short. What are your thoughts?
On the contrary, I believe Nintendo is really hooking up gamers in the US. We'll be getting more GameCubes at launch, and a few games (like Rogue Leader) will be released in the States well before Japan gets them. Heck, Rogue Squadron II wasn't even shown at Space World. The only gripe I have is that Japan gets the fatty orange Cube before we do, but I can deal with a black one until more colors arrive. I don't understand why everyone is so upset about Zelda. It looks amazing--maybe the most visually impressive console game I've ever laid eyes on. And you know the gameplay is going to rock. So what's there to worry about? I find it shallow to write a game off simply because of its art style, but then I like Zelda's new direction anyway. In my opinion, the only mistake Nintendo made was showing the old art at E3 knowing the game had already been switched over to the new look.
Dragonball Z for Adults?
I just want to know where in the hell all these new DBZ games are? Infogrames claims to be developing all these new games for us DBZ fans and yet has failed to produce any pics or updates of any kind. I really don't consider a brief description about Legacy of Goku coming to the Game Boy Advance [a big deal]. Sure the GBA is the best handheld system on the market, but so what? I enjoy my games the best when played on my 32-inch Hitachi w/s-video and my surround sound booming at me from all angles. Is DBZ not the most popular anime/cartoon in America right now? Please don't try to say Pokemon is because those numbers are based on some company that sends some peon out and asks a bunch of 4-year-olds what their favorite toon is. I'm talking mass market with jobs and money. I run a video game store in Chattanooga, TN, and have more than 30 people a day ask about any news of a new DBZ game. Most of those people are my age (24 or older). The import games help to tide us over but I want to play a better game with words I can actually understand. PS graphics are so dated and I think that it's obvious that Bandai has no clue about making good video games. So please do us all a big favor and give Infogrames a call and ask them what the big holdup is. Thanks for your time.
-Super Saiyan Dan
If you're talking mass market and money, nothing is bigger than Pokémon in all of video games. It just won't die. And I find it hard to believe that the majority of people asking about a DBZ game are over 24. My 8-year-old cousin is into it, but not many adults are. So far DBZ has been announced for the PS2 and GBA and that's it. We haven't received any word about when we'll see the first screenshots from the game. But judging from the series' popularity, Infogrames will likely wait until it's looking good before showing it.
The Zelda Debacle
OK so Miyamoto is developing this next Zelda game, right? A long time ago (when Zelda didn't look ridiculously stupid) I read an article that said the next Zelda would be developed by the same guy who did Majora's Mask. Could this mean anything, or am I just in denial? I hope we see a more mature Zelda in the GameCube's lifespan, because, let's face it, if Nintendo doesn't grow up the PS2 is going to win this war with ease.
I don't understand why everyone thinks the initial shots of Zelda for the GameCube represent a more mature game. He's an elfin child for God's sake. Why does everyone want Link to keep getting older in Zelda games? Why would Nintendo limit access to arguably its biggest franchise by making it an M-rated game? Nintendo will never have as many games with violence and suggestive themes as Sony or Microsoft. It's the facts. If you can't appreciate a game unless it's filled with gore and cleavage, you should stick with the PS2 or Xbox. That's not what Nintendo's games are about. Miyamoto is overseeing Zelda for the GameCube, but Mitsihiro Takano of Majora's Mask fame is directing it.
Too Many Games!
The Spot is the biggest thing since Final Fantasy VII came to our shores. Anyway, I have noticed that there are quite a few new PlayStation games out that you guys haven't reviewed (probably because they're bargain games that are so bad that the companies won't want to send them to you to review). Can you clear up why these games aren't reviewed.
Right now it's a question of manpower. There are so many games and so many shows coming up in the next few months that it will be difficult for our crew of six to keep up with it all. Not that I'm complaining. The end of this year could be the best three months in the history of video games. You'll eventually see reviews for them all, so please stick with us and stay tuned.
Big in Japan
Hey Shane. You're back from Japan finally and I got some questions for you that I would love to get answered. So here they are:
1. Is there any other Twisted Metal game in the works other than Small Brawl?
2. Will Metal Gear Solid 2 be as short as the first one?
3. Do you guys know anything new about the Dragonball Z games?
Thanks if you can answer them Shane and I'm glad you're back.
It's good to be back John M. Small Brawl is the only other announced TM game in development right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if the sequel to Black is already in the works for the PS2. We don't know how long MGS2 will be, but we're pretty dang excited that it's only a few months away. Woohah!
Digital Output and Bugs
Shane, I have two major problems:
1) I can't get the digital output to work right on the PS2. I have a song in the Music Generator program that I want to upload to my computer. I have a sonicport USB interface that has worked with many other high-end multi-track recorders. But when I record from the PS2, the speed and pitches are higher (when I play the song back on my computer) and there is a lot of noise. Do you know if the bit depth of the PS2 is 16bit/44.1KHz, or is it something else?
2) When in Dynasty mode in NCAA 2002, anytime I break the record for passing yards in a game, it screws up the dynasty. If you go to the weekly awards screen after the game, and press L1 or R1 to go to the different conferences (Big East, etc.), it now says "Empty String." If I save it, then try to load it later, it says that it is unable to load the file. I have screwed up three dynasties and had to restart them until I figured out the problem. Is this an isolated situation, or have you heard of this before?
Thank you for your help. The Spot rules.
I'm calling in Sam on your question about USB. Take it away SP.
Sam responds: I assume that the Music Generator program has some sort of upload option that specifically directs the audio stream over USB. Whatever audio data format the Music Generator program is sending over the USB port shouldn't be determined by the PS2's audio hardware (which can sample at 44.1KHz and 48KHz). It seems to be a software or format issue that would require some looking into.
Thanks Sam. If you have more questions like this, check him out over at
Sega's Second-Party Developers
I am 19-year-old gamer and a huge Sega fan (and am also a bit confused at the moment). Here is my confusion: Sega spinned off its development houses and hence we have different companies like WOW Entertainment, Sonic Team, etc. Now my question is how much influence does Sega have over these
spin-offs? Does Sega decide what games they develop and who they develop for or do these spin-offs make their own decisions with no say from Sega? And another thing, do they use the Sega emblem for all the games they develop or will they stop using it? And what does a statement like "Acclaim will publish Crazy Taxi 2" or "Sony will publish Sega games for Europe" mean? Does it mean that the games will not sport the Sega emblem or does it mean that the publishers will be the ones promoting and marketing the product?
I know most of these questions are business related and you probably might have covered them in a feature, but I'm a bit puzzled so please help me out.
Sega's second-party developers are basically their own separate business entities, though anything they do has to get the go-ahead from Sega. Consequently, their packaged games will still have the Sega logo. The same holds true for games that Acclaim or any other publisher produces.
A Budding Relationship
Just wondering about the GBA's connectivity to the GC. Will it allow you to play GBA on your TV (a la Super Game Boy)?
Also, with Nintendo wanting to push this connectivity and the "need" to own both systems, why haven't they done something with sports games? I think it'd be great to see a baseball game on the GC that allowed you to download your season onto the GBA, take it on the road and play a few games, and then come back and upload the new season stats to the GC. Seems like a great way to drive up sales for Nintendo, EA, or Sega. Or what about a college football game on GBA where you connect to GC to do your draft and play an NFL game on the GC?
What about an RPG, from say...Square, where a few months before the GC game is released, they release a prequel of sorts for the GBA, and then when the GC game hits, you can play the main game with your characters' stats?
All of these seem obvious ideas, but so far Nintendo at Space World has shown relatively unimpressive uses for the connectivity to me.
So far the only announced connection is with Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2, or Flippin' Kirby, as we like to call it. The connection between the two games is very cool so maybe you should give our preview a read and see if it changes your mind. Of course, this is just the beginning, and many of the ideas you have will likely be implemented before all is said and done. We've already heard rumors about a connection between Sonic Adventure 2 for the Cube and Sonic for the GBA. We were just as surprised as you that the ability to play the GBA on a TV wasn't announced. We figured it would be a given.
Soul Reaver 2 Gore
I've have been looking at the previews for the game Soul Reaver 2 because I am looking to buy it. However, the M rating with blood and violence does extremely lower my chances of getting the game. So I could make a more informed decision about the game (since it says that your site actually played the game and saw the violence), could you describe the level of violence in the game for me? Like actually tell me the bad and good parts of the violence. Thank you very much.
Miguel has spent some quality time with Soul Reaver 2, so he's the best guy to answer your question.
Miguel responds: The violence gets pretty crazy. Some of Raziel's finishers involve him ripping enemies' torsos off, beheading them, and the like. Since many of the enemies have no working physiology to speak of, there isn't as much blood as you'd expect, but it's still pretty gruesome. You do fight a lot of humans, though, and they bleed like stuck pigs. The animations for the aforementioned finishers are totally insane, probably more hard-core than anything you've seen before. So yeah, if your parents are stiff about this sort of thing, then you're likely out of luck.
Space World a Letdown?
You guys got one of the best Q&As on the net. Anyway, my question is, with Space World finished, where are the big announcements? I though we'd be bombarded with announcements from Capcom, Namco, Konami, Tecmo, Enix and possibly Square. But we heard absolutely nothing we didn't know prior to Space World. What's happening with Nintendo? Surely the NDAs would have expired by now! You guys probably hear a lot of stuff behind the scenes and I'm sure you can't let it out yet otherwise you would have, but is there anything earth shattering or other big announcements which cannot be revealed yet?
Thanks and I agree with your reply for the new Zelda look.
Yeah, Nintendo's third-party showing was kind of anemic at Space World. Most of the third-party games were pretty good, but there still aren't a whole lot of them. There are plenty of games in development for the GameCube. Ubi Soft is working on 19, Activision is working on several including Spider-Man and Tony Hawk 3, Acclaim will have five games ready for the US launch, and Namco is working on more than just Soul Calibur 2. As for why these games weren't shown, I can only assume that they're not far enough along yet. Nintendo's show was catered heavily to the Japanese market. Madden, Courtside, Rogue Leader, and Kameo weren't even shown at all. I expect Konami to at least announce something for the GameCube at TGS. Things are looking kind of shady for Capcom on the GameCube, though. Resident Evil 0 wasn't even shown in video form, and rumors are starting to fly.
That's it for today, but we'll get back at it tomorrow. How about taking some time to give us your comments on Space World? And let's hear some levelheaded impressions from all sides. So get writing, and the best pieces will be found here tomorrow. Time for some Zs. Out.