It was my first E3, and it's left me with a jumble of assorted memories that spilled out onto the floor when I returned home, much like my severely burdened luggage.
Burning my tongue on coffee that was neither French or vanilla in the airport, the blue eyes of Ted's adorable four month daughter as she disapproved of Chris' sunglasses, the whale-like sounds of Andrew's endless snoring that seemed somehow hilarious at 2am, the image of Jeff Minter as a Jesus-like figure above the clouds with Lawrence Taylor as the Devil incarnate, the endless hill that we had to march up to reach the movie theater... I'm surprised I had time to play any games at all, but I managed to squeeze a few in somehow.
Game of Show Despite not Getting the T-Shirt: Starcraft Ghost
With Metal Arms being one of my favorite games of all time, Ghost was already the top of my list before I got my hands on it, just knowing Swingin' Ape had taken the development reigns. If anything, I underestimated their abilities. If I could kill a non-member of the development team to get the game out faster I would be pricing hitmen about now. It's that good.
Best Game I was Going to Buy Anyway: Destroy All Humans!
It's a game where you can lift up a cop's car via telekinesis and use it to squash him or send him flying. It doesn't get much better than that, unless you're using cows as projectiles or draining the DNA of random humans, and that's all without touching the missions. Pandemic wowed me with Mercenaries, and now their little grey men have already invaded my dreams.
Best Fighter without "Soul Calibur" in Title: One Piece: Grand Battle
Actually, the playable demo of SC3 was unimpressive with only two characters and a single mode to chose from. The One Piece demo was loaded with characters and stages to trounce random people through, snickering when they got set on fire or crushed by a stampeding cow. Grand little game to be sure.
Game Certain to Absorb all my Free Time: RPG Maker 3
It's easy, it's pretty, it lets you make your own adventures with a minimum of fuss, and has a huge number of elements to build your own world from. It might as well come with its own PS2 because once I pop it into mine it'll probably never leave. So at the same time I eagerly anticipate and dread its release.
Biggest "Don't Call it a Comeback": Sega
Let's just forget about Shadow and PSU. Everywhere else that you looked in their booth, from their Xbox 360 offerings Full Auto and Condemned, to recently acquired developer games like Spartan: Total Warrior, to handheld titles like Sonic Rush and Gunstar Super Heroes, to things I don't expect anyone else to like... like Shining Force Neo, Sega had come to play. That's even without considering the video previews that I've detailed elsewhere, which made Microsoft and Sony's next gen offerings seem ho-hum.
Sega was once my favorite videogame company, but going multiplatform had been a fall from grace. Now they're proving that they don't need a new console to claw their way back on top.
Welcome back, Sega. I've missed you.
Best Media-only Lounge: Nokia
They served beer. Beer is good.