Well, it looks like “E3” 2007 has more or less gone… and I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t like the lack of videos, news, presentation, excitement…. Basically, in everything that I saw, there were no new surprises, and all the announcements were things we either already knew, or things the media has been speculating would happen for months now. When last year announced the end of the traditional E3, I kind of figured that would be the end of that expo in more ways than one. for the most part, I feel I was pretty on the mark, and as much as I never thought I’d say this, it sounds like I didn’t miss that much. This coming from someone who has spent the last decade attending the show. It’s just missing something. I’m sure the Los Angeles Convention Center was missing E3.

The keynotes seemed okay. Microsoft has got its hands full with the problems the 360 is having, but time will tell how they choose to address the problem. PS3 looks to be getting some titles, but from my personal standpoint, there’s still nothing that justifies the high price, or any games that justifies selling a system to me. Little Big Planet seems intriguing, but I heard it wasn’t mentioned at the show (I am planning to pick up Parappa the Rapper for PSP, though. Loved that game on the Playstation).

And of course the Wii. I talk about it the most as it’s my most “modern” of the next-gen systems (I plan to get an Xbox, but I want the janky consoles issue to blow over first before I invest in one). As expected, the “Big Three” were the most talked about for Nintendo. Metroid Prime 3 is gorgeous. Any questions about that, watch these videos. Super Mario Galaxy looks to be more of a nod to Super Mario 64 in terms of gameplay, which is fine by me. Super Smash Bros Brawl…. Not shown in any format at the show. Come on, Nintendo. It’s a big game, but it’s silly to be this secretive about it. We get tiny eyedropper updates each week. Give us a gameplay video. Give some more details on it, or are you going to drag this out until December? What about online? “Arrgh” on you. And then Mario Kart, which if it’s as good as the DS verison, I’m sold. At least it’s online and comes with a little steering wheel thing.

The Zapper was unleashed, WiiFit was revealed (Eh, I like playing games, not programs with “game like activities”), and the “Check Mii Out” channel seems lame beyond compare. Do I really want to stick my Miis out there is a “Hot or Not.Com”-style medium? IS it really that important to me? At this point, I say no. You’re holding off the WiiWare channel why, Nintendo?

But there are some games for the Wii that look to be fun, or I’ll be following:

Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games – Sega
NiGHTS: Journey Into Dreams – Sega
Soul Calibur Legends – Namco
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles – Capcom
Dragon Quest Swords – Square-Enix
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga – Lucasarts
Guitar Hero III – Activision
The Simpsons Game – Electronic Arts
DDR: Hottest Party – Konami
Zack and Wiki – Capcom
Geometry Wars: Galaxies – Sierra

That’s not all the titles, but a decent sampling of what will likely be the more “high profile” games for the Wii. Boogie also looks cool, but the music line-up is a mix between some of my personal favorites in catchy songs, to some of the songs I hate more than anything. Real wide spectrum on music tastes. So it’s definitely something to work with outside all those mini games. The DS titles have some winners as well, with Contra IV and Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass looking the most outstanding.

So yeah, there were some good games to come from the show, but nothing really new, and that was my issue with it. The days of the “Big E3 surprises” seem to be over. Actually, E3 seems to be over, and they need to just let it die now (again, I can’t believe I’d ever say that). A bunch of boring press conferences where you know everything that’s already going to be said, there may or may not be new game footage, no crazy events…. The “fun” of it is gone. It’s become to bland and business-like. And while the nature of the business is indeed doing business, when it’s forgotten that video games are essentially “toys” for all ages groups, and are meant to be presented in a way that makes it as enjoyable to see them for the first time as it is to play…. This “new” E3 is more detrimental than exciting, and these companies should want to make the consumers “excited” about these games. Let something else take its place that actually “gets” what the excitement of gaming is all about.

At any rate, I’m off to Las Vegas for a few days for a different brand of “gaming” that will hopefully land me a few extra sheckles more than I started with. I also plan on going to the Pinball Hall of Fame museum, which looks to be a good way to get out of the blazing Nevada sun for a bit.

More when I return!

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Filed under: e3general gaming