Cyril's E3 Adventure Day 3


posted 6/17/2003 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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Rule Seven – Don’t forget to rest!

Even thought there are hundreds of games all over the place, in every direction, it doesn’t mean you should over extend yourself. One should not burn out on the second day, and needs to get as much rest as one can before they simply collapse. But as important as finding a good place to sit is, it’s equally important where NOT to sit is.

Whatever you do, don’t rest outside. It might seem like the reasonable thing to do, but there are a number of problems associated with the outdoors. For one thing, it’s not actually cooler outside than it is inside. The air also tends to push the odor of grilled food your way, which does nothing more than make you crave the overpriced food.

Instead of running for the doors, may I suggest a number of better places to sit and gather your strength? The favorite among the E3 attendees appears to be Nintendo’s small theater rooms. Each year Nintendo puts one of their biggest GameCube titles in a well air-conditioned room, that is almost completely black, and has plenty of room to sit down and still enjoy a few games (or simply watching somebody play).

This year lazy E3 goers were able to enjoy Pikmin 2, Wario World, Final Fantasy: the Crystal Chronicles, Kirby’s Air Ride, Soul Calibur, and a number of other big titles all in the coldest spot of the show. I found myself learning a good deal about all of the games at Nintendo’s booth simply by needing to sit and rest every so often. It’s a shame more companies haven’t thought of this before.

At least other companies are starting to give gamers chairs to sit on when they play. This practice isn’t widely recognized, but is starting to be more commonplace. I found myself enjoying even the most boring tennis simulator, all because I needed to rest my tired feet. If more booths had little stools, some of us my stay at their games longer … but then, I suppose that’s exactly why they don’t have little stools at each game.

If you’re feet really hurt, and you feel like you need a good twenty minute rest, it’s a good idea to wait in line for one of those BIG games. This year injured conventioneers chose to sit in lines for games like Half-Life 2 and Halo 2, among others. Since these games involve a great deal of sitting and waiting, it is a good idea to rest up here, so you will be ready to tackle the other booths before you call it a day.

If your feet hurt, and your legs are giving out, you probably won’t enjoy any game, no matter how impressive it really is. I found that I was frustrated, and generally unimpressed with games like Castlevania, Conker’s Live & Uncut, and Enter the Matrix at the end of Thursday, but by the time Friday rolled around I was ready to give Castlevania and Conker a second chance (but not Enter the Matrix, as it’s just no good).

As I journeyed around the shows floor looking for a place to sit, I found myself drawn to a booth where almost every stand had a chair. And before too long, I found myself sucked into Nokia’s rather impressive booth. It was there that I was able to have my first hands-on experience with the N-Gage.

With a tall, yet small screen, and a $300 asking price, I tried really hard to be impressed by the idea of the N-Gage going up against Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance, but the games they debuted, and the product itself really didn’t win me over. Of course, I’m the one person in this world without a cell phone, and certainly have no need for one, so half of this devices functions were useless to me.

But the idea that a company would release a portable for $300 when the most successful portable is selling for $70; proves that some companies haven’t learned a thing over the last ten years. Had Nokia taken the time to study NEC, Sega, Atari, or even SNK’s business model, they would see that when you’re dealing with the GameBoy, price AND games matter. One can only hope Sony has done their research.

But I found myself stuck at this booth, playing one barely 3D game after another, if only because it had the most chairs of any one area at the entire convention (outside of the always-busy lunch area). I realized as I sat there, just as long as I stay cool in the Nintendo theater rooms, sit at all the booths I can, and take care of my legs and feet, I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting through day two. And with any luck, all this attention I’ve given myself will be rewarded with a fairly pain-free third day.

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