The emails you have sent us answered in a timely manner.
Good evening, gentlemen,
As ever, you propagate fetid lies on the internet. Sony are slowly making a comeback and will soon be feasting on the bones of Nintendo and Microsoft. When I'm not building frightening enzymes in my laboratory, I'll get to play Metal Gear Solid endlessly.
From Professor Griffin-Milburn
Face it professor, the PS3 is a disaster, over a year on there are still more new games coming out for the PS2 than the PS3. It’s ridiculously expensive to buy and insanely expensive to develop games for, half the people who bought PS3s only bought them because they were the cheapest way to get a blu-ray play but that’s no longer the case either. What has the PS3 got going for it? Metal Gear? Your welcome to it, I got bored of the Metal Gear franchise ten years ago. I think this flowchart from the excellent graphjam sums it up nicely.
A bit disappointed by your comments about Nintendo. Is that not an example of tall poppy syndrome? As soon as they get successful, you start criticising them. Come on - is this not the gaming utopia you asked for? Lighten up! Ernst
From Ernst Garfield
I completely agree with you Ernst but give us a chance we’ve only been back a month or two! The problem is during the first era of Flatbatteries the industry was in a terrible state and we were moaning about it on a weekly basis. Now that the outlook is much sunnier and we are approaching the gaming utopia you mentioned, we just don’t know what to do so we spend our time predicting the end of this mini-golden age to return us to familiar ground. We will try to lighten up, I promise but don’t expect it all to be bright and gay, we’ve still got a lot of grief to get of our chest; have you played the sacrilege that is the new Nights?
Personally, I'm excited by the prospect of a new Sony machine. It's probably going to be the dominant console, once again, and there's nothing Microsoft or Nintendo can do about it.
From Fred Dojo
You could well be right. Sony have tapped into a very specific market, and as long as they can hold onto their core fans they should reap the rewards once more. One thing is for sure: developers love a machine that can sell their games, even if those games aren't very good. But if developers find another machine then Sony are in trouble.
I thought it was strange that, by and large, the video game press thought that Driv3r was utterly useless BUT there were some magazines that were suspiciously enthusiastic about this particularly lacklustre game. I know that there is no accounting for taste, but I mean, come on! Driv3r was toss. Could it be that software publishers are paying magazines to give them favourable reviews for their expensive products. Say it ain't so.
Love from Becky
You're spot on there. Much has been written about the reviews Driv3r received, possibly more than the actual game itself. Yes, it does seem that some magazines have been 'encouraged' to write good reviews for Driv3r, even though the game is clearly rotten. This isn't the first time this has happened; 'Crash' magazine used to give great reviews for Ocean games, without fail (my suspicions were raised when they gave Narc an amazing review.) Nintendo were even less subtle when they 'sponsored' an off-shoot of CVG. This is why you have to read Flatbatteries. No-one gives us any money, so we have no reason to lie.
I've seen the new casing of the DS. Is it just me or does that thing look really cool? Does anyone know what Sony think about it?
From Jed B. Butters
Thanks for your e-mail. All we know here at Flatbatteries International is that Sony have gone very quiet. They're a crafty bunch, so expect some new announcements soon as the Electronics giant tries to rain on Nintendo's parade.
Microsoft seem to be up to their old tricks, waving their giant novelty chequebook around. Who are they going after next? Are Microsoft still that determined to dominate the console market, even though they are out of their depth; the whole video game business seems to be mutating into something totally different. What's going on?
From Louis Mountbatten
You're right; there seems to be a tidal change in video games at the moment, which is why Bill Gates made that 'joke' about buying Nintendo, the only video game manufacturer that seems to be on the ball at the moment. Five years ago, the video game market was moving towards a standard business model not unlike Hollywood; this was driven by Sony and publishers like EA, and it seemed like a simple (and lucrative) business to be in. All you had to do was produce a console that was more powerful than your competitors, clean up, go home rich. But things have changed, and Nintendo seem to be the only company that have any sort of concept of what the future will hold. This is embodied in the DS and the Revolution.
Your site is genius!! I wet myself at the Columbo video game idea! Amazed at your foresight in suggesting a James Bond Baddie simulator.. As we speak bespectacled boffins in boilers suits are beavering away in Silicon Valley making GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Please keep this up, when I saw the Joe Pesci idea.. I went from continuing to piss myself to realise that the idea is actually a pretty good one! The Hammer game would be a realistic proposition. As a Welsh man for many years I have considered a Tom Jones Simulator. You play Tom on his way to a sell out gig.. BUT WAIT.. Grannies become pissed off that he is becoming trendy and decide to attack him at all costs.. As Tom scrolls through each level based on his hits (Think SEGA Moonwalker a'la GTA Vice City).. You are armed with Pelvic Thrusts, Cat-wailling death shrieks, underwear and the green green grass of home, which will be an in gag that the students and Howard Marks would understand. I think we have a winner.. Another would be the Kilroy-Silk Pro Offence simulator, where you chose a scandalous topic and determine the best way to create offence with the maximum impact. A strategy game where you can win by having affairs, achive suave points and become a Euro minister. Keep up the good work fellas!!! Please keep going with this.. I havent seen a website like it, with a bit of luck some bright spark will see this.. I reckon EA has already with their Bond Villain simulator!!
Pelvic thrust as a weapon? Genius, perhaps you could power-up with Viagra.
It can only get better, can't it? Nintendo had it right early on – come up with a new formula, then build on it, wait for every other company to copy it and then come up with another new formula. Doing it this way kept the same genre of games interesting for a good few years whereas now you just find a type of game you like and all of a sudden something ‘better’ comes out. There’s no building on other companies ideas anymore, just ripping them off and ruining them with so called innovation. The same can be said for remakes of retro games. Imagine the joy on my face when I heard that the all time classic Frogger was to be made for a new generation of gamers – and then I played it… Why not use the sudden leap forward of internet technology to do old games justice, can you imagine what Elite (or it’s astounding sequel) would be like played across the globe with today’s graphical capabilities? Talk about the perfect player for the stadium. But unfortunately, Companies like Sony and Microsoft have taken something pure and fun and turned it into a cut throat serious business. Remember the good old days? The healthy rivalry between Nintendo and Sega, each pushing the other to better their last game. The little jousts at each other were great but it’s gone from Nintendo saying “To be this good will take Sega ageS” to Sony saying “Nintendo is for kids” yeah, real witty. I remember when games had to be good for the console to survive but now it’s all down to how many processors it has. The upshot is that games are very rarely fun to play anymore due to lack of imagination and over abundance of money – I even got bored with Mario Sunshine! Will anything ever top such greats as Super Mario All stars (all your favourites on one cart including Mario World later on), Dizzy, Speedball 2, Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Gods, Magic Pockets or Battletoads in Battlemaniacs? If the market carries on like this, probably not – Get your fingers out Nintendo and show them why you were on top of the pile for so long – save us all.
You've hit the nail on the head there, If the market carries on like this I'm going home.
I found your web site whilst searching for stuff about Atari's Tempest. Great to see some screenshots from that superb game! Brought back a lot of memories. Me and a few schoolmates used to go to this really cool biker's pub in town which had a Tempest machine in the back room near the pool table. As well as the fact that we were allowed to drink underage at this fine establishment they also had rock and metal music playing away constantly. But of course the main reason we went there was standing in a corner like some videogame altar at which we worshipped! Tempest! The game was so popular that people queued up to play, even lining up 10p coins the way you do when waiting to get on the pool table! One of my mates, Howard, was very good at Tempest and I can vividly recall one hallowed session when he was just unstoppable. A crowd began to grow around him as we watched him spinning the, er, spinner and zapping the enemies. Level after level he kept on going until he reached the highest level we'd ever seen and then... he carried on going! Suddenly he got to a level that was the same as Level 1 only in a different colour and more difficult. Great gasps and "ooohs" & "aaaahs" went up from the assembled throng but it wasn't over yet. He went right through all the levels again until they changed colour a second time! Honestly, Howard's game that night was legendary. I can't remember how far he got eventually but his high score was never beaten for as long as Tempest was in that pub.
Your story is the sort of arcade legend that just doesn't happen anymore. Old games had that wonderful simplicity that meant people could pick up the skills as they would a sport and, like the pinball wizards that came before, they became gods in our eyes. Unfortunately todays games market is not satisfied with simplicity anymore and we've lost both the games and the heroes that went with them.
If you're such big shots, why don't you design games?
We don't have enough money.
You will come to my university. You will lecture for at least two hours a day. You will also participate in government led investrigations into the effect of chemical warfare in localised theatres of war! I demand that you pass down your knowledge, and that you pass it on now.
From General Abdul Saa-im, Khartoum University
Yes, Sir. Anything you say.
Enough is enough, how much do you really know?
From Eric Roberts
Not as much as you, Eric.
Everyone else over the net are excited by the new Tomb Raider game. Why can't you just drop your little prejudices and accept that Sony give people what they want, and that your favoured consoles are dead, even the balsted Gamecube.
No, no no no no no no. AS we've tirelessly tried to point out, SONY IS THE DEATH of video games. And there' no sign of a phoenix from the flames, so we need to fear things like Tomb Raider. FEAR CRAP GAMES, each and every one.
I'm looking forward to the forthcoming end of the console wars. Competition is great for everyone, and surely from the melting pot of competition better products are going to emerge. You guys are too paranoid... Great things come from conflict.
Wrong. Competition can be good, but in the console markets this isn't the case; competition only really benefits the consumer when there are more than 3 principle businesses involved. This is the problem with globalisation, in that oppurtunities from competitive behaviour are becoming limited as the number of businesses decreases due to amalgamation and conglomeration. Over the last ten years of competition, video game prices have remained roughly the same even though the games come on disc based media (and no this isn't to do with piracy) The promise of cheaper technology has also failed to materialise, with only PCs coming down significantly in price. Offering one sort of game is the aim of Sony, so that no-one will have anything to compare it to. This has always started to cause the drain in game quality as consumers don't know any better than to buy crap like Tomb Raider or FIFA... Fear the end, because at this rate the video game market will be in ruins by the end of the decade.
What’s the deal with Nintendo’s selective release program; there are so many flagship games that don’t make it over here. Is Europe just a profit margin that they don’t really worry about? Could it be possible that Nintendo only release their future machines in Japan only? Please say it isn’t so.
This is all a possibility, but as long as Europeans keep buying 1 million plus of Nintendo’s consoles, there shouldn’t be any need to worry. The number of games that are deemed Japan/US only will probably increase though. Thank goodness for Freeloader.
I like your site, but why do the same games keep appearing in your Wish List? Are you paid by some sinister corporation to advertise, or is it that you’re rubbish at games.
I’m afraid so.
Interesting about Microsoft’s admission about the X-Box being something of a miscalculation. Big controllers for small Japanese hands? Isn’t that just another effort to alienate the Japanese?
I told you to listen to us. But nooooo... you believed all of those magazines...
Isn’t Phantasy Star One just a giant sex chatroom?
From Uncle Jesse
Indeed it is. In the game, my name is Clammy. Keep an eye out for me, lurking in the bushes.
Are there any plans to release tele-dildonic apparatus for any of the major consoles?
From Anonymous (understandably)
I’m sure there’s a newsgroup for people like you. But if you’re desperate I’m sure you can rig the rumble feature on GC or X-Box into some sort of pleasure device. This will, of course, invalidate your warranty and probably any self respect that you may have.
Dear Jakey, Bubba,
Why are the Gamecube shoulder buttons so loose and clicky? I played Timesplitters 2 on my mates Gamecube and I had to keep hammering at the buttons just to shoot my gun. What’s up with that?
The Shoulder buttons on the Gamecube are analogue you silly billy. You just need to squeeze them and they work. You’re a Playstation owner aren’t you? With your mid 80s stone age controller skills.
I think you guys are hot. Where can I meet you so that I can convey my physical love to you?
Neither of us exist. This website is just the result of a bunch of monkeys typing random words. Dddddddddddddd See?
Why do games consoles have such short lifespans nowadays? There was a time when consoles were supported for around 10 years. It seems that with this new generation we'll all have to buy newer machines after only about 4 years. Surely this is going to make loyal customers cynical (there's some evidence that people are still happy with their PS1s, never mind PS2 or even 3.)
You are dead right.
I like the website, but I saw your bit on female characters and disagreed with it. If you're going to talk about female video game characters, maybe you should take another look at Lara Croft. She embodies the modern woman but she has been taken out of context. Why do men sexualise things like her grunts of exertion and her gasps when she comes out of the water? I liked her before she was demonised by everyone.
She is an offence to womenkind and gamers alike.
I've tried downloading the games as you've suggested. I then burnt the games onto a CD and put the CD in my Playstation 2.
I was told that the PS2 did everything. Why won't it play crappy old Sega games?
I have started reading your'e website and I don't understand why there are no Playstation games. The Playstation is the most successfull console of all time and it also has the best games, bar none.
That tosser who said tekken was rubbish obviously doesn't know his arse from his elbow. Me and my mates always stick it on after the pub and we always enjoy pounding away at each other.
Whatever next? You'll probably say Resident Evil is rubbish as well.
Resident Evil? You took the words right out of my mouth.
Interesting site. I was wondering when you would say a console becomes a classic? Even though the X-box and Gamecube were released roughly at the same time, the Gamecube is the only one that could possibly grow to be a classic console... so is classic status solely down to the software?
A console is simply a conduit between you and the gaming world. A console without its games is nothing but a box therefore its status as classic or scrap is entirely down to the quality of its back catalogue. As a back catalogue cannot be effectively judged while titles are still being added to it, so a console cannot be judged until it is dead. The Playstation (to pick an example at random) isn't a great console because it has few good titles that aren't found better on another platform. The X-box is just a stripped down PC (and a 2 year old one at that!) that plays PC games that are inherently in PC style. With the majority of X-box titles also available (or soon to be) on the PC (yes even Halo) things don't look so hot for the muscular youngster. The constantly improving PC will always out perform the stagnant X-box. The future of the Gamecube, on the other hand, with its great collection of original titles unavailable elsewhere, is looking rosy. So in answer to your question, yes.