I picked up my orange wristband and made my way to the Nokia Center, which of some reason has a security system that is somewhat akin to what one would find at an airport. Despite this I managed to get a seat and settled in for what I hoped would be a very informative and entertaining press conference. Sadly this did not transpire.
People-free E3 2012, the West Hall, before the show actually opened.
But let me go back a bit...
The day started with me actually writing the Day Two Show Report
if truth be told: at 6am. I was a little ranty.
Why was I up so early? It's because Nintendo was holding its press conference at 9am, and I was having to cram the Show Report in before I grabbed some breakfast. Pro tip: if you ever go to E3, always have breakfast. You'll only flake out by midday if you don't.
Instead, over the next hour and a half I was subjected to chatter from suits who were more interested in Nintendo's share price than its ability to make games. And that's just the audience! This was also happening on stage as Nintendo of America's president, Reggie 'I am in fact made out of processed meat' Fils Aime, engaged in cringe worthy conversations on stage with a procession of suits. To say it was turgid would be an understatement.
It wasn't all bad though. It did open with the reveal that Pikmin 3
would be a WiiU game and there was a long demonstration given about the game. It featured a lot of humour, with the new rock pikmin being particularly humorous as they are thrown at objects to destroy them. I really like the Pikmin series so to see it return on the new platform was a welcome sight for me.
The unforgiving Sun bombards the vitimin D deprived E3 attendees.
The 3DS sadly barely got a glimpse though, this is despite the cash cow the machine has proven to be for Nintendo. They have promised a separate online only event for that machine though that is to be held on 6th June, so it's probably not fair to bash them over that.
On thing that also came across was the WiiU's ability to create asymmetric game experiences. Yes I know I sound like a press release now, but it is something that is unique to the machine.
That is until Sony start doing a proper job of integrating the Vita with the PS3. This concept of asymmetric play is not new, at least in the land of board games at any rate.
There are quite a few that have either some or all players interacting with the game in a very different manner to everyone else. The WiiU may usher in similar mechanics into the video game space. Did I just write 'video game space'? Yes I believe I did....sorry.
A South Park game made by Obsidian! What could possibly go wrong? Oh...
But what I will bash them over is Nintendo Land. This is a virtual theme park of 12 mini-games. A WiiU launch title, it features....no no I can't talk about this any more. Really it's just a collection of mini games, that's it. Oh the freaking horror. And Nintendo had the temerity to sign off with this thing. Deary me.
Thankfully I had a full diary of appointments to keep my mind distracted from what Nintendo had just subjected me to. First up was Star Trek, a game that is based on the new JJ Abrahms version of the franchise and is set between the first film and the one that is set to appear in 2013. I'll be writing about that in greater detail later this week. I liked what I saw, I can say that much.
I then sprinted off to 2 K games to take a gander at XCOM: Enemy Unknown
and Borderlands 2
. Again, I'll expand a great deal in seperate articles on both, but for now I can say that XCOM
looks ever more like a return to the previous games only with a modern take on presentation, much like Legends of Grimrock
nee Dungeon Master
. Borderlands 2
is very much a case of lets expand on what we built with the original.
The next hour had me grinding enamel from my teeth. I'm billing Nintendo.
I then set off to chat to the people of Hello Games, the people behind Joe Danger
. They were showing off Joe Danger: The Movie
which builds off of the success of the original game and does much to add depth and replayability to it.
They also showed me the iOS version of the game that is very much in Alpha. Despite this I was very impressed with it as they managed to get it running at 60 fps on an iPhone 4.
The last hours of the first day of E3 being open I ventured into the Nintendo booth where demonstrations were being given of the Nintendo Land games. I'll expand more about this in a seperate article, but for now I can say that I came away thinking that I'm still peeved with Nintendo...
So, while E3 did officially close for the day, Microsoft opened up its doors to various regions of journalists. Tuesday night was for Europe so we Old World dwelling hacks scuttled around and played a variety of games unfettered by the E3 hordes. I managed to play Hybrid
, Forza Horizon
and, wait for it, Halo 4
Yes you read correctly dear reader. And no I won't be writing about it in this diary entry. What I can say is that it was the highlight of the day for me, and that's saying something.
The queue to enter the South Hall. I went to the less obvious entrance as I do every year.
Microsoft opens up its booth after-hours for regional press. There be no queues here.