By now, if you’re still with me, you’re getting an idea of how wearying the press event Monday was. After Ubisoft, everyone hopped a bus to the Sony press conference, which is always held at a memorial sports arena with a parking lot large enough to accommodate a fleet of food trucks.
This year was a touch disappointing since the cupcake truck was missing and there were several duplicate trucks in the mix. Even so, they did have an ice cream sandwich truck that made up for all that. The lobster mac ‘n cheese truck did itself proud too. I made myself kind of sick though in the end. Something about a line of food trucks and people telling me I can have anything I want from them for free makes me go a little crazy. It’s like I feel I have to eat something from every single one or I’m not getting my money’s worth (which is funny since I’m not actually paying for anything.)
Sony took a more low-key approach to it’s presser this year, eschewing the presence of rapping/dancing celebrities and relying on the talents of its President and CEO, Jack Tretton, who incidentally reminds me of Jack Lemmon. (Don’t ask me why. He’s certainly not very funny.) They also maintained the PS3 party line and didn’t blow the doors off with any next gen announcements. That said, it was kind of unmemorable, all told. The highlights were a game boasting the vocal talents of actress Ellen Page called Beyond: Two Souls, made by Quantic Dreams, the guys who brought us Heavy Rain.
The game looks pretty amazing, with realistic characters and performances in keeping with the previous game. I had to be a wise-ass though, and make a crack about Ellen Page’s “incredible” performance. In the sequence they showed us, her character did nothing but sit in a chair and stare mutely at a small town sheriff. Whoooo! ACTING! The game follows 15 years in the life of an extraordinary young girl who’s got some kind of connection to an unknown supernatural entity and asks the biggest question of all–what happens to us when we die?
The conference’s other highlight was a post-apocalyptic game called The Last of Us, although I swear I thought the hero was Nathan Drake when I first saw him and I don’t think I was alone if the scattered cheers were any indication. Developer Naughty Dog seems to have a thing for guys with choppy dark hair, tattered shirts and man-bags. Even so, the game looks like an unusual survival story starring a “ruthless” survivor and a 14 year old girl too young to know the world before it was destroyed.
Other Sony announcements just didn’t much grab me: God of War Ascension, which looks a lot like the first God of War and didn’t inspire me to try it, additions to the Playstation Plus subscription service, Playstation: Battle Royale, a fighting game starring Fat Princess, Kratos, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth and now Nathan Drake and Big Daddy from Bioshock, Playstation Mobile, and a new partnership with smart phone maker, HTC.
I suppose somewhat interesting was the announcement of Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, which is a PS Vita game that appears to take place in 18th century New Orleans and stars for once, a female assassin. Also of note was the new Playstation Wonderbook, a peripheral Sony hopes will revolutionize reading for young kids (although honestly, I don’t know where the reading comes in. Every single word of text is narrated by an appropriately wizardish voice). The first one to be released actually might convince me to buy a Playstation Move controller–JK Rowling is partnering with Sony to make The Book of Spells, the closest thing a muggle will ever get to entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Demo-ers sat on the ground with the Wonderbook in front of them and waved the PS Move like a wand, tracing fire trails in the air as they cast various spells. The spells then affected things in the book, opening doors, making illustrations move and even starting fires. It looked like too much fun! Can’t wait to play it.
I just realized, this post has no images and as such, is totally boring. Unfortunately, by the time Sony’s event came around, my phone was dead and I couldn’t snap any pics. In light of that, here’s a picture of my friend Matt either enjoying some fried chicken or getting ready to flip me the bird.
It’s really too bad about my phone because on the bus back to LA Live, I met two total characters more than worthy of a photo–Daniel and Roberto, two affable press conference crashers.
The two looked like total vatos and I overheard one of them talking about going to school downtown and having had gang-banger teachers. He then told an absurd story–he sounded more than a little like Cheech Marin–about how his friends take advantage of him, eating his food, smoking his weed, taking some of his weed to go, and then asking for a ride home. I couldn’t help it, I laughed and butted into their conversation, which then made them really friendly. Perhaps too friendly.
When we got off the bus, they continued to chat with me and told me they’d snuck into the press conference (actually, one of them won some kind of contest, thus gaining entrance) and were bent on sneaking into some of the fancy parties going on around town. They generously offered to “smoke me out” (share their weed), but I declined, not being a partaker of such things, having work to do and frankly, thinking it might not be the wisest of decisions. Still, Daniel and Roberto–orale, you were a nice couple of vatos. I hope you snuck into something good.
I ended the night once again with an utterly crap dinner. Here I have an actual dinner stipend and I’m still eating out of a vending machine?