>Someday, I will figure out a way to attend an E3 in person. I will behold all there is to behold with my very own personal eyes, ears and hands.

Because when you’re not there, and the only way you can learn about things is via hastily written typo-riddled liveblogs, inebriated podcasts and awful, awful G4 television packages, it’s just maddening.

That won’t stop me from casting ill-informed judgments, however.

In terms of the big 3, the clear winner of this year’s E3 is Nintendo, and you have no idea how strange it is for me to admit it. I covet the 3DS like a drug addict, and not just because it’s a super-snazzy update to an already super-snazzy handheld; it’s got games that look awesome. Epic Mickey looks amazing, and I loathe Disney. I keep hearing that Kirby looks good, but I haven’t seen it in motion yet and it’s not like I ever cared about Kirby before – but hey, if it’s a good game, then we all win. I don’t particularly care about Zelda, either, but if it’s fun, it’s fun.

Microsoft put on a pretty good show, too. I was unsure about Kinect, but I showed my wife Katharine the MS press conference and she was SOLD. And, really, that’s the whole point. The Kinect wasn’t ever designed or intended for someone like me; it’s meant for someone like Kath, who ordinarily doesn’t like most videogames. She doesn’t like buttons; she doesn’t like not knowing how things work. But moving your arms in a certain way and seeing it reflected on the TV – that makes sense. We both were intrigued specifically by Kinect Adventure (which had the river rafting mini-game and some other obstacle course thing), and Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness program (as we were already familiar with the Xbox’s YourSelf Fitness). Kath even was intrigued by Harmonix’s Dance game, although you will never in a million years see me playing it. But it’s not even just the games that Kath was interested in – the whole UI seemed ingenious. She was especially excited by the video chat feature, which she can get some use out of.

Sony’s press conference was kinda depressing. Kevin Butler’s appearance made a lot of hay, but when you think about it, what was he even doing there besides being amusing? He didn’t announce anything. When one of your press conference’s bullet points is a new marketing campaign, especially one devoted to the sad, sad PSP, that’s kinda terrible. The biggest coup, really, was that Portal 2 will be on the PS3 – and with SteamWorks support to boot. I already know that I’ll be playing Portal 2 on the 360 and my PC; if I have to play it on the PS3, I will.

Portal 2 is my personal game of the show. The 5 minutes of footage that emerged looks, in the words of Will Ferrell as Tony Lipton, SCRUMPTRILLESCENT.

But ultimately, the biggest thing I got out of this year’s E3 is that 2011 is going to be amazing. The second half of 2010, on the other hand, looks… I dunno. Kinda average, I guess. 2010 has already been a great year if only for Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption, but that can’t be it, right?


>My expectations for this year’s E3 are muted, I guess. I am underwhelmed by Kinect, at least in terms of the name; but I don’t think it was intended for me. (I already have a Wii, and I only play it while seated, if I play it at all. More on that later.) The big reveal I’m looking forward to is the new 3D DS -which, I might add, is also the only 3D-related gaming thing that I care about. I imagine that most of the big surprises this year will be the 3D-ing of big titles – I’ve already heard about Crysis 2, and it wouldn’t surprise me AT ALL if Gears of War 3D was announced.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, I am 27 stars into Super Mario Galaxy 2. Rather than gushing about how inventive and unique the level designs are, let me offer up my biggest pet peeves:

1. Took me a while to figure this out, and it sucks: it doesn’t matter how many lives and 1-UPs you may have stockpiled; if you save your game and quit, you’re back to 5 the next time you start up. Which is LAME.

2. There have been more than a few times where the controls – which are generally spot-on – get totally wonky and cause a death. There’s one Wacky Comet galaxy in particular where I literally could not figure out which way I was supposed to move the controller, which was compounded by the fact that no matter which way I moved, Mario remained still.

There, I said it. SMG2 is not perfect. Deal with it.

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