What we lack in decent page design, we make up for with lackluster articles and late reports.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
In Stores This Week
More games have arrived. Aren't you lucky?

GameCube: Serious Sam: Next Encounter and Space Raiders -- both with MSRPs of $20. In addition, the game Pool Paradise was supposedly released earlier this month, but it can't be found anywhere. At one point Wal-Mart had it in their online store, but other than that it appears to be missing.

Game Boy Advance: Serious Sam Advance and Bookworm (which may have shipped earlier, but seems to have been impossible to find until recently).

Also, it seems as though Konami Arcade Collection Advance has been reissued to stores with new box art, and seems to be selling for $9.99. Very odd.
New Iwata Interview (By Somebody Else)
Gamespy recently interviewed Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Make sure to head to their site to read the interview. As we were once again shunned (although, in our defense, we were hundreds of miles away at the time), Gamespy had Steve Kent (author of The Ultimate History of Video Games) interview Iwata.

Some interesting bits of the interview include:

  • Iwata maintaining that Nintendo will continue to work on uniqueness in game hardware, as opposed to raw power. The DS appears to be a good example of this in a portable, and future Nintendo hardware will include innovations of a similiar kind... whatever that means.

  • Iwata again maintaining that hardware purchases are made primarily because of the software available, using this to back up the early statement about power not being king.

  • The fact that Nintendo is currently working on a new console, which Iwata refers to as "GCNext or GCN" (which is rather funny, considering the GCN is the "official" abbreviation for the GameCube). Again, it is stressed that software comes first, which means that the hardware team is building and designing according to the needs of Nintendo's software teams.

  • Iwata claims that Nintendo is actively working with "Sega, Namco, and Konami" on new game development. Does this imply future Konami/Nintendo games, or just MGS:TTS?

  • The delay in the launch of the GC as compared to the PS2 is seen as a key reason for the GC performing so poorly, and Iwata plans to make sure that Nintendo is not in that situation again.

    Europe to Get Pokemon Box in Pokemon Colosseum Mega Pak
    Nintendo will release the Pokemon Colosseum Mega Pak in Europe on May 14th. This bundle will include a black GameCube, Pokemon Colosseum, the GC-GBA link cable, a Memory Card 251, and the elusive Pokemon Box disc. While the bundle is interesting, we are most interested in Pokemon Box -- the little Pokemon memory management system that has yet to be released in the USA. Originally sold as a budget title in Japan, Pokemon Box lets you store tons of Pokemon on a memory card, and transfer them back and forth between the GC memory card and your GBA Pokemon title; it also allows you to play the GBA Pokemon games on the GameCube using just a GBA and the link cable, negating the need to have a Game Boy Player. Why this wasn't released in the USA in conjunction with Pokemon Colosseum is still a mystery, although it's always possible that NOA plans to release it with the Pokemon Fire Red / Leaf Green GBA games later this year.
    Metroid Prime Sequel to be Multiplayer?
    New issues of such magazines as Game Informer are running with screenshots of the upcoming GameCube Metroid Prime sequel, and the screenshots seem to indicate that the game will have a multiplayer mode. Some screens clearly show a 4 player split-screen, although not much is known about what kind of game modes will be available.
    Legend of Golfer From Nintendo & Seta
    Nintendo recently revealed that it would be publishing a new golfing game on the GameCube, entitled Legend of Golfer. The game was developed exclusively for Nintendo by Seta, and is scheduled for a release later this year in Japan. The game appears to be a traditional golf simulation game, but feel free to examine some screenshots over at N-Philes.
    More Famicom Mini Titles
    The first wave of Famicom Mini games haven't even reached the USA yet, but that hasn't stopped NCL from announcing the upcoming release of Famicom Mini games 11-20. Starting on May 21st, Japanese gamers will be able to buy GBA cartridges featuring emulated versions of Balloon Fight, Clu Clu Land, Dig Dug, Dr. Mario, Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Douchuu (the first of the Goemon/Legend of the Mystical Ninja games), Makaimura (known in the USA as Ghosts n' Goblins), Mario Bros., Takahasi Meijin's Adventure Island, and Twinbee. Expect at least a few of those to make it here in the USA if the first batch of NES Classics sells well.

    No More Factor 5 GameCube Games...
    IGN recently contacted Factor 5 (creators of the Rogue Squadron games for the N64 and GameCube) and was told that Factor 5 had no further GameCube games in development. They were told that Factor 5 was working on games "for other platforms", but that no Factor 5 games would be shown at e3 this year.

    We at N-Run weren't quite sure how to take this when we first heard it. It's fairly obvious that the cheery folks at IGN simply ran about calling developers today to see if anyone else would provide news for their site, and discovered that Factor 5 had no more GC titles in the works. This isn't really as exciting as it sounds, as the fact that nothing Factor 5 is currently working on will be visible at e3 implies that Factor 5's new games won't be released until late 2005.

    In fact, the fine folks at Gamestop went to the trouble of talking to Julian Eggebrecht, president of Factor 5, themselves. Julian explained that Factor 5 had ceased all current generation development, and was already working on "next generation" gaming platforms. He declined to specify which systems they might be targetting, but he did tell Gamespot that "We are extremely excited about both DS and GCNext, so any talk of us abandoning Nintendo platforms altogether is just not true". He also hinted that a surprise announcement about future development might be coming from Factor 5 at some point.
    Silicon Knights No Longer Second Party Nintendo Developer
    It seems that the second party developer status of Silicon Knights has ended. The Canadian development house who brought the GameCube Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes will no longer be restricted to the Nintendo gaming platforms. There is no word yet on what exactly they plan to do, or who they might work with in the future.

    This action comes as a bit of surprise, given the abundance of pro-Nintendo interviews Denis Dyack (president of Silicon Knights) has given in the recent past. Rumors are flying that it was Nintendo who initiated the break, given the slightly disappointing sales of ED and the slow start of MGS:TTS, but odds are that we won't know more about this until much, much later. In theory, Silicon Knights has at least one mystery GameCube game in development at the moment, but no one is really sure if Silicon Knights will or will not continue to release games for the GameCube platform. Dyack continues to express much admiration and respect for the Nintendo company even as his company leaves the Nintendo fold. When IGN reporters asked Dyack about future Nintendo development, he said "(i)t's possible that we may do another game with Nintendo, actually. It just means that we've decided to break our exclusivity with Nintendo."

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