I am definitely too old for this… stuff.

Yeah, so I think I’ve reached my “sell by” date as a person who writes about videogames. This E3 has been exhausting, and I barely even had time to write anything about it until last night. It always seemed so easy in the past. Off to the glue factory for me, I suppose. Normally by now I’ve slammed together a 15-20 solid write-ups, but this year I’m scrabbling desperately just to reach the double digits — but I can’t really claim quality over quantity. Oh well! At least the games I’ve been looking at have been good, although I ended up being typecast as the Nintendo Booth Guy again. My own fault, I guess, for insisting I have the chance to go to the mats with 3DS.

Speaking of which, it’s amazingly good! My impression of the 3D screen isn’t quite as positive as my initial thoughts since I’ve seen more games in action*, but at the very worst I simply don’t see the 3D and hit the slider the turn off the visualization to create what amounts to a better-looking-than-PSP portable game. No real downsides, there.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve had time to see this week:

  • Metroid: Other M. No real surprises with this one. It’s Metroid, by Team Ninja, and was more or less the same as it was in March… if perhaps a bit prettier than its last viewing.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Meh, Camelot. This is the most average and unremarkable game I’ve seen by far. But then, I’ve avoided anything with Sonic in it.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns. I liked the original Donkey Kong Country… for a few levels, and then I got bored. But I like what I’ve seen of Retro’s take on the series. Maybe I will grow jaded after a few levels of this one, too. Who knows?
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This is pretty dang good! I liked the vaguely impressionist aesthetic even before Miyamoto revealed it was inspired by Cézanne, who’s always been my favorite artist of that particular movement.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto and co. on Nintendo’s current lineup. Featuring occasionally pithy remarks.
  • And… a piece on Halo: Reach’s Firefight mode. Which one of these is not like the others? I’m really bummed about this article, because I had to travel to an event to check out this news and then leave immediately to do the write-up, meaning I missed my chance to meet Nathan Fillion. I just started re-watching Firefly a couple of days ago, so maybe it’s just as well. I probably would have done something uncharacteristically fannish and blown my carefully cultivated public persona of unflappable bemusement.

And then the two genuinely valuable things I’ve written:

Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Remember the beginning of Kirby’s Adventure, where it tells you how to draw Kirby? Imagine if they had stopped at the outline portion, and the outline had been made of yarn. The genius of this game is that the arts-n-crafts look is more than just fancy visuals; it permeates the level design and the game mechanics. It’s such a great, inventive take on the classic platformer! I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t been impressed. By Kirby! That’s just crazy.

The industry’s couch trip. This is probably something I will be exploring in more depth in the coming months. Not that I want to beat a dead horse. But I guess that would be totally in keeping with the Epic Games style! Except in addition to beating the dead horse, you’d get bonus points for dismembering and mutilating it in “cool” ways. Bulletstorm: The kegstand of videogames™!

Well, now it’s time to do… stuff.

* Incidentally, Alice Liang wrote about half of those impressions. Not sure why I got the solo credit.

13 thoughts on “I am definitely too old for this… stuff.

  1. I just remarked this morning how odd it was that the game I’d found myself thinking about the most was a Kirby game. Good to see there’s some merit behind that.

  2. I just returned to college, and am only now regretting leaving my Wii at home. Haven’t been interested in it (or any console) for a while now, but hell, like you said, even Kirby and Donkey Kong Country games are getting me excited.

    And that 3DS… I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a piece of hardware since the Dreamcast. Uh, let’s hope it turns out a little more successful than that. But for someone who primarily plays handheld games these days, I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Especially with that lineup.

  3. That HIMYM episode is fantastic!

    The 3DS seems fantastic too, but when will it be released and for what price?

  4. “although I ended up being typecast as the Nintendo Booth Guy again.”

    It could be worse! Think of the poor people who must be typecast as Brown FPS Guy, instead.

    And don’t beat yourself up over quality, either; it’s been good stuff, and I’d still say you’re probably my favorite game writer around. (Uh… except Hideki ‘Kondo’ had me initially confused when reading the roundtable notes… but typos are certainly forgivable under E3 conditions.)

  5. You probably get typecast as the Nintendo guy because you have such a strong grasp of what makes these games great (and sometimes, not so great). While other reviewers are loving Mario Galaxy, but unable to put the reasons into words, you’re over here writing lucidly why it’s such a great game and placing it into its proper context (as one example).

    Also, I guess this is kind of relevant here, but damn I can’t wait to see what that 3DS Etrian Odyssey is all about.

  6. Really glad to hear your comments about the 3DS–I get the exact same physical discomfort as you do when I watch 3D movies, so that’s a really big relief.

  7. Kirby’s Epic Yarn aesthetics seem to have been inspired by the early nineties japanese commercial of Kirby’s Adventure…It’s kinda neat.

  8. Kirby’s Epic Yarn looks amazing not only because of what you said, but because it actually looks like they balanced the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kirby’s haxxorz infinite jumps as much as the next guy, but I’d like to finally play a Kirby game that’s, I dunno, challenging in new ways (not saying this game will be). I know everyone has been suprised at how AWESOME this game looks, but if everyone looked back at 2005’s Kirby’s Canvas Curse, you’d know that Kirby can do some pretty new and unique things when he feels like it. :)

  9. I just read your preview…And I thought I was the only one to come up with Canvas Curse comparisons. :(

    Does anyone have any ideas of when this game is coming out? Because I need to preorder this. And if Nintendo has learned anything from the preorders bonuses of LBP and the ever popular model kits of Japan, they’ll make a Sew Your Own Kirby kit preorder bonus. :) Maybe it’ll even be like the Mario Stage Sets…


  10. Jeremy, are you sure you don’t want to actually do PR for Nintendo? I know that involves a lot less critical thinking, but you seem to be liking their things to the exclusion of other companies’ things more and more. And Seattle’s gray weather wouldn’t hurt.

  11. The 3DS looks to be an excellent machine with some great software. It really bugs me that industry insiders that saw it earlier claimed it to be Xbox360 level, and then later adjusted it to Wii level in power. From what I’ve seen it looks a bit less powerful than the current PSP, but I’ll take your word on it Parish. That said, I’m sure that many of the announced games will be very good.

  12. What are you talking about? It looks much better than PSP graphics. Keep in mind that you’re looking at EARLY 3DS games. And not even games for that matter, but prototypes. Obviously they won’t look as good as completely polished Square PSP games, like Crisis Core, for example.

    BTW, Etrian Odyssey III is getting localized! :) And Knights In The Nightmare for the PSP, but who needs that?

  13. “you seem to be liking their things to the exclusion of other companies’ things more and more”

    Here’s how E3 coverage works, genius: I was assigned to cover the Nintendo booth, had little time to venture beyond my set appointments, and most other publishers’ best games were hidden behind closed doors and were only seen by my coworkers who had been assigned meetings to see them. Gee, how narrow-minded of me.

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