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
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The Fan Fueled Journey of FFXV

FFXV is out today. A game we first heard about 10 years ago. We got our first glimpse in 2006, we saw gameplay trailers in 2011, tidbits of story were dropped every few years and while we waited, we got FFXIII, Versus XIII (which was cancelled and reworked into XV), XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. We met Ignis, Prompto and Gladiolus 5 years ago and watched them fight with a battle system a decade out of date.

And we waited.

We read articles about delays and problems, spin off games and new directors and started to give up hope.

But then we read about voice actors,concept art and heard the music…it was starting to feel real again.

The first time we saw Noctis he looked like a boy who strolled out of Kingdom Hearts and into a real RPG (so much shade), much different from the older although just as brooding young prince we now know as the protagonist in FFXV.

Few franchises command the power and bloodline that Final Fantasy does. Die hard fans that spread across generations each with their own idea of the best game in the series, sentimental attachments to characters, tattoos of the symbols, faces and items that have become synonymous with the biggest, baddest JRPG series in video game history. So when rumors of a modern twist on our favorite classic started to circle XV after a line of disappointing entries, the hype got real in a behemoth way.

There was days worth of twitch streams, 15 hour gameplay videos, reviews written up by every commenter under the internet umbrella and months worth of footage uploaded to youtube on every major game channel.

We’ve been drowning in FFXV coverage all year but the real treat has been the Japanese developer’s titan approach to marketing and immersive events for the fans who have waited a decade to find out just what the hell is wrong with the moody, spoiled, Prince Noctis and why do his chocobros bother to stick around?

Let’s go through the list. Just doing a list because there’s a lot and I’m lazy.

March 2015: Episode Duscae demo released with Final Fantasy Type-0, to remind everyone that this game is still a thing and it is actually happening and probably to encourage gamers to get a feel for the FFXV’s new director, Hajime Tabata, who directed Type-0.

March 31st 2016: FFXV Uncovered Event. This was a no holds bar, it’s really happening, pull out all the stops, make it rain gil, bring out the chocobos event for fans held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, a place that has been known to host a little soiree called The Oscars. It was free for fans, live streamed around the world and featured cosplay, youtube stars, and Final Fantasy royalty with more surprises and fan service than you could shake a stick at. (Fifteen, actually. There were fifteen surprises. Because, of course.)

These bomb drops included:

The free Platinum Demo

Epic 3D art collage by Yoshitaka Amano

Free tie-in six episode anime: Brotherhood

Kingsglaive prequal movie reveal.

Free Justice Monsters Five mobile game

Reveal of the one of a kind Audi R8 promo car made irl based on the royal carriage in the game.

Florence and the Machine collab album and new trailer featuring her cover of Stand By Me.

The reveal of the collector’s edition, only 30,000 available through the Square Enix store (and the pre-orders sold out that night.)

And the release date (which was spoiled online earlier that day by some douche at Gamespot.) Thanks, jerk. But you didn’t ruin the epic downpour of confetti, hype, screams and tears that rained down on the crowd when it was OFFICIALLY announced.

After the Uncovered event came all the appearances at the worldwide game conventions where for the first time fans got a chance to play a snippet of the real game. Demos were available at E3, SDCC, NYCC, Gamescon, PAX, Pax East, TGS and Paris Games Week.

August 19th 2016: Limited Screenings of Kingsglaive across the US including at the beautiful Ahrya Fine Arts Laemmle in Beverly Hills.

September 7th, 2016: FFXV live in London at Abbey Road Studios with Yoko Shimomura performed by the London Philharmonic. Tickets were free but extremely limited and the legendary studio was packed full of fans who were able to ask the composer questions. The whole event was live streamed for the peasants left outside the doors.

finalfantasy-abbeyroad

Japanese Fashion Designer Roen (who designed the costumes for the game) released a real life line of clothes based on the outfits worn by the chocobros so you too can look like an emo, boy band prince. Noctis’ backstreet boy shirt can be yours for $1442, his fancy pants are only $817 and his gloves are a steal for $192. Somehow, these all sold out (WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!?! And do you need a best friend?)

November 22nd, 2016: IGN UK Launch Event. Open to fans who were quick enough to grab some free tickets. The development team was on hand to answer questions in a little tent dressed up like Eos and everyone got a chance to play the new game and score some FF themed cheesy poof snacks. This event was also live streamed around the world so everyone can think about how much they hate where they live.

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For a week the upscale restaurant owned by Jamie Oliver, Fifteen (they’ve never been subtle, why start now?) hosted a special menu designed around the game as food will play an important part in boosting stats and recovering after a long day of beating things with your sword with your bros.

final-fantasy-xv-inspired-menu

November 28th 2016: Japan Launch Event  – with a  “mystery disc” created for the event that included a battle with the Square Enix CEO against Noctis (watch it here ), countdown animated with the characters, a dropping of banners and a storm of silver confetti. A complete and true celebration because we never thought we’d get here, yet here we are, in the year of impossible failures and defeats we have a victory of brotherhood, friends who stand together and travel across vast lands to fight the great fight in the final battle.

You can rejoice and check out the countdown video here

And then THIS fucking trailer drops and it brought down all the feels and I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING.

Big shout out to all the teams that never gave up on this game and everyone who put together the free fan events throughout the year. Let’s dive in and no matter how you feel about FFXV be excellent to each other. There’s enough bad guys in the world, we don’t need you to be a douche. Chill out and ride a chocobo.

Kojima’s Top Secret VR porn project revealed

Beloved and often misunderstood game developer Hideo Kojima has been quite the jet setter these days, as any follower on Twitter will notice. After his official dismissal from evil corporation Umbrella Konami, he has been seen shaking hands and making deals with team Sony, makers of the Playstation.

Rumors have been flying as to what his next project could possibly be and true to his constant push of the art form, Kojima is diving headfirst into the latest gaming craze: Virtual Reality.

In order to guarantee VR’s success, Kojima was wise to note we must do what Blu-Ray did to win over an industry, get p0rn involved.

With one of the world’s most famous gaming icons at the helm, Kojima has volunteered to spearhead this momentous project, with himself as the starring role. All fanboys and fangirls of the critically acclaimed designer can choose to play as OR play with the famed Metal Gear creator.

Konami has reportedly pre-ordered the first hundred copies.

 

*This cake post is a lie. Obvi.