What the idiots are after
It's going to be a ludicrously busy week - and the websites you follow are going to be ludicrously busy covering it. So, in a nod to subjectivity and a glance in the direction of the word-count, here's a quick run-through of what the Eurogamer team is keen to clap eyes and, where possible, thumbs upon in the next week. Starting with Kristan.
"Apart from the things that I can't talk about because of our beloved embargoes, I'll be mainly focusing on the next-gen stuff and any quirky Live Arcade stuff hidden away. Obviously I'll be seeing what the PS3 really has to offer, and whether the Wii does anything out of the ordinary, but I suspect there'll be way too much to take in," said our esteemed editor.
"The fanboy in me will be checking out Virtua Tennis 3 on the basis that it's the only game I stand a chance of humiliating Tom on," he said. "I need to maintain my crown for all time. Of course it'll be largely the same game, we know this, but it's more of the same utter majestic brilliance. A bit like why Tom always harps on about PES every year."
On that coffin-nailing bombshell, let's see what new boy Johnny Minkley's keen on. "I'm as keen as the next hack to see what the new systems are able to conjure," he says, keenly, with a look of keenness, "but I'm genuinely more excited about wielding the mighty plastic axe of Guitar Hero II than anything else, which should atone for the only serious problem with its predecessor: a patchy track-listing." Which, going on today's news, suggests he's a fan of Butthole Surfers. Moving swiftly on. "A lazy choice on the surface, perhaps, but the original is of incalculable significance as a breakthrough product, that elicits utter delight wherever it is cranked up. And I doubt there'll be much else on the show floor that's as purely and outrageously entertaining to watch or play." Johnny, incidentally, will be one of the people punching you in the head if you walk across his shot this year, representing, as he is, Eurogamer TV's inaugural E3 ground team.
Attack of the clowns
Ellie, meanwhile, isn't actually going to E3 - she'll be holding together the nebulous force known only, and copyright-infringingly, as Ground Force UK, and making sure you're kept abreast of what's going on at all times. Still, we made her contribute to this because we like to rub in the fact that she can't come. "Being a girl," she begins, "I am only interested in games of a particular genre obviously, so I cannot wait to see Bejeweled 2007. Also, is the new Tomb Raider out yet? Anyway, apart from that, it will be interesting to see what all this Army of Two nonsense from EA is all about - I like the sound of the two-man strategic co-operative gameplay system, and the really big guns. I'm also intrigued by LocoRoco, if only because Tom is so excited by it that every time it's mentioned he makes a face like a bit of wee is coming out," she adds, indirectly adding to her already heavy workload. "But all in all, I have already decided that Lego Star Wars II is the game of the show - unless of course those Babylon 5 MMO rumours turn out to be true."
Ellie will be supported by Ground Force UK's second or possibly third in command, Rob Purchese. "I bought an Xbox 360 so that I could fill up my screen with brains. Monster Madness has brains, and a girl with big boobs," he says, providing further evidence of why he isn't allowed to write things. "I'm actually really looking forward to hearing about BioWare's stuff in the making, if you really want to know, nosey!" he adds.
Moving onto people who are actually going to E3, Rob Fahey's managed to think of something too and, surprise surprise, he wants to make jokes about me as well. You all think you're all so bloody clever. "It's a tough E3 to choose from," he says, metaphysically, "because lots of the stuff we're going to see won't be announced until next week." Incredible insight there from the editor of the Internet's foremost industry resource. "My Square Enix fanboy gene means I'm desperately excited about whatever they do on next-gen, and I'm more excited by Wii than a golden shower fetishist at a urologists convention, but in terms of things we already know about, there's plenty of interest as well. Top of my list is probably Assassin's Creed, the new game from the Prince of Persia team - we don't know a lot about it, but the pedigree is impeccable and the art style looks really impressive - and I'm also pretty 'pumped', as our pals across the pond might say, about Bizarre Creations' new game, The Club, and just to wind Tom up by including a sequel in the list, Resident Evil 5 is also something I'm really hoping to see more of."
Which brings us, brilliantly, back to me. So what are you looking forward to, me? "Well, me, I'm pretty sure that everyone's going to spend the entire show trying to ram themselves into the minus-50-square-feet around PlayStation 3s, Xbox 360s and Nintendo Wiis (I'm saving the 'puddle of interest' jokes for next week, incidentally), so I'm adopting a different strategy. I know I'll be able to see crucial things during private meetings and the two press-only hours on Wednesday morning, not to mention when I go back to TGS - oh my beloved TGS - this September. So, during the spells I'm not doing prescribed sessions, I'm on a pure personal interest tip. I want to see The Ship - a Half-Life 2 mod that became a game, about hunting down and murdering people on boats using improvised weapons; I want to see HOT PXL, Atari's silly-sounding Warioware clone for PSP; I want to play Lumines 2, because I'm meeting Tetsuya Mizuguchi on Friday and I want to tell him my high score; and, this one's a bit of a pipe dream, but I'd very much like to play a new Chrono Trigger game. So if Square could just make one while I'm not looking, or just pretend they are, that'd be great." Good work, me!
Leaving on a jet plane
Which, random bunchings of self-referential thought, brings us to the point of embarkation. Tomorrow morning, we're hopping on a plane and setting off across the Atlantic to begin a journey of high stakes, huge steaks and high blood-sugar levels. Here at Eurogamer, we'll have live text commentary of each conference, all our expected preview, interview and video coverage of the show, and all the rubbish jokes we can possibly get away with before Rupert stomps up the hall and asks why "duck" is our most popular search string. We very much hope you'll join us.
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