Posted on September 5, 2004.
After winning tickets to V, I won two tickets to Game Stars Live. Going with Brady, we found our way to Excel and queued for 20 minutes before the doors opened. I then went straight to the Halo 2 demonstration and queued for 90 minutes to play a 5v5 CTF game. For five minutes. With non-inverted controls. Given that I play my FPSs with inverted controls, this was a bit of a pain. In hindsight, it wasn't worth it, but I would have been wondering if it would have been if I hadn't queued.
Following that mistake, the day picked up considerably. Retro Corner (Pac Man and similarly classic games were on show in their original cabinets) was next to the Nintendo Pier, which made for little walking. The three tabletop Street Fighter 2 Cabinets were notoriously popular - and rightly so. There were those there who excelled at it, and there were those - such as me - who didn't. I managed to get a game with a guy who was the same skill level as me, which was amazing fun. I was Ken, he was Ryu. It went to the third round, and while he won, it was so close there was no health visible in his health bar. It was so enjoyable that we shook hands afterwards - something that seemed to be a rare occurance.
Nintendo's showing was, simply, amazing. Wario Ware, Metroid Prime 2, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and Mario Tennis were all great to play, and Brady and I wasted a large portion of the day playing these. They all paled compared to the fun that can be had with Donkey Konga and two sets of bongos. Your fingers get numb, and you want to stop - but you can't. You just want to keep playing. That is the sign of a good game, and is the reason why I will probably be buying it.
There were lots of freebies being given away, but we didn't fare too well on that front. A Final Fantasy XI poster, a few pens - that was about it. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable, and definitely worth going to see - for free, at least.