All I can say is I’m glad we launched our E3 experience in the South Hall rather than the West Hall…because had it been flipped, the first impression of E3 would not have been as good.
It’s not that Day 2 was necessarily bad, but it was not anywhere on the level of success of Day 1.
A large part of that is the insanity that is the Nintendo booth. If you were not one of the select few who received their “warp pipe pass” to get into the biggest games, you could be line upwards of three hours for 10-15 minutes with a new game.
Needless to say, I did not play any Nintendo games today.
The Sega booth drew a lot of action and that’s where both my son and I played “Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.” My son’s wait was much longer than mine because I was lucky enough to be by myself and they were taking gamers in pairs to play. A single player was at the start of the line and the Sega employee yelled out asking if any other single players were in line; I happened to be paying attention so I waved at them and they brought me to the front of the line.
The game was typical of the Mario and Sonic games. We were able to try hurdles, surfing, karate, archery, and skateboarding. The game play was solid and smooth. The skateboarding and surfing were kind of hard to play. I know I’ll likely end up buying it because my autistic son loves these games.
A large part of the West Hall is dedicated to eSports, which was of zero interest to me.
I tried to kill some time in an area called IndieCade where a number of small independent developers were showing off their wares, but it was very crowded with people either randomly bumping into you or just standing there so you have to try and find ways around them.
The one game I played whose name escapes me was described as a cross between a “dating game” and a “dungeon quest.” You “dated” people who turned into weapons to kill spiders and other creatures inside a mall. Um…yeah. It was mildly entertaining but there’s no way I’d pay for it.
By early afternoon, there was not much left to do in the West Hall for someone with just an ordinary gamer pass other than to stand in some line for hours.
Now, there were a few good points to the day, and the start was fun. THQ Nordic had a new version of Destroy All Humans available for everyone to play and it was fun being the bad alien. And 7-Eleven was giving away free Slurpees.
So Day 3 for us is looking like three plus hours waiting in line to play Luigi’s Mansion 3 (mostly because my autistic son is dying to know more about the game) and then revisiting a few previous games because we’ve run out of a lot of options for regular gamers.
Honestly, it’s looking more and more like three days at E3 is too much for an ordinary gamer, unless you enjoy waiting in lines. A lot.
But my son is still having a blast, and said today the trip is the best time of his life so far, so the important reason we’re here is still valid.