Monday, April 04, 2011

Wondercon 2011 Wrap-Up

Writing this at 12:30ish Monday morning, in dire need of sleep. However, as I’ve spent the last 2 days staying up until 2 am, my schedule is a wreck. So I write this WonderCon 2011 wrap-up.

To start off, there is a lot of stuff all over the place. Holy crap. We must have circled the showroom floor at least 10 times and I still don’t believe I have seen everything. Though while it was insanely crowded all the time, it was a much more relaxed atmosphere then what I’m use to for a convention. And everyone gets something for free. T-shirts. Pins. Pencils. Patches. Comics. Wall scrolls. So many free things!
Favorite booth would be the Capcom Booth, despite not having RE Mercenaries available for play. Capcom was always busy. They had Okami DS, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Street Fighter 3D available for play. They also had a retail shop where you could get swag and some of their older games. I was hoping for some imports, but sadly they had none available. But I think Capcom made me a believer in the 3DS. Not so much that I would want to drop $250 bucks on it, but I can see why it works. With Street Fighter, the 3D makes a very smooth transition from 2D in a way that doesn’t screw with your eyes. What Street Fighter has always done well was to create a 3D environment while staying on a linear plane for combat. So the transition to “real” 3D elevated the game. I was still having a fun experience that the 3D did not inhibit the game. The downside with the 3DS is that the D-Pad has been moved down and a thumb-stick replaces the old D-Pad location. Not a very responsive thumb-stick at that. The other is that if you are even just a millimeter off-centered from the screen while playing in 3D, everything looks incredibly weird.
Runner-up is the light-up sound t-shirts with their massive techno boom. Electro Flash media. The basic idea is they use EL wire with a circuit board that activates the lights when a sound is made. I’ve seen these before, but this was the first time that they looked really well made, had a long life-cycle, and was within a reasonable price-range (my brother bought his for $35). But it really made me happy to see that EL wire prices are dropping to become a reasonable means of introducing into clothing, and this company found a way to make it look great without increasing the costs to the consumers.

In Green Lantern news, I found out that most of the movie was filmed in CG. So that suit Ryan Reynolds is wearing isn’t real. In fact, they never made a real suit. It’s all computer graphics. No replicas will be available to fans, for anyone who might be interested. But what I did see looked pretty good. It just needs some fine-tuning. Looks too CG. And Green. You get to see the other Lanterns in the universe, as well as their planet, and the flying, and the punching, and all that. They went for the full transformation sequence of Hal into the GL without cutting corners. We, the viewers, get to see a more in-depth view of how someone became a superhero, instead of the hero being thrown at us with a 3-5 minute back story. It was nice. Reynolds was charmingly humorous at the panel along with Blake Lively (there was at least one Gossip Girl fan there, not me) who was giving Reynolds plenty of ammo to keep the crowd laughing. Their dichotomy off the screen shows that they probably had good chemistry on-screen. It was a great hour spent, and got some cool free stuff to boot.

Saturday was the big costume day, as with most conventions, but not as many as I’m use to seeing. A lot more of a casual convention. I didn’t get a chance to see Chris Hardwick at the meet-and-greet, but I did briefly on Sunday just before the Doctor Who panel that he was hosting. Nice guy and just as silly as he is on tv. The G4 booth was…kind of lame. They had t-shirts and were trying to promote the new Attack of the Show hostess, but no where near the flash that it should have had. Bet their booth at ComicCon is 3 times as large…show WC more love!

Also met the CEO of Trion, the guys that made Rift. Also a nice guy and very honest. He laid a smackdown on a fan question about why there isn’t more fan generated content in MMO’s. To which he admitted he felt bad about it afterward, but he made a good point. Developers need “good” content, not just “content”.

Overall, loads of fun. Hated having to leave as early as I did and maybe I can go back next year. ^^


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