|November 5, 2005
This week sure seemed to fly by pretty quickly, even with the additional hour we got last Sunday. Regardless, I still have to be on call for all you people or I don't get pai... er... I don't get the joy of knowing I helped inform thousands of readers about the goings on of the video game industry. Really, this job helps me sleep at night. The Salvation Army's going about helping people all wrong. All you need is a little web space and a column. So this Christmas, make your donations to the Elliot Foundation -- we'll make sure your money goes to the right place.
Aside, I hope you enjoyed my enthralling review of X-Men Legends II. I'm hearing talks of possible Pulitzer and Nobel Literature awards for this piece; it really is that good. It drove a few fellow staffers to tears and others to change their lives. Personally, I don't need any prizes for it. Writing the review was the reward in and of itself. That, and all the orphans I fed from the proceeds I got for the review. Am I a saint? Oh no. I'm just a great guy. Now read this column or orphans will starve.
This week, we've lost both the only RPG and the only GameCube game (Fire Emblem) from last week. It was a short life, but like all lives do, it has ended. This week, however, Sony reigns as king of the Top Ten. Nine PS2 games have come, seen, and conquered this week of sales. So I'm sending Sony a big, congratulatory speed bump as a prize. Perhaps this kind of amazing incentive program will help other console developers get more excited about making our list. I know, it's pure genius. I should work in marketing. Oh yeah, Xbox managed to steal away one game for the list. Kudos to them for sticking it to the man and preventing a total shut-out.
Other changes from last week include Shadow of the Colossus' drop from 2nd to 10th, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi's drop from 1st to 4th, and American Wasteland's drop from the list entirely. If this list has taught us anything, it's that America needs to buy more RPGs. So, let's get out there and spend that hard-earned cash on some games. After, of course, donating to my charity.
|Soul Calibur III
|Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
|Resident Evil 4
|Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
|Sony Computer Entertainment America
|Blitz: The League
|SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs
|Sony Computer Entertainment America
|Shadow of the Colossus
|Sony Computer Entertainment America
The CESA, also known for organizing Japan's biggest game convention, the Tokyo Game Show, has presented awards for excellence to various games. Only games published between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2005, were eligible for a CESA Game Award. Excellence was recognized in categories such as best sales, best indie game, and global success. A grand prize is also awarded to the one game that stands out as the best. This year, for the 9th CESA Game Awards, Dragon Quest VIII was the recipient of the grand prize. Congratulations to Square Enix for the honor.
Jack Thompson is at it yet again. In a press release dated just one day prior to his court appearance in the Alabama Grand Theft Auto cop killer trial, the Florida attorney said something that some may consider an unfortunate slip of the tongue. That is until Thompson defended what he'd said after being asked about it. Here's what he said: "Oh, and certain regional governments in Japan have banned the sale of the Grand Theft Auto games to minors, but Japan's Sony has no problem whatsoever dumping this garbage into American kids' brains. Looks like Pearl Harbor 2 by Sony/Take-Two..." Maybe I'm just crazy here, but it seems to me that a sneak attack during a time of war, costing thousands of lives, is incomparable to anything, least of all a violent game. It sounds like Mr. Thompson is blowing the video game violence deal way out of proportion while trivializing an attack on American soil. But that's just my crazy opinion.
Fortunately, the good folks over at Game Politics were able to obtain a short interview with Thompson in order to ask him about his comment. Here's a snippet of the interview below.
Game Politics: Jack - Some readers are taking offense to the Pearl Harbor comments in your press release, and I have to say that it does read as a somewhat insensitive remark. Would you care to comment on that section or elaborate further on what you were trying to convey?
Jack Thompson: Insensitive? What the Japanese are doing to our kids is insensitive and racist. The Japanese have for a very long time dumped pornography into this country in a fashion they would not tolerate in their own country. It is another version of Pearl Harbor.
GP: By porn, I take it you mean violent video games? Are you referring to various Japanese-made game platforms? (i.e. PS2, Nintendo, etc.) But Take-Two is an American corp., and Rockstar an English subsidiary. Most of the games I can recall you criticizing over the years have been American-published.. (GTA, 25 to Life, Bully, The Warriors, The Sims, Blitz: The League, Everquest, Doom, etc.)
JT: Sony is a Japanese company.
GP: But Sony only makes the player. I don't recall you criticizing any of their titles in a major way. If you take that approach, wouldn't TV, VCR, and DVD player manufacturers be equally complicit? Since their products play violent movies and even actual porn? And are also needed to play video games? Toshiba, etc.?
JT: GTA is a Sony/Take-Two game. It was made by Take-Two exclusively for Sony's Playstation 2. Sony has led the planet in the distribution of mainstream porn. I don't have time to document it for you. As for the offensiveness of the Pearl Harbor comment, it's accurate and it's needed. The Japanese have a contempt for our culture which is patent. There (sic) dumping of garbage into our culture is a slow motion version of Pearl Harbor.
Oh no, the fun doesn't stop there. Thompson then went on to write a letter to the Japanese Ambassador, Ryoko Kato, about this issue. The letter is pasted below.
The Honorable Ryoko Kato
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Japan to the United States of America
2520 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. Via Fax to 202-xxx-xxxx
Re: Sony's Ongoing Distribution of Violent and Pornographic Material to Minors in the United States
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
As a United States citizen who has been active and visible in opposing Sony's distribution of hyperviolent and sexually explicit video games to children in this country, I would respectfully request that your nation's government assist me in making this harmful distribution stop.
This request comes in the aftermath of recent news reports that certain local/regional governments in Japan will not allow, for example, the grotesque Sony/Take-Two/Rockstar Grand Theft Auto games to be sold to children in your country but Sony is more than delighted to distribute these games to our children in our country.
This is hypocrisy, and it must be remedied. Japan cannot allow to be done to our children what it will not allow to be done to its own.
Regards, Jack Thompson
I think that about does it for JT for the week. Stay tuned for plenty more crazy antics, from everyone's favorite angry lawyer, that are sure to follow.
Anyone curious about the exact numbers that Nintendo's upcoming Revolution console will be able to pull may never be satisfied. A Nintendo of Europe executive, Jim Merrick recently announced that the company may possibly never release the Revolution's specifications.
"Regarding the specifications, we will probably never 'release' this information as we feel that it is largely irrelevant," Merrick said.
"While some of our competitors enjoy comparing specifications, it has little or nothing to do with how satisfied the consumers will be with the system and the games once they are released. I know people are hungry for information on Revolution and we respect and appreciate that, but we don't want to contribute to the cloud of meaningless information that surrounds the next generation systems."
Merrick did say earlier, however, that the Revolution "will look no different, visually speaking, compared to both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3". Though I'm sure that won't be enough to quench the thirsts of gamers hungry for numbers, it looks as though it'll have to do.
For those that don't know, Australia currently has a nation-wide, no-questions-asked policy regarding violent video games in the country. This policy bans all games released with a rating of MA 15-plus from ever hitting stores. This means that not only can children not buy them, but adults can't either.
Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls, however, disagrees with this law. Therefore, he's petitioning to reform the law so that at least adults will be able to play violent games if they so choose.
Game development studio Level 5, known best for its Dark Cloud series and the more recent Dragon Quest VIII, has announced a rather substantial increase in its current capital stock. The jump went from ¥10 million ($86,468) to ¥98 million ($847,384), which is an increase of nearly 10-fold.
This week is a little more evened out than last week with six companies up for the day and four down. Every company except former rivals Sega and Nintendo are up from last week, as well. The biggest increase for the day goes to Square Enix with $0.40, while the biggest decrease goes to Ubi Soft with $0.81.
Furthermore, a big thanks goes out to attentive reader Justin P. for pointing out to me a small oversight I made with last week's Stock Ticker. I stated then that Activision's stock had dropped the most for the week, but didn't mention any of the special circumstances surrounding the drop. As it turns out, Activision had a stock split that week, which explains the apparent drop. So Activision is doing alright after all -- they just had a split. I apologize for any inconveniences associated with this oversight.
Parentheses denote negative numbers. Prices as of market closing 04.13.2005
Well that was more or less painless, at least for me. I'm trying desperately to think of something witty to say, but am coming up blank. So instead, I'll just leave you with a word to discuss amongst yourselves until next week: riboflavin. Hopefully that'll give you enough to do until then. If not, there's always cannibalism. Sweet, sweet cannibalism.
Elliot "Not very tasty" Guisinger