First, the dinner wednesday night. I headed home about 4:30, quickly changed into dockers and a button-up shirt, and left for dinner bout six. Since i was heading into LA traffic was light, so i got to the resturant about 15 or 20 minutes early. I managed to find the parking garage almost by accident, and then got lost trying to find my way up to the floor with the resturant =P
As i expected, but wasn't willing to bet, almost everyone there had spent the day at E3, so a lot of them showed up in jeans and t-shirts =P
The food was kind of mediocre for someplace that was presumably fairly expensive. Sat around and talked with people, and one of my bosses said that Spawn was getting a pretty good reception at E3, and had only crashed once in the first day. Yay! :)
-------------Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning-------------
Kialyn had told me earlier that she might need help moving stuff out of her dorm room. I talked to Caithris a little when i got home, and was just about to get online to check for messages from Kialyn when she called me. She said that she'd gotten help from someone else moving her stuff, and wanted to crash at my place since we were leaving at four or so in the morning to take her to the airport. We got up about 4:30, and she took a quick shower (am i the _only_ one not able to do that?) and we left for LAX about 5. As one would hope for that time in the morning, traffic was fairly light. I dropped her off at the airport, and since i was already in LA, just went straight to the convention center.
It took me _way_ too long to find parking. Apparently not of the street lots had opened yet, but then i finally thought of trying the actual convention center parking lot. I managd to drive past it once, and had to do a long complicated turning around sequence (have i mentioned that i hate the streets in LA? =P ) and made it in on the second pass from the other direction. I was suprised to see that the price was only $10, same as the street lots. I'd been expecting the price to be jacked up. Apparently it's the _only_ think reasonably priced at the convention center =P
So i went in and parked, and had two hours to kill till registration opened at 8. Luckily i'd thought ahead and brought a book with me to read :) Caithris called me about 7:45 on my cell, and we talked for a bit, and then i headed in.
After registering my badge, i found that the exhibition halls didn't open till 9, however Lucas Arts had the same giant video display set up outside of West Hall that they had last year, so i sat and watched that. Unfortunatly after a few clips it hit the end of the reel, and then started doing a minute and 30 second countdown. Okay, i figured, i'll just stay and watch through from the begining again. So waited a minute and 30 secodns, and it cut to a black screen. And nothing. And still nothing, and more nothing, and the crowd that had gathered in front of the display melted away to go sit in line for the exhibition halls. I don't know who was running that thing, but whoever it was needs to have their ass handed to them. They had a totally captive audience that they could have shown the full set of clips to a half-dozen times and we would have stayed there and watched it over and over again, because it would be better than just sitting in line doing nothing. And some of us hadn't even seen the full reel!
But in any case, i wandered back at various times during the day, and finally managed to catch all the clips.
The game that looked most interesting to me was called "Wrath Unleashed." It looked like a cross between Brigandine and Archon (for those who know what those two games are =) It was touted as a strategy game, and there seemed to be two main areas of play. There was a large map/board with hexagonal pieces, with monsters occupying the hexagons. The hexagon layout and the monsters reminded me of brigandine, but the landscapes weren't even attempting to look realistic, they were some kind of alien landscape just floating in space. Apparently once monsters get into combat it cuts to what looks like a fighting game. The battles might be just animated in the same manner as Brigandine, but it looked a lot more like the action in Archon (given advances in technology since then of course =) Looks like it might be interesting, or maybe not. Doesn't seem like it will be the sequal to Brigandine that i was hoping for at first glance though.
Lots of Star Wars games, of course. Knights of the Old Republic, Rebel Assult, Galaxies, Jedi Academy, thing-a-ma-jig, etc. One of them seemed to involve Rebel comandos dressed in the Rebelion equivalent of StormTrooper armor. A little more interesting that the other spew since it moved away from the spaceship and jedi formulas.
There was also Gladius, which looked like it might be an interesting RPGish type game, or might just suck, a weird motorcycle game, a strange first-person shooter/adventure game, a WWII fighter game, and i think maybe another game or two that i've forgotten about.
-------------Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles-------------
The first thing i went for once the exhibition hall opened :)
All the copies of FF:CC, both at Nintendo's booth and at Square Enix's booth (god that's weird) were set up in the four-player mode with GBAs attached. There were three stages to try out, and all three had the same stupid gimic. One of the four character is carying some kind of magic cup or something, which creates a magic circle which covers most of the viewable screen. All the characters who are inside the circle are fine, if they go outside the circle however (or if the person carrying the cup wanders off without them) then that player starts taking damage at a medium rate. The only real reason for this thing seems to be to give the party a REALLY strong incentive to stick together, as if the fact that you can't tell what you're doing once you're off the screen isn't incentive enough. I guess it does insure that a single person will be deciding where to go, but the benefit doesn't seem worth the sillyness.
In any case, other than for that one item of weirdness, the game plays a lot like Secret of Mana. You run around and hit the action button to perform your currently selected action, usually either attack or a spell. If you just tap the button, you do a normal attack. However if you hold it down you start charging up, and a trageting cicle appears. You can move the targeting circle around with certain distance limitations, and when you release the button you attack that spot. Spells work the same way, except that you have to do the charging/targeting bit.
Unfortunatly they didn't show single player mode at all, and they didn't show any kind of interaction other than combat. The characters also seemed to be kind of small, which made it hard to tell very much about them. There was one guy i think, and a girl, and a small child-like thing, and some other larger thing that i couldn't identify at all.
So all and all, it looks like the combat is okay, but the rest of the game is still a mystery.
I'm typing/thinking way too slowly, so i'm going to have to continue this later. I'm going to head home in about 15 minutes to do some more cleaning before picking up Caithris from her 7:05 flight tonight :)