Opinion: Our Favourite E3 Memories

by on June 10, 2013
 

It’s here again, those few days each year when gamers around the world set themselves up for nothing but disappointment as gaming’s biggest companies hoik up their skirts and flaunt what they’ve got.

With a controversial new generation of consoles on the way, this E3, at least on paper, should be one of the biggest and best ever with each of the big three promising games, games and yet more games to appease their most die hard fans.

Over the years E3 has provided many great memories, and here are some of the God is a Geek team’s favourites.

ben-skipper

Ben Skipper – Staff Writer
For me there’s nothing better than when we witness one of those fabled megatons fall on LA and the gaming world goes ballistic in a fit of excitement. There’s no better example of this than when Nintendo revealed The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the first time in 2004.

Coming, as they so often do, at the end of a press conference, the trailer began after Reggie said his goodbyes but urged the audience to stay as he and the rest of Nintendo invited us to step inside one more world.

The trailer itself is excellent, a rousing reveal with actual gameplay in it, but what makes this moment the stuff of legend is the audience reaction when Link first appears. This was back when gamers were present at these events and such reactions didn’t induce groans. A genuine moment showing off the passion gamers have for their hobby in the best possible way.

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robin-128Robin Parker – Senior Staff Writer
Nineteen ninety-five spelled the start of a new era for video games. In that year, the very first E3 was held and it would forever change the way that new games would be presented to the press and the public. And one of the biggest new games at E3 that year was the latest in the infamous Midway fighting franchise – Mortal Kombat 3.

So how would it be presented? With an impromptu, yet obviously choreographed fight scene/dance routine of course! The original actors from the game for Sonya Blade, King Lao and Jax burst on stage and fought for a minute or so, in less than convincing style, before an over-eager Midway rep extolled the virtue of the upcoming Mortal Kombat Film, Cartoon, Action Figures and other merchandise. The game itself took a back-seat, as this hilarious spectacle stole the show, but not in the intended way.

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twitter2Martin Baker – Deputy Editor
I was never one to watch E3 religiously before the last couple of years, I’d watch the daily recaps, check the news sites and that used to sate my hunger. These last couple of years, however, that’s not been enough. One of the primary memories of recent E3’s was in 2011 when Peter Molyneux stepped out in front of the crowded room and announced Fable: The Journey. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t one of the best memories of E3 because I thought the game was anything special, more because it was obvious from the instant response on Twitter and the various other social media networks that nobody was entirely sure what had just been announced.

Had we just been introduced to a horse and cart simulator set in the Fable universe, or was it something more? The idea of being able to sit down while playing the game seemed to excite the people on the stage demoing the title, but it was doing little for the people sat at home. A Fable game that forced the use of Kinect? That wasn’t really what people wanted to hear was coming out of the Guildford-based studio. The absolute “what just happened” moment of the Fable: The Journey reveal will always stick with me, and I’ll think about it every single time something announced at E3 makes me think “really?!?”. Hopefully I’ll come back with some better stories from this year though.

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ColmColm Ahern – News Editor
While The Big 3 tend to get more serious with every passing Electronic Entertainment Expo, Ubisoft decide to bring the “funny”, year after year. There is one particular show that topples anything else they’ve done and that’s their E3 press conference from 2011.

Ubisoft had a Rayman Origins trailer, they demoed Assassin’s Creed: Revelations on-stage and announced Far Cry 3. However, the spotlight was on the host – Aaron “Mr. Caffeine” Priceman. Introduced to the media in attendance like it was Billy Connolly acting as MC, Mr. Caffeine’s humour bombed and in spectacular fashion. Many of his “Caffisms” are still referenced today such as “yikes”, “Tom Cullancy” and his constant references to male genitalia.

His Wayne’s World inspired movements and sounds were what really stuck, though. Due to the fact that Ubisoft were celebrating 25 years in the business, Priceman introduced parody videos of many modern day titles that were presented as retro games. Having to repeat “doodly doodly doop” to an unreceptive audience must have been difficult for the man, but he powered through – TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

At least he wasn’t Jamie Kennedy, I suppose. 

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Lee-128Lee Garbutt – Staff Writer
The E3 that sticks in my mind the most, is the very first Expo in 1995. The industry was on the cusp of the 32/64-bit generation, and every hardware manufacturer had something to prove.

Nintendo didn’t exactly have the best event. Their Ultra 64 console (later known as the Nintendo 64) was not due until the Summer of 1996 (and didn’t hit Europe until March, 1997), despite being announced in the Spring of 1994. Meanwhile, the Virtual Boy got its first outing in the West – We all know what happened there. At least they managed to hire the then-popular singer Seal, to perform at their E3 party.

Meanwhile, SEGA had an announcement of Megaton proportions. The SEGA Saturn had been scheduled for a North American release date of 09/09/95, but at their press briefing on May 11th, 1995; Sega of America President Tom Kalinske announced that the SEGA Saturn would be available for $399, that morning at selected retailers. What felt like a brilliant move actually backfired, as many third parties weren’t expecting to have games ready until the original September release date. Europe would see the system launch on July 8th, 1995.

Soon after SEGA’s briefing, was Sony’s debut as a hardware manufacturer, with the PlayStation. After a long, dull presentation with charts and figures; Steve Race, President of Sony Computer Entertainment America, was invited up to the stage to give a “brief” presentation. Race walked up the stairs to the small stage, took to the podium and uttered “299”, before walking back down to his seat. In mere seconds, Sony made their mark on the industry, undercutting SEGA by $100, months before the September 1995 release of the PlayStation.

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francis-mccabeFrancis McCabe – Staff Writer
E3 2007 was the first year of the E3 “lite” in Santa Monica.  Instead of every company piling in the LA Convention Centre, journalists had to take taxis, buses, or other transportation to hotel suites and booths in an airport hangar.  And by journalists, I mean the 10,000 invited journalists instead of the usual 50,000-60,000.

While the intention was to lower the ballooning costs for companies involved, the event itself was a real mess with no coordination.  The only thing that remained was the big E3 press conferences.  Needless to say, by 2009, E3 was back to the glamour, big budget event of the past.  It is funny now to look at how Nintendo has decided to forgo the big press expensive press conference for multiple Nintendo Direct broadcasts to cut costs and gets criticised for it.

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calvCalvin Robinson – Editor in Chief
One of my favourite E3 memories is the Xbox 360 Slim announcement. I don’t think it’s one that will be on many people’s lists, but it stood out to me because right up until that morning, they’d somehow managed to keep it a complete secret, and then BOOM there it was, new hardware! And it was everywhere, every booth had the new 360 S, and I believe certain Microsoft Stores were selling it that day.

Getting hands on time with the multiplayer modes of a new Modern Warfare game used to be exciting, too. Probably at the top of my list though, would be getting a first-look at Portal 2, behind closed doors in a tiny meeting room occupied by Valve. First hearing Steven Merchant voicing Wheatley, I remember commenting on how good it sounded. A Valve employ replied “yeah, we just used a guy from the office. we’re still not sure if we’re going to keep it”. I think we’re all glad they did!

Of course we’ve missed a few, such as Konami’s now-infamous conference and the Kinect reveal (BAM! There it is), so let us know some of your favourite E3 moments before the mayhem begins this evening with Microsoft’s press conference.