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[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 06/08/05 ] = Departure

E3 2005 has come and gone, and there's only one word that comes to mind: disappointment. We waited for what seemed like an eternity for E3 2005 to come, and there was excitement in the air as the show began. But we waited too long for what was presented. Sure, the next-generation of hardware made an appearance, and tons of games were shown, but not much was noteworthy. E3 2005 was lame. I saw idiots practically on the verge of suicide upon hearing that their friend's brother's friend's friend couldn't get them into E3 (after many other thwarted efforts), but after seeing how the show turned out, they were lucky they didn't go. I didn't attend E3 2005, and I'm glad; while a few announcements stood out, almost everything that I've seen from the show was lame. I'm glad I didn't waste my money taking a trip all the way to California to see this year's half-assed E3; compared to previous E3 showings, E3 2005 was nothing like I expected it to be. No, I am not unfortunate for not attending, and if you didn't go either, believe me when I say that you didn't miss out on anything. Here are some reasons why E3 2005 was weak, as well as the few things that stood out...

[ Capcom ] = No New Street Fighter
That's right. Contrary to Capcom's recent announcement that they are working on a completely new Street Fighter title, no new Street Fighter was shown at E3 2005. It was the one title I waited and waited to see, and to my dismay it was never shown. Sure, a short series of SFA3 for PSP were shown, but unless it has some noticeable changes and/or extra features, it's the same game we bought a long time ago for the PlayStation (or Saturn). I love Capcom, and I love Street Fighter, but what's with all the bare-bones re-releases lately? Most of the titles in the Capcom Classics "Collection" have been released before, and across several systems, at that. Why is it that we get another CPS "collection" pack? I've loved the CPS hardware since I was a kid, but why weren't previously unreleased, stellar CPSII titles like Alien VS Predator, 19XX, and Dimahoo chosen for a collection, instead? Capcom needs to make a "collection" with rare titles that fans haven't already bought at one time or another; rare titles that have never seen consumer hardware releases. The DarkStalkers Collection is a good start, and with HDD compatibility the package is even more appealing, but fans probably already have the first three titles on PlayStation and Saturn. Hopefully the HDD support is left intact when the package is brought stateside (unlike what Namco did with Soul Calibur II).

However, I did mention that there were a few things that stood out at this year's boring E3, and the showing of a new, 3-D Final Fight was one of them. Out of everything that was shown at E3 2005, I was most impressed with Final Fight - Streetwise. Though Capcom let me down overall with a meek showing this year (just like everyone else), I'd have to say that Final Fight - Streetwise made up for it. As a fan of the Final Fight series, I have waited for Capcom to take the series into 3-D, and the wait is finally over. And it doesn't end there; Beatdown - Fists Of Rage (yet another side-scrolling fighter) was shown, and even though this one was shown before E3, it looks better and better every time I see it. The idea of recruiting the opposition once you kick their ass is fresh, the fighting looks brutal, and the weapons look punishing. From what I've seen thus far, Beatdown really looks like it will kick ass alongside the new Final Fight. I'm really, really excited about these two titles, and without a doubt, I'll get both on release day. In fact, I'd say that these are my two most anticipated titles for 2005 (unless the new Street Fighter is announced soon). With both of these titles due out this year, it feels like the good 'ol days when Capcom made several side-scrolling fighters a year. Side-scrolling fighting is back, and with a vengeance!

[ SNK ] = Loves XBox?
Surprisingly, KOF NeoWave and KOF '94 Re-Bout were announced for XB, but SNK's showing featured mostly stuff we already knew about before the show; Samurai Shodown V, Metal Slug 4/5, KOF 2002/2003, and KOFMI Maniax for XB (so lovingly set for US release), Metal Slug 4/5 for PS2, and the re-release of the first Metal Slug on GBP/GBA. I know that SNK has supposedly ran into some problems with Sony regarding releases, but I didn't think it would lead to such devotion to the XB; while new XB releases from SNK rapidly continue, Metal Slug 4/5 are looking like the last PS2 efforts stateside. This is sad, considering the fact that most SNK fans own the PS2 (and would rather play SNK titles on it rather than on the XB). KOFNW, KOF94RB, and SSV will see US releases for the "BroBox," but not for the PS2? Something has gone terribly wrong here; by now, some sort of deal should have been settled with Sony. Is it still the case where Sony won't let SNK bring titles to the PS2, or is it that SNK just flat-out gave up on even trying to release their new PS2 titles in the US? Who knows? I hope it's not the latter, though.

Metal Slug 3-D wasn't shown, either! What the fuck? We saw a beta version of this game last year, and so we figured by E3 2005 that SNK would have a playable showing ready. Wrong. As far as I know, the game didn't make a showing, and wasn't even mentioned. It would be tragic if the game got canned; fans have been wanting to see Metal Slug jump to 3-D for a long time. Then you have the re-release of the first Metal Slug on GBP/GBA; not too bad, but not too great, either. Do I love the series? Of course. Does Metal Slug fit the GBP/GBA? Yes. Would I have rather seen a more rare title "ported" instead? Yes; a ton of other Neo-Geo games (like Cyber Lip or Aero Fighters 2) could have been considered for a GBP/GBA re-release. But I guess it's good to see a re-release of the first Metal Slug to at least get the ball rolling for future re-releases. Last but not least, where is KOFEX3 (GBP/GBA)? SNK is said to be working on it, but they haven't even mentioned it! KOFEX2 was so good that we (the fans) had better hear something on it soon.

[ Nintendo ] = Interesting Showing
Finally, Nintendo showed the Revolution, and it kicked ass. The design is better than the PS3 and XB360, and Nintendo's plans for the system sounded great. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Nintendo plans to make it so that NES, SNES, and even N64 games can be downloaded to the system. Upon hearing this, I thought to myself, "Nintendo wasn't lying. The Revolution will change everything." Now, fans may actually be able to get their hands on rare titles for previous Nintendo hardware without paying out the ass for them on eBay! The Revolution will also play GameCube games, which I thought was great, since backward compatibility is what sells systems (these days). However, much like when the N64 was revealed, only the system itself was shown because Nintendo was afraid that the idea(s) for the Revolution's controller would be stolen; and with good reason. It's sad that Nintendo has to take such drastic measures to protect their ideas, but when Nintendo's ideas are copied they aren't copied well; as much as I like Sony,
the original Dual Shock controller wasn't nearly as good as the N64 controller (contrary to what has been said). Even though the controller wasn't shown, though, the Revolution (and Nintendo's plans for it) amazed me.

They also showed the new Zelda for GC, and even though I've never really liked Zelda in particular, the game looked pretty nice. Nice enough to sell systems. Not only that, but the game is shaping up to be similar to Lord of the Rings, and it doesn't take a genius to see that the game will sell like crazy when it comes out. In fact, I am betting that the game will sell systems almost single-handedly (by then RE4 might have gone down in price). Nintendo also showed more of the Nintendo DS and what they plan to do with it, including their Wi-Fi plans. While there weren't as many games shown for the NDS as there were for the PSP, enough were there to show that the system is starting to gain momentum; big titles like Castlevania, Viewtiful Joe DS, the new Mario Kart, and Metroid Prime - Hunters are making the NDS look a little more appealing than before. Sonic DS and a new 4-player Guilty Gear were also finally shown; both were disappointing, and didn't seem like they even took advantage the hardware's potential. Sonic DS looked too much like Sonic N, and the new Guilty Gear didn't look much different from its weak GBP/GBA predecessor. But the new shooter from the guys who made Iridion II looked great, and the NDS showing was good, overall.

[ Sony ] = Unfortunately Used Spiderman Font For The PlayStation 3
Sony showed the PlayStation 3, and my initial thoughts were mixed. While it would have been nice to see a design less-influenced by that of the PS2, the silver, greenhouse-design of the console looked OK. Sure, it could have been better, but at least it looked nicer than the XBox 360's uninspired design. Its seemingly thick and bulky design also looks like it will be more durable than the PS2. However, the concave-top of the hardware could have looked better if Sony hadn't decided to use the font from the Spiderman movies for the system's logo; it looks tacky and clashes with the design. Many complained about the disc tray on the PS2, and it seems that Sony granted their wishes...well, sort-of; it looks like discs will be fed into the PS3 (as with car CD systems). This can be both a good and a bad thing; as long as the opening is designed correctly with quality parts, the disc will be taken in and ejected without harm. But if this is not the case, discs could be scratched, infuriating users. The controller was also shown, and even though its boomerang design didn't look comfortable, I give Sony credit for trying something new. Sure, it looks like it would come back and hit you in the face if you threw it out of frustration, but who knows; maybe the controller actually feels better than it looks. I'll have to have it in my hands to before I can say more, but one thing is for sure; the buttons looked cool!
Various colors for the console were also a good idea, it's just too bad they were a little bland. As for games, not much was shown for PS3, but notable media for Devil May Cry 4 and Killzone 2 were presented, and they looked good (better than what was shown for XB360). Some say that the media wasn't in-game and this and that shit, but I don't care because at least we know they're on the way. Metal Gear Solid 4 was also announced for PS3 (which I'll get more into later), but overall the PS3 showing could have been better. Let's hope that within the next few months we get to see more of what the PS3 will be capable of.

[ Microsoft ] = The Illuminati?
Since Microsoft showed the XB360 before E3 on an overhyped, overrated MTV special, there weren't many surprises from their side of the camp. The XB360's design is generic, and looks like it was heavily-inspired by a bullshit, overpriced gadget the masses affectionately refer to as "the iPod." Why the hell did they feel the need to make the design resemble the shitty iPod? I thought that while the detachable hard-drive idea is unique, the iPod support (for music-ripping) is stupid. The XB360's obsessive iPod support is irritating, to say the least; fuck iPods, we want to play games. The wireless controller, which isn't too different from that of the original, also looks average (better safe than sorry, I guess). However, I wasn't impressed with Microsoft's "Big Brother" approach with the XB360; it seems that they are interested in monitoring what you do. From creating a system profile, to recording data on your play, their plans to "track your every movement" just seem odd. Does it go beyond just keeping stats? I hope not. Although I'm not very happy with what I've heard about the system (up to this point), I'll have to play it when it comes out, and if developers like Capcom embrace it and make some truly great games for it, I might have to buy one. But for now, my thoughts on the XB360 are mixed...

[ Konami ] = Plays Too Much
With TMNT3: Mutant Nightmare, Metal Gear Solid 4, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, Castlevania DS, and Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (among others), Konami put on one hell of a show. Where do I start? Konami's show kicked ass. Some info on Metal Gear Solid 4 was given, and even though the info was great, the showing itself was a joke. Sure, the Splinter Cell parody was cool, but the joke video was lame, overall; actual footage from MGS4 would have been so much better than what was presented. The details were stunning though, and they make the presentation's humorous approach seem cruel. MGS4 is said to pick up where MGS2 left-off, so if that's any indication then you know MGS4 is going to kick major ass; this is one of the previously-mentioned exceptions from E32005. As a fan since the first Metal Gear on NES, I am excited about MGS4. It looks like it will kill.

Both Castlevania games also looked great, however, I was disappointed to see that while an XB version of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness was announced, a GC version was not. What the fuck? It was considered and decided on for the "BroBox," so why not for the GC? After all, aren't most Nintendo fans Castlevania fans, as well (since the majority of previous entries in the series were made on Nintendo hardware)? There's no excuse; the game should have been announced for the GC, as well. Whoever made this backwards decision doesn't seem to know much about Konami's past releases. On a lighter note, it was a pleasure to see that Konami listened to fans (again) and started production of a new TMNT game (which is thankfully coming to the GC); the last game was great, and with fresh, redesigned visuals this one should be, too.

[ Namco ] = Teases
Although we already caught a glimpse of Soul Calibur III before E3 2005, Namco put on a good show with it. The game looks good; most notably, the old characters look just as detailed and smooth as they did in SCII (Ivy once again looks really nice), the new charcters look really good, and the extra modes sound interesting. It already looks like it might surpass SCII. Also, the game is only coming home to the PS2, and I think it was a good decision (since SCII was originally designed on the PS2 hardware) even though everyone is sour about it. Soul Calibur III is also one of the aforementioned exceptions; the game is shaping up very nicely. They also showed a new fighter called Urban Reign, supposedly put together by the minds behind Tekken and Soul Calibur. It didn't really impress me initially, but the more I see of it, the more I want to play to see just how it plays. I can't really tell much from what I've seen on it, but it may turn out to be a good fighter if Namco executes it right. Then there's Namco X Capcom. This game wasn't presented at the show, but it pisses me the fuck off. Namco gets a bunch of Capcom and Namco characters together to fight, and instead of putting them in a fighting game (where they belong) they put them in a goddamn RPG (where they don't belong). They better make a fighting game out of this concept; 2-D or 3-D, fans would appreciate either one.

[ Koei ] = Still No Dynasty Warriors DS
Once again, Koei left Dynasty Warriors DS on the back-burner. This is ridiculous; how long has the game been in development? For a long time...too long, actually. There's no excuse for this...

[ RockStar ] = Always
As expected, RockStar announced yet another bullshit Grand Theft Auto game to milk the cash cow that has gotten fat feeding off our ignorant society. "The Warriors" looks like trash, too. But that stuff is not important; their announcement of Red Dead Revolver 2 is what deserves close attention. Who will develop the game? Capcom or RockStar? I hope Capcom develops the game, or we might see our hero gunning-down innocent people and stealing horses...

[ Conclusion ] = The End
With the exception of a few notable games that stood-out, E3 2005 was boring. Hopefully developers will pull themselves together for E3 2006 and present more content and less humor...