Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top Five Worst E3 Moments

I had planned for this top five to be posted this Tuesday, after the big three press conferences were over and were but a memory. Instead, I feel that there's no better way to celebrate the oncoming locomotive steam train of news that is E3 arriving at the station than a list talking about the absolute worst moments in recent E3 history. These can be the most shameless, the most embarrassing, and/or the most impactful moments (and I don't mean impactful in a good way either). Let's start the list of negativity now!

5) Don Mattrick of Microsoft gives away 360s to game "journalists"


I've never hated game "journalists" more than this moment in time. Okay, that is a lie. They are always surprising me in their incompetence and corruptness. I am under the impression that Microsoft already has the western gaming press under its thumb for whatever reasons, but this moment at E3 2010 was just pathetic. Don Mattrick revealed that the newest model of the Xbox 360 was being shipped to stores on that day in a Sega Saturn-like announcement. Then he announced that the entire audience of man-children would be getting new models for no cost to them. The shot of the audience with two fat bastards (a great portrayal of your typical hardcore press) standing up and applauding says it all. Microsoft has the hardcore in their pocket, and this egregious and shameless showing displays exactly my problems with the enthusiast press and more so Microsoft as a whole.


4) Konami's E3 2010 "What the...?" Press Conference


This might be one of the most awkward yet awesome press conferences in more modern E3 times. I couldn't possibly rank it higher on the list because it is just... I don't even know how to explain it. Take people who shouldn't be doing presentations and let them loose to people who are just as socially awkward, and you have this presser. From Tak Fujii's ungraceful attempts to get applause for Ninety Nine Nights 2, one "mirron" troops... wow..., his extreeeeeme commentary about the player getting sucked, the Silent Hill guy who was oafishly close to his coworker to the point of him looking like he was wishing death on him, the wrestlers who were mindlessly slapping each other, and the dance game presentation, there was a lot of unintended hilarity to be found in this unpleasant press conference. Just watch the "best" moments and see for yourself.


3) Microsoft's E3 2011 Kinect-centric Press Conference


The potential for Kinect is there, as I have said many times in the past. I do enjoy titles like Kinect Sports and Dance Central. That said, Microsoft essentially told their most adamant fan base at E3 2011 that "hey, guys. Thanks for the support throughout the years, but guess what? We really don't need you anymore. Yeah..." And this press conference happened. Kids on stage doing their best to look into the games ("fist bump!"), actors doing overenthusiastic movements and calls ("BLUE!"), demos that mimicked the actions of the on-stage players poorly, and a dude who tries way too hard to be cool. (Sunglasses inside is something that even Corey "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" Hart wouldn't try.) Microsoft seems to be returning to their fan base this year with Halo 4 and a new Gears (personally, I outgrew shooters like these, but if it makes the fans happy, then good for them). Anything has to be better than the verbal and visual abortion that was their E3 2011 showing.


2) Nintendo's E3 2008 Cammie-o Press Conference


Speaking of poor showings, I do feel bad for Cammie Dunaway, formerly of Nintendo. She was most likely a very nice lady, but an awful choice to showcase games for Nintendo's E3 2008 press conference. She embodied the soccer mom image that most critics of the Wii bashed on a consistent basis. (Personally between being a soccer mom and being a gamer nowadays, I'd rather be a soccer mom.) Between Ravi Drums, a group of grown men playing fake instruments to the tune of Wii Music (which I would go on to give a fairly positive review, actually), and several ill-conceived game demonstrations, Nintendo got a heavy dose of reality when they received a metric ton of negative feedback from fans and the press. Needless to say the next year Nintendo provided their fan base with several "core" software for the majority of their press conference. Lesson learned.


1) Sony's E3 2006 $599 Press Conference


I could do without the commentary in the video, but it generally gets the point across of why Sony's E3 2006 press conference is the worst moment in E3 history. It was that impactful and made Sony go from number one to number three within the span of one generation. There's a lot to talk about here such as the obvious one-- the huge price tag of five hundred and ninety nine US dollars, the "not interested in gimmicks'' line followed by gimmicks, the RIIIIIIDGE RACER meme, the giant enemy crab, Phil Harrison's smug face declaring the Sixaxis controller innovative, calling rumble last-gen, and demos showing off the new motion controller in action... with little enthusiasm from the crowd. This press conference marked a turning point for Sony, and I don't mean a positive one either. The PlayStation name is a damaged one, but thankfully Sony has turned things around. They are making money on each unit sold, they have released some of the greatest titles of this generation, and their online system continues to grow and evolve. But just by impact and mind share in the industry alone, E3 2006 for Sony reaches the number one spot on this countdown.


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I don't usually like negative lists. I really feel that there is too much negativity already in the industry and by the press. I apologize for coming off as a hypocrite for writing an ill-toned list after that preface. Other moments I recall include Ubisoft's 2011 Mr. Caffeine, Jamie Kennedy's 2007 drunken speil for Activision's 2007 conference, and Nintendo's 2003 press conference where they basically admitted defeat and revealed Pac-Man VS as their big cornerstone game. What memories of bad E3 moments stand out for you? And which E3 conferences this year are you most excited about?

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