Double Agent
020202 - February 2nd, 2002 - Drew Cosner

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this column are those of the participants and the moderator, and do not neccessarily reflect those of the GIA. There is coarse language and potentially offensive material afoot. I hate cookies made of steel. Don't say we didn't warn you.

I remember the good old days, when I could materialize a topic on demand, no problem. I'm slowing down in my old age, I think.

Cycle of Music

I was sitting at my computer listening to Some music from Cowboy Bebop, and I'am in a jazz band at my school and I realize it's quite rare to find actual mainstream music that compares to the music that is in anime or video games. It reminds me of my S generations Cd; there are so many great songs on it, and I've hardly played any music that compares to that, so the question I pose is: Why is it so hard to find main stream music that's as good as the stuff we find in our underground culture? I have my own theories, but I'm curious to see the opinions of others.

"Maybe to be truly good it helps to be weird...I'm living proof "


Because there's no accounting for taste, of course. I suppose I could try to generate a more complex reply, but that pretty much sums up the thrust of my thoughts on the matter. In a way, there's something of a vicious cycle going on. As an example, jazz isn't as popular as rock, rap, or what have you, so it gets played in less-popular venues. Kids grow up listening to rock, rap, or what have you, and get a taste for it. And so on and so forth.

I've gotten really good at writing prose that makes me sound like a pretentious twit, haven't I?

It's not like anybody important reads this column anyway

Hey Drew,

I just wanted to bitch about the xbox(a national pastime). A while ago someone sent a letter about Gamespot being biased to the xbox. Well, now I second that opinion. Forget that Gamespot is owned by Ziff-Davis, who publishes EGM(which had the now famous xbox over gamecube crap), also forget that Ziff-Davis is in debt and any money they could get would be helpful[not to say MS is buying publicity(though I wouldn't put it past them), just that ZD might see all this ad money and reconsider any negative comments and post any positive stories.]

So forget all that and let's just look at Gamespot's recent work. First, when clicking on a story about a game coming to all consoles, it will undoubtedly be listed as Xbox News. Second, three recent stories have been

  1. MS talking to Enix and Square. WTF? Why is this news? In the story they both say they are currently not planning on supporting the console. So why even post it?
  2. MS inks exclusive music deal. Seeing the headline makes you think of soundtracks or an MS music game. The truth; Linkin Park's tour will be sponsered by xbox. Again, why is this news. I see no news about Sony's or Nintendo's ad campaigns.
  3. Ninja Gaiden, Rygar Xbox rumors. The only rumors I heard were that Ninja Gaiden would debut on the GC, and though I would love a Rygar sequel I hadn't heard anything about it. The story denies both rumors.
Now I could live with all that except for one fact, they(and for some reason The Gia) STILL haven't posted the story from Core Magazine in which the president of Enix announces they will support the Gamecube. What's up with that?


Well, seeing as this is a forum built around unchecked, and potentially ill-conceived, opinion, I may as well let you know what I think. I think that Ziff, in general, is skewed towards the Xbox in its recent coverage. The people writing for most of Ziff's publications, be they online or off, evidently place a lot of faith and interest in the 'box, and cover related news accordingly. But let's face it; any publication is manned by human beings, biases and all, and the overall editorial is going to reflect this. Strive as well all may, no media outlet in existence is entirely objective in all things.

Here at this site, we do our damnedest to clearly demarcate the patently objective and subjective segments, but we're certainly not perfect. We're broke college-age geeks who can't cover everything that, in some way, falls under our umbrella of coverage, and at some points executive decisions need to be made, or something just slips through the cracks. So yeah, not everything gets covered with the same intensity as everything else. Such is life.

At any rate, it's not like I work at Ziff Davis to give you the "inside scoop," but I generally agree with your assessment, Achilles. However, having worked for this site, I understand why stuff like that happens. They still provide ample coverage of the PS2 and GC games that matter to most people, so it's not like they're maliciously screwing over their heathenish, non-Xbox-playing readers or anything like that.

Although I'd argue that recommending an Xbox over a GameCube is screwing people out of $300 bucks in the long-run. But that's just me being a smug, self-serving prick, who feels he's meting out justice to a magazine that dared print editorial contrary to his own personal views. (Hah, beat you to it, Xbox fans!)

That would be cool

Drew -

I just think it would be seriously cool if on the next DDR home thing, the use the BPM Mapper type technology from ACID 3.0 so that you could let the graphics load up, swich out the game for a music cd, pick a track, and start rockin.

I know the technology exists, too...


Ray Stryker...Turn around, look at what you see...

Yeah, that would be pretty cool. What, am I supposed to have something deeply insightful to say in response to that? You guys sure are demanding.

This is not a FFX spoiler! (At least now this heading actually served a purpose.)

Hey Drew,

I'm wildly excited about .hack, but after the flood of yesterday's letters about it, I'd just like to point out one thing. Many of the writers were absolutely giddy about the anime tie-in, and wanted to see more anime/video game crossovers. All I have to say about that is this:


I regret the $30 I spent on the DVD every day of my life. I also now have a fear of spikey haired, rebellious young heroes who use magic (which has drastically limited the amount of video games and anime I play and watch). Perhaps we should be glad that they don't make more animes from video games, or at least, that the majority don't see our shores.

As for some new, odd topic...What's with Maximo? What's the story behind the game? Is it an RPG, an adventure game? And does the guy really run around in his boxers?


Damn you and your questions! I was hoping to sail along with one- or two-sentence responses until I got down to the closing comments. I hope you appreciate what you've gone and done, Twister.

Anyway, yes. Most video game-related anime sucks, just as the opposite scenario is true approximately 99.99% of the time. Let's hope .hack is to anime/video game crossovers what Goldeneye was to film/video game crossovers. Because stuff that sucks totally sucks, dude.

As for Maximo, the answers you seek: It's more or less the spiritual successor to the Ghouls 'n Ghosts games of yore. It's a 3D action game as far as I know. And yes, as per GnG tradition, it would seem that when your avatar in Maximo gets down to one hit left, he runs around in boxers. I don't know why, either.

Perhaps I overestimate you


Free topic day but first I'd like to go along with the pattern of the last few days and comment on the day before's topic. As for .hack I'm interested in it only because I'd like to see how a very very very Japanese production team reproduces and AMERICAN made MMORPG. I think there are fundamental differences in the way the Japanese view online RPGs than the way the Dragonlance-style American set view them. I don't think they could do it, but I'm willing to be proven wrong.

I don't know if you've thought about this at all, but the port of Skies of Arcadia to the PS2 reminded me of this. I'm a little concerned about the un-eveness in the console wars. The PS2 is not as graphically advanced as the GC or the 'box. This makes me concerned for when Sony will release the PS3. I remember them saying they might actually push up the PS3 release to late 2003.

That is what I think killed old Sega. They were always a half-step ahead or behind the competition. The reason I never got a Sega system was that there was always a more powerful next-gen console coming in a year or two. I see this as Sony being a half-step ahead or behind the other two conosle companies. Now maybe its premature concern, but with ports of games starting to come on all 3 consoles, Sony won't have the exclusivity that made so many of us willing to buy the PS2. I know that I was disuaded from buying a cheap Dreamcast because I learned that ports of Grandia AND Skies were coming to the PS2.

So do you think Sony would be slowly digging their own grave if they got their new generation consoles out early? Its not that I love Sony so much, but I don't think any of us would truly enjoy to see one of the console makers quit (except maybe MS.)


Interesting thoughts on .hack. It sounds to me like it's going to end up being a traditional, console-style RPG set in a faux MMORPG world, which is pretty strange, to be sure.

As for the PS2, let me veer from your actual query for a moment. At this point, I don't think anyone is doubting that Sony's machine has a rosy future ahead of it. Sure, it's arguably not as technically capable as the GameCube or Xbox, but that hardly matters when it has the vast majority of the games people care about. So many companies are developing full-swing for the PS2, and so many fantastic games are on the horizon, that there's really nowhere to go but up. As things stand, I can't imagine a scenario that would derail the PS2.

Now, Sega always shoved new consoles out the door first in an effort to neutralize the awkward position the company had gotten itself into. The Master System was pummeled by the NES, hence the Genesis was released in an effort to sneak up on Nintendo. The Saturn was released after the company fractured and upset its audience with a bunch of stupid add-ons, rather than waiting until the time was right and making an entirely new system. The Dreamcast was released after the Saturn tanked in the face of upstart Sony and its PSX.

In other words, the company was always trying to dig itself out a hole with its new consoles, a position which I don't forsee Sony getting into. I can't imagine why Sony wouldn't be content to milk the PS2 for all it's worth before moving on to the PS3.

Then again, Sony is trying to push broadband adapters and hard disc add-ons on the public, so maybe I overestimate its executives' cleverness.

Closing comments:

You want a topic? You got a topic. What do you think the probability of a direct sequel to FFX is, from what we've now seen? Do explain your position as best you can. Then mail me.

-Drew Cosner

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