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"E3 2008 Extravaganza"
-By Harold "Hbomb" Price-
|I am sooooo wishing I could've been there.
I never got to make it under the old format, first due to lack in
funds, and then conflict in work schedules (there's still school going
on in May). And then when they finally move it to a time of year where
I can attend, they limit access.
Well, at least there's G4, which I don't think I've watched since last year's E3. They're having 17 hours of coverage, and I went ahead and set up a TiVo season pass for it.
Microsoft: Hbomb's Ready For the Dark Side
I caught Microsoft's press conference midway. I love what I saw of the new interface. I like the party system. Primetime seems cool (I love game shows!), and Netflix could be awesome. "Lips" and "You're in the Movies" also seem totally awesome. (Confession 1: FPSs and Action RPGs don't do it for me. I guess I'm not a "hardcore" gamer.) The avatars seem like a bit of a Mii ripoff, only better. I may have to get a 360, but let's see what Sony and Nintendo have planned first.
Nintendo: What happened to kicking ass and taking names?
"Shaun White Snowboarding" opened the show, and for the most part, things went downhill from there. Some stats, some 3rd party announcements (but not nearly as many as Microsoft and Sony), Animal Crossing, Wii Speak, Wii MotionPlus, Wii Sports Resort, new Pokemon Ranger announced, GTA DS announced, new DS Guitar Hero announced.... and then comes Miyamoto playing the saxophone on Wii Music- which is shown as having balance board compatibility as part of drum set features. Yes, they're working on new Zelda, Mario, and Pikmin, but no additional details. Other than the brief mention of Pokemon Ranger, Animal Crossing was the only establish franchise mentioned in the press conference (a new DS Kirby was shown on the floor). No Kid Icarus, no DS2, no Punchout with balance board compatibility (as was rumored).
Sony: 3 Systems, 1 Game
Sony, even with 3 systems to support, didn't have much that interested me. Many games seemed to run together. The only one that really stuck out was "LittleBigPlanet". I liked how the stats from Jack Tretton's presentation were incorporated into a LBP level. I love the customizable features and user-generated content. From what I saw, it definitely deserved G4's game of the show. Unfortunately, other than Home and the new video downloads, that was it from Sony.
Third Party Highlights
Spore seems cool, and DS is getting a version! SimAnimals sounds intreresting. No sign of the rumored EA Fitness. I really wish "Street Fighter IV" and "Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe" were coming to Wii. Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour both have impressive track lists, but very little details about peripherals and what features the Wii versions will and won't have.
Handhelds: Where is the love?
G4 pretty much ignored handhelds, other than DS titles mentioned at Nintendo's conference and PSP titles mentioned at Sony's. I did see the trailer for Dragon Quest IV on IGN, and I'm still drooling. The most bizzare game announcement for DS is probably "Puzzle de Harvest Moon 2". I hope Natsume gets it right this time. When I talked to Philip, he said he thought it could be the year of the handheld, but the coverage I saw did not reflect it. From what I can tell, it's pretty much been few big announcements, and a lot of new footage of previous announcements. At least we're getting Dragon Quest 4, Final Fantasy 4, and Chrono Trigger by the end of the year. :)
G4's coverage sucked in the respect that handhelds were almost totally ignored, and very little Wii coverage was there to be found. Their Best of E3 awards lacked a handheld category, and Wii was left with a couple honorable mentions ("Deadly Creatures" and "Mega Man 9"). Speaking of G4, Morgan Webb is hot (ok, that doesn't really have to do with anything, but it bared mentioning- Olivia Nunn's not bad either.). Microsoft almost had me, but there's still not enough in terms of games to sell me a 360 right now. Casual gaming seems to have a bad connotation, and seems to be ignored in mass coverage. Oh, and next year, Nintendo needs more Reggie!
-Hbomb is currently property of DMG Ice, but could be yours for the right price.. especially if you're cute. :)-
-Property of dmgice.com-