We had all ordered our badges in advance (only way to do it) so there was no fuss nor muss in getting inside, which was fantastically huge and crowded right off the bat. Really our first day there went far too quickly, bumbled around the expo center sneeking peeks at all kinds of great looking games, grabbing free stuff (ooh, the free t-shirts - I could have skipped bringing changes of shirts and lasted the weekend entirely on these), and just overall milling about. Really the majority of the weekend consisted of roaming the expo floor - quite a lot to see and experience, not to mention the lines could be rather timeconsuming.
In addition to the expo floor there was an adjoining room with just seating for board/cardgamers. By leaving your ID with the staff you could borrow one game of your choice - and believe me, there were plenty to choose from. What is fantastic about this set-up of course is getting to test drive a game you may be interested in purchasing or just experiencing something you've never seen before. Card and Boardgames always seem a bit tougher to guess ahead of time whether they'll click with your playing style, not to mention the rules can't really be judged without a playtest (unlike video games where graphics are such a large portion of how to judge the experience).
I did manage to stray from that main level at some points, checked out the Classic Consoles room (wow, feels old to see N64 being a part of 'classic') and the Arcade Classics - there were some great games from back in the day on display there. I totally miss Food Fight and Robotron 2084, Dragon's Lair was fun to play again as well (even though I was always more a fan of its sequel), and for first time I managed to play Sinistar - fantastic game and pretty damn creepy with the voice.
In addition to the shirts and little free crap that I grabbed, I managed to win in two raffles. Or rather, won in one raffle and got real lucky with the other one. Managed to win a XTatic SP Stereo Headset (had gotten the raffle ticket while in line to playtest a Nintendo 3DS - btw, while I won't be getting the system right away, it looks fantastic and I will probably be getting one by the end of the year). While the second raffle required playtesting two PC games - Dragon's Nest & Vindictus. I managed to get my ticket stamped for the first one friday but was cut-off from the second line, managed to get back to it first thing saturday morning and then went to claim my raffle ticket... only to find out they decided to give the first ten people that came for raffle tickets the prize rather than a chance to win the prize - and that is how I managed to get a Fire Wolf SpiritHood :P
One really helpful thing I brought to pass the time... Pokemon White. So many people playing that game this weekend, first time I ever managed to vs other people online in that game. Only wish I had upped the levels a bit more, definitely in the newbie bracket for battles.
Some of the folks I ran into during the expo included tigerman, wulven, and zandperl - also ran into several furs who had been wandering around.
Had a lot of fun, I think if I manage to attend again next year I'll be able to manage my time a bit better - as i said, the expo tends to overwhelm the other aspects of this event but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of other great things there.
And now for some pictures!
Child of Eden - new Kinect game
Quite a few dressed in Star Wars gear hanging around the new MMORPG - now were they there on their own showing support or part of the advertisement?
This one looked like a lot of fun, an X-Box Live game if I'm not mistaken
Feeling a little... bi-furious?
I was so excited to see this poster, I am a huge fan of Jagged Alliance 2. And unfortunately the fantastic Sir-Tech went under some time ago, I only hope the company making this sequel manages to do them proud and keep the quality and humor its predecessor contained.
And some of the info-plaques next to the classic arcade games
Just a tiny portion of the Expo floor. FYI, attendance is reported to be about 69,500
Don't make fun of the age of the writer for this comic... it doesn't end well
View from our room at night.