Yesterday I got up at 4:30 AM, got in my car, and drove to the airport. I managed to park my car in the wrong lot, and had to trek on foot between terminals. Despite having left so early, I ended up just barely making my flight. I arrived at LAX at about 8:00 AM, jumped in a taxi, and headed for E3.
E3 is pretty much as close as you can get to sensory overload without going into a testing room at some secret government facility. There is no place to sit down, there are thousands of people milling around, and the conference is spread out over a giant convention center. Though looking at the games is fun, after a few hours my feet and back began to ache from standing for so long. Add to this the incessant flashing lights, the 110 decibel sound, and the throngs of people trying to push by you to get in line for a free T-shirt, and E3 becomes an extremely exhausting experience. At 8:00 PM I dragged myself to a taxi, drove back to the airport, and caught a flight home at 10. I got home around midnight and crashed immediately without even brushing my teeth.
Exhausting as it was, I am glad I went to E3. This year was a very good year, especially compared to last year, which was absolutely horrible. I wanted to drop some news points that are related to this site before talking about the conference.
- A Resident Evil game is coming out for the Nintendo Wii. No other information is available yet.
- Rule of Rose is confirmed for US release “by Christmas.”
- A new Silent Hill game, Silent Hill Origins, has been announced for the PSP. Looks cool.
- Dead Rising, Capcom’s zombie beat-em-up for the Xbox360, is really fun to play. It was the only game I saw that really interested me last year, and I’m happy to report that it plays just as good as it looks in the video.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out anything about games like Siren 2 or Possession. There was a lot going on, but the real reason is that I spent a huge block of my time in the Nintendo Wii booth.
Nintendo is, hands down, the absolute winner of the show this year. Last year their showing was a little weak; they had good DS games on display and a couple of GameCube titles but that was all. This year they amassed a huge crowed (you had to wait in line for 2+ hours just to get in) and pretty much stunned everyone with the number of playable (and extremely fun) Wii titles. Here’s what I can tell you about the controller: you need to stand at least three feet away from the TV or the pointer doesn’t work, the resolution on the pointer is extremely high (meaning that the controller is ultra accurate, and you can easily cover the entire TV screen by barely moving your wrist), the nunchuck controller is smooth and intuitive, and the games they are making for this system are really, really fun. I played about eight Wii titles (the lines were so long that each game required waiting for 30 – 45 minutes), including Super Mario Galaxy (amazingly great), Excite Truck (very simple and also very fun), Necro-Nesia (the only un-fun Wii game I played), Wario Ware (awesome awesome awesome), as well as table tennis, Duck Hunt, and a couple of other demos. What’s interesting is that there was such a wide range of usage for the controller: some games used it as a pointers, others did not. Some required the nunchuck, others did not. Some relied on buttons, others simply used motion. Even with this small sampling of games, the controller is clearly versatile. Nintendo was also showing some killer DS titles, including a new Mario Bros. game, and a new Starfox, which were both pretty awesome.
After Nintendo’s booth, everything else on the floor seemed really tired and heavy-handed. Heavily Sword on PS3 looked pretty fun, as did God of War 2 and Okami. The second generation Xbox360 titles looked pretty nice, especially Dead Rising and Viva Pinata. Other than Silent Hill Origins, and yet another Ratchet and Clank, the PSP showing was pretty weak. The rest of the industry seems to still be suffering from the generic protagonist shoots generic enemy in generic third person view problem.
Anyway, it was a pretty successful trip, but I’m really glad that I only went for one day. I’ll write a slightly longer report sometime this week.