Well, for all intents and purposes, this year’s E3 is a bit of a bust. All three of the major companies' press events were forgetful. Nobody dropped any bombs. And there was more sequel-itis than ever. And no new consoles announced! Making matters worse, most the games for the Wii U were old Nintendo standbys. Despite all this, I managed to run around like a nutter and see some cool stuff.
Covering E3 by yourself is a real challenge. There are just too many games to see in three days. It’d be like asking a guy to count all the grains of sand on the beach during a windstorm. But it still gives you a pretty good idea of what next year's big titles will be.
I will say E3’s a lot more fun if you dress like a crazy guy. I decided to dress up this year and wore a mushroom hat and a cape. I thought I’d get a few picture requests here and there, but people went nuts! I couldn’t go more than 10 feet without someone asking for a picture. And I got called a lot of interesting things like: Mario, Mr. Mario, Mushroom King, Mushroom Head and more. And a hot chick winked at me and said, “I’ll be your princess.” At least I think that’s what happened. She may have had something in her eye. Kinda dusty in there...
I spent most of my day at the Namco Bandai booth checking out their offerings. I got some hands-on time with the new Studio Ghibli anime RPG, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Developed by Level 5 (Rogue Galaxy, Dragon Quest VIII), this game is absolutely dripping with charm—super-cute characters with silly names fighting adorable monsters in a neat little world. The DBZ Kinect game was also on display, and there were a variety of would-be Saiyans trying their hands at a Kamehameha or two. But the game I was really looking forward to playing was One Piece: Pirate Warriors. And I gotta say, the game didn’t disappoint one bit! The crazy crowd-based combat of Dynasty Warriors and the over-the-top moves in One Piece are a perfect match. I also got to interview the producers of the One Piece game and the Dragon Ball Z Kinect, so look for that in the next week or so.
I’m always interested to see which of the big three—Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft—has the best booth each year. And this year Nintendo won hands down. Sony’s seemed very similar to last year, and although it’s nice and modern, it is a little cold. Microsoft’s was really big, open, and green, but felt a little empty. Nintendo’s was just plain fun. Nice pastel colors, big cool structures that made you want to walk around and explore. You can knock Nintendo all you want, but they have a great sense of design and know how to impress.
It’s pretty apparent this year that E3 is growing back to its old super-insane level. Not sure if this is a good thing, as it got so large in the past it imploded on itself. But I’m always happy to see booth babes, and there’s no shortage of them this year. And they seem to like men in giant mushroom hats! Take note, future game journalists!
More to come tomorrow!
by Urian Brown