You know how I said in yesterday’s write up of E3 that Wednesday’s events would be less jam-packed? Yeah, I meant more jam packed. Much, much, much more. So much more, that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to relate them all to you here (this is what happens when you also have a TV Watch for two-hour episodes of So You Think You Can Dance looming over your head like the sword of Damocles — or just Dante from Devil May Cry).
So I’m punting a bit and promising the highlights from Wednesday in a super-deluxe entry about Thursday’s offerings, which really do seem to be on the lighter side anyway. (Famous last words. See above for proof.) But I don’t want to leave you empty handed, so let me tell you about the two hours I spent in the thrall of Wil Wright’s gorgeous, ingenious and clinically addictive Spore. It’s one of the most intricate and dense life simulation games I’ve ever seen, and yet it’s intuitive enough to play that I simply sat down at a kiosk in the EA Games suite, grabbed a mouse, and within minutes had my own little cellular organism flittering away through the primordial ooze. And then I swapped out my dude’s flagellum (i.e. tail) for an extra eye and realized I’d stuck him with almost no method of forward locomotion, which made it kinda hard to, you know, eat. Or not be eaten.
Eventually, an EA expert came over to give me and my colleagues Wook Kim and Gary Eng Walk a proper tour of the game, including a database of thousands of user-generated creatures, which is when we discovered just how insanely flexible Spore’s creature creation engine really is. There are Yoshi-shaped creatures, Whack-a-Mole-shaped creatures, Pokemon-shaped creatures. There’s a creature that’s the spitting image of Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. What’s even crazier is that our guide told us that the Spore team often has no idea how people made these creatures.
Wook and Gary grew restless and moved on to check out other EA games in their suite, but I stayed parked right there, learning about everything from how to organize my own tribe, to how to navigate my space-ship to distant planets. Even the guide moved on to other people, but I stayed right there, mesmerized, and I only left because they were closing for the day and had to kick me out.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the Samuel L. Jackson martial arts game Afro Samurai, the all-new 8 bit Mega Man game (you read that right), the most violent game the Nintendo Wii is likely to see, and what it’s like to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while barking in a dog suit while your friend is strumming a sitar.