Well, being my first E3, I was very taken in by the show and the chance of seeing tons of upcoming games firsthand. As I'd predicted, it was very loud, crowded, and fun. And my feet hurt badly.
First of all, the show had a lot of neat displays and setups for booths, the most impressive being (other than its size) Nintendo. There weren't as many booth babes as I'd anticipated; I came away with all sorts of freebies, press kits and such, and seeing quite a few games in my buying future.
Alright, RPGs: I didn't look at as many as I wanted to, but the ones I played, I quite like. I didn't get to see Hoshigami, despite really wanting to, and I forgot to check out Lufia: The Legend Returns (shame on me!). I did, however, sit down and play Tales of Destiny 2 for quite a bit, and left impressed. I haven't played the first one, however, the Namco rep told me the games' stories weren't really related. Which was a relief to me, since I don't really have intentions of playing the first. Anyway, it has really nice graphics and easy controls/gameplay. My only complaint about the game is that the final title is Tales of Destiny 2, and not Tales of Eternia.
On to the Square booth... wow, we spent quite a bit of time here. But with myself and Chronologist both being very avid Chrono Trigger fanatics (and the rest of staff nowhere in sight), it was tough not to. Playing CT, I noticed a bit of loading time... nothing like Final Fantasy Anthology, however. Later, the staff got in to see the Square preview movie, which was very, very weird. But cool in its own little way I suppose. Final Fantasy X was actually presented pretty nicely, and had a neat piano track playing in the background. I do hope they do the DVD thing and have options for languages of voice acting, subtitles and such. The FF movie looks nice, but it sounds like every other sci-fi action film I've seen in the past few years. I did get a chance to play FFX; despite my Japanese being somewhat limited, the battle system was... predictable. Still, it looks nice.
My favorite thing at Square, however, was Final Fantasy IV. My only copy of the game was a buggy cartridge, and I got to play it for at least 20 minutes at Square's booth. I got intrigued in the story right away and there was literally no loading time. I'm really looking forward to Final Fantasy Chronicles now.
Other RPGs? I also saw Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland (but watched it instead of playing it myself) and that looks nice. I never got to look at Lufia: The Legend Returns, either, yet I've heard so much about it. Arc The Lad Collection (which was literally, half of Working Designs' booth) looked okay, but extremely pixelated as they stretched it out over a rather large screen. I briefly saw a bit of Dark Cloud as well, and Jade Cocoon 2, Ephemeral Fantasia, Enix's upcoming Dragon Warrior games, and a couple that I can't even remember the names to.
Of course, my mind and eyes wandered to some things other than RPGs... playing Dance Dance Revolution in public for the first time proved rather interesting. As well, since I got into the Megaman series recently (for some odd reason...), it was neat to see Megaman X6 and Megaman Battle Network. I also got talked into playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, despite me despising how crowded the Nintnedo booth was. I haven't even played the first one, so that was great fun. Frequency, which is some sort of music sim for the PS2 and can have up to four players, was also quite interesting, and I also did pretty terribly on it.
There are a lot of games that I played very briefly before deciding to move on... usually because I was either trying to see everything in those 3 days, my feet were hurting, or I had to go to the bathroom due to buying and drinking those overpriced, movie theatre sized drinks.
System wise, I and a certain someone avoided the Microsoft booth as much as we could. I couldn't avoid a glimpse at the X-Box however, and boy, is it ever big and ugly. Extended visits to Nintendo's hot and crowded booth made me even more glad that I'm getting a Game Boy Advance. I also foresee a GameCube in my future...
- Chrono Trigger. (PSX) Need I say more?
- Final Fantasy IV (PSX)
- Tales of Destiny 2 (PSX)
- Dragon Warrior 7 (PSX) (although I played it at Citan's house. :P)
- Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland (PS2)
- Dance Dance Revolution (PSX)
- Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
- Megaman X6 (PSX)
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
Best of Show:
- The free stuff.
- Really neat looking presskits.
- Meeting people from online... no, not the RPGFan staff! They suck! :P j/k
Worst of Show:
- The Britney Spears game. Now, I actually went to Kentia Hall and PLAYED it. Can we say inflated ego?
- Seeing DragonBall Z at Infogrames' booth. That show gives me violent convulsions and nausea. :P
- Working Designs desperately giving away those Punching Puppet Ghaleons... and having boxes full left over at the end of E3. That was just amusing.
- Sega's booth being appointment-only, and not getting to see PSOv2 because of this.
- The food being ridiculously expensive... even though it hurt Chrono's wallet more than mine.
- (Just because) Anything X-Box.