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Messages - msuzuki

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TalkBack / RE:PGC Louie Awards 2004
« on: February 01, 2005, 05:40:57 AM »

Originally posted by: Famicom

- The only game I imported was Naruto 3, and IMO it was pretty least deserving of consideration (I can't tell if it was or wasn't).

i voted for it famicom...maybe next year i'll lobby for only including imports that won't be coming out in the US

TalkBack / Capcom Has Even More Mega Man for the GBA
« on: May 12, 2004, 08:51:07 PM »
Recently released in Japan, Capcom announces a US release for Mega Man Zero 3


-Series Reaches New Depths with Improved Graphics and Exciting New Features-

E3, LOS ANGELES -- May 12, 2004 -- Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced Mega Man™ Zero 3 for the Game Boy® Advance video game system.  Mega Man Zero 3 is an exciting action adventure game that continues the saga of the main character, Zero, and introduces several new gameplay elements that build and expand upon the previous games for fans of the Zero series.  Capcom plans to release Mega Man Zero 3 throughout North America this fall.

Mega Man Zero 3 is set in a world called “Neo Arcadia” that has been created as a utopia for humans and Reploids (robots).  This new chapter continues the adventure of the series’ title hero, Zero, and his Reploid allies in the Resistance group who are fighting for peace.  In Mega Man Zero 3, Zero encounters a malevolent new Reploid called Omega who has unleashed the evil power of the Dark Elf to brainwash the Resistance in order to take over Neo Arcadia.  As the only one who has escaped the brainwashing attack, Zero must fight to save his allies and Neo Arcadia.

Mega Man Zero 3 boasts the following features:

  • New Parts Customization System – There are three types of chips (feet, head and body), all with their own properties, that you can use to customize your character to adapt to the stage and enemies you are facing
  • New “Recoil Rod” Weapon – This baton-shaped device lets you jump even higher by using the kick from charge attacks, and also allows you to break through certain obstacles that block your path
  • Enter Cyber Space – In Cyber Space, the Cyber Elves (collectible characters that provide help to the player) help increase Zero’s abilities and make him more powerful
  • Secret Disks - Find these disks scattered throughout the stages and have them analyzed to get Cyber Elves, items, and other useful data
  • Improved Visual Effects – Mega Man Zero 3 challenges the limits of the Game Boy® Advance hardware to deliver spectacular new effects

TalkBack / Game Developer's Honor the Best Games of 2003
« on: March 24, 2004, 10:29:38 PM »
The Game Developers Choice award ceremony was held Wednesday night at the GDC.  Who were the winners and who got snubbed?

Wednesday night at the GDC, the International Game Developer's Association hosted the 4th annual Game Developers Choice award ceremony.  The awards serve as the ultimate in peer recognition, as it is the members of the game development community who acknowledge the very best of the past year's games.

This year's big winner was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Lucas Arts/Bioware) which received the awards for Game of the Year, Original Game Character of the Year (HK-47), and Excellence in Writing.  Ubi Soft's multiplatform hit, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, also did well by winning the awards for Excellence in Game Design and Excellence in Programming.

As for games exclusive to Nintendo's consoles, Capcom's Viewtiful Joe received a Game Innovation Spotlight award as did Nintendo's WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$.  Also, the once controversial decision to use cel-shaded graphics in a Zelda game seems to have paid off.  The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker received the award for Excellence in Visual Arts.

The full list of winning games is as follows:

Game of the Year

 Original Game Character of the Year
 Rookie Studio of the Year
  • Infinity Ward for CALL OF DUTY
 Game Innovation Spotlight
  • EyeToy Play (Sony)
  • Viewtiful Joe (Capcom)
  • WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ (Nintendo)
Excellence in Audio
  • Chuck Russom for sound effects in CALL OF DUTY
 Excellence in Game Design
  • David Chateauneuf, Patrice Desilets, Jordan Mechner and team for game design in PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME
 Excellence in Programming
  • Dominic Couture, Feng Quan Wang and team for graphics programming in PRINCE OF PERSIA : THE SANDS OF TIME
 Excellence in Visual Arts
  • Masanao Arimoto, Yoshiki Haruhana, and Satoru Takizawa for art direction in THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER
Excellence in Writing
  • David Gaider, Drew Karpyshyn, Luke Kristjanson, and Peter Thomas for writing in STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

TalkBack / The Wind Waker 2 Sails to E3
« on: March 24, 2004, 08:48:11 PM »
At the GDC, Eiji Aonuma offered insights on recent developments in the Zelda series and teased the audience with a brief reference to the Wind Waker 2.

Wednesday afternoon at the Game Developer's Conference in San Jose, Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma delivered a lecture entitled "The Evolution of a Franchise: The Legend of Zelda" in which he presented a retrospecitve on the Zelda series, offered some ideas as to what makes a game "Zelda-esque", and shared some amusing insights on the development of recent Zelda games.

Unfortunately, no concrete details were offered on the sequel to the Wind Waker. The game was only listed with a vague 2XXX  release year on a chart of all the Zelda games.  On the positive side, more information regarding the future of the Zelda series should be coming soon in May at E3 as Mr. Aonuma said that, "With this new expressive quality [of 2.5d gameplay of The Four Swords Adventure], and with the upcoming release unique Nintendo DS system, I think we'll see more changes coming to the franchise, the likes of which we can talk more about at this year's E3, when we'll also talk about development with the Wind Waker 2."  

Below is Bill Trinen's English translation of Mr. Aonuma's presentation.  Please right-click and save.

GDC 2004 - Eiji Aonuma on Zelda (MP3)

An official transcript of Mr. Aonuma's lecture can found on Nintendo's official web site.

Pictures of the presentation:

Game Developers Conference 2004: Zelda Franchise History  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Aonuma speaks about Zelda's History  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Video of Link Appearing in Soul Calibur II  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Miyamoto Upends Aonuma's Tea Table  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Example A: Does not pass The Miyamoto Test  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Example B: Does not pass The Miyamoto Test either  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Reality over Realism in Zelda  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Approaches to Evolution  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Hints at a sequel?  
Game Developers Conference 2004: Aonuma addresses the audience

TalkBack / Konami of America flashes a new MGS: TTS website
« on: February 26, 2004, 07:29:07 PM »
Konami's new Flash based website offers some basic background info on the Metal Gear universe to help you gear up for Solid Snake's GameCube debut.

Konami of America has launched a new flash based website for Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.  For those who haven't played the original or who haven't been keeping up with the latest previews, you can check out the site for a brief description of the game, a quick history of the Metal Gear universe up until the events of The Twin Snakes, character profiles, and download the game's previously released trailer movies.  

Head over to the Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes website and check it out yourself.

TalkBack / Game Developer's Choice Award nominees announced
« on: February 26, 2004, 03:23:46 PM »
'Tis the season for awards.  This time it's the game developers recognizing their peers.

The International Game Developers Association has announced the nominees for the 2004 Game Developers Choice Awards.  The awards ceremony will take place in San Jose on March 24th as part of the Game Developers Conference.

GameCube exclusives Viewtiful Joe and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker were both nominated for the Excellence in Visual Arts Award.  Viewtiful Joe also received a nomination for Original Character of the Year.  The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was nominated for Game of the Year along with Ubi Soft's duo of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Beyond Good & Evil, Lucas Arts' Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Activision's Call of Duty.

A partial list of nominees is below.  For the full list of all the nominees, visit the IGDA awards page

Game of the Year

  • BEYOND GOOD & EVIL (Ubisoft Pictures)
  • CALL OF DUTY (Infinity Ward)

Original Game Character of the Year

  • Jade from BEYOND GOOD & EVIL
  • Joe from VIEWTIFUL JOE  
  • Vince from VOODOO VINCE

Excellence in Game Design

  • Michel Ancel, Jacques Exertier, Frederic Houde, and Sebastien Morin for game design in BEYOND GOOD & EVIL
  • David Chateauneuf, Patrice Desilets, Jordan Mechner and team for game design in PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME
  • The Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando team for game design in RATCHET & CLANK: GOING COMMANDO
  • Casey Hudson, James Ohlen and team for game design in STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC
  • Goro Abe, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Kazuyoshi Ohsawa and Ko Takeuchi for game design in WARIOWARE INC.: MEGA MICROGAME$

Excellence in Writing

  • Michel Ancel and Jacques Exertier for writing in BEYOND GOOD & EVIL
  • Charles Cecil, Steve Ince, Neil Richards, and Tony Warriner for writing in BROKEN SWORD: THE SLEEPING DRAGON
  • Sheldon Pacotti and Sarah Paetsch for writing in DEUS EX: INVISIBLE WAR
  • Takehiro Izushi for writing in FIRE EMBLEM
  • David Gaider, Drew Karpyshyn, Luke Kristjanson, and Peter Thomas for writing in STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

TalkBack / RE:GDCA Nominations Commence
« on: January 07, 2004, 08:27:09 PM »
The First Penguin Award is for innovators who dared to try something new/different in gaming before anyone else.  Previous winners included Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer (who created Habitat/Club Caribe, the 1st online virtual world in 1985), Hubert Chardot (created Alone in the Dark in 1992, the precursor to the survival horror genre) and David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Jim Levy, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead (founders of Activision in 1980, the first 3rd party game developer).

If you're part of the IGDA, go over and submit some nominees now so you can be part of the final voting process!  

TalkBack / Stuff Magazine Announces Stuff Gamer
« on: July 17, 2003, 10:44:15 PM »
you know it's too bad this magazine isn't out now...

...then i could use it to wipe up the pool of vomit i made after reading this press release. :-P

TalkBack / The Justice League Is Coming
« on: July 11, 2003, 11:52:41 AM »
Midway is bringing the recent Cartoon Network series to next-gen consoles.  I guess this means Zan, Jaina, and Gleek probably won't be included.


CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2003-- Midway Games Inc. (NYSE:MWY - News), a leading software industry publisher and developer, announced today that it will ship a new videogame based on the hit animated Cartoon Network television series, Justice League, for next-generation platforms in 2004.    Midway will bring together -- for the first time on next-generation consoles -- the Justice League, the greatest super heroes of all time with nonstop excitement and thrills for Justice League fans. Gamers will take control of their favorite DC Comics super heroes including Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter, using each character's superpowers, skills and special weapons to battle the combined forces of their greatest foes.  

"We're excited to bring this hit animated television series to life and give gamers the chance to play as their favorite Justice League heroes on next-generation consoles," said Helene Sheeler, vice president of marketing, Midway.  

The Justice League's adventures began in 1940 when DC Comics' All-Star Comics introduced the first-ever group of super heroes in a comic book series, entitled Justice Society of America, which ran until 1951. DC Comics revived the concept in March 1960, renaming it Justice League of America. It became the longest-running television cartoon based on a comic book when Hanna-Barbera Studios produced it as Super Friends (1973), The All-New Super Friends (1977), Challenge of the Super Friends (1978), The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979) and The Super Friends Hour (1980) for Saturday mornings, each with new characters added and each produced for ABC Television.  

Justice League of America, a monthly comic book, continues to be one of DC Comics' best-selling titles, consistently ranking among the top ten in industry sales. The Warner Bros. Animation-produced series, Justice League, premiered on Cartoon Network on Nov. 17, 2001, and quickly became an audience favorite with children and adults alike, ranking consistently in the network's top ten performers. Issue #1 of the animated series tie-in comic book, entitled Justice League Adventures, debuted in Nov. 2001 and is one of the industry's best-selling kid's comics.  

TalkBack / The Simpsons Road Rage Goes Portable
« on: July 03, 2003, 10:53:14 AM »
"Mmmm...more licensed GBA gaming"

Crazy Car Combat Comedy is Now Available for the Game Boy Advance

CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 2003--THQ® Inc. (Nasdaq:THQI - News) has shipped "The Simpsons Road Rage(TM)" for the Game Boy® Advance. Handheld game players can now control over 15 Springfield residents, including Bart, Homer and Marge, as they drive vehicles inspired by the longest running comedy on television.   "`The Simpsons' has been a highly successful television show for over a decade," said Tiffany Ternan, Senior Vice President, North American Sales and Distribution, THQ. "We're excited to give fans of `The Simpsons' a videogame with all the fun and humor of the series."  

About "The Simpsons Road Rage"  

In "The Simpsons Road Rage," Mr. Burns is up to his greedy ways, purchasing Springfield buses, making them radioactive and jacking up the fares. Now, it's up to the Simpsons and the citizens of Springfield to turn their cars into cabs and explore Springfield's six huge worlds, including the Nuclear Power Plant, Evergreen Terrace and Downtown Springfield. The game features 15 "Simpsons" characters, including Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa, Barney, Apu, Chief Wiggum, Moe, Otto, Krusty the Clown, and multiplayer madness with two-player racing using the GBA link cable.

TalkBack / Buffy Summers Returns to the GBA
« on: July 03, 2003, 10:27:55 AM »
While the series may be over, Buffy lives on in portable gaming form.

Hit Television Series is Now Available on the Game Boy Advance

CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 2003--THQ® Inc. (Nasdaq:THQI - News) has shipped "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wrath of the Darkhul King(TM)" for the Game Boy® Advance. Take control of Buffy as she and her friends kick, stab and blast their way through some of the baddest vampires, monsters and demons from the hit TV series.

"`Buffy the Vampire Slayer' is one of the best shows on television, combining action with humor and horror," said Tiffany Ternan, Senior Vice President, North American Sales and Distribution, THQ. "We have taken all of the action and thrills of the television show and placed them in the palm of your hands."  

About "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wrath of the Darkhul King"  

Players assume the role as Sunnydale's hottest vampire slayer, Buffy Summers, as she battles fierce vampires using deadly fighting tactics and customizable Slayer weaponry. Based on the long-running hit TV show -- all of the favorite characters from the series, including Giles, Xander and Willow, will guide Buffy on her journey as she battles the most fearsome creatures and rescues the innocent. Players will be able to interact with game environments -- break ceilings to shine sunlight onto vampires, throw monsters into benches and use environmental objects to beat boss monsters.

Nintendo Gaming / Game Zero/gameboy player
« on: June 11, 2003, 04:44:20 AM »
As mentioned before, Game Zero is the project name for a game in development by Zoonami.  Zoonami was founded in 1999 by Martin Hollis, one of the bigger guys at Rare during the SNES/N64 days.  They still haven't released much info, but it started pre-production in 2000, which means that if they haven't totally redesigned the game multiple times, they should have something to show sooner rather than later.  Of course, Zoonami seems to be pretty small and likely has some of the Rare 'it's-done-when-it's-done' mentality, so the wait might be even longer.  There was no sign of it at E3 which makes me think the game won't be finished for another year.

As for a couple of the other games mentioned in the thread, Mini Racers was supposedly completed for the N64 but never released.  The original dev team disbanded (Looking Glass Studios) so they wouldn't have been around to update it for the Cube.  Nintendo was supposed to be in possession of the code, so maybe parts of it have gone into other games...or maybe it wasn't quite up to Nintendo's standards and put it to rest.

Buggie Boogie was turned into a solid demo by Angel Studios that helped them land a deal with a publisher.  Seeing that Angel Studios is now Rockstar San Diego, I'm pretty sure the demo eventually led to what would become Smuggler's Run (a game developed by Angel Studios and published by Rockstar).

As for Rev Limit, Falcon, and Stunt Racer...I have no clue (I don't even really remember hearing about Falcon).  The Rare Gran Turismo killer was a rumour that was never confirmed.  Any number of things could have happened to it if it ever existed.  Keep an eye out for Rare's future Xbox games and maybe they'll give us some ideas.  That applies even more so to Donkey Kong Racing.  I'm fairly certain that's getting a facelift and will show up on the Xbox as some point.

NWR Feedback / pgc wario
« on: June 02, 2003, 05:42:13 PM »
While TYP does some good Mario/Luigi/Wario voices, that is none other than Charles Martinet.  He was nice enough to record that for us at E3.  

Nintendo Gaming / 3do's bankrupcy and Army Men
« on: May 30, 2003, 02:12:53 PM »
FYI...Jonny mentioned in the story that High Heat 2004 was completed and awaiting mass-production and distribution.  What he didn't mention (probably 'cause he didn't think people cared) was that Army Men: Sarge's War and Army Men: RTS are at the same point; completed and awaiting mass-production and distribution.  If another publisher was looking to make some quick games, these 3 would be easy pick-ups...but that assumes there's a publisher that thinks these games are worth selling.  High Heat is a good baseball game, but GCN sports game sales haven't been great.  Sarge's War, I believe, is essentially a slightly darker, next-gen version of the N64 Army Men games (Sarge's Heroes).  RTS is a port of a largely ignored PS2 game.

As for SRS and Four Horsemen, those were still in development and need more work before they're done.  If another publisher picked these up, they'd have to continue the work on them.  I think there was some good reactions to these at E3, so there may be a small chance that someone else would want to continue the work.  

TalkBack / More Bits of Info From ATI and Nintendo
« on: March 25, 2003, 06:58:48 PM »
ATI has released its quarterly earnings and added a couple more pieces to the ATI-Nintendo relationship puzzle.

ATI reported a 20% increase in quarterly revenues today, according to a story in the Toronto Star. ATI, as smart PGC readers should know, is the maker of the "Flipper" graphics chip for the GameCube.  This relationship with Nintendo is credited as part of ATI's growing success.  Two-thirds of its latest sales came from the Asia-Pacific region, where Nintendo's global headquarters are located.  As the relationship strengthens, ATI is forcasting revenue of $300 million for the third quarter, as well as a strong fourth quarter.

Even more interesting for Nintendo fans, the story quotes ATI's chief financial officer, Terry Nickerson, as saying that ATI's growing connection with Nintendo on computer games is still "in a definition phase", but quarterly revenues should get a boost later this year.  How this ties into the ATI-Nintendo agreement announced in March remains to be seen.

TalkBack / Japanese GB Player Confirmed To Be Import Friendly
« on: March 22, 2003, 10:16:29 AM »
Our friends at Play-Asia have received the Game Boy Player and put it through some tests.

The Game Boy Player was just released in Japan, and importers will be happy to know that the peripheral is fully compatible with modded U.S. GameCubes.  Also, U.S. GameCubes using the FreeLoader work fine.  Additionally, PAL GameCubes can use the Japanese Game Boy Player with the FreeLoader and RGB cables (you need these for color display output).  Finally, as one would expect, the Japanese GB Player does not work with unmodded U.S. GameCubes that are not using the FreeLoader.

So, for those of you who can't wait for the GB Player to be released in your territory, or if you want a non-black GB Player, import away!  Thanks to Play-Asia for the info!

TalkBack / Nintendo Scores Awards from Game Developers
« on: March 06, 2003, 10:31:25 PM »
The 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards were held as part of the GDC and Nintendo fared quite well.

The 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards were held tonight in San Jose as part of the ongoing Game Developers Conference.  As with the earlier AIAS Awards, Nintendo did quite well with Animal Crossing picking up a Game Innovation Spotlight Award and Metroid Prime picking up three awards; Rookie Studio of the Year, Excellence in Level Design, and the coveted Game of the Year.

Accepting GOTY

 While the coronation of the Game of the Year was exciting, the highlight of the night was definitely the honoring of Gunpei Yokoi with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Last year's honoree, Yuji Naka, did an excellent job in presenting the award to Yokoi's family with a touching speech that highlighted Yokoi-san's career and credited him as a respected rival that helped push Sega developers to work that much harder during the fierce Nintendo/Sega battles of the 80s and early 90s.  Congratulations to all of tonight's winners, particularly the Yokoi family, and thanks to the International Game Developers Association for putting on a good award show for game developers by game developers.

Naka-san honors a departed rival

Nintendo Gaming / GameCube FreeLoader memory card problems?
« on: March 03, 2003, 06:20:24 PM »
I just got one and lost some Japanese game save data when trying out the FreeLoader on my import games.  I'm trying to figure out if it was an isolated incident, user error, or if there's actually a potential problem.  I sent an e-mail to Datel late Friday but haven't heard back from them yet.  Anyone here pick up the FreeLoader and experience problems with their memory cards?

TalkBack / Capcom to Deliver a New GBA Zelda
« on: February 24, 2003, 06:53:02 PM »
An interview in Power Unlimited reveals more Zelda GBA goodness coming thanks to Capcom.  There's another reason to go to E3 this year!

Dutch gaming magazine Power Unlimited recently sat down with Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma for an exclusive interview to discuss the upcoming Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  In the interview, it was revealed that Capcom is making another handheld Zelda game for the GBA and that this new game will be shown at E3 this May.  Additionally, Miyamoto concluded the interview by stating that "We have many new games for you at E3!"  Check out the full story (in Dutch) at Power Unlimited's website.

TalkBack / Sega and Sammy to Merge in October
« on: February 12, 2003, 08:38:38 PM »
The trend for game companies to consolidate continues as Sega and Sammy set to merge this October.

According to, Sega Corp. and Sammy Corp. have announced plans for a merger to take effect on October 1st.

Hajime Satomi, president of Sammy, is set to lead the joined company.  The 2 company's will hold a briefing soon.  As always, we'll have more on the story as it develops.

TalkBack / The Beats of FIFA 2003
« on: October 09, 2002, 11:29:13 PM »
For the handful of U.S. soccer fans and the hordes of worldwide football fans, EA has revealed the soundtrack for the next installment in the FIFA series.

EA has recently released the soundtrack to FIFA 2003, the latest addition to the long running series for the world’s most popular sport.  While we all know it’s the gameplay that counts the most, it never hurts to have some cool tunes to help push the presentation through the roof.  Check out this list and see if these songs from EA Trax will do just that for you.

-To Get Down (Fatboy Slim Remix) – Timo Maas -In My Mind – Antiloop -Jumpin’ to the Moon (Unexplored Field Mix) – A.Mia -Hide U – Kosheen -Pride – Kosheen -Real Fonky Time – Dax Riders -Dy-Na-Mi-Tee – Ms. Dynamite -Played a Live (The Bongo Song) – Safri Duo -Bigger and Better – Spotrunnaz -Independent – Sportfreunde Stiller -You Held the World in Your Arms – Idlewild -Complicated (Pablo La Rossa Vocal Mix) – Avril Lavigne -Drivin – Bedroom Rockers -Force – D.O.G.  

Note that this info is from EA’s Netherlands site and the soundtrack may be changed for the U.S. market.

TalkBack / Nintendo Ups the Marketing Ante 25%
« on: October 07, 2002, 02:17:32 AM »
Nintendo of America announced today that they will spend $140 million in marketing for the Holiday 2002 season; 25% more than the previous year.

Nintendo of America is gearing up for a competitive Holiday 2002 by upping its marketing budget by 25% to $140 million.  You should expect to see plenty of GameCube ads this fall, even more than during last year's console launch.

Much of this budget will go towards marketing aimed at an older audience (teens and 20 somethings), with Metroid Prime and Resident Evil Zero being the centers of attention.  Previously announced marketing efforts like the Cube Clubs, Metroid movie commercials, and promo DVDs will be supported with increased TV, radio, and internet advertising as well as promotional partnerships with companies like Heineken, Keebler and Kraft.  All in all, it looks like Nintendo is about to finally step up its GameCube marketing.  Below is the full press release.

October 2002 (Newstream) -- In support of its strongest lineup ever of video games designed for older players, Nintendo of America announces it will spend $140 million in marketing during the holiday season, a 25-percent hike over last year. Much of the funds will target teen and 20-something players.  

The marketing focus mirrors several noteworthy and highly anticipated game releases over the remaining weeks of 2002. Both the teen-rated Metroid® Prime and the mature-rated Resident Evil Zero arrive this fall exclusively for Nintendo GameCubeTM. They are among 80 new game launches supporting the platform before year-end.  

"As our game library grows to 180 by New Year's Eve, Nintendo will have the largest concentration ever of games designed for players in their teens, and older," says Peter MacDougall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America. "By significantly boosting our fourth quarter spending over last year, when we launched the Nintendo GameCube, it's clear Nintendo is serious about the serious gamer."  

Targeted marketing programs for the remainder of 2002 include:

-Exclusive Nintendo Cube Clubs in urban storefronts in 15 cities, featuring live music and extensive hands-on game play  

-A celebrity-studded anniversary party for Nintendo GameCube in Hollywood  

-Intensified advertising campaigns aimed at teens and young adults highlighting a wide range of older-appeal titles from Nintendo and independent third-party publishers  

-More than 3 million promotional DVDs with 80-plus minutes of game footage representing more than 25 new games  

-Cinema advertising in Nov. and Dec. on more than 6000 screens nationwide  

-Sponsorship of the USSA Snowboarding Grand Prix, running from December through April  

-Promotional partnerships with Heineken, Keebler and Kraft Easy Mac & Cheese  

-Multi-market radio promotions  

-Intensified internet and print advertising  1.5 million copies of a new 80-page, full color consumer booklet at thousands of retail outlets in November  

-Numerous out-of-home programs - in schools, malls, college campuses, airports, bars and nightclubs - reaching teens and young adults where they hang out  

While expanding its message to the older player, Nintendo remains unparalleled in attracting gamers of all ages. In August, the latest iteration in the Mario series, Super Mario® Sunshine for Nintendo GameCube, moved to #2 on the sales charts, despite being available only the last six days of the month. Recent releases Star Fox® Adventures and Animal CrossingTM also are selling very well.

In total, 60 percent of Nintendo's global marketing budget is spent in the last four months of the year. As an industry, the retail value of video games in America is on track to surpass $10 billion for the first time in 2002.

As the worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems. The systems include Game Boy®, Nintendo® 64, Game Boy Advance and NINTENDO GAMECUBE. Since the release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 1.6 billion video games worldwide, creating enduring industry icons such as MarioTM and Donkey Kong® and launching such franchises as ZeldaTM and Pokémon®. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.  

For more information about NINTENDO GAMECUBE or any other Nintendo product visit the company's Web sites, or

TalkBack / Talking with an Old School 'Hip'-ster
« on: September 30, 2002, 08:57:10 PM » has an informative interview with Hip Tanaka, the man behind the music for many NES greats. recently posted an interview with Hirokazu 'Hip' Tanaka.  For those who don't know, Tanaka currently heads Creatures Inc. (of Pokemon fame) and began his career in the video game industry with Nintendo composing music for classics like Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Balloon Fight; just to name a few.  Below is an excerpt but for the full interview, check out or pick up the October 2002 issue of Game Developer magazine.  Note that to read the full interview, you've got to register with Gamasutra first (don't worry it's free, and worth it if you're interested in making games).

AB. For Metroid, how did you go about creating the music? Did someone give you graphics from the game and give you ideas for themes? Who did you work most closely with? Gumpei Yokoi? Hai Yukami?

HT. The sound for games used be regarded just as an effect, but I think it was around the time Metroid was in development when the sound started gaining more respect and began to be properly called game music. Even the media had put spotlights on it, and we began to see many articles on game music.  Then, sound designers in many studios started to compete with each other by creating upbeat melodies for game music. The pop-like, lilting tunes were everywhere.  The industry was delighted, but on the contrary, I wasn't happy with the trend, because those melodies weren't necessarily matched with the tastes and atmospheres that the games originally had.  The sound design for Metroid was, therefore, intended to be the antithesis for that trend. I had a concept that the music for Metroid should be created not as game music, but as music the players feel as if they were encountering a living creature. I wanted to create the sound without any distinctions between music and sound effects. The image I had was, "Anything that comes out from the game is the sound that game makes."

TalkBack / Nintendo Actually Acknowledges Rare Situation?
« on: September 11, 2002, 10:13:51 PM »
We're still waiting for the official word but Nintendo has given a brief quote on the situation. now has an article on the Rare situation adding to the list of mainstream media that have already picked up the Microsoft Buys Rare story.  So, why even mention this?  Well, there's actually a (very) brief quote from a Nintendo spokesman on the matter.

Kyoto, Japan, Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Nintendo Co., the maker of the GameCube video-game system, said it may consider selling shares in U.K. gamemaker Rare Ltd. if Microsoft Corp. becomes a major shareholder.  

Rare has been making fewer games for Nintendo in recent years and the sale would have ``little impact for us,'' Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said. Microsoft is in talks to buy Rare, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the negotiations.  

Microsoft is seeking to buy companies like Rare to beef up its roster of games that can be played only on its Xbox system, which competes with GameCube and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2. Xbox sales have lagged expectations in part because of the lack of unique games other than ``Halo,'' an analyst said.

A small quote, but that official announcement should be on the way anytime now.

TalkBack / The Lighter Side of the Gamer's Summit
« on: August 28, 2002, 12:54:09 AM »
Nintendo broke the record for the world's largest bowl of spaghetti, but a Luigi look-a-like stole the show.

Last week, Mario fans from around the San Francisco Bay Area gathered in S.F. Little Italy’s Washington Square park for the chance to win a GameCube and a trip to Hawaii.  A group of roughly 20 Mario look-a-likes showed up hoping to be one of 6 lucky contestants to dive into the world’s largest bowl of spaghetti.  Hidden insider the 2,700 pounds of pasta were 6 GameCube boxes, 1 of which had the magic tickets.  The other 5 boxes weren’t too shabby either offering different types of Nintendo prize packages.

Several of the look-a-likes did a great job with props as a homemade FLUDD, Yoshi, Fire Flower, Fireball, and Bob-omb could be found with the Marios.  Also included in the contestants was a father-son team and a duo of both Mario Brothers.  Yes, TYP, your boy Luigi was there representing the rest of the family; and represent he did.  Luigi was among the finalists chosen by a panel of 3 gaming journalists, as was the father-son team and the Mario with a FLUDD and a Yoshi.

With the finalists chosen, the 5 Marios and 1 Luigi were separated into 3 pairs.  Each pair would have 5 minutes to dig into the pasta to search for a GameCube box, one of which contained the lucky ticket for the Hawaii vacation.  The first pair had a fairly easy time finding a GameCube box and came out remarkably clean for people who’d been in a giant bowl of spaghetti and fake meatballs.  The next pair then jumped in and were a bit more entertaining.  The older half of the father-son team didn’t mind getting dirty and got his arms into the spaghetti quite well.  Unfortunately, it took Dad a while to realize that all the prizes were hidden inside identical boxes.  His son (and the rest of the crowd) spent more than a minute yelling at him to just take any box and to stop looking for a magical envelope buried deep inside the pasta.  Eventually, he figured out what was going on and came out, GameCube box in hand, with plenty of tomato sauce covering him.

The final pair included the lone Luigi, and that’s when the real fun began.  It was quite apparent that the Luigi was a fun-loving guy as he was more than happy to play the role doing his best impersonation complete with hand gestures.  Of course, that was just the beginning.  Once inside the spaghetti, Luigi seemed more interested in making a big a mess as possible while digging, swimming, falling, lounging, and even eating his way through the spaghetti than finding a GameCube box.  The man was an absolute riot, though.  If the trip to Hawaii went to the most entertaining look-a-like, there’d be no contest.  At least, he got some nice air time on the local news that night.  I’ve got some pics to give you an idea of what he was like, but I’m fairly sure soMeone AT anoTher websIte Got the eNtire thing on video (no, I’m not very clever).  Maybe someone should pester the guy to upload it for the world to view.

When all was said and done, Luigi was an absolute mess and the star of the show, everyone else got at least a GameCube, the Mario with the FLUDD and Yoshi got the trip, and Dad was an unhappy camper.  My apologies to the winner if it seems like I’m downplaying that part, but really, the most entertaining part of the event was Luigi’s spaghetti bowl antics.  Now stop reading already and click on the related link and check out the pics!

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