E32k6: Lost In Translation
It’s been a fairly interesting show so far, I don’t know how it looks out there, but we made the mistake of seeing two things on the first day that resonated with such power that we haven’t been able to top them.
I’d love to say that one of those things was the Wii, but you need to understand that even if you wait in the longest line of E3, investing more than an hour in a kind of convention stasis, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get your hands on the system. This is because once you have emerged from the initial line, what we might call Line Alpha, you enter another circular line. And once this deadly spiral has ejected you into their inner sanctum, you enter a series of short living rooms that have no real mechanism for determining play primacy, and beyond them is a room that I initially thought was a simulation of the L.A. Riots, but it’s just a cloud of Nintendo acolytes in the house of their Lord.
These are lines of a sort, the way that the tangle of cables behind your entertainment center must have represented "lines" at one point, connecting one chunk of equipment to the next. What I am saying is that there is nothing here at E3 that commands this level of devotion. I’ve heard reviews which run the ragged width of human expression, but from where I sit it is the concept that dominates the discourse. The two games I mentioned before are both for 360, but conversation never rests on them for long. I’m devoting the entire last day to that line, so I should have something definitive to tell you come Monday.
The Metal Gear Solid trailer is amazing, like it is every time they show one, with guys cutting robots etc., but since MGS2 the profound weight of the storytelling has kept us at bay, and when that storytelling is the reward for gameplay that doesn’t really interest us we don’t play them for very long. We try, certainly. We just don’t have the endurance.
Our kind has known for some time about Snake’s Soup Catcher, from the earlier trailer - but as the Ultimate Bad Ass, we really do need to assert that it does him some injury. Eventually it occurred to us that it had to be some cultural thing. Like in The Replacement Killers when Chow Yun Fat is seized by his conscience, and his lip curls in a way that makes him look not conflicted, but constipated. You know? One of those things is cool, and one of them reflects gastrointestinal distress.