Pre-E3 Bliss

There’s a smell in the air and it’s sweet. No, this isn’t a “Thoughts From The Bowl” post. It’s E3 week and that means under/overweight guys who aren’t getting laid, rejoice! Video game heaven is upon us. Thursday is my day to go to the expo, but until then I can wet my lips to the always excellent coverage from IGN. Here are my initial thoughts.

The oh so quickly dying Nintendo GameCube has it’s fair share of exclusive standout games (as usual). Mostly sequels or spin-offs of already popular games: Rogue Squadron 3, Metroid Prime 2, Pikmin 2, Star Fox 2, F-Zero GX, Mario Kart, Resident Evil 4, and Pokemon crap galore. All sure to be great games on an average system that no one wants to buy. The only thing that’s grabbing my eye is Rogue Squadron, but it’s Star Wars so it kind of wins by default. Overall, I’m not very excited. Nintendo should follow with Sega’s game plan. Focus on the great games they make. Become a full time software developer for every console and dump their piss poor hardware development.

Here’s a surprise. I don’t see anything too interesting coming from the GameBoy side either. A lot of remakes from the Super Nintendo days, but that’s really it. And to top it off, it looks like Sony is gonna ante up in the handheld market. If there’s any company out there with a realistic chance to slice away at the Nintendo monopoly, it’s Sony. The specs for their system look hundreds of times beyond anything the GameBoy is currently doing which to me is just more proof Nintendo doesn’t care too much about evolving. I mean they’re using the same basic hardware they’ve been using for the last 12 years. I guess you don’t need to evolve when you’re the only one in town. Guess what? That’s not the case anymore.

As always, Sony’s PlayStation 2 has a very healthy lineup coming our way. Castlevania, SOCOM 2, Syphon Filter, Metal Gear Solid 3, Jak & Daxer 2, and Silent Hill 3 all have my attention. What really gets me hard? Two words (and one number)… Gran Turismo 4: the “end all, be all” of racing games. I can’t wait!

All seems good in the Microsoft camp too. Some standouts Xbox titles: Jedi Academy, Fable, Conker, Republic Commando, Brute Force, and Crimson Skies. Xbox Live looks like it’s going to continue its enormous success with the large amount of compatible games being released. Seems like I’m forgetting something. Maybe it’s that little sequel to what I consider the best game of all time, Halo! I also think the Xbox is usually the best console for cross-platform games. That’s why I’m gonna mention in here Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Starcraft: Ghost, NASCAR Thunder 2004, NFL 2K4, NHL 2K4, and NBA 2K4. You have to be blind or stupid to think MS is leaving the gaming console market with this kind of firepower. It’s easily my favorite system out there so far.

Of course, the PC where the hardcore gaming is at and there are way too many title out there to even begin to list. My focus is all on Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, Jedi Academy, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament 2004, and (naturally) Halo.

Alright, I’m tired now. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say on Thursday after the show. Until then, I’m getting back to my Battlefield 1942. See ya on the servers.