I think we can all agree that IÃ‚'m both uncreative and lazy. That being the case, IÃ‚'m stealing ElysiumÃ‚'s E3 awards article format and in a couple weeks IÃ‚'ll talk about it like it was all my idea. Hopefully Elysium takes this credit theft like a man, I donÃ‚'t want him crying about it like Pyro always does when I claim his notions for my own. LetÃ‚'s get on with the article, I have a lot of verbal abuse to vent before my wedding hits on Saturday and I have to be Ã‚"niceÃ‚" to my new in-laws. WhatÃ‚'s up with that??
Best Booth of the Show Ã‚– Infinium Labs (The Phantom)
The perfect place to get away from it all was definitely the Phantom booth. It was mostly empty, quiet and packed with big leather couches and bean bag chairs! Sure you had to deflect some questions from the PR people like Ã‚"Why wonÃ‚'t you talk to me?? Please! Oh god, why doesnÃ‚'t anyone care??Ã‚" while you tried to nap but for the most part it was the best place to get away from it all. My favorite part about the Phantom booth was the one girl who was showing off the machine and answering questions asked by one of the Infinium executives because no one else cared enough to show any curiosity about the device.
She pretended he wasnÃ‚'t her boss and everything, it was cute.
Worst Musical Decision of the Trip Ã‚– Not bringing my own damn CDs
The only thing worse than LA rush hour is listening to ElysiumÃ‚'s musical collection of The Counting Crows, Matchbox 20 and any other schlock released before 1998 in LA rush hour. The man has the musical taste of a limp noodle.
Worst Game of the Show Ã‚– Rumble Roses
ThereÃ‚'s nothing quite as sad as watching desperate-to-escape booth babes making awkward poses with sweaty nerds in a makeshift wrestling ring while in the background video screens flash images of women wrestling in the mud and performing the special Ã‚"my crotch twirling around your faceÃ‚" move.
I was too ashamed of the game industry to try it myself but it looked like most of the action was framed to focus on butt-shots rather than show any gameplay. I took a photo of the Rumble Roses girls asÃ‚"… evidence.
Worst Abuse of the Word Ã‚"c*ckÃ‚" - PyroÃ‚Â
PyroÃ‚'s constant and random use of the word Ã‚"c*ckÃ‚" (take that, Google searchers!) was truly legendary. Everything from calling us c*cks to demanding we rename the clubs suit in a deck of cards to Ã‚"c*cksÃ‚" instead. IÃ‚'ll admit, Ã‚"the queen of c*cksÃ‚" is a funny phrase but only the first time you hear it. DonÃ‚'t even ask about PyroÃ‚'s idea for an E3 feature. LetÃ‚'s just say it involved developers, bathrooms and a camera. Yikes.
Biggest Surprise of the Show Ã‚– Everquest 2
I was truly expecting to be underwhelmed by Everquest 2 but after watching their canned presentation and playing with the tutorial I couldnÃ‚'t help but be impressed. The graphics are incredibly good, the animations and voice acting I saw were top notch and the interface was very workable while leaving most of the screen open to show the environment. Whether or not the final product will bear fruit is still up in the air but IÃ‚'m way more interested in trying the beta than I was before.
Best Moment of the Show Ã‚– Meeting my new best friend Warren Spector
We were heading out of the show for the day when we stumbled across Warren watching some poor sap playing Thief 3. The area was mostly clear and I leaned over to Elysium and pointed out that Warren Spector was standing right behind us and I was totally going to get a picture with him. I got my photo and proceeded to talk to him for a good ten minutes while Elysium played Thief wrong and incurred some Warren-style wrath for his trouble. He was nice, well-spoken and incredibly slippery when talking about Deus Ex 2. He also smelled like coffee, probably because thatÃ‚'s what he was drinking. Awesome.
Oh, and because weÃ‚'re so close he told me they were working on Deus Ex 3 next and he was going to be WAY more hands-on with this one than the last few games.
Best Hangover Ã‚– Sway
During the GWJ Meet & Geek SwayÃ‚'s lovely wife would order a drink and if SwayÃ‚'s was still half full she would pour some of hers in there to top it off. This combined with SwayÃ‚'s usual binge drinking made for a great morning after when Sway and I sat on the shuttle bus and I made silent bets with myself on how long it would take before he ralphed. A true professional, Sway managed to make it all the way to E3 and even held it together when we stood up, thinking the bus was stopped, and suddenly got thrown forward as what must have been one of the idiots from G4 TV slamming into the front of the parked bus because he was too busy trying to look cool while talking into his headset to notice it.
Way to hold it inÃ‚Â Sway, my shoes thank you.
Best Loser at Football Ã‚– Elysium
First I beat him at Madden 2005 after a masterful two point conversion at the last second. Even better, Sway and Pyro were there to witness my awesome play as an EA rep snickered at ElysiumÃ‚'s inept defense. The next day we moved to SEGAÃ‚'s booth where I whooped Elysium 14 Ã‚– 0 at ESPN Football 2005. I was hoping to see some tears but he kept it together pretty well.
Saddest Showing Ã‚– SEGA
Oh SEGA, itÃ‚'s a sad day indeed when your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is publishing The Matrix Online and the only interesting games in your area are sports titles. What happened to my Dreamcast-making SEGA? Why are they producing lame 3D beat-em-ups instead of Money Ball 3? Argh!
Biggest Jerks Ã‚– Electronic Arts PR Desk Bitches
Certis: Hi there, I know the guy demoing the new Golden Eye game and IÃ‚'d like to see it.
EA PR Harridan: Hisss! IÃ‚'ll club your bearded friend and eat his bones human!Ã‚"
Certis: ThatÃ‚'s fine, can I see the game after youÃ‚'re done?
EA PR Banchee: NOOO! YOUÃ‚'RE NOT EARMARKED AS IMPORTANT PRESS!
Certis: IÃ‚'ll earmark you!
And then I ripped her ear off and wore it on a string around my neck. True story.
Best Game You Can Play Soon Ã‚– Full Spectrum Warrior
Full Spectrum Warrior is hitting shelves June 1st for the Xbox and itÃ‚'s really, really great. Coop over Xbox live, an incredibly tactical experience and excellent controls. Way more fun than I was expecting.
Best Display of Inappropriate Touching by a Developer Ã‚– Richard Ã‚"Lord BritishÃ‚" Garriot
Pyro enjoyed the full NCSoft treatment when Lord British made his move and went for some inappropriate touching. What you see in this image is only a chilling prelude to what came after.
Best Game of the Show Ã‚– Rome: Total War
Like Elysium said even though it was totally my idea first, Halo 2 was great but it wasnÃ‚'t anything incredibly new. Same goes for Half-Life 2, I wish we could have played the game instead of just watching a recording of someone else having fun. That being the case, Rome: Total War looks like an awesome, almost-complete re-imagining of the Total War series. It was fully playable, every element from the original games looked vastly improved and thereÃ‚'s some solid design built in that knocked my socks off. I canÃ‚'t wait for this fall!