Konami’s pre-E3 gathering showcases indie games, wackiness

Slime, go-karts and scantily clad women with bad attitudes all had a part in the event Konami called its first-annual pre-E3 show.

E3, of course, is gaming’s annual convention in Los Angeles. It’s a time for big companies to host big events for big ideas like new consoles and AAA-titles all in hopes of making big money.

Konami’s event, however, was smaller in scale. The publisher’s pre-E3 show took place Thursday at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City and gave attendees a chance to sample some lower profile titles.

Games included:

  • Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With an Engine: The game’s developers credit NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson for helping out the game’s design, but there’s no way for an observer to miss Mario Kart’s strong influence. “Anything” puts players in crazy vehicles and racers get to shoot pizzas (instead of turtle shells) at each other. That said, I raced around a barnyard-themed track and it seemed fun. The game is set for a fall release “for all three major home consoles,” which I assume are not the Neo-Geo, Intellivision nor Atari 2600.
  • Puddle: This is a rather clever – and insanely difficult – game based on fluid dynamics. I tried the PlayStation Move version and had a chance to fail at the challenge of guiding a puddle of water through a maze filled with flaming obstacles that evaporated my puddle character. The idea is to twist the Move from side to side and let simulated gravity do the rest. Another level on display featured a slimy puddle, instead of a watery one. The title is set for a summer release via PlayStation Network and XBox Live, although the XBox version won’t have motion controls.
  • Skullgirls: Like “Anything,” this one comes from an indie house called Autumn Development. The title is a three-on-three “Marvel vs. Capcom” styled fighter with cartoony – and jiggly – female characters. The exception, however, is Peacock, a crazy woman designed like an old Looney Toons character with a ridiculous amount of weapons at her disposal. She may have cult potential if the game catches on.