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  • "No f***ing fitness games!"
    - A random Sony press conference attendee, following the concluding God of War III demo, on what made Sony's 2009 press conference different from earlier presentations by EA, Ubisoft and Nintendo.

  • If there's one thing I love, it's Nintendo trivia. If there's two things I love, it's Nintendo and trivia! So when the big screens on Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference stage started displaying a rotation of trivia questions like the one above, I was giddier than a schoolgirl.

    Don't worry, not all of the questions were as simple and self-serving as the example in the photo. Even a bona fide Nintendo expert like me only got about two-thirds of the questions right before the answers were revealed. Kudos to Nintendo for not phoning in questions like "Who is Nintendo's mascot?" or "What was the name of Nintendo's first game system?"

    Want to play along with the home version of the game? Take Nintendo's quiz for yourself using the painstakingly transcribed questions and answers in the flash applet below. Enjoy!

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  • My girlfriend says it's sad that Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are here at E3 presenting The Beatles: Rock Band. They've gone from being stars to being star presenters of a game in which they're featured. Note the name: "The Beatles" come before "Rock Band," an acknowledgment that they are the bigger franchise. What I've heard about the game is that the Beatles essence isn't only in the music and the avatars; it's also in the myriad period locales that blossom in the background as you play each song. Extending the Beatles from music and image to environment would be the logical conclusion of music and karaoke games.

     
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  • While E3 is all about the games, it's also about the people. Seen at the show outside the confines of their meeting rooms:

    Caught up with Peter Molyneux at the Microsoft gathering last night at The Standard hotel. Maybe he was still recovering from the E3 MS presser earlier Monday, but he looked incredibly tired. The man is usually full of emotion and enthuiasm. We chatted for about 15 minutes and he caught me up one what he was up to, as well as his (off the record) plans. He was cordial as always, but a certain spark appeared to be missing. Here's hoping I just caught him at a bad time ...

    Also at the evening MS event was the master of flash, Cliff Bleszinski. Cliffy has toned down quite a bit from his days as a flamboyant dresser, but he still sports a rather large diamond stud in his left ear. He was chatting with press and MS personnel alike, and if he turned just the right way, his earring caught enough Xbox 360...

  • Yesterday I saw Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney; Steven Spielberg and James Cameron; and Pete Sampras and Pele. (Pele!) I sat in a tiny room with Tony Hawk alone. (He looked very tired.) I literally bumped into Hideo Kojima outside of the Ubisoft press conference. While walking into a restaurant, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were walking out. My colleague Scott Alexander of Playboy had a scheduling conflict, so he asked me to shepherd around Playboy Cybergirl Jo Garcia to the afternoon press conferences. (See below.) And I rode in a Rolls Royce. (Which the driver couldn't figure out how to start; Jo explained that they make the Rolls intentionally difficult to start, as a theft deterrent.)

    E3 is back. And it's more surreal than ever. And I think I like it.

  • While DJ Hero and Scratch: The Ultimate DJ will be battling it out to corner the fake turntable segment of the rhythm game market, MCing–arguably the most recognizable part of hip-hop music–still suffers from a woeful under-representation. Sure, Eidos' Get On Da Mic dribbled out to consoles a few years ago and sundry rap tracks claw their way onto franchises like Konami's Karaoke Revolution (heh, remember them?), Rock Band or Guitar Hero. But, a game wholeheartedly devoted to rap performance hasn't yet broken through to the mainstream.

     

    Def Jam Rapstar, created in partnership with Def Jam Interactive, 4mm Studios and Terminal Reality, aims to change all that. I'll have a more detailed write-up of the game's philosophy and features after E3, but I wanted to talk about my hands-on time with the game earlier today. The...

  • The chemistry for a good press conference remains a tricky formula for corporate entities to figure out. There’s a reason people measure the power players’ presentations against each other during every E3. It’s not just having good product; it’s also about presenting it well. By that measure, Electronic Arts’ initial E3 presentation fell way flat.

    [more]

    Normally, a stripped-down, lo-fi approach like the one that EA employed comes off as refreshing when compared to the sound and fury of so much other game industry hype. No fancy lighting, no dry ice; just developers and the games. Should be exactly what I want, right? But, the run-of-show felt jerky and uneven with abrupt sequencing and meandering, overly scripted remarks.

    The Dante’s Inferno trailer opened things up, teeming with flashy action and macabre religious...

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    (Photo: VentureBeat)

    "When you match [our developers] with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, you get nothing less than gaming perfection."
    -Joel McHale, introducing Ubisoft's pre-E3 press conference

    E3 hasn't even officially started yet, but it's already a star-studded affair.

    It started in early and spectacular fashion at Microsoft's press conference, where Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joining Beatles widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison for a quick introduction to The Beatles: Rock Band. By the end of the day's three press conferences (including presentations from EA and Ubisoft), lucky attendess would get to see household names like Tony Hawk, Steven Spielberg, Pete Sampras, Jack Black, James Cameron, Shaun White and PELE hawking...

  • I arrived at E3 early this morning not sure what to expect with E3's flamboyant return to the LA Convention Center. Yes, it was here last year, but in a more subdued fashion. This year, before the show even begins, it appears the excess is back.

    As I walked up to West Hall, I was greeted by game banners the size of city blocks obscuring the windows of the convention center. UbiSoft's <i>Assassin's Creed 2</i> was the biggest culprit, appearing large enough to engulf Rhode Island. (The photo above is actually cut off on the left side. The arms extend full width. Thanks, Flickr). Perhaps the biggest change is the show begins Tuesday and goes through Thursday. In the past, Monday and Tuesday were usually for pre-E3 press conferences. This year, Electronics Arts, Microsoft, Ubisoft and others have held them on...

  • If you're reading this, it means we have successfully relaunched Crispy Gamer. We've been rethinking, reorganizing and redesigning our site to better showcase our writers, help you find what you're looking for, and make it easier for all of you to engage in discussions. Poke around! Get to know the Game Trust better by clicking on the tab labeled "Our Writers;" check out the “Games” tab for upcoming releases, the latest screenshots and videos, and our new GameFinder; or start a conversation in our new Forums. Take a look around -- we hope you like what you see.

    We're also thrilled to announce the launch of CrispyTV, our new home for Crispy Gamer original video content. We've got a lot scheduled  this month, including all-new episodes of "Internet's Fastest Game Reviews" and the debut of our brand-new series...

  • I checked into the Westin Bonaventure yesterday and who should I find on my keycard but a very upset-looking Batman.

    It is, of course, an advertisement for the upcoming Batman: Arkham Asylum videogame, complete with directions on the reverse side of the keycard telling me how to find the game at E3. (Booth number 2422, South Hall, in case you were wondering.)

    Everything at E3--and I mean everything--is an advertising opportunity. Is there a more insidious ad than this? I'm challenging the rest of the CG staffers to top this one.

    Winner gets a complimentary Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr, including soft drink of their choice.

     

     

  • Earlier this week Elise Vogel, managing editor/heart/soul of CG, left work early to go shopping for pants. Yes, I said pants. She took Anne Mischler with her, because, I was told, no woman should go pants shopping alone. My guess is that she was buying something very cute and flattering to wear during E3 next week. If you see Elise roaming the show floor while breaking in a new pair of pants, be sure to compliment her on them. Say something like, "Great pants, Elise! Are those new? They look great!" No, don't say something "like" that; say exactly that.

    It made me think about my own pre E3 shopping trips. I've been going to E3 for nearly 10 years now. Before E3, I always buy a new pair of sneakers. I bought a new pair of New Balance sneakers yesterday. They don't make the old kind of New Balance sneakers anymore, the clerk told me (one plain solid color, with an N/Z on the side). Now they're all flash and demand to be looked at. One...

  • There have been so many memorable E3 press conference moments, we just couldn't fit

    them all into our top ten list. Here's five more "honorable mentions"

    that will live in infamy.

    Boogie's All Singing, All Dancing Premiere (EA, 2007)

    EA Montreal General Manager Alan Tascan's dancing as a pink. underwear-clad blob

    was bad enough, but it was his Falsetto...

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    For all of you tough guys (and girls) that are flying in to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo this weekend (and those of you who are indigenous to the region by fate or by choice) may want to check out the King of Fighters XII Tournament.

    The event will let 128 people slug it out in Playmore's latest KOF game for fab prizes and bragging rights. The event is sponsored by Ignition Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, GameStop, and the EVO Championship Series.

    So why am I giving this a plug here? Because I'm sad that I can't attend (I won't be at E3 this year) and I feel like Julie from the Love Boat when it comes to E3 events. there are a lot of cool things going on leading up to and during the...

  • One of the goals of our redesign is to give readers more ways to connect with Crispy's Game Trust writers and with each other. To this end, on June 1, we're giving all of you a more robust profile with some fun enhancements.

     

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    "Hive" got a story for you! [Pause for laughter.] The "buzz" is that Manhattan's 14th Street GameStop recently had to face a "stinging" reality. The store had a terrible "bee" "infestation"! Hold on, those last two things shouldn't have been in quotes. The place really was infested with angry, angry bees. Apparently, after a GameStop cashier told them their copy of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon was only a $4 trade-in value, a swarm of bees revolted by buzzing, flying around, and just generally being a swarm of bees.

    I learned this by watching the greatest piece of television news reporting in the history of the world. I took an HTML class at the...

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    This is a beautiful rainbow trout from the river behind my house. I did not catch it, which in retrospect kind of pisses me off, but I cannot deny the beauty and the deliciousness of this catch. What makes this fish even more special is that it is natural to the river; the state stocks the river with trout, so catching a fish that is native is rare and difficult. I wish that I had been the guy to reel this one in, but my nephew takes the honors. He's like that with the ladies too. Yeah, I hate him too.

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    I'm on the fence about Champions Online, but given the limited scope of the beta test, that's to be expected. I cannot talk about a lot of stuff in the game, but I can focus on one thing that the game does right: travel powers. In City of Heroes, you have to wait until level ten to get a travel power. Now this makes things difficult if you have a particular theme in mind; if you want to create a character like The Flash or The Hulk or Superman, then you have to wait to give them what most folks would be considered a trademark, defining, and basic power. After all, what is a quickster without super speed, or a powerful monster without a super jump or a birdman without flight? A bad experience.

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  • Unless you're classically trained you probably know the Johann Sebastian Bach piece "Prelude from the Unaccompanied Cello Suite Suite No. 1 in G Maj, BWV 1007" as one of the songs played by Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Steven Maturin in the movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." Now (or at least since that last update we got last month) you can know it as one of the songs from Noby Noby...

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