Ah, Capcom - one of last year's most notable absentees from the main show. Although the venerable publisher's trade hall presence won't be on a par with its PlayStation Experience outing, we are promised the chance to speak to the people behind the games. With no England-Germany football clash to contend with this year, they might even save some of the beer for us.
The biggest of Capcom's 2002 demonstrations will be the oft-delayed racer Auto Modellista. Originally the game drew attention because of its attempts to apply cel-shading techniques to a realistic racing engine, and while that still applies, it's the game's networking features which have wowed commentators for the past few months. Sadly Modellista won't be going online for now, but there is a question mark over its future, and the PS2's online service is still well and truly intertwined with the game's future - in the PlayStation Experience, for example, networked copies of Modellista will showcase the experience Capcom hopes to offer during 2003.
Ignoring the online support for a second, the graphics engine continues to impress us, and hopefully at ECTS we'll get the chance to see how it works in practice, fulfilling our various Street Racer fantasies in the process. We'll also be chatting to the game's producer in an attempt to ascertain what makes Auto Modellista more than just another typical racer with cel-shading.
Gio Gio's Bizarre Adventure
Do you remember Jojo's Bizarre Adventure on the Dreamcast? For those of you that don't, it was a beat 'em up curiosity based on a successful Japanese manga. Gio Gio's is a direct relation to that - and in fact bears the very same name in Japan - but is set some time later and dispenses with the typical fighting formula. This Bizarre Adventure is more of an action adventure, with lots of cutscenes and storyline told in 3D and 2D comic book style, interspersed with lead character Giorno Giovanno's 3D duels. The distinctive graphical style is almost Jet Set Radio-esque in places, and complemented by what might be described as 'wacky' sound effects.
The recent Japanese release is difficult to understand for a clueless Westerner like myself, but it certainly looks and feels suitably Bizarre, and has been likened to Power Stone amongst other titles. ECTS should give us the chance to hear from Giorno's mouth, so to speak, just what it is that makes the game worth waiting for.