Now, one may or may not believe that Disney is a powerhouse among game development and publishing companies. And for the most part that would be a correct assumption. But the Disney press conference did hold some pretty good news. And a whole lot of other stuff too!
First off, there was a little bit of number and statistic dropping. Disney is a great publisher on GBA and DS, yadda yadda. Everyone in the audience looks a little bored. I can't help hearing the Monty Python "Get on with it" montage.
Finally some news comes; Warren Spector (of Wing Commander, Ultima, and Dues Ex fame) and the newly formed Junction Point Studios will be partnering up for an unnamed project. Spector takes the stage, and expresses his happiness to be involved with Disney. He then leaves the stage, and never mentions what the project is. I'm wondering if this was because it's not really in the works yet or if they're saving it for some kind of "surprise" later on.
Next up is the announcement of a new online gamer service called "D gamer" It looks to be in the same vein as Xbox Live. You can create avatars, interact with your gaming friends, and even make virtual trades. It's actually pretty cool, and I can definitely see some of the younger set getting into this. The first game to get the D gamer green light is going to be the Narnia sequel "Prince Caspian." They then show some footage, but nothing too extraordinary. The game's release will be multiplatform and is slated for May 2008.
Moving onward, there's a new Turok coming in February. There's an inner cheer from me while game footage shown onscreen. There's a lot of dinosaur carnage; I'm really happy that Disney hasn't decided to skimp on the gore. Josh Holms, comes on and talks about evolution of the Turok series, and how there was a need to re-imagine it. This entry will focus on Joseph Turok and his experiences on an alien planet with Dinosaurs. We see some footage of him getting chomped on by a T-Rex alien dinosaur. Doesn't look like his experience went too well.
On to less violent fare, we start hearing some info on Spectrobes 2, coming next fall to the DS. We see a short video, but I'm not sure if there's enough hype for this game to warrant propaganda nearly 16 months before its release. But maybe that's just me
Next up we've got Hannah Montana. I know it's the Disney Channel's bread and butter, but do we really have to see it at E3? Guess so, because we're now seeing a demo. It's a DS game and looks suspiciously like Jam sessions. Is it a crime to say that it actually impresses me somewhat? You can create songs using four different instruments including a guitar and a drum kit. It's like Rock Band for the DS. From Disney. It's coming out this fall. Can I say I'm actually interested? Maybe I'll keep that to myself for now…
Next we see some Cheerleaders take the stage. Surprise, there's a karaoke-like High School Musical game called High School Musical: Sing It! I know I, for one, am somewhat unimpressed, but this one will sell. I would bet my boots on it. But the cheerleaders are still very annoying. Next we have some "volunteers" from the audience demoing. Then everyone is onstage singing and dancing. It's soooo bad. I'm thanking God when it's over.
And that was it for Disney! I have to say I really enjoyed everything up until the High School Musical bit, and I'm actually really excited for the new Turok. Along with some other big announcements like D gamer, it looks like Disney really nailed this one!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer