Complaining About E3

I’m halfway through the second day at E3, the world’s biggest videogame trade show, in Los Angeles. I’ve always liked the pre-E3 stuff better than the show itself — Nintendo’s and Sony’s press conferences are especially interesting and exciting — but I’ve never complained as much as this year. I guess I’m getting jaded. Of course, there’s cool stuff as well. A rundown:

* To get into “Nintendo’s Wii”: booth, one has to wait in line for at least three hours. Of course, the friendly people of Nintendo Benelux allow me to skip ahead — but even once inside, waiting to play one of the major titles can take more than an hour.

* To make a long story short, I had a headache after only an hour on the show floor.

* I did manage to play ‘Super Mario Galaxy’ and loved it. It seems to allow the player to choose his own route through the universe. Could the entire game be interconnected or is there still a level-based structure?

* But I didn’t play ‘Metroid Prime 3: Corruption’ yet. Nor did I play the new ‘Zelda’. I was able to try ‘Wii Sports: Tennis’, ‘Wario Ware: Smooth Moves’ and some fun tech demo software though.

* I interviewed Goro Abe yesterday, the creator of ‘Wario Ware’. Seemed like a nice bloke, but I didn’t know I would be talking to him until 15 minutes before the chat — the people at Nintendo wanted to keep that a secret, for some reason. Probably because they like being secretive. I had thirty minutes for the interview but only managed to fill half of that. Ouch!

* This afternoon, I talked to Peter Molyneux, a British game producer whose studio was recently acquired by Microsoft. Even though it was a group interview, I managed to do most of the questioning. Molyneux is a sympathetic and humorous guy. Nice to talk to him. Among other things, he told us that he’d like to develop a football game someday.

* I also managed to play a multiplayer session of ‘Gears of War’ for Xbox 360. Very cool! It’s slower paced than most shooting games and allows for some fun tactical action. I imagine it feels a lot like actually being on a battlefield. Much more suited to my tastes than most of the other first person action games.

* Finally, my feet are in a lot of pain.