A clear highlight for me was seeing this giant Brutal Legend billboard adorning the exterior of the LA Convention Center's South Hall. That a Tim Schafer-authored game would occupy the venue's most prominent position gives me confidence that this industry is heading in the right direction.
Anyway, onto my Alternative Awards wrap. Oh, and I'll be running through my real awards later this week, so stay tuned.
Most Shocking Announcement The Final Fantasy XIV unveil at the Sony press conference.
Most Underwhelming Announcement Realising that Final Fantasy XIV is an MMO rather than a continuation of the cardinal single-player series.
Nintendo's Biggest F-U to the Hardcore Gamer Iwata's pet project, the Wii Vitality Sensor. You insert your finger and it reads your pulse!
Person You'd Most Want to Hit You with a Big Space Hammer Now this is a revolution I want to be part of.
Dumbest Question Asked by a Journalist in the Bayonetta Demo Session "Does it have multiplayer?"
Dumbest Question Asked by a Journalist in the Aliens Vs Predator Demo Session "Have you thought about taking the humans out of the game?"
Genre of the Least Impressive Looking Games at the Microsoft and Sony Press Conferences Kart racing. Neither XBLA's Joyride nor the PS3's ModNation Racers did much to excite.
Best Booth Layout of Show Sony clinched this comfortably, for its show floor setup that allowed for plenty of demos pods for all its major games (see MAG below) and for its super stylish meeting room upstairs where every demo area was arranged like a funky living room.
Worst Booth Layout of Show EA devoted half of its allocated space to an empty floor in front of a giant screen where you could stand and watch trailers all day. Meanwhile, all the playable games were crammed into the other half, causing chaos and few opportunities to play.
Best Catering The sumptuous buffet of pan-seared salmon and Singapore prawns, followed by an assortment of exquisite chocolate truffles, all at the Nintendo Business Reception at Club Nokia.
Best Demo Session THQ's Homefront was a lesson in how to successfully showcase your game to media for the very first time. The theatrette, comfy seats, big screen and booming audio all helped, but it was the in-game demo itself that stole the honours for Kaos Studio's military shooter. The first half set the scene beautifully and drew you into the world; the second half blew us away with an utterly state-of-the-art shooter boasting some really inventive features.
Worst Demo Session Our half hour with BioShock 2 trod briefly over old ground regarding the single-player story, then spent the rest of the time boring us to tears with a truly horrible showing for its seemingly simplistic and generic multiplayer modes. The hideous lo-res trailer that concluded the session cemented my view that BioShock 2 multiplayer should never have happened.