E3, and by extension any con or expo really, can be an exhausting experience. I spent all of Tuesday at the convention and came home incredibly worn out. I skipped Wednesday but got an invite from my boss to come back on Thursday to play some Nintendo games- and I figured, why the heck not?
The Nintendo booth takes up an entire corner of the show floor. It’s large and, as you might imagine, pretty packed. However, the energy is infectious and Nintendo did a great job of making the whole booth seem like an interactive experience.
It was almost Disneyland-esque- there were all these great props from Super Smash Bros. in big display cases, as though they were from a museum exhibit. They were strewn throughout the booth so that they could be seen both from people on the outside, and close enough to the winding lines that the people up close could snag pics (like I did). Obviously the lines to get to play some actual games were completely bananas- that’s not a DK pun- but luckily I had a bit of a hookup.
There was a sort of “VIP lounge” towards the back of the booth, right across from where Total War was being shown off. Since I had a media credential what with my Completionist work and all, I was able to meet up with Jirard and another member of the Completionist team, Frazier.
The other guys had been in meetings most of the day but were still down to play Nintendo games with me. I played a bit of the new Pokémon, got to mess around with the new pokéball peripheral. Because the one thing the Switch needed to be a full-blown Nintendo system is an insane add-on. The game seems fun! I got an “excellent” throw on my first pokéball toss, and everything went downhill from there. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what the game has to offer- the battles were like real Pokémon trainer battles and I’m curious to see how deep the game goes.
Of course the real draw was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We played six rounds together and I was able to play as some characters and some of my old standbys. Zelda still rules, and her magic foot (smash+A in the air) kicks ass like always. Snake is still devastatingly powerful and that cheetah print is as flattering as ever. I’ve never played Splatoon but I enjoyed the Inkling; there’s even a skin where he/she can wear a bandanna around their mouth with a skeleton grin, like they’re a character out of Black Ops. Ridley is big and slow and powerful but can also fly and slash and spit huge fireballs- if I get a Switch anytime soon, I’ll definitely focus on making him a main. I’ve always loved Mewtwo’s throws and the way it manipulates items and I’m glad it’s back for more psychic shenanigans. The only match I won was with Pokémon Trainer- Ivysaur was able to seal the deal in a sudden death match against Jirard’s Mario with a well-timed Razor Leaf. The game still increases adrenaline like no other one and it’s just plain fun.
We played with a timer and items on, not really my preferred way to go- but with four people at a crowded con, it was probably the most fun way to play. Can’t fault Nintendo for wanting to show off as many of the new systems as possible.
I feel lucky. The last three cons I’ve been to have been with a company, not as a regular attendee- so I’ve been able to have experiences that I maybe wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. It’s taken hard work but it feels like a reward for putting my nose to the grindstone over the last several months.
Most importantly, we came across this guy with a Sonic toaster. I want it.