*Original source's are my note pad and memories because I was there.
January 19th and the plane was delayed (again). I looked up at the board and it stated Lonebrower City and next to the flight number was the word Delayed and the number 7. I said to one of the baggage handlers "...is that 7 minutes, 7 hours or 7 days..." he looked back blankly "...sir, please see the desk over there...".
I made my way over to the service desk and a woman there confirmed it was a 7 hour delay. I joked "...oh no, I only brought a Vita...". Judging by her blank expression I was about to ask if she was related to the baggage handler from before but didn't.
7 hours to kill and then hopefully I would make my way to Larbon Park for my interview with Terrance Funk (no not the wrestler). Terrance Funk, owner and chief ideas man at CrankyZone Games Limited, the independent but somewhat successful indie developer from Cartworth West Dover, who's credits include 'BORDERLINE NUTS' (a game about nuts) and 'Second Round, Round 8.5' (the first game in the series. Go. Figure) on the good old Android device and for a time on flash as a free download.
I got some coins out and bought a coffee and bun and powered up the vita (volume down of course to conserve battery). My chosen games for this trip happened to be Persona the Golden (a game that I only ever heard great things about). After 20 minutes or so I was racking my brains wondering why this game was held in such high regard and why the board still stated 7 hour delay????
I am not saying Persona is not a good game but I was not blown away like a plastic bag in the wind. For starters there is not first person shooting. What's up with that? (fish bait anyone?)
A few hours past and my Vita died. Shame I was reading some interesting text in the game and was dying to know if there was someone inside that bear thing that appears a short while in. I am guessing that gets revealed later?
Sometime later the board changes, 1 hour to take off. By this time I was tired, but I was still making mental notes and scribbles on my pad for the big interview with Mr. Funk.
Finally, about to board.
On the plane and watching the woman show what to do if the plane starts to do a nosedive kind of like you'd see from the guys on a flight simulator quick look. I was more interested in what movies they had to offer. 'THE GRINCH', really? It's January now!
Other films on offer: 'Jurassic Park', 'A film staring John Cena' and 'Lady and the Tramp'. Riveting stuff.
We land I am just wanting to get to my hotel. The car that was supposed to be there for me wasn't so I decided to hitchhike my way to the hotel via the shoes I had on my feet.
Got to my hotel and put my bags in the hall. I shouldn't have done that because the hall was for everyone and was also on the other side from my room meaning that when I went to get them a short time later, the bag was gone and I would have to find out by other means of who was in the bear suit in Persona the Golden and what it was like to wear the same clothes for the third day straight.
Next day I made my way to the to the main desk of the hotel to ask if any bags were handed in. The man behind the desk just shrugged. The Jerk.
I popped my cap on and checked my back pocket for passport, notepad and map and made my way out on to the streets in which was a cold but bright day.
I eventually found Berker's Coffee House, south east of the hotel. I could murder a Latte right now and the douche that lifted my belongings so I was happy to take a seat and wait for Terrance to show. I had a short call will him earlier that morning and he ensured me he would be there around 11am.
True to his word Terrance arrived right on time. I ordered another Latte and sat back and began to throw my questions at him like a man who had questions to throw.
Me: So Terrance, do you have any plans to make any new games on either the phones or handheld device market, I know you've been doing other things for some years?
Terrance: Time will tell. Time will tell. I have a few ideas and haven't ruled out trying to make something for the phones market or even the indie stores on handhelds.
(It was the when I cracked. I couldn't hold back the tears anymore...)
Me: Terrance Funk...someone's...someone's stolen...stolen...my...PlayStation Vita.....Whaaa.....Whaaa!!!!
Terrance: Oh, golly gosh. That's a tough pill to swallow, even for hippopotamus never mind a human being such as yourself.
Me: Sorry Terrance, I shouldn't have played my hand like that. Can we conclude this interview for now?
And with that, the interview was over. I finished my Latte and put my cap back on and headed head first back to the hotel in preparation for tomorrows flight home. I must have slept for 10 hours that afternoon and woke up just to have some cereal and see what was on TV. I was surprised to see that Jurassic Park was on the first station I checked. Got to love that bit when the T-Rex eats the guy who is hiding in the toilet. I mean, if that guy was having trouble 'going', despite killing him in a violent way, I believe the T-Rex sort of helped him for a few seconds with his constipation.
I set my alarm for 5.30 and got showered and hitchhiked my way back to the Airport using the same method as before. This time there was no delay, just the hour and a half I was expecting to wait having had to check in early. I had asked the reception at the hotel one more time about my bags before I left but there was no one at the desk, just a sign saying 'Staff are carrying out important duties'. What's more important than serving someone who happens to be at the reception desk, the focal point of any hotel, a place for information?
I explored the Airport and walked towards a small arcade area. There was a Pinball game with Aladdin plastered all over it. There was a note on the place for a coin which read, to be repaired on the 17th. It was now the 20th so clearly that had not happened. I would have been less disappointed if they had just wrote OUT OF ORDER. Other games on this miniature ancient E3 show floor was the blocky looking SEGA RALLY with steering wheel. I had a go while some kid sat in the other seat pretending he was racing. The game had its own sound effects so I was puzzled by his attempts to sound like a real racing car. I was not hitting any lap records with this chap around.
HOUSE OF THE DEAD. Yes, I played it. Its been a while but I can confirm the graphics are not as you remember and there is nothing scary or fun about it anymore.
Last but not least was a little game I recall being called CRAZY TAXI. I had played it many times before but this time I was having more difficulty getting the customers to their destination as someone had decided to smear the screen with what looked like strawberry flavored milkshake. I should have probably looked closer at the screen before putting my money in but I just saw the machine and got flashbacks of when I used to be a virtual cabby. The buttons also seemed to have taken some of the pink colored liquid but I managed to get 2 people to their destination. Pizza hut being one and the park being the other.
I took my seat on the plane and got out my note pad for a premeditated game of Noughts & Crosses with myself and the person at the front of the plane giving out safety advice. Each time they pointed in a certain direction I took that to be their choice for square on the grid. If they had chosen a space I had filled I would simply wait for their next gesture before continuing. If they had finished the safety part I would use other ways of determining what space to cross or circle. For example, the drink on the left or drink on the right of the drinks cart that had been removed by the attendant. I call this FUN WITHOUT VITA.
A while into the flight a page fell from my note pad. It was my irate letter that I had intended to leave in the lobby of the hotel.
Dear Staff, this is not your AVON lady calling.
A bag goes missing and what does one do? Nothing.
I made my own bed this morning as I didn't want to come home again and have to do it. I thought there was someone employed for that?
Why does the phone in my room not work, it only plays music?
Why does my radio not play music when my phone does?
Why is there a sign on reception that basically reads that no one cares?
Why is it that when there is someone on reception, it appears as if they cannot be bothered?
Why do you have so many visitors when service is this bad?
If you can answer any of these questions can you call me back on 0 - - - - - - - - - - - - -. Thanks.
The plane landed after what was a turbulent descent. I thought all in all it was a good trip although I thought Terrance might have opened up a bit more. I am sure we will keep in touch via email and I wouldn't rule out going over to meet him again. I for one wouldn't stay in the same hotel but I now know what to do and not what to do.
Thanks for reading.
*I put this here to give a little back to the community as I thought you could all do with an article from a different perspective.
Keep rollin' rollin' rollin'