E3 08: The Most Excruciating Moments

The folks at Microsoft got to gloat about Gears of War 2 and Final Fantasy XIII, but they also had to make utter fools of themselves in front of millions of people. Was "act like a circus clown" a part of the contract? That's the only explanation for some of this nonsense.

You're in the Movies... and you look like a moron

You're in the Movies proves that anyone - not just Nintendo - can make an hour-long distraction in the guise of a motion sensitive minigame. Nothing at E3 2008 was more awkward than watching three older Microsoft executives demonstrate the useless shenanigans for a live audience. They ran around in virtual clown pants, swatted pathetically at virtual insects and shook their virtual bon-bons in the virtual shower.

The whole thing was about as comfortable as catching your parents in bed. Which is somewhat appropriate, as those are the only people who will ever want to play this game with you.

Do two stolen ideas make a right?

Everyone suspected the Xbox Live Miis... err, avatars were coming, but who knew Microsoft would steal something from Sony as well? The new dashboard is uncluttered, uncomplicated... and totally unoriginal when compared to the PlayStation Network.

Ironically, the two ideas - one from Nintendo and one from Sony - combine to make Xbox Live much less interesting. Who can seriously look at the empty grey space below and be excited?

Resident Evil 5 makes us squirm... again

Remember when Resident Evil 5 was accused of racism? We're happy to report that, during the gameplay we witnessed on Monday, the zombie enemies included all sorts of colors and races. Controversy averted!

Problem is the "bad guys" now had something else in common; every one was a shuffling sad sack in tattered clothes, half-heartedly swinging a dirty shovel, pipe or simple wooden board in your vague, general direction. While none came close to really threatening the player, and some actually retreated away from him, he just kept on plugging them with bullets.

Great. Murdering hunger and disease ridden poor people is WAY more fun than murdering Africans. Thanks.

Scene It? Never again, we hope.

Multiethnic, multi-aged people gesticulating wildly and having entirely too much fun on a couch together? This must be a trailer for the new Wii title we won’t buy, right?

Nope - turns out Microsoft is capable of churning out this particular brand of torture as well. In the trailer for Scene It? Box Office Smash, a random guy out of central casting stumbles upon a party game, which for some reason has been left running on a dozen electronic store HDTVs. Soon a decrepit yet adorable grandmother and a stuffy store manager have joined in the "fun."

Can Xbox 360 party games truly transcend differences between strangers, bringing us all together in a peaceful utopia? Keep dreaming, Microsoft.