Namco:

This was the most frightening experience of my life.

Namco had a shitload of Pac-Man crap strewn about their booth, including some awful little men dressed in Pac Man and Miss Pac Man costumes. They danced to terrible Japanese techno music while people played the brand new "Pac Man: Maze Adventure" game. Apparently Namco has decided that the Pac Man franchise has turned too much into a "thinking man's game", and this new maze pain parade looks to change that by displaying up to 60,000 different, brightly colored tiles on a basic 3D maze map. It was like ingesting 50 tabs of acid and watching somebody play "Chu Chu Rocket" while your kneecaps are beaten with a ballpeen hammer. Throughout the rest of E3, I intentionally stayed away from whatever area of the convention hall the Pac Man people were storming through. I had nightmares of them that night.

Volition:

In case you didn't know, they've got an ultra-top-secret game out called "Red Faction", which was formerly known as "FPS". And, in case you've been shot by the "Stupid-inducing Laser Cannon" that is mounted on Jupiter, it's got a destructible physics engine. This means that you can blow things up, such as ground, walls, different ground, different walls, and walls nearby ground to create craters in the map. In all honesty, the game did look great; the graphics were smooth, crisp, and sharp, and the vehicles and weapons were pretty interesting looking. However, the whole rage over the "destructible physics engine" is just a little too much for me. Sure it's a great feature, but I don't know if they can base the entire game around it without becoming a one trick pony. It's kind of like me trying to make an entire movie that revolves around the fact that it's filmed completely with a really small camera in my nose. Sure, it's an utterly fantastic idea, but it doesn't have enough weight to carry the whole thing. The PR guy for Volition was a really nice guy who loved showing off to the audience by shooting rockets into walls. Blue made various witty comments throughout the show that everybody laughed at. I later met up with Loonyboi, Blue, and Frans outside the convention hall, and I yelled at them for not mentioning Jeff K.'s star-studded interviews on their silly little news page. Blue made some inane excuse, and then Loonyboi started crying because deep in his heart he knew he should've mentioned that interviews. I gave them some "L33T LIEK JEFF K." shirts to serve as the eternal albatross around their necks. Since I seem to have gotten off topic here, let me remind you of this: Volition has a destructible physics engine.

At this point the Hair Giant and I decided to take a break, sit down for a few minutes, and list our disappointments so far.

ME: "Okay, let's rehash the list of people you're upset with."

HAIR GIANT: "VR1, but not really. Activision definitely, because they're jerks."

ME: "You have to explain why you're upset."

HAIR GIANT: "Activision made us wait around forever and the guy never showed up, even after we asked the girl to page him five times. They actually had stuff I wanted to see."

ME: "Why aren't you really mad at VR1?"

HAIR GIANT: "Because I already saw their game and it's a piece of shit. And I'm upset with John Smedly too."

ME: "Why's that?"

HAIR GIANT: (furious) "Because he didn't return my emails when I wrote to him, and he doesn't listen to me when I yell at him!"

The funny thing was that this conversation actually seemed to make sense at the time of E3. This demonstrates what an adverse effect exposure to Japanese dancing games can cause.

STUPID BONUS PICTURES:

Can you tell I'm just kind of sleepy here?
E3's slogan: "Every 10 feet, another MPLAYER banner!"
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