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Astoundo!

With their cool, innovative booth, Nintendo has been a powerful visual presence at E3.  Benefiting from the attention, they are showcasing some of their latest titles in a unique fashion.

Nintendo set up eight interconnected GameCube stations, allowing fans to compete in the new Mario Kart without having to use split screens.  Final Fantasy – Crystal Chronicles showed off the varying multiplayer scenarios.  F-Zero GX, the product partnership between Nintendo and speed-dealer Sega, was displayed to heart-stopping effect.  

Atari Flips Lid For Sid!
Shoots Higher With Meier!

Wednesday night, Atari proclaimed an alliance with Firaxis and that company’s renowned creative guru, Sid Meier.  This declaration lends authority to Atari’s obvious efforts towards reinventing itself.

Many of Meier’s esteemed titles, most notably Pirates, will be re-released in augmented, reconfigured forms.

The unassuming Meier seemed philosophical about events.  “I write games, actually, that I like to play… so I’m not trying to live up to, I guess, someone else’s expectation.  I love playing games.  I love designing games.  I love writing games.  I can’t imagine a better job.”

These events demonstrate that what’s old always becomes new again.

Engaged!

Responsive to a growing interest in portability (See Wednesday PM article,) Nokia created N-Gage, a mobile piece for active gamers.

N-Gage (which kinda resembles a hip garage door opener) is designed for multiplayer use on games like Tomb Raider.  Furthermore, this James Bond-ian gadget carries an embarrassment of gifts within its tiny casing.  It includes a digital MP3 player, an AM-FM radio and a functional cell phone. 

It’s available in October.  Guess how much it costs.  Guess.  It costs $299.00.  The only reason you knew that is because you watched the video.

Hawking Tony Hawk

Much like electronic game play, skateboarding grows in popularity with each passing year.  What was once an antiestablishment act is now a national pastime.  Tony Hawk, the biggest deal in skateboarding, lends his name to the appropriately titled Tony Hawk’s Underground (Activision.)

Hawk, who has observed skateboarding’s ride from subversive to successful, probably knows more about decks than anyone alive.  His hands-on involvement with Tony Hawk’s Underground has been invaluable.  Skateboarders, like electronic gamers, are notoriously aware of street credibility.  As such, Hawk makes certain his final product is genuine and accurate, right down to the game’s soundtrack.

Hi Caliber

Namco arrived toting Soul Caliber II, with its brand new, graphics, characters and (virtual) life-threatening weaponry.  All their effort proved worthwhile as Soul Caliber II, which is as yet unavailable in the USA, was a tremendous hit at E3!

In an interesting marketing twist, Namco licensed Todd McFarlane’s undead badass, Spawn, for use on the Xbox edition of their game.  Not unexpectedly, the results seem ghastly (but in a cool way!)  McFarlane, also summoned another character for Soul Caliber II, Necrid, a malicious muscle-bound phantom.  Necrid will appear on all platforms.

Sid Meier Announcement
Game Boy Advance
Necrid Wins
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