With E3 2008 in our rear-view mirrors it's time to reflect one last time on just how the week turned out to be a disappointing... well, disappointment. Before we all went our separate ways last Friday morning, the Kombo team gathered together to record a final E3 podcast [MP3 link]. I was out of the room for most of it and was interviewed separately, and although I haven't had a chance to listen to the show yet, I'm told that I've been spliced in there somewhere. So give it a listen and let me know where my segment appears if you get to it before I do.
It's kind of a mixed bag for just how people follow E3 news. My take on how to read gaming news really changed once I started attending the conference for myself. In the old days I used to hit the highlights at the end of the day, but being at the heart of all the excitement has turned me into a constant page refresher. While I was working in the media room last week I found that I had an extra web browser tab open to the Kombo homepage itself to keep track of what was going on even as I was writing previews and news blurbs. It makes me smile to think that I'm one of the people helping to get the news out there and even I can't keep up with it all. What chance does everyone watching from home have?
So, keeping with the E3 theme for just a little longer, which of the major gaming companies do you feel "won" the conference? Take that however you like. Who had the best press conference? Which console had the strongest demos? Who really dropped the ball? Let's hear your thoughts.
Guess who is featured on the E3 Media and Business Summit 2008 website? Me! Or, rather, the back of my head. One of my Kombo team members happened across an image on the official E3 website of me playing the Mega Man ZX demo in Nintendo's booth area back in 2005. My back is to the camera, but I recognize my backpack, light shirt, and general head shape & hairstyle when I see them. I'm not certain, but I believe that this now makes me very famous. The line for autographs forms to the right.
Not every game that I wanted to try at E3 was on my assignment list, so whenever I had a little free time I went to the Showcase Pavilion to check out some of my personal interests. Not everything on my list of games to see was on display, but I did get around to playing almost everything I wanted. Some of the major titles such as Sonic Unleashed, Bionic Commando, and Street Fighter IV were locked away, but I did get to sample Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Castlevania Judgement among others.
This one kind of slipped through the cracks this week, but at the end of Day 2 of E3 a few of us from Kombo sat down well after midnight and recorded a podcast [MP3 link] in which we discuss the triumphs and disappointments of the big three E3 media briefings. Listen for me about twenty minutes into the show as I review my disappointment with Nintendo's press conference, praise Wario Land: Shake It!!, get in a plug for Press The Buttons, and generally interject witty remarks wherever I see fit.
Everyone's buzzing over the HD visuals of this year's crop of Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 games, but the little 8-bit game that could, Mega Man 9, is going all the way down the nostalgia road. Consider this newly revealed box art for the upcoming game which manages to capture the spirit of the original crappy Mega Man box art that was forced on fans outside of Japan. I'm convinced now more than ever that Capcom is one of those companies that "gets it".
I had the chance to meet with representatives from LucasArts this afternoon and have a look at three of their upcoming games. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is the most impressive of the trio, and my thoughts on the game are now available at Kombo. I hadn't taken a close look at the game until today, and while I'm not a die-hard Star Wars fan (I tend to consume my Star stories in Trek and Gate formats), I was impressed with the attention to detail found in both versions of the game. Who knew that joining the dark side could be so much fun? I'm looking forward to the finished product.
What was the first gameplay application you thought of when you first heard about Nintendo's new Wii MotionPlus add-on? A quick survey of the Kombo E3 team was split into two camps: accurate swordplay in The Legend of Zelda and kickass lightsaber duels in a Star Wars game. Say, isn't LucasArts working on a Star Wars game for the Wii that includes lots of lightsabering? Why, maybe that game will make use of-
Will Star Wars: The Force Unleashed make use of the new peripheral for exciting lightsaber duels? Sadly, no. Christopher Cook of LucasArts confirmed today to us that Unleashed will not feature MotionPlus compatibility.
Hmm, well, so much for that. I had a bad feeling about it anyways.
Mario and friends are heading back to the baseball field in Mario Super Sluggers for the Nintendo Wii. Basically, it looks like an updated take on last generation's Mario Superstar Baseball with some motion controls grafted onto the experience. For whatever reason, the Nintendo representative was hesitant to hand over the controller so I could try the game, but that hasn't stopped me from putting together my thoughts on the title over at Kombo. Come for the impressions, stay for the cautious optimism.
There was a scheduling mishap this morning, meaning that I had to dash down Figureoa Street from the hotel to the convention center in about four minutes time. Otherwise I'd have risked missing a date with a certain beautiful lady: Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider: Underworld for all kinds of consoles. I had the opportunity to get my hands on
Lara the Microsoft Xbox 360 version of the game, and I've shared my thoughts on the experience over at Kombo. Lara looks fantastic. I just wish her game was equally impressive.