- BEFORE – I’m going to be taking the Amtrak this year, which has me extra excited!
- Why take the train?
- I don’t have to drive.
- Parking was lousy last year.
- I didn’t have to leave the hotel last year so I don’t really need my car.
- I’m leaving on Thursday so there’s no hurry.
- Except for having to take a Lyft to the station it’s fairly cost-effective.
- It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
- Having to wake up at 5AM to catch a Lyft to the train station does reduce that excitement just a little, though.
- Taking my partial fursuit to a convention for the first time, which is making packing…interesting.
- Funny thing: Cosplays with a partial fursuit are easy: Wear a jersey: Sports Bear! Wear a lab coat: Scientist Bear! Wear a shirt and tie: Business Bear!
- It’s going to be hard to split time between fursuiting, taking pictures, hanging out with friends and panels!
- I’m mad at myself for losing the pre-game podcast audio that Chris and I recorded, have to be sure to not repeat that error after the con.
- Note to self: I need more T-shirts with bears on them.
- I said the wrong episode number on the make-up podcast recording. Fuzz it.
- THURSDAY/TRIP UP – I won’t need them at all but I have my keys. Hard habit to shake.
- Taking a Lyft for the first time as a passenger. I used to drive so it’s interesting to see it from the other side. Thanks Gregg!
- Posted a picture of the train and accidentally posted it vertically, which prompted jokes about going to hell, or outer space.
- When I owned a home, a set of tracks ran behind the house and I could see the trains pass by, including the Amtrak. Even though it’ll likely be dark I’ll be looking out for it.
- Made a strategic decision to use the men’s room at the station after hearing about the small stalls on the train.
- Regarding #13: Turns out the track we’re on is different than the one that goes behind my house. Well, poop.
- We’re going at about 40 miles an hour, neat.
- Yes, I downloaded a speedometer app to my phone just for the occasion.
- I keep bumping my head on the luggage rack >.<
- The self closing doors on the train threw me off at first.
- I thought the San Antonio station was tiny, but the San Marcos stop was just a shade and some benches!
- After the San Marcos stop we started booking it to Austin at 70mph
- Once in Austin, we picked up a bunch of furries and spent the rest of the trip in the lounge car.
- Pup hoods…. *sigh*
- The train ride was great!
- THURSDAY/ARRIVAL – Thing I forgot #1: Aftershave >.<
- Union Station in Dallas is both impressive and depressing at the same time.
- I’m on the 7th floor; I figured I’d live dangerously and not ask for a lower floor like I did last year.
- I know the people in the room next door, yay!
- Really short fursuiters will never not be cute!
- My fursuit head fan is working out really well; I just have to figure out how to hide the power cable better.
- I was going to wait for the reg line to die down but said heck with it and jumped in.
- They quickly ran out of ‘Chaotic’ tags. Not sure if it’s because of the rainbow thing or the chaotic thing.
- They still had plenty of Evil tags, so I guess that’s a good sign. I went with Lawful myself
- FRIDAY – Had to resist the urge to talk in a bad NY accent at the nearby Cindy’s NY Deli. Fuhgetabowdit!
- Thing I forgot #2: Cash
- Left my keys in my room and trying to get used to not having them in my pocket >.<
- If your videogame room has only fighting games, it gets a thumbs down from me.
- Funny to see cookies being given away in the lobby, that’s all a bunch of furries need: SUGAR!
- Good job with the Fursuiting at Fiesta panel
- Good panel idea: Have a raffle to keep people in the panel room ’till the end
- Character performance how to panel was also good, though I’m irked that they took the entire hour. Leave some time for the next person, mmmkay?
- Nothing like delaying a bathroom run because you see a line outside the door for the next panel!
- Someone suggested I should get bear ears for my fursuit since I’m the ‘bear ears guy’ 😁 Bearception!
- While fursuiting: Why is it getting so warm in here? Oh. The battery for my fan died. BACK TO THE ROOM STAT.
- Sorry, normie that I squished in the elevator!
- Another panelist went over their time. Not cool.
- Scary moment: Putting my cell into my back pocket while in suit and then sitting on it! Luckily, it survived.
- SATURDAY – Feeling pretty good about myself; I’m usually that guy that takes his backpack everywhere, but I’ve been able to leave it in the room the whole time.
- Regarding #36: Putting my hotel key in the pocket where my keys usually go has helped with the OMG I DON’T HAVE MY KEYS feeling
- Thing I forgot #3: Heavy coat
- Note to self: Check the weather before getting dressed. Froze my tail off walking to breakfast wearing shorts.
- Cindi’s deli was great except for the ‘rolls and biscuits’
- Thing I forgot #4: Dark socks for my ‘Business bear’ outfit.
- Thing I forgot #5: Ears to wear when I’m not in suit.
- I think Dr. Nuka got a smaller room this year and/or they didn’t have as many chairs. LAME.
- Between fursuiting and walking I was dead tired by Saturday afternoon and needed a nap.
- I bet the normies who came to Reunion Tower over the weekend didn’t expect us!
- Hats off to the guy who sang “The Touch” by Stan Bush at karaoke. That took guts.
- Darn it karaoke lady, make sure you pick a version of the song with the words! Lucky for me, I almost know “Once Upon a Time In New York City” by heart.
- I saw a friend walk into into the karaoke room while I was doing my thing. He apparently didn’t think I was the one singing, didn’t bother to look at the stage and walked out.
- It was wonderful to meet Hollyfox! She’s a sweetie.
- Yeaah, if y’all could knock off the late night awoos, that’d be greaaat.
- SUNDAY – I had breakfast at Cindi’s each day of TFF. Except for their loose interpretation of biscuits and gravy, this was not a problem.
- Hey, let’s take the tunnel back to the hotel and get out of the cold…and it isn’t open on the hotel side. Poop.
- Had to finish my furscience.com homework on Sunday morning, but it got done
- The friend I was catching a ride with home wanted to leave early, so we left early
- I didn’t get to wear my Sports Bear outfit at the con! *sad bear face*
- Being driven home was nice, got to (mostly) catch up on my sleep.
- Packing extra clothes for cosplay means twice the laundry to do afterwards. *pbbt*
- I ended up walking up and down additional 70+ floors of stairs that week according to my Fitbit. and I stayed on the 7th floor. Funny how that works!
San Japan is probably my favorite convention, bar none, and this year was great! As always, I noticed a few things…
- BEFORE – I’m guessing “Magical Universe” means there will be a lot more Sailor Moon crossplayers.
- They’re going to have to try pretty hard to top Okashicon for: “Con with the most pinks and pastels” prize.
- Between this and Furry Fiesta 2019’s ‘Roll Fur Initiative” theme, I’m not feeling a lot of love.
- As a nerd who’s old enough to have owned an Atari 2600, I’m not exactly the target audience, so yeah.
- I’m getting a new fursuit and this will be my first time wearing it. It’s just the thing for MID-90 DEGREE WEATHER.
- In addition to the usual con prep, I’m also looking for a new job and getting my house ready to be put on sale the Tuesday after. No rest for the weary! >.<
- I guess I can’t awkwardly refer to San Japan as a ‘Comic-Con’ anymore to normies for fear of being sued by SDCC.
- Staying at the nearby Tru by Hilton, which apparently is a more modern hotel, which means it annoys me somewhat.
- Thing I forgot (again): Aftershave.
- Chili’s seems to have become our San Japan Thursday dinner go-to.
- Looks like my fursuit won’t be ready for the show. Given the temperature outside and my lack of experience, it’s likely just as well.
- Had a funny moment with a friend when I had to remind him that he wasn’t working on Labor Day the following Monday.
- Dave: “You can have ambience or you can have a butt-load of arcade games.” I’m glad he went with Door #2.
- Maybe they should change the name to ‘Sign Japan.’
- I find the lack of security on Thursday nights to be just a little concerning.
- FRIDAY – Nothing like waking up early to go feed the meter; a small price to pay for cheap parking!
- I was happy with my badge art until I saw the volunteer badges have the same art and now I’m less happy.
- Yay escalators!
- Yay, I forgot about the escalators and took the scenic route down to Artist Alley!
- Furst World Problems: I quit wearing my ears because the hairband kept digging into my head.
- I got a haircut the other day so there is less hair to cushion it now.
- The uneven lanes the Artist Alley are just a little weird.
- No panels to run on Friday: HOW DO I HAVE FUN?
- Retro Game Museum might be better off being called “Pong Museum.”
- Might need to put together a video game history panel, made better because I WAS THERE FOR MOST OF IT.
- The arcade was cool, though the sound on the music games wasn’t always loud enough.
- You know the competition between the three(!) Chinese joints at Rivercenter Mall is crazy when someone tries to hand you a sample WHILE YOU’RE IN LINE FOR THE PLACE NEXT DOOR.
- SATURDAY – I didn’t have enough change to feed the meter for the whole day, so I decided to live dangerously.
- Old hotness: Annoying music over Bluetooth speaker. New hotness: Watching anime subs on your phone with the volume turned up
- Sign of the times: Sriracha at the breakfast buffet
- Thanks for the retweet, Dave. Be nice if your Twitter account wasn’t protected, but such is life.
- I had an unfortunate situation with the light switches before Furry 101…maybe not for me, but the dance contest people next door likely hate me now.
- Very happy with the turnout and participation at Furry 101 this year, thanks for the help, San Antonio furries!
- I always have to buy a paleta from the vendor in front of the Henry B…BECAUSE REASONS
- It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to lose fursuiters at an anime con!
- There seem to be more people wearing ears and tails this year, hmm.
- Chili’s again for supper. I’m okay with that.
- SUNDAY – Good trend: Vendors playing 80s music
- I’m still having difficulty finding cool stickers for my my laptop, though I did buy a chibi Bender.
- I’m pretty much forced to stay all day thanks to having a panel scheduled at 530 PM.
- Decision time: Carry my laptop around all day or return to my car to get it at 500 PM. I went with door #1
- Luckily, there is less me to carry around this time so it wasn’t a big problem.
- Dunno if anyone is going to be at “How to Panel,” but the show must go on.
Maybe I’ll use the setup time to take a nap.
- Mental note: Add a “Finish on time and clear the room” slide to the presentation because the group before me didn’t.
- Yay, people showed up…including one person with REALLY weird questions. Sometimes you get ‘that guy’ at a panel, and he definitely was THAT GUY.
- Overall, the panel went well. I learned some stuff and made notes to add stuff to the presentation to make the next one even better!
- I took one of those Lime-S rental scooters back to the car, it was pretty cool!
- I was relieved to not find a citation on the my vehicle when I returned to it.
- I really can’t find anything major that went wrong this year, it’s gonna be a boring post-game Con Talk episode.
- San Japan XII: Sports?! Finally, a theme I can get behind!
The tenth San Japan came and went like a lion. I had three panels to do and my compatriot WolfBoy had furry things to do. As always, I noticed a few things…
- BEFORE-Okay San Japan people, I’ll do a third panel I’ve never done before and have to prepare in three days because you asked so nicely. Just spell my name right in the schedule this time, mmmkay?
- Time to retire my 2009 iMac from recording duties, it derped out on me when recording the pre-game podcast and ate some audio >.<
- I asked a friend if he was going to San Japan and he said he was more of an ‘indie rock’ guy versus ‘arena rock’ so I had to try to convince him that San Japan wasn’t just another ‘autograph-con’
- Holy cats, did we get salty during the pre-game podcast.
- I’ll be wearing my smartwatch for the first time since I got laid off because I HAVE IMPORTANT ANIME CON THINGS TO DO.
- I also won’t be wearing my rings. I’ve lost enough weight to where they’re starting to slip off my fingers now; a good problem to have.
- PROTIP: You can read the Chili’s lunch special menu through the window if you want to be weird
- Walking through the mall, WolfBoy and I decided to stop and take a seat…in front of the Victoria’s Secret. YEAH, NOT CREEPY AT ALL
- It says something that I can get 12 Streetpasses in my hotel room on Thursday night
- I finally remembered my Nintendo 3DS this time!
- As I get the presentation together for the third panel, I’m really looking forward to putting it on!
- Seems folks are taking a bit longer than usual to get set up, either that or were just really early
- I asked for a bigger panel room and I got it…boy, did I get it 0_0
- THURSDAY NIGHT-530pm No Japanese arcade machines set up. WolfBoy: “WORST CON EVAR!”
1000pm Initial D cabinet set up. WolfBoy: “BEST CON EVAR!”
- Idiots asking “Is San Japan not happening because of Hurricane Harvey or gas shortages?” should be charged double for their badges.
- Concerning: Nobody was watching the entrances Thursday night
- Also concerning: The way too wide open aisles behind the artists with nothing to keep people from walking down them. Hope there aren’t any thefts.
- At the risk of sounding like a shill, Verizon service has been pretty awesomesauce. A little slow at times, but ‘slow’ is better than ‘none.’
- FRIDAY-First the signs weren’t big enough, and now they aren’t spelled right. This is why Dave is already grey, people!
- Charger box things at the Henry B are almost a good idea, the flaw is that most folks can’t bear to be away from their phones
- Dear Guidebook: If I only have one event downloaded PLEASE OPEN THE FREAKING EVENT WHEN I LAUNCH THE APP, K?
- Also: TOO MANY SCHEDULE FILTER OPTIONS
- Artist friends: Don’t just say “I’m in artist alley, find me.” There are over 100 artists. I NEED DETAILS!
- Sure, WolfBoy, it’s only 90 degrees outside and you’re wearing a partial fursuit with a dark business suit LETS GO
- Always adorable to see little girls taking pictures with Wonder Woman cosplayers
- Not sure why, but they kicked up the difficulty on the Time Pilot game in the game room. I spent longer than usual getting the high score.
- Got inadvertently put to work in Registration directing traffic for ten minutes. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT THEY PULL ME BACK IN
- Almost lost my badge before Furry 101, yipes!
- As I saw people walk away from the convention center for dinner, I had a feeling attendance was going to be down for Furry 101.
- Dear former coworker: If I didn’t want to talk to you at work, what makes you think I’m going to want to talk to you outside of work?
- I apparently can’t give a panel if I can’t read my presentation, the rear projection screens at Furry 101 completely threw me off >.<
- Just as well, I don’t like presenting while standing over people on a stage.
- We had 150-200 people at the panel, I guess that justifies the biggest room at the con. 😛
- Annoying thing: People that use Q&A time to make dumb jokes. Get a life.
- REALLY annoying thing: People that try to answer questions during the Q&A part of my panel. GET YOUR OWN PANEL
- The A/V guy was very complimentary after Furry 101, though. Thanks man!
- The only time I get a ton of steps is at cons and after 20,000 today, my dogs were barking.
- By ‘dogs’ I mean feet, not like actual dogs or furry costumed dogs.
- SATURDAY-When you’re up at 6am on Saturday morning, you’re up, what can I say
- If you aren’t willing to make your own waffle at the hotel breakfast, YOU DON’T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
- There is another event happening at the Henry B, which answers the question of why there was a higher-than usual number of older Mexican women around downtown San Antonio in the morning.
- Weirdest thing I’ve heard so far: “Dad, doesn’t she have nice boobs?”
- There seem to be quite a few empty tables even in the Dealer’s room; an effect of Harvey, perhaps?
- The number of people donating blood is pretty awesome
- Peeked in on the panel that took my spot from the beta schedule and they had just as many people as I had the night before…maybe less.
- To be fair, they’re a major sponsor and I’m just a guy with a microphone, an attitude, and weird friends.
- I kinda want a Steven Universe T-shirt (think I got a little resemblance to Steven there) but I kinda don’t want to pay thirt bucks for one
- To the harpy working A/V before my audio panel: If you don’t want attitude thrown back at you, don’t fire first. I’ve done tech support too, but I treated my people and customers with respect until they gave me a reason not to.
- “Really Basic Auido Recording” was easily the worst panel I’ve done in a while; next time I’ll just say no…or hold another ‘hide Dave for an hour podcast’ panel.
- That said, the few people that did hang around had really good questions!
- Bad idea: Dragging a boom mic (and it’s heavy base) to the panel. I think I’ll use a Rock Band mic next time to make a point.
- Heard an ambulance and thought ‘Oh boy, it’s a party now,’ but it didn’t stop at the con
- SUNDAY-Other artist booths : Out to lunch Friend’s booth: Out Fursuiting
- To the people playing Bee Gees and Michael Jackson on their Bluetooth speakers: THANK YOU FOR PLAYING GOOD MUSIC
- That said, can we just ban those damn things from cons already?
- Had to defend my honor by retaking the top spot on the Time Pilot game (see #26). I doubled the score that had topped mine. BEAT THAT, AAA!
- Parking lot guy: “Twenty bucks”
I parked at the city lot across from the Hyatt for $11 so NEENER NEENER PARKING LOT GUY
- Old hotness: Mind-reading robot cat ears
New hotness: Ballcaps with words
- Thing to remember for next year: Fursuit straws!
- I think I’m finally over being weirded out by crossplay…mostly.
- Funniest question of the weekend: “Are you a Mawg?”
- E-book panel went awesomely; lots of people with good questions and I had JUST enough handouts!
- Two out of three good panels ain’t bad!
- Highly disappointed in the other ‘How to publish books’ panel; I spent 25 minutes hearing the guest blab on about herself and walked out. I think I had a bigger audience, too.
- I’m going to be that old guy (because I am) and mention that too many products and displays in Artist Alley/Dealer Room had swear words on them. There seemed to be less nudity than in years past, though
- AFTER- Might be time to retire my digital camera, too many ‘ghost spots’ >.<
- Step count: Thursday 19627, Friday 20797, Saturday 23268, Sunday 14284 I swear cons are the only place I get a lot of exercise, I should go to more!
- Rainy and cold on Friday. Did the weather follow the Penny-Arcade guys down here?
- First time I’ve ever seen people scalping tickets at a con.
- Weird con idea: Coat check-in
- Found it hilarious that OG forgot his battery pack and his phone died. Seriously, dude?
- Dafuq with all the Seahawks jerseys? I thought these were supposed to be nerds?
- Nice line for Video Game Jeopardy, hope my voice holds up
- Men’s room was out of soap, hopefully that means people are using it
- Actually, I didn’t use any. Sorry, guys, I was in a hurry
- We’ve been doing Video Game Jeopardy for years and of course I goof up in front of our biggest audience by pulling up an answer when the contestant had it wrong
- The guy won easily, no harm done there. *whew*
- Despite all the Seahawks jerseys, ‘Cover Athletes’ was easily the most-hated Video Game Jeopardy! category
- Somebody actually knew the obscure Atari 2600-related answer (Pele’s Soccer) Impressive.
- The risk of picking random people for Video Game Jeopardy is that we may get folks that know little or know it all, we got two of the first and one of the second.
- Had a case of mistaken identity after Video Game Jeopardy, hadn’t had that happen in a while.
- Sorry, I have never worked at GameStop, though like many gamers, I’ve spent enough time at them for it to seem that way.
- Thought someone was giving away bean bags until I realized it was a chill area. Derp.
- Saturday-If you don’t mind walking a few blocks there’s a $2.50 per day parking lot under the freeway at E. Houston St.
- Forgot to bring my 3DS on Friday, not making that mistake again!
- I always bring a box of Rice Krispies Treats in my backpack. Just the thing to hold one over till the next meal.
- Nerds love em too, which is good for sharing
- Seriously. Anime, comic, furry, video game, whatever-con. Nerds flip for Rice Krispies Treats.
- Left my gloves at a friend’s house a few weeks ago, sure would have come in handy today!
- Random guy came up and offered me a Saturday badge because he was looking for a guy ‘with a red shirt and a fist on it.’ Lucky for him I’m honest.
- Weird thing: He apparently didn’t notice I was already wearing a badge. Hope he found who he was looking for.
- Saturday con day breakfast: Breakfast on a Bun with sausauge. If you don’t know what that is, have breakfast at Whataburger the next time you see one.
- Oh, they do have a coat check here. Cool.
- So one hall is to hold the line to get into the other one? I am a little disappoint.
- Remember when arcades weren’t just fighting games? Pepperidge Farm remembers
- Maybe its because I’ve been to E3 but my initial reaction to PAX was slightly underwhelmed
- What was there was cool, but in terms of volume, other cons have more stuff. Quality vs. quantity, I suppose.
- Also, I’m also not a OMG HARDCORE GAMER so I’m not exactly the ‘target audience.’
- Plenty of signal, no data, thanks Cricket/AT&T!
- Crisis: 3DS battery light turns red OH NOES I’LL MISS ALL THE STREETPASSES
- Nintendo: Y U NO USE USB?
- Good idea: Arriving half an hour early for a panel. Bad idea: Standing in line for about a half-hour waiting to get in
- I own an iPad mini, a Windows 8 tablet, a smartphone and still ended up using paper and pen to take my notes. Yay for dead trees!
- Weird moment: Sitting at the lower level of the Rivercenter food court eating, looking to my left, and seeing people’s feet.
- They had shoes on, so it wasn’t that bad
- Weirder moment: Seeing a Starbucks gift card next to said feet
- Weirdest moment: Asking the owners of the feet if they had dropped it
- The card wasn’t theirs and I was too honest to take it. Oh well!
- Thought I saw the paleta man but it just a bicycle-rickshaw thing BOO
- Scott Kurtz was the only celebrity I knew of, so I said hi, told him I enjoyed PvP and went on my merry way.
- I probably weirded the dude out. Sorry man, couldn’t think of anything clever.
- Booth observations: No demo, no write up.
- I also don’t think my editor is interested in Kickstarter projects.
- Saw one booth that looked like a T-shirt company-cum-game developer…huh?
- I tended to ignore booths that had ‘just another’ shooter/platformer/adventure game. Yes, I’m jaded
- No interest in mobile games, either. Sorry, guys /shrug
- Loneliest booth was probably Gamechurch.com
- Sitting across from an empty seat resting my feet and some gal just sits in it. I guess being pretty means not having manners.
- The next gal that showed up after Ms. Thing left asked if the seat was taken. Go fig.
- Not interested in swag, but Astronaut ice cream? Yes, please!
- I have no idea why they had Astronaut ice cream.
- Rest time = Streetpass harvest time!
- Losing weight is good. Having to constantly pull up my jeans is annoying, made me like a bleeping teenager
- I referred to the jean-tugs as the ‘reverse Picard maneuver’
- Lots of compliments on my ‘I can wreck it!’ shirt again, woo!
- Realized after the fact that I overpacked and should have left my Bluetooth mouse/keyboard at home.
- Observation from OG: There were no volunteers barking at attendees like at other cons
- Wonder if it’s because the attendees seem to be a mite older here?
- Regardless, perhaps other cons need to jazz up their marketing and call their volunteers something else to add prestige and respect to what is a very thankless job. “Volunteer?” Boring. “Enforcers?” Oooh.
- Not sure what I’m going to do for Sunday. I pretty much saw all the booths yesterday
- Made darn sure to charge my 3DS last night
- Also remembered to fill my water bottle before leaving the house this time. Mmm, home water.
- The weather was so nice I almost forgot my coat when I left
- Now that the event is over, I can finally delete all those ‘PLEASE COME SEE OUR STUFF’ emails from devs.
- Great, now they’re finding me on my Twitter
- Obligatory work item: My legs should not be this sore after the fact, need a gig where I *don’t* sit on my tail all day
- PAX South is probably the best fan-run gaming convention around and I can see why folks love it so. Its not really my thing; if I go next year it’ll just be for a day. Plenty of my friends had a blast, though!
I think I might be done with video games, or at least done with buying new consoles. I have been playing video games since the days of the Atari 2600 but my enthusiasm for new games and consoles has grown smaller and smaller with each sequel/lookalike/dark-haried protagonist/space marine game announcement for the last year or two.
One reason is I just don’t consume as much media as I used to. I see movies very occasionally, watch little to no television and don’t buy very many CDs and Blu-Rays anymore. A bigger reason is a feeling of ‘been there, done that.’ The Big 3’s E3 announcements impacted me with a great big ‘meh’ as I saw the sequel numbers get higher and higher.
So let’s run down the list:
I like to describe my PlayStation 3 as my “Blu-Ray player that also plays Ratchet and Clank.” I can count the number of PS3 disc games I own on my hands, and most of the downloadable ones I have are games that I reviewed for original-gamer.com It should say something that I still haven’t finished Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault and have yet to even purchase Sly Cooper 4. As I have nearly zero interest in JPRGs or any of the Sony exclusive titles, I don’t see any reason to get a PS4 anytime soon.
The Xbox 360 was easily my favorite machine of this generation, though it bears mentioning that about a third of the disc games I own have either ‘Rock Band’ or ‘Guitar Hero’ in the title. I’ve also purchased about a dozen downloaded titles and the Kinect is always fun when friends are over. The Halo and Gears of War series have both been entertaining, but I have little interest in seeing them drug into the ground a la Capcom. The TV functions of the 360 were also nice: I used it to stream and record HDTV from my PC via Windows Media Center to the living room TV. I was actually intrigued by the Xbox 360’s TV functionality but the high price and anti-consumer policies Microsoft may or may not be imposing mean I won’t be getting an Xbox One in the near future.
“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be,” the old joke goes. Nintendo has finally gone to the well once too often because Mario has become the new Madden as far as I am concerned. I think the breaking point was when they started making sequels. I may yet acquire Super Mario Galaxy 2 but my initial reaction was “Oh boy, they added Yoshi…whee.” When New Super Mario Bros. 2 was announced, I saw the ads about the whole ‘collect a bajillion coins’ thing and thought, “That’s IT?” I am intrigued by the Wii U, but its initial lineup landed with a great big thud and the current game drought makes me feel like I didn’t have it so bad after buying a launch 3DS. The sad thing is that the one franchise I would like for Nintendo to drag into the ground is one they’ve completely forgotten about: StarFox.
I haven’t done any PC gaming for quite a few years now. Seriously, the last PC game I bought was Portal…on disc…at Circuit City. Oddly enough, I may end up playing games solely on my PC from here on out. Since most of the big multi-platform releases end up on PC, I shouldn’t miss very many of the few AAA titles I’m interested in and there are loads of smaller devs doing interesting things these days on the indie scene. Maybe I’ll get an Ouya after its had a little more time in the oven.
So there you have it. I have been a gamer for well over 30 years now, and while it has been loads of fun, it may be time to hang up the controller for good. Will it happen? Who knows, but my current consoles and 3DS are doing just fine for now.
Detractors of certain games, genres, and even systems often complain that “all they do is make the same game over and over again.” As much as I hate to admit it, I’m starting to feel that way about Nintendo.
I first got this vibe when Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released. I still haven’t picked it up and don’t really have any desire to. The New Thing in that game was the addition of Yoshi. Yay. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was announced and I reacted to the whole “COLLECT A BAJILLION COINS!” thing with a great big “whoop-dee-doo.”
Its not just what some call “sequelitis,” either. Indeed, the Big N is almost expected to drop new Mario or Zelda games every so often, its what they do. To their credit, Nintendo has kept their franchises fresh by evolving and adding to their gameplay over the years, but I now find myself unexcited and uninterested in Mario’s latest adventures. It also doesn’t help that the one franchise I wouldn’t mind seeing them drag into the ground (StarFox) hasn’t seen a new game since 2006.
The Wii U is now here and its not even on my radar; I find myself more interested in hunting down an iPad mini. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s going to take more than just another Mario or Zelda game to get me to drop the cash for a Wii U.
They just aren’t special to me anymore, and there’s something sad about that.
It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realized that the Wii U is being released in the USA this Sunday. It sneaked up on me the same way like Thanksgiving did. But whereas I am excited about spending time with family and watching football and eating good food and shopping and a long weekend away from the office, I have virtually zero interest in the Wii U.
I was interested in the system after the Wii U’s debut at Nintendo’s E3 2011 press conference. Like the Wii, it promises to provide new ways to play games. I even wrote an article discussing the similarities between it and the 3DS for original-gamer.com. This year’s Nintendo press conference, however, completely let the air out of that balloon. All I saw was Mario, a bunch of recent releases, and one or two mildly interesting games. One of which was Lego City Undercover, which should say something.
While I didn’t get a Wii at launch, I did find the idea interesting and ultimately purchased one once some interesting games came out for it. This time around, though, Nintendo is going to have to do better than dragging out yet another Mario or Zelda game.
My apathy towards the Wii U leaves me feeling a little sad: Part of me is wondering if Nintendo has jumped the shark, but that’s a discussion for a future time.
Thank you, Disney, for finally giving us a really good movie about video games. Wreck-It Ralph is an homage to all of video gaming, not just the ‘arcade days.’ The best compliment that I can give to it is that you don’t have to know anything about games to enjoy it. Granted, you’ll get more out of it if you have played video games, but they do a good job of explaining how things work in the world behind the arcade screen.
The video game cameos/references/in-jokes all made sense. I never got that feeling of “HEY! LOOK! IT’S SO-AND-SO! AREN’T WE CLEVER!” that sometimes comes with movies like this. Everything just felt right.
Despite being labeled as a kids’ movie, Wreck-It Ralph has some dark moments and is rated PG. There were plenty of funny moments, and I heard as many adults laughing (including myself) as I did kids throughout. I am going to gladly watch it a few more times in the theaters and buy the inevitable Blu-Ray release.
YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT!
I’ve been hyped up for Wreck-It Ralph ever since I saw the first trailer. While Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a fun ride, it was more geared toward the NES kids that are just a hair younger than I am. Tron and Reboot gave us a look into the ‘world inside the computer’ but Wreck-It Ralph is a love letter to the arcade games many of us dropped numerous quarters into back in the 70s and 80s.
The story centers on the titular Wreck-It Ralph, a “bad guy” from a fictional early 1980s arcade game who has grown tired of playing that role for the last 30 years. He attends group sessions with other bad guys including such heavyweights as Zangief from Street Fighter, Kano from Mortal Kombat, Neff from Altered Beast and even Clyde (the orange ghost) from Pac-Man. In an effort to become a hero he jumps into other games, eventually putting the arcade in jeopardy.
Disney has even gone through the trouble of making fictional posters, TV commercials and even real “Fix-It Felix Jr.” arcade machines. I can’t wait, because the movie just feels right based on what I’ve seen in the trailers. Those of us old enough to remember when arcade games were video games should probably watch this movie, it looks to be a fun one.
I am the Editor/Voice Guy of Original-Gamer.com and I all but handed in my resignation two weeks ago. I had become burned out having spent the last two years and change reviewing games, editing and writing articles about games, voicing over videos about games, going to game-related events, and actually having to PLAY a bunch of games. Video games had become work, and I had become sick of them to the point where even the Wii U announcement during E3 had failed to excite me. What little joy I could muster from videogames came from playing 3DS titles. Mighty Switch Force and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm were two recent titles that I had actually enjoyed.
I wanted videogames to be fun again, and so I told OG that I was done. That was it. Game Over. No mas. Bueno, bye. I would wrap up the games that were currently on my plate and be completely done with the site. I reconsidered it over the San Japan weekend and decided that I would stick around, but would no longer review games. This is part of a greater desire to cut back on ‘side projects’ so that I could concentrate on my writing.
I was happy to be getting a break from videogames. I only had one or two more to finish before clearing my plate of everything that I ‘had’ to play and then I could get back to playing games that I wanted to play. One evening while chatting, OG mentioned Dust: An Elysian Tail (or simply Dust). He said that he was enjoying it and that I probably would like it, too.
At first, I wasn’t sure that he was being serious. OG and I know each other well enough to mess with each other and I thought he was being all “you’ll like it because ITS FURRY LIKE YOU HURR HURR.” But no, he said: “it is pretty damn good, and it looks amazing,” which is pretty high praise, especially coming from him. I read up on the game, got excited, went to Ye Olde Electronics Store for a Microsoft-moon-money card and downloaded it the next day. I was curious to see if it was really as good as he had made it out to be.
It was. My socks were completely knocked off. I cannot remember the last time I have been blown away by a game like this, but I should mention that yeah, I have missed out on a lot of excellent games these past two years. Nearly every moment of Dust has been a joy to play so far: I have been laughing at the dialogue, gritting my teeth as I fight my way through enemies, marveling at the game’s beautiful world as I explore it and enjoying the story.
I think Dust has restored some of my faith in gaming. Its not that I’ve been playing nothing but bad games as part of my role at Original-Gamer. Far from it,. I have played games that were fun and that earned high scores for being fun, but they haven’t crossed that line from ‘this is fun’ to ‘this is AMAZING’ the way that Dust has.
Except for being (as far as I know) one of the few mainstream ‘furry’ games to emphasize its story, Dust really isn’t anything new. It is a 2D hack-and-slash ‘Metroid-vania’ game with RPG elements. That said, everything in Dust that I have seen so far has been executed very well: the art, animation and music combine to make a beautiful game to see and hear, the voiceovers have been very well done, the gameplay makes me feel like the mighty warrior that Dust is supposed to be, and the story is starting to suck me in.
At a time when everything seems to be recycled, rehashed or rebooted, it makes me feel good to know that a game can still come out of nowhere and move me the way Dust has. I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I have played so far, I can only hope that Dust ends up being only the first of many Elysian tales that I get to enjoy.