Attention Virtual Sports Fans…

The armchair Olympians of E3 were invigorated by the sports games offered by EA, SEGA and Acclaim.  Hell, it was enough to make you get off the couch.

EA will be offering all of their major sports titles online, including Madden, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and NBA LiveTiger Woods PGA Tour will delight fans of the Federal Witness Protection Program by allowing gamers to meticulously reconfigure their characters’ physical appearances.  Madden’s playmaker system will enable participants to finesse the ole pigskin.  Meanwhile, Sega’s NFL 2K4 inserts hilarious cutaways of rowdy fans.  Acclaim’s NBA JAM promises an outlandish good time with wild dunks, no-foul play and the infamous Big Head Mode, in which appropriate players’ heads expand to several times their normal size.  Just like in the NBA.

Move It, Hedgehog!

Sega’s new-fangled Billy Hatcher And The Giant Egg crams virtual players into rooster suits while they push around giant eggs that give forth unusual creatures and magical monsters.  It is exclusive to GameCube.   

Meanwhile, Sonic The Equally Esoteric Hedgehog reappears in Sonic Heroes.  No snob, Sonic and his speedy li’l pals will be available on all platforms.

The vivid Legend Of Zelda Four Swords lets up to four GameCube players simultaneously swing blades.  In a bold move, Nintendo has incorporated the GameBoy Advance SP into play. 

Overworld competition occurs on the traditional GameCube.  However, when hapless gamers fall into holes or find themselves in dungeons, the fun moves to the individual GameBoys. 

Youth Specific Mizzarketing…

On Thursday afternoon, Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Broadus) arrived at E3 in what appeared to be a giant land submarine.  He and his crew of mighty men supervised the Xbox NBA Inside Drive championship tournament.

The exceptionally tranquil Mr. Dogg was unruffled by the boisterous environment of E3, emceeing (MCing) the event in his distinctive smooth style. 

The overjoyed winner of the tournament received an Xbox system as well as a snazzy trophy.  After playing a few rounds of NBA Inside Drive, Snoop Dogg up and left, presumably to catch the Lakers next door. 

E3 500

Electronic auto racing enables players to experience the skull rattling action of the road without the risk.  These velocity games account for huge sales and muster fanatical devotion.  Exhibitions at E3 confirmed this trend shows no signs of slowing.

Producers of the well-regarded Gran Turismo 4 maintain a leading position by keeping it real, or, at least, realistic.  The rubber burning, fish tailing visuals leave gamers clutching the sides of their La-Z-Boys.  The folks at SCEA, who handle the game, go so far as to make race times comparable to those of the pros.

IndyCar Series, meanwhile, concentrates on delivering pure uncut speed.  A couple dozen extremely well-rendered cars haul across the blacktop at 240 (virtual) miles per (virtual) hour.  Where Codemaster’s Colin McRae ’03 stuck players behind the wheel of a lone Ford Focus, Colin McRae ’04 offers many more vehicular options. 

Foreign Objectivity…

The floor promotion for Backyard Wrestling was, alongside the releases of Halo 2 and Soul Caliber II, the supreme street cred draw of E3.  Lumbering, ill-tempered behemoths pummeled one another with garbage cans and street signs before a deeply appreciative audience.

Eidos’ Backyard Wrestling title scared up tremendous word-of-mouth by actually amplifying the wild hostility of the live experience.  Players can take their picks of barbed-wire festooned baseball bats, staple guns and various other sharp and jagged items.  Gamers can launch themselves from the (virtual) rafters and anger their (actual) parents. 

All this without having to leave the rec. room.


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