E3 2001 marked the second year I attended the big show. As I predicted, I walked away impressed by Nintendo's GameCube offerings more than anything, Nintendo fanboy that I am. Needless to say, I'll be pre-ordering by GameCube and a few games very soon. I regret I was only able to play Super Smash Bros. Melee, and didn't get a crack at Luigi's Mansion or WaveRace: Blue Storm...or Star Wars: Rogue Leader, all of which looked amazing.
Oh yes, this is RPGFan now isn't it? Where we focus on RPGs...yes. Well, I had to note Nintendo first, as I was blown away. Onto RPGs now.
On the Sega side of things, we had Phantasy Star Online Version 2, which seemed interesting. or would have, except that we weren't allowed into Sega's appointment-only booth. So much for that.
Game Boy had some neat offerings, in the dual Zelda titles (which actually were released just before the show anyway), and Lufia: The Legend Returns (which looks quite remarkable for a Game Boy Color game). Breath of Fire on Game Boy Advance was there, but I was sold on this one before I even saw it. Apparently BoF2 is being ported too, which I also can't wait for.
As far as RPGs on the Sony side, Final Fantasy X looks amazing so far... at least graphically. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy IV look good on PSX. FFIV actually was running quite fast, with hardly any load times. Can't wait for that one. I didn't get to look at Hoshigami unfortunately, but it does look quite promising. I've been hoping for Atlus to release it here for a long time. Kudos to thee, Atlus. :P Arc the Lad Collection looked.........not too bad. But I think running that kind of game one big widescreen TVs is just a bad idea. Oh, Dark Cloud looked somewhat interesting too. Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland I might just get, despite owning 3 versions of the series already. Very nice graphical style to it. And finally, Tales of Eternia (being called Tales of Destiny 2 in the US) is being translated at last. As a big fan of Tales of Destiny, I can't wait for this one. One last note about Sony, was seeing Wipeout Fusion... which looks to be the fastest Wipeout yet.
GameCube had Kameo... which looked good and all, but I felt the GameCube could do better. But, we'll see how that comes out. Zelda wasn't there...and I was sad. (On that note, nor was Metroid Prime, which also made me sad.)
Xbox I will not comment on because I strongly dislike, hate and disdain Microsoft and their attempt at entering the console wars where they don't belong. So yeah, no Xbox stuff here.
As far as non-RPGs go, besides from the GameCube titles on display, Metal Gear Solid 2 made my jaw drop. For the second year in a row, I might add. Capcom had 3 Mega Man games on display, the best two being Mega Man X6 and Mega Man Battle Network. I think the blue bomber is back in the limelight, and I for one am quite happy. Devil May Cry looked very nice too...this coming from one who's not exactly into survival horror. Metroid IV on GBA looked... odd. As with Metroid Prime, I'm not sure about this one yet. Seeing Toejam & Earl III was a big surprise as well.
In the end, there didn't seem like there was as much to look at as last year, but it was definitely a good show. A lot of new and interesting games will be coming out this year and next, and I for one am stoked (is that a professional-sounding word? Probably not... but I'll use it anyway). Hopefully the GameCube and PS2 will destroy the Xbox and the holiday season will be fun for all.
So in the end, here's what I liked most, and what I regret laying my eyes upon:
- Final Fantasy Chronicles (PSX)
- Mega Man Battle Network (GBA)
- Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland (PS2)
- Tales of Destiny 2 (PSX)
- Lufia: The Legend Returns (GBC)
- Mega Man X6 (PSX)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
- Mario Kart Advance (GBA)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
- Toejam & Earl III (DC)
Best of Show:
- Nintendo's booth and imminent rise to the top again.
- Noticing Mega Man being 'in' again. It's about time.
- Sony's huge projection sphere thing. Spiffy.
- Another awe-inspiring teaser for Metal Gear Solid 2.
- Seeing Apple there, if only as a small presence.
Worst of Show:
- That Britney Spears game... I mean, really.
- All things Xbox.
- Where was Metroid Prime??
- Not being able to get into Sega's booth.
- Oh, and $8 hamburgers kinda suck too.
- ...and did I mention Xbox?
- (Last one, promise) Being forbidden from taking pictures at most of Sony's booth.