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Archive: E3: Game Play

Posted at 5:35 PM ET, 05/12/2006

Visit to Wisteria Lane

I had an interesting experience in the Disney booth at Buena Vista games. Since it was Disney I expected to run into Mickey Mouse and things like that, but instead I broke into someone's house, stole stuff to sell later, and got caught because I made too much noise. I decided to slap the woman who owns the house, but I was still able to lie my way out of it with a claim that I smelled a gas leak ... then to repay her kindness, I seduced her husband and ended up sleeping with him in a nice cut scene (behind a drawn curtain, of course).

This is Desperate Housewives: The Game-- written by by one of the writers for the series, so it has a lot of the same sort of plot twists as the show. It features the voice of the show's narrator (none of the actual actresses' voices, although they were able to use their likenesses). You play a housewife who just moved in, with a secret past that you're trying to keep hidden.

You can choose to be a nice housewife -- make the perfect bowl of spaghetti, host a dinner party -- or be really evil. There are a variety of endings depending on how you play the game. If you play through to the "nice" ending, everybody accepts you. If you go around slapping people and sleeping with other women's husbands ... well, they wouldn't tell me what happens if you're mean mean, except that it would be "significantly worse for you."

This will only be on the PC.

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Posted at 4:21 PM ET, 05/12/2006

People Who Aren't Real Will Phone You

Nokia is working on a new immersive RPG for the N-Gage (although N-Gages pretty much look like regular phones now, so I don't see why it couldn't be on other phones, other han licensing).

The game, called Shadow Born is coming out in the second half of '07. The graphics are really good looking -- that's starting to be expected, even for mobile platforms, but this was still impressive.

At one point I was talking to an NPC in a marketplace -- He said, "I don't have what youre looking for now, but if I get it later, I'll let you know."

I kept walking and then the phone started vibrating. I got a text message -- it was the shopkeeper from the game, telling me to come back by his shop. I made my way back there, and he said, "Glad you got my message, I've got that sword you wanted."

All the NPCs become like virtual friends -- they can send you messages when things happen. Say, if you're on a quest, looking for particular people in town, you can ask NPCs if they've seen them and they'll alert you if they do.

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Posted at 3:03 PM ET, 05/12/2006

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Pandemic says "right now only on PS3" ... The game looked freaking awesome. The demo I saw showed the processing power of the PS3. The game takes place in Venezuela. Lush jungles, cool vehicles - I was duly impressed.

Another cool feature: A co-player can join any time during a single-player game. They plugged in a controller during a single-player game and the screen went into split screen automatically. No need to stop and restart the game.

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Posted at 2:53 PM ET, 05/12/2006

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

The ultimate MK game. Total of 60 characters. If you've seen them in an MK game, they're here -- including bosses and sub-bosses. Air combos are new. Customizable fatalities were pretty cool, too. Huge single-player game and online play as well. Coming out October this year. I had a lot of fun with this one.

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Posted at 5:57 PM ET, 05/11/2006

A Real Workout

Kind of an interesting product from SDW Games ...

One thing I got a demo of was virtual kickboxing -- you strap two sensors to your leg and put on two boxing gloves, and then you box and kick the person on the screen, and basically fight them.

They also have virtual tennis where when the ball comes to you on screen, you swing an actual tennis racket and it sends the ball back. They have ping pong as well, and a baseball game too.

They're selling them in an interesting way. Right now you buy the whole game -- it's about $40 -- and plug it into the TV directly wuithout needing any kind of console or anything. But what they're moving into is actually making a console where instead of buying each big kit with the unique controllers, you buy the console and get one common controller, then get the games as various cartridges.

They say they're pretty big on the West Coast, but they haven't been seen too much oin the East Coast.

The kickboxing game was quite a workout ... I was kicking and punching -- it was a lot of fun.

They didn't have pricing for me for the console -- I think it's something they're still working on. But the $40 for each set is a good price for a gift of that type.

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Rocking Out at E3

The Guitar Hero guys showed a taste of their next version of the title, due out in November. Publisher Red Octane, which was just purchased by Activision, is putting a few tweaks on the next installment, such as a new type of cooperative playability. At the Sony booth, attendees test...

By Editors | May 11, 2006; 05:52 PM ET | Comments (0)

From Swords to Phasers

Bethesda is trying to follow up on its hit Oblivion using the Star Trek franchise to do it. September will mark the 40th anniversary of the original TV series, and to commemorate Bethesda is releasing a game called Star Trek Legacy. In this real-time tactical/stragety game, you can command every...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 05:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Long Look at Resistance: Fall of Man

Just left the Sony PS3 booth where I had a behind-closed-doors meeting with Ted Price of Insomniac Games, who game me and three other people a one-hour walkthrough of Resistance: Fall of Man. The game takes place in an alternate 1951 universe in which World War II never occurs. Instead...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 04:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Darkness for PS3 and Xbox 360 for 2007

First-person shooter action-adventure based on a comic by Top Cow. Players will use conventional weapons in addition to magical powers. Wicked-looking summoned creatures, lots of violence, compelling storyline. The game looks promising. -- Tom Ham...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 03:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Every Kid a Game Designer? is touting PC software that lets kids design their own video games. You can take objects like trucks or people, put them on the screen and define the rules of the world -- i.e., it's a combat game and you're supposed to kill enemies, or a racing game where...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 03:39 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tekken: Dark Resurrection for PSP

Over 30 different characters and 19 stages. Without a doubt the best fighting game on a handheld. Exclusive PSP features: Tekken Dojo in single-player mode, ad hoc network play. Plays incredibly fast and smooth. Visually stunning. -- Tom Ham...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 02:32 PM ET | Comments (0)

Piano Wizard Mac Version; Guitar Wizard on the Way

Kentia Hall never ceases to amaze me with the innovation they have down here. Piano Wizard has a unique way of teaching children -- or anyone, really -- to play piano. It's $200 and comes with a keyboard with multicolored keys that you set in front of your laptop or...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 02:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Justice League Heroes

Checked out Snowblind Studios' Justice League Heroes, an isometeric, top-down action game for the Xbox. You can play as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and many others. I blew off a meeting so I could keep playing this game. Watch for it this fall. -- Tom Ham...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 01:35 PM ET | Comments (0)

Handling the Wii

So I went to Nintendo right before the show closed for the day. I wanted to really spend some time with the Wii controller. I have mixed impressions. It is cool. On games like Metroid -- which fully utilizes the "nunchuck" controller, it really adds another dimension to the gameplay....

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 02:27 AM ET | Comments (2)

Feeling Some Euphoria

The thing that most impressed me as I walked back to my hotel (I always like to be within walking distance of the convention to avoid LA's nasty traffic) was the Euphoria technology that LucasArts was demonstrating in their booth. In essence, the licensed technology allows game makers to create...

By Bob Greiner | May 11, 2006; 12:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Wii's Wider Appeal

I saw Robin Williams late Monday afternoon getting a booth tour from Electronic Arts executive Bing Gordon. The only thing was that Williams was at the Ubisoft booth. A die-hard gamer, Williams is one of many celebrities that attend E3 annually to see the latest games. I also saw Williams...

By Bob Greiner | May 10, 2006; 11:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tennis Anyone?

Played PS3 and XBox 360 versions of Virtua Tennis 3. Smooth game-play, just like the original on the Dreamcast. Fans are going to love it. -- Tom Ham...

By Editors | May 10, 2006; 04:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Clancy's Vegas

Rainbow Six Vegas is a top notch shooter from the Clancy Camp. Totally rebuilt from the ground up fully utilizing the 360's power. Felt like Ghost Recon and other classic Clancy games. Watch for this one. -- Tom Ham...

By Editors | May 10, 2006; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Red Steel, Brothers in Arms

Played Red Steel for a bit. Tried the Nintendo Wii controller with Red Steel. There is definitely a learning curve associated with it. If you're not exactly in front of the receptor bar, you won't get a good response. This may cause some trouble for newb players. Also played Brothers...

By Bob Greiner | May 10, 2006; 03:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Hitman: Blood Money and Reservoir Dogs

Accidents happen, but moreso when Agent 47 is in town. I just finished an interesting meeting where I rigged a barbecue grill to explode the next time somebody uses it, threw somebody off a balcony, and infiltrated a high-security area wearing a chicken suit. Of course I'm talking about Eidos's...

By Bob Greiner | May 10, 2006; 01:07 PM ET | Comments (0)


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