– Have Matt, Eric, and I been the only people who both read GameCola and have played Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest? I ask because there’s a sequel of that game said to be coming out at the beginning of next year, and I’m wondering if anyone else finds that interesting. The game is to be called Champions: Return to Arms (why’d they cut out the “of Norrath?”), and, like it’s predecessor, will be a PlayStation 2 on- and offline action RPG, in the vein of Gauntlet: Dark Legacy and Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes. Return to Arms will take place directly after Realms of Everquest (making it a direct sequel, making me further wonder why the “of Norrath” was cut out), and will feature the ability to import your character from the first game for use in this one.
– I forget if I’ve mentioned this already, but if not, let it be known that Electronic Arts has recently made it official that they are producing GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Be wary of this one, though, as it is not actually a direct sequel to the Nintendo 64’s GoldenEye 007 (nor is it even being developed by Rare), and has few ties to the original other than its name. In the game you control a former M16 agent who’s been discharged from the service for being too much of a badass, so he becomes a bad guy to seek his revenge. From the looks of it, this may just be like all of EA’s other Bond titles, except with “GoldenEye” thrown into its title to catch the eyes of N64 gamers. Hopefully, I’m wrong about that one, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
– Who else was excited by the announcement of (the dubiously deserving GameCola 2004 PS2 Game of the Year) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the current console crop of consoles? I know I was looking forward to the title, because Konami was publishing it, and they made all the great Turtles games of yesteryear. The new game, of course, turned out to be a disappointment, due to it’s oddly overly challenging gameplay (try completing all seven stages of the last act with the scant five lives they give you and you’ll know what I mean) and lack of four player support. Thankfully, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Konami will be tackling one of those problems (4-player support), though they’ll seemingly making the other worse (overly challenging gameplay) (they said they’re gonna make the ame harder). But none of that really matters, because this game will feature, as an unlockable, a four-player port of the classic Turtles arcade game, and that in itself is enough for me to purchase the game at whatever price they’ll be asking for it.
– That merger thing that pachinko-maker Sammy and Sonic-maker Sega have been working on for a super long time has finally been completed. The details are boring, so I’ll just mention that both Sammy and Sega will be retaining their own names when publishing games, and leave it at that.
– Jeez, and I thought I had it rough when the police called my parents because I was in a public park passed 10:00 PM. This guy, a mister Anthony S. Jones of Jacksonville, Florida, is currently in jail waiting for his trial to begin because he was helping his buddy play some version of Grand Theft Auto. Apparently, Jones was on the phone with his place of employment when he shouted “There’s a bomb in the building! There’s a bomb in the building! Everyone needs to get out!” to his friend, and the person on the phone thought he was bomb-threatting the restaurant. Jones faces up to 15 years in prison if acquitted, which, if our judicial system isn’t completely out of it’s gourd, shouldn’t happen.
– In what is probably a response to Enter the Matrix, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will now be paying its publishers less money if the games they make are crappy. Warner calls it compensation for “brand damage”, as in, if a crappy game is made, even if lots of people buy it, less will buy its sequel due to painful memories of the first. They will judge how “good” a game is by utilizing GameRankings.com, which lists as many review scores as it can get its grubby little e-hands on, and averages the scores together, to give an approximation of the average feeling that people have towards these games. The lower the rating, the less money the publishers will get for their game.