Cyril's E3 Adventure Day 2


posted 6/17/2003 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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Rule Five – Learn to Fake Interest

Without a doubt there will be a number of games, accessories, and people you have no interest looking at or even being around. It is key to your performance for you to learn how to effortlessly look as if you care and love the idea … while still loathing every second and wanting to flee as quickly as possible.

Take Sony’s newest Eye Toy, which a Sony rep talked to me about for a good fifteen minutes. She did her best to make me love the product, but there was no way she (or anybody) was going to get me to enjoy playing a game where I have to look at myself the whole time. While I’m sure there are a great number of people who are so arrogant enough to want a game staring them, but I am not one of those people.

Now don’t get me wrong, the device certainly has potential. With the use of the Eye Toy you will be able to map your face to a character in Tony Hawk’s Underground (which was called T.H.U.G. everywhere, even though as an acronym that doesn’t work). Using it to put your face in a skating game, or first person shooter, or something like that makes sense to me, and so the little device isn’t all bad.

But for some reason I don’t see Tony Hawk’s Underground as Sony’s wanted use for the ‘Toy’. Instead I fear that Sony wants to tie it in with a whole series of games that essentially star you. A whole generation that thinks character development is just another way of saying “attitude”. A time when even more people want to be on TV. Oh my God, Sony has made the first Reality TV video game!!!

Anyway … avoiding the Eye Toy is just one of the good aspects of faking interest. It’s also needed when dealing with really slow talking booth representatives. It’s even worse when they talk slow and have a thick accent. For example, listened to a Konami rep drone on about Castelvania for what seemed like the better part of Thursday. This would have been fine if I was able to get my questions answered, but instead he felt I should know the story behind Castlevania, who the characters were, and other things I’m sure I would have picked up from watching the opening cinema.

Because of this, I was unable to ask questions like: Will your character be building experience to raise his levels, like in the past Castlevania’s? What sets this game apart from the similar looking Devil May Cry? Or even, why on Earth did you make this game 3D??? (Coincidentally, I did get my questions answered on Friday, and they are, in order, No, It’ll be more about exploration, and frankly, I have a feeling I will never get an adequate answer for that question.)

Problem is, it’s not always easy to see who to avoid. And it’s even worse when it’s a game I have some question about. But what makes it REALLY tragic is when they remember you. Oh sure, you thought you escaped once and you would just come back and ask some other guy the next day … but not so fast. Because this booth apparently only has one guy manning it, and he remembers you!

The worst situation of them all, though, is when you find somebody who is both a slow and monotone talker, but also representing a product that is absolutely, positively no fun at all. A game so poor, it takes everything in your power not to shake that person and ask them why they are inflicting pain and suffering on innocent people. A game like the Simpson’s Road Rage!

Now I have nothing against the Simpsons (unless we’re talking the last few seasons), and I certainly have nothing against Grand Theft Auto III … but this is a combination that should never have even been considered. Of course, it’s the pseudo-sequel to Road Rage, which in turn was a rip off of Crazy Taxi, a game that now seems like a perfect fit in comparison.

If the game wasn’t bad enough, the acting job by the rep was certainly not enough to sell me on this crazy concept. In his five minute long speech about the game (which mysteriously lacked any breathing or blinking) the rep tried to explain the many good things about the game. Like, how the game is now open to roaming around, or how you will control a lot of people, and steal just about every car you see. But the more he talked, the most I zoned out and questioned how I got stuck in a situation like this. I started to wish I could trade places with the booth babe across the way, the one who was being crowded by a gang of drooling Neanderthals. Now that I think about it, maybe this Simpson’s lecture wasn’t so bad after all.

In fact, I’m making this all out to be a very horrible event. When in fact, there were plenty of surprises that I did not have to fake anything around. Games like Mario + Luigi, a wacky little Super Mario RPG-style game for the GameBoy Advance. It came out of nowhere, and if there’s any surprise, it’s that the game was only shown on ONE GameBoy Advance, and tucked in a spot nobody would see it.

It was also nice to finally see and play Gradius V, the sequel to one of the best 2D shooters of all time. There was no faking how impressed I was by the two levels Konami had on display, and how it felt like the old games, but with the added improvements to bring it into the 21st century. It was everything I had hoped Castlevania would be.

I seem to have derailed this rule, in fact, I think we’ve gone so far off course you probably don’t even remember the rule. Here I am reminiscing about the good times, but I’m SUPPOSED to be talking about faking interest. Let me try to get back to where we started, and learn from my mistakes …
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