E3 is over, and I am back home.

Well, another E3 is over and done with. As always, E3 tends to be an extremely hectic time for me and I always come back from the show feeling that I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation. In any event, before I get started, here are a couple of links for you so you can get an idea firsthand of what I was up to this past week.

Anyway, I got into town on Tuesday morning, to find the hotel wasn’t quite ready yet. I had lunch at a nearby Denny’s, and came back in time to claim my hotel room (AND arrange for a connected one for the other MK Online guys). Joe got in at around 6:30 PM, and Justin came in a couple of hours after that. After we made our plans for the following day and got ourselves prepared, we ended up calling it a night. I do admit that I tried to introduce Justin to Doctor Who, but he fell asleep partway through the second episode of “Tomb of the Cybermen”…

The next morning, we got up, and got ready for the show. Aaron showed up on time, and we all piled in to make our way to E3. Once we got there, obviously our first stop was the Midway booth, where we got to work playing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and taking pictures and recording video. I don’t think I need to say that I really enjoyed playing the game and look forward to seeing how the final game turns out. We also got to meet up with the usual crowd from Midway (Ed Boon, Steve Beran, Brian Lebaron, John Podlasek, and others) and play a bit of catchup. Late that afternoon, though, I got a bit of a rare opportunity to geek out, as it were. There are two MK development team members I had wanted to meet for the longest time, and one of them decided to make an appearance at E3 this year. This particular person is Dan Forden, who had done the music for MK1 through MK4 and now supervises the music/sound effects department at Midway. So, needless to say, I was quite happy. :-) I also got the chance to meet two other MK fansite webmasters: Dave Rosteck of Dave’s Mortal Kombat and Luke Cunningham of Total Mortal Kombat. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dave, but he was a very nice guy, if a bit quiet. :-) On the other hand, it’s no secret that Luke and I have had our (sometimes serious) disagreements in the past. Fortunately we got along well at the show, and some of the rifts got healed. While at the show, SPOOn showed up and hung around with us. After the show, we all headed back to the hotel and got to work on the evening’s updates, ordered room service, and generally got work done.

The next morning, we made our way over to the show, just in time for our scheduled appointment to get direct feed footage from MK Armageddon… only to find that we couldn’t get the console to cooperate with my camcorder. Gah. We played more of the game (after rescheduling a time to come back and get footage plus interview Ed), then we went our separate ways to browse through the separate halls. I didn’t bother with trying to see the Nintendo Wii (waiting in line for three hours isn’t my thing), and the Playstation 3 had no appeal to me. I wandered through both South and West Halls, with a quick look in Kentia. At the end of the day, we headed back to the hotel to do some more work, breaking off only so that we could get a bite to eat at this Italian restaurant down the street from our hotel. After that, we returned to the hotel and worked late.

The next morning we got to the show again just in time for our appointment with Ed. While Justin interviewed him and I filmed it, Aaron and Joe worked in vain to try and get direct feed. We’ll have to try and figure out a way to get it in the future, as this is apparently a new incompatibility that just popped up within the past several months. After that, we got some time in talking to Ed et al, and then we headed down to lunch in Kentia Hall with Luke in tow. Afterwards, I browsed Kentia a little, to see what arcade machines they had in the Videogame Museum this year. Then I wandered back through South and West Halls, to take stock of what I missed before. Then I met the others back at the Midway booth, and we headed back to the hotel. We got back in plenty of time for me to get the Fan Interview converted into Quicktime files and uploaded, and then we went out to dinner and went to see Poseidon in IMAX. After that, SPOOn returned home, and the rest of us returned to the hotel. The following morning, Aaron and Joe left early; Justin and I tried to hit Denny’s only to find it was a 25 minute wait. After eating at the hotel, we went to the airport and made our way home.

So, in the end, what did I like most? Hellgate: London and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars certainly drew the most interest from me. I also found Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar to be an interesting MMORPG. Namco Mobile Arcade was interesting as well, though it did disappoint me that there was no word of PocketPC ports. All in all, though, it was an interesting show and I’m looking forward to next year’s.

On the other hand, I’m definitely not looking forward to the pile of work that’ll be waiting for me at the office tomorrow morning. Ah, well… I knew that was going to happen beforehand. Still, it was a productive trip, and was worth all the headache et al.