By the Numbers: StreetPAXin East 2012

That Addictive Green Light

At PAX Prime 2011, the 3DS was still relatively new and I still had over 350 StreetPass hits. Now, seven months later, StreetPassing at PAX has become even more ridiculous. I ended up with over 500 this time. If you watched any of the Giant Bomb videos during the weekend, you know how important getting those last few puzzle pieces are. Everywhere you looked, there was always someone with a 3DS clearing out their Mii Plaza. At PAX though, you will likely pick up another ten Miis while you're running the previous ten through your Find Mii dungeon. It's a never-ending loop of madness that you must break yourself from occasionally in order to actually do PAX stuff. The fact of the matter is, you're getting a ton of StreetPasses even away from the convention center. I even picked up Patrick Klepek's Mii during Rock Band Night at some point.

Anyway, I don't have a bunch of pretty graphs this time. Just a bunch of numbers. Check it out.

Locations

First off, here's the breakdown of locations. Only 417 out of all my StreetPasses decided to share this information.

Not surprisingly, Massachusetts was the #1 most represented region. And, sure, NY has a high population. Not sure I would've picked Jersey to come in third though.

Alabama20.480%Montana00.000%
Alaska00.000%Nebraska30.719%
Arizona00.000%Nevada00.000%
Arkansas00.000%New Hampshire174.077%
California143.357%New Jersey296.954%
Colorado00.000%New Mexico10.240%
Connecticut174.077%New York419.832%
Delaware20.480%North Carolina30.719%
District of Columbia10.240%North Dakota00.000%
Florida112.638%Ohio133.118%
Georgia20.480%Oklahoma00.000%
Hawaii00.000%Oregon10.240%
Idaho00.000%Pennsylvania276.475%
Illinois51.199%Rhode Island81.918%
Indiana20.480%South Carolina30.719%
Iowa10.240%South Dakota00.000%
Kansas10.240%Tennessee00.000%
Kentucky30.719%Texas51.199%
Louisiana00.000%Utah00.000%
Maine10.240%Vermont20.480%
Maryland92.158%Virginia143.357%
Massachusetts10424.940%Washington81.918%
Michigan61.439%West Virginia30.719%
Minnesota30.719%Wisconsin00.000%
Mississippi00.000%Wyoming00.000%
Missouri00.000%USA (no state listed)102.398%

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alberta40.959%Queensland, Australia10.240%
Newfoundland10.240%England, United Kingdom10.240%
Nova Scotia20.480%Tokyo, Japan20.480%
Ontario286.715%
Quebec61.439%
  • Total Americans - 372 (89.2%)
  • Total Candians - 41 (9.8%)
  • Total International - 4 (0.96%)

For comparison's sake, only 77.7% of PAX Prime 2011 StreetPasses were American. Seattle also seems like a better place to meet international 3DS owners.

Last Played

For those that don't know, StreetPass lets you know what was the last thing someone played. Whether it was a game or an app, it shows up when they come through the gate. So, here are the top 10 most popular games and apps from my sampling of StreetPasses.

Mario Kart 751Mii Maker30
Kid Icarus: Uprising45Swapnote19
Super Mario 3D Land30Nintendo 3DS Camera16
Pokemon White Version12Nintendo eShop15
Pushmo7Nintendo Video15
Tales of the Abyss7Pokedex 3D14
Pokemon Black Version6Activity Log10
Resident Evil Revelations6Nintendo Zone Viewer8
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D5Download Play7
Mario Kart DS4Nintendo 3DS Sound6

Other Info

Here's some random info extrapolated from the data.

  • Only 15.1% of the people I met through StreetPass were female.
  • In the never ending war between dogs and cats, 56.8% of people like dogs more.
  • Males like dogs more than cats (60.2%).
  • Females like cats more than dogs (61.2%).
  • No one in Quebec likes dogs. FACT!
  • Fuckin' Pooyan.

Raw Data

Here's the raw data. Did I meet you via StreetPass at PAX?

NameFromLast PlayedLikesGender
######---F
*Antx*---M
*Lindsay*MANintendo eShop-F
*Moto---M
*Rin*---F
*SEBAX*---M
*Starman*---M
*Xan*---F
???---M
???Canada - ONSwapnoteDogsM
???CTSystem SettingsDogsM
<€Japan - TokyoMii Maker-M
<<DJ>>USAMario Kart DS-M
3DS*LUIGI$---M
AaronCanada - ONSystem SettingsDogsM
AaronMAResident Evil RevelationsDogsM
Aaron Reed---M
adagsCTNintendo eShop-M
AdamNJMii MakerDogsM
AdamTXTales of the Abyss-M
AdiasAngelMISuper Mario 3D LandDogsF
Adol---M
AfroFunkMASwapnoteCatsM
AJNYMario Kart 7-M
Alayna---F
Alex---M
Alex---M
AlexCanada - ONMario Kart 7CatsM
AlexNYNintendogs + CatsDogsM
AliceCAKid Icarus: UprisingDogsF
AlphaTwoCanada - ONMario Kart 7DogsM
AmakirrVTPokedex 3D-M
AndrewFLMario Kart 7-M
AndrewNYKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
AndrewUSABionic Commando-M
AndrweVAMario Kart 7DogsM
Ant---M
ApropheteMANintendo VideoDogsM
AriaNJNintendo 3DS Camera-F
ArielUSAPokedex 3D-F
ARMAN---M
Aryc---M
AshPaulsenCAMario Kart 7DogsM
Asmo917VAThe Legend of Zelda: The Minish CapDogsM
AustinNYNintendo VideoDogsM
avenger339NYVVVVVVDogsM
AyaikunNHPokemon Rumble BlastCatsF
BaltazarCTMario Kart 7DogsM
Barkeep---M
BastionMAAR GamesCatsM
BbullettPASystem SettingsDogsM
Beast---M
BeccaPAMii MakerCatsF
BeccaRIZelda: Four Swords Anniversary EditionCatsF
BeiALSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
BelleMAPokedex 3DDogsF
BenMAPokedex 3DDogsM
BenNJPokemon White VersionCatsM
Benotox---M
BenramaNYNintendo VideoDogsM
BethMINetflixCatsF
Big TOHPokemon Rumble BlastCatsM
BillMDMario Kart 7-M
BillNJResident Evil RevelationsDogsM
BillNYKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
BillyNJSystem SettingsDogsM
bipityNJProfessor Layton and the Last SpecterDogsM
Blind_EvilNCNintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
Bluefoxx82FLNintendo eShopCatsM
BobbyNHMega Man: Dr. Wily's RevengeDogsM
BocopNYSuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
BOORULZCanada - ABPokemon SoulSilver-M
BradMNSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
BradPASwapnoteDogsM
BrandonNYKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
BransonOHSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
BrendanMAPokemon Black VersionDogsM
BrianMAPokemon White Version-M
BrodieNHMario Kart 7DogsM
Brony---M
bun/JackMANintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
bushisprezNYNintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
BwahCanada - ONThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DCatsF
C. NorrisNYKid Icarus: Uprising-M
CaleOHMii MakerCatsM
CalebMANintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
CalixaCanada - ON-DogsF
Candyman---M
capndarbyMASwapnote-F
CaptinCTKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
CassOHSwapnote-F
CassieDEMii MakerCatsF
chalance---M
cherinVAAnimal Crossing: Wild World-F
China YZJ---M
ChorazinPAMario Kart 7CatsM
Chris---M
Chris---M
Chris---M
ChrisMANintendo 3DS SoundCatsM
ChrisMANintendo VideoCatsM
ChrisMASwapnoteDogsM
ChrisMASwapnoteDogsM
ChrisMASwapnote-M
ChrisNHSuper Mario 3D Land-M
ChrisOHTales of the AbyssDogsM
ChrisWANintendo Zone ViewerDogsM
ChrispyCTNintendo 3DS Camera-M
ChristianMAPushmoCatsM
ChristianaMANintendo 3DS CameraDogsF
CJPOHPokemon Black VersionDogsM
ClanMAKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
ColdbrewWASuper Mario 3D Land-M
CorganCanada - ONThe World Ends With YouCatsM
CoryMAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
CraigCTKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
CraigMAMii MakerDogsM
CraigNJShinobiDogsM
Creator---M
CyricZNHSystem SettingsDogsM
DadMAMario Kart 7-M
Dan---M
Dan---M
DanCANintendo eShopDogsM
DanILMario Kart 7CatsM
danMAMario Kart 7DogsM
DanRIPokemon White VersionDogsM
Dan NatoliNJNintendo Zone ViewerDogsM
DanielCanada - ONSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
DanKMAMario Kart 7DogsM
DannyPAKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
Das KalkCanada - ONMario Kart 7DogsM
DaveCanada - ONNintendo eShop-M
DaveFLMii MakerCatsM
daveNJNintendo 3DS CameraDogsM
DAVENJSuper Mario 3D Land-M
David---M
DavidNHSuper Mario 3D Land-M
DavidNYSystem Settings-M
DavidRIKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
DawnmatrixMAShin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor OverclockedDogsF
DeanMAPushmoDogsM
DesCanada - ONMahjong Cubed-F
DesireeVTNintendogs + CatsCatsF
DiachronNYSystem SettingsCatsM
DigsiteNHActivity LogCatsM
DJINActivity Log-M
DjielCanada - QBProfessor Layton and the Last SpecterCatsM
DjiemCanada - QBNintendo 3DS Camera-M
dkphnxCanada - ONMario Kart 7CatsF
Dr.TardisMASuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
draklanCanada - ONResident Evil RevelationsCatsM
DrekAustralia - QLNintendo VideoCatsM
Drew---M
DudeNYKid Icarus: Uprising-M
DueragMDActivity LogCatsM
dunte86TXKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
Dylan---M
DylanCanada - NFFire Emblem: The Sacred StonesDogsM
DylanCTSuper Mario 3D Land-M
EMATales of the Abyss-F
EleanorCanada - ONActivity LogCatsF
ElementCyKSSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
eliUSASuper Mario 3D Land-F
ElianaPAActivity LogCatsF
EllyMAHarvest Moon: The Tale of Two TownsCatsF
ElwaldorfMASuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
emiJapan - TokyoKingdom Hearts 3DDogsF
EmmieWVKid Icarus: UprisingDogsF
EricMASuper Street Fighter IV 3D EditionCatsM
ErikVAMario Kart 7-M
erikaTX--F
erinMAPokedex 3DCatsF
EvanCanada - ABNintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
Farid---M
fattyMANintendo Zone Viewer-M
FeyntCanada - ONKid Icarus: Uprising-M
Fire---M
FollowMAMario Kart 7DogsM
FrancescaNYMii MakerDogsF
FranzCanada - QBResident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D-M
Fro---M
Fuzzbox---M
Gadget ManMAZen Pinball-M
GameFreakz---M
Gavin---M
geoMASystem SettingsDogsM
GhostNJNintendo 3DS SoundDogsM
GhostieMASuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
GhtoBigMac---M
GoodyMAThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D-M
guilherme---M
Guillaume---M
GUNSLINGERUSAMario Kart 7-M
h/bomb 1MAPokemon White Version-M
HayatoMDKid Icarus: Uprising-M
HbombFLActivity LogDogsM
HeavyD32GANintendo 3DS CameraCatsM
HectorNYSystem Settings-M
HeinzNCMutant MuddsDogsM
HinkPANintendo VideoDogsM
hivemindedVAPokedex 3DCatsM
HobbitBoyNHSwapnoteDogsM
Huberman---M
hughPANintendo 3DS Camera-M
HunterNYMii MakerCatsM
HuskyDorkMDMario Kart DS-M
HZT---M
iJonWAAlex Rider StormbreakerCatsM
IrrelevantMDStar Fox 64 3DCatsM
IsaacCAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
IzanamielCAPokemon White VersionDogsM
Jack's 3DS---M
JakeMASuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
JakePAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
JamesFLDownload PlayCatsM
JamesPAActivity LogCatsM
JameyDCMetal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3DCatsM
JaredTXKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
JasonCTKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
JasonVASuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
JaxieNYLEGO Star Wars III: The Clone WarsDogsM
Jay---M
Jay Millz---M
JaysonNYSuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
Jazzy J---F
JeebwiseNYSystem Settings-M
JeffNYKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
jepNJKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
JeremyNJSystem SettingsDogsM
jessiMACooking Mama 4: Kitchen MagicCatsF
JessiUSAProfessor Layton and the Last SpecterCatsF
JianCTNintendo 3DS SoundCatsM
JimCAMario Kart 7CatsM
JimmyMAMii MakerDogsM
jjjewelsCanada - ONSystem SettingsCatsF
JlyGrnGnt---M
JnetteMACooking Mama 4: Kitchen MagicDogsF
JoMASwapnoteCatsF
JodyMDDownload Play-M
JoeCTMario Kart 7CatsM
JoeMAKid Icarus: Uprising-M
JoeMANintendo eShopDogsM
JoeVASuper Mario Bros.CatsM
JoEDigiTEKMASystem SettingsDogsM
JoeProDEMario Kart 7DogsM
JoeySCSwapnoteCatsM
Joey I---M
JohnCAMii MakerDogsM
JohnNYResident Evil RevelationsDogsM
JohnnyNHMario Kart 7CatsM
JohnnyPAPokemon Black VersionDogsM
JokerNHMario Kart 7DogsM
JonNH-DogsM
JonezMAKid Icarus: Uprising-M
JonnyNHKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
josethomas---M
JoshPASwapnoteCatsM
Joygirl007CADead or Alive Dimensions-F
JRMASwapnote-M
jRodMAThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D-M
JuanManuel---M
JuansterFLSuper Mario LandCatsM
JulesMAMii Maker-M
Juliet---F
JulietCAResident Evil RevelationsDogsM
JustinPAMario Kart 7CatsM
KadzOHNintendo Video-M
KainCTSystem SettingsCatsM
KaitlynWAMario Kart 7CatsF
KanePAPokedex 3DDogsM
kanthonyCanada - NSSwapnote-M
kateMAMario Kart DS-F
KattMANintendo eShopDogsF
kc---M
KellahMAStar Fox 64 3DDogsF
KenOHSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
KevCanada - ONPokemon White VersionDogsM
KEVMADownload Play-M
KevinFLSystem SettingsDogsM
KevinNJKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
kiki_louCanada - QBNintendo eShopCatsF
KilfordMEPushmoDogsM
KingOfMars---M
Kory---M
KrisMISwapnoteDogsM
Kusanagi---M
KutouxVAPokedex 3DDogsM
KyleKYSuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
KyuubiVASuper Mario 3D Land-M
LafungoMAMario Kart 7DogsM
LauraMAMario Kart 7DogsF
lavoie *MANintendo Zone ViewerCatsF
LennonNHNintendo VideoDogsM
Lenny---M
LirieleILSystem SettingsCatsF
lloydNYPokedex 3DCatsM
LochyMAMario Kart 7DogsM
Lord EpyonNJMario Kart 7-M
Loupz28CTSystem SettingsDogsM
LowPolyC.---M
Luke---M
LuluRINintendo Zone ViewerDogsM
LunchboxCanada - ABMii MakerDogsM
lycee---F
M3PsNJMario Kart 7DogsM
MaddieNJNintendo 3DS SoundCatsF
MakiNYKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
ManTanNJNintendo VideoCatsM
mantsMANintendo Video-M
MarcusNHActivity LogDogsM
Marioman---M
MarkPASuper Mario 3D Land-M
MaryMANintendo VideoCatsF
MasaeAnelaUSAMii MakerCatsF
Master EdUSANintendo eShopDogsM
MateomanMAMario Kart 7CatsM
MattMAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
MattMAPokemon White VersionDogsM
MattMDKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
Matt L.CTFire Emblem: The Sacred StonesDogsM
MaxMANintendo 3DS Camera-M
MaxMAPushmoCatsF
MdotILMetal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3DCatsM
medibot---M
MeiMISystem SettingsDogsF
MelvMASystem SettingsDogsM
Memo---M
MicahNEMii Maker-M
MichaelCAPushmoDogsM
MikeCanada - ONSuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
MikeMAMario Kart DSDogsM
MikeMASuper Mario 3D Land-M
MikeMASuper Mario Bros.-M
MikeNHPokedex 3DDogsM
MikeNJResident Evil RevelationsDogsM
MikePANintendo eShopCatsM
mikeWANintendo 3DS SoundDogsM
MiyaUSAMii MakerCatsF
Mobbin---M
MomoCanada - ONPokedex 3DDogsF
MoreyMANintendo Zone ViewerDogsM
Namine---F
Narad---M
NatalieCanada - ONMario Kart 7CatsF
Nate---M
NateMIMario Kart 7-M
NekuMAKid Icarus: Uprising-M
Nick---M
NickNJDead or Alive DimensionsDogsM
nickRIPet ZombiesDogsM
NikPAMii MakerDogsM
Nikoro---M
NinjaOHSuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
Ninja Lou---M
Nolan---M
NovanewfCanada - NSMario Kart 7-M
NunchucksMAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
Oboro Jack---M
Otaconnor---M
OzonePAMario Kart 7CatsM
PandaMAPokemon White Version-F
pandaNHNetflixDogsM
ParkerMATales of the AbyssDogsM
PascualUK - EnglandSystem SettingsCatsM
PatPAPokemon Black VersionDogsM
PatrickCASystem SettingsDogsM
PatrickRIKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
PaulMAKid Icarus: Uprising-M
PaulNYKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
PeteMDTetris AxisDogsM
PeteNJKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
PeteWVMii MakerDogsM
PeterNYMii Maker-M
Ph4d3USAPokemon White Version-M
PheoMA--M
PiebotMAMario Kart 7DogsM
PipVASystem Settings-M
PlatypusOHSystem SettingsDogsM
poik007Canada - QBKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
PoliticianNJMario Kart 7CatsM
ProprietyPAPokedex 3D-M
PsychoPezPASystem Settings-M
PTNJStar Fox 64 3D-M
PudgeFLDownload Play-M
PupCanada - QBMario Kart 7CatsM
RabbitPAMii Maker-M
RafikisMANintendo Video-M
RandNHPushmoDogsM
RandyNYMii MakerCatsM
RaulTXPokemon White VersionDogsM
Red LeaderCanada - ONDownload PlayDogsM
RentonNENintendo 3DS Camera-F
Rich---M
RichRIActivity LogCatsM
RickMANintendo 3DS CameraDogsM
RiiTz---M
RileMAMii MakerCatsM
Rivera---M
RoWADr. Mario ExpressCatsF
RobIN--M
RobNJKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
RoboCheeseVANintendo eShopDogsM
rodMADownload Play-M
Rodent---M
RoidsMAThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DDogsM
Roll up!ORF-Zero Maximum VelocityCatsM
RolyatkcinMASuper Street Fighter IV 3D EditionDogsM
Rorus RazVASystem SettingsDogsM
RyanMAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
RyanMIMario ClockCatsM
Ryan TOTFNCActivity LogDogsM
Ryan TOTFPAMii MakerCatsM
RyyKarschCanada - ONPokemon White VersionDogsM
SamNYMario Kart 7CatsF
samredWAKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
sandra---F
SantiagoNYNintendo eShop-M
SashaCanada - ABTales of the Abyss-F
Saucy---M
ScorpzCTKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
ScottNYMario Kart: Super CircuitCatsM
SeanCAMii MakerCatsM
SeanMASuper Mario 3D LandDogsM
seanMNSuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
SeanNYMario Kart 7CatsM
ShellyJNYSwapnoteCatsF
SheriFLMii MakerCatsF
ShiznicleWVMario Kart 7-M
Sicher---M
SidfiouOHPushmoCatsM
Sinreu---M
Sir AceNYMetal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D-M
SKEETER---F
sktrthtrNYSystem Settings-M
sleepy EKBNYSwapnote-M
slowbirdPASuper Scribblenauts-M
SnesMAKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
SnorkusWAPokemon Black Version-M
Snorlax---M
SophieVAMii MakerDogsM
Sora---M
souljaOHNintendo 3DS SoundDogsM
SpaceMNNintendo Zone ViewerCatsM
SphiraxCTMii Maker-M
SpooneNYMii Maker-M
SporkyVAPokedex 3DCatsM
SqILMario Kart 7-M
SquireTaraMANintendo Video-F
StargirlCanada - ONNintendo eShopDogsF
Steener050OHPokemon DiamondDogsM
steevKYSuper Mario Bros.-M
StephSCTales of the AbyssDogsF
Steve---M
SteveNYKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
StevenNMSwapnoteDogsM
stevoSCMetal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D-M
StrikeMAKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
StuCanada - ONMetroid FusionDogsM
SullyMASystem SettingsCatsM
SummerPASystem Settings-F
T MoneyMAMii Maker-M
tabaccoCANintendo eShop-M
TabooMDDownload Play-F
TacitosNYStar Fox 64 3D-M
TaswellCANintendo Zone ViewerDogsM
TawwmNJPokemon White VersionDogsM
TazukieNYMario Kart 7CatsM
Techxor---M
TedMASwapnoteCatsM
Tekk!Canada - ONHealth and Safety InformationDogsM
Temig---M
TheForks---M
THESHOCKERCanada - ONSystem SettingsCatsM
Tim---M
TimKYSystem SettingsDogsM
TimMASuper Mario 3D Land-M
TimeMuffinALKid Icarus: UprisingDogsM
TimmyNJMario Kart 7DogsM
TimothyNJSuper Mario Bros.CatsM
tinymeteor---M
Toad64---M
Tom---M
Tom---M
Tony---M
TonyNJKid Icarus: UprisingCatsM
ToriMA3D Classics Kid IcarusDogsF
TreyGAMario Kart 7DogsM
TribblesPASystem Settings-F
TrillianCanada - ON-DogsF
TurkMADevil Survivor 2-M
tw92---M
TyMAPokedex 3DDogsM
TylerMAMii MakerDogsM
UnderHero5NYNintendo eShopCatsM
UworldsIAPokemon Black VersionDogsM
ValenFLNintendo 3DS Camera-M
vinnyMANintendo VideoDogsM
VocalAntagMAMario Kart 7-M
W. CooperRIZen Pinball-M
wafflestmpNESystem SettingsCatsM
Wenis---M
Wesley**---M
Will---M
willCTMario Kart 7DogsM
WillMATales of the Abyss-M
WillPASuper Mario 3D LandCatsM
WittynameNJMario Kart 7-M
z[ed]Canada - ONMetroidDogsM
ZacCTMario's Picross-M
Zack---M
ZanthisFLBIT.TRIP SAGADogsM
ZapRowzdwrMASuper Street Fighter IV 3D EditionCatsM
ZekeMAMario Kart 7CatsM
ZenithILMario Kart 7-M
ZeroX2624NYSamurai Warriors: ChroniclesCatsM
ZevessMAThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DDogsM
24 Comments

PAX East 2012 in 100 Words (or thereabouts)

Presented without explanation or context:

  • Doing “business”
  • We lost
  • Creamsicle Coke
  • I believe in a thing called technical issues
  • Last of 's beer
  • Smocks
  • Sucking your own dick
  • U-haul guitar cases
  • Mass Effect full
  • A used condom full of hot cheese
  • Dave and Ryan’s tiny bar
  • Mega64 gets Lost
  • Spec Ops…the eternal line
  • Rickety stairs
  • We’re gonna need a third booth
  • Wiki talk [REDACTED]
  • Hot tamales
  • Quail eggs
  • Ska practice
  • Front row Pid
  • Sour patch dust
  • The Lang Zone
  • Crowded bars
  • Back-up plans
  • Brick Red
  • Photo documentary time
  • That fuckin’ Pooyan
  • No Borderlands
  • Cliffy B surprise
  • [REDACTED]
  • L337 moment
  • And the best damn game of Crokinole ever witnessed.
17 Comments

Happy 13th Birthday, EverQuest

It's likely no secret that I am/was a huge fan of a little game called EverQuest. As the game turns thirteen years old today, it also becomes free to play for the first time. I'll probably fire it up in a few days just to wander around and see the old sites. I haven't actually played on a daily basis since 2004, but I still think about that game almost every day. I could probably write a story a week regarding specific adventures I had in that game, but I doubt many would read it. Between 2000 and 2004, I logged over 350 days of play time in the world of Norrath. Since that time, I've slowly come to the realization that not only were those years (particularly 2000 to 2002) the most fun I've ever had in a video game, but are likely the most fun I'll ever have. I've tried to play several MMO's since then, but the magic of early EverQuest cannot be recreated.

Old School FAQ's

Today's MMO's are way too hand-holdy. I totally understand that publishers saw the rising popularity of MMO's and sought ways to bring in an even bigger audience (make things easier), but it has destroyed a lot of what made EverQuest special back then. When I started EQ, my halfling cleric was dumped into Rivervale with no more than a few rations, a few bottles of milk, and a note telling me to visit my guildmaster in the nearby church. There were no in-game maps. There was no radar. There was no glowing line on the ground telling me where to go. There wasn't even a quest log to keep track of what I'd done and where to go next. And, for a while, there wasn't even an Allakhazam to go look up info (partially because you couldn't play the game in a window then anyway). I'm sure this all sounds ridiculously archaic to many of you, but you know what? All of these things combined gave you a sense of freedom to choose where you wanted to go, what you wanted to do, and an exhilarating sense of exploration and discovery. There was no checklist to go through the motions. You had to make tough decisions on who to trust and take risks. Sure, it was confusing and scary, but I honestly think that's how you should feel entering a huge, new world.

I'm the last man standing.

One of my big gripes about most 'modern' MMO's is that there is no real penalty for dying. In EverQuest, when you died, you lost a decent chunk of experience. You would respawn completely naked at a bind spot in the nearest city, if you'd remembered to do so, and immediately be tasked with getting back to your corpse that contained all of your stuff. If you didn't get to it within 24 played hours, it rotted and was gone forever. Now, if you stop and think about that, typically where you die in a game like this is not a safe area. And now you have to go to that same spot, with no gear, and get your stuff back. There were countless occasions where I lost a level due to numerous deaths within one single raid. Terrifying, right? Not even Dark Souls goes that far. But you know what? It was great. It brought a danger to this virtual world that brought people together. There is/was a zone just outside Rivervale called Kithicor Forest. At night, it turned from a newbie zone into a nightmare of high level undead. Even at max level, I still hugged the wall if I had to run through that zone. Bottom line: you should be afraid to die in MMO's.

The most notorious camp in all of EverQuest. Camping Ragefire could take several days in real time.

Another thing that's killed the genre for me is instancing. While sometimes maddening, much of the drama that made playing EQ interesting was competing with other players and/or guilds for certain encounters, raids, and loot drops. Being able to enter your own version of a dungeon in order to complete a quest certainly makes things easier, but it also breaks the illusion that the world you're in is a real place. During my time in EQ, many of the top tier mobs only spawned about once a week (real time), so when one popped up, it was often a race to see which guild could mobilize, assemble, and initiate combat. I once camped a particular spawn for 19 hours straight for a piece of a key I needed. The named NPC that I needed had a spawn time of about twelve minutes. So, every twelve minutes, I hoped he would spawn only to be faced with a placeholder I had to kill in order to restart the timer. I'm sure that sounds excruciating, but it's stories like that one that are what made this game so memorable. I can still tell you the names of guildmates that came by, late in the night, to make sure I was still awake. I even had one who decided she should call me on the phone around 4am to make sure I was alright. These were people I never actually met in real life. And that brings me to the last portion of my rant.

Community. There's no real sense of community in today's MMO's. And, when I say 'community,' I'm not necessarily talking about friendly people. I'm talking about the dynamic of truly having to account for other people, good or bad. When everything is handed to you and you can complete most quests on your own in your own private, instanced zone, you lose a large portion of what made early MMO's exciting. I haven't played EverQuest in about seven years, but I could still list off over fifty names of friends and enemies I had in that game, and I didn't even play PvP. On the other hand, I probably couldn't tell you ten names of players I encountered in the MMO's I've played since then.

Look, I know I sound like the old man talking about walking up hill in the snow both ways, but I liked that hill and I liked that snow!

I miss these people.
20 Comments

Marino's PAX Guide v2.0

So, about a year ago, I put together a FAQ of sorts for PAX first timers. I updated it a bit for PAX Prime last August, but it's time for an remake. For those that don't know me, I have attended the last six Penny Arcade Expos (2008, 2009, East '10, Prime '10, East '11, Prime '11). I have also attended ten E3's from 1997 to 2006. As you can see, I have quite a bit of experience in attending gaming conventions, making the most of the time available, and generally surviving four days on little to no sleep. While a lot of this info is targetted at those who have never experienced PAX, I believe it is also helpful to those who have.

If you've never been to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, you can help familiarize yourself with the layout by checking out the videos I shot last year.

Wheaton's Law: Don't Be a Dick

PAX East 2010: Keynote Wil Wheaton

I once wrote an article about The PAX Vibe. In it, I tried to describe the most indelible thing about PAX. The experience is as though you've come to some sort of reunion with tens of thousands friends you never knew you had. Whether it's an attendee, enforcer, exhibitor, panelist, or D-list Internet celebrity, virtually everyone has a permanent smile affixed to their face for three days. Our leader, Wil Wheaton, said it best...

All of the things that make us weird and strange in the real world.
Those things that people tease us for loving.
Those things that we seem to care about more than anyone else at work and school.
Those things make us who we are.
And when we are at PAX, we don’t have to hide them, or explain them, or justify them to anyone.
We have come here this weekend because just playing games isn’t nearly as fun as playing them together, surrounded by thousands of people who love them just as much as we do.

Personal Hygiene

PAX East 2011: The Unwashed Masses

First of all, for the sake of everyone at the show, please shower. Yes, every day. And use deoderant. It's not hard. You're going to be doing more walking than you're probably used to doing. Aside from that, why is this so high on the list of tips? Well, after PAX Prime 2010, there was a confirmed case of H1N1 on my flight home. So, use the hand sanitizer whenever you can. There are generally dispensers set up all around the convention center and especially right outside the bathrooms. You're going to be touching controllers that have been touched by people of varying degrees of sickness from all over the world. Be smart, and don't spend the week after PAX in misery.

Enforcers Are Awesome

PAX East 2010: Follow the Red Shirts

The Enforcers are the incredible army of red shirts that volunteer their time in order to make sure that PAX is an enjoyable experience for everyone. Can't find the right panel room? Look for a red shirt. Need medical attention after experiencing the BioShock panel? Look for a red shirt. Can't figure out where Jeff Green is handing out light-up Plants vs. Zombies sunglasses? Look for a red shirt. These guys and girls are stationed everywhere. If they ask you to do something, listen up. Respect them. Appreciate them. Buy them cookies.

Do Your Homework

PAX Prime 2011: Chair Throwing Panel

The schedule is avaiable right now. Once there's a PDF, ownload it. Print it out. Download an app as well. There's a few different options but the Official PAX App and Guidebook are the best. Skim through it, look at the presenters of every panel, and make a rough draft of what you'd like to see. Compare with your friends, look for overlaps, and start the excruciating process of deciding how to cut the least awesome things from your to-do list.

Planning ahead is a must. If you walk in there completely unprepared, you're going to either be a deer in headlights or a wandering madman. It's overwhelming. The key to planning ahead is to be flexible. Inevitably something will come up and you'll want to rearrange your plans. I'm going to tell you right now that you're simply not going to be able to do everything you want to do/see. Don't stress out about it. Stick to your plan as best you can, but have fun above all else.

Rhythm-Based Entertainment

PAX East 2010: Video Game Orchestra

A common misconception is that PAX is just like E3 in terms of being a giant expo hall of developers and publishers demoing their games. While that is a big part of PAX, there's so much more. The expo hall closes at 6 PM each day anyway, and the party certainly doesn't shut down at six. The concerts are an excellent way to spend your evening, whether you know the artists or not. In 2008, I only vaguely knew of Jonathan Coulton. I knew he did "Still Alive" for Portal, but that was about it. After that night, I was instantly a fan. The same could be said for Freezepop after that night as well.

This year's line-up includes the Supercommuter, Protomen, Metroid Metal, and The Minibosses on Friday. And then Videogame Orchestra, Paul & Storm, Jonathan Coulton, and MC Frontalot on Saturday. When I go, I typically go on Saturday. For the uninitiated, Paul & Storm typically steal the show with their comedy stylings and a 15 minute song about pirates that you'll never forget. Generally, these concerts go pretty late. Sometimes well into the following morning. But, sometimes they are strictly told by the venue to be out by 1 AM. Dejected ARRR!

The Omegathon: Final Round

PAX East 2010: Omegathon Finals

The Omegathon is a three day tournament between attendees that were randomly selected weeks ahead of time by Penny Arcade's staff. If the trend continues, the PAX East version consists of two-person teams. You'll see that each round is on the schedule if you want to see a particular game they're playing, but the important one is the final round. The final round's game is always kept a closely guarded secret until just moments before the contestants are set to play it. Have you ever imagined being in the crowd for the final showdown in The Wizard? Well, this is it. Literally thousands of people cheering for a few of their peers as they battle head-to-head in Pong, Contra, Skeeball, Ikaruga, or whatever they come up with this year. And it's all hosted by Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade. This is the perfect closing ceremony, and you should be there to experience it.

Hurry Up and Wait

PAX 08: Queue Room

As the years have gone by, attendance at PAX has only increased. The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is indeed massive, but you will inevitably be waiting in line for many things you intend to see and do. I've waited over an hour to see/play things like Dragon Age II, Mass Effect 3, Skate 3, and others at E3. On the most popular panels (i.e. the Keynote, Giant Bomb, Mega64, G4/X-Play, BioShock, BioWare, and anything associated with Penny Arcade), you should arrive about an hour ahead (at least) to guarantee yourself a good seat.

So, be prepared. Bring your PSP, DS, 3DS, Vita, Game Boy micro, or whatever it is you like. If you're a 3DS fan, you will get literally hundreds of StreetPasses over the weekend. Just check this out! If you're a Vita owner, be prepared to gather up more Game Goods than you will the rest of the year combined. And regardless of your handheld gaming optionof choice, you'll likely never find a better place in the world to jump into random multiplayer games. I've mentioned it before, but I once used Pictochat on my DS to solicit people to come play me in Hot Shots Golf on PSP...and it worked!

Backpacking Through New England

PAX Prime 2010: SWAG

Many convention rookies make a mistake as soon as they leave their house. You simply must have a backpack of some kind. If you show up to PAX empty-handed, you'll be hurting and feeling like an idiot by 2 PM. Some think you can just pick up one of those big, fold-out, paper bags from a booth, but there's no guarantee any booths are doing that. Plus, they're cumbersome, you'll be hitting people with it constantly as you squeeze through crowds, and you need to keep your hands free.

So, be smart. Bring your favorite backpack or messenger bag to throw all of your swag into. Your shoulders are going to be killing you by Sunday afternoon, but it's your best option.

Expo Hall: It's a Trap!

PAX East 2011: Expo Hall

The expo hall is where all the developers and publishers have booths set up to show off their upcoming games. You get to play stuff that's not out yet and typically talk to the people that are making them. It's awesome. But don't get stuck in there. Make sure to make your rounds through the convention center. Go upstairs and check out the PC Freeplay area. It's a massive farm of PC's unlike anything you've ever seen (unless you've been to QuakeCon). Hit up the Console Freeplay room and take your shot at some of the best fighting game players around. Think you're good enough? Enter one of the nearby tournaments (check the schedule). Need to take a break? Crash in the Handheld Lounge and rack up some StreetPasses and Near stuff. Head up to the Classic Console room for a bit and take a look at the massive library of gaming's past, pick out something you loved and play it with some people. I once saw someone set up a 64-person GoldenEye 007 tournament on the fly. And don't forget to hang out in the Classic Arcade for a bit. No quarters or tokens necessary, but please respect the cabinets. There's just so much more than just the expo hall that you need to see and do to get the full PAX experience.

The Dangers of SWAG

PAX 09: I have never, nor will I ever, wear this.

Free stuff is great. I know. But, listen to me for a second. Don't spend the majority of your time trying to get inflatable swords, funny hats, and Gunnar Optiks t-shirts. You're going to get free stuff without trying. Not all of it, sure, but plenty. The vast majority of free stuff you get, you will eventually throw away or, if you're like me, going to pile into boxes in a closet. At PAX East 2010, there were people that waited well over an hour to play APB for 15 minutes and get a t-shirt. How do you think those people feel about that decision now? Just be smart, people.

Pack Light and Carry-On a Big Bag

PAX 09: Capcom Merch

For those of you flying to Boston, you're likely going to pay at least $25 to check a bag on the plane, so you might as well get your money's worth. Even if you're only packing three Internet meme t-shirts and three sets of socks and underwear, bring a big suitcase. The extra space is going to be great for any swag you obtain as well as any stuff you end up buying inside or outside of PAX. At PAX 2009, I bought a 'Splosion Man statue from Twisted Pixel's booth. It came in a block of styrofoam, and I was still able to safely fit it into my luggage on the way home. At PAX Prime 2010, my friend (Washa Endrya) bought a fight stick from Capcom and was able to get it home easily as well.

Also, if you have one, bring a cardboard tube in your suitcase. You are likely to be handed posters at the show, and there's really no other way to get those home without folding or crushing them. One more tip from the experienced in packing for a con. Throw an empty trash bag in with your stuff. You can use that as a dirty laundry bag, which will allow you to quarantine your sweaty socks from all the cool stuff you accumulated at the show on your way home.

Do You Like Sleep? TOO BAD!

PAX East 2011: After Hours

Sleep deprivation is a major side effect of the PAX experience. You can sleep on Monday or on your flight home. But, there are official and unofficial PAX events going on virtually 24 hours a day beginning Thursday night. The concerts Friday and Saturday typically go til at least 1 AM, and you're going to be in downtown Boston, which is one of the best places in the country for some bar crawling. In the grand scheme of things, your time at PAX is very limited even if you can be there all three days. You may not realize this now or even during the show, but come Monday, you'll know what I'm talking about. So, if you get four to five hours of sleep, you're doing great. Make the most of the time you have.

Microsoft Space Bucks Don't Work Here

PAX East 2011: Band Land

If you've got a debit or credit card, you're mostly okay. Any food places in the area, including the food court in the convention center, are going to take your card just fine. Most booths in the expo hall will take it as well when purchasing their wares. But, it may be a good idea to carry at least a little old-fashioned paper money. Cash can be good especially if you're going out to the bars at night. If you know you're going to need cash, there are several ATM's at the convention center, but you should hit them early because I've seen them run out of cash to dispense. And there's nothing worse than knowing you can afford that one of a kind Cammy drawing by Long Vo, but being unable to retrieve the funds to buy it.

Eat Something!

Boston Convention Center Nowhere Near Anything

This may sound ridiculous at first, but once you're in the thick of PAX, you may forget to eat or drink. And considering that you normally don't walk around for 10-14 hours a day, you're going to need to hydrate. Stopping for 30 minutes to eat may not sound enticing either depending on your schedule, but you've gotta. Unfortunately, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is kind of in the middle of nowhere if you ever could be in a major city. There's not a lot of food options in the vicinity without going back into downtown, which is going to take even more time. So, your best bet is really the food court in the convention center. Yes, it's overpriced. Yes, it's crowded. But, just bite the bullet, get in, and get out. Otherwise, you could toss a few Clif bars in your bag and just eat on the go.

Don't Let PAX Ruin Your PAX

Who invited you?

This is something I've learned over the last couple PAX's. Whether it's a Giant Bomb meet-up, the Pokemon League, the Westin Waterfront Gaming Night, or one of the countless other unofficial PAX festivities, make an effort to do stuff after show hours. Honestly, it doesn't even have to be PAX related. Chances are, if you head out to the bars and restaurants in downtown Boston, you're going to run into other PAX goers. We generally take over the city.

What I'm getting at is that being in line at the Queue Room of the convention center at 8 AM (2 hours prior to show open) isn't worth missing out on the great stuff that's going on at night. Now, if there's a game that you HAVE to see and you know the line during the day is super long, go ahead and get to the convention center early one day and run for it when the doors open. But, just make sure you spend some time outside of the convention center and your hotel room.

It's All That You Can Do

If you were to cosplay as PAX Prime 2011, this is what it would look like.

Be yourself, but also be open to meeting new people. I know your mom told you not to talk to strangers, but I'm telling you that's a bunch of crap. It's unlikely that you're ever going to be around more people like yourself than you will at PAX. Above everything else, including all the tips I've given you here, have fun. You're about to have an experience that you'll never forget.

I'll leave you with one last piece of awesomeness.

90 Comments

By the Numbers: Xbox 360 vs Giant Bomb 2011

About seven months ago, I posted a blog called "By the Numbers" that looked the statistics produced by Giant Bomb's Xbox achievement tracker. Since then, I've done a few other stat-based blogs, but I think now would be a good time to go back to the original idea. Let's look at the achievement tracker based on the year of 2011 as a whole. What were the most played games? What were the least played games? What were the most completed games? Or what if we take a glance at how a Quick Look might affect how people decide what to buy?

By my count, there were 185 games released for Xbox 360 this year. I'm probably missed a few, but tracking down that info is harder than you think. Either way, we've got a pretty good population of data to make some accurate observations. I decided to only look at Xbox because not everyone on the site has access to the PSN tracker yet, and if I were to add in Steam stats, it would skew the results since I'm already not including all platforms. So, including just the Xbox stats makes it easier in several ways (i.e. I don't have to do a whole bunch of math).

Also note that, unless otherwise specified, these charts include both retail releases and XBLA releases.

Anyway, on to the numbers...

Top 10 Most Played Games

By total number of unique users on Giant Bomb.

Giant Bomb Can't Quit You
  1. Gears of War 3 -- 11,633
  2. L.A. Noire -- 9495
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- 8539
  4. Bastion -- 8359
  5. Batman: Arkham City -- 7465
  6. Portal 2 -- 7095
  7. Mortal Kombat -- 6918
  8. Dead Space 2 -- 6375
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 -- 6347
  10. Bulletstorm -- 6174

Top 10 Least Played Games

Jeff and Ryan have an excuse. What about the other two of you?
  1. Yoostar on MTV -- 4
  2. Kung Fu High Impact -- 5
  3. Self Defense Training Camp -- 6
  4. MotionSports Adrenaline -- 11
  5. Blackwater -- 12
  6. Xotic -- 12
  7. WRC 11: World Rally Championship -- 15
  8. WSC Real 11: World Snooker Championship -- 17
  9. Hulk Hogan's Main Event -- 17
  10. SBK 2011: Superbike World Championship -- 18

Top 10 Most Completed Games

That's dedication...or masochism.

This is based on the percentage of achievements earned by those who played the game.

  1. NCIS -- 89.4%
  2. Rango -- 74.0%
  3. Battle: Los Angeles -- 67.3%
  4. Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters -- 62.7%
  5. Captain America: Super Soldier -- 61.6%
  6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- 53.5%
  7. X-Men Destiny -- 52.6%
  8. Rio -- 52.0%
  9. Torchlight -- 51.3%
  10. Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 -- 50.6%

Top 10 Least Completed Games

How 'bout them Kinect games, guys?
  1. Leedmees -- 2.1%
  2. MotionSports Adrenaline -- 2.7%
  3. Self Defense Training Camp - 3.9%
  4. Just Dance 3 -- 4.0%
  5. Dungeon Defenders -- 4.4%
  6. Hard Corps: Uprising -- 5.0%
  7. GoldenEye 007 Reloaded -- 5.1%
  8. BloodRayne: Betrayal -- 5.2%
  9. Deadliest Warrior: Legends -- 5.4%
  10. Michael Jackson: The Experience -- 5.4%

Top 10 Highest Average Number of Achievements

Keeping the tradition set forth by King Kong.

Regardless of percentage completed or value per achievement, these are the games that had the most achievements unlocked per user. Are these achievements just easy to get? Or are they a result of the dedication of the game's fans?

  1. Rango -- 36.7
  2. Captain America: Super Soldier -- 34.1
  3. Dragon Age II -- 31.5
  4. X-Men Destiny -- 29.3
  5. Dead Space 2 -- 28.6
  6. Shadows of the Damned -- 28.5
  7. Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters -- 27.9
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 -- 27.8
  9. Rio -- 27.6
  10. Portal 2 -- 25.4

Top 10 Lowest Average Number of Achievements

Are these achievements just hard to obtain? Or are the games terrible and you just quit playing them?

Rider meet...ah, forget it.
  1. MotionSports Adrenaline -- 2.7
  2. Michael Jackson: The Experience -- 2.9
  3. Self Defense Training Camp -- 3.0
  4. Just Dance 3 -- 3.2
  5. GoldenEye 007 Reloaded -- 4.2
  6. Yoostar on MTV -- 4.5
  7. Kinect: Disneyland Adventures -- 4.7
  8. UFC Personal Trainer -- 4.7
  9. Thor: God of Thunder -- 4.9
  10. The Sims 3: Pets -- 4.9

Top 10 Most Played XBLA Games

More than doubled the closest competition.
  1. Bastion -- 8359
  2. Trenched Iron Brigade -- 3948
  3. Torchlight -- 3401
  4. From Dust -- 2823
  5. Stacking -- 2701
  6. Outland -- 2595
  7. Crimson Alliance -- 2538
  8. ilomilo -- 2486
  9. Ms. 'Splosion Man -- 2107
  10. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet -- 2044

Top 10 Least Played XBLA Games

Honestly, did you know this was a thing?
  1. Xotic -- 12
  2. Lucha Fury -- 28
  3. Rotastic -- 31
  4. Star Raiders -- 34
  5. Leedmees -- 37
  6. SkyDrift -- 39
  7. Boulder Dash XL -- 44
  8. BurgerTime: World Tour -- 46
  9. Voltron: Defender of the Universe -- 59
  10. Yar's Revenge -- 67

Top 10 Most Played Games Not Reviewed by Giant Bomb

Whatchya tryin' to hide, EA?
  1. Bastion -- 8359
  2. Dragon Age II -- 4716
  3. Dark Souls -- 3408
  4. Torchlight -- 3401
  5. Crimson Alliance -- 2538
  6. ilomilo -- 2486
  7. FIFA Soccer 12 -- 1719
  8. Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 -- 1386
  9. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes -- 1381
  10. Fight Night Champion -- 1199

Top 10 Least Played Games Reviewed by Giant Bomb

Shame on the 11 of you. (Alex doesn't count)
  1. Blackwater -- 12
  2. Lucha Fury -- 28
  3. BurgerTime: World Tour -- 46
  4. Dead Block -- 113
  5. Just Dance 3 -- 124
  6. Bodycount -- 197
  7. Spider-Man: Edge of Time -- 205
  8. Need for Speed: The Run -- 291
  9. Swarm -- 323
  10. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure -- 374

Top 10 Most Played Games That Did Not Get a Quick Look

More people played this than Duke Nukem Forever.
  1. Homefront -- 2555
  2. FIFA Soccer 12 -- 1719
  3. Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 -- 1386
  4. Two Worlds II -- 943
  5. NHL 12 -- 725
  6. NCAA Football 12 -- 709
  7. Operation Flashpoint: Red River -- 465
  8. Top Spin 4 -- 410
  9. Major League Baseball 2K11 -- 333
  10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- 329

Top 10 Least Played Games That Got a Quick Look

  1. Right in the junk.
    Yoostar on MTV -- 4
  2. Self Defense Training Camp -- 6
  3. MotionSports Adrenaline -- 11
  4. Hulk Hogan's Main Event -- 17
  5. Rotastic -- 31
  6. Star Raiders -- 34
  7. Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking -- 44
  8. Boulder Dash XL -- 44
  9. The Adventures of Tintin: The Game -- 51
  10. NCIS -- 54

Miscellaneous Other Stuff

CategoryGameStats
Least Played 5-Star ReviewRayman: Origins1156
Most Played 1 or 2-Star ReviewBrink2655
Average Players per Game-1256.84
Average Completion per Game-24.08%
Average Number of Achievements Unlocked per Game-10.64
Total Number of Xbox 360 Games Reviewed-67
Total Number of Xbox 360 Games that Got a Quick Look-140
Most Played Game Reviewed by AlexSaints Row: The Third4508
Least Played Game Reviewed by AlexBlackwater12
Most Played Game Reviewed by BradL.A. Noire9495
Least Played Game Reviewed by BradDead Rising 2: Off the Record392
Most Played Game Reviewed by JeffGears of War 311,633
Least Played Game Reviewed by JeffBodycount197
Most Played Game Reviewed by RyanPortal 27095
Least Played Game Reviewed by RyanJust Dance 3124

...

...

And here's the raw data (forgot to include this originally)...

GamePlatformDateReviewByQLPlayedComp%Avg#
Ace Combat: Assault HorizonRetailOct 11--X41039.320.0
AFL LiveRetail---3829.515.0
Alice: Madness ReturnsRetailJune 144RyanX199627.718.0
Assassin's Creed: RevelationsRetailNov 154RyanX291229.815.6
Backbreaker: VegneanceXBLAJune 29---9944.55.8
Bangai-O HD: Missile FuryXBLAMay 4--X32637.14.9
BastionXBLAJuly 20--X835948.46.4
Batman: Arkham CityRetailOct 185JeffX746535.025.3
Battle: Los AngelesXBLAMar 11---13267.39.0
Battlefield 3RetailOct 254DaveX478222.010.7
Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2XBLAFeb 13JeffX55621.22.2
BlackwaterRetailOct 251Alex-1211.011.8
BloodRayne: BetrayalXBLASept 6--X2885.21.0
Body and Brain ConnectionRetailFeb 8---8711.48.0
BodycountRetailAug 302JeffX19736.715.9
Boulder Dash XLXBLAJuly 13--X4417.72.5
BreachXBLAJan 26--X12012.91.7
BrinkRetailMay 102JeffX265529.216.1
BulletstormRetailFeb 224JeffX617425.818.7
BurgerTime: World TourXBLANov 23Alex-4616.72.3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3RetailNov 84JeffX634725.016.9
Call of Juarez: The CartelRetailJuly 19--X39531.119.1
Captain America: Super SoldierRetailJuly 193MattX50461.634.1
Cars 2: The Video GameRetailJune 21--X20834.318.0
CatherineRetailJuly 262JeffX138417.413.5
Child of EdenRetailJune 143RyanX256715.29.2
Crimson AllianceXBLASept 7--X25385.70.9
CrysisXBLANov 13--X87834.014.9
Crysis 2RetailMar 224JeffX480129.516.5
Dance Central 2RetailOct 254RyanX105311.86.2
Dark SoulsRetailOct 4--X340819.09.3
de Blob 2RetailFeb 22--X45921.47.0
Dead BlockXBLAJuly 62Alex-11316.62.6
Dead IslandRetailSept 64BradX419827.917.2
Dead Rising 2: Off the RecordRetailOct 113BradX39231.415.7
Dead Space 2RetailJan 255BradX637542.728.6
Deadliest Warrior: LegendsXBLAJuly 6--X2365.40.9
Deus Ex: Human RevolutionRetailAug 234JeffX551727.121.9
DiRT 3RetailMay 245DrewX203717.912.5
Disney UniverseRetailOct 25---10524.113.6
Dragon Age IIRetailMar 8--X471638.731.5
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate TenkaichiRetailOct 25--X12221.013.2
Driver: San FranciscoRetailSept 64JeffX102623.014.0
Duke Nukem ForeverRetailJune 142JeffX248233.122.8
Dungeon DefendersXBLAOct 19--X4184.40.6
Dungeon Siege IIIRetailJune 21--X97516.49.1
Dungeons & Dragons: DaggerdaleXBLAMay 25--X89319.73.1
Earth Defense Force: Insect ArmageddonRetailJuly 52MattX97619.715.1
El Shaddai: Ascension of the MetatronRetailAug 16--X56216.811.1
F.E.A.R. 3RetailJune 212RyanX113424.112.1
F1 2011RetailSept 20--X30219.88.9
FIFA Soccer 12RetailSept 27---171917.29.2
Fight Night ChampionRetailMar 1--X11999.98.7
Forza Motorsport 4RetailOct 114JeffX257728.818.7
From DustXBLAJuly 274BradX282325.04.0
Fruit Ninja KinectXBLAAug 204RyanX194814.43.3
Full House PokerXBLAMar 164JeffX151940.412.8
Galaga Legions DXXBLAJune 28--X50043.16.9
Gatling GearsXBLAMay 11--X53224.13.5
Gears of War 3RetailSept 205JeffX1163323.125.1
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of SlimeXBLAMar 22--X33130.14.0
GoldenEye 007: ReloadedRetailNov 1--X4025.14.2
Gray MatterRetailFeb 22---8143.919.4
Green Lantern: Rise of the ManhuntersRetailJune 7---22562.727.9
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo ClimaxXBLAJune 294BradX138022.62.1
Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryRetailNov 154BradX261824.511.1
Hard Corps: UprisingXBLAFeb 16--X8735.01.5
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2RetailJuly 12--X10540.927.8
Hole in the WallXBLAAug 24---865.61.3
HomefrontRetailMar 153Alex-255516.512.9
Hulk Hogan's Main EventRetailOct 11--X1736.610.4
Hunted: The Demon's ForgeRetailMay 31--X85719.611.6
ilomiloXBLAJan 5--X248639.25.2
Insanely Twisted Shadow PlanetXBLAAug 34BradX204427.04.6
Iron BrigadeXBLAJune 224JeffX394844.710.1
Islands of WakfuXBLAMar 30---13811.52.2
Jonah Lomu Rugby ChallengeRetailSept 9---3715.26.4
Just Dance 3RetailOct 112Ryan-1244.03.2
Kinect Sports: Season TwoRetailOct 25--X37315.712.4
Kinect: Disneyland AdventuresRetailNov 15--X1736.34.7
Knights ContractRetailFeb 22---13926.714.6
Kung Fu High ImpactRetailNov 15---519.910.0
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video GameRetailMay 24---4927.013.6
L.A. NoireRetailMay 175BradX949535.624.7
LeedmeesXBLASept 7---372.10.4
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7RetailNov 11--X22236.921.4
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video GameRetailMay 104BradX102743.419.7
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone WarsRetailMar 22--X77933.521.2
Lucha FuryXBLAJune 221Alex-2815.51.8
Madden NFL 12RetailAug 303AlexX119427.610.4
Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012XBLAJune 14---138650.67.9
Major League Baseball 2K11RetailMar 6---33314.59.3
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two WorldsRetailFeb 154JeffX513030.418.1
Mercury HgXBLASept 27---17420.64.9
Michael Jackson: The ExperienceRetailApr 15--X2575.42.9
Might & Magic: Clash of HeroesXBLAApr 13--X138121.73.1
MindjackRetailJan 18--X18417.814.1
MLB Bobblehead ProXBLAJuly 6--X7822.23.1
Mortal KombatRetailApr 195JeffX691819.012.1
MotionSports AdrenalineRetailNov 1--X112.72.7
MotoGP 10/11RetailMar 15---2415.08.8
Ms. 'Splosion ManXBLAJuly 133BradX210710.42.2
MX vs. ATV AliveRetailMay 10--X10528.315.0
NASCAR 2011: The GameRetailMar 29--X11116.410.1
NBA Jam: On Fire EditionXBLAOct 4--X65814.63.0
NCAA Football 12RetailJuly 12---70923.210.7
NCISRetailOct 28--X5489.424.0
Need for Speed: The RunRetailNov 152JeffX29128.910.2
NHL 12RetailSept 134Alex-7257.15.0
Nin2-JumpXBLAApr 27--X18928.33.6
Operation Flashpoint: Red RiverRetailJune 7---46531.218.9
Orcs Must Die!XBLAOct 5--X58815.82.9
Otomedius ExcellentRetailNov 1--X8915.99.1
OutlandXBLAApr 274BradX259514.92.5
Portal 2RetailApr 195RyanX709540.625.4
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012RetailOct 4---597.55.0
Radiant SilvergunXBLASept 14--X42810.02.4
RageRetailOct 44BradX290626.716.2
RangoRetailMar 1---13174.036.7
Raving Rabbids: Alive & KickingRetailNov 3--X4411.48.8
Rayman OriginsRetailNov 155AlexX115621.911.9
Red Faction: ArmageddonRetailJune 73BradX120230.721.9
Red Faction: BattlegroundsXBLAApr 5--X1229.42.3
Renegade OpsXBLASept 135BradX177817.83.3
RioRetailApr 12---5752.027.6
Rise of NightmaresRetailSept 6--X1688.69.6
Rock of AgesXBLAAug 314AlexX124524.83.2
RocksmithRetailOct 18--X37012.612.6
RotasticXBLASept 21--X3116.33.7
Rugby World Cup 2011RetailAug 26---4912.29.1
Saints Row: The ThirdRetailNov 154AlexX450839.922.9
SBK 2011RetailMay 13---1812.710.0
Scene It? Movie NightXBLANov 30---10814.93.5
Section 8: PrejudiceXBLAApr 20--X75311.79.4
Sega Rally Online ArcadeXBLAMay 18--X26424.93.5
Self Defense Training CampRetailNov 8--X63.93.0
Sesame Street: Once Upon a MonsterRetailOct 11--X19517.99.7
Shadows of the DamnedRetailJune 214AlexX287548.128.5
Shift 2: UnleashedRetailMar 29--X7659.98.1
SkyDriftXBLASept 7---3926.73.8
Skylanders: Spyro's AdventureRetailOct 164JeffX37429.914.9
Sonic GenerationsRetailNov 1--X85838.421.2
Spare PartsXBLAJan 18--X15849.95.4
Spider-Man: Edge of TimeRetailOct 42RyanX20532.820.7
StackingXBLAFeb 64AlexX270140.78.7
Star RaidersXBLAMay 11--X3412.82.6
StraniaXBLAMar 30---856.90.9
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online EditionXBLAAug 244JeffX136226.23.3
SwarmXBLAMar 223AlexX32323.04.6
Test Drive Unlimited 2RetailFeb 8--X85212.910.6
The Adventures of ShuggyXBLAJune 15---8630.54.3
The Adventures of Tintin: The GameRetailDec 6--X5119.914.2
The BaconingXBLAAug 31---18833.54.5
The Cursed CrusadeRetailOct 25---4322.911.3
The Dishwasher: Vampire SmileXBLAApr 6--X85027.24.2
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimRetailNov 115BradX853936.122.0
The Fancy Pants AdventuresXBLAApr 19--X2878.81.2
The First TemplarRetailMay 10--X17833.122.1
The GunstringerRetailSept 134RyanX104915.511.3
The King of Fighters XIIIRetailNov 22--X25813.38.0
The Sims 3: PetsRetailOct 16---608.64.9
The War of the WorldsXBLAOct 26--X10012.32.3
Thor: God of ThunderRetailApr 29--X1177.74.9
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The MastersRetailMar 29--X71418.113.3
TNT RacersXBLAAug 30---7110.62.6
Top Spin 4RetailMar 15---41021.011.3
TorchlightXBLAMar 9--X340151.37.2
Toy Soldiers: Cold WarXBLAAug 174BradX136834.98.0
Transformers: Dark of the MoonRetailJune 14---32953.518.9
Two Worlds IIRetailJan 25---94314.39.8
UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness SystemRetailJune 21---1818.04.7
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3RetailNov 15--X85616.010.5
VeneticaRetailJan 11--X9913.88.4
Virtua Tennis 4RetailMay 10--X21425.315.2
Voltron: Defender of the UniverseXBLANov 30--X5935.34.8
Warhammer 40,000: Kill TeamXBLAJuly 13--X111139.75.1
Warhammer 40,000: Space MarineRetailSept 64MattX172819.417.2
Worms Ultimate MayhemXBLASept 28--X7310.51.8
WRC 2: FIA World Rally Championship 2011RetailOct 14---159.67.2
WSC Real 11: World Snooker ChampionshipRetailApr 15---1710.79.1
WWE 12RetailNov 223AlexX43525.413.5
WWE All StarsRetailMar 294JeffX128333.818.4
X-Men DestinyRetailSept 272RyanX45752.629.3
XoticXBLASept 16---1212.92.3
Yar's RevengeXBLAApr 12--X679.31.1
Yoostar on MTVRetailNov 15--X47.44.5
You Don't Know JackRetailFeb 8--X252615.312.8
Zeit SquaredXBLAJan 12--X12428.14.4
104 Comments

The Best...Around

2011 was a pretty damn good year in terms of these piles of plastic to which we devote so much of our free time. Was it as good or better than 1998 or 2001? Only time will tell. But, forget about all that historical nonsense for now. Let's just look at this year for what it was. It's the end of the year, so we are required to make lists. And here's my top 10 followed by some honorable mentions.

Best of 2011

1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

No surprise here. 152+ hours and there's still soooo many dark icons on that map. Despite all the reported issues with the game, I experienced virtually no problems. I think I had a hard lock-up twice. I'm engrossed in the world of Nirn so much that I'm seriously thinking about going back to play Morrowind since Oblivion was my first game in the series.

2. Mortal Kombat

I love MK. Some of the first work I did on the wiki here was adding info for the actors in the first three MK games. MK9 sets the bar frighteningly high for any future fighting games in terms of story and overall single-player content. It masterfully straddles the line between nostalgia/fan-service and competition-worthy gameplay.

3. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Uncharted 2 was so amazing that making a follow up to match it had to be almost impossible. For the most part, Naughty Dog pulled it off. But, since that jump from 1 to 2 was so drastic, the jump from 2 to 3 pales in comparison, which is unfair when evaluating U3 itself. It's still an incredible feat in design, character, and story telling. I played from chapter 3 to the end in one sitting, and the game only left me wanting more.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

This game came out of nowhere. I had absolutely no interest in it prior to release. But after hearing so much about it during PAX, I ordered it online during the show to have when I got home. I quickly fell in love with the game's world and wanted...no...needed to read every single email and hack every single door I could find. And I actually completed it without killing anyone.

5. Bastion

I was lucky enough to play Bastion at its first public appearance; PAX Prime 2010. You almost always know that when someone hands you a headset for their demo that the sound is a big deal. Well, it was never more true than in Bastion. But the game isn't a one-trick pony. It takes the brilliant narration mechanic and beautiful soundtrack, then combines it with a combat system that was rewarding to master and a story with characters that compelled you to want to finish the game in one sitting.

6. Portal 2

Spaaaaaaaaace. Space!

7. Battlefield 3

Forget about the single-player. Just forget about it. I know I did. And for someone that doesn't often play online with random log-carrying folks, I spent a considerable amount of time doing just that, and had a pretty great time as well. I dumped countless ours into BF2 many years ago. I only wish I had a PC capable of running this one as well.

8. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters

This was the only game I took the time to write a review for in 2011. After taking several years off from the franchise due to various issues with the games, I couldn't resist returning for a chance to play my home state's Augusta National Golf Course. EA successfully utilized The Masters license in such a way that brought about the sense of grandeur that the actual event displays every April.

9. Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Diminishing returns are a bitch. I love the AC franchise. I even loved the first game. ACR is pretty damn good too, but it's not what fans of the series really wanted after that massive cliffhanger at the end of Brotherhood. It's still good enough to break into my top 10 though. And it hasn't ruined my hopes for AC3.

10. Batman: Arkham City

I like Batman. How can you not like Batman? But, I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a fan though. I certainly wasn't buying Batman games before Arkham. I won't act like I know what I'm talking about when it comes to the world of DC, but I can say that I enjoyed the journey through a cavalcade of villains.

The B-Team

This year's release schedule was dense, especially the last few months. Nothing new about that though. In no particular order (except alphabetical), here's a few games that didn't quite make it on my list.

Catherine

In 2011, no game review caused as much controversy on Giant Bomb as Catherine. Personally, I rather enjoyed its originality in terms of story-telling. I also am a sucker for a good puzzle game, and that's what you spend most of your time actively doing in the game. Did it go on a bit too long? Yeah, probably. But I still enjoyed the journey and the fact that I had to stop and think about several of the morality decisions in the game. If you must know, I stuck with Katherine the whole way through.

Gears of War 3

While not being a huge fan of the series, I had still played through both of the first two games. Strangely, though, Gears 3 was the first one that I did not play through in co-op. In a way, I'm kind of glad I didn't though. As the third and final (?) game in this trilogy was quite a bit more emotional and personal than its predecessors. Brothers til the end and all that. It just doesn't seem like the heavier moments in the game would've been as resonating if a friend was playing as that character, then it's like, "Well, you play as this person now, cause...yeah." I still haven't found its multiplayer appealing at all though.

inFamous 2

I love me some inFamous. While the sequel is, to some extent, more of the same, that was good enough for me. The implementation of the user-generated content was great, and even if the premise of the main villain was a bit hokey, it was still a fun ride. And, without trying to be too spoilery, it took some guts from Sucker Punch to do the ending the way they did. The door is still cracked open a bit I guess, but I'm looking forward to whatever Sucker Punch is working on next, whether it's anything related to inFamous or not.

Saints Row: The Third

I couldn't put this on my list for one very important reason. I haven't played it yet. I simply ran out of time. I ordered it Christmas morning using a Best Buy gift card I'd received the night before, but it hasn't arrived yet. I feel confident, based on what I've heard from friends and from Giant Bomb staff/users, that it would've breached my Top 10 if I had played it before now, but I thought the same thing about Skyward Sword before I played it, and you don't see that anywhere on my list or here on the B-Team.

Super Mario 3D Land

Similar to the Super Mario Galaxy games, all that needs to be said about this game is that it's pure fun. It's what games were meant to be. The 3D effect is nice, but not entirely necessary. Also similar to Galaxy, the real challenge begins once you've 'completed' the game.

Marino's Award for "Does This Qualify as a Game? Because I Had the Most Fun with It!" Award

StreetPass Mii Plaza - Find Mii

If you made it to PAX Prime 2011, and you had a 3DS, you know what I'm talking about. That little green light is a magical sight to behold, and it was non-stop flashing all five days that I was in Seattle. Going through the very basic RPG that's built into the Plaza was quite fun. And, thanks , we have a new word to add to the vernacular; StreetPAXin.
19 Comments

By the Numbers: A Year in Reviews

Would you have guessed that the Giant Bomb guys had reviewed over 100 games this year? That seems like a lot for such a small crew. I have it on good authority that 101 reviews in a year is almost two per week. So, I dumped all the review data into Excel and extrapolated some colorful triangles and rectangles for you to look at. I've broken it down by reviewer, by platform, by stars, and by month. Let's get to it...

Staff

Luckily, we kinda get reviews by Vinny every week on the Bombcast. I still miss reading his reviews though.
Unsurprisingly, Jeff had the most staff reviews on the site this year. That sea of green means he generally liked most of them.
While pulling double duty this year, Alex put up more reviews than anyone except Jeff (and tied with Brad). Alex also holds the distinction of being the only staff member to bestow a 1-Star rating on any game this year. He did it three times.
This year, Brad doled out the most 5-Star reviews. Of the fourteen games that were good enough to receive the top score in 2011, Brad reviewed six of them.
Ryan seems to have shrugged his shoulders quite a bit this year. Portal 2 was his only 5-Star game, and nearly a third of his reviews ended up in the middle.
Kessler may not have been assigned to review many AAA blockbusters, but he was the only reviewer to give a game two different scores (Space Marine).
This is clearly the most exciting pie chart ever created.

Stars

By the looks of it, we had some pretty damn good games this year. Obviously, Giant Bomb doesn't waste time reviewing stuff we don't really care about, but still...over half of the titles reviews this year got at least 4 stars.

Monthly

Nothing too shocking here. Everyone knows that the bulk of big games still comes out at the end of the year. That spurt in June seems a little out of place though. Hopefully that means we're on the way to getting a more spread out release schedule in the coming year.

Platform

Many games that were reviewed this year specifically state within the review that it applies to multiple versions of the game. Due to this, the number of "games" in this chart is much higher than the 101 reviews that were done this year.
I couldn't decide which way to present this data, so you get both!

The Raw Data

GameForScoreByDate
Alice: Madness ReturnsX3604RyanJune 16
Assassin's Creed: RevelationsX3604RyanNovember 15
Batman: Arkham CityX3605JeffOctober 14
Battlefield 3PS3 PC4DaveOctober 27
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2PSN XBLA3JeffFebruary 7
Bit.Trip Saga3DS3PatrickSeptember 23
BlackwaterX3601AlexDecember 15
BodycountPS3 X3602JeffSeptember 2
BrinkX3602JeffMay 10
BulletstormPS3 X360 PC4JeffFebruary 23
BurgerTime: World TourXBLA3AlexNovember 13
Burnout CRASH!PSN XBLA3RyanSeptember 23
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3X3604JeffNovember 8
Captain America: Super SoldierPS3 X3603MattJuly 19
CatherinePS3 X3602JeffJuly 28
Child of EdenX3603RyanJune 18
Crysis 2X3604JeffMarch 22
Dance Central 2X3604RyanOctober 24
DC Universe OnlinePS32JeffJanuary 21
Dead BlockXBLA2AlexJuly 8
Dead IslandPS3 X360 PC4BradSeptember 12
Dead Rising 2: Off the RecordPS3 X360 PC3BradOctober 12
Dead Space 2PS3 X3605BradJanuary 24
Deus Ex: Human RevolutionPS3 X360 PC4JeffAugust 23
DiRT 3X3605DrewMay 24
Driver: San FranciscoPS3 X3604JeffSeptember 6
Duke Nukem ForeverPS3 X360 PC2JeffJune 14
Earth Defense Force: Insect ArmageddonPS3 X3602MattJuly 12
F.E.A.R. 3X3602RyanJune 25
Forza Motorsport 4X3604JeffOctober 7
From DustXBLA4BradJuly 26
Fruit Ninja KinectXBLA4RyanAugust 9
Full House PokerXBLA4JeffMarch 21
Gears of War 3X3605JeffSeptember 15
Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo ClimaxXBLA4BradJune 29
Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryX3604BradNovember 17
HomefrontPS3 X3603AlexMarch 15
inFamous 2PS34BradJune 17
inFamous 2: Festival of BloodPSN4BradOctober 28
Insanely Twisted Shadow PlanetXBLA4BradAugust 3
Iron BrigadeXBLA4JeffJune 22
JamestownPC4AlexJuly 1
Just Dance 3X3602RyanOctober 24
Killzone 3PS34JeffFebruary 21
L.A. NoirePS3 X3605BradMay 16
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video GamePS3 X3604BradMay 11
LittleBigPlanet 2PS35JeffJanuary 26
Lost in ShadowWii3AlexJanuary 11
Lucha FuryXBLA1AlexJune 28
Madden NFL 12X3603AlexAugust 29
Madden NFL Football3DS1AlexMarch 30
Mario Kart 73DS3RyanNovember 29
Mario Sports MixWii2AlexFebruary 9
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two WorldsPS3 X3604JeffFebruary 16
Mortal KombatPS3 X3605JeffApril 19
Mortal Kombat Arcade KollectionPSN XBLA2BradSeptember 1
MotorStorm: ApocalypsePS33AlexMay 24
Ms. Splosion ManXBLA3BradJuly 13
NBA 2K12X3605AlexOctober 14
Need for Speed: The RunPS3 X3602JeffNovember 15
NHL 12PS3 X3604AlexSeptember 21
OutlandPSN XBLA4BradMay 4
Payday: The HeistPS33AlexOctober 20
Pilotwings Resort3DS3BradMarch 25
Portal 2X360 PC5RyanApril 19
Puzzle Agent 2iOS3RyanJuly 20
RagePS3 X360 PC4BradOctober 4
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 OnePS33PatrickOctober 19
Rayman: OriginsX3605AlexNovember 15
Red Faction: ArmageddonPS3 X3603BradJune 1
Renegade OpsPSN XBLA5BradSeptember 16
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D3DS2MattJune 30
Resistance 3PS34PatrickSeptember 6
Ridge Racer 3D3DS3JeffMarch 26
Rock of AgesX3604AlexSeptember 7
Saints Row: The ThirdPS3 X3604AlexNovember 11
Shadows of the DamnedX3604AlexJune 21
Skylanders: Spyro's AdventureX3604JeffDecember 7
Spider-Man: Edge of TimeX3602RyanOctober 13
StackingPSN XBLA4AlexFebruary 8
Star Fox 64 3D3DS3MattSeptember 16
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online EditionXBLA4JeffAugust 24
Super Mario 3D Land3DS4JeffNovember 14
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition3DS4JeffMarch 23
SwarmPSN XBLA3AlexMarch 24
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimX360 PC5BradNovember 11
The GunstringerX3604RyanSeptember 13
The House of the Dead: OverkillPS33RyanOctober 26
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D3DS5BradJune 20
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward SwordWii4PatrickNovember 11
To the MoonPC4AlexDecember 6
Toy Soldiers: Cold WarXBLA4BradAugust 17
TrackMania 2: CanyonPC4JeffOctober 17
Uncharted 3: Drake's DeceptionPS35BradOctober 24
Warhammer 40,000: Space MarinePS33MattSeptember 12
Warhammer 40,000: Space MarineX360 PC4MattSeptember 14
WWE '12X3603AlexNovember 23
WWE All StarsPS3 X3604JeffMarch 29
X-Men: DestinyX3602RyanOctober 3
Yakuza 4PS33MattAugust 1
You Don't Know JackX3604RyanFebruary 9
28 Comments

By the Numbers: Skyrim

152+ Hours of Sneak Thievin'

Over the past month, most of my free time has been lost to soaking up every ounce of lore I possibly could within the realm of Skyrim. If you know me at all, the fact that I have forsaken playing even one minute of Zelda or Assassin's Creed should speak volumes to how deep I've fallen into Bethesda's latest epic.

There may be some spoilers within. I don't think it's anything major, but..you have been warned.

Finally, I'll have time to get back to dancing...

Today, I finished the war quest line and obtained the last achievement I needed to reach 1000/1000. There's still so much to explore in that game, but I feel like I should move on for now, especially considering with game of the year talks heating up. Still, I thought it'd be interesting to post some of my statistics and see how they compare with other people's if they want to chime in.

My character, Aria (yeah, I played as a female), is a level 53 wood elf rogue that dual wields daggers that she uses to backstab fools for 30x damage, and often switches to archery when necessary. I never put a single level-up bonus in to Magicka. I ended up with 450 Health and 350 Stamina. My Light Armor, Sneak, Lockpicking, Speech, Smithing, and One-Handed made it to 100. Pickpocketing got up to 75, but nothing else made it over 50.

Aria with Paarthurnax & Odahviing

In these open world games, once they give you the first objective and/or place to go, I generally go the complete opposite direction. That's what I did for the first 50+ hours in Skyrim. Then I did enough of the main quest to get the dragons to start showing up. After that, it was back to roaming around. The main quest and the civil war were the last things I completed. I decided to side with the Stormcloaks in the war, which may seem weird as an elf, but I wasn't a high elf, and the Imperials did try to execute me in the beginning of the game. Obviously, if you've played the game, there was a lot of gray area in making that decision. I didn't enjoy having to forcefully remove the Jarl of Whiterun after he did so much to help me in the quest to kill Alduin, but I'm sure there would've been things that I didn't enjoy taking part in if I had gone the other way.

Anyway, here's a bunch of numbers...

General

When I look at the raw numbers, there's some surprising things. First off, 278 locations found? Damn. I don't know what the total is, but I feel like there are tons of blacked out locations on my radar still. That one horse I own isn't by choice. I wish I could somehow get rid of him. The idea of a rogue riding around on a horse just seems really dumb to me.

Days as a Werewolf60Locations Discovered278
Dungeons Cleared104Days Passed331
Hours Slept8Hours Waiting517
Standing Stones Found15Gold Found597709
Most Gold Carried167622Chests Looted875
Skill Increases738Skill Books Read64
Food Eaten83Training Sessions67
Horses Owned1Houses Owned4
Stores Invested In5Barters1181
Persuasions222Bribes2
Intimidations5Diseases Contracted1

Quest

The thing that stands out as weird to me here is the Thieves' Guild stat. Three? How could that be right? Aside from that, 239 miscellaneous quests seems insane. If I would've guessed before looking at it, I would've thought maybe 100.

Quests Completed108Misc Objectives Completed239
Main Quests Completed18Side Quests Completed23
The Companions Quests Completed7College of Winterhold Quests Completed13
Thieves' Guild Quests Completed3The Dark Brotherhood Quests Completed22
Civil War Quests Completed7Daedric Quests Completed15
Questlines Completed5

Combat

Apparently, Nathan Drake isn't the biggest mass murderer in games this year. I killed over a THOUSAND people. Mostly via backstabs. Only 22 of those were considered to be murderous crimes though. Also, I ain't no bunny killer.

People Killed1066Animals Killed361
Creatures Killed246Undead Killed649
Daedra Killed21Automotons Killed101
Favorite WeaponBlade of WoeCritical Strikes1562
Sneak Attacks1460Backstabs830
Weapons Disarmed3Brawls Won5
Bunnies Slaughtered0

Magic

The only reason Flames is my "Favorite Spell" is that late in the game I just started casting it to try to keep leveling up since most of my rogue-ish skills were maxed out. Otherwise, it would probably be Candlelight. As for Aura Whisper being my "Favorite Shout," that's likely due to how dependent I was on the Gray Fox's Cowl in Oblivion. Being able to see people through walls from a great distance clearly helps being a sneak thief.

Spells Learned26Favorite SpellFlames
Favorite SchoolDestructionDragon Souls Collected41
Words of Power Learned56Words of Power Unlocked59
Shouts Learned20Shouts Mastered16
Times Shouted195Favorite ShoutAura Whisper

Crafting

Yeah, I'll admit to making a metric ton of steel daggers to get my smithing up. Improving your weapons and armor is highly recommended. Despite being a rogue, I never really found a reason to use poison since I was usually sneaking up behind people and killing them instantly anyway. Similarly, I never found much use for trapping souls since I generally the stack of soul gems I found were enough to keep my bow charged up.

Soul Gems Used76Souls Trapped0
Magic Items Made1Weapons Improved14
Weapons Made433Armor Improved15
Armor Made48Potions Mixed140
Potions Used244Poisons Mixed86
Poisons Used1Ingredients Harvested549
Ingredients Eaten63Nirnroots Found70
Wings Plucked28

Crime

Being a rogue, you may expect my bounty stats to be sky high. But, if you're a successful rogue, it should be zero. Unfortunately, there were a few unavoidable cases where I was spotted and/or caught. But seriously...2262 items stolen? I may have a problem.

Total Lifetime Bounty2580Largest Bounty1500
Locks Picked295Pockets Picked107
Items Pickpocketed2063Times Jailed2
Days Jailed7Fines Paid0
Jail Escapes1Items Stolen2262
Assaults42Murders22
Horses Stolen1Trespasses31
A Nightingale on top of the world. Until the first DLC is released...
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Blog Time Capsule: E3 1999 - Day 3

Here we are. The end of E3 1999 and my first trip to the west coast. I'm not really sure if it seems like it was more than 12 years ago or less than 12 years ago. I can remember it quite well, but to think it was before I even left for college seems like forever ago. Anyway, here's the journal entry I wrote for my PlayStation Underground site back in the day. Yeah, I still played some wrestling games, but I crammed a bunch of other stuff into my last day as well. I couldn't stay away from that Eidos booth though. My time probably could've been better spent, but oh well. I still had a lot of fun.

This fountain inspired Super Mario Sunshine. Okay, maybe not. OR DID IT?!

E3 1999 - Day 3

West Hall

Well, the dreaded and yet still glorious day had arrived. The final day of the show was upon me. The final day is always the shortest, literally and figuratively. Only seven hours of open show floors...and what a long, tiring, fun seven hours that would be. Once again, I caught a cab to the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center arriving early enough to grab a bite to eat...yes, it was another muffin...leave me alone. The doors finally opened, and the stampede squeezed through and into the promised land for one final day.

Day 3 at any E3 any year should permanently be designated as Fun Day. Everyone knows that they only have a few hours left to go see the best of everything at the show one more time, and that's exactly what I planned to do. No gameplans, no maps, no worrying about how much time was left; I was just going to go...play games, look at booth babes, and walk til I passed out.

Midway - NBA Showtime

Having said that, first thing I headed to was the always great Midway booth. No one had really gotten there yet so I took a few turns in the NBA Showtime Free Throw Contest. Midway was just shoving free stuff at us all day Saturday. I guess they were trying to get rid of it all. But they were giving away basketballs to anyone who even stepped into the free throw area. And if you made even one shot you got a Midway E3 '99 T-Shirt. Midway sure was great this year. Of course I had to play more of Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. That game ROCKS! I don't care what people say about the "cheesy" screenshots. Play the game and you'll be hooked!

After getting that free stuff, I stopped by the Eidos booth again, and the booth babes were out in full force to greet the people arriving to the show on this final day. Polaroids, t-shirts, and posters galore! Eidos was making sure everyone walked away with something that had their brand name across it before they walked out of the show. I just wish they had been showing Tomb Raider 4 in the booth because Fighting Force 2 and Omikron were really the only two games that were looking worth playing. Oh well, TR4 or no TR4...everyone still got their fair share of Lara Croft at the show, that's for sure.

Hey! It's her. What's her name? Before a bunch of soap operas and before the Dancing With the Stars nonsense.
Sony

After catching shirts and goodies, I went down the Concourse Hall all the way to the West Hall where the "Big 3" (Sony, Nintendo, Sega) were. I went into the Sony booth to play a little bit more of Crash Team Racing. I'm a huge Mario Kart fan and CTR just builds upon that. The only problem with the game that I could see was the enemy (other 7 racers) A.I. They didn't seem to know where to throw or shoot weapons and repeatedly ran into stuff. Of course that will be fixed before the final release of the game and other than that, the game is looking fantastic. Then I went up to one of my favorite places at the show, the Sony catwalk. I've already told you how many great pictures could be taken from up there and had to get them all. Sony, Nintendo, Sega, and even some of the smaller companies could be seen from up there. It was also the best place to scope out the most crowded and popular areas so you'd know where to go next.

Nintendo Store

That's when I spotted something I hadn't seen yet, the Nintendo Store. They had some pretty cool displays in there and plenty of stuff to sell. From Pokemon stuffed animals to games, it was all in there. Even a brand new thing I'd never seen before. An N64 seat console for your car! This thing is pretty damn cool. It's even got a VCR in it and includes a built in N64 with two controllers and two sets of headphones. The only problem? Retail value: $1499.99!! Ouch. Oh well, it looked good.

One of the more disappointing things at the show was 989 Studios booth. They had a lot of behind the scenes type posters all over their small booth inside the Sony area, but no new games. Just box art showing you what's coming. No NFL Xtreme 2, Cool Boarders 4, Jet Moto 3, or even NFL GameDay 2000. It just plain sucked. No shows on every hot new 989 title...what were they thinking?

Final Fantasy VIII was definitely drew a big crowd in the various areas of the show floor it was in, one of which was up on the catwalk. The end all be all of RPG's is going to blow everyone away. It's incredible and we only got to see bits and pieces of this four disc game. Also, the FF8 crew at the show had to be the most helpful and informative crew at the show. They know every little thing about the game, so much that it's scary.

Sega
Sega - Sonic Adventure

I headed down the ramp and over to the outstanding Sega booth. I walked right up to the giant Sonic Adventure display and picked up the controller. I had played a demo at my local Babbage's store, but this version was the "Special E3 Demo." So that clued me in that there was more stuff in this one, and indeed their was. You could select from all of the characters in the game now and there a lot more levels available to play. The levels are outstanding with vivid colors and crazy architecture. The beachside level has big hotels and shoreline that looks real. Not too mention how amazingly fast this game is. One of the parts of the beach level has you run down a dock while a giant killer whale repeatedly jumps over the dock causing more of it to break away. And of course it wouldn't be the Emerald Coast if jumping dolphins didn't attack you. Another thing I liked were the mini-games. Each character has their own types. Sonic has a classic pinball game which has some great artwork on the board. Tails has a fast paced, ring grabbin' snowboard course to race down. On the way down you can pull off tricks for points for more lives and also collect more rings. Sonic has his classic SpinDash, Tails can use his tail to fly anytime you want, and Knuckles can glide across areas, latching onto walls, and even dig underground for hidden rings and gems. All in all this game is a definite must have for any new Dreamcast owner.

Sony

Being amazed by Sonic, I went over to Sony's new system currently called Next Generation PlayStation. As I've already told you, the demos running off the new hardware are looking incredible. Of course, these pics do them no justice. Especially the duck one which looks really cheesy in still pictures but in motion is astonishing. The water looks real...and I mean real. The ripples and waves creating by controlling the duck around the pool are perfect. If this is just a taste of what the graphical capabilities of the new system, I can't wait to see what it will do at full power.

Nintendo

Then, since I'd seen the other two, I went over to the Nintendo booth one final time. I went in and out of everything at the huge Nintendo area. There was a really cool Mario fountain near the front of the booth that hadn't realized yet. It was pretty cool, and had a nice bench to rest on for a minute. Anyway, Nintendo did a great job in laying out their booth. The front couldn't be missed with the giant Nintendo logo, plus giant banners hanging from the ceiling, and a giant movie screen hoisted high in the air showing many games and especially Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. Right below the screen was a hallway type space with demo stations set up on both sides. There must have been forty tv's set up in just that spot showing off many of the new titles coming to the 64 including Mario Golf, Excitebike 64, NBA Courtside 2000, WWF Attitude, Resident Evil 2, and more. You could get a taste of everything to come without walking more than twenty feet, great job by Nintendo for doing that. Around the corner was the great Donkey Kong 64 display and way in the very back was Perfect Dark. Both are shoe-ins for top sellers. There wasn't anything left for me to see in the Nintendo booth, so I decided then to leave the area for the last time.

Nintendo - Pokemon

On the way around to the Sega booth, I picked up the Dreamcast controller for what would be the last time to play one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, game of the show, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. I couldn't stop playing this game. Sega had four stations set up to play it and you always had a partner to play against since there were so many people there. Everyone just adopted arcade rules, so if you won, you stayed and, if you lost, you moved. Everyone loved this game and the Dreamcast is the best platform it was on. The game isn't even half way completed and it's already a smash hit with everyone who's played it.

Konami

Coming back over to the South Hall meant that would be the last time I'd be in the West Hall with Sony, Sega, and Nintendo. That's when it hit me that it was all starting to end. At this point, my back was about to snap, my feet felt like cinder blocks, and I didn't know how to spend my final few hours at the show. So I pushed through it all and kept walking, taking it all in...or as much as I possibly could. I began taking pictures of booths that I hadn't spent much time in just be able to remember the experience of being on the show floor. Booths like Konami and Infogrames were really cool even though I didn't see them much. With all the stuff that I really wanted to see, there really isn't enough time to see it all unfortunately. It's like trying to see the entire Smithsonian in a day. It's really unbelievable how much stuff is at the show.

Capcom

I then ran into Capcom's booth, which was adjacent to Eidos' and they were having their own little free for all party. I walked over and a crazy dude with pink hair and a green suit was running around the stage getting people to say "really stupid shit" for a Capcom shirt. Some things heard were "I sleep with Capcom," "Capcom flew out of my ass," and "I'll kiss you for Capcom," after which a guy actually kissed the pink haired dude for a t-shirt. Funny...yet fairly frightening...it's just a t-shirt dude. They were holding the Street Fighter Championships during this, and the final rounds were about to take place. It could be watched on a big screen overhead which had the game in the middle of the screen and each player on camera on the left and right of the screen so you could watch them react too. It was really cool. One of the funny things was the rivalry Capcom was trying to start with Eidos. Capcom was getting chants of "Capcom don't need girls, Capcom has games" going. It was all in fun and Eidos apparently had no reply. It was true though, from what I saw. Capcom's booth may have actually been better than Eidos when it came to games. In fact I know it was. Eidos just got more foot traffic...you can figure out why.

Acclaim

Well, at that point it was about 3:30pm. The final thirty minutes were counting down. No time to go back to the West Hall so I headed over to Midway and played a quick game of NBA Showtime with three other dudes and talked about how great the show had been. Then, for the final fifteen minutes I went back to the Acclaim booth and played WWF Attitude just like last year's final moments. Then, the dreaded moment arrived...the lights in the LACC came on. Everyone looked up to the ceiling as if to say "No, please...not yet." I kept playing for a minute and then all the TV's at Acclaim turned off, which meant that I really had to go. I stood there and looked around one final time and then walked towards the doors to the lobby. I knew once you exited those doors, the guards wouldn't let you back in, so I stopped at the door frame and turned around just thinking..."I hope I get to see this again next year." Then I stepped through the doors and down the escalator. The show was over. A year doesn't seem that long when looking back at the show a year before, but when you realize that to get back to the show next year I have to complete a full year of college, it seems like forever. Who knows where I'll be in a year? I just hope that during the week of May 7-13 of the year 2000 that I'll be in the City of Angels.

As I walked down the lobby halls, I bought a couple E3 shirts and picked up a few more magazines then hit the shuttle bus back to the hotel. I was exhausted...I was sad...I was happy to be going home...I was feeling so many things at once I just leaned back and watched out the window of the bus as the giant banners passed behind the skyscrapers of downtown and out of view.

South Hall on the way out.
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Blog Time Capsule: E3 1999 - Day 2

Come with me to good old days. The days of May 1999. It was the second day of E3 '99 in downtown Los Angeles. There were games to play, wrestlers to meet, and booth babe photo ops to be had. Here's the journal I wrote for my old PlayStation Underground website twelve years ago. I'm old!

E3 1999 - Day 2

South Hall Entrance

Well, I woke up Friday morning ready for nine hours of walking the show floor. I got ready, caught a cab to the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center and, since I was a little early, I went up to the food court inside. I got a huge, kick-ass blueberry muffin. It was the best muffin ever. It had...wait a minute...I'm talking about a damn muffin?! Uhhh...let's get inside the show...

Acclaim - WWF Attitude

The first thing I did when I entered the show was go straight back to the Acclaim booth and play some more WWF Attitude. I couldn't get enough of this game. Playing four player hardcore matches is fun as hell. Then, after playing I had the oppurtunity to talk in length with one of the Acclaim representatives about the game. He was very informative and unbelievably nice to answer my questions. He said they were shooting for a July release on the PlayStation and an August release on the Nintendo 64. Disappointing to some are the late dates but once you play the game, you won't care anymore.

Then, still in the mood for wrestling stuff, I went across the walkway to the Electronic Arts booth. There still stood the WCW ring from the match from the day before, but now all around it were TV's setup to play WCW Mayhem . While I was playing the game I noticed a guy in a suit standing behind me. I asked if he wanted to join in and to my surprise he said "No thanks. I work here." He then asked me how I liked the game and other questions like if I'd played Attitude yet and what I thought of the gameplay. I knew exactly what he was doing, but I was glad to give him the feedback. He was actually really cool about it, and when I asked him what he was shooting for as a release date he told me they were hoping to make it out before Christmas. After all that wrestling talk, I wanted to move onto something new, something I hadn't seen yet.

Activision - Vigilante 8

I started wandering around the floor and ran into something odd. A full size prison bus was sticking straight up into the air at the Activision booth. That could mean only one thing...Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense. The speed and animation of the vehicles and projectiles just makes this game ten times more fun. When a game plays that smoothly, it makes for a better game, always. And that certainly is the case for V8 2. There's this one new motorcycle type vehicle that is bad ass. It's so short and low to the ground that it's hard to hit unless the enemy fires heat seekers. You gotta play this game. Behind me, I heard a loud uproar and yelling. I turned around and couldn't see what it was until I looked over the wall of Panasonic's booth and noticed the Eidos logo that rested above their jumbotron. Gee, I wonder where I went next...hmmm...I don't know.

Lara Weller as Lara Croft
Either I'm a giant or she's tiny. Or both. Could be both.

Entering the Eidos booth, I realized what everyone was all excited about. Center stage, seated on the Harley, toting two shiny guns was Lara Croft in the flesh...if that's possible. Of course, I pushed through the massive crowd of men and took some pictures. Then, Don, an Eidos employee who got the lucky job of MC'ing the whole deal, said that it was Polaroid time. One of the Eidos booth babes made her way to the front of the stage with a camera and Don picked people from the crowd to come up onto the stage, sit on the bike with Lara, and get your very own picture with her. The Eidos booth was the loudest, most popular, and the most fun place to be at the show in my opinion. If you just wanted to come and have a good time, Eidos was it. Lara Weller, the model portraying Lara Croft, was really taking a lot of heckling from the crowd but seemed to be having fun anyways. When I got to go up there I asked if she was having fun doing all of this and she said "Are you kidding? I'm having a blast." She was really nice. One of the funniest things I saw at the show was when one guy called Don over and asked if he could sit in the front. Don said "So, you wanna sit on the front of the bike? Are you crazy? You wanna get your head shot off?" And the guy replied "Uh...YEAH!" So he sat on the front of the bike facing Lara and she put one of her guns to his head as they took the picture.

Midway - Michael Buffer

After that, I decided to make my way over to the West Hall but on my way through to the exit of the South Hall something caught my ear. Llllllllet's Get Ready RRRRRRRUMBLLLLLLLLE! That's right, Michael Buffer himself was standing in a mini boxing ring with two swimsuit models at the Midway booth. They were promoting Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, one of the surprise smash hits with the crowd at E3. The game is all out fun. After shaking Buffer's hand, I played R2R with one of the Midway guys. As we played, he told me that in the end there will be 20 fighters and even more combos and special punches different for every fighter. I think this is the game that really sold me on the Dreamcast. I had been a skeptic before E3 '99 but after seeing the differences between the N64 R2R and the DC R2R...the choice was simple. Nothing contends with Dreamcast's graphics capability and framerate...except if you include the PS2 demos that I'll get to later.

Acclaim - Randall Cunningham

Then, again something kept me inside the South Hall as I attempted to make my way out. Randall Cunningham was signing autographs at the Acclaim booth to promote NFL QuarterBack Club 2000. The line was really long so I didn't get an autograph but I got picture of him. He seemed really nice as he talked with the fans and was laughing all the time. Anyway, I was finally on my way to the home of the "big 3," the West Hall.The main entrance of the West Hall brings you right in front of the THQ booth. Their booth had plenty of WWF posters and periphinalia but no game on show. THQ is picking up the WWF license in November when Acclaim drops it. Since no game was showing, I decided to ask one of the THQ representatives. The guy said that it wasn't ready for showing yet but he had seen it and it's looking great. The new WWF game is running on a souped up version of the Revenge engine. Just thinking about it makes me wanna see it more. That's all the info he could give me though.

Then, I walked around the corner to the PlayStation booth and right in front of a huge Um Jammer Lammy display. I had played this game the day before in the scavenger hunt thing that Sony had going and I couldn't resist playing it again. The game's captivating element is its sound, and Sony capitalized on that by equipping every Lammy station with a set of headphones to wear so you could really hear it well.

Sony Booth

After that, I walked up the ramp to the catwalk and into a little room up there. It was entirely dedicated to Final Fantasy VIII. There was one giant screen running the intro video to the game. I watched it twice it was so good. Then, to the left of that video wall were about four stations set up to play FF8. I really don't have to say that it's a must buy...but I just did anyway. Final Fantasy needs no explanation. I could know nothing about the next one and see it in a store one day and not think twice before buying it.

Sony

When I came down the stairs, I noticed a woman holding a mic up to a guy and they were both staring at some type of screen. I got closer and joined the onlooking crowd to see what was going on. On the screen was Crash Bandicoot and you could actually talk to him and ask him questions as he moved around. He even made the right facial expressions and stuff. There was a guy in the back room with a motion-capture type mask on who could see you on a screen and he would talk back to you. Really cool technology and the guy was pretty funny too. Later in the day when I passed by, it was Spyro the Dragon on the screen. Someone asked if he and Crash were friends. Spyro joked that he wasn't included in Crash Team Racing because Crash knew Spyro would "toast" him.

Well, the Nintendo booth was right behind me at that point, so I decided to go back in and check things out again. Of course, I had to go right back to Donkey Kong 64. This game is going to be a best seller no doubt. If an original title like Banjo Kazooie can sell so well, imagine what a title that everyone's already familiar with can do. The graphics are simply amazing with the 4MB Expansion Pak, which will packed in the game. It looks a lot like Banjo but once you play it you'll notice the differences. While walking around the area I spotted something I'd wished for and never thought it actually happen. Excitebike 64! I couldn't believe it. I know it'll be nothing like the old NES classic, but it just brings back so many memories...knocking over other racers with your back tire, creating your own tracks, and even the music still sticks in my head. Okay, okay. Back to 1999 now. Excitebike 64 is fully 3D of course but sadly you couldn't play it yet, only a video demo.

The famous duck.

Then I remembered, I hadn't played the PlayStation 2 yet. I skipped it because the line was so long on Day 1 but when I walked over there it was pretty small but many onlookers. There were 3 different demos on display in the big silver pyramid. One was Gran Turismo. If you thought GT looked good now, wait til you see it in action on the PS2. Words don't describe the realism of the graphics. Even the smoke from the burning rubber of an out of control tire looks real as it drifts off into the wind...it's perfect! The second demo was the Rubber Ducky. Sounds pretty dumb but it was simply put up to show you the graphical capabilities of the system. You controlled a rubber duck in a small swimming pool. The camera never moved but you could dive down and knock around the intertube and other toys in the pool. The whole point was to awe you with the realism of the water and the ripple effects. And guess what...it worked. It looks amazingly real. The final demo shown was the Facial Animation demo. Some old dude's head was show on the TV. On the right side was a menu to use and you torque this guys face to any expression you desired. It's not a cartoony face, it looks like a real person and you could make him look any way you wanted. It was quite impressive.

After putting my eyes back in the sockets, I decided to go over to the Sega booth. Games like Soul Calibur and Sega Rally really look great. But as I was playing Sonic Adventure, someone says "Hey, did you see Booker T over at Tiger?" Overhearing this I asked when and the guy said now. You know what that means...I going back to the South Hall.

Booker T didn't always have long hair.

I got back into the South Hall and raced to the Tiger booth where I found a line of people and could see Booker T, five time WCW Television Champion, signing at their front desk. There was a Tiger employee standing next to me when I got there and he said "You're the last guy." I was feeling lucky then. Everyone that showed up after me was turned away. But then they told me that they might not have enough pictures for him to sign. Even though I'd have loved to have an 8x10 signed, I told them I'd just like to shake his and get my picture with him if I could. Me and three others didn't get an 8x10 but he was really nice and signed my Polaroid. I asked him when he was getting his belt back and he said "I'm looking for bigger and better things bro. It's US Title time now." I said thanks and walked off...that was cool.

The King

I looked down at my watch and saw it was almost 3:00. Hey, time for more wrestling stuff! Jerry "The King" Lawler was to appear at the Acclaim booth from 3-5pm. So I walked over there to find a huge, long ass line but I had to get into it. The line took about fifteen minutes but that was okay because I met a cool guy from PlayStationInteractive.com, Jason Rivera. We talked about the WWF and other stuff going on at E3. I took his picture with Lawler as he got his 8x10 and he gave me his card. When it was my turn I asked Lawler "When are you guys ever going to come to Georgia?" He shrugged and said that they had one scheduled at the Georgia Dome but got cancelled. I had known about this so I then asked him if he had finished the movie Man on the Moon with Jim Carrey. It's a movie on the life of comedian Andy Kauffman. Lawler said they had finished and it'd be out on November 5th. I shook his hand and said thanks and walked off.

Angel Boris and Nikki Ziering are why E3 exists.
Eidos

After all that standing in line, I stopped by the Eidos booth again. They were starting to do polaroids with the Eidos booth babes. I yelled with the rest of the crowd to be picked and eventually I was lucky enough to get up there. After they stopped the photo ops, they brought Lara back out and that kept the crowd going.I'd seen enough Eidos for the day so and didn't want to miss other stuff at the show so I left.

I walked down the aisles and found myself at the Fox Interactive booth and that's where something really freaky happened. As I walked by looking at their sports wall, someone walked straight into my shoulder. I look at him as he goes by and he turns and says "Sorry." Then I pulled a double take and realized that it was one of those friggin' Hanson kids, the middle one I think. I thought it was just a look-a-like or something at first but then when I sat down to play Fox's NHL game (not good) I look to my left at the next station and there's the youngest Hanson kid. What in the hell is going on here I thought to myself. So I got up to go try Croc 2 and as I walked by, two Fox guys were talking to each other and one said "So did you see those Hanson kids running around here?" Well, that proved it to myself that I wasn't having a nightmare, they were actually there. Some of those Fox sports games are pretty bad if you ask me and with that and Hanson in the same area I had to get out of there.

That's what we all came to see, obviously.

It was getting closer to closing time so I headed over to one of my favorite booths of the show, Midway. They had a really cool simulator set up for Hydro Thunder. The line wasn't long since it was the end of the day so got in line. Once inside, they closed the side door and the video screen came on. The ride was pretty cool. The twists and turns almost made you fall out of your seat. After getting out of that thing I played Ready 2 Rumble Boxing with these other guys in a winner stays type deal. It was cool. That's one of my favorite things about being at E3, interacting with other gamers that you would never meet otherwise. The whole experience is really different than you'd ever expect.

Well, once again, the lights came on in the LACC signaling everyone to pack up and go home. So we did. And I caught a shuttle back to the Bonaventure.Day 2 was history and only one day remained. Gotta make the best of it. It's my last chance for an another entire year. So what if my feet hurt and my back is about to give out? This is E3 dammit and I'm gonna keep going.

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