Yeah, this is coming after day 1 is over, but that’s due to the fact that my hotel sucked and I couldn’t get online at night. But I kept my thoughts organized, so here we go.
In the morning I got up early and left the hotel at 6:30am and went for a walk to go get some breakfast. As per tradition, my first breakfast was at the Denny’s at Figueroa and Olympic. It’s not the best food obviously, but when you can have breakfast for under $5, you’re not going to complain. I then walked over to Club Nokia and picked up my Nintendo press conference pass, but the show didn’t start for another hour and 10 minutes. This gave me time to pick up my badge holder over at the LA Convention Center where the E3 Expo is held.
Out in front of the convention center Ecto 1 sat there for dorky fanboys like myself to drool over. Stay Puft was also present, but seeing the Ghostbusters’ ride was pretty neat and worth spending some time checking out. After getting my badge holder and humming the Ghostbusters theme, I made my way back to Club Nokia and got seated for the Nintendo press conference.
The Nintendo conference started strong with New Super Mario Bros. Wii (which I predicted via Twitter correctly just before the event started), a game that pretty much everybody in the crowd got behind almost immediately. The rest of the conference was pretty solid aside from a few slow periods in the middle. Games such as Golden Sun DS, Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Wii Sports Resort, Wario Ware DIY, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, Sin and Punishment 2, Dead Space: Extraction, and especially Metroid: Other M all were big hits with the crowd. I came away from the conference with a feeling like this was going to be a much better year for Wii and DS owners than the past year.
After the Nintendo conference I headed back over to the convention center and had my first meeting of the expo. I had the chance to sit in on three private demos with 2K Games, who were showing Borderlands, Mafia II, and BioShock 2. All three games showed very well, and I think 2K should winners with all three. I was pretty amazed with the top notch directing in Mafia II, as it had some of the most professional and cinematic cut-scenes I have ever seen in gaming. Borderlands had that mix of addictive loot gathering and top-notch FPS action that can make for a dangerous time killer. Also, BioShock 2 was looking pretty good, even if we weren’t shown anything new on the single player front.
After 2K I had some time to do some wandering and I was absolutely blown away by the sheer volume of great games to be found anywhere I looked. Left 4 Dead 2, Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Brutal Legend, God of War 3, Sin and Punishment 2, Forza 3, Battlefield 1943, Uncharted 2, Scribblenauts, and many more just jumped out at me one after the other. If I didn’t have an appointment with Nintendo later in the day, I might have been just flat out paralyzed by too many choices.
The Nintendo appointment was awesome. The lines were pretty long at Nintendo, so being able to skip those waits and get hands-on with New Super Mario Bros., Wii Sports Resort, Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, and others in the Nintendo lineup was a nice perk. Playing the multiplayer stuff with my fellow Kombo writers was a ton of fun, especially the 3-point contest in Wii Sports resort. After the Nintendo appointment, I stuck around West Hall and checked out the Activision and Sony booths before retreating to the media room to get my first articles written.
After the show, I made my way back my hotel, exhausted but quite excited about what I had seen and what was left out there for me to get my hands on in the next couple of days. The first night’s sleep was horrible, as noise outside of my hotel room approached unbearable levels. It basically sounded like a man with a baseball bat had nothing but eternal hate for the garbage dumpster down in the alley. At least once an hour that dumpster took a harsh beating that would last for as long as it would take to completely chase away any bit of sleepiness I had in me. Day two was going to start with me feeling exhausted, I could already tell.