I have returned from the trip down south to attend E for All 2007 on Saturday and Sunday. I also attended the Video Games Live concert on the Friday.
Video Games Live is a concert of videogame music performed by an orchestra and a choir. I enjoyed Video Games Live. At times I thought that the montages of video game scenes played during the orchestral performances distracted from the music, but at other times I thought the images complemented the music. I thought that the audience participation games were unnecessary and to me they were unwelcome interruptions in the muscial performances. To a certain extent, I also thought that the on-stage introductions before certain pieces of music were unnecessary. I would have preferred it if they distributed programme books with the set list or found less intrusive ways of telling the audience the games which the music belonged to. As a whole, the performances did not flow well together because of all the interruptions. Highlights: Video Game Pianist playing ten themes from the Final Fantasy games, performances of music from Metal Gear Solid, Sonic the Hedgehog, World of Warcraft, a triumverate of Konami creators (creators for Castlevania, Silent Hill, and the music director for DDR) coming on stage, and composers coming on stage to introduce their music.
The attendees really enjoyed E for All. The industry types were unimpressed with E for All. The bottom line is that E for All is for consumers, not for industry. I heard a bit of whining from the industry professionals who missed the excess that was E3. I do agree that the new E3, which was held a few months ago, needs some re-working, but I disagree that the old E3 was the best format. Certainly, a central location should have been the way to go, but the ridiculous amount of money thrown into building the most flashy and loud booth, with the least-dressed and most attractive models hawking products, at the old E3 distracted from the heart of the event — the games. I think they should combine new E3 and E for All into one four-day event, with the first two days being for industry-only, and third and fourth days opening it up to the public (or maybe even just the last day).