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They Said WHAT
EGM Sep. '06 - It's Spelled "Saints Row"
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 02, 2008   |   Episode 15 (Show Archive)  

   

SEPTEMBER 2006: This is the newest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly we have attempted to debunk!
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 200 plus 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 this very special episode we've decided to stay to pull from a recent issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Okay, not recent, but certainly a lot more recent than our other episodes. Enjoy this brand new episode of They Said WHAT?!? when we make fun of EGM's 207th issue, September 2006.

Rumor #1 - It's Spelled "Saints Row" Dammit!
"As we creep closer to the PlayStation 3's launch, any Xbox 360 game that hasn't already pledged allegiance to Sony's new console is looked at with question. Is anything a console exclusive anymore? I won't answer that obvious question, but I will answer a not-so-obvious one -- my gang of rumor rats told me the 360 gangsta romp, Saint's Row [sic], will also be a PS3 launch title."

You certainly didn't see a pimp blow up a speed boat in Grand Theft Aut IV ... or did you?
Reality: First and foremost, it's "Saints Row," not "Saint's Row." I know there isn't much of a difference, but you might as well get the name of the game right if you're going to talk about it ... especially when it's advertising in the very same issue. Now with that behind us let's take a look at the actual rumor. So Saints Row is coming to the PlayStation 3? Of course it is, Saints Row 2 will be coming to both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this October. I'm not sure how excited everyone will be now that Grand Theft Auto IV is on the market, but there's no dispute that Saints Row will, indeed, come to the PlayStation 3.

But the Q-Mann isn't talking about Saints Row 2 (or, rather, "Saint's Row 2"). Instead he's talking about the original Saints Row, the game that was "supposed" to come out for the PlayStation 3. First let's address the whole "launch title" thing, when I talked with THQ (the publishers of Saints Row) back in March of 2007 they told me flat out that Saints Row was never intended to be a launch title but was "still on track for an 07 release." Well, that didn't exactly pan out ... Saints Row was cancelled for the PlayStation 3 and was never to be heard from again. So what's the deal Q-Mann? Was that nothing more than a guess? That's what it sounds like to me.

Rumor #2 - Nintendo's Form of Charity?
"Itching to play some old-school classics? Well, Nintendo's got a deal for you -- I heard free Virtual Console games will be packaged with select titles in the Wii's launch lineup."

The Legend of Zelda on the Virtual Console may not be free, but this picture was!
Reality: Oh my god! How cool would this have been? Just imagine, you buy The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and get a copy of the original Zelda game for free. That would almost make playing through the Twilight Princess's first six hours tolerable. But alas, the Quartermann (as usual) got it wrong. This certainly sounds like a good idea, and this is the kind of thing Nintendo loyalists love hearing, but there's not an inch of truth in those 30 words. Instead we get the Q-Mann guessing about what he WANTS to happen, not actually what WILL happen ... there is a big difference.

Unfortunately the closest Nintendo has come to giving us free games is by offering short trials of some of the Virtual Console games in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Outside of that they've overcharged and, as of recently, under delivered. I'm not going to complain about $10 Nintendo 64 games or $9 Neo Geo titles, but what's up with $8 Genesis games? And who do you think you are to charge $5 for City Connection? Most people wouldn't even put a quarter into that game, let alone part with five dollars. Give me a break. It's a shame Nintendo didn't listen to the Quartermann, but apparently they were more interested in making free money from suckers who will buy anything on the Virtual Console.

Rumor #3 - Prince of Persia, The Game of 2007!
"If you thought the Prince of Persia sang his swan song with last year's The Two Thrones, rewind that gloomy tune and listen to this -- a new Prince of Persia may be coming to next-gen consoles next year. Whether or not it features the same prince from the last few games remains

There's no doubt that the new Prince of Persia looks hot, but let's not make the hero such a douche bag this time!
to be seen, but I do know you can expect more awesome acrobatics and twitchy time finagling."
Reality: There were a lot of big games released in 2007, everything from Halo 3 to Super Mario Galaxy to The Orange Box to Call of Duty 4, but a Prince of Persia sequel was not one of them. About the closest we got was Assassin's Creed, which was largely developed by the same team that gave us the past three Prince of Persia titles. So does this mean that Quartermann got it wrong?

Well, yes and no. He's definitely not wrong about a next-gen Prince of Persia; it was announced a few months ago and is on track to be released sometime at the end of this year. It's using a completely different prince and art style, and from what I've been able to see (which admittedly is not much) it looks downright amazing. But while he's right about a next-generation Prince of Persia, he's way off on the release. He suggests that the game will be hitting stores in 2007, when in truth the game wasn't even announced until spring of 2008. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, even if he's off by a year or more.

Rumor #4 - More "Facts" About the Portable Xbox!
"Halo 3 is still a ways away, but that hasn't stopped me from getting my hands on this hot one -- if (more like when) Microsoft launches a handheld, it's going to launch with a simpler, dumbed-down version of Halo."

That's right folks, that's a Halo 2 map running on the Nintendo DS!
Reality: There is no portable Xbox and thus no "dumbed down version of Halo." If you believe IGN then Halo was at one point in development for the Nintendo DS (see: Matt Casamassina's weird video feature), but all that was known in 2005, a full year before Quartermann wrote this rumor. So what's the deal? Was the Q-Mann really that convinced that Microsoft would launch a handheld game system to compete with the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP? Because they didn't, instead they released the "Zune," Microsoft's answer to the iPod. And while MS plans on adding game support to this device, so far they have stated that we shouldn't expects anything as powerful as Halo to show up any time soon. Does that mean that we will never see a portable Halo game? I certainly wouldn't rule it out, but considering the current climate of the handheld industry (not to mention how competitive the console market is right now) there doesn't seem to be any evidence that Bill Gates and company will give us a portable Xbox. Sorry Q-Meister, but with no portable Xbox there is no dumbed down Halo. Next.

Rumor #5 - Crysis Coming to Consoles ... Maybe!
"When it comes to dazzling PC first-person shooters, none look quite as snazzy as EA's upcoming Crysis. Sadly, any console owners who were hoping to explore the picturesque jungles in Crysis were disappointed when no next-gen version was announced at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Well, dry your eyes, shooter fans; I

Hey, FarCry came to the Xbox 360, right? Then again, people actually wanted FarCry to come to the console!
hear a next-gen Crysis is actually in the works, only it's not a port of the PC game. Instead, the game will be either a sequel or a side story set in the Crysis universe."
Reality: Will Crysis eventually come to the home consoles? I suspect it probably will. So in that sense the Q-Mann and I are in agreement. However, it's been two years since this rumor and so far there's no evidence to back up his claim. In fact, all of the evidence points to the contrary. Just a month ago Crytek director Cevat Yerli squashed any plans for a console port. Talking to GameSpot, Yerli simply stated that the port would be "impossible," saying that the game would have to be "largely changed to bring it to Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3," and that Crytek's "internal focus is not linked to bring Crysis to consoles." Does that mean the game will never be released? Of course not, but that certainly doesn't suggest that it will come out this year (or really any time in the future). I hate to call this one busted so soon after the rumor is written, but Cevat Yerli doesn't give me a lot of hope that this is actually a truthful rumor. Sorry, Q-Mann, better luck next time.

Rumor #6 - The Elder Scrolls 5, So Soon??
"Still trudging through Oblivion? Well, pick up the pace -- the next 'Elder Scrolls' is apparently set to ship next summer."

Is this the kind of bad guy you can expect from the next Elder Scrolls? Only if you consider The Shivering Isles to be a sequel!
Reality: I'm conflicted about this rumor. I guess it all depends on what he means by the "next Elder Scrolls" game. Is the Q-Mann talking about The Elder Scrolls V, an as-yet announced sequel to the hugely popular Oblivion? If so then there is no such thing as The Elder Scrolls V. One would assume that Bethesda has started production of it (in one form or another), but it would seem like they have their hands full with a little game called Fallout 3. So no, Quartermann, there is no Elder Scrolls sequel that shipped last summer, it just didn't happen.

But here's the thing, maybe that's not what he was alluding to. Maybe when he said "next" he actually meant the expansion pack, The Shivering Isles. Released March of 2007, The Shivering Isles could be what he's talking about. It was a substantial release, giving gamers another twenty or so hours of gameplay. Then again, was it substantial enough to be considered the "next" Elder Scrolls game? I'll leave that up for you to decide. What I can do is give the Quartermann the benefit of the doubt ... and trust me, judging by the rest of this month's rumors he's going to need as much help as he can get.
Rumor #7 - Nobody Wants Luigi's Mansion 2!
"Besides hopping behind the shadows of his portly brother, Luigi occasionally fends off freakies with a ghost-sucking vacuum cleaner. His first game, Luigi's Mansion, launched alongside the GameCube, and now it appears that Nintendo is calling for a Luigi's Mansion sequel for the Wii."

Oh, and nobody wants Excite Truck 2, Urban Champion 2 or a sequel to World Class Track Meet!
Reality: In the lead up to the Wii's launch a lot of magazines tried their hand at guessing what wacky titles Nintendo could come up with. We knew about The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Galaxy, but we had to guess what the rest of the line-up with look like. Given the unique motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii control journalists (and those pretending to be journalists) had a field day coming up with ways to resurrect old franchises, so we heard lots of rumors about a new Pikmin, another Animal Crossing, a possible Kid Icarus and, as the Quartermann is demonstrating here, Luigi's Mansion. But do people really want a sequel to Luigi's Mansion? I think not.

But who am I to judge? The point isn't whether or not I think people want it, it's whether or not we'll ever get a sequel to the GameCube game. Outside of making fun of it in Super Mario Galaxy, Nintendo hasn't even hinted at a possible sequel to this game. From what I can tell the game won't be coming out this year, so if the Q-Mann actually knows something about the game then it's in super-secret development. Of course, the game could very well be real. A couple years down the road Nintendo may actually give us Luigi's Mansion 2. But really, at that point can this even be considered a rumor? I can spend all day naming games that will probably get sequels, but isn't that just making predictions? A rumor is something that you hear from somebody about something that is on the QT, not a big guessing game about a game that may or may not be announced sometime between now and the end of time. Give me a break, Quatermann!
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