E3 2013 Coverage
Article by: Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda was at this years E3! Here are some of the highlights of her adventure!
I attended my first E3 at the LA Convention Center about a decade ago. This was only my 4th E3 in 10 years, as it is an event that is only open to industry professionals. Because of this, it has a very different vibe than you might expect at a regular gaming, comic, or anime convention. People from the gaming industry all around the world fly into Los Angeles to promote their newest releases, network with other professionals, and enjoy the hard work of everyone involved. I can tell you from personal experience that every company has put in many many hours of overtime to be ready for the show, and while previous years have been somewhat lackluster, that was not the case with E3 2013. And it is incredible to see what kind of booths are put together when the company has a budget of several million dollars giant behemoths and props and glowing booths everywhere! Video game companies seem to spare no expense when it comes to promoting themselves at an event like E3 one booth even had several zombies locked up in an abandoned town set they had built (my favorite was the zombie in the Manowar shirt.)
Walking the halls of E3 you will hear a multitude of languages being spoken. I found myself peering at nametags constantly attempting to figure out where people were visiting from. As expected at any technology convention, there was a heavy presence from Asian companies, mainly China, Japan and Korea. Scandinavia and Europe had a heavy foothold this year as well. There were game developers and publishers, marketing, peripheral sales, mobile companies, charities, and societies in attendance. Cosplay is uncommon at E3, except for people hired on for the event, and at the afterparties, for which the Electronic Entertainment Expo has become famous. There were also many more women in attendance this year than I have seen any previous year, seeming to make up as much as 1/4 to 1/3 of the attendees Well done ladies!
So now that the stage has been set and you are properly engaged in the ambiance, let's talk about some of the announcements and some of the things I got the opportunity to see.
Of course, everyone has already heard by now the announcements of the next generation of consoles. This has been an announcement long in the making, and people have already been quick to pick sides in the debate. With the price of the Xbox One compared to the PS4, as well as many of the offline issues with the Xbox (such as game sharing), most people are firmly in the PS4 camp. I want to remind people to think back, if they can, to the time when the PS3 and Xbox 360 were first announced. The PS4 had a much higher price back then, and was reduced a number of times over the years. The original Xbox 360s were full of problems and the first generation of consoles would red ring of death almost without fail. Remember HDDVDs? No? Oh right, the PS3 killed it. Remember when thousands of users got their credit card information stolen? Oh right, Sony did that too. Over the course of the years that the systems have been out, there have been many instances of Sony and Microsoft trying to outmaneuver eachother, both to good and terrible effect. In the end, most of us ending up owning both of them anyway. (Also, Nintendo was there.) So let's try to reserve judgment until the systems have been on the market for awhile and we get a taste of the games. Ok, maybe I am just disappointed that Microsoft seemingly blew it so far, but I am trying to remain optimistic :)
Big announcements in games, there were many of them. I was most excited to see the latest in the Castlevania series. The demo allows you to play through a series where you fight a paladin in golden, winged armor and throngs of knights as you climb your way atop a gigantic steampunk golem, as it tries to smash you against your own castle. I am a longtime Castlevania fan, and was pretty impressed with this demo. In all fairness though, even pooping into a boot can feel epic if you have an awesome Castlevania soundtrack.
I was also excited to see some of the new Zelda stuff, especially Link Between Worlds. I have been waiting for a sequel to Link to the Past for what feels like an eternity, and although this game feels to be a slightly nerfed version of the original experience (but let's be honest, games were HARD in the NES/SNES days), it still had very much the look and feel of the original game. Mario Kart 8 was also on display, as well as new Pikmin and Donkey Kong. All cool things, but come on Nintendo, when are you going to give us a new IP? I love these series as much as the next guy, but I'd much rather see you announce the first in a new series than number 8 or 15 or a billion in the same old series you have been remaking since the 80s.
Square Enix also had many games I was excited to see on display, including new Final Fantasy sequels and of course, new Kingdom Hearts! It was impossible to get the chance to see or play everything, so I focused on some of my favorite franchises and companies Sunset Overdrive from Insomniac/Sony, the new DuckTales game (I walked around E3 for at least 2 hours humming the DuckTales theme song after playing it), new games from the folks who brought us Alan Wake...There seemed to be no end to the good announcements and things to be excited about at this year's E3, and it very much helped reignite a spark inside me!
In addition to the games on display, I had the opportunity to attend an art show, called Into the Pixel. The artwork on display was from a variety of games, companies and artists and had been hand selected by a jury of art critics, fine artists, and other judges. It was the 10th year that the show had been running, and one of the speakers had something very awesome to say about it, which went something like: In 10 years, I have always had to defend to people, be it the New York Times, or art critics, what it is that makes video games fine art. This is the first year that no one anywhere has questioned what makes this art. People everyone just get it now. This is a huge deal. The pieces on display were all very beautifully composed and displayed.
Tonight I'm off to attend some of the E3 parties, like the Women in Games International Steampunk themed event, and Wargaming's 10th anniversary party. If you live in LA and don't get the chance to go to the event itself, be sure next year to try and stay informed on afterparties. Some of them you do not need an E3 badge to attend, and they all appear to be quite a blast (I am bummed I missed Machinima's event yesterday, it looked like a great time.)
All in all a very good year for games, and I think everyone should have a lot to look forward to over the holiday season.
-Geek Girl Zelda
E3 Official Wesbite
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June 14 2013