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E for All 2008 Impressions

During last July’s Electronic Extertainment Expo, I witnessed a young men dressed as Final Fantasy VII villain Sephiroth. Within a few steps on entering the convention center, he was accosted, and quickly escorted out the front doors.  I approached the man, and asked him what he had hoped to see. “The new games”, he replied, “but all I got to see what a bunch of guys in suits.” Alas, Sephiroth spoke for us all.

As many other journalists have noted, the ESA effectively created a sanitized, business environment with this year’s E3. We met in sterile meeting rooms, watched as PR reps played, and missed the spectacle of noise, booth babes, and crowds that often made the event feel like a carnival midway. Sure, we didn’t have to wait in line to play a game, but without the crowds, the experience felt a bit lifeless.

E For All’s goal is to create a all-inclusive show where media, vendors, and fanboys can cohabitate. The show, in its second year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, came across as a disjointed mix of large corporations, vendors selling Red Bull variants in Mario Bros. cans, and lonely exhibitions of already released games. Sadly, the cosplay was limited to the exhibitors. Here are our impressions:


                                                                             These eyes have seen a million frags.

Fatal1ty: We found new reasons to fear gaming extraordinaire Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendal. Sure, he trains eight hours a day, creating drills for himself, and is amazing dedicated. That we would ‘pwn’ us in any first-person shooter is no secret. However, we were surprised to find out how business savvy the guy is- Wendal is a just as skilled with a marketing plan as he is with a mouse and keyboard. His knowledge and confidence ensure that he will be a name in the industry for years to come. Who would have guessed that Fatal1ty relaxes to Mario Kart Wii?


                                                 Super Energy Apocalypse: tower defense with a conscious

Indiecade: Whereas most booths would garner your attention for minutes, we spent more time at the Indiecade than any other section of the show floor. We lost Unlickedcub about halfway through the exhibit as he become addicted to Super Energy Apocalypse, Lars A. Doucet’s wonderful tower-defense game that incorporates concepts about sustainable energy. Off-Road Velociraptor Safari looked amazing; players run over dinosaurs and perform trick to score points. If it was a XBLA game, they’d have my 800 points, already. Gamers will be able to play Mario 64 clone, Mushroom Men, as Gamecock will be publishing the Wii title. Overall, the Indiecade was the highlight of the show.

Electronic Arts: EA’s presence was limited to setting up about ten kiosks featuring previously released games like Mercenaries 2, Boom Blox, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09: All-Play. Sadly, three of the kiosks crashed and there were no representatives to reset the consoles, so the game sad unplayed for hours.

UbiSoft: Tom Clancy’s EndWar, a RTS with voice controls, and Fry Cry 2 were on display and looking in fine form. Sadly, representatives from Ubisoft were unable to tell us anymore above the release dates of the games. Of the two PR reps we spoke to, neither had actually played the games on display.


                                                      A render from fLOW. Now tell me games aren’t art.

Into the Pixel/AIAS: Next, we spoke with Joseph Olin, the president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The AIAS’s mission is to elevate interactive media in the same way film, television, and music is recognized by its respective academies. On display were some beautiful renders and concept art from current and upcoming titles. Olin proved to be quite a consummate gamer; his appreciation and knowledge of the industry was a highlight of the show.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

40 comments

  1. Gteat impressions of the show that was neglected by everyone.

  2. Not as brutal as it should be.

  3. lol at the EA booth. You should have parted the kiosks down like Jawas.

  4. Do you think it will last another year?

  5. wats cosplay?

  6. Thanks for the indiecade links. Those are great!

  7. does flow look that good on the PS3? I almost bought it but I heard the controls were sixaxis only.

  8. Thanks for doing the game industries dirty work and going to the show.

  9. Doesn’t sound that bad; if you believe Gamelife and Joystiq; there’s nothing there.

  10. How much was admission for the non important types? You know, the REAL gamers?

  11. If I go to that website with Super Energy Apocalypse I will never get anything done. Must…try…to…resist…

  12. cool impressions. Are you going for the next 2 days?

  13. Pick of the show, one game- what would it be?

  14. Indie games are cool. Love that Dinosaur game- It need to be a DLC title.

  15. E for empty?

  16. fatality looks like my friend. They have the same eyes. He’s also a pretty good with a controller.

  17. Great overview! I hope you had fun.

  18. I doubt fatal1ty is that smart, playing games for 8 hours a day.

  19. Wasn’t Target there to?

    Really, classy charging people $40 to buy full price games.

  20. Dressing like game/anime characters. It works a birth control, too, cause you’ll never get laid.

  21. Seconded. Good call.

  22. Why no GH: WT love?

  23. Fatal1ty=arrogant asswipe

  24. I’m sick of seeing his ugly face. Thanks for turning my stomach, techgaming.

  25. The Cake is a Lie

    cool. Looked like it wasn’t a complete waste.

  26. Found on Digg. Good job with the impressions.

  27. No other new games?

  28. Ubisoft, get your shit together!

  29. Sound about the same as E3

  30. Best coverage Ive seen and only coverage Ive seen.

  31. Love those indie games!!! More info on those please!

  32. As that girl who wears no undies and cant take care of her kids says, GIMME MORE!

  33. I wasn’t able to resist. This game gets really difficult after a while!!

  34. I’m in love with that Raptor game. Thanks!

  35. No Gears of War 2?

  36. Cosplayers must die. They waste air breathing.

  37. Oh, c’mon who wouldn’t want to fuck some hot elf girl with pointy ears in a skimpy outfit??

  38. Half the boys at the show, probably.

  39. Well, those half can snuggle up to DesertEagle. 😉