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They Said WHAT
EGM May '06: Is Mario Painting the Wii?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 22, 2009   |   Episode 28 (Show Archive)  

   

MAY 2006: Trilogy? Riiiiiigh!
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 20 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.

Last week we decided to jump back in the saddle and start going after Electronic Gaming Monthly again. We did this by looking back at the May 2005 issue, one that was (as usual) filled with all sorts of half-truths and misguided predictions. This week we've decided to go exactly twelve months into the future, looking at the May 2006 issue (number 203). Given that this came out right before E3, you can expect all sorts of juicy Nintendo rumors and even a word or two about a PSP redesign. Find out what the Quartermann got right and wrong when you check out another exciting episode of They Said WHAT?!?


Rumor #1 - What? Another Final Fantasy?
"By the time you read this Rumor Mill, Square Enix's hotly anticipated (yet ridiculously delayed) role-playing game Final Fantasy XII will be in the moogle-loving hands of Japanese gamers. But get this: We'll catch a glimpse of the series' next installment

And four years later maybe we'll be able to play Final Fantasy XIII!
way before FFXII hits our shores. That's right; I hear Square will unveil FXIII at this May's big industry trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (known to most folks as simply E3). Expect a brief teaser video and confirmation from the publisher that the RPG will be a PS3 exclusive."
Reality: After a disastrous showing last week, it's nice to see the Quartermann come out swinging in the first of five questionable rumors. This Final Fantasy XIII rumor is true; I cannot argue with a thing that the Q-mann says. Square Enix did indeed show off their thirteenth Final Fantasy game at E3 2006, offering a brief videos, a few screenshots and a confirmation that the game would be a PlayStation 3 exclusive. They also announced two other Final Fantasy XIII-related games, one for the mobile phones and yet another for the PlayStation 3.

But a funny thing happened along the way, Square Enix decided to change their minds. Here we are three years later and Final Fantasy XIII is still coming to the PlayStation 3 ... along with the Xbox 360. That's right; it is no longer a console exclusive. What's more, the mobile phone installment is now headed to the Sony PSP. But I'm not expecting the Quartermann to predict Square's indecisiveness, that would be unrealistic.

Rumor #2 - What? Another Nintendo DS Revision?

What is Guitar Hero On Tour going to do?
"I don't know about you folks, but The Q can spend only so much cash on "new and improved" versions of his handhelds. (But I'd still donate some pints of blood -- or other bodily fluids -- for that DS Lite. It looks H-O-T hot!) Anyway, more upgrades are on the way, as both the DS and the PSP will receive additional redesigns by the end of the year. So what's the latest and greatest feature? It seems Nintendo and Sony will add a camera to their respective portable systems ... and more."
Reality: Okay, so let me get this straight - "The Q" is suggesting that Nintendo will release another DS revision in the very same year they are releasing the DS Lite? Who comes out with two system revisions in one year, especially when the console hadn't even been out a full two years? After spending so much time

Therea is a camera and GPS attachment for the PSP, but neither of them are built into the system!
debunking the Quartermann's gossip I'm inclined to dismiss what he says out of hand now, but rarely is a rumor so illogical.

To fully understand the idiocy of this rumor, you first have to understand that the Nintendo DS Lite was announced in EGM's April 2006 issue. That's right, it was revealed one month before this Rumor Mill column. What we have here is EGM's gossip hound talking about a second Nintendo DS revision that will, apparently, have a camera built in and will be released in 2006. The same 2006 that saw the Nintendo DS Lite. What makes this even more confusing is that Q mentions the DS Lite, so it's not like he's just mixing his revisions up.

To EGM's credit, they did get two things right. For starters, the PSP did see a slight revision in 2007, however it did not feature the camera the Q-mann hints at. You can still buy a camera designed specifically for the PSP, but it is not built into the actual hardware. As for the DS, Nintendo's handheld did eventually see a revision with a built-in camera ... three years later. So yes, there are elements of this rumor that eventually came true, but what the Quartermann suggests is wrong on several fundamental levels.

Rumor #3 - What? Another Mario Paint Game?

This obviously fake cover looks so bad that I wouldn't be surprised if it was done using Mario Paint!
"Tall, dark, and a rumormonger extraordinaire -- I've definitely got a lot going for me. Sadly, that list doesn't include my art skills (I struggle drawing a darn stick figure). But that doesn't mean I'm not excited about new versions of Mario Paint for the DS and Nintendo Revolution. Details are pretty scarce right now, but word among the underground is that the next-gen console version will be quite robust, including the option to create 3D images. Nice, very nice indeed."
Reality: Rumormonger extraordinaire? So far this issue the Quartermann has only managed to get one rumor right, and that batting average isn't going to improve with this wholly misguided rumor. Apparently the Q-mann thinks that there should be a new Mario Paint game, and I agree. Let's face it, both the DS and the Wii were built for a Mario Paint-like art game, something that allows you to exercise your creative muscle and share it with the world. Better still, you could connect the two devices together to make a truly impressive picture or

Better ... but not real!
comic or animated short or whatever. It's almost mind boggling how many amazing things you could do with a Mario Paint game using the power of the Wii, controls of the DS and immediacy of the internet. This sounds like the greatest non-game ever, and it would fit right in with Wii Sports, Wii Music and Wii Fit.

There's just one problem, it's three years later and neither of these games exist. Not only have they not come out, but there is no evidence that they have even been considered. Still, it does seem strange that Nintendo wouldn't release a Wii Paint game, especially when you look at the casual market the company is targeting these days. I fully expect that the end of the Wii's lifecycle we will see something along those lines, but that doesn't make the Quartermann's gossip right. Here the Q-mann suggests that he knows for a fact that the DS and Wii versions of this game were in development, however that is clearly not the case. There's a difference between a rumor and a prediction, and this is nothing more than a hopeful prediction.

Rumor #4 - What? Another Pilotwings Game?
"And speaking of Nintendo's upcoming console, here's another scrumptious piece of gossip: It appears the flight simulator series Pilotwings is currently in development for the Revolution.

Pilotwings was never anything more than a tech demo, but put next to Wii Music and this may just be the system's next killer app!
Imagine holding the system's motion-sensitive, TV-remote-like controller in your hands just like a paper airplane and effortlessly guiding your craft through the friendly skies. If a game like Pilotwings can't get you jazzed about the Revolution ... well, then you're dead to me."
Reality: What a difference a couple of years make. In 2006 people couldn't be more excited about the upcoming Revolution (the console that would eventually become the Wii), yet only a few short months later those same people are complaining about how bad most of the games are. For what it's worth, perhaps Pilotwings Wii is the type of thing that the Quartermann can get excited about. After all, the idea of flying the plane with the motion controls does sound intriguing and I've always been a sucker for the Pilotwingss franchise. But here we are, three years into the Wii's lifecycle and Nintendo hasn't said a word about a new Pilotwings game. They mentioned that we would see new games from both Mario and Zelda, but nothing concrete about Pilotwings. Worse yet, whenever Shigeru Miyamoto is asked about Pilotwings he always ducks the question or says that it is something he would enjoy working on. That's not to say that a Pilotwings game won't hit the Wii sometime in its lifetime, but I would consider this three year old rumor to be busted.

Rumor #5 - What? Another Ratchet & Clank Game?

I'm sorry Sony, but just using the word "tool" does not automatically make the title funny!
"Talk about changing your stripes -- Sony's Ratchet series went from a cute and cuddly platformer to a multiplayer-heavy shooter in just four short years. How will the fur ball and his metallic mate handle their next-gen debut? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure, but we'll all find out when Ratchet lands on the PlayStation 3 sometime in 2007. I just hope the franchise keeps up with the funny."
Reality: Why is it always the last rumor that the Quartermann gets right? The same thing happened in last week's episode. Perhaps the Q-mann knows he's just making it up as he goes along and figures he needs to include something accurate to keep up the appearance of credibility. But don't be fooled, because if we've proven anything, it's that EGM's gossip guru is routinely wrong.

Thankfully he wasn't wrong about this particular rumor, because Ratchet & Clank Future is one of the PlayStation 3's very best games. It's an exciting romp through colorful levels full of generally humorous weapons. And if that wasn't enough, Sony has already released a short, episodic Ratchet & Clank installment that can only be found on the PlayStation Network. Good job Q-mann, out of five rumors you managed to get one right. Here's to hoping you can bring up that score the next time we meet.
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