E3 Diary – The First Two Days

Our flight arriving in LA. We wish.

Anyone who knows me will understand my total abhorrence of early mornings and lack of sleep. So why, oh why, did I volunteer to come to E3 with GamingLives and put myself in a situation where, not only would I have to be up a good two to three hours earlier than I would for a work day, but also have to stay awake for over twenty four whole hours in order to acclimatise myself to Los Angeles time – a whole eight hours behind the UK.  Well, I did and it’s been worth it so far, I think. 6:00 am at Heathrow terminal five, I had to sit around a good 40 minutes before I could head through check-in and find myself some breakfast. Wetherspoons provided the much needed fare (sub standard in food terms, but edible) and the temptation of a pint before the sun had even thought about the yardarm, let alone passed over it.

Chris and Ed arrived soon after I’d finished eating and we sat around a while talking shit and shooting the breeze (ask Ed about Chris and meat) and soon the screens had announced our gate. A wee side trip into a WH Smith and we were ready to go meet the two Marks as they’d traveled from Glasgow first.  Cue a ten and a bit hour flight on a British Airways Jumbo Jet and that was us for the day, really. We got into LAX barely two hours after leaving, according to the clocks, which is kinda strange, but I’ve been assured that time will get taken back when we travel the other way. Some fella called Marty explained it to me but I was tired and didn’t really listen.

Sadly, the Jawa Sandcrawler transport was already rented out...

We quickly passed through passport control and customs, and hopped on a bus to find a car. A big car. Actually a freaking massive SUV-type car that looks like it’s on steroids; it’s a comfy ride though and many minutes later, after one stop for a map and some fluids, we eventually found our way to the LA Convention Centre (or Center if you’re over here) thanks to Markuz and his ‘phone sat-nav. Alamo wanted somewhere between $15 and $20 a day for one and I wasn’t prepared to pay them… I will however pay Markuz if his roaming charges are a problem when we get home. It’s the least I can do.

Four out of five passes were issued, the apartment was found, and that’s where you find us right now… mooching around while Mark talks with Claas from Lace Mamba. Soon there will be food, and I’ll be looking to eat American cow for the first time in ten years.  Not a bad way to round off a very long day and a bit. We headed home, all of us weary and, after some minor chatter, the siren call of bed was too much and sleep became a necessity – at least for a few hours.

Yes, it barely passes for food

Monday? I think  it was Monday… my brain hasn’t quite caught up to which day had dawned, but dawn it had, and it saw us heading back towards Downtown LA to drop Ed and Chris off for the Microsoft presentation. Mark, Mark and I then headed to collect my pass from the LA Convention Centre and it began to dawn on me just how big this place was going to be. The walk from where we parked the car in the South Hall car park to the media centre near the West Hall was something of a trek to say the least, but I soon had my grubby little mitts on the much-coveted E3 Media Pass and was all set for the next three days of near chaos.

A place to eat was found – McDonalds – food was consumed (I say food… Sausage and Egg McMuffins barely count, but it was a form of sustenance and it served to keep the old motor running a while), and we headed back to collect Chris and hear his tales of woe about Subway and their severe lack of condiment knowledge. Something he was quite put out by, but needs must and he did without ketchup in his sandwich.  A quick trip to the local supermarket (super is an overstatement) and we had some small supplies to see us through the next couple of days. Another trip out to collect Ed from his outing to the EA presentation and we were gearing up for our evening’s entertainment, courtesy of Sony.

Now, Mark had bigged up the Sony conference quite a bit, so expectations were high for a hot and sweaty time in the presentation itself, followed by a plethora of food and scantily clad ladies. Well, we definitely got the hot and sweaty presentation – Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena is a great venue, but lacks something in the way of air conditioning, and with what looked like 10,000 bodies in there, it was a little warm. The presentation itself was actually pretty good. Beyond: Two Souls looked both excellent and intriguing, and the footage from Assassin’s Creed III – amazing. Far Cry 3′s multiplayer co-op looked okay, but The Last of Us stole the show. My lasting impression though, is what I can only describe as over excited fanboys whooping and clapping at every available opportunity. An alien concept for me, but indicative of America in my mind.

Anticipation was high as we left the Arena and we happily followed the horde as we were direct away from the bleachers only to find ourselves OUTSIDE! WTF? Where are the pretty girls in little clothes? What about the oodles of food and Kobe sliders? WHY SONY! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! You let us down there you cheap, cheap bastards.  Despair quickly turned to hope though, as it was decided that Cheesecake Factory was the only solution to lift our depleted spirits. Cue Mark’s ‘phone GPS saving the day again and some amazing food. Cheesecake Factory didn’t let us down at all, unlike Sony, and it was with much-lifted spirits that another day of our LA Adventure drew to a close.

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  1. Rook says:

    From what I’ve heard I believe Sony did the food thing before the presentation this year. Still, you got to go to the Cheesecake Factory, sounds like a magical place to me. :)

  2. Mark ZeroMark says:

    You have no idea rook. Just…so much cheesecake!

  3. Pete Pete says:

    We’ll take a photo of the cheesecake chiller cabinet for you later Rook :D

  4. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    That whole Sony thing really knocked me for six! I was playing it smart all day, avoiding all foods where possible, so I could enjoy everything that they had to offer that night…and yet there wasn’t anything. It was soul-destroying… maybe. Okay, it wasn’t really and it DID mean that we were able to head out to Cheesecake Factory for the first time so really it was a good thing but still… y’know.

    Rook, Sony did the food and drinks thing before the conference last year too… but still had the big party afterwards. It was all part of a long-con, I think, to try and play me for a fool. It worked. Was a fucking great conference though; Sony totally killed it this year. Blew everyone else out of the water, for the second year running.

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