another E3 come and gone already. After spending the better part of this year nestled in
remote Idaho, E3 was a shock to my system. I mean we dont even have any escalators
in town. But E3 is more exciting than a thousand escalators, and its not just the
video games. Its the throbbing techno music, scantly clad "booth babes,"
lights more fancy then at Pink Floyd concert, and free promos like T-shirts, key chains
and other more useless things.
Yep, thats me squeezing Duke Nukems bulging bicep. I tried long and hard to find a photo-op that didnt include large boobs, failing that I settled for a set of large muscles. At times E3 is little more than a three-ring circus, aggressive advertising gone haywire. Thats not to say I didnt enjoy it, but sometimes I was a little distracted from my main objective: PLAY ALL THE NEW VIDEO GAMES.
Trying to play all the new video games was a hopeless, yet incredibly fun, endeavor. With less than three whole days and more than 2000 games to see I needed to set some priorities. Checking out the PlayStation 2 and all of its new games was tops on my list. I think the PlayStation 2s graphic capabilities are simply stunning. Its games rival PC titles in speed and overall graphic clarity. Still, I was kind of bummed that the American release of the PS2 wont include a modem out of the box.
While there was a lot of buzz about the PlayStation 2, by no means did it steal the show. The Dreamcasts 2000-2001 line up is impressive to say the least. Sega also had the most hopping floorshow including head to head video game compositions (featuring professional football players and other sports celebrities), dancers, and one superfly MC.
Not to be outdone, many of the third party developers had contests, shows, photo-ops, and celebrity guests. Capcom ran a few different fighting game championships (Power Stone 2 and Mavel Versus Capcom 2). Fox Interactive had the apes from Planet of the Apes as well and the Simpsons (well at least some people in Simpsons suits). Ubi Soft had some of the coolest fixtures. Their games were set up inside giant globe-like pedestals; it kind of made me feel like a god playing the games inside them.
Nintendos area was pretty sparse this year. I was personally hoping for a tantalizing peek at the Dolphin, but my hopes were smashed by a giant Pikachu. For the second year in a row Nintendo has been fueled by Pokemon, and enough is enough. Dont get me wrong, I love those little guys as much as anyone, but Nintendo has all but forgotten about all their other loveable franchises. One major exception was Nintendos new cute yet rated "R" star Conker, from Conkers Bad Fur Day. In Conkers honor Nintendo even served beer (gasp!).
As far as the games go, Im considering Activision to be this years big winner. Many game developers are focusing on the PlayStation 2, and of course Activsion is in on the action with Orphen and Gunslinger (too bad we wont be able to check that one out until next summer). But unlike other companies Activsion hasnt forgotten about the PlayStation. Activision is hitting hard with the ultra cool sequels, Tenchu 2 and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2. But Mat Hoffmans Pro BMX has got me as giddy as a school girl (well ok, I know Im actually a school girl to begin with but what Im saying is- this game is so cool). Its Tony Hawks Pro Skater on BMXs, and really what could be cooler then that?
This year there were at least three separate half pipes at E3. Acclaim, Infogrames, and G.O.D. all competed to have the most half pipe action. From BMX to skateboarding there was hardly a dull moment. I watched world class skaters like Bucky Lasek and Tony Hawk and world class bikers like Mat Hoffman. But the whole time the video games kept calling to me. It was torture, but the best kind of torture there is, overstimulation.
Hitting it hard with the X-Box, Microsoft spared no expense. They even had the cushiest carpet in the whole place. Though they were exiled from the rest of the consoles, the X-Box was the talk of the show. The line for the video demo (showing in the giant X) almost wrapped around the whole South Hall floor. I was lucky enough to catch the press demo on the last day. The demos ran on a prototype X-Box that supposedly had only 10% of the power of the actual thing. The demos consisted of a "Japanese garden" with a bunch butterflies, some groovy music mixing, and of course the X-Box lady and her robot. It may sound sort of boring, but it was anything but. I can hardly wait until next year when well really get to see what this box is all about.
Id say that the video games were really the stars of E3, but then what would I do with these pictures: