An hour after the the Fan Expo officially opened, I received a call from my brother. I was still at work and he had just entered the line, which he said was insanely long. Almost two hours later, he sent me a text saying he just got in.
I was fearing for the worst when my girlfriend and I finally got to the convention centre. There were two lineups facing each other: one for pre-purchased tickets and one for those who needed to buy tickets. Both lines were roughly two blocks long. We got in line, expecting a long, slow, painful trek into the convention centre. To our surprise, our early experience was nothing like my brother’s unfortunate two-hour wait.
Within 30 minutes of entering the line, we were among the masses lucky enough to enjoy the day one festivities. Where to begin? I can’t speak for my girlfriend, but I was a bit overwhelmed by it all at first. There were so many people in a convention space that was so huge with so many different things happening at once that I just couldn’t decide. It also didn’t help that we got there half way through the shortest day of the show.
Instead of following our tightly-scheduled plan (which we lost before the show started), we decided to wander the show floor instead and soak it all in. Much of the main floor space was occupied by retailers selling all sorts of assorted goodies. From a gamer’s perspective, there was some good stuff to be had. There was one importer from New York there with Hori HRAP sticks and some really good Japanese import games. My brother was eying the Taiko Drum Master DS games, but they were both a bit pricey. I was eying the Hori Wii fightstick. I can’t say I’ve been putting too much work into my Wii fighting games (or the Wii in general), but I thought it would be nice to have. As for what we actually bought, my girlfriend picked up some Zombie Blood and I bought two Street Fighter t-shirts.
Outside of shopping, there were a lot of cool displays, autograph sessions and experiences we walked by. I’ll focus on the gaming stuff because this is a gaming blog. I saw Halo: Reach, which Halo fans will probably like and I won’t touch with a 10-foot pole. That game had lineups all weekend. At Microsoft’s section was also Kinect. They were demoing Kinect Adventures and Kinect Joy Ride. From what I saw that day, Kinect Adventures was not nearly as responsive as I thought it should be. I would play the Kinect eventually, but that’s for another post. I also got my first in-person look at Playstation Move. They were demoing Sports Champions and some Lord of the Rings game. It did nothing to sell me on it being anything more than a Wii ripoff.
The highlight for us was to see the Batmobile in person. When my girlfriend and I found it, we just ogled at the car for awhile. Then, my girlfriend spent the money to sit in the car and get her picture taken in it. I was so happy to see her achieve one of her lifelong goals and she was glowing for the rest of the night.
One of the other aspects of the show I can’t forget was the cosplay. All three days featured some of the best/elaborate/crazy I’ve ever seen. I was constantly impressed by the number of people dressed up, the effort put into all the costumes and how appreciative everyone was to those that did the cosplay thing. Below are links to some Flickr pages with a ton of great Fan Expo cosplay pictures.
My post on day two will cover our sneak peek at Tron, some major event glitches, the whole Super Street Fighter IV tournament experience and our time with Adam West. Look out for that post soon!