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  1. With E3 coming nearing under a month, we all wonder what to expect and what surprises will come to us. Who's going to have a good conference, average, worst, best. etc. Anything can happen. What are your predictions of what you like to see and what rumors you've heard that might show up at this year's biggest gaming event. _________________________________________________________________________________ Here are some of my thoughts/predictions: I think Square-Enix will show plenty of development footage of Kingdom Hearts and FFVII Remake and I don't expect a release date this year and possibly release late next year or 2018. Sony will definitely show more of the VR stuff, PSNeo, Price Drop, and more gameplay footage from the developed games that will be released this year. If they want to wow us they'd have to make an awesome announcement like getting the Crash Bandicoot rights back and announcing a PS4. I expect a Shenmue III trailer at the end of Sony's conference as surprise or somehwere along the show. Another surprise is teaser to Last of Us 2 I heard that Nintendo isn't doing a conference? Not sure though, but NX isn't showing up this year and the new Zelda game is their main focus. Other than that most of their showing is at their digital event Microsoft doesn't feel like they have much to show, but I think their biggest game to reveal is Gears of War 4. They did show their VR stuff last year and I guess they could show more and possibly a release date. I am definitely looking forward to Kojima's next game since he has his own studio working with Sony and with Norman Reedus I think. There's a lot more to say, but I don't want hog all the info lol. So what are you guys thoughts and predictions?
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Minecon Coming to Florida This November

    There are innumerable Minecraft fans around the planet and there are only more each day. The blocky, enduring indie game has been outrageously successful since alpha until launch. With such a massive fanbase comes the apparent need for a convention. In fact, we're almost to the third annual Minecon. Year one took it to Las Vegas, Nevada while last year's went to Paris, France. The third year brings us back to the states with Orlando, Florida. The convention will run on November 2nd and 3rd. Tickets are likely to sell out fast so if you're interested keep an eye on July, as that's when Minecon tickets are going to be made available. Do you still play Minecraft?
  3. Marcus Estrada

    GameStop Expo 2013 Pegged for August

    These days it seems that gamers are spoiled for conventions, at least if they're anywhere near some metropolitan area. PAX Prime, PAX East, EVO, Indiecade, and others such as Comic-Con are enjoyed by fans and industry alike. GameStop Expo is a relatively new name to the game as they hosted their first convention only last year. Still, they are able to reel in big companies thanks to their brand. This is a tradeshow which happens to have open admittance to pretty much anyone. According to Troy Bartel, president of GameStop, there will be 80 developers, publishers, and vendors present this year. The highlight of the event is that the PlayStation 4 is going to be showcased, which is a system that would otherwise be relegated to press-only events such as E3. If you're interested in checking it out, then hopefully you live in or near Nevada. GameStop Expo 2013 is heading to Las Vegas on August 28th at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Those with a PowerUp Rewards membership can apply their points toward an admission ticket (which otherwise costs $35).
  4. Blizzcon, Blizzard Entertainment's (mostly) yearly convention is set to make a return this year. In 2012 there was no convention, making some wonder what other changes may come to it. So far, it seems like things will remain the same though in regards to this year's event. Blizzcon 2013 will strike Anaheim, California on November 8th and 9th. The convention itself takes place in the Anaheim Convention Center which routinely can barely handle the capacity of fans who go through the doors. As such, if you're at all interested, be sure to mark the ticket dates whenever they are announced. 2011 saw convention hopefuls tear through all available tickets within mere seconds. What will be going on at this year's event? There is said to be hands-on playtime with the latest version of Blizzard's games. Of course, there will also be finales for various eSport competitions such as StarCraft II. Don't worry if you're not super skilled though, as casual tournaments will be running as well. All who do hit the convention are set to receive exclusive merchandise to commemorate Blizzcon.
  5. So instead of making a forum thread or something about my trip I decided to throw it all together in a blog, so lets see how this works out, I'll be making a post for each day and then a swag post at the end. Friday *I'm going to post all the pictures at the end of the article to make it easier on the eyes.* Getting There So as many of you might know, I currently live in the wonderful state of Ohio. Ohio as many of you hopefuly know, is quite a ways away from New York, let alone Manhatten. As it were, I ended up making the 6 hour drive to my old town in New Jersey, where I met up with friends who were attending the con with me. We then hopped on a bus for a 2 hour ride to the city. Total travel time so far, a little over 8 hours. Not too shabby. We arrived in the city at 11 in the morning, about an hour after the con had opened. We headed over to the hotel first to drop off our bags. Thankfully the bus stop, hotel and convention were all within a 6 block radius of each other. The hotel was great, but more on that later. The Convention The convention center seemed a bit less crowded than last year, owing to the fact that it was Friday rather than a weekend day. We meandered about the show floor for a while before going to out first panel, the Sunrise Panel. The panel itself was more or less an array of Sunrise's executives and studio heads announcing new titles to be released soon. However they were very charismatic and interesting to listen to, even though most of them had a translator. The titles they announced: Phi Brain season 3 (2013) Daily Lives of Highschool Boys (already released) Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere season 2 (recently ended) Binbougami ga! (recently ended) Battle Spirits another season (I know nothing about this show) Gintama (going to continue until further notice) Love Live! (2013) Aikatsu (2013) Accelworld (Already released) Gundam Seed Remake (2013) Gundam Unicorn final episodes coming 2013 The creators of these various shows were all there and talked about their shows. The highlight would have to be the creator/director of Binbougami ga / Daily Lives of Highschool Boys , who cosplayed as a "highschool boy" and wore a "binbougami" hat (Binbougami means God of Poverty in Japanese). After the Sunrise panel we strolled around the convention some more, and my friends all bought stuff. One bought Disgaea DS, two dot.hack games and a Megaman game for PS2. The other two friends bought assorted wallscrolls, a Yoko Dakimakura, among other things. We then headed for our last event of the day, the Robot Chicken panel. Probably the biggest panel on Friday, it was set in the IGN theatre and unfortunately no recording or photography was allowed so I have no pictures of it. However the panel was fantastic, and I'm not even a huge Robot Chicken fan! Seth Green was there, along with various other people associated with the show and guest panelist Macaulay Culkin. They showed off some clips of the upcoming season of Robot Chicken and then launched right into Q&A. Most of the question were meant to be humourous rather than serious, and I felt it worked better that way for this panel. A good majority of the questions were, of course, sexual. After the panel we stumbled across Mo Chocolate, who, if you don't know, was a contestant of Sony's PSN reality show The Tester. We met up with a friend who was unfortunately not able to make it to NYC until around 6pm because of an exam he had that day. We were pretty beat after that long day so we just headed back to the hotel. The hotel itself was great, we stayed at the Staybridge Suites, but we ran into a bit of a snag when I realized that although I had made and paid for the reservation, to be able to check in you need to be at least 21 years old. That little technicality cost us about an hour of time but due to some quick thinking we were eventually able to check in. The room was fantastic, a two double bed room with a kitchen, which was just the right size for our group of five. Two of my friends had brought a suitcase full of rice, jerky, seaweed, ramen, kimchi, and various other foodstuffs. Yeah, don't ask. I just grabbed two slices of delicious NYC pizza for $2 earlier. Day 2 to follow.... Fridays Crowds Sunrise Panel Yoichi Fujita wearing a binbougami hat
  6. Marcus Estrada

    GDC Next Conference Coming to Los Angeles

    Although not as exciting to the gaming press as E3 or even PAX, Game Developers Conference (GDC) is always a big deal with the people making games. The main GDC conference takes place in San Francisco, but there has also been an offshoot convention in San Antonio, Texas for a while. That event is titled "GDC Online" and focuses on online and social aspects of gaming. However, this year's Online event in October will be the last. It was announced today that GDC Online is being transitioned into "GDC Next" which will be taking place in Los Angeles, California. This new show will debut in November of 2013 and in fact be a dual convention. GDC Next and App Developers Conference (ADC) will be going at the same time, as there are lots of people attending who would benefit from both. If an attendee only wants to visit one event though they aren't forced to register for both. Are you still confused as to what exactly GDC Next is? Here is the pitch: "GDC Next focuses on what's next in smartphone & tablet, social, independent, cloud and other major forms of games. Whether a designer, programmer, architect, producer, artist, marketer, businessperson or all of the above, the new show will prove vital to making great games and making money in the most vibrant new areas of the game industry." Both GDC Next and ADC will be taking place on November 5-7th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
  7. The Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) is one of those conventions that really flies under the radar each year. Unlike industry events like E3, or even fan-oriented events such as PAX, you tend to only hear the same names year after year. Niche ones such as InidieCade work their way into gaming press but beyond that you're likely to only know a small handful of gaming-focused cons. To me, Classic Gaming Expo is a hidden gem which is worth visiting once whether or not you're a self-proclaimed retro gamer. As the name implies, the convention, which takes place in Las Vegas, is heavily geared toward retro and classic gaming. Checking out the wares may confuse younger gamers who have never seen things like a Vectrex or Master System. Those who at least have some knowledge of gaming's history would probably get a kick out of seeing this all first hand. The main group of people who will enjoy the convention are no doubt those who grew up with these games and systems. Those, and the modern gamers who would like to take a look at the history of it all. It's really the historical value of a lot of this stuff that more players owe to checking out these events. Even if you're not a diehard classic gamer, though, there is always something for people to appreciate. For example, there are still booths which sell some games from the last generation. Many of the games are rare too, or even import copies, in case you ever need to fill out the last few titles in your PS2 RPG collection. There were even current gen games to be found, although again, most focused on niches and were uncommon titles. It's a bit more fun to buy from a con marketplace since you're actually allowed to haggle down prices or get discounts on bulk purchases. If you're looking for good deals then these events are typically the best you can get. For those who do love retro games, this is basically one of the best game conventions to hit up. Unlike games available at conventions like Anime Expo, everyone here knows the actual value of goods. Because of this, it's much rarer to see people attempting to egregiously overcharge for "rare" games. And unlike at other locations, it's also the case that the merchants have also probably tested most of their goods. If not, they aren't against letting you try out the game on the machines which are hooked up and ready for play. Games for the Game Gear, 3DO, and even Atari 5200 were readily available. Of course, the more common systems such as NES and Genesis were also highly represented. If you already had a complete collection of these old games, though, there were many new homebrew titles available as well. Basically, if you wanted something game-related, it was probably available somewhere. Despite the impressive span of video games and consoles up for purchase, there were also other things to do. The convention hall also featured a wall full of arcade games. Yes, these were all read arcade machines ranging from Ms. Pac-Man to sit-down cabinets of Night Driver. Everything was set to free play which meant that absolutely anyone could have a go with them all. Beyond that, Disney had even brought one of their few Fix-It Felix cabinets to the show. These were made to promote their upcoming film, Wreck-It Ralph, and feature the game that Ralph originated from. Overall, the selection of arcade games was great and catered to fans of various genres. There were also enough to basically make sure that there was always at least one machine open to try out. Inside the main hall there were also many systems set up to be played. Each had a handful of games available to mess with although you could always test out your recent purchases there too. Some of the consoles open for playing were a Dreamcast, CDI, and Nintendo 64, but there were a whole bunch. Most of the people testing them out were children and it was nice to see them giving older games a whirl. There was also a large gathering of NES systems lined up for a special event. This event was none other than a recreation of the 1990 Nintendo World Championships and Nintendo Campus Challenge. Using reproduction carts from the original events, attendees were able to try and compete for the highest scores possible. The event was entirely free and saw young and old gamers alike vying for the top score. When not in the mood to buy things there were also panels going on throughout the day. Unfortunately this was something which wasn't handled perfectly, as there were only a handful of signs anywhere that told you what panels were happening and when. It would have been nice to have a list handed out to each attendee. Either way, their focus was mostly on retro topics although there were discussions on things pertinent to younger gamers too, such as how to get started in the industry. Famed game musician Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim) also had his very own panel on music. Probably the most interesting thing about the convention beyond finding rare games/items was the museum. The museum, which has also been partially displayed at past E3s, is a massive collection of incredibly rare, strange, and just cool parts of video game history. There was a fully restored Computer Space arcade cabinet as well as rare complete versions of consoles that were never put into production (such as the Atari Cosmos). Then there were lots of development kids, industry goods, and just stuff that you're never likely to see otherwise. It was a fantastic look at gaming's past and made me remember that modern gaming is far less innovative then we think. This year's CGE was a great return to form, as there was no convention last year. It probably isn't worth making the trek from east to west coast over, but if you're around Nevada, it's probably worth a shot. The convention is filled with games you'd otherwise have to pay a premium for on eBay, as well as stuff you'll probably never find there. Beyond that, it's full of industry notables from the past who can tell all kinds of great stories about Intellivision, Atari, and more. Classic Gaming Expo is definitely a convention worth looking into if you're someone who still enjoys classic video games. Want to take a virtual look at the expo? Check out the image gallery:
  8. So don't know if you guys are familiar with this convention, but Quakecon will be in Dallas, Texas this weekend (August 2nd - 5th). Haven't been involved in the BYOC (computer/LAN) area in a couple of years but plan to hit it hard next year probably. I'll be there though this weekend (at least tentative plans are for that to happen). Just wondering if anyone else was planning on attending, and if you've never heard of it before, maybe you should consider going next year! It's a good time, with some good discussions/talks of upcoming releases and some good vendor areas as well. And then the BYOC is always rocking.
  9. Marcus Estrada

    E3 2013 Will Still Be Held in LA

    The Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3, has been going on since 1995 and has spent most of its time in Los Angeles. There were a few times that the expo ventured elsewhere - such as Tokyo, Japan in 1996. Beyond that, the convention has stuck around in the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). Lately, it seemed like the expo might have to move due to the construction due to start on the Farmers Field stadium. All those wondering if E3 might be moving don't have to change their plans. Although E3 wasn't immediately given new dates at the end of the convention like it usually does, the Entertainment Software Association put out a press release today to assuage any worry. They confirmed that E3 is will be in LA all the way through to 2015. Next year's date was also finally announced as June 11-13. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke about the importance of the convention in his city: "The City of Los Angeles is thrilled to welcome E3 back for another three years. My office was committed to doing whatever it took to keep the largest annual conference that the City hosts here for another three years. I personally joined in the negotiations, and we worked with all parties to ensure the needs of E3 would be met. The City is grateful the Entertainment Software Association continues to view LA, the entertainment capital of the world, as the ideal location for the world's premiere video game convention." When E3 makes some $40 million in revenue for the city it presents in, you can expect that no one would want to let it go. With three more years secured though, LA and the ESA both can relax. Unless something else big happens in 2016 we should probably expect the expo to stick around in the city.
  10. Blazeknyt

    My PAX East Adventure!

    Well, this year I was lucky enough to grab a ticket to PAX East! It was my first video game convention, and I must say, it was a blast! The entire building was bustling with people, and screens and banners were put up all over the place. I was only able to attend Saturday, so there was only so much I could accomplish. When I entered the expo hall, it was quite overwhelming to see everything to be honest. Everything was already there and set up, and tons of people were walking around enjoying this and that. Over stimulation at its best. Ok, onto the good stuff! I pretty much went immediately to “Lollipop Chainsawâ€, which was a school bus with screens. Videos of the game were being played, and I think you could play a demo if you went inside the bus, but I never did that. When I returned later on during the day, I actually got to talk to Suda and take a picture with him! When I asked about what else he was satirizing with “Lollipop Chainsawâ€, he ended up saying that he threw in his fair share of Shakespeare in the game. When I visited the freeplay areas, there were classics abound. Atari 2600, Intellivision, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Dreamcast, and a bunch more! “Sonic 4 episode 2†and “Assassin“s Creed 3†were both popular, as both sections had incredibly long lines. I missed out, because I had too much to do and not enough time to do it in. When I managed to make my way over to CAPCOM, I found that what I was looking at was a “Street Fighter X Tekken†tournament. I was actually informed of that from a booth babe. That didn“t dismay me, because there was a free play area right around the corner. It was my first time playing the game, and my first time playing with a “Street Fighter X Tekken†arcade style stick, but I managed to win a round and not have my butt completely handed to me. I got to play “Double Dragon Neonâ€, which is a remake of the first “Double Dragon†game. We“re thrown back into the 80s with neon lights and street punk fashion. The game looks ok graphically, and the animations look sluggish to be honest. Some of the enemy spin kicks are so easily telegraphed, that the only reason you get hit is because there is no block or evade button. Other than that I enjoyed it. I really wish there was some kind of co-op attack for the brothers to perform, but I only played so much. I actually got to watch a panel on “The Secret Worldâ€, which is a new MMORPG. You start off by picking a faction, and then you are placed in one of three major cities. From there you accept quests and move on with the story. You don“t start with a specific class, which is quite different, and all the main story quests are told through cinematic cut scenes. Seems like an overall interesting game, especially with the story cinematics, something many MMOs lack on a regular basis. I don“t think I“m going to end up playing it despite the good impressions. Speaking of MMORPGs, I did end up playing “Raiderzâ€, a 3D action MMORPG. Your character was over powered for the demo, but it was really cool seeing your character unleash a basic combo and feeling the impact of those swings. While I enjoyed playing the game, as it was different from the very few MMOs I“ve played, I can“t say I want to get into other MMOs. I ended up winning a t-shirt for slaying a giant lizard. There was tons of merchandise, as you would expect. Most of the t-shirts and posters were very amusing and fun to look at. They had tons of games, from old classics, board games, and trading cards. I had to nab one while I was there. Some more wandering happened, where I found food, and a bunch of people playing card games, table-top games, and board games. A part of me wonders how much time actually goes into those. When my brother wanted to go to a panel on legal issues in the video game industry, the room was full. We got there about 20 minutes early, only to find that we couldn“t get in. Yeah, there was that many people going to a legal issues in video games panel. Cosplayers were abundant. Some good, some amazing, some bad, and one in particular I wish I didn“t see. Luckily, I ran into two guys from Screwattack! It was fun to talk to them, but it was a very short meeting. As things finally wound down, I got to play “Kid Icarus: Uprisingâ€. While the controls will take getting used to, what little I did manage to play (the team based multiplayer) was really fun. I would get this game if I had a 3DS. My only complaint is…WHY IS THIS NOT ON THE WII? So those are the main points from my PAX East adventure! I would gladly go again, and would suggest gamers to give this a shot if you haven“t already. I was told to try and go to the concert, but didn“t have the energy to do so. Well, there“s a plan for the next visit already. Thanks for reading!