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E3 - Journal: Day 3



After a long day 2, waking up early to hit as much as possible for my last day in L.A. wasn't exactly appealing, but you do what you have to do. I started things off by hitting up Barker Hanger one last time. I know there's not a LOT there, but there were a few games I wanted to try. Sadly, I forgot to hit up a couple, but I managed to get through all of the Devil May Cry 4 demo. I was relatively impressed. Combat wasn't QUITE as fun as I remember it in DMC 1, but it was certainly pretty enough. I think when they add in more skills, items, and weapons, it'll definitely be worth my while.

After that, I went back to Lowes to see what I could dig up. I jumped into a last minute SEGA presentation, and I was treated to a short presentation on The Golden Compass and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Golden Compass is basically a movie tie in that resembles Kameo: Elements of Power. In truth, it didn't look all that bad, especially for a game based on a movie. I don't think it's something I'm going to pick up, but it looked like it'd be fun for those that do. They're working really hard to make the game accessible to younger players without just making the game ridiculously easy. I think on the harder levels of difficulty, there might actually be something in there for gamers like me.

The main reason I jumped in that meeting was to see Mario and Sonic. I had mixed feelings about the game going in, but it looks like it might actually be fun. More or less, it's another Nintendo Mini-Game game, but it works well enough on the Wii. They showed off a few of the events, and they use the Wii controls in pretty easy to understand ways. At this point, there is no telling if the game will feature any sort of online multiplayer, and unless it does, I doubt I'll pick it up. It's not quite got the party vibe of a Mario Party game.

From there, I wandered over to Nintendo's area again to wait for my appointment with them. I was a bit early, and though I didn't think it possible, I figured I'd ask if there was ANY way I could meet Miyamoto-san and get his autograph. They commended me for asking, but they said they had no idea where he was. I had told other staffers that we had a meeting, and several voiced interest in going, so I waited for them to show up. I was JUST about to go back to take a look at some more games when Miyamoto-san walked in the door. I was completely star struck. I'm sure I looked like an idiot fanboy, but I asked Miyamoto-san if I could have his autograph. He gave his usual smile and agreed. I asked the people at the booth if they had a sharpie, and they handed me one. I then offered my DS to Miyamoto-san for his autograph and he actually did it. When he did, I just stood there with my mouth open for a couple minutes. I was in shock. Out of all the possible things that I REALLY hoped could happen at E3, that was the thing I would have wanted more than anything. After regaining the powers of speech, I was led back to the playing area to get my hands on Metroid Prime 3, the reason I had come.

In a word, MP3 is awesome. I was shocked at how intuitive it really was. They said I had the game set on the 'advanced' mode, meaning that the cursor moved at the fastest speed. It was a bit awkward at first, but after about two minutes, I was moving around and firing with ease. The only awkward bit was hitting the - button to switch to the scan visor, but I expect that with practice, that'll be more natural. It took a bit of getting used to switching visors in the first two games too, as I recall. The really nice part about the motion controls is what they called lock-on free aiming. Basically, you can lock on to an enemy, which puts them at the center of your screen. Then you can strafe around them at will, but if you want to shoot another enemy, you just have to aim at it. This was particularly useful in a room with a couple space pirates. I locked on to one and was firing at it, but I was still able to get a few shots in on the other one when it was open. It didn't really feel like I would get too tired from all the shooting, so that really addressed my last concern about it. I will have NO reservations whatsoever about playing that game when it hits retail this year.

After that, I walked over to Namco Bandai's area to get one last demo of Culdcept Saga. Previously, I had my rear handed to me on their demo level. I simply couldn't go home like that, and luck was on my side in the rematch. It seemed every die roll worked in my favor, and I drew my best cards just when I needed them. I pretty thoroughly destroyed my opponent this time, and I think it might have been by a wider margin than what she had last time. It was a nice ending to the day.

After that, I came back to the hotel, showed off my DS, packed up, and took the really expensive taxi to the airport where I found I had gone to the wrong terminal. It seems that I flew in with United, but I was flying back with something called Frontier. Not only that, but I had a whopping 8 minutes to get to the other side of the airport to catch my flight, or at least I thought I did. After running like crazy to get to their check-in, I discovered that my flight didn't exist anymore. After an hour or so, they found me a direct flight back to Philly, and it was only a net delay of two hours. I was pretty much wiped out, but I managed to get on the plane and make it home.

It was a long, busy trip that went by WAY too fast, but I'll never forget it. Though a lot of people didn't really like the new format for E3 this year, I enjoyed this one much more than last year. I'll agree that the press conferences were lame this year, and I miss all the swag. But the one on one I got with everyone totally made up for it. I can't wait for next year.

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