New URL and layout!

Update your bookmarks: http://www.jonjones.us/

I have my own domain now, as well as a brand new layout and graphics, courtesy of my fiancee.

Let me know what you guys think of it…

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E3 impressions!

Terrific show. Met a LOT of really amazing people and saw some fantastic games I want to buy.

First off, Daxter PSP was a huge hit. Everyone that tried it loved it and essentially every gaming publication that viewed it agreed that it’s the best-looking PSP game yet seen.

Daxter hands-on at Gamespot with screenshots

Daxter hands-on at IGN with videos and screenshots

One particular highlight was Miyamoto stopping by to play our game. Amazing. What an honor.

As for other games — what other games? I already told you about the only one that mattered!

No, but seriously, here’s a breakdown of my E3 impressions.

  • The show staffers promoting Infected. There were four people dressed up with full zombie makeup and blood effects, staggering around the escalators, shuffling around zombie-like, laying down on the stairs, etc, stomping up to people, speaking in a ragged zombie voice “You’ve been INFECTED!” and handing us a handprint-shaped sticker. Hilarious and utterly brilliant.

  • The giant Katamari from We Love Katamari. There was a five-foot-tall Katamari with random crap stuck to it next to the Namco booth where they showed off We Love Katamari. Looked great.

  • The Narnia booth. There were glass displays showing off some very impressive-looking weapons and severed enemy heads, as well as a fullsized Tauren (for lack of a better term) in armor, and some other fullsize sculptures. Lots of effort was put into it and it really impressed me.

  • The Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I wasn’t too hot about the generally average graphics, but the gameplay looks mindblowingly fun. Hulk can run up buildings and take flying leaps off of them, pick up buses and throw them around, and even rip a car in half, smash his fists onto them and use them as oversized boxing gloves. It’s like Grand Theft Hulk, except the world is completely tooled toward his powers and abilities (of which there are dozens, apparently). I’m definitely buying it.

  • Prey. The trailer looked stunning. Must buy.

  • The Outfit intro. It’s a new title from Relic, creators of Dawn of War. This intro was just as good as the Dawn of War intro, IMO. I want this game too.

  • Socom for the PSP. Looks like a really solid, fun title with some impressive features. Definitely drop by and check it out. Kudos to the Zipper crew. :)

  • Burnout for the PSP. Looks and plays exactly the same as the PS2 version. Worryingly, it’s one of the same tracks… I hope it’s not just a straight port because it looks awesome. :(

  • Starcraft Ghost. The trailer was up to standard Blizzard quality (way to go Swingin’ Blizzard!) and was absolutely riveting. And so loud that the bass vibrated my fiancee’s coffeecup straight of her hands. Didn’t see the gameplay (“Jon, my ears are fuckin’ exploding! Let’s GO!”) but will check out videos.

  • Sly Cooper 3 in 3D! You don a pair of ultra-hip sly red and blue 3D glasses and crawl through underground Venice. Breathtakingly well done. Must buy.

  • Ultimate Spider-Man. The game looks like a blast and the cinematics are, in all honesty, pure genius. They’re played out through comic book panels with 3D characters spanning them and moving across to shift into new panels, and casting appropriate shadows based on which panel they’re in. The progression from panel to panel is seamless, and it all comes together as a VERY cool effect.

  • Ratchet: Deadlocked looks like a blast. I met with their QA Lead who explained to me the new customizable weapon system that sounds like a lot of quality fun. Looking forward to this.

  • The fullsize model of the chick from Starcraft Ghost. Absolutely gorgeous, and full of beautiful details like scorch marks, battle scars, soft hair and a deadly case of camel toe. No, but really, it looked great. I’ll try and find pictures.

  • The new WWE game looks REALLY good. I’m not a fan of those games, but having once been a big WWE fan, I can say now that all the characters in the game are completely recognizable as who they really are, as opposed to past games. I can identify them readily by just their torso and what type of pants they’re wearing, and the game totally nailed it. Great work to Yuke’s of Japan, I believe it is.

  • Age of Empires III was demoed for me by the kind gentleman Paul Jaquays. This is one of the best looking RTSes I’ve ever seen. Stylistically, it’s the same as AOE2 when you’re zoomed out, but there’s so much more when you get into it. The in-city customization (reskinning buildings, etc) is a fantastic idea, the water is gorgeous, the ragdoll physics is a riot and, most importantly, the unit destruction was absolutely breathtaking. Cannons would tear apart buildings piece by piece and huge chunks would fly off, and it would all come apart perfectly. If I wore a hat, it’d be off to Ensemble. They have my $50.

  • Alan Wake was one of the best single games at the show for me. Mika Reini from Remedy let me into the very last showing and I was blown away. The entire world is lit perfectly by the sun and the realtime day to night transitions and adding weather was unbelievable! I’ve never seen anything that smooth. Remedy, too, has my $50 or 60. :)

  • RoboBlitz by Naked Sky was an absolute blast. I haven’t had this much fun playing a super-frantic multiplayer shooter (of sorts) since UT2K4. The 100% physics-driven animation system inside the Unreal Engine 3 was amazing to see in action, and the sheer magnitude of all the weapon effects and bouncing around had me cackling with glee. Definitely a title that deserves more attention, IMO. Look for videos! Sold. :)

  • Rise of Legends has the most impressive RTS units I’ve ever seen. Period. They’re the biggest RTS units ever without a doubt. The buildings are enormous working machines full of life and energy. I loved Rise of Nations and this looks even better! Sold. :)

  • Teen Titans for the PS2 was a suprisingly fun 4-player brawler-ish game. The only games I actually played at E3 were Socom, Burnout PSP, RoboBlitz and Teen Titans, and I actually spent the most time on this one with two other people. I don’t even like the series but the game was a blast. Cutscenes ran at about 5fps, but the ingame action was nonstop and fun. Probably sold.

  • Dungeon Siege 2. I’ve raved about this ever since Dungeon Siege 1, so no need to go into that any more other than to say that it looks awesome and I want it! Sold.

  • Imperator by Mythic Entertainment. Only saw this briefly but it looked very graphically solid, and want to see more!

  • The Electronic Arts booth. There was a 360 degree projected screen circling the entire enclosed area that had video playing on it seamlessly at all angles. This setup has to be by far the single best booth at E3 by a HUGE margin. I walked into the middle of it during the first-person preview of Burnout. You looked forward and saw the cars ahead of you that you smash into and send airborne, and you look behind you and see the cars you’d see in your rear-view mirror coming up behind you and dodging the car you just sent into orbit. FUCKING COOL. SO FUCKING COOL. Good lord, whoever had that idea and carried it out is my freaking hero because that is some absolutely WICKED stuff.

    That’s all for now. :) More Daxter lovin’ coming this week, I’m sure.

  • 2 thoughts on “New URL and layout!

    1. In ascending order of importance:

      The EA screen was awesome. They sure know how to spend their money.

      Thanks for the shout-out on WWE: Day of Reckoning for gamecube. The team is busting their ass, and it shows.

      Fiancee? Congratulations!

    2. Ah, and if you liked Teen Titans, you should peek at last year’s X-Men Legends. TT and the new Incredibles games are both taking heavy cues from it.

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