Going to E3 This Year? Some First Year Advice.

This will be my 12th year going to the legendary video games conference: E3. I’ve learned a lot going through the years and I offer some advice for those going for the first time.

If you can only go one day- 

Go Tuesday. It’s the shortest day but it’s the easiest day to play what you want to play. More on this later.

Take the train if you can. 

Parking in LA is always awful but during an event like E3 it’s worse than usual. The metro will drop you off down the street from the convention center and will only cost you a few bucks per day. Cheaper than paying $20+ for parking.

Bring hand sanitizer. 

Many booths have gotten better at having anti-bac hand sanitizer in recent years for everyone to use but it never hurts to have your own in case you get stuck in an area without (or they run out). Touching controllers that hundreds of other people have touched that day might not seem that bad, but it adds up. Take care of yourself so you don’t wind up with swine flu by Friday.

Wear super comfortable shoes- 

and clothes. This becomes more important the more days you plan to attend. A lot of your time will be spent standing/sitting in line and walking from one area of the massive halls to another. If you have super saiyan feet, more power to ya. If not: don’t wear sandals, don’t wear pumps, don’t wear flats.

destiny cosplay

Bring snacks. 

Preferably ones that don’t require utensils or too much handling (see note #3). Granola bars, bananas, anything on a skewer. The lines for everything you’re gonna want to see could take 5 hours or more and you’re not gonna want to leave the show to eat. Also the offerings in the convention center are the overpriced, not great, junk food you’d expect.

Speaking of line waiting…bring something to do. 

E3 is a great place to get street passes on any iteration of the DS you own or spend some hours with your long neglected PSVita. I’ll also be interested to see how many Mario Kart tournaments break out in line on Switches this year. I’ve also been able to make a few new friends chatting up with fellow gamers to pass the time. You get to meet so many cool people who you know you already have something in common with, a love of video games!

Bring a bag.

You don’t want to get overencumbered with a big bag but bring something to stash your swag and snacks. I used to bring a one shoulder bag and that will wear you down after three full days. There isn’t as much swag as there used to be, but you usually get a shirt and a pin for playing demos for the bigger games. Bring something you wouldn’t mind climbing a mountain with.

Swag-

is earned at the show. You get swag for playing games, dancing in public, taking surveys, entering raffles, completing challenges, winning matches and so on. Not many booths just give out stuff. You gotta work for it gamer.

e3 swag2

Know what your top games are that you want to check out-

and do those on Tuesday. Everyone is still figuring the show out on the first day and the media badges are busy elsewhere, so if you know what you really want to see you’re already ahead of the game. Don’t think “oh I’ll go check that out tomorrow” because most times you’ll have to wait in line for 6 hours to see the big stuff (Destiny 2, COD WWI, Super Mario Odyssey will all probably be big lines). I waited EIGHT HOURS over TWO DAYS to play Halo 5 and experience the hololens.

e3 homefront

Prepare yourself for disappointment.

It’s not likely, because E3 is a total mind blowing blast but sometimes the really cool stuff is behind closed doors that you need a key called a “media badge” to open. That’s fine, there’s lots of stuff to check out. But as an example, last year only 100 people a day could get into the Resident Evil 7 booth to play the demo in VR. The first 100 in line literally got a golden ticket to get in. Everyone else was SOL. That’s cool, go play something else in the next area and don’t let it ruin your day.

RE7

Watch out for “Theater demos”.

I waited in line for an hour to get into a presentation for Watch Dogs 2 only to find out once I was inside that there was no swag, I couldn’t play the game and it was the exact same demo shown during the press conference. A lot of the bigger games do this especially Ubisoft titles. I recommend you watch the press conferences and then watch out for this at the show so you can maximize your time. If you’re not sure, ask one of the staff working the booth before you decide to wait in line.

Be fucking respectful. 

Yes there are celebrities at E3, super star game devs and yes there are booth babes. Don’t harass them or be a dick. They are people too. Say hi, ask for a picture, say something nice then move on. Nine times out of ten you will get a cool memory to take home with a pleasant exchange. Don’t be that douche bag they write articles about the week after the show.

e3 nintendo

GOThere’s a lot to take in- 

take it in on Thursday. There is so much to see and do (and buy this year) but don’t be tempted to review the floors on the first day and play the games on the next two. Plan your priorities and do them as soon as possible so you can relax and bask in the bright lights and glory of E3 on the last day.

HAVE A GREAT DAMN TIME. It’s gonna be totally awesome.
e3 pip

Switchmas is Shaping Up to be Just That.

IT’S ABOUT F*%@ING TIME.

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-6-28-24-pmOur purchases are now tied to our account and not the console. So I can stop buying the original Zelda for the 100000000th time.

Obvious move is obvious. But still appreciated.

Better late than never?

Nintendo Jumps on DLC Bandwagon

Okay, you got me. This isn’t the first time Nintendo has released DLC for their game.

They did it for Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros and Splatoon on the Wii U. Though Splatoon’s was all free unless you count the amiibo content, which was just fancy armor wrapped up in timed challenges wrapped up in an enigma. Or… whatever.

DLC makes sense when it expands a portion of the game or fixes story issues noticed after release (I’m looking at you FFXV). But the content listed in the Breath of the Wild expansion pass, which Nintendo is asking $20 for, is well, awful.

zeldadlc-1000x554

Soooooo we get a new shirt? What’s a “map feature”? How did “contains useful items” make it past the PR department for a bullet point spot in this officially released image?! And they are already looking at adding a new story when the game hasn’t come out yet?

I’m not knocking story DLC. Hell, the DLC for the Witcher 3 won game of the year awards. But I get the feeling this extra Zelda story will be about as deep as Tingle’s mental capacity.

Everything listed is too vague for me to cough up $20 for, where’s the horse armor AMIRITE?! Also, I’ve already committed close to $700 to play the new Zelda (Switch console, Master Edition, all five new amiibo, First Four Figures Statue, pro controller) and while I know I don’t need to buy these things to play the new game…it’s too late Best Buy already took all my money.

And can we all agree that the top tier package for any game should just INCLUDE the season pass/expansion pack/DLC?!?!?!

wth.

Nintendo Switch May Have Various Console Offerings

An excerpt from an interview with Nintendo Director Takahashi-san:

Whereas people who have been traditionally Nintendo handheld gamers, they may buy Nintendo Switch and then for example, if a new version were to come out later, then maybe they would decide to upgrade to that. Or, for example, because you can take the Joy-Con off the system, then I guess that leaves open the possibility of something else that might get attached. There’s obviously a lot of different developments that we could look at from that perspective as well.

(emphasis added by me)

May I please have a moment to react? Ah hem.

rage-face

 

 

So it seems I will need to become independently wealthy. And quick.

I can see Nintendo releasing new colors and themed Switch consoles as they have done in the past, and special joy-cons I can get on board with but if they treat the Switch like they did the 3DS with multiple versions that didn’t just upgrade battery life but actually limited the games you could play on them… that’s a recipe for WiiU-like disaster. Even with how closely some follow the industry there was still confusion by all the new iterations of the 3DS and new 3DS and new 3DS+ and NEWnew 3DSi-Platinum Gold Sticker Model 2.0.

I hope they stick to one Switch and promote it like hell so it sells like hot cakes and every third party developer would feel stupid to not make games for it.

If they do decide to release upgraded versions of the Switch ala Xbox Scorpio and PS4 Pro I know what I’m gonna do…

…probably buy one anyway.

angry-you-win-this-time-l

 

You can read the full interview with Takahashi-san from Time here.