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Thursday, May 22, 2003
 
Well there's plenty to catch-up on since E3.

Apparently this "Matrix" movie came out. I saw it. I will say that I had a good time at the theater. I liked the direction that the story went in. I just wish there was a little more exposition done without resorting to one dense speech at the end. Now sure...there are movies like "The Usual Suspects" or "Memento" that leave their viewers scratching their heads a bit...but in a good way. I have been debating with friends abouit basic plot points that (I think) were meant to be obvious.

I'll make no claim to my own personal intelligence...but I do have smart freinds. Many of them were mistified by "Reloaded". We had to find a trascript of the pivotal "architect" scene and pour over it, to try to figure out just what happened. This is bad filmmaking.

All the other stuff...the crazy fight scenes, the effects, the stylish art direction, the overbearing philosophical ranting -- I liked all that stuff. I just thought some of the most important parts of the movie were poorly presented.

I saw "Reloaded" on friday at the Chinese Mann Theater in Hollywood. I've seen a couple moveis in Hollywood but never at that historic cinema house...so that was cool. Here's a funny lil conversation between me and a couple strangers there:

Guy Behind Me: *tap* *tap* excuse me, would you mind sitting down in your seat a little?

Me: I would but I can't see over the head of the guy in front of me...hold on...

Me: (to the guy in front of me) *tap* *tap* hey, would it be possible for you to sit further down in your seat?

Guy In Front Of Me: I would but I can't see over the head of the person in front of me.

cue goofy muted trumpet: wa-wa-waaaaaaaaah.

The rest of last weekend was spent with Heather. Heather currently lives in her sister's (Sharron) house up there. Sharron is actually trying to sell the house though and she and Heather are lookinh to buy a place together in San Diego. They were looking at a place in Leucadia, very close to the ocean, and very, very big. Much nicer than I was expecting...but I don't think they are going to get it...at least I don't think Heather will be able to go in with her sister on it. It's too ba though cause it's an amazing place.

This week I have been a lazy slob. I am pretty burnt out on the gym plus we had no soccer game on tuesday due to a bye. So that means no exersize for me. I feel kinda bleh. On the bright side though I have been enjoying the Shogun Mini-Series with Mr. and Mrs. Spragg over at their place, playing a lot of Def Jam Vendetta, and Planetside just came out so I have been playing a bit of that as well. The Jury is still out on Planetside. I'm having fun with it, but I don't know if it's worth the 13.00-per-month to play it when I can play Battlefield 1942 for free.

Shogun by the way is one of my favorite books. The mini-series is interesting because they manage to fit in almost every event in the book..and still leave out half of the important information. This is because the movie is told almost entirely through Blackthorn's (or Anjin-san's) perspective. The book on the other hand explores the Japanese charaters just as deeply as the "main" character. So that's interesting...plus it's a tad dated.

Before I go. Here is a picture of a record. My dad is actually in this picture





it's a lil hard to see because of the glare, but he's the one getting funky on the right side of the picture in the dark blue shirt.
Teenaged House Party indeed. Wanna buy it on CD?

-E


Monday, May 19, 2003
 
What a crazy week! Here comes a long-ass post!

Here now is the official Baditude account of the E3 expo in Los Angeles. Please keep in mind that there are many other web sites out there that will give you a much more complete account of the events that transpired at this years expo (I recommend IGN) but mine has more...personality :)

I think my buddy Fwats describess E3 best when he writes:

"Game publishers, developers, retail schmoes, and the ultimate geeks - the gaming
press - all collide in a cheesy, sweaty, Mountain Dewey mess for three days
of hyper visual/aural stimulation."

There is always plenty to see and do once you can tune your senses to focus in on one or two things at once without being bombarded by all the competing displays. I've put together a couple videos for y'all so you can get a taste of what E3 is like (they're music videos so their best viewed with the sound on...preferably bumpin).

VIDEO-> E3 2003

VIDEO-> The real reason people go to E3 (I'm a terrible person for this one)

(if you have problems viewing those, try right-clicking and saving them localy first)

And now the Games:

In general I was most impressed by what the Game Cube has to offer in the future. The PS2 had the most games showing, the PC had the least (by far), and once again the X box failed to impress.









One of the games I was most excited about was the new Mario Kart (called "Double Dash!!"...note the double exclamations. That means it's _extra_ fun!)

A lot of reviewers complained that new Mario Kart was too slow (especially after playing the new F-Zero), I only got to play a couple races and while it did feel a little slower that what I was expecting, I still had a blast playing it. MKDD is still being developed and tweaked so hopefully it will be faster once it finally gets released. F-Zero looked amazing too, so there should be no shortage of fun racers for the Cube. Marc and I also tried out a game called "Custom Robo" where (surprise!) players customize a robot and then take it into battle. There didn't seem to be a way to defend yourself but it still was pretty fun. I also checked out a platformer based on Tolkien's "The Hobbit". It seemed to represent the book very well and was definitly more "playfull" then it's violent counterpart (The Return of the King) over at EA's booth. The Rouge Squadron series is getting a fresh face with their newest title. Unlike past versions of the game (where you could only pilot a space craft) this game you get to experience a more broad range of Star Wars experiences...including some stuff on foot, on taun-taun, and in At-St's. Another really awsome looking title coming out on the Cube was "Viewtiful Joe". It's a cell-shaded action game that appears to be about an action-film star. You have to properly punch and kick your way through "scenes" and when you fail the director yells "cut!" to let you know what a moron you are.











In PS2 land I saw a cool looking update on the Mega Man franchise, as well as the sequel for Rachet and Clank. The Rachet game promises to be good fun, much like the last one. I can only imagine the sort of crazy gadgetry slated to appear in the sequel. Oh yeah...A couple other Game Cube titles caught my eye. 1080 Snowboarding is making it's way to Nintendo's latest system and it looks and plays really well. A very stylish "P.N 03" was turning heads and "Beyond Good and Evil" from Fwats's Ubi Soft company was extremly cool. I am especially looking forward to that one. It combines a number of different game-play styles...from vehicle combat, to stealth-action, to platformer. It's all wrapped up in a very compelling story.











A major attraction for the PS2 was Konami's new Castlevania game. Far removed from the old Simon's Quest days, it had some snazzy visuals and *gasp* blood! I never got my hands on a controler for that one but watched a number of people play through the demo level and was very impressed. I have to say that, despite the limited number of big games being shown for the PC, I was by far the most excited for what was coming out for high-end personal computers. Doom III was not playable but had some fantastic video demos on display that drew a crowd throughout the convention. I sat down with some Tron 2.0 which was so cool. It looks simply fabulous and appears to offer some deep gameplay (including multi-player lightcycle battles). The new Prince of Persia game (which comes out on every platform) was also very cool looking. However the biggest game of the convention for me was Half-Life 2. I was so excited to see what this game had to offer. The problem was that Valve did not have a public display. You had to wait in line to see a 30 minute presentation behind closed doors. LAME! The line was seriously 6 hours long. Baditude says, "Fuck That!"











Luckily we live in the so-called "information age" and all the videos were available on IGN almost immediatly. I checked them out tonight and it was everything I could hope for! Check out
this comparison between the nefarious "G-man" from the original Half-Life and Half-Life 2. The facial animations are way ahead of any game I've seen yet...extremly expressive. The physics of the game engine are astounding as well. objects react very realisticly to different materials (like water, concrete, or soft stuff like matresses). The enemy A.I. appears to break new ground once more. At one point in the demo, the player moves a table full of random items to block a door. The enemy who is chasing him, futily tries to open the door a couple times before firing into the room through the windows. When that doesn't work the bad guy blows the whole door in (making all that crap on the desk fly everywhere). It's awsome.











Finally some more PS2 stuff. I played around with a Simpsons game that plays like Grand Theft Auto. You might balk at first when faced with your relativly benign Simpson's characters in GTA-like senarios, but the prospect of being able to freely roam Springfield as Bart, Homer, Lisa and several other cast members is just too rich to pass up. Plus from what I saw it's not nearly as violent as anything in GTA. I also spent some time with Rise To Honor, the Jet Li game I have been working on for about a year now. It was really fun with a very different control scheme that accentuates the feel of Jet-Li style, 360 degree combat. I noticed with some satisfaction that everyone who played it seemed to really dig it. Hopefully it's a big hit.

I'm sure there are plenty other awsome games I'm missing but you can go to IGN or something for a more complete update if you really want one.

Now onto the part of E3 that you probably won't find most other places: The Sony Party.

Like last year, people here had ot enter their name in a lottery to be able to attend. Like last year your ticket only ensures one person...the ticket holder...admission to the party. Like last year I was lucky enough to get a ticket.











The party was very big with plenty of great food (and for those who cared) plenty of free booze. This year's musical guests were Geroge Clinton (who was oddly enough accompanied by Tommy Lee on drums). The main guests were the Foo Fighters. Awsome! Dave Grohl is a great performer. I always appreciate it when a front man really has fun with his or her audience. Grohl made plenty of "corporate" jokes and accused the audience at one point of responding enthusiastically to their song, "Monkey Wrench", only because it was featured "in that damned Gran Turismo game". He also brought up some poor guy named "Brady" after the young man made a request for "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Grohl poked fun at Brady for a while, then let him play some guitar and kicked him off stage.

Once again...top notch bands, great food and drink...all for free. I love my job.

whew....that was quite an update. There was more cool stuff this weekend once E3 ended but I think I'll catch up on some of that stuff later...

Till then!

-E







 

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