E3 2006 Impressions

Christine Radler's Impressions
General Show Impressions:

This year, I was better prepared for E3, having been there last year. I think I did a better job on interviews this year; not so nervous and whatnot. There were more games I was interested in checking out this year, too. I'm pretty sure I played a lot more, and I have more to look forward to wasting all the money I don't have on. This happened last year, too, but even more so this year. That being said, there were several games that were less than exciting for me.

The first to really hit me was Contact, a DS title being brought over by Atlus. The title has a lot of work left to do on it, apparently. For the moment, the controls were kinda sticky, the graphics ugly, and the menus copius. I don't really know why having so many menus would be a good thing; I don't know what to do with them all.

Another that really didn't impress me, but will get me killed for saying so, was FFXII. It wasn't really presented very well at the show. They put it on these giant HD screens, but the PS2 doesn't work right with them, so the end result was that the graphics looked fugly. The load times were absolutely ridiculous. Damian insisted that was just because they were E3 demos, so basically they made sure everyone would get a turn by letting someone pick a scene to load, get tired of waiting for it, and walk away so the next person could play. That being said, I'm still not sold on the battle system. It's a turn-based battle system where you have multiple characters, but you only control one, and that annoys me. I sort of feel like if this was another title, I'd be ok with it, but it's not what I, personally, want when I play FF. I suppose Square-Enix made it that way so that it would be more realistic, but seriously... if I want realism, I'll go take a walk outside instead of Final Fantasy. Anyways, the dungeon I played was the wall boss that you have to beat before it reaches the other end of the room. For some reason, the constant slow sliding with unobtrusive music and everyone casually walking backwards really didn't give me any sense of urgency. You're supposed to be in a panic when these sorts of bosses arise, and I just wasn't. I really want to like FFXII, but it's not working out. I really wanted to like FFVIII, too; I tried, but it didn't happen. I guess I'll skip this one.

Out of the rpg arena, over at Sega's booth were some Sonic titles featuring yet another new character, this time another hedgehog named Silver or something like that. GUESS WHAT COLOR HE WAS. I know the PSP title was Sonic Rivals, I'm not sure if the consol version was named the same or not, but it was bad. It controlled like Shadow, as in, it didn't have control. Sega seems to think that if you make the controls too loose, it's like Sonic's going faster! I did get a t-shirt over there, which was great 'cause the airline lost our luggage. DON'T FLY AIRTRAN. Also played some Phantasy Star over there; it's exactly the same as last year. The console version is so ugly. Virtua Fighter 5 looks super pretty, though.

Then there was Metal Gear Solid 4. I didn't play it, obviously, but I stopped to watch the trailer for a few minutes. It was SO FRIGGEN' BORING. I felt like my brain was going to melt, so I ran off to wait in the 2 1/2 hour Wii line instead, because standing in line was more fun than watching that trailer. Like, nothing was happening. SO BORING I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR WAR SOLDIERS WHO AREN'T DOING ANYTHING BUT JUMPING IN AND OUT OF TRUCKS.

As for things that were good, back at the Atlus booth were lots of sexay titles to make up for Contact. Persona 3 and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, both for PS2, were looking very hot, although I only got play time with the later. I killed stuff with a Pyro-Jack; good times. I really like the 20's style of the game. Touch Detective (GUESS WHAT SYSTEM) looked really stylish in a different way, and I'm looking forward to it. In the non-rpg world, Rule of Rose was looking good; those lil girls were hella creepy. The new Trauma Center is something to cheer for, too.

As usual, NIS was shacked up with Atlus. Disgaea 2 was looking, well, pretty much like the first one, which is 100% super awesome in my book; looking forward to it. They had lil toys for the game on display on the consols. Mark has some and is totally going to give some of them to me; possibly all of them. *cough, cough* Arc Tonelico looks like it wants me to buy it, too. Fun times ahead.

Good things at Squenix were: Children of Mana, which was advertised with beautiful anime cutscenes, but whether they're in the game or not remains to be seen. Solid fun playing, though. Dawn of Mana looks like good times ahead as well. Rocket Slime was very cute and fun as well. FFIII looks to be very well remade, but I don't think I like playing it with the stylus so much; nothing wrong with using the buttons, eh? The new Valkyrie Profile for PS2 was quite nice as well. Very pretty graphics and character design, good voice acting, and intersting combat system were you basically direct your party over to the enemies and have them attack by pressing their assigned buttons. There's a VP for the PSP as well, but I didn't get a chance to see how it was. Best thing at Squenix were the slime keychains, though. I got a cure slime, but I lost it somewhere. T.T

I did the write up of Natsume, so there isn't much more to be said there, other then I already had HMDS on reserve. The new marriage choices have nice designs; I'll bring in the old girls from Mineral Town, but I'm gonna marry one of the new ones. Graham Markay, the PR, really liked the fact that my engagement ring is a blue feather of happyness. I have to send him a picture soon.

As mentioned earlier, I stood in line to play the Wii. And I made it through and managed to play 2 games! Wheeee~! The Wii version of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the first one I got through to. You definately had to perservere to get to play it; special people were allowed to cut into the mini lines for the game pretty much whenever they wanted, which was super annoying. Fortunately, the N reps wouldn't let them all cut into the same lines. Anyways, Zelda's ooking sweet, folks. It wasn't too hard to get a handle of, except I had a bit of trouble with aiming things; kinda swung the controller around more than it needed to. It was like a mouse gone crazy for a while there, but near the end of my less-than-ten-minutes of game play, I had it pretty well co-ordinated. I'll have to cancel my cube reserve and get a hold on the Wii one. I also managed to get in a game of Sonic Wildfire before the show closed for the day (really cut it close). Some serious hotness there; Sonic has a lil fire over his chest for some reason. You also collect lil fire orbs which charge up a boost meter that make you go blazingly fast. Yar har har, bad pun. Anyways, it played very well and looked very pretty; best Sonic game at show.

Anyways, it was all FUN TIMES. Great experience; great seeing all the guys and then some; the staffers are good people. Anyways, here be my top five lists, yo:

Top 5 RPGs:
1) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
2) Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (PS2)
3) Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (DS)
4) Children of Mana (DS)
5) Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (PS2)
Top 5 Non-RPGs:
1) Sonic Wildfire (Wii)
2) Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Multi)
3) Rule of Rose (PS2)
4) Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
5) Puzzle de Harvest Moon (DS)
Top 5 Ways to Interact with Celebrities/VIPs at the Show:
1) Get autographed lithograph #69 from Kazuma Kaneko.
2) Steal water from Adam West.
3) Throw sharp objects at Paris Hilton.
4) Confuse Hideo Kojima for Yuji Naka.
5) Be encouraged to "Play like a champion" by Todd Howard.
Top 5 Pieces o' Swag:
1) Autographed lithograph #69 from Kazuma Kaneko.
2) Jack Frost Writing Tablet.
3) Bumpy Trot Harmonica.
4) Slime Keyrings.
5) ALL T-SHIRTS (Except for the Fast & Furios one I got).

More Impressions
Patrick Gann Stephen Harris John McCarroll Christine Radler
Mike Salbato Damian Thomas Mark P. Tjan


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May 26: Final Fantasy V w/Scott • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

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