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B3 at E3 2012- Day 1: Nintendo

It’s time to update NHS’ B3 at E3 2012 coverage, what with Nintendo’s stunning press conference now over and the NHS crew probably laid up in their hotel room, still reeling from a night of eating exotic, rich folks food like “six cheese pizza” at CPK and wine coolers by the pool with Snoop Dogg and Tom Chick. Frankly, I’m ashamed that my NHS colleagues have not flooded the internet with E3 coverage. We should have posts every five minutes about stuff like Halo stickers in the bathroom and whatnot. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD TODAY, and NHS has dropped the ball.

Thank goodness for the power and journalistic might of B3. Now, about that Nintendo press conference…

After being the laughing stock of the last several E3 shows, Nintendo came fully prepared this time, with guns blazing. And by fully prepared, I mean with a zombie game and by guns blazing I mean a zombie shooter. It’s called Zombu: Electric Boogaloo or something like that. They also came prepared by showing some of last year’s top games like Arkham Asylum and Mass Effect 3: Intergalatic Booty Call working on their new Wii U hardware. Everyone seemed pretty excited to play old games while holding an iPhone, using Nintendo’s new Smart Glass technology. Or to just play a Nintendo game using the new “Regular Controller”.

But to kick things off, they showed a still image of Shigeru Miyamoto’s face for ten minutes on the big screens while the Super Mario Bros. theme played. Everyone smiled and nodded affirmatively, remembering the halcyon days of youth. A bunch of midgets dressed like Mario characters rode on stage on minibikes. Then, the man himself took the stage and apologized humbly and deeply in a very Japanese way for Wii Music. Then he said “Pikmin 3” and a bunch of Nintendo nerds got excited, thinking it might be a sequel to cult Wii hit Little King’s Story.

Then, just like on Iron Chef, the new Wii U console rose from the stage amidst smoke and a light show. The speakers emitted the “you found a treasure” fanfare that’s been used in every Zelda game since 1985, and again everyone smiled and nodded affirmatively in the warm glow of nostalgia. The new console will come in 35 different colors including “black” and “white” and can support up to TWO controllers at once without overheating and blowing up. Its MSRP was not announced, but fair market value seems to be about a hundred bucks.

Bulldog-faced weirdo Reggie Fils-Aime took to the stage and announced- to everyone’s surprise- that the Wii U will play the Mario game tapes as well as minigame compliations. It seems that Nintendo is banking on everyone’s nostalgia for the “Spirit of ‘06” and the magic we all felt about the Wii launch before we played it. But the Wii U will also feature internet connectivity and stuff like Netflix, which I don’t think the Wii ever really had.

Bob Hoskins, who portrayed Mario in the Super Mario Bros. movie as well as hardened gangster Harry Shand in “The Long Good Friday” was presented and talked about Nintendoworld Land, a new theme park or something opening sometime soon outside of Wasau, Wisconsin. Seedy carnies- their toothless visages hidden by giant foam heads of beloved Nintendo characters- will wave and uncomfortably hug your children while you dine on mushrooms and raccoon tails. The park will include a shrine to Miyamoto-san made of marshmallows and pixie dust as well as a special “edutainment” exhibit that will explain to children and adult gamers alike the evils of so-called “next generation” game-playing hardware.

There was something called MiiVerse, but I think it was just an announcement that they’re going to force you to look at your ghastly MiiParade every time you turn the console on. I hope that somewhere my Miis of David Bowie, James Brown, Glenn Danzig, and Tom G. Warrior were saved.

Of course, Wii Fit U was a big hit among attendees, their bellies fat with lemon bars and foie gras eaten off of the nude bodies of strippers, provided by Electronic Arts. The new edition will feature exciting minigames like “walking” and “standing”. With the new Wii U controller, players will also be able to hold it while exercising. The 3DS was also represented. Everyone squinted and tried to move to see the giant 3D images displayed of Mario and Luigi laughing in a giant pile of money. Then Mario pops out of the screen and says “Wesa told you so! Peepala poopala!”

I have to say that in all I was really disappointed. This year, Nintendo did not bring any kind of novelty, “gotcha” joke things like the Wii Vitality sensor.

That’s pretty much all I could see from flipping through a couple of Web sites five minutes before I wrote this. But hey, ANY coverage is better than none, right?

Don’t Shoot The Food B3 2012 Edition

While Brandon is off to Los Angeles to have game companies shower his stomach with gold plated shrimp cocktails, oysters on the half shell stuffed with $20 bills, and roasted peacock sauteed with diamonds in attempt to buy his review scores, I thought I would commandeer this week’s Don’t Shoot the Food with a report on tonight’s dinner. That’s something we can ALL appreciate, not just the feted “games journalists” out there at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. We may not all be able to sit through hours of corporate hoo-hah bullshit delivered by guys with headset mics, but we can all eat some damn dinner.

Tonight at Chez Barnes, a classic. Sort of. And it ties into Dragon’s Dogma. It’s Griffin Parmigiana!

Now, I am part Italian and this DStF is going to contain something controversial that may irk our Italian readership who quite rightly believe that using sauce from a jar should be punished by burning at the stake followed by hanging and then a around in the dunking chair. I agree with that severity if we’re talking about most of the mass-market junk sauces out there. Pregoo, Ratgut, Rufus McLanahan’s Tomater Sauce for S’getti, miscellaneous store brands, and so forth actually are forged by Lucifer himself and will probably kill you if you eat them and you have Italian genes.

The right and proper thing to do is to make sauce. I know this. Sautee a little garlic, crush up some San Marzanos (or Heirlooms if you’re a well-heeled $100k a year game developer), toss in some fresh basil. It’s not hard. But I’m lazy and have two small children, so we go the jar route. There are actually some pretty decent jar sauces available these days, but you’ve got to be willing to pay for them. Rao’s, Bobby D’s, Antica Rusta (a local Atlanta brand)…even Batali’s sauces are good. But spending $8-$10 for a good sauce pays out in spades versus eating that pasty, sugar sweetened garbage that exists under the top shelf.

With a good sauce in hand (I’m using Batali’s marinara tonight, it was on sale), I’ve also got some nice organic whole wheat penne. I’ve been buying the Whole Foods brand because it’s milled a little finer and less gritty than some of the other whole wheat pastas, and some of the overwhelming nutty taste is toned down. But you still get that whole grain thing.

Now, for the Griffin meat. We’re a meatless household so we wouldn’t eat a Griffin anyway. So I’m just going to use Boca fake chicken patties in lieu of the fanciful beast’s probably gamey flesh. I’ll top those with a little of that Batali and a slice of fresh sliced smoked provolone. Good stuff. Then that’ll go on top of the penne with a side of sauteed broccoli rabe. Some fresh Reggiano will get thrown on that, and my son (he’s two) will demand the remainder of the cheese, half of which he will eat and the other half will wind up on the ground, probably about $2 worth.

The really sneaky thing is that I’m not telling my family that we’re dining on mythological creatures tonight. B3 day one will conclude with me having a Crispin Brut and playing Dragon’s Dogma. See you tomorrow from the show floor of my basement!

B3 2012 Preview Trailer

Right now, there’s a tubby nerd making sure he’s got an extra asthma inhaler ready for when MORE news about Assassin’s Creed 3 this week. A dudebro is swiveling his Oakleys to the back of his bald head, applying eyedrops that will keep his eyes moistened (read: disguise his tears) while he watches trailers of Black Ops II, Halo 4 and the new Gears of War game. Some girl that smells of shampoo and mildewy teddy bears is stroking her inadvisable Yoshi tattoo, hoping and praying that Nintendo doesn’t bungle their Wii U presentation. That’s right, it’s E3 week.

And since I’m not there to join the vagabond NHS crew, lead by the destitute , drug-addled Bill Abner, that also means it’s B3 week! I won’t be feasting on lemon bars, gawking at desperate “models”, or in a back room signing an an agreement to give every EA game an 90 or better rating in exchange for a Lamborghini Countach. I won’t get to hob nob with celebrities like Tom Chick and Snoop Dogg, nor will I get to dine on the epicurean delights of California Pizza Kitchen.

Like last year, however, B3 will be far more awesome than E3 has ever been. To prove it- and in the spirit of bullshit marketing- here is a one hour and twenty six minute trailer for B3. Although it shows no actual gameplay footage, it captures all of the majesty, pageantry, and sheer amazingness that B3 offers. It should tide you over until the torrent of teasers and empty advertising crap starts to wash over us all. Come for the vikings, stay for the octopus. Really, you’ve got to see the octopus. E3 doesn’t have an octopus, does it? Octopus revealed and confirmed at B3!