The 2nd Annual DKU New Years Forecast
2001 - A Space Odyssey
The new millennium is finally almost here, and for the second year in a row we're going to be taking a look at what's coming or should be coming (or has a small chance of coming) in the next 12 months for the DKU. It should be fun, and if we can get through another year that's been targeted as the coming of the Apocalypse, we should be just fine...
1: Mario Tennis (Game Boy Color)
The game that was breifly known as Color Tennis GB is now known as just plain old Mario Tennis, the follow-up to the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Tennis that was released late last summer. Following in the tradition of Mario Golf N64 to Mario Golf GBC, Mario Tennis for Game Boy Color is going to be an RPGish game that follows one of four possible characters in their quest to become a tennis master. Our old friend Donkey Kong will appear in this game in a slightly larger role than he did in Mario Golf for Game Boy Color, which is a plus for us who only buy some of these games because of the gorilla. Mario Golf for Game Boy Color had a fun premise, and this will probably please as well.
The Wow-O-Meter Ranking: 5/10
2: Conker's Bad Fur Day (Nintendo 64)
Will Conker finally arrive in 2001? We can only hope. The often delayed, often revamped Conker game is pegged for a March 5th release (U.S.), but there are already rumblings that Rare may just switch it all over to GAMECUBE, as the Nintendo 64 isn't exactly the most profitable money maker right now. As for the content of the game itself, it's already recieved a great amount of publicity through word of mouth ever since Rare changed the atmosphere for Conker from a happy woodland area with dewdrops dripping off of the branches to a raunchy hellhole full of rude characters that swear and use sexual innuendoes up the fish taco. This game is obviously rated Mature, a first for the Donkey Kong Universe, and will either make or break the video game career of the character of Conker. Quite frankly, it's going to be some game to see.
The Wow-O-Meter: 8/10 (Up One Whole Point From Last Year!)
3: Mario Party 3 (Nintendo 64)
Another one? Yes, Hudson Soft is releasing the third game in the Mario Party series, this time with all new mini-games, boards, playable characters, and more of a difference between single and multi-player modes. The question is, is this enough to warrant another Mario Party game so soon? While we're sure it's going to be a good game, it just doesn't seem neccesary to have a third one at this point and time. Maybe if they just waited for GAMECUBE instead of squeezing in one more on the N64 we wouldn't feel this way (but of course, there are already rumors of a Mario Party 4 for the GCN). Mario Party 3 has already shipped in Japan.
The Wow-O-Meter: 4/10
4: Dinosaur Planet (Nintendo 64)
Rare's other 2001 offering for the DKU is also rather ambigious in the fact that it may or may not be moved to GAMECUBE. The Nintendo 64 just isn't hot anymore, and Rare would have to be partially insane to try and launch a new franchise at this point in the system's life. If we do see the game in 2001, whether it be for the N64 or GAMECUBE, we can expect a grand Zelda-ish adventure that would probably surpass Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask the same way Diddy Kong Racing surpassed Mario Kart 64 (depending on who you ask) and Banjo-Kazooie surpassed Super Mario 64. Chad McCanna is looking forward to this title so much, he even named a cat he recently got after the character of Sabre. The graphics are wonderful, and it should be interesting what we hear about this game over the next few months. One major issue though concerning us covering it is the character of Tricky. He's the DKU connection in the game, and if Rare decides they want to 100 percent divorce the ties to Diddy Kong Racing and completly rename the character, then this will probably be DKU no more. It may not come to that though, and Tricky's name may still be intact after the game exits whatever period it's in right now (whether it be a redesign and/or a console switcharoo, assuming that's why we haven't heard much about it lately).
The Wow-O-Meter: 8/10
5: Mario Kart Advance (Game Boy Advance)
What do you get when you take the tracks of Super Mario Kart for the SNES, put in the characters and items from Mario Kart 64, and bake at 32 megabits? What seriously f--ked up dessert that I wouldn't eat. That's completly irrelevant though to Mario Kart Advance, a Game Boy Advance launch title. This one should be pretty interesting, and should get the new incarnation of the Game Boy off right. This is how cameo games should be done...something different for a change!
The Wow-O-Meter: 7/10
Now that we've gone through the games that have been announced for a 2001 release, we're moving along to games that haven't been assigned specific release dates or have been pegged down to come out the next 12 months. Some games haven't even been officially announced at all.
*Super Smash Bros. 2 (Nintendo 64 or GAMECUBE)
Oh, you're so lovable Super Smash Bros. 2. What do we love about you? Maybe it's that not one word has been mentioned about you from anyone. While it's a no-brainer that this game will eventually make it's way to shelves one day, the question of when that day is still haunts the minds of many. Right now it's most likely that when this game is made, it will come out for GAMECUBE and not the Nintendo 64. Folks, we've entered the era where very few if any new games will be announced for N64. We have no idea what a Super Smash Bros. 2 would be like, but we're assuming it would have all new arenas, weapons, features, and a few new characters. If only they would put Diddy in it...
The Wow-O-Meter: 7/10 (Up A Whole Point From Last's Year Forecast!)
*Mario Party 4 (GAMECUBE)
We have to be kidding, right? Mario Party 4 is on this forecast, when Mario Party 3 was too? Well, MP4 is rumored to be a GCN launch title. Remember, the key word there is rumored. There is absolutely no proof that it's going to be, or that it's even in development at this point. However, one interesting thing to note on is that it's also rumored to be the first GCN game that would allow you to play it over the internet with your internet buddies (like that "hot young college girl who wants to cyber"). That alone is enough to warrant two additional points than Mario Party 3.
The Wow-O-Meter: 6/10
*Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Game Boy Advance)
In 2000 Rare released Donkey Kong Country for Game Boy Color. It was an immediate success. So is it feasible that we would see a port of it's sequel for Game Boy Advance in 2001? It makes sense to us, but if that were the case, we would certainly hope Rare would include Wrinkly Kong in the game as a spirit and not living. Port or no port, she's dead, and she should stay that way!
The Wow-O-Meter: 7/10
So there we go. As accurate as a 2001 forecast as we can supply. Knowing the insane world of video game releases, half of these games will probably be delayed until 2003 and a crop of games we would never even imagine would spring up to take their place. Will Conker finally be released in 2001? Will Hudson Soft release Mario Party Racing RPG? Will we finally get flying cars and "V's" stiched onto our jumpsuits, as 1950's sci-fi cinema suggested?