April 2002: Thank God EGM was there with the very first State of Emergency review!
The look, logo, staff, and consoles may have changed, but there's one thing that has remained the same since the very first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly nearly 17 years ago. And that is Quartermann, the man you call on when you want rumors, gossip, and speculation. Although his write up has gone under a number of different titles, a rumor section has appeared in every one of EGM's almost 200 issues. But what if I were to tell you that this rumor monger's facts were spotty, at best? What if I were to tell you that the rumors, while juicy, are often incorrect? Well ... that's precisely what I'm about to tell you, and to prove it we're prepared to look at his rumors one magazine at a time.
Here's what you need to know: In each episode we are going to take a different issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly and go through every single rumor the Q-Mann talked brought up. I'm going to write them up EXACTLY as they are in the magazine, and then explain the truth ... knowing what we know all these years later. We're not here to pull any punches, we're just curious to see how well the magazine holds up over the years. In our first episode we decided to look at EGM issue 153, April 2002.
Maybe I'm just strange, but there's nothing about this picture that makes me want to play DDR!
"... We've all been calling it Mario Sunshine for months, but it's definitely not going to be the final title of Miyamoto's next Mario for the GameCube. Not in the U.S., at least ..."
Is it just me for does that first line make no sense? It just seems like there's a word or two missing, I just don't understand what they are going for there. What I think they are saying is that Super Mario Sunshine would not be the last Mario game on the GameCube. Technically they're right, since April of 2002 Nintendo has had several Mario Party's, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix, and so on so forth. When it comes right down to it, Mario is everywhere these days.
But maybe that's not what they meant. Maybe they are talking about a new Mario game that would be a proper sequel to Super Mario Sunshine. This is not the first time that rumor has been brought up ... heck, even Miyamoto himself promised that we would see a version of Super Mario 128 (the working title) at this year's E3. Unfortunately that game didn't make an appearance at the show, but Mario Party 7 did which satisfied almost nobody.
Mario will have a sequel ... but not on the Nintendo GameCube!
You would think that Quartermann would be happy just getting something right, but that appears to be too much to ask!
"... Speaking of Mascots, we haven't heard much from Sega's rappin' duo ToeJam & Earl lately. The third game in this funkified alien adventure is still on the way, only this time it's for the Xbox. Do I hear online play? Yes, yes I do ..."
At first it seems like Quartermann finally got something right, ToeJam & Earl III did in fact make its way to the Xbox soon after this article. But Q couldn't just settle for being right. He had to take the story a little farther and make it even juicier ... all at the expense of his credibility. This one is pretty cut and dry: yes there was a ToeJam & Earl III on the Xbox, but it most certainly did not have online play. I did feature downloadable content, but that is a very different beast entirely.
Q gets it right ... up until he starts talking about online play!
"... It's time to enter the Twilight Zone for the next rumor, kiddies. Capcom's next team up in their popular Vs. series? Capcom vs. Dragon Ball. Far fetched, yes. That's in addition to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which is already in
It's not every character from the game, but this Marvel vs. Capcom poster sure makes me want to play the game again!
development. All I'm going to say is, what kind of bizarre world are we living in when the World Warriors and Super Saiyans can battle each other in mortal combat? And don't most of the DBZ dudes have the same darn attacks anyway? It'd be a fireball fest, that's for sure ..."
Ever hear one of those rumors that is so extreme that you probably shouldn't repeat it? Well, this is one of those rumors. It's hard to know where to start, nearly every element of this article is dead wrong. For starters, Capcom's next match up most certainly was not the fighters from Dragon Ball ... or any other anime, for that matter. In fact, Capcom's next match up was against themselves, with Capcom Fighting Jam. Capcom is also going up against Namco in the upcoming strategy game, Namco X Capcom. As of now the World Warriors have yet to fight the Dragon Ball characters ... and when they do, you can count me out.
As if the idea of Capcom vs. Dragon Ball wasn't inaccurate enough, EGM reports that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is already in development? It is? Well, you better tell EA and Activision, because they're the ones that own the Marvel license. Of course, now that it's nearly 2006 we can safely say that Capcom is not going to release a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 any time soon. Trust me, I'd be the first one in line to buy it if they did make the game.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3? Not going to happen! Capcom vs. Dragon Ball?? I shouldn't even need to debunk this one.
This picture is cooler than anything found in the Matrix Revolutions!
"... The future of The Matrix game is in jeopardy with all the chaos going on internally at Interplay. It may be a while before we all get to jack in ..."
Despite the first Matrix game (Enter the Matrix) being one lame pile of I's and O's, it did manage to sell like hot cakes. Perhaps it was the fact that it carried the Matrix name and came out long before people realized how terrible the Matrix Revolution was. But for whatever reason, it sold well enough to warrant future titles. These days you can trudge around the MMO world of the Matrix Online and pre-order your copy of Path of Neo, the newest Matrix game for the consoles.
Of course, there is some truth to this rumor. There has been some in-fighting amongst the various developers and publishers, the Matrix Online ended up changing hands before it debuted and is currently going through some major changes to make it more appealing. But it would seem as the worst is behind us, the Path of Neo is already getting good press and promises to be everything that Enter the Matrix wasn't.
When EGM says that it may be awhile before you play another Matrix game what they really mean is that it will be two or three years.
I can't be the only one more interested in looking at Maria Sharapova than Heihachi!
"... Here's an interesting lil' anecdote. Namco originally planned to put some of its signature characters in the upcoming PS2 tennis game, Smash Court. But real-life court superstars got all miffed that they have to share the spotlight with these polygonal newbies. So to keep it the "serious" tennis game that it is, Namco had to remove the likes of Heihachi and Paul Pheonix. Man, are those tennis stars a buncha bums or what? And while we're on the topic of sports, how come no one does them with a first-person view? I wanna crack some heads!"
I'm sorry, but if you care about this story then perhaps you're better off reading one of those tabloid magazines you see at the check out counter of the supermarket. I can't think of anything more boring than talking about how Namco allegedly had to drop Tekken characters from their mediocre tennis game. What's next, they'll ask us to care about the fish in fishing games?
I'm not sure which is stranger, the Ninja's big hand or his gun!
"... And finally, let's wrap up with a couple tidbits. Namco got a port/remix of their arcade-gun game Ninja Assault on tap for PS2. That'll be the second game to make use of the GunCon 2 you bought ..."
Oh good, we're almost through with this episode ... it's about time I get some rest and relaxation dammit! Thankfully this is an easy one, because this time EGM was dead on about Ninja Assault. I'm not sure how proud a magazine should feel for getting the rumor about Ninja Assault right but just about everything wrong, but for what it's worth Ninja Assault did make it to the PlayStation 2 ... and nobody cared. It sold poorly, got scathing reviews, and couldn't even be the best GunCon 2 game on the system (and there were only two for a long time). Where would we be without EGM predicting this right?
EGM was dead on this time. Unfortunately, Ninja Assault was dead on arrival.
If you ask me, it's time for EA to get on that Foxy Boxing game!
"... Electronic Arts is toying with the idea of getting New Corps. (the group that developed Victorious Boxers on PS2) to help revitalize its ailing Knockout Kings franchise ..."
When I first read this I confused New Corps. with News Corps., the multi-billion dollar company that owns Fox, IGN, My Space, and just about everything else. Thankfully Rupert Murdoch is not the man in question here; instead it's New Corps., the company behind Victorious Boxers. Yet again EGM gets it right, New Corps. moved over to working on Knockout Kings 2003, a game that managed to get good reviews and give EA the confidence to go after the boxing heavyweight title. The very next year EA would release Fight Night, then Fight Night Round 2, and the rest is history.
Now that we've experienced the greatness of Fight Night Round 2 it's awfully hard to remember Knockout Kings. But there's no denying that EGM managed to get this story right!
The cast of Legends of Dragoon peer off into the distance at a far better role-playing experience!
"... And lastly a sequel to the lackluster Sony CEI RPG Legend of Dragoon is coming before the end of the year. Did anyone ask for that? No? Good ..."
Considering how sequel friendly role-playing games tend to be this probably wasn't that bad of a guess ... it just wasn't the right guess. There are a lot of adventure games Sony decided to make sequels to, but the Legend of Dragoon is not one of them. Perhaps it was because the game was hated by the critics (and Quartermann) or maybe it was because it did so poorly at the retail side, but whatever the case, Sony decided not to pursue a sequel to this mediocre RPG. Of course, it's worth mentioning that GameSpot had reported this rumor a full two years before EGM got around to it. That doesn't change anything, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Hey EGM, perhaps you should have put your bets on another Final Fantasy sequel, because as of 2005 there is still no sign of a Legend of Dragoon 2. I suppose it could still happen ... but it certainly didn't happen before the end of 2002, like this article said.