E3 Day 3 Coverage

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Posted by Brad Wardell on 20 May 2005 - 11:55 | 11 comments

Things were slightly less crazy today at E3. That means we were able to check out a lot more goodies in between pimping Galactic Civilizations II and our MMORTS in development, Society (I feel so dirty now).

Yesterday there were plenty of people who took issue with my disappointment with the Xbox 360 demos. I went by the booth again and yea, they still aren't impressive. They look like year old PC games.

But Microsoft has its killer app I think for the Xbox 360 -- Xbox Live's game purchasing. Microsoft looks to be planning to make available mini-games for purchase for $5 to $10 via Xbox live. Imagine casual games or little arcade games that someone can buy, much as they might buy a ringer or game for their cell phone except this being for their Xbox.

They seem to be experimenting with this with Xbox Live Arcade which was VERY impressive. Very fun games done very inexpensively.

Also, for those of you who were disappointed with Heroes of Might and Magic IV, fear not, HOMM V looks like it's going to totally rock.

You read the the full journal via the link below..

View: E3 Day 3 (TotalGaming.net)

E3 roundup

Friday, May 20, 2005


As everyone with at least one major remaining sense knows, it’s E3 week. There’s technically one day left, but other than marketing fluff it’s not really worth waiting around for.

The big news at this year’s E3 was the introductions of next generation consoles from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. The marketing material’s been covered pretty extensively, and E3 was a good chance for scrubs like me to get (or attempt to get) some more information about the upcoming consoles.

With that said, here’s a summary of the interesting bits. Much of this was covered in the new Journal we launched this week (Opposable Thumbs), especially the pictures, so no getting uppity if you’ve seen something before.

The coming war

Without knowing much about any of the next generation consoles, it’s safe to say that there will be a huge battle between at least Sony and Microsoft. Yes, you can call me Captain Obvious.

This year’s E3 fell at an odd time. The Xbox 360 is six months away, so it’s expected that we’d see something with at least a little substance. The PS3 and Revolution are at least a year away, and both closely guarded and carefully marketed at this point.

Microsoft made the most of this particular E3, providing multiple opportunities to place their next-generation games in a number of booths. None of the games completely blew me away, but a couple of them kept me entertained during the short amount of time I had to play them.

If anything, the various companies’ E3 strategies were pretty much what everyone expected. Microsoft placed a huge amount of emphasis on their media capabilities, Sony played up their library and showed a video, and Nintendo did their own thing, opting to leave the chest thumping to the other guys.

Thoughts on E3 in general

This was actually my first trip to E3. In many ways, it’s what I expected, and this write-up reflects the essence of the event.


A great big bag of cottony fluff.

It’s actually somewhat annoying to try and cover, since it’s tough to get any real and new information. Everything from prerendered cut scenes to prerendered D-cups and outrageous booth setups screamed “Hey! Look at us, but don’t look too closely!”

It’s good advice if you’re planning on visiting E3.


[Discuss this article]

E3 Photos from Wired

E3 isn't merely a showcase for new products. It's a place where huge multimedia productions are created to promote those products. From the ear-splitting sound to giant video walls, from scantily-clad women passing out flyers to earnest gamers quivering with excitement, E3's got it all.

The size and scope of the show is hard to capture, with tens of thousands of attendees clamoring for a glimpse of the new PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 consoles, or lining up to catch a glimpse of games like Peter Jackson's King Kong.

As we roam the show floor, we're looking to bring a little of the E3 experience to life through photos. Whether it's eager Nintendo fans downloading demos, or the over-the-top experience at some of the booths, no trade show provides as much flash, noise, or excitement.

E3 day one photos

E3 day two photos

The games people will be playing
By Mike Snider, USA TODAY
50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi, fall 2005 for the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and spring 2006 for the PlayStation Portable, rating pending) immerses you, as 50 Cent, in a fictional gangsta underworld and lets you explore the studio with exclusive new freestyle riffs and beats provided by the chart-topping rapper.
Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari, September for PS2, rating pending) is based on fashion pioneer Ecko's past as a former urban graffiti artist. You play Trane (voiced by hip-hop artist Talib Kweli), who learns the craft while uncovering a conspiracy that involves the death of his father. "Your graffiti actually gets better as you go along," says game producer Shawn Rose.
Electroplankton (Nintendo, for the Nintendo DS, date and rating pending) is a spacey blend of art and music that "may not be a game at all," says Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime. You interact with colorful "plankton" that emit musical sounds. Layer sounds, then save the track.

Old games don't die; they get makeovers

Several classic characters have makeovers in the works:

• In Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: Legend (Eidos, winter for PS2, Xbox and PC, rated Teen), the video game cover girl has a more realistic bod. "She is less cartoony," says Chip Blundell of gamemaker Eidos.

• Talk about old school. Pac-Man is turning 25. So gamemaker Namco is giving the yellow dot-chomper a new look. In Pac-Man World 3 (for PS2, GameCube, Xbox, PC and PSP, all ages), Pac-Man is a 3-D character. "He can bounce off walls, hang and shimmy," says concept designer Simon Smith. And he's chasing 3-D ghosts straight out of Ghostbusters. "He still eats dots, though," Smith says.

• An even bigger transformation awaits Nintendo's elfin hero Link. In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (for GameCube, holiday season 2005, rating pending), Link has an alter ego — that of a wolf. "It's Link as you've never seen him before," says Nintendo's George Harrison.

USATODAY.com - The games people will be playing

I wonder if there is a site that lists every game?

More on E3 Gaming, This time concerning the Japanese

Japanese Games Go Wild

Bored with shooting massive firearms, tearing around in souped-up luxury cars and playing pro football?

Most gamers aren't. That's clear when you survey the show floor at the Electronics Entertainment Expo. First-person shooters, racing and sports games pack the exhibit halls, more and more of them every year. But hidden among the queues of me-too clones are a few games that travel far off the beaten path, most of them made in Japan.

But attendees who prowled the corners of each booth also found an array of titles with art styles and gameplay concepts that took wholly unique approaches.

Capcom, the publisher that defined entire genres with games like Street Fighter II and Resident Evil, showed a PlayStation 2 title called Okami. Players entered a world drawn like a Japanese sumi-e calligraphic print come to life, controlling a magical paintbrush and a mystical wolf, fighting demons that had infested the cherry blossom-saturated landscapes.

Another unique game seen at Capcom's stand was Killer 7, for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 consoles. Though the cel-shaded art style has often been used for cute, fluffy family adventures, Killer 7 is an adult-oriented acid-trip of a game. Players control one of seven different personalities of the same insane, wheelchair-bound assassin, solving bizarre puzzles and shooting freakish, grinning enemies.

Nintendo showed off Odama, a bizarre but somehow intuitive pairing of military strategy and pinball. You use flippers to bat a giant metal ball around a battlefield, taking care to roll over your enemy's troops and not your own. Simultaneously, you shout orders into the GameCube's microphone controller to make your troops advance up the playfield.

Rolling a giant ball was also the order of the day at Namco, home of Pac-Man. Last year, the ball-rolling, object-collecting game Katamari Damacy was restricted to a tiny, out-of-the-way kiosk in the corner of Namco's booth. This year -- after the original earned cult status due to its unique, hilarious gameplay -- the sequel, playfully titled We Love Katamari, is the focal point of the booth.

All three publishers showed off inventive new games for the Nintendo DS handheld system. With its two screens, stylus input and built-in microphone, the hardware is practically an invitation to developers to try new styles of play.

Nintendo leads the charge with games like Nintendogs, a virtual puppy simulator with adorable, lifelike dogs who obey your voice commands and respond to being stroked with the stylus. You can use the DS' Wi-Fi capabilities to link up with strangers' dogs -- if you are within range of another Nintendogs player, your dogs will automatically bark at and play with each other.

Another innovative title from the publisher is Electroplankton, a music-making application with 10 unique modes. Players can record their own voice and set it to a beat, bounce tiny jumping fish off the musical leaves of an aquatic plant or drop improvised beats into classic 8-bit Nintendo tunes.

Fresh from delivering Pac-Pix, a puzzle game in which the player has to draw a Pac-Man to eat up ghosts, Namco showed off Pac-N-Roll. The player uses the touch screen as a virtual trackball, rubbing across a giant Pac-Man head to make him roll across platforms, collecting dots and trying not to fall off the edges.

At Capcom's stand, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney brings Law and Order-style courtroom drama to the DS. Investigate a crime, then ask the right questions on cross-examination to break down the defense witnesses and put the bad guys in jail. Though the series has been surprisingly popular in Japan for years, the DS installment is the first to come to the United States.

Another exciting DS game, from Japanese developer Atlus, is Trauma Center: Under the Knife, a medical drama in which players perform surgery using the stylus as a scalpel.

See photos

Copyright 2005 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ May 20th 2005 ]

As E3 prepares to close its doors to the gaming industry for another year, more information has been gleaned about one of this year's most anticipated titles: Tomb Raider Legend. Eidos used E3 as a vehicle to showcase Lara Croft - now under the aegis of Crystal Dynamics - and fired off some tasters to wet the appetites of fans of the franchise.

Tomb Raider Legend will contain three check points, and sport three difficulty levels aimed at novices to seasoned gamers alike. During her adventure, Lara will meet a new female adversary, perhaps a haunt from her past, in her quest to untangle an ancient myth and recover a priceless artifact. Armed with a battery of new weapons and realistic moves, Lara Croft will be aided with the latest technological gizmos including a high tech communicator which will relay information "back to base" in an effort to co-ordinate her mission.

Crystal Dynamics will use state of the art streaming technology throughout the game which revolutionises the way hardware can process graphics by purging redundant memory. Attention to detail will include apparel which becomes soiled during Lara's adventures. Crystal Dynamics have created three monstrous areas which seamlessly bind game-play and puzzle solving elements to free roaming adventure and intrigue. One scene, as depicted in the official Tomb Raider Legend game trailer, will feature a huge waterfall in Ghana, Africa, which parts after the solution of an intricate puzzle.

Fans of Croft Manor will revel in the news that Lara's mansion will appear in Tomb Raider Legend, and one can only speculate that Lara's fussing butler Jeeves may reprise his role. Eidos anticipates the game will take approx 10-12 hours to complete, although moot a replay factor for those bent on exploring every crevice and cranny along the way.

Both PC, Sony Playstation 2 and XBOX versions will release simultaneously sometime during the Winter. Stay tuned for more information and collect a bevy of E3 media HERE.

Author: Staff



20.05.05 - Full E3 interview transcript with Crystal Dynamics

20.05.05 - Tomb Raider Legend game footage and E3 info

20.05.05 - Eidos reveals game info on Tomb Raider Legend

18.05.05 - Eidos plc Board resigns as acquisition is approved

18.05.05 - Three new rough and ready 25 To Life PC movies

18.05.05 - Collection of HQ concept renders from 25 To Life

18.05.05 - Scorching new collection 25 To Life screen shots

18.05.05 - Sensational Commandos Strike Force PC screens

18.05.05 - Hitman Blood Money PC screen shots from Eidos

18.05.05 - More giant Tomb Raider Legend PC screen shots


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Tomb Raider Chronicles

Sega next-gen plans revealed

[20/05/05 11:03]
First details of next-gen After Burner, House of the Dead, Virtua Fighter and Sonic

Sega's E3 stand is very popular this year - which is partially due to the movie being played every 15 minutes in the publisher's 'theatre', which features some awesome looking next-gen versions of familiar franchises.

The queue for the screening is huge and a sign reads "currently 70 minutes waiting time". This is indeed a popular event.

We didn't wait 70 minutes. We got our friendly PR man to sneak us in ahead of the massive queue.

In addition to reiterations of on-the-floor Xbox 360 games Full Auto and Condemned, and as well as a vague unveiling of new mech title Chrome Hounds (format unspecified), other treats awaited Sega's curious crowd.

First up came a brand-spanking-new next-gen version of After Burner. It looked awesome. Gameplay wise it seemed to follow the format of the original: you swoop about dodging fire while locking on to craft up ahead.

Sure, it's not amazingly original and the gameplay will essentially be the same as the ancient coin-op, but the experience of playing it will be delivered by the thrilling nature of the visuals as much as the simple, familiar feeling of the gameplay.

We don't want another Ace Combat, we want After Burner as it should be, and with a next-gen graphical overhaul. And the graphics did look lovely, very lovely, but we can't show you any footage unfortunately - no one admitted into Sega's theatre presentation was allowed to roll film.

Following on from After Burner came House of the Dead. Like Capcom's Dead Rising, this game's throwing large numbers of rotting, walking corpses around with ease. Boss enemies are large and much more detailed than before... this will be awesome.

The excitement continued with next-gen Virtua Fighter which, in places, easily rivalled the graphical quality which is being paraded around in Dead or Alive 4. We want this now.

Finally came next-gen Sonic. It all looked a bit like Sonic Heroes, except more detailed and faster.

All these games looked lovely and we're really frustrated that we can't yet show them to you. The reason? Sega isn't committing any of these realtime technical showcases to any platform, choosing to tentatively point out this is the result of experimentation and is an example of what the company might produce on next-gen platforms in the future.

Well, it's all bound to happen and we can't wait.

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