|E3 2005: 5/18/2005 and 5/19/2005 posted by bichen
original content::gaming | Friday, May 20th 2005, 08:23:58 PM
So, like the past 2 years, I went to E3 again. For those of you not in the know, E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The biggest game companies and other entertainment companies all attend this event and show off their newest stuff. This time I'm going to do this in one post instead of two since I didn't attend many panels this time. But it's still going to be a pretty long article. I'm going to do 5 mega pixel pictures in a different article to be posted sometime soon but I'll put links to relevant pictures in this article of the crappy ones I got.
High quality pictures for this can be found here though there's some lesser quality ones that are linked and uniquely in this article.
Ok aside from the annoying as hell fuck up with the digital camera the first day of E3 2005 was again, fun. Btw... I think the girls I couldn't find again for high-def pictures were E3 on DVD chick and the ATi chick, The Singles 2 chicks, Miss Halberd, these Asian girls in orange outfits, and the Final Fantasy XI girls. Don't worry though since there's plenty of pictures coming.
The day started out with it being very annoying finding parking since the parking structure had very little lighting. We get inside to get our passes and we find that it's very uncharacteristically dark in that area. Oh wait, there's a brown out for part of the convention center! Ooops! Anyways we manage to get our passes and off we went to the first panel.
Is My Game Fun?
The first panel we went to was "Is My Game Fun? The Process Behind Answering the Most Important Question of All." Sounds interesting right? Yep, that's what I thought. And it was interesting... for about 10 minutes. One of the panelists, Nicole Lazzaro brought up the idea that people buy games for the "ride". The "ride" consists of four things. The "hard fun" is mastering a difficult game. The "easy fun" is when you just play a game and immediately get absorbed into it. The "altered states" just references how it changes how you feel while you play it. And finally the "people factor" is pretty self evident. Then they went on to talk about how to determine if people like your game or not. The most obvious answer is to have people play it and then answer a survey. But it was brought up that this may not be the best way since often times people forget their initial impressions. The example that was given was of a guy who picked up a game and grimaced in disgust. A camera watching his reactions would catch that, but if he played it and then did a survey he might forget that he really disliked it at first look. The panel then went on to yammer about random crap that got really boring fast.
Think Different and Still Succeed
The second panel I attended was "Think Different and Still Succeed: Finding Success with Games that Fall Outside the Familiar." Basically this panel was about making non tried and true games and succeeding. This panel was pretty interesting. But the only thing I really got out of it was "show your publisher what he wants to see, then do all your changes when it's too late for the publisher to do anything about it!" Oh that and "kids love poop." One of the panelists mentioned they put the ability for their main character (a dog) to poop in their dog's life simulation. Kids just ate it up. No, not literally, that's just disgusting.
So it's time to move on to minor anecdotes.
Keenan Ivory, Shawn, and Marlon Wayans made an appearance at E3 to promote their game the Dozens. It's a card game and a mobile phone game where you trade "Yo Mama" insults. The Wayans brothers were pretty funny and it was pretty funny to hear questions about how this would gel with white people. But personally I didn't think it would work very well since they mentioned the person who played the better insult would win... But who decides which insult is better? Is it printed on the card? If it is, that's kinda dumb. Do you decide amongst yourselves? That ain't gonna work!
"If I Must"
So the one thing about E3 is the booth babes. Companies know that their audience is mostly male (it's changing, but it's still mostly male) so they hire models to attract attention. They're almost always attractive women but there will be guys too (not for their attractiveness but I mean there are male characters to dress up as). So we see this group of booth people dressed as ancient Romans. The funny thing was they decided to act in character. One of the Roman guys started following some guy with a shaved head and was demanding "WHY DID YOU SHAVE YOUR HEAD IN THIS MANNER?" I asked the chick for a picture and she told me in a very stern voice "If I must." It cracked me up.
Hip Hop Influence
I have to mention a few games at this time. First is the 50 Cent game. And when I say 50 Cent, I mean the rapper. Yes, he has his own game. What's the world coming to? The second game is kind of related. It was called Saint's Row. I saw the trailer... it was of this white guy who blings everything out... his clothes, car, etc. Then he just goes around breaking the law like the biggest wigger ever. I mean imagine a white guy trying way too hard to be black. That's what this game seemed to be about. There was also this game called Urban Reign I think where you're some street guy and you fight other people. I dunno, there seems to be a huge spike in these types of games thanks to Grand Theft Auto.
Now to one of the big draws of E3 2005... the XBox 360. They revealed it on MTV a while back apparently but I got to see it in person and to see it in action in person. Case looks wise it looks like an iPod. In fact it rips the iPod off SO MUCH. It DOES look good though. Very clean and pleasing. How does it perform though, you ask? Great. They showed some demos that looked absolutely incredible. I was actually amazed how good they looked and more importantly by how many trailers they showed. They have quite a big line up. I watched some playable demos too and they look great... but I think most people will forget that it won't look nearly that good unless they have a high definition TV.
Shared T-Shirt Prize?
The editor as I will call him was in the audience for one of the t-shirt give aways. How these usually work is they'll toss t-shirts into the audience and someone will catch it, right? So a t-shirt comes to him. He grabs it but the guy next to him grabs it at the same time. The editor decides to crack a joke... something along the lines of "I have a knife. We should just cut it in half." But it comes out as "I have knife." The other guy let go of the shirt in a hurry and the editor didn't have a chance to explain how it was a joke. I'm saying he's lucky the other guy didn't run for security or something.
So Sony had a presentation for their PS3. How was it? Is it better than the XBox 360? Well, I wish I could tell you. They didn't display it to the public. You had to wait in line to get into the room for the demonstration. The line was an hour long. Needless to say I passed.
Long Lines for Trailers/Demos
Other interesting things that were shown at E3 2005 that I missed because of lines. Call of Duty 2 had a long line. It wasn't too bad, but then again they were showing the game itself in the XBox 360 section! Quake 4 had a very long line. The new Legend of Zelda had an absurd line. I don't remember the others, but I think there were one or two more.
So Blizzard is STILL showing off Starcraft Ghost at E3. But knowing Blizzard's track record in getting games out on time, it's not surprising. But I have to say that the game now looks like a Halo 2 rip off in multiplayer mode. The graphics look similar and the game play looks similar. You can even ride vultures in the multiplayer mode which look like the flying things from Halo 2. Hmmmmm... Blizzard was playing this kick ass CG movie for Starcraft Ghost. I wanted to get a clip of the part where the marines were fighting the zerg which culminates with this cool scene with an Ultralisk but a Blizzard employee made me stop my video taking before the Ultralisk made its appearance. They had this pretty cool statue of a ghost though and this picture which Ni pointed out was pretty absurd. She was wearing a body suit yet you could see her ass crack.
Lots of Portables
One thing that amazed me was the number of handheld systems the attendees brought. I saw A LOT of Nintendo DSs, Gameboy Advance SPs, and PSPs. I mean a lot. Seems kind of weird to bring that though since well, there's plenty of things to do and play there. But those who brought a Nintendo DS were smart. Nintendo set up a station where you could bust out your DS and download a lot of demos to your handheld.
So Ni and I were taking pictures of this group of booth babes. The thing about Ni's camera is he needs to angle it down to get a picture straight ahead. So he takes a picture. I'm standing next to him so I know the picture turned out normal. Full body shot of the girls. But I also saw him take the picture. It looked exactly like he was taking a close up picture of nothing but their crotches. I see all the girls look at each other apprehensively. You can just tell they were thinking "Did he just do what we think he did?" After I told him about it, he was pretty damn embarrassed.
The Bestest Loot Ever
My favorite thing this time was my One Piece bandana from the Bandai booth. This cute Japanese girl was trying to get people to play the One Piece game (a fighting style game) and I noticed they were giving out bandanas. So I waited in line and got it. I also like my wrist bands which some random guy was walking by and gave me one. The Chicken Little booth was giving away Chicken Little glasses. The one thing I did miss out on was the cape that they were giving out in the City of Villians (the expansion/sequel to the MMORPG City of Heroes) booth. Sigh. Yes, I was almost super bad ass wearing a bandana, two wrist bands, glasses, and a cape... but the cape was not to be. But some random guy did come up to ask where the bandanas were from. Oh and I missed the inflatable nunchucks and sword. D'oh.
The Rest of the Loot
First off there was this place where you can spin a wheel to determine what you get. Someone asked what the best prize was and the lady there said "the game CD". So I spun. I get the Grand Prize. I got a bouncy ball plus a key chain. Huh? What? Oh well.
What we see here is a lot of magazines, which is always the easiest loot to get. The second picture is of two bags I got, one from Ziff Media and 1up and the other from True Crime (the video game). The third picture is of a lot of random shit. Lots of badge/key holders, key chains (the one above the silver key chain is a key chain shaped like a joy stick), random hanging things, Fantastic 4 buttons (looks like a F4 button that you stick places), a Gamespot pin, a poker chip, and 2 pens, one of which lights up.
Now we have some free games. There's Magic Online (which also comes with a free deck of real Magic cards), a pack of the game the Dozens (the Yo'Mama game the Wayans brothers were promoting), a Ryl (which also had a lot of scantily clad booth babes) trial game, The Saga of Ryzom trial game, and a Master of Epic: The Romantic Age dvd (I think it's a game, haven't tried it yet). The second picture is of a Games for Windows T-shirt, my One Piece bandana, an Infected sticker, a wrist band in the style of those Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" ones, a UGO wristband, a sapphire bouncy ball, and a Magic Online mouse pad.
Metal Gear Solid 4
The Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer was awesome... Just because it was so different than what you would expect. They did it in a slap stick style. You see Snake hiding from terrorists behind a building. Bomb falls and blows up the building, leaving only one wall, which Snake is hiding behind. The terrorists turn and see the one wall... which falls over eventually. Snake runs, the terrorists give chase. Snake comes up to this circle of chairs and stops in confusion. The terrorists storm past Snake to his surprise and start sitting down (the back of the chairs give the name of an employee of the company). Snake eventually tries to get a seat but just can't get one. The trailer says "No room for Hideo?" (Hideo Kojima is the creator/designer of the Metal Gear series). Snake then kills everyone and sits down. Then he removes his mask and he's Raiden! Well, there's a lot more silly stuff in it so check out the trailer if you can find it. I don't feel like typing out everything that happens. But let's just say they make fun of how Raiden isn't exactly a very popular main character.
Uh, How About the OTHER Games?
Chronicles of Narnia has a lot of coverage too. They were playing the trailers for the movie (out this winter I think) and they had a booth for the game. I played a little and it looked ok. I only played for like 5 minutes but the game didn't grab me in that time. But remember that I didn't read the instructions at all. Oh and it crashed on me. (Still in production though so not surprising).
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire puts you as Hermoine, Ron, and Harry. You control one of them and the other two follow you around. As far as I can tell you can jump, zap things, and use your want to pick up and move things. The other two guys will help back you up. It was another "ok" game. But I did have fun picking up rocks with my wand and squashing Ron and Harry.
The Incredibles was pretty cool. The bad guy was actually the guy you see at the end of the first movie. The Underminer. I don't know if it'll change in the game but you can only play Frozone and Mr. Incredible. It's pretty fun though. Mr. Incredible can punch, pick up and throw, and do a Incredi-slam move which knocks everyone near by away. Frozone can punch, freeze ray, and glide into people. There was a bug in the game though that gave Mr. Incredible all the experience sometimes, even when Frozone was doing all the damage. So Mr. Incredible was leveling up like crazy and Frozone was just going really slowly. Still it was pretty fun.
One Piece is a fighting game but there's a 3-D space. You can play as Luffy, Smoker (they call him Chaser here), Ussop, Zoro (blah they call him Zolo), Sanji, Buggy, Nami, Arlong, Don Krieg and a few other characters that weren't unlocked. The fighting game play seems ok, but I wasn't able to really grasp. It seemed really simple without many moves but seeing the demo trailer, there seems to be a lot of moves I had no idea how to do. There's also a story and a mini-games mode. The story mode I didn't try, the mini-games mode IS HARD and pretty frustrating. When you play this you get 3 semi random mini games to go through. Usually it involves attacking many things quickly. This gets frustrating because sometimes when you attack and miss, your guy keeps on attacking. And the last mini game of the 3 is always a one on one fight with Ussop. This is the only one I almost win, but usually I knock him out then his HP goes back to full and I wind up losing. Argh!
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge was pretty fun. You play Jack and you can swap between "normal Jack" (uses your Soul Whip which can smack guys or grab guys), "Santa Jack" who throws out gifts (which open eventually or you can open them yourself) and "fire Jack" which is this more evil Halloweenish looking Jack and you can breathe fire. It's pretty fun to play.
PacMan on the DS. This was pretty cool. Basically you were Pac Man in a 3D world and you want to pick up pellets. The movement scheme was original though. You roll places and how to roll is you use the stylus and you draw a fast line in the direction you want to go. Pretty cool.
Genji is this samurai game. It looks pretty good but it did have a massive problem with jaggies (see the jaggies section if you don't know what that means). It was pretty cool though because this fine mist of blood would spray out each time you cut someone or got cut. There was actually quite a bit of blood.
I didn't get to play Destroy All Humans but I watched people play it. It's pretty funny looking. You're basically an alien and you just go around zapping humans. There's civilians and there's military. You want to zap all of them, though the military shoot back. And you can get run over by cars if you walk down the street.
The new Castlevania game is pretty fun too. Except you lost the whip and you use a sword now. You can get more weapons later in the game though and the whip might be one of them. I don't know though since I only saw the sword and the axe. The one complaint I have about it is the camera. You can reset the camera to look from directly behind you but otherwise the camera doesn't move. This causes you to frequently get hit by monsters that you can't see. It's pretty annoying.
We &heart; Katamari I think is the sequel to Katamari Damacy, the ball rolling game. If you've never heard of this game, it's pretty well reviewed and it has a very different and funny concept. I don't think the game is as fun as a lot of people find it but it IS a pretty funny and interesting game. Basically you just roll a ball around and things stick to it. The bigger the ball gets the bigger the things you can get to stick to it. We &heart; Katamari looks the same as the original Katamari Damacy though, I'm not sure what's different. But I have to say I can push the Katamari just as well as the little Prince could.
Infested was a PSP game. It's a first person shooter type game that's networkable, and in fact is supposed to be networked. Basically I guess everyone is infected with something and you can spread your infection to others by pumping them full of your viral blood (which makes them explode if their health is low enough). If you infect other people they have to infect you back to get rid of your infection. I think other people will spread your infection too and you can check up online to see how far your infection has gone. The one thing though is it had a pretty cool and gory set.
Jaggies and Crashes
I noticed a lot of games in development have a problem with jaggies. Jaggies are basically when you have a slanted line and instead of looking like a crisp slanted line it looks like a very jagged line. This is usually fixed by anti-aliasing which means having different colored pixels near the jagged areas to make it appear smooth. A lot of the games in development had the jaggies but I'm assuming they'll be remedied by the time the games actually shipped. I also managed to crash like 2 games and watched another guy crash another. This is another thing that I'm sure will get fixed by the time the game ships.
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