Chris "Bahn" Scantleberry
"You've changed things ... forever." – The Joker (The Dark Knight)
There are a lot of things about the old E3 that I'll always cherish and hold dear, but the long lines and insane noise levels definitely aren't on the list. The ESA wasn't kidding when it spoke about drastically scaling down the event, but perhaps things were taken a bit too far. I mean, when you don't even make an effort to let companies invest in enhancing the place with a few banners around the convention halls, you can't fault anyone for calling the place "drab."
Anyways, let's get off that topic because, if you haven't already heard, I had an awesome time at E3. I guess we'll get the obvious reason out the way: Street Fighter IV. Man, this game can't come soon enough. Thanks to the new atmosphere of E3, attendees could spend a generous amount of quality time checking out the latest releases. However, this year, I actually took my obsession with Capcom's critically acclaimed franchise to another level by spending at least 80% of my time playing the game during all three days. Really. Believe it or not, I actually did leave on a few occasions to check out the rest of what E3 had to offer, including a brief domination with Val in the Concourse Hall playing Rock Band 2. We actually impressed spectators walking by, including a few random media/broadcast organizations who recorded some of our hands-on sessions. Later throughout the week (when I wasn't at Capcom's booth geeking out, that is), I was fortunate to get a photo opportunity wearing the awesome claw from the next-gen edition of Bionic Commando as well as the remixed NES classic, Bionic Commando Rearmed. Aaron and I were very impressed. It was a fanboy's dream come true and I wish Capcom would hurry up and roll this out for XBLA. I suggested to the developers that they look into creating Section Z, and well, that just got a few groans - which leads me to suggest that they'd rather focus on developing next-gen versions than use their abilities to revamp every classic franchise.
I never had a chance to get any hands-on time with Mirror's Edge but if James' impressions were any indication, that's something I should look into picking up when it hits the shelves. Rey Jimenez, the producer of Super SF2 Turbo: HD Remix showed off how the current build was coming along and then, of course, I had to challenge him to a few games. Sonic: Unleashed showed some promise, but it's got a long way to go before diehard fans like Travis and Val will be drooling with amazement. They're a tough crowd to impress, in case you haven't realized that by now. I also briefly spent time playing Resident Evil 5, Mega Man 9, Smash Court Tennis, The Conduit, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., and Mortal Kombat vs. DC. No, I really did play all these games ... but along the way, I'd get this burning sensation to run back and play that new Capcom fighter, and the rest is history.
There were a few moments when I wasn't feeling quite on top of the world. Earlier in the week, I misplaced my fiancée's camera, leaving me rather bummed out for a few hours before I actually retrieved it from the Orpheum Theatre where EA held its press conference. Aaron had a brief moment where I think he wanted to strangle all of us since he was in dire need of nutrition (we settled on a classic hot spot called Pink's, on Val's recommendation). Thankfully, on Tuesday Bethesda invited us to hang out at the Saddle Ranch, where the crew and I enjoyed an awesome spread of food and drinks and ended the evening with karaoke. Yeah, I sung some tunes. My playlist consisted of "Move Along," "Remember the Time," "Get Jiggy with It," and "Golddigger." It's a miracle the ladies at Bethesda still wanted to talk to us the following day, because I heard we were kind of wacky the previous night.
Overall, I had a great time meeting up with some old TNL alumni, including Alex Vo (who's now living the good life at Rotten Tomatoes) and Teddman (making Disney tons of dough) who attended the midnight showing of The Dark Knight. Yes, the movie was awesome and shame on you if you haven't seen it yet! Oh, and I am told there was this funny story with my cowboy hat, but everything seems to be drawing a blank. Perhaps I'll uncover the details at next year's E3, which I am sure will be a blast.
Until next time.