Here we are, over a week post-E3. Here I am, still trying to sort out what to write about my single day that I spent there. For a handful of hours, I experienced a lot, and boy do I have a lot to say. Too much for a single post. Let’s be honest: Nobody wants to read a giant wall of text. But, there are pictures! Lots of them! So, it’s a wall of text with pretty photos pinned on it. It’s like Pinterest for gamers. Or something, perhaps, a bit more clever sounding than I can manage.
First off, I’d like to dispel a long held belief by many a gamer that E3 is a Happy Fun Time Jollyfest™: this expo can be a VERY harrowing experience if you’re not properly prepared. I will be the first to tell you that I was not ready, even though I thought I was. I had a game plan, I did. However, the way I went into E3 was akin to someone preparing to play air hockey when they’re actually in the last game of the NHL Stanley Finals. Sure, you’re in the finals, but you’re likely going to be pucked.
Now that we’ve got that we’ve cleared the air on our expectations, let’s talk about Bryan’s First E3.
I was lent an Exhibitor badge by a friend, and for that I am grateful! Otherwise, I’d not have had the opportunity to wander the show floor. While I was waiting for said friend to do the hand off, I made myself comfortable at the NOS Energy Drink tent outside of the Expo Center.
While there, I observed a group of folks with religious protest signs, blasting ‘Amazing Grace’. I suspect they think that we gamers are sinners. My favorite of them was the fellow holding a cross that said ‘HEAVEN OR HELL’ on one side. I couldn’t help but think of Guilty Gear, and hope that some errant cosplayers would have some fun with it, but that, sadly, didn’t happen.
While under the safety of the tent, I got to feast my eyes upon a pair of Tekken wrapped racecars and two playable fighting games: The newest iterations of Tekken Tag and Dead or Alive. I didn’t get any hands on time, but both of them look amazing both in terms of gameplay and graphics. As I gazed deeply into the pretty pixels and badass combos, I was given an ‘ow, my eyes!’ orange NOS lanyard, and a free energy drink. The most surprising part about this particular flavor–unlike every other energy drink I’ve ever tasted–was that I actually enjoyed it! Thank you for your tastiness, NOS! [Brand shout-out, ahoy! If you think is something is tasty, you’re gonna tell people about it, right? Right! Moving on, then.] I had the ‘Charged Citrus’ flavor, which tasted like ultra-charged Mountain Dew. Erm, I mean ‘Mtn Dew’. [Does anybody else pronounce that as a deep, gluttoral noise? I do! Give it a shot sometime; the strange looks alone make it worth it.]
I wasn’t even inside, and I was already getting free stuff. Now, those who know me well are aware that I love me some free stuff. Trinkets, stickers, pins, music, and so on. If it’s free, it’s almost impossible for me to resist. Consider me a kitten with a ball of sparkly tinsel. I was given swag. This is, of course, a staple of the E3 experience. I was vaguely tempted to go swag hunting at this point, but that isn’t what there for. After reigning in my ‘Oooh, free stuff’ reflex, I made a list of booths that I wanted to hit…
Once I was inside, I headed toward the ‘IndieCade’, which was a collection of independent game companies showing off their wares. But on the way, I saw a man wearing a sandwich board.
Having seen the people outside, I honestly suspected he was part of that same group… Until I got closer. He pulled me aside, and asked if I was familiar with Resident Evil. His eyes widened as he spoke, as if holding on to his last inch of sanity, and he told me that it isn’t just a game.
‘There were codes in the movies. All of them. But nobody paid attention to them. It isn’t just a movie. They aren’t just games.’
‘Do you want to be better prepared?’ I nodded, silently. He shoved a pamphlet in my hands and leaned closer. ‘Nobody listened. The new game, the sixth one, has codes in it, too. Watch for them.’ He lowered his voice as he began to step away and told me, ‘Be ready.’
This was when I realized I may have already been in over my head…
[End Part 1]