I apologize for the delay in getting out my final thoughts on E3 and my last day on the show floor. Day 3 was spent catching up on games I missed (despite still missing out on a lot of titles) and meeting up with the guys at Epiccenter Studios playing Real Heroes: Firefighter.
I snuck into one of the closed door sessions to watch Shadow Complex on XBLA. I hadn't heard anything about this game until I saw it and it looks like a neat adventure game. They promise the game will be about ten hours long, which is pretty substantial for an XBLA title. Hopefully it won't be a $20-30 game, which concerns me knowing Microsoft's business practices. It reminds me of the 2D Metroids; in fact the map screen looks like a replica of Super Metroid's map.
I played another round of Super Mario Bros Wii to try another one of the levels available. I also hoped that if I played the game with friends, it would be less chaotic. Unfortunately I was wrong. The game is still chaotic and I still have problems with the delay that occurs when every player is grabbing a power-up. I do hope Nintendo fixes this.
Finally I checked out Real Heroes: Firefighter. The games controls take some getting used to, but they work similarly to the controls of Elebits (for the five of you that played Elebits). It looks like it has shaped up to be a pretty decent game.
My trip to E3 was a bit unexpected, and a life long dream for myself. I have to admit though that attending as industry is quite different from attending as press. I was limited to where I could go and what I could see. As a result, there were a lot of things that I missed on the show floor. Some of the smaller titles I completely missed despite combing over the show floor multiple times. In a sense, I found E3 disappointing. Obviously I'm greatful to have had the chance to attend E3, but the show floor is overwhelming, and it's easy to miss a lot. In a sense, the coverage is better for the readers who can access everything at will.
The highlights of E3 for me were the Metroid: Other M trailer, and announcement of Monkey Island. Both announcements came out of left field, and as an old school gamer I'm excited for not only a 2D Metroid, but a new Monkey Island game. Unfortunately neither title was playable on the show floor, but I have high hopes for the games.
The biggest surprise for me was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers. I mostly ignored this title but found the demo to be fairly substantial. The Wii-mote capabilities do not feel gimmicky. Another surprise for me was the improvements in dialogue I saw in Dragon Age Origins. While it's not to the degree of Mass Effect, it is a huge leap from Neverwinter Nights.
If there was any disappointment, it would be White Knight Chronicles. The combat is almost identical to Final Fantasy XII, which I didn't care for. I love Level 5 as a developer, and thought I was supposed to be playing an Action RPG. The game is great for those who didn't mind the combat of FFXII, but it was not what I was expecting.
E3 was a long and tiring week, but an exciting week. It's difficult for one person to take it all in, but it's an experience I won't forget.