E3 '08 Day 2

So after a sound sleep of about 4 hours, I was up and at ’em, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Dave and I headed over to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Hollywood is a dump, by the way. Not as nice as I imagined it.

The Nintendo Press conference began with a brief check-in, after which hundreds of members of the press were rounded up like livestock in the foyer of the theatre. It was at this point that I was informed that there wasn’t a lick of wifi signal in the place. The Live Blog that I had promised you guys was in jeopardy, but I had a plan.

They let us into the theatre, and I prepared my videogame-hardened thumbs for some T9 texting action — I would live-blog via Twitter, with Kyle transcribing the text onto GamerNode.

As the Nintendo staff members jovially showed off Shaun White Snowboarding, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Guitar Hero: On Tour, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Music, my hands grew tired and my heart grew heavy. What a cruddy E3 press conference. And where’s Punch Out?

I caught the shuttle back to the Convention Center and found my way to Bethesda’s meeting room so I could play Fallout 3. My feeling at this point: "Ahhh." It feels like a cross between Fallout 2, Oblivion, and Bioshock, and that is never a bad thing.  I also got to look at Atari’s handheld N+ (which I have a preview build of…but no PSP to play on), What’s Cooking with Jamie Oliver, Deer Hunter Tournament, and the new Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion, Storm of Zohir. Ok…to the main show floor.

I hit the videogame peristyle and tired out a bunch of new games. De Blob, and Flock played great, Rise of the Argonauts looked and sounded great (I didn’t get to touch the controller), and Wii Music played like poo poo. That must’ve meant it was time for some food.

After my delicious turkey wrap I went to get on line to see the Ubisoft press conference. Kyle was on his way, so I waited for him… then we both got denied entry into the packed auditorium. *sad face*

It was time for indy games next, which were the ultimate highlight of the day. One game, levelHead, was a webcam- and paper cube-controlled puzzle game for Linux. I took a sideways video of Kyle playing the game, but I’m not exactly sure how to fix its orientation and I can barely upload anything on this internet connection, so I will just describe the game: EDIT: A different video link here.

Basically, a paper cube, viewed by a webcam, is the controller. The program differentiates between sides by the pattern of black and white squares printed on them, and translates the patterns into images of a hollowed-out box on the computer screen. Inside the box, a man walks in whatever direction the player tilts the cubic prison. The goal is to guide him through the correct doors and stairway-filled rooms (each side of the cube displays a different room on the screen) to escape. It is ridiculously cool, and is possibly the best game I saw at the show all day.

levelHead levelHead

Next up was another indie game that made use of a completely original interface. Dark Game is a top-down shooter for two players, where the only enemies are each other. The game uses a spider-like crown of force-feedback apendages to provide information to the players, beginning with a pulse in whichever of the eight directions they should travel to acquire the gun-equipped robot suit. Once one player grabs the suit, he or she becomes "the hunter," and has the ability to fire a gun. The only catch is that the screen goes completely black and only the pulsing headpiece hints at the location of "the prey."

"The prey," on the other hand, retains all visual information, and the pulse still leads to a robotic suit. Once "the prey" grabs the next spawned suit, the roles reverse. The game ends when one player is killed, and I can assure you that it is an incredible gaming experience, overall. I may interview the creator at some point during the next two days.

I played Dark Void from Capcom and Airtight. It seems like a great third-person shooter, with smooth transitions into and out of cover and a cool "vertical combat" system. This is essentially rock climbing with guns. I like it… except for the lack of freedom.

I also checked out Fable before trying to get into the Capcom press conference (and getting rejected by a line the size of my… city). It didn’t exactly excite me with its gameplay, but I liked that they are allowing you to buy any building or business and make money in a variety of ways this time around. The guy from Lionhead showed me an in-game condom he found in one of the townsfolk’s dressers.

The last game I got my hands on was Silent Hill: Homecoming. It abandoned everything that went into Silent Hill: Origins (thank your idol of choice), and actually might be ok. i’m not claiming SH2/3/4-level fun, but at least it won’t be awful.

Now Kyle and I are just waiting for Brendon so that we can hit up Bethesda’s party in West Hollywood. Wish us luck!


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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