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This past week really took on a life of its own. I feel like it is just one of those trips that you truly can't predict what will happen next, not even at the huge, obviously scheduled event that is E3. It being my first E3, I didn't know what to expect, nor did I know how I'd handle such an epic adventure. I think I handled it well, but then again there were some mix-ups, some mistakes, things we will learn from next time around. But after all the games I played, people I met, friends I made, things I witness, do I regret making the trip out? Hell fucking no. Just being in California was truly amazing. Being Smash players, Will and myself took the opportunity to hang out with some of southern California's best Brawlers. Monday night, after settling in at the hotel, then taking SoCal's really awesome metro system, we hung out with the one and only Olimar main Rich Brown. A night later, Rich joined us for a small gathering at MikeHAZE's place, where SoCal's number 1 player Tyrant also made an appearance. Being able to play with the top players of the area was truly awesome, especially being of such a lower skill level than everyone who surrounded me. But then it was Day 1 of E3 and all that mattered was getting our hands on the best games at the expo. Hilariously, while we had plans to check out as much as possible to get our feet wet just in the first day, myself and Will, joined by Rich Brown who was representing AllisBrawl.com, found ourselves spending the entire day in the immense Nintendo booth in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Inside the Nintendo booth The 3DS section in particular really caught our attention because of the outstanding amount of games on display for the system at the time. We finally got our hands on games we already knew about like Mario Kart 3DS and Ocarina of Time 3DS, but also being able to play the just-announced Luigi's Mansion 2 was truly spectacular. Granted, I didn't completely love every game in the area; Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was one of the few I didn't particularly like because of how awkward and clunky the controls were. But overall the 3DS area was really strong thanks to titles like Super Mario 3DS, Star Fox 64 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and so much more. Probably the best part about not only the 3DS, but the entire Nintendo booth, was that there were so many stations and set-ups for the games that waiting was practically a non-issue. There were enough 3DS stations that either you got to play pretty much within seconds if you wanted to, or maybe you had to wait a few minutes for someone's demo to be over. The exception, save for the obvious Wii U areas, was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which always had a line going for it. For that reason, I never bothered to try the game out, though Will and Rich Brown did as I played games like Kirby Wii. It was at the Kirby Wii station that I met a member of Insomniac, the developer behind Ratchet & Clank, who I had a lot of fun playing the game with. It's something else to realize that these developers are people just like you and me, even though they produce the games we live for. You'll be able to check out all of our Nintendo game impressions as we post them in the coming week. Day 2 gave us a chance to explore more of the convention center and boy had we been missing out by just being in the West Hall. Before we had to go back to the South Hall for a closed-door session with Bethesda, we checked out the sprawling booths of Activision, Sega, Ubisoft and Microsoft, getting our hands on games like Sonic Generations and Ninja Gaiden 3 before going back to the South Hall for the Bethesda demos. We got an exclusive sneak peek at The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim before an unplayable demo screening of Prey 2 and the chance to play an amazing Rage demo, and in my case I played Rage right next to the one and only Cliff Blezinski of Epic Games. All of these things were not open to anyone who just walked by on the show floor, you had to be invited. We were really glad to have been invited and get to experience what Bethesda had to offer. To check out all of our Day 2 game impressions, stay tuned. But then there was Day 3, where we had to fit in everything else we wanted to do into one 7 hour day. There was still so much for us to check out, especially because Day 1 was almost all Nintendo for us, so we immediately rushed around to try and get our hands on as many games as possible. After checking out games like Dark Souls and Duke Nukem Forever, we got a pre-alpha screening of Prototype 2. Even in pre-alpha, the game is looking pretty good, despite the obvious need for polish and all of that. Day 3 also surprised us quite a bit. Getting our hands on Rayman Origins gave us a game we felt was terribly underrated throughout the entire show. We cannot wait to give you our impressions on this unique platformer, but to be brief at this very moment, Rayman Origins is one of the most aesthetically pleasing, unique, funny, and difficult games I have played in a long time. At the Rayman Origins area at the Ubisoft booth Just as the final moments of E3 closed, we said good-bye to the Nintendo booth, the place we essentially lived in all of Day 1. We certainly did not want to leave, and it definitely sucked to get in the shuttle back to the hotel and have to go to the airport to leave the entire state not too long after the show ended. The entire experience came to a close so quickly that I'm still trying to take it all in a day after arriving back in New York. There's not much more I can say other than that the entire adventure was amazing and I cannot wait to go back next year if it's possible. Other than that, keep checking back for our individual game impressions on all the titles we got to play or see throughout the week. Trust me, it was almost other-worldly to actually have these games in our hands rather than just hearing about them in the news. You'll want to check back for these impressions. Go check out my E3 thread for updates here: E3 2011 Thread
One of the most important parts of games involving any sort of combat is weapon balancing. Gamers who frequent the online realms of their favorite games are usually very in-tune with the balancing between every weapon at their disposal, as are those who play fighting games and understand the balancing between each character in the roster. For gaming, weapon balance is key to making the community happy; no one is going to play a game in which someone can gain access to a shotgun that has a reload time of .3 seconds, a fire rate of an assault rifle, and damage output of a catapult using whales as projectiles. Every weapon must have pros and cons, and this applies to both campaign modes and multiplayer, as when there is less of a balance, the game itself suffers as a whole. For campaigns, weapon balancing is essentially for keeping a game challenging and, at the same time, worthwhile to play. In an obvious example, it makes no logical sense to give the player access to a weapon early in the game that allows them to kill every enemy they see with no effort. There has to be a scaling factor