SO. I got to see a fun TV taping today which took up the better part of an afternoon, thus the lack of updates on such a busy day. Eh, I’ll get back on the horse tomorrow. I needed a break, the folks doing the show needed the support and much fun was had. Although, I’d have loved to been able to let them know that I have a crazy amount of knowledge about some of the topis discussed. Oh well, perhaps they’ll ask for input next time. I don’t want to be on camera at all, mind you (my non-ego would faint dead away). But I do have the advantage of age and “wisdom” still working for me. Anyway, back in a bit – I need to dive into my email that’s overflowing onto the carpet here…
Do this writing about games stuff for a long enough period of time and you learn to go into every media event with no expectations. This time-built wisdom will pay off when you’re completely surprised by a game you’ve heard about in bits and pieces that’s shaping up to be a must-play title. ADR1FT was one of those games I’d heard about since its inception, but held off on writing a single word about until I was able to spend time with a demo. That happened yesterday thanks to 505 Games giving it a big screen premiere in two separate events for Boston and New York City games media. The Unreal 4 powered game headed to PS4, Xbox One, Steam (and yes, whatever rigs Oculus will run on) is one of those first games that leaves you breathless for a few reasons.
The game’s story is a straightforward and simple tale of survival. You’re an astronaut who wakes up stuck in a damaged EVA suit on a heavily damaged space station orbiting Earth. Gameplay revolves around locating air supplies, repairing your suit and finding out just what happened that left you the only survivor. Part mystery, part survival game and all stunning to look at, it’s clear that ADR1FT has a mission in changing some perceptions about modern gaming. Sure, that sounds like an overly lofty goal. But again, it’s a case where if you see and play this one, you’ll “get” why it’s such an important release for its developer and publisher… Continue reading
So, if you’re old enough and happened to be a New Yorker (or in NYC) during the 1970’s and into the 80’s, there was a chance you could walk into a certain place at a certain time of the year and have a caricature drawn by a world famous (or nearly world famous) cartoonist for FREE. Yes, that’s right. Before the days of “Pay me!” comic convention art, ebay, and heck, the internet, a lucky few locals and tourists smart enough to find out about the event could queue up at The Manhattan Savings Bank for it’s yearly (National) Cartoonist’s Show.
I’d heard about this back in the early 80’s and wanted to go, but never could find time to get downtown until 1987 when I was working in Manhattan. If I’m not mistaken, a friend of mine had gone either the previous year or the year before and lucked out big time, getting Al Hirschfeld to draw him. Who wouldn’t want a Hirschfeld for nothing? I recall not knowing who was going to be at the 1987 event, and with only an hour for lunch, I figured (correctly) that the more popular cartoonists would get the longest lines. I don’t remember every artist at the event (there were no cell phone cameras back then and I didn’t think to pack a camera with me on a warm summer day to record history), but I eventually made it in front of three of them and the results you’re seeing below the jump…
Want to know how tough it is to set up a trade show booth? Well, let busy as heck indie developer tinyBuild Games show you how it’s done (sort of). Their PAX South booth setup video is pretty amusing stuff for cheering up a chilly Monday. I most likely won’t be at the show at all (too much work here to do plus there’s some more apartment maintenance coming – boo!), but as a veteran of many behind the scenes setup routines from circus tents to game demo stations, I can safely say that you’re getting an education of sorts here. Now that you’re just that little bit smarter, I say you should pop on over to tinyBuild’s site and perhaps check out some of their fun games.
The next time you see some kids or teens sitting around playing with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, you should probably tip your cap in their direction or something nice like that. As the #1 trading card game in the world (25 billion cards sold!), it’s also a means to get those kids into math, tactical thinking and becoming more social with each other through play.
For the uninitiated, You-Gi-Oh! is “a game of strategy, where players create individual Decks of cards collected from Structure Decks and Booster Packs. Two players engage in a Duel while using cards that represent powerful monsters, magical Spells and surprising Traps. Duelists with well-constructed Decks, dominating monsters, solid strategy and good fortune are the victors…”. But that’s just scratching the surface. Watching matches play out is a surprisingly compelling affair that can be likened to a competitive chess tournament with complicated rules only fully grasped by seasoned players. Continue reading
Thank you, Imperial Toy! One, for having one of the more surprisingly cool licensed items at the show (a huge Star Wars bubble machine shaped like R2-D2 that does exactly what it’s supposed to do and makes everyone in the vicinity stop what they’re doing and walk over to check it out). Its also surprisingly affordable. I’ll post pics of R2 tomorrow, as I shot photos with another camera and (duh!) can’t seem to find the USB cable (duh!)
Oh, and two, for giving me the nice silver-colored bubble lightsaber just for stopping by their booth to check out R2. Apparently, its one of only a thousand made for the show. Nice. Id love to have a blue one as well, but I don’t mind waiting for the normal white sabers to hit retail and add one of those to the collection.
Let’s see now:
Expect to see a LOT of Jurassic World merchandise coming for the upcoming film. Yes, Universal ran the same old trailer fans have already seen, but there’s a nice amount of new toys on the way that were unseen until the event earlier today. Dinosaurs everywhere would be a problem in real life for sure. But it looks like the licensing agreements on this film will bring kids (and adults) into those walking future fossil fuel sources will get plenty of folks into the stores before and after they hit the theaters.
As for those Minions, well, my bad poetry databank has been reactivated, so expect to read some ear curling stuff about that toy line shortly. That long trailer was pretty funny and it looks as if the third go-round with the little yellow guys may be the best yet. As for the merchandise, some items are returning from Despicable Me 2, but in updated form, there are new items that will make the kids (and parents) crack up, and yes, expect your disposable income to become a lot more disposable once the film hits.
More on both toy lines shortly. I’ve a lot of ground to cover over the next few weeks and two more days at the show in this stupidly lousy cold weather we’ve been socked with. It’s worth it, though…
Soooo, I didn’t intend to do ANOTHER pre-show event before Toy Fair, but like yesterday’s Superherostuff.com and Sphero event, today was *special*. I ended up hoofing out to Astoria (in Queens) to see and play a bunch of games at Indiecade, and if you just so happen to be in the NYC area, love games and want to try some awesome ones, you NEED to get yourself out thataway before the show ends on Sunday. I could only cover one day thanks to Toy Fair eating my weekend plus whole, but I’ll have a few longer articles on the stuff I tried out next week.
Hell, if it weren’t for indies, I’d be doing a lot less gaming these days. Pretty much the only AAA release I’m looking forward to is The Witcher 3 and that’s because CD Projekt RED is going the extra mile plus to guarantee everyone who plays the game on anything it’s on is getting the best experience possible. Anyway, it’s off to sleep for me soon, as I need to pop up at 5am and be out of here before 6. Eeek. Back with more eventful posting tomorrow…
Let’s see now… I’m sort of taking today off because I’m making a new, longer list of Toy Fair 2015 meetings for this weekend and I have a pre-show event to pop into this afternoon to check out a few items. I’d initially promised myself I wouldn’t do any more pre-show events because under certain circumstances it gets to be SO busy running around that I end up too pooped when the show actually starts. However, I made two exceptions this year because of the folks who reached out that didn’t forget they reached out and didn’t suddenly get back to me to say their events were overbooked.
I get invited to a load of events and respond as soon as I see the invite. Once in a while, the PR person who contacted me and took my reservation will get back to me a few days after I confirm or too often, right around the day the event takes place to say something like “oops, we overbooked!” without letting me know what I can do about seeing the product they were gushing about so fervently in that invite. The latest example of this was a big deal film screening/press junket I was SUPPOSED to attend this week, only to be told last minute that they ran out of room AND to hold out for a new screening date (which didn’t happen). Gee, thanks. So much for promoting your film or whatever else you were looking for from me, big megacorp deluxe who’s burned me one too many times. I got yer Throwback Thursday right here, Foo. Anyway, let me get back to my regularly scheduled day.
Back in a bit, maybe with a quick followup post if I make it back before the library closes.