#2: E3 Wrap-Up
By: Nick Arvites
comments on Microsoftís showing at E3 2002 can be summed up with
only one word: Wow! Yes, it is hard to describe how great their
showing was without writing pages and pages, so Iím just going to
elaborate on a few reasons why I thought Microsoft one-upped the
competition and then move on to why I think the competition choked
number 1: Xbox Live
Live looks and will soon prove to be the first step into the console
online generation. $50 bucks gets you a game and a yearís
subscription. The voice-chat thing looks really cool and the
supported game list grows longer with every new game announced. Only
downside at the moment is the need for a broadband connection.
However, cable internet prices are falling and can actually be found
for 10-15 bucks more than services like AOL or MSN. Online gaming
presents a major opportunity for both gamers and developers and
Microsoft is trying to tap the full potential right out of the gate.
Features for the launch version of Xbox Live include match-ups based
on skill or speed, voice chat, tournaments and rankings. This plan
is easily the end-all console online plan and skunks anything
Nintendo or Sony is trying to do. The built-in Ethernet card will
ensure that Xbox is the automatic console of choice for anyone
interested in online multiplayer.
number 2: The Exclusives
make the console. Xbox certainly does not lack in multiplatform
titles, but there was some question as to the value of their
exclusives. E3 silenced all of those doubts. First and foremost, the
most shocking development to many people was Tecmoís announcement
of a new Ninja Gaiden game exclusively on Xbox. Ninja Gaiden was one
of the more popular series on the NES and many had speculated (due
to a public poll on the Tecmo site that indicated this) that Ninja
Gaiden would return on the Nintendo Gamecube. To those who said it
would never happen on Xbox, I say (in my most Simpson-esque voice):
HA-HA! More screens and info was released on other anticipated 3rd
party exclusive titles such as Panzer Dragoon. However, Microsoftís
internal gaming division continued to shine. Mech Assault looks to
bring the almighty shoot-the-giant-robot series Mechwarrior to the
console world. Although it does drop the simulation feel of the PC
titles, it looks visually amazing and allows you to drive 100-ton
mechs into cities to destroy everything in sight. Crimson Skies is
also being brought to the console world. Crimson Skies was a flight
simulator from Microsoft Games released a few years ago on the PC.
What separated it from the thousands of other simulations out there
were the larger than life characters and the cool looking planes
(think of some of the planes seen in the movie "The Rocketeer"
or in the now classic Disney TV show "Tailspin"). If the
cool planes werenít enough, the game also requires you to dogfight
in style. This means you have to perform stunts as well as shoot
down your opponents. With features like this, it is no wonder that
Crimson skies is a popular title.
did the competition suck?
Some may argue that Nintendo actually "won" at E3 by
releasing screens of Retro Studiosí Metroid and by releasing
screens of Celda. However, Nintendoís info at E3 reminds me of an
early Upright Citizens Brigade episode in which a guy looks into the
Bucket of Truth to look up and scream out "I ALREADY KNEW
THAT!" Nintendo had nothing shocking and nothing
groundbreaking. Iím so sorry if Celda screens donít make my
week. Woop-de-doo. Celda and Metroid. Ya know what? Iím going to
get a GBA so I can get a side-scroller Metroid that isnít being
ruined by Retro-Crap Studios.
Again, nothing groundbreaking. Sure, some online plans, some game
announcements, but nothing really major in terms of announcements,
plans or exclusives. Sony disappointed me in a huge way and I really
see a poor fall for the PS2 in terms of games.
on the letter grade scale:
They did everything they had to. This yearís gonna rock.
Nice pictures, but nothing special.
Boring. I found myself not really caring about anything the market
leader had to say.
Iím at it...movie rankings:
Wars II: Attack of the Clones: C
Horrific acting, lame plot trying to cover up Episode I and George
Lucas needs to realize that CGI is not at the point to where it can
integrate with real people and environments. Every thing in that
movie looked fake except for Tatooine.
the Movie (Xbox)
the review on XGF...
vs TIE Fighter (PC)
Fun fun, get it in a bargain bin.
Knight II: Jedi Outcast (PC)
Needs a patch to address stability problems...great game regardless.
a gripe? Send it to the XGF