EB Expo – Pietriots Style

The EB Expo exploded into Sydney this weekend and I spent two days there playing as many games as I could and meeting lots of cool people. What is the EB Expo? Sorry, Pietriots does not supply tutorials. LET’S DANCE!

No, stop dancing! First let’s get one thing out of the way: I’m a bad cameraman. After looking over the pictures, I’ve decided to buy a better camera and learn what the hell I’m doing with these things. The lighting in the arena destroyed my photos, but did provide an awesome atmosphere. I was having a great time moving around with all the lights and music despite hearingCall Me Maybe ten times every hour (now it’s in my head again, damn it!). Games were EVERYWHERE – I couldn’t look in any direction without seeing something I wanted to play! I felt like a kid at some kind of game expo, which is exactly what it was.

Here’s the Wii U line at about 2pm when I walked in!

STILL GOING!

ALMOST THERE! The wait wasn’t as bad as it looked; took about 20 minutes to get in. Later at night was much easier and by the end of the night you could pretty much walk in and play whatever you wanted. So I did, but I’ll leave the game impressions for another article! *suspense*

Here’s the big stage looking outwards at the rest of the arena; an impressive screen but it was uneventful because of the nature of Mario U. Nobody wins, nobody hyped it up, and nobody could really see what was happening. I was one of the lucky chosen to have a play up here and the controls felt very laggy compared to the normal sized Mario U demos; no doubt because of the display.

Here’s some awesome Spirit Hunters graffiti art at the Nnooo booth. I’m proud of the huge dedication from this local Aussie developer; Nic and Bruce both planted themselves here for 3 days from 8am to 11pm. No shift changes or swap-overs here, these guys are really enthusiastic about their games. I have to thank them for putting up with me; I probably spent over an hour playing Spirit Hunters across the two days and we had a nice chat about developing for Nintendo systems. I let out a “Nnooo!” when I died playing escapeVektor and was quickly reminded of the origin of the company’s name. More on these games later.

Kinect was a huge hit with the people working at the Kinect booths.

This is one of the games I wasn’t allowed to take a photo of. THAT’S RIGHT, COME GET ME! I know, stunts like this are why Pietriots don’t get a press pass, but that’s how we roll. I can exclusively reveal that you can run into walls. Actually it’s a REALLY awesome game, but more on that later.

This gamer dad was stalking the Race Center and F1 2012 booths. He was there every single time I walked by, and eventually won a $200 headset for his efforts in his 27th race. A story to tell the grand kids one day, no doubt.

Tired? Plenty of comfy seats available in the Vita playroom, thanks Sony.

Does anyone remember that quote from Sony about handhelds and Pokemon fans? Something something 3DS sucks. Doesn’t matter.

There’s something odd about the new Smash Bros. but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Scribblenauts was amazing; it had a strong presence with 4 playable kiosks. I typed Lara Croft on the tablet and she appeared in the booth.

This looked cool but I didn’t go inside. If I’m going to line up for something I want to play it, not watch it.

Charles Martinet signing autographs. He did this a few times each day and people were always keen. He’s such a top bloke, always happy and enthusiastic; he really loves his job and he’s very good at it. He was casually walking around the Nintendo booth at night making funny Mario sounds. I StreetPass’d him twice and his most recently played game was New Super Mario Bros. 2!

ZombiU was very popular, mostly due to it’s brutal realism. You think the game’s inside, don’t you? Well here’s two zombies APPROACHING THE BUS! YOU’RE ALREADY DEAD!

All is fine in Nintendo Land, and I had an amazing time. Every game had helpful and – more importantly – enthusiastic staff. I annoyed most of them with questions and they were happy to tell me everything; even the Darksiders 2 guy pretended he liked the game. I’ve heard journalists complain about the “task” of having to go to E3 and do crazy things like “stand up” and “cover games” but now I can confirm they’re just weak slobs who shouldn’t be employed. That’s a harsh misconception, because in reality every person I met at the Expo was cool (especially the guys from Potaku!). Stepping up and playing multiplayer games with people you’ve never met is a very unique experience, especially when you’re trying to work together to catch a ghost or steal fruit. “Go this way! Not you! I’m the YELLOW guy! WHO’S ON THE LEFT?!” I played a lot of fantastic games, but the biggest thing I came away with was this fact: gamers are awesome.

For a closer look, check out some videos on the show floor with expert commentary from Aaron!

10 thoughts on “EB Expo – Pietriots Style”

    1. Hah, that reminds me of one odd dude around Metal Gear Rising. He stood in front of me and tried to tell me how to play the game. “You have to go over here”, wait your turn dude. “I’ve played this heaps of times” I DON’T CARE! He tried to rush me so he could play sooner.

      I completely forgot about Bayonetta, and to be honest I never gave a shit about it in the first place. This guy was probably one of “those” fans though.

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  1. Pfft at Aaron’s twitter feed. WiiU pad a ‘curse’ in playing 2-D platformers? He should replace that with a 360 controller.

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    1. Hope I’m not too late, but I should probably explain that statement a little more clearly. At the Rayman Legends and NSMBU demo stations you had a Wii U gamepad and a number of other controllers (Rayman had 2 Pro for Rayman and Globox, while NSMBU had 4 Wiimotes). If you played in a group of 3 or 5 respectively, like I did, the person with the gamepad didn’t play a platformer, they basically helped the others play. People were trying to ensure they didn’t have to play/be ‘cursed’ with the gamepad for a whole level.

      So it’s not the gamepad or the controls, it’s that you’re technically not playing the game (though if you play with the gamepad in Rayman you will (according to the booth babes) be forced to play as Murphy for some of the game). It’s complicated, and I wish I had filmed some of it, but unlike with NintendoLand, the 5th person with the gamepad is screwed over. I’m sure that when you play by yourself or with fewer friends it will work better.

      Agreeing that 360 controllers (and dare I say PS3? though I love me some Tombi) aren’t all that flash when it comes to 2D platformers.

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      1. Cheers for that, but I didn’t find the d-pad on any Playstation controller to be bad for 2-d platformers.

        On the other hand, Dino Crisis d-pad only movement FFFUUUU—

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