Best of E3 2008

There’s nothing like putting out an E3 best of or wrap-up post a few days after everybody else, but since quite a few things have come out in the days after E3, I decided to wait a bit before posting my picks. E3 was an interesting thing this year. It’s a far cry from the days when I had to push through sweaty fanboys struggling to get their picture taken with a scantily-clad booth babe while trying to wrap my mind around the multiple bombshells dropped by each of the big three. This year, the show is in its second year of being majorly scaled back and with a much tighter focus on holiday lineups rather than fanfare and showcasing lots of new projects.

Nintendo came out a bit flat, but they announced a few interesting things in print. Microsoft had a solid showing of their upcoming games and easily the show’s biggest announcement, but they maybe played things a bit too safe. Sony had a great showing of games, but again, we didn’t see much in regards to new stuff outside of a few things that are quite a ways off. Here are my favorites from this year’s E3 show:

Gears of War 2 – Cliff Bleszinksi appeared at the Microsoft press conference to do a live demo of Gears 2 and it looked spectacular. With a new mode (Horde) and a much larger scale, Gears of War 2 is looking like much more than just more of the same.

Resistance 2 – The first Resistance game was, for quite some time, the only PS3 game that I really enjoyed and felt comfortable recommending to new PS3 owners. The sequel is taking the fight to America and there are some massive battles in store for the player. The co-op and multiplayer modes also sound fantastic.

Animal Crossing – While we didn’t get many details, more Animal Crossing is always a good thing. The 4-player online play looks like it could be quite fun, and the inclusion of the WiiSpeak helps to make the experience all that much more enjoyable. Mii integration should be interesting, but I’m not sure I want Satan or Hitler romping around my town. Here’s hoping that a lot of new surprises are still going to be unveiled.

Chrono Trigger DS – My favorite classic Square RPG in portable form? Sign me up! Chrono Trigger DS will also have the animated cinematics from the PSOne version of the game and a bonus dungeon. WIth multiple endings, I’m sure there’s reasons for even those familiar with the game to give it another spin.

Galaga Legions, Geometry Wars 2 – These are two Xbox Live Arcade games that get my arcade-loving heart pulsing with anticipation. Both games look like they’ll be a blast and should push me toward bumping up my high scores whenever I get the chance.

inFamous – The game looks a lot like Crackdown, but taken to entirely new level. The devs over at Sucker Punch are very talented, and it looks like this game could be one of the bigger hits for the PS3 when it hits store shelves. For such a big world, the graphics were also quite impressive.

Fallout 3 – Probably my most anticipated upcoming release that was shown at E3 (Pikmin 3 would be my overall most anticipated game), this game seems to take the Oblivion formula and make it infinitely less boring (sorry, guys, Oblivion was a snoozer). The game looks to have a perfect mix of style, humor, action, and RPG elements to combine for a modern classic.

Resident Evil 5 – Even though we’ve seen this game quite a few times, it still impresses me each time I get more info or a chance to see more of it in action. While it’s not a huge leap over Resident Evil 4 in regards to gameplay, it looks like it adds just enough to keep things fresh. The online co-op should be quite the experience.

Best of E3

Little Big Planet – This game has been shown over and over again but each time it draws big grins and sends my mind racing with the possibilities that this game will give the gaming public once we finally get it into our dirty little hands. I can only hope that the active community around this game stays large for years to come.

Here’s a developer walkthrough at E3: