Question: When is an E3 preview not an E3 preview?
Answer: When it's my preview of N+ for the PSP, conveniently posted today.
Simple, right? Ha. No. See, I played N+ and wrote the preview while E3 was going on, but I didn't do so at E3 on account of my E3 absence. The presentation of my preview at GameShark makes it look like I was at E3 which is kind of strange, but in the end, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that I played the game, which I did. In fact, me not being at E3 probably means that I was able to spend more time with the game as they up and sent us a preview build, two copies to be exact, so I was able to spend as much time with it as I needed, rather than spend whatever time allotment they dole out at these conventions.
It being my first preview, I think I did alright. Nothing spectacular. I tried to stick to the "write what you see" mode of preview writing so as to not load the thing up with bullshit, and to that effect I think I succeeded. It's harder than it looks. For example, the game has co-op, but I only have one PSP, so I couldn't play the co-op mode, but I did see that they had several modes. In that situation, do you mention co-op? On the one hand, it has it, and you can see it, so you can mention it, on the other hand, it could be horribly broken in the retail release to the point where saying it has co-op is a lie because co-op doesn't work. In the end, I decided to elaborate on the things I witnessed with mine own eyes, and mention in passing everything else.
For the record, I did, in fact, download a custom map. A nice one too. It had rocket ships.
Not being able to inject my opinion made it a bit harder too. Again, sticking to the "write what you see" kind of mode, I tried to just give the facts and let the reader decide if the game was something they should be interested in. It's tough, I mean, it's not the final version, so everything could change completely, bad to good or vice versa. In subsequent previews, I'll try and do better to strike the right tone between honest commentary and cautious optimism. Given that I'm pessimistic about pretty much everything, even cautious optimism will be a stretch for me.