Like some of the other editors, E3 2K3 was my first E3 experience. Although the show was somewhat less exciting than previous E3's (from what I was told), when combined with the activities outside of the convention center it still made quite an experience. Hailing from the east coast, I was both apprehensive and reluctant to board my plane - despite it being bound for E3. I don't know...something about having to sit in that cramped little chair for five hours, transfer to a second flight and add one more hour to that was just not sitting right with me. Nevertheless, I managed to handle the flight's length pretty well, occupying myself with GBA and PSOne. They also showed us The Recruit, which killed two hours for me. Eventually I got to LA, where I bumped into Liz at the baggage claim. We then met up with Eric, Ken, and Rob and began the grueling wait for Stephen - I say grueling because he was terribly late due to Nicole's poor navigational skills. In any event, we met up with everyone else, had a few laughs, had a meal, and later that evening I went with Stephen to pick up Evan, who would eventually become my continual murderer, John, who would become my E3 Buddy, and a friend of Evan's. When we arrived at the hotel, however, we discovered Rob and Nicole had gone missing. More specifically, they had disappeared and gone drinking. Furious, Stephen assembled a task force that consisted of both Evan and I and we set out on a trek to find them. As our journey progressed, however, our interest in "saving Rob and Nicole" diminished. Anger and irritation subsided and before we knew it we were at Denny's, exchanging life stories and having an endless amount of laughs. Afterwards we went back to the hotel, engaged in some sleep, and awoke the next morning for day one.
So this is my first time out alone. This is my first time out in California. This is my first E3. So I was pretty giddy and happy and skipping around, as you can imagine (or can gather from the photos). I took great joy in messing with the other editors' homophobia. Just to clarify, however, I am not gay. Anyway, because nothing goes smoothly when it comes to me, Stephen had to lead John and me up to the media room to set up our badges. Fortunately that didn't take too long, and within moments John and I had escaped to the showroom floor to gaze in awe at E3. Well, I should say we had those intentions. As fate would have it, the show didn't open until 10:00 for everyone that first day, so we ended up sitting in the midst of hundreds of annoying E3 goers who participated in such "cool" activities as "When I Say E, You Say 3. E. 3. E. 3" yeah you get the picture. Now imagine someone saying "Yo you guys ready to drop some bows on E3?" and how contorted with anger my face became. Well we passed our trials, apparently, and eventually the doors opened and in we rushed. The first thought that struck me was "Yeah...I could definitely do this once a year every year for the rest of my life as a living." John and I wandered about aimlessly, getting a feel for what was in every hall and only glimpsing at what they had to offer. That is, until we got to South Hall and I found the Konami booth. Then I demanded to play the demo for Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Let me tell you...for like, barely being done that game is pretty smooth as is. Hopefully Konami will through in some additional moves like sliding, rolling, and/or other acrobatics. Then it would be pretty tight. After I got my jollies off Castlevania, we headed down to what may very well be the coolest but lamest hall: Kentia Hall. It's pretty much a congregation of all the obscure companies from foreign countries. We marveled at that for a little while, and then the time to work came at hand. John departed to his appointment and I returned to the main hall to bide some time until my Bandai appointment.
I met up with Nicole and Bandai's PR, Linda, and we all went into her makeshift office to do the interview. Much to my surprise, one of .hack's makers, Hiroshi Matsuyama, was sitting there waiting along with the game's producer, Daisuke ???. After we hit them up with our questions and got surprisingly interesting responses, Nicole and I were given various signed .hack paraphernalia. Then we were personally interviewed by the camera crew. I know it's only on Japanese television and I nor anyone I know will ever see it...but it's the principle of the matter!
So we left and as she and I walked a bout, Nicole and I had a "heart to heart" of sorts...pointing out how neither of us was as bad as we thought previously and how we both were pretty cool or something to that effect. I became Chris "My Buddy" Holzworth in her eyes and she became Nicole "I Can Stand You" Kirk in mine. Just kidding. Nicole's a nice girl with good intentions and when you can get her to talk about something that isn't her own ass she ventures into the "pretty cool" realm. I'll work on it, I promise. We made our way back to the Media Room to type up our reports. Let me say this: the media room is what made me feel like a real journalist. I know it's nothing more then like...an internet caf, but despite this it just felt so professional to finish an appointment and go to a designated area for media to write up an article about it. Sorry, back to E3. Let's see...after I finished there I headed back out with John to further explore the E3 showroom. This time we spent more time at each company's stations, checking out their games and their goods. We discovered SNK was at the show this year and snagged some cool K' posters to bring home to our respective crews. We checked out The Matrix Online, Half-Life 2, Doom III, and all that Capcom had to offer before we split apart to do more appointments. This time I had to hit up Viacom/Dreamcatcher with Eric to see Arx Fatalis for the Xbox and Arx Fatalis 2. Unfortunately, the PR we were supposed to meet up with never showed up and so our inside look at Arx Fatalis 2 became a flop. We did talk to one of the makers of Arx Fatalis for a while, though, and got the skinny for the Xbox port. By then the show was nearing an end, so after Eric finished searching out more booth babes and I made a final attempt at locating a Mega Man Battle Networks t-shirt we caught up with the others and headed back to the apartment. The night ended without any kind of antics or problems, and save for a late bed time we all slept well.
Day two picked right up on the craziness, though. John and I headed straight to Kentia hall this time and ransacked as many free goodies as we possibly could. Unfortunately they didn't offer too much of interest, both in swag and in games. Of all the game son display, only two interested me. Meteor Blade, a 16 player online fighting brawl that will be debuting on Xbox and PC, and Gate of Heavens, an action MMORPG. I didn't get to see much of GoH, but Meteor Blade had a playable demo for PC that impressed me. As for gizmos, there was a one-handed keyboard that was the left half of a normal keyboard that was rather cool. Imaginably it would be good for gaming (that is, games that utilize ASDW, Shift and Control). After nabbing some info on that, John left to go handle Codemasters and I returned to the Media Room to kill some time. My final appointment was with Sammy, and that wasn't very important to begin with. I browsed West Hall's floor some more, checking out Nintendo's circus-sized area as well as SNK again, then met up with John and hit up Sammy. They showed us Lethal Skies II, a game that is definitely not an RPG, and Seven Samurai 20XX, an extremely undeveloped, boring game. Imagine Shinobi only without the fun. You cannot jump nor do any kind of cool moves. Just dash, block, and wield swords. After our appointment I took on some random person in Guilty Gear X2, nearly getting bested, and then left West Hall. I wish I could remember what we did after the Sammy interview...I know we went back to the Media Room and told Stephen all about it. I think I just kind of sat around there and did my Arx Fatalis write-up while the others hit up each of their appointments. When they were done, I kicked around some free time on my own and then we pretty much ended the day. As I've stated before, not much was shown - especially for consoles - so I didn't rock too much the second day as I already had the first. However, I was most excited that that. You see...the Matrix Reloaded had been released in theaters, and it was just our luck that Stephen had hooked us all up with tickets a week in advance. We climbed into his rented tank and met up with an old friend of his to see the movie. Reloaded was, by the way, phenomenal. I wasn't sure if it was going anywhere at first. Every time someone opened a door they got into a fight and that seemed to be how the movie was going to end. Then out of no where Xenogears happened and my jaw struck the floor. Suffice to say I left thoroughly satisfied and slept rather well.
The third day was like a giant wrap-up session. We hit all the booths and stations from before, making sure we didn't miss any goods or any footage, tidied up our articles and work and attended any last appointments that there was. I can't recall most of what went down on this third day, but I do remember we had a really nice dinner. Or that might have been another night. I honestly don't recall. What I do know, however, is that Evan tried to kill me again at some point...and no one cared. And undoubtedly I said my every-so-popular catch phrase, Dharma and Greg. In my JFK accent. I can't describe it to you. Perhaps Eric will let me upload a wav sample. Before we ended E3 '03 (yeah, I agree), I waited in line forever with Liz and Mike to play Mario Kart. Of course, right when I was about to be let in I realized it was 4:00 and things were going to close down any second, so I bailed out to make sure Stephen, Evan, Eric and the others didn't vanish on us.
And thus ended E3. Not much else went down. John left that night; I had an exciting yet tiring evening with a drunk Rob and Nicole, alongside of Eric and Mike. We found Solid Snake hiding in the vents and fed him...and then put a glass slipper on Nicole. After that fiasco I somehow ended up in bed with Nicole and Rob (as seen in the photo gallery) and well...I'll let your imaginations take it from there. What else is there to say? As it turns out, everyone on the staff is pretty cool. No one hated on anyone, and we all ended up liking one another. Honestly I can say I really hope to do this next year, at a better E3, but with the same crew. RPGFan Reloaded. I figured I'd hop on the "Let's Abuse the Word Reloaded" bandwagon. Well, until next year then.