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The Diary begins...

by Billy Berghammer - May 9, 2000, 11:30 pm PDT

Big read. BIG READ.

Billy’s E3 Diary

Day 1

Tuesday, May 09, 2000

9:15am CST / 7:15am PST

E3 is now powered by Mountain Dew.

Well, seeing is I got about 3 hours of sleep last night, my day technically started at midnight. My alarm went off at 4:45am CST (2:25am PST), and I groggily stumbled to the fridge, grabbed a dew (hooked it up to my Dew I.V. setup), lit a smoke, and it was time to get ready to get the hell out of Minneapolis. I am definitely not a morning person. Unless it’s because I stayed up all night working on the site, or a playing a game or something. Then it’s all good.

After a long ass hot shower, I did my final update from home, and typed a few people some last minute notes. Got asked by Kosta to air mail him a booth babe to Australia (not a cheap feat…but possible), backed everything up site related, and powered down the Commodore 64. I had to give Louie a glitter ball (a toy that he eats) or two, some food and water, and then the cab showed up to take me to the airport. As I pulled away a feeling of relief set in.

Striker you’re too low…you’re too low…pull up….Pull UP!!!

As I type this, I am flying high above the US. There’s like no room in this plane. Beats the hell out of me where I am, (looks like Iowa or something not all that exciting) but all I know is, I am on my way to Los Angeles for my first E3 experience. In a few short hours I will be in the thick of the best in Video Games. I just received my wonderful airplane breakfast. Nothin’ says good morning like a “Br-egg-fast Muffin with Egg Cheese and Sausage”! Especially when it’s as if someone stepped on it. Maybe I could save it for later and we can play Hockey in the hotel hallway!

I’ve been looking around I seem to be the only person playing with a Gameboy color. I’m very disappointed. Some guy is playing something on his Palm Pilot. Or he’s just playing with the calculator function. I’m not sure. There is a kid in back of me that looks like he’s dying to play my GBC though. Sorry kid, go get your own! I must play my Mario Golf! And stop reading over my shoulder you little punk!

What I did find interesting was that most of the newspapers that people were reading (yesterday’s Star Tribune, and today’s USA Today), had cover/feature articles with big pictures of PS2, DC, N64, and the X-Box logo on them. Unfortunately, PS2 was the focus of most of these articles, as well as the pictures. In general, Nintendo was placed last in this list, and not always in the most favorable light. Damn pictures of Madden looking absolutely amazing on the PS2. Damn you John Madden! Boom! Go play with your Tenactin!

Will this year’s E3 be the Year of the PS2? Most of the articles that I have recently read seem to think so. I do think Sony will shine this year with the PS2. The press will be all over it for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s Sony. 2. It’s the follow up to the current best selling console. 3. It’s right before the US launch. 4. They are debuting the system in the US at E3. 5. It looks damn pretty.

I personally have seen only screen shots or video, and as of yet, have no official opinion about the PS2. Further comments will come on the PS2 after I actually get a hands on demonstration. I think Sony did a great job making such an innovative controller. Just brilliant! The PS2 will sell like hotcakes come this fall that’s for sure. Sony has done a fantastic job hyping their new machine, and the public is well aware of it, and looking forward to it. Very few people (that aren’t hardcore gamers) that I’ve talked to know what Project Dolphin is. But they sure know about the PS2 and Dreamcast.

Nintendo Screwed At E3? Think again…

I think Nintendo will come out of this year’s E3 looking just fine. C’mon everyone, don’t forget Mario Tennis is here to save the day! Werd! With all kidding aside (and Mario Tennis will kick ass btw!) and without any Dolphin talk, Nintendo has so many heavy hitters that will still drop jaws. Perfect Dark and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask will look and play brilliantly, and impress a lot of people. Just those two titles alone will help Nintendo look good. No question about it. Rare’s Conker BFD title is sure to turn some heads as well with its foul mouth cutesy characters. Then you have Dino Planet (playable or on Video), which looks like it could be a high quality Zelda-esqe title. Of course every Star Wars fan is looking forward to praising Lucasarts for The Battle of Naboo, but question their sobriety for Bombad Racing. As long as you can kill Jar Jar in the opening lap of each race, and you can actually see him spin out and explode horrifically, I'll be satisfied. Hehehe. Oh yeah, and what about Indy?

Bond will live again with TWINE, and I am particularly curious how well this game plays compared to Goldeneye. After Rare’s Goldeneye (and now Perfect Dark), TWINE has some high standards to live up to. Then of course you have the Pokemon titles. This Pokemon deal seems to be a tad popular, and so the innovative (Hey Sony…we continue to Innovate not replicate) voice title Hey You Pikachu, and Pokemon Attack will seeming draw some viewers. And of course then there’s Pokemon Gold and Silver for the Gameboy, another thing that seems to be catching on. The GB will also be receiving a truckload of new titles, including 3 Zelda titles. That Zelda concept seems to have a slight following as well.

This is all with out any surprises that Nintendo is bound to pull at E3. Nintendo loves surprises, and E3 should have a few up their sleeves. As I have said previously, I think Nintendo will show something Dolphin, as well as GBA. I am looking very forward to see Nintendo’s press briefing tomorrow. Talk about an excellent way to steal some of Sony’s thunder at this years E3. Maybe announce a new partner (for the net in the US), Final system name? How about a full Dolphin/GBA demo? Contrary to rumors floating around, I doubt we will see the Dolphin controller until Spaceworld. Booooooo! Oh well. God knows it doesn’t take much to make the Dolphin follower happy. But to make an impression on the E3 audience in full force, Nintendo must deliver a pretty swift, and powerful blow to the gaming community. I just hope my gut instinct is correct on this one. A little Mario footage goes a heck of a long way. Back in the day, when they showed Mario 64 footage, people and critics were totally blown away. Will Nintendo pull that again? I sure as hell hope so.

Would you please turn off electronic devices…Mario Golf will cause the plane to crash!

Ahhhhhh….amazing what you can write when you actually have time! Good to get that little rant out of the way. Perfect timing seeing is I have to power down the laptop in a few minutes. I will be landing in LA in just a few moments. I am ready for anything.

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6:33pm PST

Life is what happens while you are making other plans.

This is the point where I wanted to get off the plane, get to the hotel…get all my crap setup…do a quick update, and start seeing the sights and stuff. Let’s just say…life was about to get extremely interesting at this point.

The shuttle service took about 30 minutes for me to get from the airport to the Hotel. Instead of paying 40-50 bucks for the cab, I took a $10 shuttle that takes groups of people to certain areas of LA. Let’s just say I have officially lived the LA level of Crazy Taxi. You know…that one secret level! I swear this cabbie should have been the official play tester for that game. He would school all. Hands down. What made this even more hilarious was the fact that none of the people in the cab with me were American. There was one young couple that seemed to be on their honeymoon or something from Japan. They we’re freaking out. At least by the sounds of it they were. Then there were two women that we from Hungry or Switzerland or something. At least that’s what their little translator book said. And they we’re freaking out too. And on top of it, the cabbie was cranking KROC (thee alternative station). If they would have played some Offspring song I think I would have died. Almost a little too surreal. Note to self: Get Taxi License

I got to the hotel, and then’s when things started to become a little strange. Looks like I found the very thick hispanic part of town. At least for a Midwestern boy like myself (Straight out of Wisconsin baby!), I had to question if I was even in LA anymore. I decided to make the best of it, and look at it positively. Grab a Corona, and chill out. Saw the pool…and I was like…this is perfect!

Then to make a long story short..the tides began to change for the worse. After messing around with the modem on my Sister’s laptop, and talking to tech support at Dell...it basically came down to the fact that the modem was trashed. Great timing. It worked yesterday, and now for some odd reason…it doesn’t work today. If I was at home, and had a car…no problem. Zip to a store. Done. Well I didn’t rent a car, and every sign around here is in Spanish. Note to self: Next year rent a car and learn Spanish.

Since I had some time to kill I decided to go look for some food. The lady at the front desk said there was a Chinese restaurant a couple blocks away, so I decided to walk there. After walking about 2 blocks, and seeing a few sketchy things, and realizing that there wasn’t a whole lot of English in the signs…I began having a weird premonition of a story about this guy that went to E3, and died while looking for Chinese food. Time for plan B. I found a gas station, and grabbed a bag of Doritoes, a couple bottles of Dew, and came back to the hotel. Safe. Note to self: Next year know where you are staying before you make hotel reservations.

After unpacking all my stuff, I then decided to just damn it all to hell, and chill by the pool. I’ll wait for Steven to get off of work…go pick up a modem, and try to start this all over again. The smart move…just say F--- it. J I am happy I am in LA…don’t get me wrong. This first E3 trip was supposed to be a learning experience. One thing I have learned…no matter how far you plan ahead, or how fool proof you think your plans are….guess what? Shit happens. Well I said before I left the plane that I was ready for anything. Next time I think I’ll bite my lip J Added goal of this trip…find a good Mexican restaurant here that has some killer Margaritas. Note to self…Tonight: Find a modem, a six pack, and some Chinese food.

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10:21pm PST

Got back from Best buy in record time. Got Modem! Online. Got beer. Beer tastes good. Time to finish update and go to bed.

Big day tomorrow...Nintendo Press Briefing! Stay tuned!

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