Wow. BIG. I have to say, I really wasn't quite prepared for just how BIG this show is.
I mean, I've been to Comic Con International for the past two years, which is, by all standards, LARGE, but 60,000 people and three halls is BIG. In the picture above, you can see the entrance WE took to get into the convention center. It's the boring one, from what I saw. The other entrances had HUGE banners, and tanks, and you name it...this one had an old guy looking through my backpack. :D BTW, in the picture above you can see my two friends Cliff and Dave (Cliff's the guy in the left hand side of the pic, wearing the backpack, and Dave's the blonde guy in the grey t-shirt (and no, it's not comic dave)).
This is from the lobby, looking at the entrance to South Hall (Where all the PC stuff was, basically.) Note the nVidia staircase. :D So anyway, since we got there early, we spent about an hour just hanging around, looking at stuff, and going and staring at LucasArts' video wall (Full Throttle II, baby. Aw yeah.). Then, those glorious doors opened, and we poured into West Hall, the mecca of Console Gaming.
The big purple Kingdom Hearts logo is basically where the SquareSoft "booth" was (it was part of Sony's booth). All they were showing was kingdom hearts, but DAMN it looks fun. I know a lot of people have been real skeptical about a Square/Disney collaboration, but I got a chance to play it for a few minutes, and it looks like my kinda game. :D
Speaking of Sony, btw, they had this really interesting looking Light Bar setup at the back of their booth where messages would scroll by. It was really something else to look at...I don't think it really comes through in this picture, but it was impressive, none the less. So we checked out all the games Sony had to show (Played a bit of Sly Cooper, which was cool, and checked out "The Getaway", which looks AWESOME.), and then, I saw it:
Ahhh...yeesss. Like digital crack, this one will be. I will lose my social life altogether when Final Fantasy XI comes out. The version they had playable was still in Japanese, but it was actually online, and I got a chance to kill a few death wasps before moving on. I was impressed with the control scheme (left analog for movement, right analog for third-person camera changes), and I'd say they've got a great game on their hands.
Ah yes...the Nintendo booth. Or should I say, the Nintendo ARENA. It was huge, and they had it all sort of walled-in, so it was really crowded. But Nintendo had a lot of really cool stuff to show off. The COOLEST, in my opinion, was this little baby:
Metroid Prime. I've been looking forward to this since I heard about it, and I know a lot of people have been rather skeptical, but let me assure you, it's BAD ASS. It's Metroid. I can attest to that. I watched a guy play through the whole demo level, and it just FELT like metroid. You have to see it when it comes out. :D
Okay, now this just made me want to hurt somebody. I know a lot of people are probably pretty excited about the new Legend of Zelda game. Even Cliff is looking forward to it. I would like to publicly state that I think it looks like a bunch of dingo's kidneys. It's not the cel-shading...I dig that. It's the HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, OH-MY-GOD WHO LET THEM ACTUALLY DO THAT character design. Link looks like a freaking SIX YEAR OLD. And He has creepy eyes. That is NOT Link. I don't care what you say, that is NOT Link. And apparently, he doesn't even grow up. You have to put up with that green-clothed monstrosity for the whole game. No way in hell I'm playing this. It's like Malice...I refuse to play it SOLELY on the grounds that it has a horrible character design. Bleagh.
There is hope for Zelda, though. See these people? They're playing the Legend of Zelda for GameBoy Advance. All four of them. TOGETHER. Four-player simultaneous Zelda. What more could you ask for? Just seeing the Link to the Past style graphics on the GBA made me want to weep. A good kinda weep. The kind of weep people do at weddings. :D
Also got to watch Cliff play Mario Sunshine, which looks to be pretty fun. Think Mario 64, only with MUCH better graphics (the water effects are AWESOME), and a rather interesting twist to the story (See that red swirly stuff? You gotta clean it up.). I'll probably check it out when it comes out.
South Hall...where all the good PC stuff was. Here you can see the Booth housing NeverWinter Nights (Which is coming along NICELY, I might add, and will be stealing my life away for a while when it comes out).
This was pretty cool. I got a chance to play Unreal Tournament 2003 (No, that's not me), which blew my mind (The amount of polys they're pushing is NUTS, though the controls they had were difficult as all hell to use), and then some dude from TechTV asks me if he can interview me, which I of course agreed to. He was just grabbing a few people as they stopped playing...it's not like he actually recognized me or anything (not that I expected him to). So, if anyone has the interview on tape or something, let me know. I wanna get a copy.
Oh look. It's Doom III's booth. I didn't get to see Doom III at the con. The line was absurd, and they were apparently being kinda Nazi-ish about it the day we wanted to see it. Ah well, the video they were showing outside can be found online, and it shows off the game EXCELLENTLY. Just check it out here.
Now HERE'S a game I'm looking forward to. It's on XBox, which means I'll have to go buy one to play it, but it looks to be worth it. See that controller he's using there? That's INCLUDED with the game. (The game should retail for around $150, if I heard correctly) 40+ buttons, 2 joysticks, booyah. And the graphics here are freaking AMAZING. Some of the best graphics in a game at the show, in my opinion. I know they're using a lot of tricks to make it look that good, but whatever they're doing, it works. :D
Oh yeah...Ragnarok Online had a booth too. Not that they had anything interesting to show off, since the booth consisted of places to play the game (which you can ALREADY play if you're able to download the bastard online), and some pretty scenery, but hey. It was cool, I guess. They had a stuffed Poring. :D
A lot of the fun from E3 was because of the awesome group of friends that were there with me. Unfortunately, Lizzie wasn't able to come (she had a play opening that weekend, which had us both bummed). This will NOT be the case next year... there's no way in hell I'm going to a con without Lizzie again. She makes everything better, and it was tough as hell being away from her like that. However, I was able to hang out with (counter-clockwise, from the right) Cliff, Sherrie (apologies if I'm spelling it wrong), Eric, Dave, and Erin (E-chan). Cliff and Dave were kind enough to let me crash in their hotel room, but we've since become awesome friends. I met E-Chan at Fanime a few weeks back, and Eric and Sherrie were friends of hers. This is us hanging out outside of Kentia Hall.
Oh, wait...right. Kentia Hall. I almost forgot about Kentia Hall. Hehe. This place is the literal ghetto of gaming. It's what E3 would be like if you sucked all the fun out of it. Actually, even that would be better. Kentia hall is LITERALLY under the other halls. The roof you see here is actually the floor of South Hall. This is where the people who don't have enough money to have a REAL booth set up shop. Mostly peripheral people and games without publishers, really.
No, wait...I can sum up Kentia hall with one picture.
That's right...they put out their magazines, and split. No people manning the booth. That is how ghetto this place is. I mean, really. Wow.
Oh yeah! I finally got to MEET Bill Roper! (No, this isn't in Kentia hall, BTW) He's been reading Real Life since I started it up, pretty much, and he's been a really great guy ever since. For those who don't know, Bill Roper is the Vice President of Blizzard, which puts him in the huge celebrity status as far as I'm concerned. We sat and talked about Warcraft III, a little bit about Worlds of Warcraft, comics, stuff like that. Yeah. He's the man. :D
Just a group shot of us waiting in line to meet Bruce Campbell. Dave actually took this picture for us. Yes, Dave...not the blonde-haired Dave I'm leaning on, but DAVE. He's stationed down near there, and Blonde-Dave had a guest pass that he let Dave use, so Dave was wandering around E3 on Friday. That was pretty cool...plus, I hadn't seen Dave in a while.
Yeah...that's me standing like a dumbass while Bruce Campbell signs a picture for me. I hadn't even seen any of the Evil Dead movies until 2 nights prior, when Cliff and Dave had me watch Army of Darkness (which ruled). Then the next day we find out Bruce Campbell's gonna be there. Rock on.
Lookit. It's Tony Hawk. And no, I don't know which one. I didn't really care, to be honest. Does it matter? Look...they're skateboarding.
Well, that's pretty much all I can think of to say. I saw a WHOLE lot of games, most of which looked pretty bad-ass. I didn't see too much in the way of truly terrible games (except the stuff at the JoWood booth). And so now, I present to you, a bunch of random E3 Pictures.