Gabe’s baseline impressions of E3 - Best, Most Surprising, Most Disappointing - are now available. This will be followed on Wednesday by my own answers to the same questions, with only one overlapping title.
Obviously, since these are his picks, he’s going to have more focused elaborations on them - but until he gets the microphone, I would be happy to share my own thoughts. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is, like Final Fantasy Tactics, a very different expression of that legendary context. Where Final Fantasy stresses stories and systems - and Tactics stresses being awesome - Crystal Chronicles is like the brawler the RPGamer deep in your heart always wished they would make. Indescribably beautiful characters doing battle with lavish monsters in scenes of unprecedented beauty. Sounds pretty good, right? Add in combination spells and spell building to a game that is chiefly about cooperative fun and you’re starting to get the idea. I had rage in my heart, unchecked rage when I heard that multiplayer would require people to use GBA’s as their controllers - but it’s plain now that it couldn’t work any other way. Imagine if, every time one of four people needed to fuck around in their inventory, the game stopped for everybody else. What’s more, this method allows data to be shared with one player that isn’t shared with others - like a map, or secret information. It’s going to allow for some interesting ideas, where initially I thought it was just brand-mongering. It might also be that, understand, but it isn’t just that - not by a long shot.
I will talk about Full Spectrum Warrior on Wednesday. In fact, I might talk about it rather a lot.
The N-Gage, though - he and I don’t exactly agree on that. I don’t think it’s going to be a success, and the reasons that have nothing to do with the GameBoy. However, it does do some neat things, whether or not they’re neat enough I guess we’ll find out. Obviously, being able to game wireless is a pretty cool feature, as GamePark 32 owners already know. Gaming across the cell network is also available. Gaming across the cell network with voice support is, to me, a fairly exciting proposition. Though the orientation of the screen - taller than it is wide - was not natural to me at first, that sensation went away. It plays MP3’s, accesses webpages, it does fancy modern phone type stuff. On the plane back from E3, I was trying to explain to Gabe that our whole group could play a game in the airplane, even across the aisle, which is something we couldn’t pull off with GBA cables suspended across the thoroughfare at waist level. I felt pretty smart, until he reminded me that it was a cell phone, and couldn’t be on at all.
Me and like two other guys enjoyed Silent Hill 2, so I won’t talk about that one very much. However, I will tell you this: Konami isn’t saying shit about Silent Hill 3’s story, but the video they showed reveals a couple very important things. First, the music is awesome, as usual. I have a few tracks from the soundtrack that will be included, and I’ve been very impressed, but the title theme they played was a remarkable piece of ingenuity. Yes, many tracks have vocals now, and though it shocks me to say it they are a welcome addition. So, songs. Yay. Here’s the meat: After the video they showed, there can be no doubt that Silent Hill 3 is a continuation of the original Silent Hill. I mean, there’s Harry, there’s the wheelchair, there’s the baby. I was dumbstruck.