Hello Robot friends!
Day 2 started a little sooner than day 1 since there were no conferences. Since I spent yesterday in the West Hall, I spent today in the South Hall. It was busy, and almost as packed in the convention center as yesterday.
I began my day exploring the Square Enix-Booth. Many of the games they "showed" were only in trailer form, but looked beautiful on a 100 inch screen. For the first time since the game has been announced Final Fantasy XIII has peaked my interest. If it was playable, it was behind closed doors. The trailer for Final Fantasy XIV was also quite beautiful. I should make note that the display case of Dragon Quest toys was the only mention of the entire franchise at the show, which was very disappointing.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 covers a part of the story while Sora is in suspended sleep and Namine reconstructs his memories. The story moves over to Roxas and the rest of the Organization. The game plays like other KH games, but the movement isn't quite as smooth due to the lack of analog stick on the DS. The d-pad works fairly well though. If you enjoyed the other KH games, you will enjoy this one.
Dissidia Final Fantasy is Street Fighter meets an RPG. The demo put me in one-on-one battles against other playable characters. Unlike Street Fighter, the characters have HP and a bravery stat that affects certain attacks. I played as Terra and then as Cecil. What I particularly liked about Cecil was his ability to switch between Dark Knight and Paladin in battle. Like Zelda/Sheik in Smash Brothers, Dark Knight and Paladin Cecil have different skills. Terra has some unique magic attacks that make her pretty badass. I'm not sure how much of a story there is, but it still seems like a fun game.
Finally at Squenix, I played Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. The demo was about forty-five minutes long and showed how the wii-mote is used in game. I played as a character who through the power of the crystals has magical powers. These power include the ability of telekinesis which is controlled via the wii-mote. The player gets to move objects and shake items out of people. The small amount of combat involved aiming and shooting chocobo knights. While I didn't mind some of the wii-mote based aiming in combat, but I I hope there will be options to fighting that don't include excessive waggle.
I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of Dragon Age Origins, Bioware's next fantasy RPG. The dialogue tree is much more sophisticated; it looks like they took a page from Mass Effect's book. Bioware has taken a lot of care in polishing Dragon Age up a lot since this game in 2005. More importantly, they revealed the first playable build on consoles. As a veteran Neverwinter player, I can't imagine playing this game on anything other than the PC, but once you get used to the interface, it may be a nice option for console owners.
Finally, I played Katamari Forever. I originally thought it was a straight up "best of" port from previous Katamari games, but they have added a few small features that reinvigorate the Katamari series for me. The first is the ability to have the katamari jump by pressing L2 and R2 together. I frequently find myself trapped in an area, so being able to jump out saves a lot of time. The second, while I didn't see but was told by a Namco-Bandai rep that powerups will appear in the stages. The hand-drawn art style in 1080p also looks gorgeous.
Sorry this is up late. I spent my evening with some of the DToid staff at the Scratch Ultimate DJ party. Quincy Jones showed up! Who knew!
(not Quincy Jones)
I will be giving my final thoughts on E3 tomorrow!