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[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 12/18/03 ] = An Article For The Optimists

It's nearing the end of the year, and with that said there has been a lot going on in the industry lately. With the usual flow of hardware, game, and developer announcements that pour out of the industry this time of year, once again I am excited and pissed off simultaneously. Read on to find out why the Holiday Season has once again awakened discontent within the blackest depths of my heart.

Where do I start? With so much news hitting the press lately, it's difficult to find a starting point. I'll start with my favorite; Capcom. Well, what can I say? Again, I am hyped and looking forward to another original and innovative Capcom fighter: Gotcha Force. From the screenshots, original character designs, and system descriptions, this game seems to be similar to the 3-D arena fighting multiplayer mayhem goodness of Capcom's own Power Stone and Power Stone 2. The gameplay, capable of supporting up to four-player battles via split screen, sounds like it will once again bring together rowdy crowds of strong-willed fans to engage in battle (like when Power Stone 2 came out). I can't wait for this one; it should be more fun than a pair of MC Hammer parachute pants. Hopefully it's out by the time this article is released.

However, I had previously mentioned that I was pissed off, also. Well, I shouldn't say that I'm pissed off just yet this early in the article, so I'll just say that I'm disappointed. I am disappointed that in announcing that they were (finally) releasing another Street Fighter title, Capcom also announced that the new game would be developed on the CPSII hardware. Don't get me wrong here, I love the CPSII just as much as the next true Capcom fan does, but it would have been nicer to see the game on somewhat newer hardware, like the TriForce/GameCube, Naomi/DreamCast, or System 246/PlayStation 2, or AtomisWave hardwares. Come on, Capcom, there are new hardwares out there that your staff has had enough time to learn, so use them! Yes, the CPSII is great, yes it has powered some of the best titles in videogame history, but the hardware has been used as the development medium for Capcom games for so long (and much more than other hardwares), a fan can't help but to wonder what 2-D Capcom fighters would look like on the newest XBox, GC, and PS2 compatible hardwares. Well, on one hand at least we know the CPSII isn't dead yet (which is great to know), but on the other hand fans are left wondering why Capcom isn't utilizing the new hardwares. Overall, I'm joyed to hear about any new SF title, I just get more excited when I hear of SF development on new hardware. On another note, where the hell is Crimson Tears, Capcom? It better not be canceled like Red Dead Revolver (a title that had great potential in an age absent of genre diversity)...

SNK Neo Geo has also been gradually releasing juicy tidbits of information regarding their ambitious plans for the coming year, and I must say that I am excited. To start, the enhanced version of KOF2001 for the PS2 hardware is actually coming to America, along with KOF2000 (which is great to hear for American fans that have been consistently shit on for the past few years). And then there's the awesome Metal Slug Advance. This game has been shrouded in secrecy since it was announced, with hardly any images or media released, but man, does it look good. MSA should show fans once again just how the power of the "weak" GBA should be utilized. Metal Slug 5 is also being released, and KOF 3-D has been touched upon briefly as of late. Also announced are consumer PS2 ports of Samurai Shodown 5 (Samurai Spirits Zero in Japan), KOF2002, and KOF2003. Awesome. Get ready for more quality 2-D action from the masters at SNK. SNK returns to claim its place once again in the fighting and action genres. This is videogames.

Now I'm pissed off. What the fuck is so great about these Grand Theft Auto games? What the fuck do people see in murdering innocent people, shady missions, stealing cars, and vehicular homicide? The "pimps and playaz" fuckface MTV mentality taken to a whole new low. Absolute garbage. We play video games to escape from the sick world that we wake up to day in and day out, not to dive headfirst into an equally-cruel re-creation of that very nightmare that we're trying to climb our way out of. Games are supposed to be fiction, and when they lose the element of fiction, they become something other than a game. In other words, games like GTA that depict meaningless graphic violence are a little too fucking real to be a game. In addition to this, as if my blood wasn't already boiling since the birth of the series on the PlayStation a while back, recently Capcom picked up the rights to publish GTA games in Japan...this is something I wouldn't have expected to see from Capcom. What the fuck is this? The best developer on the planet picks up the rights to publish the worst series on the planet? Who the fuck made this decision? Now, one can say that Capcom Japan has made one mistake that is (unfortunately) equal to the many that Capcom America has made.

And then there's True Crime Streets Of L.A., another piece of shit that has been occupying TV advertising segments on various channels for the last month. The whole commercial is narrated by some stupid prick running his mouth like a sick bird's ass, talking about how great the game is. Fucking terrible. I don't need some horse's ass to tell me how fucking "cool" this game is because it's "sick." News flash; I hate shit games (GTA, Tekken), and I hate even shittier games that try to copy the original shit games even more. It's yet another game that tries to trap the player in the sick world of merciless thugs, murderers, addicts, liars, cheats, greedy fucks, and other bottom-feeders that most oxygen-breathing organisms hate. There is no object to such a game. Again, why live a nightmare? Then again, maybe for those who enjoy doing such fucked-up things in real life, this game is "phat," "dope," "the bomb," or "the shizznit." Fuck this game. There needs to be a game where you play as the victims of these GTA-style games, and instead of letting the main characters of these games throw you out of your car or beat you senselessly (for no reason), you get to get to pull out a Magnum (think Resident Evil-style) and erase the inhumane bastards (like they deserve).

Let's not forget another bullshit game that has been also taking up space on TV advertising segments: Socom II. Oh no, not another bullshit SWAT game. Just like RPGs, how many of these boring motherfuckers do we need? Fucking weak. On the commercial, the game already looks like shit, then when you pop the wretched game in your system, you find its even worse than you had thought. This is how it always goes with this kind of title. I fucking hate cheap games. They always make these games look all bad-ass and tough on the commercials (so that power-tripping assholes will go out and buy them), but the plain fact is that when they hit the shelves, people just go and buy the next Counter Strike version over them, anyway. Thus, nobody fucking cares about this game, or anything else like it (including Syphon Filter). Add Rainbow Six 3 to this list as well; I've seen the commercial for this game a million times (sometimes the segments are even sandwiched!), and each time I do, it reminds me of why I've never bought any Tom Clancy-branded games. Enough with the Counter-Strike bandwagon SWAT games already.

Don't close the window just yet; there's a game that has been advertised quite a lot recently that I actually might like. Recently, Prince of Persia - Sands of Time has caught my eye; that is, in between commercial segments of bullshit like Rainbow Six 3 and Grand Theft Auto. I actually shit on this game in the 16-bit days, but man, this new version looks nice; particularly, walking on walls, carrying swords, and stopping time. Also, it must be noted that the music on the commercial kicks ass, and if that is any indication of the quality of the in-game music, I think those who appreciate good music (Nelly, Eminem, 50 cent, and that asshole "Justin" are exempt) have something to look forward to even if the game doesn't "stack up."

Back to the bullshit. There's also Max Payne 2 - The Fall Of Max Payne. Oh man, does this game look cheesy. I don't think anyone besides the game's producer gives a fuck if Max Payne dies (just look at the job that the rest of the staff did on the first game, and you'll see). Again, the profound realism, although not nearly as tasteless as GTA and True Crime, is what ultimately makes the game boring. If the game is anywhere near as stupid in control and choppy in animation as the first game, we've got ourselves one hell of a difficult game to like. More? Yes. Final Fantasy X-2 coming to America. What is it with Square? Do they have to sicken us more every year by making the design for every new entry in the series worse than the one(s) before it? This stupid "fashion" RPG makes me sick. What the fuck is with the character design? They look like the most incapable group of heroes ever to be put into a video game. And who are the bosses? MTV invalids like Nelly and Eminem? Screw that shit; I don't want to play a game born of the very things I hate. Seriously. Stop the J-Pop shit, Square. You're looking toward the right path with Final Fantasy - Crystal Chronicles and Final Fantasy Tactics - Advance, but it's not enough. Just stop altogether (before you eat up all the other RPG developers and taint them like you have with Enix). And as a last note regarding things Square, seeing "Square Enix" on the new commercials makes me fucking sick.

I'm spent. Back to the war (which in this case happens to be P.N.03)...