It's been a week since E3 has packed up and all the company men and women found their way back home to their office buildings. In that short time Defunct Games has come up with a solution to the sadness that some of you may have felt.
It's not lie that some of you didn't make it to E3. And most of you sat in the very chair your sitting in right now looking at coverage on the major video game sites. Checking out games like Shinobi and Rygar, you sit there and pontificate that everything you saw on the Xbox is beautiful, and everything else is crap. I've met a few of you on my journeys, a few people that didn't even get within a hundred miles of the convention and yet have a strong opinion about what they never have played.
e3Defunct Games has always been a company looking to improve public relations between these two groups, and so we thought it would be awfully nice to have an awards show like no other. While other sites are giving Sly Cooper the best graphics award, I figure we can actually take a look at some of the REAL things that happened at E3.
(Remember: each small cropped picture connects to a larger, fuller picture. Don't be fooled by the small thumb nail.)
Best Erroneous Exclusive:
Soul Calibur 2: Exclusive to the PlayStation 2
Loyal GameCube and Xbox fans fear not, Soul Calibur 2 is STILL going to be released for you system. But if you believed Sony you'd think their flagship system was the ONLY system to own. By clicking on the picture to your right you'll see the full list of games Sony claims are exclusives. Some impressive titles, including Tekken and Grand Theft Auto . but do you happen to notice Soul Calibur 2? No more than a half hour later Nintendo was claiming they would have the superior version of Namco's sequel. And when asked, Namco confirmed that Soul Calibur 2 would make the rounds on ALL THREE systems. So what's the deal Sony? At least it was the most innocent of all the claims this year.
Most out of Place Celebrity:
Trent Reznor at the Nintendo booth
Industrial rocker Trent Reznor, front man and brains behind the highly influential Nine Inch Nails, spent a good part of Thursday playing each and every one of the Nintendo games. Now, while I certainly wouldn't question his love for games, nor would I say he's wrong to enjoy a good game of Zelda. But there's certainly something perplexing about watching him play nothing but cute games. I know he "wants to fuck you like an animal", but after watching him play Animal Crossing, those words just take an all new meaning.
Game most in need of some sort of online feature::
Mario Party 4
So, let me get this right. Nintendo is manufacturing and packaging two new modems (one that supports dial up and one that supports broadband, respectively) that will only work with one title in 2002. Phantasy Star Online is the ONLY reason Nintendo is spending the money to bring us gamers online access to their little purple (or black) box. Sega is on the ball, ready to give us four player adventures, and what does Nintendo have? Mario Party 4 with limited one player appeal!! Is there a more perfect example of a online game waiting to happen? Yet the Nintendo rep brushed the idea off as if I were crazy!! Oh my oh my oh my . now who's the teacher and who's the student?
The Annual NO NEED FOR FORCE Award:
The Midway Booth
Thank goodness the over all experience of E3 is good, because there are some things that can really take care of that beer buzz you had going from the night before. The Midway representative not only put their hands over my camera, but rudely told me there were to be no pictures taken of their booth. To compound the problem Midway was not giving out press kits this year! They did give me a brief glimmer of hope by telling me I could take pics of the busty models they were packing around. Unimpressed, I chose to erase all my pictures of their booth and go on my merry way. But it certainly leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and you know, there's such thing as good PR. So let me just say it now, Midway had a really terrible booth.
Word most overused:
Extreme and Fusion
Yup, it's a tie. I counted four different games with the name Fusion in it, and a ton of games with Fusion mentioned somewhere within them. And Extreme, well, it would take too long to list the different Tony Hawk-rip offs there were hanging around, and all of them seemed to include the word extreme somewhere in their literature. Then again, some of the games were good, but still, this was the year of extreme examples of aggressive rip offs.
Solid Snake on a skateboard
Konami shocked us once by making Solid Snake only a minor part of Metal Gear Solid 2, but now they give us a second look at his skills . on a skateboard. Evolution Skateboarding let us play (in demo form) Solid Snake in Tony Hawk rip off mode. But like just about all of the Tony Hawk wannabes, Evolution Skateboarding fails to impress. It does have a strange boss fight, and the Metal Gear Solid inspired levels are way cool . but hey, we'll chock it up to shock value.
Super Mario Sunshine and Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee
This is the part of the article when I have to become extra nasty. Now listen, both of these games were a lot of fun, but come on, they can give us a workable name. Super Mario Sunshine, for example, wouldn't be so bad, but it just sounds really, well, fruity. Super Mario Vacation? ANYTHING but Sunshine. And what about that Godzilla game? Does it sound like there are just too many words in that name, Destroy all Monsters Melee. The only thing it's missing is Super Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee. No wait, I know . Super Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee Legends. And do you really destroy ALL monsters? After all they need to keep some for a sequel . unless everybody is persuaded by it's tragic name.
But Who's Counting?
Amount of Bottles of Water I Drank: 27 Amount of Money Spent on Water: $39 Number of hours spent playing Final Fantasy (WonderSwan Color) While in L.A.: 17:15 Average Hour Housekeeping came to clean my room: 8:30 a.m. Average Hour I wakt Up At Home: NOT 8:30 am Total Defunct Games Business Cards Given Out: 491 Total Pawn Shops in the Three Block Radius Around the Motel: 21 Number of Business Cards Collected: 512 Total Microcassettes Used at E3: 9 (630 minutes) Number of Earthquakes while in L.A.: 0 Number of Rainy Days while in L.A.: 1 Amount of Paper Used for Notes: 92 Amount of Pictures taken at the E3: 611
Booth generating the least amount of hype:
Poor ESRB, poor, poor ESRB. Their presence was not especially wanted, nor was it needed, but I'm sure it was justified somehow. Everytime I looped around to get back to the Sony booth I noticed there were NEVER people there. Well, there were, but they were the people getting paid to stand there! Oh sure they had useful, colorful, informative pamphlets explaining the rating system, but them being there was akin to the gun control activists giving out bumper stickers at the gun show.
Most painful booth:
Now, I kid you not, and I know you'll think I'm joking, but what I'm about to tell you is the honest to goodness truth. You've seen those golf simulators where you hit a real ball into a projection screen. Well, at the E Club booth you can take that to a new level . well, the online level. But you see, the booth had these little tiny rooms set up to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product. Problem was every single time somebody swung and hit the ball into the screen, the ball would ricochet and smack them in the forehead! EVERY SINGLE TIME! I watched person after person after person attempt this, and each person walked away with a bruised forehead. This was the closest thing a Three Stooges Episode I'll ever see.
Lamest Star Wars Tie-In:
Metroid on the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Poster
I know Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones premiered only days before E3, but COME ON, some things should never be mixed!! Metroid was so much more impressive than George Lucas' latest opus. And this poster not only taints the good name of Metroid, but also makes me sad Nintendo would stoop to such a despicable level. I'll tell you what, give me a new Kid Icarus game, and we'll call it even, okay?
The QUESTION OF BLINDNESS Award:
Silent Scope on the GameBoy Advance
Alright, now I've asked this question before, but why on EARTH would somebody want to play Silent Scope on Nintendo's teeny tiny portable? It's bad enough you don't get the Sniper Rifle with the PlayStation 2 version, but this you don't even get compassion for your poor eye site. I'm not saying this doesn't have potential . no wait, I am saying that. There are so many better examples of franchises that need to be saved on the GameBoy Advance . leave well enough alone.
Proof Grand Theft Auto Really DID Change Everything:
The Getaway, Stuntman, and True Crime
Both Grand Theft Auto III and II are riding high on the charts still, and it would appear companies have taken notice. Each of these three games gives a whole different spin on the Grand Theft Auto theme, but all had a lot of potential. And better yet, they represent the continuation of a very adult theme. Perhaps the future is looking bright after all . well, dark, gritty, and bloody, but you know what I meant.
Oddest use of panties:
Never heard of it, never been to the site (even now), never lingered around long enough to see what they were pitching . but I will tell you one thing, these two girls in their panties certainly made me notice. But it was completely ineffective . no wait, it I guess I pitched it just now, so perhaps it wasn't a waste after all. No matter, just check out the picture, it's impressive, at least it should be. Okay . it's still up for debate.
The EVEN IF IT'S CANCELLED! Award:
The Posthumous Dark Angel game
Never been a fan of James Cameron's comic book inspired Fox series, never even fell for that Jessica Alba girl that's connected to it . and so it didn't surprise me that I wasn't at all impressed with the game. But I question why they brought it to the show, especially after the show made news only weeks earlier by being publicly dropped by Fox. When asked the PR people didn't seem all that concerned, stating that the game features everything that made the series popular . but you know, if the show was popular, perhaps Fox wouldn't be canceling it.
A Few Things I Know ...
* I'm the ONLY person in L.A. without a Cell Phone!!
* There was a high speed car chase EVERYDAY I was in L.A. (that's six for six)
* Motels that are right next to where you want to be are REALLY expensive!
* The "General" Media does not cover the right aspect of E3!!
* Parking is nowhere to be found if there's an NBA Play Off game nextdoor
* After being on my feet nearly 25 hours over the course of three days, my legs and back hurt!
* Anybody who says "E3 is relaxing" is living in denial!!
* Women outnumber the men 10 to one at the Nintendo booth!!
Mario Party 4
No, that's not a typo. The longest line was not for Zelda, not for Metroid, and not for Doom III (though that one was close), it was for Mario Party 4. Okay, I confess, it wasn't simply to play Mario Party 4, but it did end up with you playing Nintendo's newest party title. If you stood in the line (which averaged about two hours of waiting, if not longer) you were almost guaranteed a prize, and a really good chance of winning either a GameBoy Advance Platinum or WaveBird (Nintendo's wireless control . which I might add is fairly lack luster, all things considered). Was it worth waiting in line? I don't know, I didn't bother.
Best display Set Up:
This is really more of a visual award . so check out the picture to the right (click it to show the FULL picture, and not just the cropping). Alright, now you've seen it. I tried to preserve it the way it was meant to be shown . but a lot of people were kicking the display and having their friends take pictures of their deviant acts. You won't find that sort of stuff on Defunct Games . instead you'll find an award show like a week and a half after the actual convention.
Yet another stupid reason to buy all your alright overpriced Pokemon cards all over again:
Are you fighting mad you had to buy all new Pokemon cards to keep current? Well, get ready to do that again, because Nintendo's ready to give you a really silly reason to spend $5 for a couple silly cards. You see, now they will have a bar code strip (that doesn't have that ugly bar code look, don't worry, it's pretty and kid friendly), and now they will be useable with Nintendo's new E-Reader for the GameBoy Advance. You will be able to use the Reader with Animal Crossing and, well, Nintendo hasn't announced any other games, but you know how it goes, it will probably JUST be for Animal Crossing. I am encouraged to speak nothing but good things about this game, though, why? Because I was the second winner in the Animal Crossing contest. And hey, for a guy who has a loser email address, I won a few too many good things at this years E3.
Most Useless Game of the Show:
Tekken Tag Tournament
Hey, didn't I play this game in the arcade like FOUR YEARS AGO?? Okay, maybe not that long ago, but what the bloody hell is this game doing taking up not one, but TWO booths! No playable Xenosaga, no Soul Calibur 2, but Tekken Tag Tournament. Ladies and Gentlemen, Namco's booth was officially perplexing! That's the only word that makes sense about Namco this year, perplexing!!
The THAT CERTAINLY MAKES SENSE Award:
IGN Booth open to Invited Guests only
This is another one of those "picture gags". People upset that they were locked out of their most popular content have yet another reason to bitch about IGN. Click the picture for the full non-cropped picture.
Game Most out of Place:
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen: Sweet 16 (Xbox)
While I was walking down the Microsoft Xbox strip (which was quite an obnoxious color of green, I might add) Mary Kate and Askley Olsen: Sweet 16 just kind of stuck out. Next to Wrestling titles, Extreme games, and a couple first person shooters . the Olsen sisters just didn't have any place in this convention. No really, it didn't.
Most Unneeded Heat:
Sony's Hot Seats
After walking around all day carrying a heavy bag (I've used that already, haven't I?) the last thing I want to do is dance . second on the list, hot seats. I thought I was going to sit down on and play Sly Cooper, but as my butt his the hard plastic couch, I realized the light had made the seat at least 100 degrees!! Sony . what were you thinking?? Why not ice blocks?