Day Two 2001

With the oohing and aahing of the first day out of the way, Ken and Todd can focus in on the real issues that face our industry – lookey-lous (blame the cahannel 13 newsfor that one).

As they round the far corner, the two racers are neck and neck, each edging the other out, only to have the other gain. here they are entering the home stretch…


By: Todd Hargosh, GiN Director of Product Testing

I want to start off my take on E3 Day 2 by thanking my good friends at Saitek for their gracious reception they provided me at the L.A. Holiday Inn. It’s a good thing to see those who provide high quality peripherals treat their reviewers as well as they do.

Ok, now that the props are out of the way, it’s time to get serious about the next day in our grand E3 adventure. I started the day off by reuniting with my good friends from Digital Leisure, who were not only showing new CD versions of the laser disc classics that now feature highscore support similar to that in the arcades, but they announced the acquisition of all the American Laser Games titles. This means that classics such as Mad Dog McCree and Crime Patrol. It will be interesting to see how the control will be worked on because it was a little on the stiff side, but I was told it should be optimized for the PlayStation2. I’ll just have to see.

Continuing sessions over the course of the day included a company called NeoMagic, which offered the promise of creating a new handheld system capable of true 3-D graphics, full multimedia (MP3, MPEG-4 video, etc.), and from what I have seen, I can believe it. In addition, Altec Lansing impressed me with their latest supply of multimedia speakers, and I’m looking forward to seeing if they will sound as good as Olympus would make my PS2 look better

I also talked with the guys at Nyko, who presented new materials for the new Game Boy Advance, some of which are being released with the new Jurassic Park III license. There was, however, no sign of any peripherals for the X-Box. I wasn’t able to see any GameCube peripherals but I will check again tomorrow.

Disappointments also reigned supreme today, and of course, once again, they come from EA. In fact, it was one serious disappointment”WHERE THE HELL IS SSX DVD????? I really wanted to see what the sequel would look like, but go figure it was only on display on the giant video wall. Maybe I should add another disappointment, as for people who are saying that both the GameCube and X-Box should be more powerful than the PS2, then Madden for both systems would not prove it. I feel as if the PS2 version still looks considerably better than the other two.

In addition, I finally got to talk to the lead designer for NHL 2002, about the same problems I saw with 2001, and if they will be rectified. He claims that the goaltender AI will finally be fixed; no more goalies stuck behind the net making bounce passes back to himself. Considering that he said the same thing last year, I am still very skeptical.

Lastly, I want to get to what I consider the highlights for today. First of all, Nintendo continues to wow me. I finally was able to get hands-on with Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron 2. I got to say that I’m at home with the GameCube’s control And after playing and completing the Battle of Yavin mission, I can say that I’ve finally seen this monumental battle the way it was supposed to be. While on Nintendo’s side, I also managed to see a preview of Eternal Darkness, which I have to say, really surprised me. Granted this is another survival horror type game, but it looks nice, rumored to have over 50 hours of gameplay, features 12 characters ranging from over 2000 years of history, and implementing new features such as a mental health system which might cause hallucinations if something goes wrong. I’ve already heard Urben bitching that “It was on display for the N64 last year!” What he doesn’t know is that I didn’t spend much time at Nintendo’s booth last year. It still impressed me.

What I do want to mention though is what I consider the biggest surprise of the day, and perhaps the show”a little number called State of Emergency. Never before have I seen a game so screwed up that it was a total blast to play. Here we have a game that simulated a street riot with over 230 people at one time, and including some crazy weapons such as pipes, axes, pepper spray, AK-47s, and of all things, HUMAN HEADS! I can only imagine what Lieberman and the rest of his extremists are thinking right now, but one thing is for sure, from what I saw, Rockstar has redeemed their last attempts with Oni.

Only one day left, and I’ll definitely be going all out, with my opinion of the best booth and the biggest disappointment. I will also finally get my say against Sega, their treatment of Dreamcast owners, and everyone who was banned from entering their booth. They will feel my wrath, that’s for certain!

Dueling Column

By: Ken Urben, GiN Industry Reporter

Well, E-3 is done with its second day and Ken is getting more and more upset with the state of the video game industry. How many more sequels must Ken see before an original damn game? I mean for Christ sakes on the Activision billboard alone there was X-Men 2, Spiderman 2 and the next Tomb Raider Game.

Add that to Grand Theft Auto 3, Dynasty Warriors 3, Civilization 3, Syphon Filter 3, Tony Hawk 3, Warcraft 3, Kessen 2, Smuggler’s Run 2, Silent Hill 2, another Soul Reaver game, another Medal of Honor Game, Twisted Metal Black, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and oh, so many more that Ken has forgotten.

Does anyone do anything new and innovative anymore? And in spite of all this regurgitation Ken is still, STILL denied his long awaited, often prayed for, A-Team game. Come on people, we’re making a Britney Spears game. A friggin’ Britney Spears game! Not to mention the fact that we already has several, SEVERAL Mary Kate and Ashley, yet Hannibal, Face, Murdock and of course good ‘ol B.A. Baracus are denied their place in the gaming pantheon.

Oh, well, anyway – the 2nd day of E-3 is when they let the fanboys in the show, which is fine except for the fact that their behavior defies all logic and reasoning. Here they are, they pay like $200-$300 bucks to get into the show, they’ve probably come from out of state or at least from quite a ways away, they’re clearly into video games, and yet as they enter the show they walk up the large stairs of South Hall look around and then precede to walk up to and stand on a line for up to 45 minutes to take their picture with some exotic looking woman dressed in an EverQuest outfit.

Now Ken understands the allure of a good-looking scantily clad young buxom women, as much as the next guy, but come on kids – you could get plenty more action at your local strip club and for a while anyway, for less money too. You know, Ken told you last year boys, the booth babes will not sleep with you. They may be smiling, but that’s only because they got you to stay at the booth of the company that hired them for an hour.

But Ken doesn’t blame the girls, no he blames an industry that maybe if they had more original games to show us they wouldn’t need to get our attention with such lovely members of the female persuasion dressed in black leather tank tops and red miniskirts holding ray guns. Well, guess Ken can’t complain too much. Oh, well – what a tough job Ken has complaining about the presence of beautiful babes. Don’t you wish you had it so rough?

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