There are some times when you just can't seem to catch your breath. During this year's E3, there were many occasions like that. For instance, Capcom's marathon press conference featuring all of its console titles and Q&A with all the producers. Or the running down the hallways of the Los Angeles Convention Center with a 20-pound backpack trying to make an appointment. Trying to nab one of the few free lunches provided to the media is always a toughie. Or my favorite moment, nearly missing my connecting flight back to Omaha and running through the Milwaukee airport with that same backpack.
Sure, the show had its hard moments - the last day of wandering the convention center on my own was pretty lonely and I ended up missing several appointments due to fellow columnist Troy leaving early.
Still, there were a few carefree moments in the center, when I completely forgot my sore shoulders and legs (ok, yeah, after I took some Aleve...) and I'm going to detail those here:
DOOM III is looking incredible. Now, obviously the fact that it was in a theater where I could rest my feet and shoulders helped, but the game is downright creepy. Definitely a title I'm looking forward to playing alone in the dark next year. Can it be scarier than RESIDENT EVIL? Quite possibly.
METROID PRIME was another moment of gaming bliss. I was really surprised how nicely the game works out from the first-person perspective. I'm really getting excited to play through the final version when it hits at the end of November.
SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE brought out the kid in me. Mario has always been classic and SUNSHINE looks to improve upon MARIO 64 in many different ways. The water backpack adds a lot and the control is very tight and responsive. Add in the colorful Mario world and the game is definitely a winner.
STEEL BATALLION was also very impressive to me. The controller (40-button, two-joystick, three foot-pedal) is monstrous, but the game itself was a lot of fun to play. It seemed rather easy at this point, and I'm hoping that the auto lock-on is toned down a bit in the final release, but there is plenty of potential.
RESIDENT EVIL 0 continued the feelings that RESIDENT EVIL (GC) put into me: this series is back and badder than ever. I really like the character-swapping feature as it's going to make for some interesting situations and puzzles. Plus the game is gorgeous.
RATCHET AND CLANK features some of the largest videogame levels I've ever seen in my life. I was blown away by Sony's newest platformer because of the fun gameplay, giant environments, and great characters.
Look for these games to make a strong showing in our "Best of E3" feature that should be up next week.
STAR WARS GALAXIES is coming to Xbox and PS2 after the PC version... The GameCube price has been dropped to $149.99... GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY has been announced for the Playstation 2... Lucasarts has announced a sequel to its cult-hit, FULL THROTTLE... JEDI OUTCAST will be released for the Xbox and GameCube... Nintendo will release its own keyboard and portable monitor for the GameCube... MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE will be released for the Xbox.
The pick for this week is MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE for Playstation 2 which has just shipped to retail (a little earlier than planned, actually). The game will give fans of the PSX titles everything they love about MEDAL OF HONOR, except on steroids.
Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Videogame column.