After braving the initial morning and horrid traffic it was time to do what every gamer wants to do, and that is attend E3. After a painless badge fetching on Monday it was time to hit the show floor. After wading through the crowds just to get in to the convention center it was off to Konami’s booth to check out their showing. Music games were the focus of this year’s show as Beatmania was announce for the PS2. This game has been found in a number of arcades, and is a DJ Simulation game, a lot of fun for the gamer who loves his/her music. Also on hand was a new version of Karaoke Revolution which adds Dance Dance Revolution arrows to the game. New versions of Dance Dance Revolution were also on the show floor for the X-Box and Playstation 2. Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 features song like “Genie in a Bottle,” and “Get Busy,” by Sean Paul. Also on hand was a new Castlevania for the Nintendo DS, and PS2/X-Box, new Frogger titles along with a few new intellectual properties. More to come on Friday after I have my press interview.
Once the pounding bass of the Konami booth had knocked the sound out of my head it was time to mull over Square-Enix’s display. Final Fantasy XII was nowhere to be seen on the floor but rather an extended trailer was shown in the Square-Enix theatre along with a number of Final Fantasy 7 spin-off titles and a little bit more information about Kingdom Hearts 2. Square’s lack of Final Fantasy on the floor was a bit odd considering that there was a playable demo last year, but I digress I am not a marketing expert… yet. After that it was time for my tour of the Sony booth which is where I saw most of my gaming intake for the day.
Sony has a mountain of sequels to offer us with spin-off titles from Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, and Socom 3, but there is also a lot of new interesting titles coming out as well and show a lot of promise. Genji is loosely based of the book “Tale of the Genji” by Murasaki that takes place in ancient Japan and features a lot of motion captured samurai sword play that is reminiscent of Onimusha and Bujingai. The game will have a Fall 2005 release and will have 30 missions of samurai action.
Following Genji we were tolled around the booth and shown Shadow of the Colossus which many have touted as the spiritual successor to the under appreciated Ico released in 2001. Shadow of the Colossus looks to be an action puzzler in which you play a young boy trying to capture the powers held by twelve hulking giants that each play like a puzzle all for the sake of a girl. The HUGE environments and detailed graphics are nothing short of stunning. Colossus will drop in September this year so be sure to give it a look when it comes out.
Next up on the tour was a viewing of the new EyeToy products. First up was a demonstration of the new video chat functionality added to the EyeToy, appropriately named EyeToy Chat. There are also mini-games that can be played with other people. You can also encode and send video messages to friends that can be up to 30 seconds long. While this new technology is impressive sadly it is not something that has been seen before or honestly done better, but it is good to see that Sony is attempting to make the most of the under appreciated peripheral. In addition to the EyeToy Chat there is also EyeToy Play 2 a new collection of mini-games which makes a much greater use of the PS2 processing power, and contains an additional 75 mini-games to play that up to four players can play. EyeToy Play 2 is scheduled for a Summer 2005 release. Another addition to the EyeToy universe is the EyeToy Kinetic; this addition to the EyeToy family is the next evolution of Exertainment for the PS2 that had been previously dominated by Konami with their Dance Dance Revolution series.
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