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Gamers' Thumb Selects the E3 Awards

We pick which future games are the best of the best from last week's E3

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     May 21, 2004

Outside the west hall at 2004's E3.
© Patrick Sauriol

[Editor's note: After all of our post-E3 coverage of the past week, James returns with his choices for what games stole his attention at the Expo.]


While there were a lot of games shown at this yearâs E3, the footage from the newest LEGEND OF ZELDA game was probably the best looking. Not many people were expecting WIND WAKER 2, and Nintendo wasnât going to just surprise them; they were going to do it in historic fashion. This is easily the most anticipated game shown at E3.

Honorable Mention: HALO 2


This was a hard category. Lots of cool stuff wasn't playable - and some big games like HALO 2 weren't on the floor, so we're not counting them (had Zanzibar been on the floor, it would win this prize, easily). So, I'm going with what will be another great multiplayer game in RATCHET AND CLANK: UP YOUR ARSENAL. The multiplayer mode has come along a long way with new checkpoints and bigger guns defending the bases. Insomniac President Ted Price kicked my ass with some well place sniper shots as he camped. This will be a great title this fall.

Honorable Mention: METROID PRIME 2

Biggest Surprise of Show â" THE LEGEND OF ZELDA

I was sitting at the Nintendo press conference when the lights dimmed.

Screenshot from THE WIND WAKER 2.

I have expected footage of KID ICARUS or WIND WAKER 2. Then the music started playing and I knew it was Zelda. It took half a second for the audience to realize that the graphics were realistic - and then everyone was on their feet cheering. It was amazing - Link looked like his old self again. I loved the WIND WAKER, but I'm glad to see this direction. It's immediately one of the most wanted games, and I personally can't wait to play it.

Honorable Mention: METAL GEAR SOLID AC!D

Biggest Disappointment - FINAL FANTASY XII

I'm not really sure why this was. I thought the story looked ok, and Ivalice is a compelling world. As soon as I got my hands on the combat system with its weird MMORPG tendencies, I just kinda went "eh". I don't need another MMORPG-style game, that's what XI was for. Instead, give me the old-school battling, or even some derivative. I don't care, just not this. I'll still play it, but I'm not looking forward to it nearly as much.

Honorable Mention: HALO 2's limited (and non-floor) showing

Best Lineup â" Electronic Arts

EA had a ton of


games that it was showing off at the expo this year, and seriously, there isnât a clear cut winner on which game will be the best. NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND 2, GOLDENEYE 2, MEDAL OF HONOR: PACIFIC ASSAULT, the new LORD OF THE RINGS games, and of course, the usual compliment of EA Sports titles.

Honorable Mention: Nintendo

Best Handheld â" Nintendo DS

Yes, it was a very close battle between these two but the Nintendo DS wins in the end. While the PSP may be a bit more powerful than the DS, the games shown on the DS just look a lot more fun and compelling than what was shown on PSP (while MGS: AC!D looks great, the fact that it is a card game is a bit of a letdown from what the trailer was showing).

Honorable Mention: Sony PSP


John Woo is in talks to direct a movie based on the SPY HUNTER video gamesâ¦Sony has announced that over 100 million Playstations have been soldâ¦Both Sony and Nintendo have predicted losses in revenue on the PSP and DS, respectivelyâ¦SINGLES: FLIRT UP YOUR LIFE, a more "intimate" SIMS-esque game, will be released by Eidos and will carry an AO (Adultâs Only) rating from the ESRBâ¦


Gamers next week can look forward to MARIO VS. DONKEY KONG, the Game Boy Advance game should be a lot of fun, and should satisfy Nintendo fans disappointed by CUSTOM ROBO. Also coming up is the Xbox release of METAL SLUG 3 as well as GBA releases of SONIC ADVANCE 3 and RIVER CITY RANSOM EX. Finally, THIEF: DEADLY SHADOWS hits on PS2 and Xbox.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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