Malik (10/4/04)  

Well, I was planning on giving Star Ocean 3 another final shot, and then I realized what I was doing. I was giving it another chance after another chance in order to justify both the purchase of this crap-fest, and because I was in a state of disbelief about how much Square Enix/Triace could mess up such a great series. Well, I snapped back to reality long enough to trade-in SO3 and another horrible Square game (fanboys are going to hate hearing me call this game crap...), Kingdom Hearts. Then, I also traded in a couple of other games that were bad sequels of good franchises, like Tony Hawk 4. In the end, I did the smart thing and the embarrassing thing; Firstly, I needed a great RPG to fill the void that Fable left, so I picked up Shadow Hearts: Covenant (so many franchises are releasing their third title this season...it's insane...and Shadow Hearts: Covenant may also be called Shadow Hearts 2, but Koudelka was the first game in this series, making Shadow Hearts 2 the third game...I'm too good of a geek at times...). Then, since I doubted that Velveeta would get it anytime soon, I got her (which means I can play it too) Donkey Konga. Also, on Friday I had gotten Katamari Damacy, so you might say this was a fulfilling week for my game collection. 

As for Donkey Konga; it's fun. It's also pretty addictive. Especially when you apply the really geeky songs on it (such as the original Pokemon Theme and a salsa styled version of the Zelda theme) along with some classic rock songs (like We Will Rock You) and some nice alternative songs (like The Impressions That I Get). Overall, the song selection, while quite small, are rather diverse and amusing. I'm not sure how much fun I'll get out of this game, but then again, I did buy it as a gift for Velveeta, so who am I to complain, as long as she likes it. Also, one nice added feature, that is harder to find from most rhythm games, is that you can play this without the special Konga controler (a normal GCN control can fill in the void with a combination of any of the shoulder buttons, the left analogue stick and the A button), so a multiplayer game of DK is easy to set up. This is especially important since shipments of the DK controller is rather choppy and belated, at best (the stores around me don't expect any deliveries until today at the earliest for their first shipments of the Konga controls). 

Shadow Heart: Covenant is also all I would hope for. While many people poo-poo the classic style of RPGs, saying that innovation is the most important factor for a fun game, SH2 stands on the opposite side of the fence. The battles are all random, the battle engine is almost exactly the same as SH1, which was almost exactly like a classic SNES RPG except with the Judgment Ring (a spinner that you must stop the hand of at the right places for an action to take place in combat). Also, the plot is simple and exactly like I would want it to be. That's not to say that it doesn't have any intricate and complex themes, but it doesn't have any of the unnecessary plot twists that usually bring down the story in most modern RPGs (like how SO3 did, or FFX)...in other words, there's a far lighter dose of metaphysics to SH2 and a far stronger dose of character interaction and development. Also, SH2 is not afraid to use a healthy dose of inappropriate humor (such as perverted jokes, alcohol references, etc). All in all, I think SH2 lives up to the reputation of SH1 (which was a wonderful and under-appreciated title, that can still be easily appreciated despite it's age). Also, another great feature of SH2 is the detailed graphics that strive to look realistic, but are not afraid to show some creativity to keep the visuals clear and crisp...unlike SO3 and it's bland one color world (that color would be gray). 

Last of all, I played so much Katamari Damacy that my eyes felt like they were bleeding. For those who haven't heard of this game...well, either the stuff on Penny-Arcade from Friday was a great introduction into the insanity, or there's always a review...from myself, of course. This game is one that sounds insane in theory, and it sounds like something that may entertain for a short time, but when you actually pick up the controls and play (especially the single-player game), the addiction sets in and you will have no hope of freeing yourself until you finish the game. On Friday night, I played non-stop for about 4 hours in order to finish the game while at a friend's place. Then, since the saved data was on someone else's memory card, I played through all but the last level another time on Saturday (before getting SH2 or DK). While it's true that KD can be beaten quite quickly (4-10 hours depending on your skills with the unusual controls), there is enough replay value in the quest to find all the hidden items (each level has a hidden gift for your main character), and there are special objectives and goals with each level (like beating a stage in a certain time limit or beating your goal by a certain amount), or there's always the fun of just playing the levels over and over again. Anyway, read the review to understand what this game involves...however, I'll just say that running over a sumo wrester never gets boring, and taking revenge on a dog that attacked you when you were small after gaining some girth is a feeling that cannot be bested.   For those with an open mind, I'll just say that this game is perfection.

Anyway, I've got some more playing to do with SH2 before I'll be up for a review...however, I'd expect one within the next week or so. I think I've given up on the idea of a review for SO3...especially now that I've sold the game. However, I have no problem giving a score for the game; a 1/10...there is no real game here, and I cannot give something higher if it's not a game...think of SO3 as a really boring CGI movie full of really poor acting (acting does not entail staring blankly for a few seconds after every line is said in a scene...but that's how SO3 is acted...). Anyway, I wrote enough about SO3 in the last few weeks to make my point known. Just for the record, I really wanted to like this game (hell, I wanted to have it's love child...yes, I was a SO fanboy until SO3 ruined my perfect love with abuse and neglect), and I did get 19.5 hours into the game before I dumped it...and each minute of that game literally felt like 10 minutes...Some people say hell is doing your favorite thing for all eternity, without relief...well, I don't think SO3 is anywhere near my favorite thing (in fact it's about the opposite), but I think hell is being trapped in a room with only SO3, for all eternity. No game should ever require you to force yourself to play far enough into it so that it is no longer a steaming pile of crap (which people who supposedly enjoy this "game" say you have to do..."Just get through the first of the 2 DVDs and the game gets good!"...that is only another reason to find fault with this game...not a motivation to play more). 

Well, I must depart at this point and get back to a third game in a series that doesn't make me want to cry or vomit...SH2. I don't know if I'll ever get back to Burnout 3 at this rate...damn...too many good titles at once, and GTA:SA is only a few weeks out. 


Malik (10/5/04)  

This is something that's been a long time coming, but I have a review today for TimeSplitters 2 from (forum member) Mr. X. By the way, I'm sorry about this taking so long to be posted, but Velveeta had sat on it for a long while without even knowing about it. So, I'd just like to toss out, for anyone interested in contributing, and especially to Mr. X, who dealt with this massive delay, send any questions about contributing to Geek-Asylum.com's administrative email account (for those who can't use the link, that would be geek-asy@geek-asylum.com), or if you've set up all the business type of stuff already, then send reviews to that same address...that way they won't end up in email limbo like Mr. X's TS2 review did. Anyway, I'm always up for people contributing however they would like (as long as it doesn't go against the mojo of the Asylum), so if you're interested, feel free to contact that same account. 

I'm still cracking away more and more on Shadow Hearts 2. This game, just like Fable did, feels so great after playing Star Ocean 3 as the last RPG before said game. I think that might actually be the reason people like to give SO3 a much higher review than it deserves...because it makes everything that's good already look about 100 times better. However, I think it's fair to say that even without SO3's influence, SH2 is nothing short of sweet. As long as turn based combat, few innovations, some well placed humor, and random battles are not things that make you want to bitch and moan to some fanboy message board, this is definitely the game for you...in other words, if you're fed up with the lack of quality on recent Square Enix RPGs, then try this out...truly, SH2 is a breath of fresh air on this cluttered and confused RPG landscape. 

I'm also playing a little of Donky Konga. While I don't know how long this game can keep me entertained (which is fine since it is Velveeta's game...speaking of which; she's thinking that she will write a review for DK), I must say it's a fun way to kill 10 or 15 minutes at a time. The music selection is nicely mixed with a variety of rock and roll, classical, Nintendo themes, salsa, and alternative, and the controls are, obviously, quite simple and easy to get into. Also, the challenge on this game is rather stealthy. If you play a few hard tracks in a row, you won't even notice that your dripping with sweat and ready to pass out. This is a good way to get in a work out like DDR does for your legs, but with your arms. I guess, for the health conscientious out there, this in conjunction with DDR could be a good geek workout. 

Anyway, with SH2 consuming the larger blocks of my time, and DK consuming the smaller blocks of time, I'm finding it a bitch to keep up with Katamari Damacy and Burnout 3. This is the main reason I don't care for this stupid "everything comes out at once" type of season...not because my wallet looks like it's suffering from anorexia, but rather because I simple don't have the time to appreciate everything in the way that they deserve to be played. I mean, if I tried to handle SH2 and SO3 (assuming it was good...WHICH IT ISN'T), one of these two games would suffer and only see a fraction of the attention it deserves, and thus the plot would be neglected and I couldn't get the full value out of the game. At least that wasn't the case...SO3 was horrible, so it all works out nicely. The only main problem right now would be if there were too many good RPGs at once, but since SO3 was a bust and I'm finding the restraint to wait on Phantom Brave until early next year and Fable has been taken care of (not because it's "too short" but because I played like the addict I was), I should be able to avoid any huge issues. Hopefulyl I can tackle SH2 before GTA:SA comes out (since that game series has a need for attention that rivals the best RPGs). Blah. I think I'll only be happier about all of this once the year comes to a close. 

Before I go, I have some news about what Namco (the geniuses behind Katamari Damacy) have been up to.  Enjoy.


Malik (10/6/04)  

On a very random note, to start things off, I usually write most of my postings in my Gmail account first, and then I'll convert them over to FrontPage (HTML) later on. This way I can get my work for Geek-Asylum done anywhere that I have time and access to the Internet (which, is pretty much anywhere, in our modern world). Well, I usually will just keep replying to myself and sending these posts to myself, over and over, since I'm too lazy to compose a new email each time I prepare a post (I mean that would require typing the same subject line I keep using every email, and having to put in the same email addresses, and I'm too lazy to do that). So, by now, I have a gigantic "conversation" (as Gmail calls a long string of replies) of all of my posts for the last month or so. The funny thing is that Google Ads thing that is on the side of the screen (the same ads that caused a lot of people to go ape shit with "my privacy should be 1337" bullshit when Gmail was announced earlier this year), that are placed on your conversation according to what key words can be found in your email. I just find it amusing that my long string of posts have brought upon me ads that deal with a cease-fire in Iraq, a site that reviews made for TV movies, and a fan site dedicated to a specific Chinese martial arts movie. If this is that dreaded "invasion of privacy" that everyone was afraid of coming with Gmail, I think the fears are way out of proportion...I mean this thing is obviously not scanning my emails correctly if there's not a single ad dealing with video games, and there are ads involving news on Iraq (I think this is the first time I've mentioned Iraq...ever...on Geek-Asylum.com). Anyway, I just find that all amusing...once again, paranoia is slain by common sense. 

I'm still trying to face the hassle of playing 4 games at once (Donky Konga, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Burnout 3, and Katamari Damacy), and I don't think it's working out correctly. I would say it feels like I've wasted my money on getting so many games at once...but that would be the case only if these games weren't so damned good. I have never seen four games of such high quality at one time before (and that's not counting Fable). I'm starting to hate myself for no longer hating this stupid season of releasing everything at once...at least I don't think the game companies will be dumb enough to do this type of shit again...especially since they will all try to do something different at the same time next year...then we end up with every good game coming out in the beginning of the summer and all of the game companies slapping themselves on the head simultaneously. I love how the business end of games outweighs the common sense that should be involved with any venture. That common sense would tell the companies to just release their product when it's done (which will be a more likely way to ensure a spreading of release dates, and thus everyone can make money; not just the people who are releasing the uber-giant games, like GTA:SA and Halo 2)...but common sense seems to be something that's forgotten and neglected in this civilization. At least I'll be able to enjoy hating myself for enjoying this season for another 20 days. Then GTA:SA comes out, and if I haven't finished with all of my other games, then I'll have to add a new fifth game to the stack (and it will probably overwhelm the other titles). 

So, if you haven't noticed, I'm in a rambling mood today...partly, it's from a good healthy (or, depending on who you ask, unhealthy) dose of sleep dep, another part is from my mind being obsessed with SH:C (not far enough yet to write a review, but soon), and the rest is because there is not much else to talk about today...well, also seeing a crazy guy on my way to work who was crawling like a dog and then started to sniff the ground and then lifted his leg over a section of railing (I moved on before I saw if he did what I was afraid of him doing)...that last one probably helping in my random mood more than anything. There is no real gaming news. Unless you count that the box art for Mario 64 DS has been revealed...ummm...box art...should I honestly give a shit about box art? Or there is the fact that Sony is lagging in console sales (wow, the oldest console of this generation, and the one which is in about 75-85% of gamer households is lagging in sales? Why would that be? Does that mean Sony is going to go out of business? F%$#ing idiots!).  Apparently no one in the industry has heard of market saturation. Blah.  So, I'm going to stick with something I'll be more apt to write up...Shadow Hearts: Covenant.

Speaking of which.  I just saw, via a link off of Penny-Arcade from a few days ago (I've been behind on checking out that site), a link to a review of Shadow Hearts: Covenant from 1-Up (read it now, because I'm about to bitch about it and tear it a new one), and I have to say something about this review and mainly about the reviewer (Jeremy Parish)...why is it that all RPGs are based solely on looks when, if any genre, an RPG should be gauged primarily on the plot and how apt you are to get through the plot due to the game play, visuals, and whatever else is thrown at you.  For example, FFX is constantly compared to SH:C in said review.  Well, the visual style may be a little similar (FFX was a little more off balance in terms of matching the visuals, which looked good, to the plot, which included a post-apocalyptic world...NOT AN ISLAND PARADISE!), and there may be puzzles in the dungeons in both titles...but, last time I checked, there are puzzles in the dungeons of 75% of RPGs out there, and FFX was DEFINITELY NOT THE FIRST, but for some reason it is getting all the credit.  I call this pointless short-sighted bull shit from the standard short-sighted reviewer.  Also, FFX featured a plot that is about as comparable to SH:C as the plot of Katamari Damacy is comparable to the plot of Dragon Warrior.  In other words, when someone says that FFX is being ripped off, or barrowed from, by SH:C, this is just the average reviewers way of saying the visual style is similar (of which, all RPGs, for the most part, fall into the category of being a Zelda:WW rip off by being cell-shaded, or they fall into realistic looking CGI, which was also done in FF8 before it was done in FFX).  I must say, that in order to justify calling a game similar to FFX, it should take more than some features that were in other RPGs long before FFX ever used them...for example, CGI visuals (FF8), puzzles in dungeons (Lufia 2...not the first, but one of the best), turn based combat (Phantasy Star) that allows more than one turn per "round" (FF4)...also, having to waste so much time tracking down items to use for upgrading your skills is far from the truth.  Almost all of these are found hella easily as you progress through the game (you get many of them automatically after a boss)...in fact, you don't even need many of these skills and the ones you automatically find will do you more good, on average, than the ones that require a little more effort.  Also, you do need to find rare items for some of Yuri's fusions...you just get the low level ones almost automatically (just like with everyone else's skills).  Plus, this reviewer says that three people can join in a combo (bull shit, it's all 4 active party members).  Plus, by saying that Yuri's special fusions don't require any extra hunting, saying that this game has only 3 people in a combo, and by comparing it so steadily to FFX, I am left with a single question; did this reviewer play through the entirety of either of these games?  Also, does he even know that RPGs contain a plot?  In fact, unless you're just going for "the grind" on an MMORPG, then you should know damned well that plot is what makes an RPG an RPG (otherwise, why would anyone play through the mediocre game play...I'm not attacking RPGs, but without a purpose, that being the plot, there is no reason to play an RPG...the CGI movies wouldn't exist since they only serve to deliver plot...all you would have is a really bad combat engine), and in plot, SH:C is so different of an entity that calling it similar to FFX is the equivalent of saying that your own head is so far up your ass that you cannot even see the game you are playing...

Sorry, I got a little distracted there.  I just hate when people always bring their precious (and so damned hollow and devoid of content that it hurts) FFX into everything when reviewing an RPG.  There were RPGs before FFX, and there are RPGs after FFX.  Also, might I add that when FFX hit store shelves, Shadow Hearts had already been out in the US for a couple of weeks and was quite similar to how it's sequel is...so, if SH:C is a rip off of FFX, and if SH:C is so much like SH (with the same game play, visual style, movement style, plot continuation, audio , puzzles in dungeons...shit, the list never ends), and if SH came out before FFX, then HOW THE F&*$ CAN SHADOW HEARTS: COVENANT BE A RIP OFF OF FFX??!?!  I hate f%$@ing idiots who cannot look at the broad spectrum of RPGs and realize the nature of these games...in other words, there is more to the RPG world than FFX.  In fact, many real RPG fans (the ones who like more than just FFX and FF7) actually didn't care for FFX.  FFX was a great RPG for newbs...for the RPG uninitiated.  However, it is just a small speck on the radar of the true RPG players (like how NFL Street is a great game for people who don't play football games, but it really does nothing for a true football fan when they look at the broad range of Madden, ESPN, etc).  Anyway, many RPGs and other genres have been plagued by "innovation", the most deadly of diseases.  This has resulted in many games being labeled as either boring and just bad rip offs of prior games (which is what happened in that SH:C review...yet, for all the right reasons, the fans love the game), but when innovation strikes, one of two things almost always happens; either the game is called crap by all (reviewers and geeks), or the game is called the best thing to ever happen to RPGs by the reviewers (but the hardcore fans...well...they will buy it, and start the bitching when the game sucks ass...look at Star Ocean 3 if you don't believe me).  Anyway, I'm bitching too much for it not being a Friday...go ahead and count this as an early gift that could have been one of Malik's Bitchings.

Now I'm off to play the obvious FFX rip off as I find gay porn (I'm sorry, but to be technical, porn is just porn...until multiple people are involved...then if there are two men naked together, you can start to call it gay porn...but the pictures in SH:C not only have no nudity...thank goodness...but also only show one man, by himself, not doing anything lewd...so, it would be porn, not gay porn if it had nudity...and in this case, it's just an uncomfortable picture for a lot of guys to look at...I'm not trying to sound like the porn master or something, but I thought this should be cleared up before anyone flees from SH:C prematurely to avoid the "gay porn").  Like I said several times today...I hate f%#$ing idiots...


Malik (10/7/04)  

So, in the last 24 hours, I got a nifty email from Microsoft/MSN/Hotmail saying that my Hotmail account has been upgraded from 2 MB to 250 MB. Of course this was done a couple of weeks ago, so this notification is just a wasted spam-style message...I mean if I didn't notice that the daily "Your Account Has Reached Critical Size" messages had stopped and that my inbox was 250MB after two weeks, I think no amount of notices would get it through my head. However, I might also add that this upgrade was promised about 2 and a half months ago, and was quite late. However, I don't know, now, if everyone has gotten this upgrade or if Hotmail is trying to blow smoke up my ass...why do I say this? 

Dear MSN® Hotmail® Member: 

Congratulations on your storage upgrade from 2MB to 250MB! 

As a valued MSN Hotmail Member, you have been specially selected to receive a special storage upgrade - at no cost to you. We've increased the storage capacity of your Hotmail account from 2MB to 250MB and increased your attachment size from 1MB to 10MB . 

So what does this mean for you? 

Well, now you can store even more emails and share larger attachments such as photos, music and video clips and more. Please note, you don't have to take any action - we have taken care of upgrading your account for you. Your storage meter should now read 250MB. 

Take a look at the table to the right to see how we've upgraded your Hotmail Account. 

We'd like to thank you for being a valued MSN Hotmail Member and enjoy your increased storage! 

Thank you, 

MSN Hotmail Member Services 

That's why. Since most people I know have abandoned their archaic Hotmail accounts for the most substantial Gmail service, I can't even find anyone to tell me if their account was upgraded as it was supposed to have been several months ago. I just find this who thing of trying to make me feel like some special select customer is a load of bull shit and if anything, Hotmail should have said something along the lines of, "We messed up and lied our asses off about upgrading your account in July, and now that we've made up for it, a little late, we'd like to say...umm...sorry...". 

Anyway, on to a different note. I saw some commercials last night for THUG2, and I just am left wondering something...what the hell happened to the wonderful Tony Hawk franchise that used to make me salivate in anticipation each fall? This isn't even Tony Hawk anymore. When I first saw the ads, I couldn't help but think (and this is literally what I was thinking); "What's this? A Jackass game? Man, no matter how low Tony Hawk has gone with THUG, at least it'll never become this bad. I mean this is about the worst extreme whatever game I've ever seen...even the visuals look like shit compared to the original Tony Hawk. WHAT?!?! THIS is THUG2!?!?". That's when I looked over at my Tony Hawk 3 (always will be my favorite...I traded in TH4 a few days ago, and Velveeta almost killed me because she thought I was trading in TH3...I thought I would die before I could explain myself) and wanted to hug it tenderly and gently break the news that it's great-grandchild was still-born. 

Anyway, I'd go off some more, but I thought it would be better to be more focused this afternoon. So, I put together a little something I'd like to call a feature piece on why I bitch so much about game reviews...especially the half assed ones. By the way, this does tie in to my bitching last night about the 1UP.com SH2 review which keeps comparing it to FFX without actually defining either game to their fullest (those who had never played FFX would have no clue from this review what SH2 was like...and those who played FFX and hated it would also have no clue what SH2 was like). Also, on the note of all this, I'll just throw out that if SH2 is a rip off of FFX, then I simply ask why it resembles SH (the original) so much in everything from plot to visuals to game play? Could it had progressed from SH rather than from FFX? Also, how could it be ripping off FFX and had progressed from SH if SH came out before FFX in Japan (which got these games, obviously, before the US)? Don't believe me...here's a couple of dates 6/28/01 (SH) and 7/19/01 (FFX) (want a source? Gamefaqs.com). I know what I'm talking about...but it seems that maybe I'm the only one.


Malik (10/8/04)  

The more I think about it, the more I'm confused on how FFX and Shadow Hearts: Covenant can be, in any way, similar. I know, I've bitched about this constantly, but it seems that the more I look at SH2 info, the more I see people comparing it to FFX. Meanwhile, the only good comparable game is not even being mentioned; Shadow Hearts. I mean in FFX you have a retarded level up system that makes the game slower paced (as you level and then decide that that one stat point was not what you needed for the next boss, but rather you needed a specific spell that will require 2 levels to get to and an additional sphere to unlock), identical characters (once you get enough progress into FFX, you could have all of your characters having the same skills and stats), one dimensional characters (Tidus is whiny, Yuna is stressed, LuLu is introverted, Wakka is an idiot, Auron is cryptic as hell...), a setting that does not match the visuals (like I said before; a post-apocalyptic world that looks like an island paradise?!), a lot of tedious mini-games (jump the lightning 255 times!!! Yipeee!), and a bland plot (stopping the world from a big ball of spookiness...ummm...that's kinda teh gay). Meanwhile with SH2, you have a simplistic leveling system that is not as innovative but is always good for an RPG (get experience, gain a level and gain a bunch of stats in one fell swoop), each character is unique in battle (there are obvious mages, obvious fighters, a summoner/fighter, and the miscellaneous specialty characters), characters with a little more depth to their personalities (they will often times seem one dimensional, except when the shit hits the fan, and then they will act the part they have in store for the world...Yuri seems like a closed off ass until things get intense and he shows that he is out to correct the mistakes of the past and still protect those who matter to him, Karen is a stressed out and overly serious soldier but she can still take the time to get a little light-hearted and relaxed when the tension falls, Joachiem has multiple personalities that barely merge and each side of him is rather unique, etc...although they were more vivid in SH1), a setting that matches the visuals (WWI era Earth doesn't look like an island paradise), puzzles that are not as stressful (solving riddles, treasure hunts...no jumping of lightning 255 times), an interesting plot (you start off with Yuri being cursed and one of your close friends from SH1 being kidnapped...but it soon escalates into a battle to stop a more believable villain than a ball of spookiness and you even learn that the plot of SH1 was far deeper than those who played it would have expected). I mean these two games, besides using somewhat similar visual styles, could not be more polar opposites. So, I'll just say, until I get a review up for SH2, those of you who might have not like FFX should give this game a shot. As for those who did like FFX (I hate you damned fanboys who corrupt RPGs by giving into hollow and trendy titles while great RPGs like SH1 sit and collect dust); if you like other RPGs, then definitely give this a shot, and if you've only like FFX (and maybe FF7), then I'll just suggest that you look elsewhere (wait a year for FFXII).

Ok, now that I've bitched about that again, I feel a little better. Speaking of bitching, on top of my feature yesterday (which was me bitching about the poor quality of game reviews due to rushed work and a lack of understanding and effort by many reviewers), I still have a new issue of Malik's Bitchings for today.

Also, there's some news today about the state of the Nintendo DS that I found interesting (or devoid of content...depending on if I look at one source or another);  The best news of all (as found at Gamespot.com) was that the wireless technology in the DS would allow for multiple people to play off of one cart on a multiplayer game (for example, four gamers and one cart). This will definitely be a step up for the usual BS of having to each by a cart for a game that you would normally only play multiplayer on. In that same news post, Mr. Iwata (Nintendo president) has hinted that Nintendo plans to enter the movie business in some form or another...which I already bitched about last Friday. However, also on the movie theme, Nintendo president Iwata said that there are plans (probably in Japan only) of setting things up so that if a DS is present at certain movies, certain data can be downloaded by the DS (his example was about a new Pokemon movie and the data for a new Pokemon being sent to all the DS systems in the audience), which is pretty pointless overall, but still sounds pretty cool from a geeky perspective.

Also, Gamespot had a nice listing of the DS launch titles (US launch titles). Nothing too exciting in this news, but there are a few games that had fallen off my radar that are nice to know more about. Unfortunately, things still look a bit skimpy overall, in terms of variety, but this should pick up within the first few months of the DS lifespan.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/10/07/news_6110005.html The last bit of news, and for me the most exciting is that FF3 will be ported to the DS. Right now the details are pretty sketchy, and any information on a possible US release is not being stated, but this is big news. Considering how well FF has taken off in the US (I guess I owe some thanks to the crap-tacular FFX and just shitty FFX2), there's a good chance that FF3 (if it is actually ported to the DS and it's not just another false rumor as was done with FF3 and the WonderSwan) could make a US release. This is not only the only FF game not ever released in the US, but it's also one of my personal favorites (I played the Japanese version, and while I was horribly confused, I could see genius in it's design). I should also add, this is going to be a game that FFX fans should avoid (if it hits the US) since it is a hardcore RPG (think FFV...and then some).

Anyway, the news about the DS is looking a lot more promising each day. I'm actually starting to get a little excited about this thing. If it holds up, I may actually get one, despite the voice in my head that keeps telling me that I'll only be buying my millionth incarnation of the GB and that Nintendo is laughing at me as I toss more money their way...I'll never learn.