2:39PM PST: As is the standard procedure for attending an E3 press conference, we're currently waiting in line for Konami's E3 2008 event. Keep an eye on this post and brace yourself for unimaginable megatons and/or insipid fizzles!
2:41PM PST: We've taken our seats! Jay Boor, Konami's head PR guy welcomes us. Here we go!
2:43PM: Anthony Crauz, vice-pres of Konami's marketing welcomes us too and expresses his pleasure with the success of Metal Gear Solid 4. "Thank you very much for your support!" He also thanks SCEA for their support in developing the game. The "Gene" expansion is mentioned for Metal Gear Online -- it's coming July 17th complete with new maps and characters.
2:45PM: There's a MGO worldwide tournament planned, beginning in Japan sometime in the future. There's also a tournament planned at the upcoming Comic-Con, so be prepared to polish up those online sneaking skills.
2:46PM: Rock Revolution will be the official video game for Linkin Park's upcoming tour. Other horror news: Silent Hill: Homecoming will be demonstrated "in detail" for us later in the conference. Some "exclusive footage" is promised. Yay! Also, EEK!
2:48PM: Koji Igarashi is up next, here to show some highlights of Castlevania Judgment and the DS' Order of Ecclesia.
2:49PM: The Castlevania producers marhces onto the stage and introduces himself. He says he's a little nervous -- we would be too if we had to explain the reasoning behind Judgment. First up, a trailer of Order of Ecclessia. Commence the 2D Castlevania goodness.
2:51PM: We see the game's stylish heroine casting spells and generally inflicting pain on every one of Dracula's dimwitted denizens. The game's sprites are impressively large, especially the screen-filling bosses.
2:53PM: "This is the third DS Castlevania game, I hope you enjoy it." Next up, the "very different" Castlevania game, Judgment. "I like to consider it a 3D versus action game." Let's watch the trailer.
2:54PM: We see Alucard pummeling Maria in a gothic locale, followed by a glimpse of Dracula and Simon flinging magical attacks at each other. Airborne combos, over-the-top special attacks and -- of course -- whip attacks are all accounted for in the clip. It's out in Fall 2008, says a spooky voice.
2:56PM: Plot details -- because we so desperately wanted them -- are being shared. Essentially, Dracula's being a jerk and is messing with the series' timeline. Time travel: the best way to bring all those characters together. 14 playable characters are promised. We'll hear more about the unrevealed characters later.
2:58PM: It's Simon vs. Alucard (psst, it's "Dracula" backwards!) in a real-time demonstration. The Wii remote is used for the main attacks in the game -- shake for basic whippage. While Igarashi explains, we quietly hum the stage's theme music. Igarashi notes that holding down the B-button and swinging, it'll initiate a stronger attack. Use combinations of both waggle-tacks to create combos. There are also sub-weapons available, a Castlevania staple.
3:01PM: "Based on whether you're moving or standing still, you'll do different attacks." Objects can be destroyed for hearts, of course, since Dracula still hasn't gotten off that habit of hiding precious items within his fancy candles and chandeliers. You can also grab the candlesticks and use them as weapons.
3:03PM: Igarashi next demonstrates a special attack, in which Simon knock Alucard into the air and slashes him multiple times for a K.O.. In certain environment, non-playable characters may be present and affect the outcome of the battle, adds Igarashi. "I understand the gameplay is very different from what Castlevania fans are used to ... but I hope that you will all try it when it comes out."
3:05PM: Jason Allen takes the stage to introduce a short trailer for Silent Hill: Homecoming.
3:06PM: "Josh! Josh! Don't let me fall!" The protagonist wakes up from a nightmare and is quickly thrust into a scary, flashy montage of grimy environments. We're honestly a little creeped out. "Find me, and everything changes," says a gravelly female voice.
3:08PM: Jason is talking us through a demo of the game. We're in a hotel -- and fans of Silent Hill should realize that this is rarely a good thing. The camera is no longer fixed and closely follows Alex as he moves around the room. Physics are here too, with a chair shifting as Alex shoots it. Stop wasting your ammo, dude!
3:10PM: We're going into the Atrium. It doesn't look safe. Suddenly, the Silent Hill siren starts blaring, and the entire world dissolves and rusts in front of our eyes. Welcome to Dark Silent Hill. Alex, wielding an axe, slowly walks into the darkness. A suspicious-looking man stands in the center of the area, promping the appearance of a dialogue tree.
3:12PM: Jason explains that the developer wanted transition between controllable dialogue and cutscenes to be as seamless as possible. "You shouldn't have come back, Alex," warns the man. We agree with suspicious standing-in-the-atrium-man.
3:14PM: A giant, leathery monster descends from the ceiling and initiates a boss battle. Jason just pointed out the "hanging meat sacks" surrounding Alex. Eww. The boss creature isn't pleased when you attack these sacks, so that's our strategy. The lighting is fairly impressive, but we wish they'd turn up the volume for us to appreciate Akira Yamaoka's sound design. Alex takes out the meat sacks and -- oh! The monster just grabbed him. Pound the A button to escape! Have a health drink!
3:16PM: "That's just one of the boss battles we have," says Jason before departing. Lauren Facadomo arrives to sing the praises of Rock Revolution. Sing the praises. See what we did there? HEAR what we did there? Oh, forget it. The Sheenas -- a Los Angeles band, apparently -- are here to play a song on Rock Revolution. They're... loud.
3:19PM: Our limited music knowledge tells us we're listening to a Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." Hey ho, let's go! Tempting... but we'll stick around a little bit longer.
3:20PM: Applause! Let's get rid of those silly "real" instruments and whip out those plastic peripherals. Blitzkrieg Bop, round 2. Lauren's jamming the guitar and another guy is drumming through the scrolling note chart. This isn't nearly as exciting to watch. Bring back the real band, please! Oh, and they just failed the song. "That was my fault," says Lauren.
3:23PM: That's it? The crowd is still sitting in stunned, confused silence. Is this a trick?
3:24PM: People are starting to leave. There's got to be something else, right?
3:26PM: Still here.
3:27PM: People are taking pictures with Mr. Igarashi, who just pulled out a whip.
3:28PM: Okay, so that really was it. Bye then.
3:30PM: We came back.And it's still over.