E3 2004 Impressions

Liz Maas' Impressions
Top 5 RPGs:
1) Baten Kaitos (GCN)
We all know how insanely pretty this game is. Truth be told I was a bit wary of the card-battling system (as I am with ANY card-battling system), but I was willing to give BK a chance, since I didn't know much about the cards. While there's quite a bit to it, I found the cards fairly easy to learn (with the help of a Namco rep) and the way they're implemented into the battle doesn't slow down the battle's pace at all. Plus there's Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man cards... this I gotta see.

2) Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
I was more impressed than I thought I would be. I actually like the battle system, despite not being a big fan of XI's. The graphics are always better than the last game, and the game's theme (that being learning about freedom, what it means and the responsibilities that come with it) has me really interested. This game leaves me so anxious, I'll probably end up buying the Japanese release.

3) Star Ocean: Till The End of Time (PS2)
I didn't get to see many story sequences, but the battles sure are fun. The graphics and music don't hurt either, and after I got the chance to talk to the producer at the show, the game sounded even more fascinating. One of my most anticipated titles this summer - that is, if I can get a domestic PS2 AND pull myself away from XS Ep II.

4) Xenosaga Episode II (PS2)
While it wasn't playable, the 6-7 minute trailer was more than plenty eye candy... and very intriguing at the end if you can understand a little Japanese. Here's hoping the battle engine's no longer a snore, as I'll be finding out one way or another in the import release later this month.

5) Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)
Despite having crashed the demo on the world map (according to Gail, who didn't?) I still got to see footage and hear a little bit about the game. I have not played a MegaTen game myself, but between things I hear and what I saw at E3, it just sounds like my kind of game. Bonus: The NA version has all the bonuses that came with SMTIII: Maniacs in Japan.
Top 5 Non-RPGs:
1) Metroid Prime 2 (GCN)
I don't think Retro Studios is going to fail to impress this time around either. Sure, I sucked at the multiplayer mode, but beating the single-player demo and having a guy from Retro tell you that you dominated, would make your day too, I'm sure.

2) Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Like Metroid, I'm a sucker for all things MGS and while MGS3 is different, the gameplay looks very interesting (brick camouflage, anyone?) and will take getting used to. But MGS is MGS nonetheless.

3) Otogi 2 (Xbox)
Having never played the first, the demo made me want to play both Otogi and the sequel really bad. Mike S. constantly said the series was right up my alley - I'd have listened earlier if only I had an Xbox. ;_;

4) Viewtiful Joe 2 (GCN, PS2)
Didn't play the first but found out quickly how innovative the series is. I got sucked in really quick with this one.

5) Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)
So far, it seems to be devoid of the suckiness that was DMC2. DMC was one of my favorite games, so let's hope 3 really does go back to that.
Favorite Show Experiences:
1) Seeing everyone, of course, and meeting a few for the first time.

2) Crack chicken...twice. Yep.

3) Swag. Always good. The more, the better. (Most notably, my Nintendo and Atlus bags, and the huge SMT: Nocturne poster thing from Atlus.)

4) The many drinks I (and many editors) had one night.

5) Santa Monica. It would be better with less street bums and more money in my wallet, but nice nonetheless.
Least Favorite Show Experiences:
1) The site problems, day 2. Need I go on?

2) Not seeing Fire Emblem GC... I want to see that game in action, damnit!

3) Missing my hockey games - oh well, my team lost two of the 3 games I missed anywho. Why the hell would I want to see that anyway? ;)

4) Passing out at 11PM on that night of many drinks. Meanwhile, everyone else was up til 4 AM. ;_;

5) Missing out on the Square stuff on the Monday. Wonder if that concert might be annual...
Best Swag:
1) Nintendo bag - beats out the one from two years ago.

2) Atlus bag.

3) MegaTen huge poster...thing.

4) Other random Atlus stuff. I was a walking ad for half of E3.

5) Namco's DVD of E3 trailers. So much better than the files found around the Internet.

More Impressions
Tim Duong Stephen Harris Liz Maas John McCarroll
Mike Salbato Damian Thomas Mark P. Tjan


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