Days 2 and 3 were both pretty awesome in their own ways.
Me at the Dishonored booth
First, I learned that I love the Borderlands crew for good reason. After the debacle on the first day, I returned on the second day to see that they had someone at the end of the line letting people know that it was the end and no one else could join the line. I really appreciated that they saw a problem and fixed it. As simple as it sounds, little things like that (along with claptrap doing both weddings and funerals) show me that Gearbox cares about us. Ok enough with the mushy stuff.
I ended up spending a large portion of day two with a bunch of people from Sony’s The Tester. I stood in line with Akileez, Naucious, J-Tight and SkyDiddy to play PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
The Tester crew playing PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
I went first and played with three guys I didn’t know. The game started with letting us choose our character, but I had a hard time telling what was going on (because character selection was at the top of the screen and I’m a slowbox) and ended up picking the same character (Kratos) as another player. This made the match very difficult for me because not only are the little characters tiny (even on the big screens we used) but the only difference between our two Kratos’ was that mine had SLIGHTLY darker tattoos. I spent half the time jumping to see if it was me!
Despite the small character size, I had a blast. The environments were fun and really did interact with us just like Sony demonstrated at the press conference. The super moves were perfect for the characters: PaRappa’s super attack had all four of us laughing out loud and then it killed three of us.
I came in first place that first round with Kratos. I came in third the second round with Nathan Drake. His character is horrible. His guns only shoot a certain distance and he had none of the power and speed of Kratos.
The next round I won first place again, this time with Fat Princess. I killed everyone with a chicken. Fear me.
Next we moved on to other games.
Dead or Alive 5
Next, Skydiddy and I had a friendly match of Dead or Alive 5. I knocked his afro off the first round and then he rocked me the second. The third round was close, until he hit me with two supermoves (yes I’m still bitter).
I played the game even more extensively the second day, where I beat everyone up.
I’ve never played any of the other DoAs so the controls were very tricky for me. I generally hate any fighting game where back isn’t block, so you might not want to take my view of the game as the be all end all. I thought the controls were hard to pick up, I just button mashed and magically did combos. Some of the buttons didn’t appear to have any purpose.
Also, the LONG wait at the end of the match to watch a tear (or is it a sweat bead?) roll down my fighter’s chin was REALLY annoying.
The game did not appeal to me overall, but if I had a chance to sit down and learn what the controls do then I might change my mind. I didn’t love it like I love Tekken.
I then split off from the group and ended up in the Drunken Clam watching Quagmire have thumbwars and tell bad jokes. It was very strange, but they gave me a free Family Guy t-shirt so I’m not complaining. The game, Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse, didn’t interest me but my boyfriend played it. He said it was boring and he couldn’t figure out what to do, but he isn’t a gamer so pay him no mind.
We then left E3 and headed to the IGDA E3 Happy Hour party, and from there made our way to Belasco Theater for the Women in Games International E3 party: The Stache Bash. No crazy monkey stories occured this night, though I did see Suge Knight.
I decided that night that my last day at E3 would be devoted solely to me getting to play Borderlands 2. I got to E3 as quickly as possible and made my way to the Borderlands 2 demo booth. Along the way I ran into my friend Bo and he waited in line with me for a while and then got me ice cream and then disappeared.
I waited in line for three hours. And, in the end, I played the demo.
The first issue was that I was had to play on an Xbox controller. This means that although the buttons were in the same place, the on-screen commands threw me off every time. For example, you would press square to open a chest in Borderlands. On the Xbox, that button is X. So the screen said press X, I would press the button that was X on the PS3 and there you go: confusion.
That was the only problem. The only. Problem.
This game felt just like Borderlands, but with even brighter colors and cooler enemies. If the story is improved, we have a better game than Borderlands. If the story is not improved, we have Borderlands with new characters and bad guys. Either way: I am even MORE excited and have already pre-ordered the game.
End of the show: GO GO GO!
My Borderlands 2 demo ended close to 4 PM. Since E3 closed at 5PM, Bo and I scrambled around trying to find more games to play. We ended up playing about 20 rounds of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Once again the Xbox controller threw us both off, making it IMPOSSIBLE to dash (very frustrating if you’re using quick characters like Nina and Jun, which we were).
Tekken Tag 2 is the other game on my pre-order list. The graphics are great, except for two really ugly levels that appeared to represent heaven and then heaven defiled.
Amazing things in Tekken Tag 2:
- Mud and slime stick to you
- Snoop Dogg.
I won the tie-breaker but it was a good fight. Tekken Tag 2 does improve upon the original Tekken Tag, which is my favorite fighting game. I loved to see the diversity the new characters bring to the genre, with Mexicans, Spaniards, women, black people and possible Transvestite’s all making an appearance.
It was a great gaming moment. I was with a nice guy who treated me normally, I was playing Tekken Tag 2, a game with diversity, and Snoop was playing in the background. Everything was great. And then it happened.
The booth babes, big busted women in tiny shorts that left nothing to the imagination, with make-up caked an inch thick, were a few feet behind us and to the right. We paid them no mind. That is, until two of the photographers got behind me and started a conversation about which of the booth babes they wanted to “take” and which they did not.
I won’t get too into my feelings here, I will save that for my blog, but I will say that booth babes have no place at E3 and they clearly show that women gamers are STILL just hanging out in the boy’s club.
Then we made a last dash to play more DoA5 and then it was time to go. We ate sushi and parted ways. I rode the bus home, passing a giant Skyrim poster. E3 was over.
E3 For the Glory
So what did I think of E3? Well, to be honest I was not as impressed as I thought I would be. To really enjoy E3, you should either be a journalist attached to a popular site or a super-fan person who doesn’t mind three hour waits to play tiny demos of your favorite games.
People like myself, who are looking more to network and to learn, are better served by a conference like GDC, which focuses on teaching and connecting.
E3 was the showboat: all about showing off the latest and greatest. Except this year didn’t really seem to have that much to offer. With no new console announcements and mostly sequels to show off (with the notable exceptions of BEYOND: Two Souls and The Last of Us), this show just didn’t really amaze me.
That’s not to say I’m sorry I attended. I can see the potential for new business and have learned more about what E3 is really used for. Next year I will be more prepared to suck all of the tasty nerd juice out of the Entertainment Expo.