– Several new Nintendo games have been confirmed to be released later in this year. This list includes Paper Mario 2, Metroid Prime 2, Mario Party 6, Star Fox 2, F-Zero 2, and Donkey Kong Country 2. (The last one on that list is a GBA port of the original SNES classic, not a new game with the same name). While some of those seem like obvious sequels to be made (Metroid Prime 2), others leave one with a sense of confusion. Wouldn’t Star Fox 64 or Star Fox Adventures be Star Fox 2? Couldn’t F-Zero GX have been considered F-Zero 2? I suppose next we might have Super Mario Kart 2 or Bomberman 2 or something else that sounds as confusing. Oh well, at least now they’re trying to number their games.
– In addition to the above announcement, Nintendo has leaked to the public a list of games to be released as the second wave in their Classic NES Series (the first wave has yet to reach eastern shores). Titles included in round two of the budget-titled NES ports for GBA are Balloon Fight, Dr. Mario, Adventure Island, Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, and Clu Clu Land. The first set of titles is set to be released in the United States during June of this year, with the second set presumably to follow a few months after.
– The sequel to Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand (selected by GameCola as the Most Innovative Video Game of 2003) is rumored to be released in the United States in the fall of this year, following the game’s Japanese release in July. This GBA sequel will retain the original title’s main character (Django) and it’s unique solar-powered gameplay, among other things. Now if only a better game can be built around the title’s innovative gimmick, Konami may have a hit on their hands.
– And that’s not all for sequels announced this month! Capcom has made it known that they are currently at work on Viewtiful Joe 2, sequel to the well rated yet hardly purchased GameCube title of 2003. Capcom should be able to sell more copies of the sequel than they did of the original, though, because unlike Viewtiful Joe, Viewtiful Joe 2 will be released on both GameCube and PlayStation 2. Keep your eyes peeled for this side-scroller during the winter of this year.
– According to television show Celebrity Justice, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are in the process of suing Acclaim, because the publisher “has blatantly abandoned the mary-kateandashley brand and has taken the mary-kateandashley brand in video games which had flourished and has now run it into the ground”. So apparently, not only is “mary-kateandashley” one word, but it is a brand of video games that has actually done well. Could’ve fooled me. The Olsens, of course, are not the only “celebrities” to have sued Acclaim in recent times, as Dave Mira was battling the publisher not too long ago over the use of his name in BMX games. One can only hope that this lawsuit drags on and on and on so that no one has to be subject to this “flourishing” brand again for a while.
– Oooh, yay, a video game announcement that isn’t a sequel. ‘Bout time we have one of those. Earlier this month, Electronic Arts announced that they are working on a new Lord of the Rings title called Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, which will be released on all current consoles. The title is said to be a role-playing game (which brings to mind nightmarish thoughts of Super Nintendo’s The Lord of the Rings title), and will have people questing all over Middle Earth. Sounds interesting enough.
– I’m sorry to disappoint all of you, but Midway‘s remake of NARC has been pushed back to 2005. The original NARC (which received a score of 2.9 in our February 2003 issue) was all about using violence to thwart drug users. This new title is slightly different, as not only do you use violence to thwart drug users, but once successful in your thwarting, you are given the opportunity to use the drugs yourself, adding some trippy effects to your gameplay (which often aid your thwarting rather than hindering). Gee. I wonder if there’s going to be a public outcry about this title.