Monday, September 15, 2014

Retro Gaming Expo, Las Vegas

If only I brought more money for merch.
This past weekend I attended the Retro Gaming Expo at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the
first gaming expo I had ever been to and I certainly hope it won't be the last. I saw the fliers around campus and immediately gathered some sorority sisters that I then forced to go with me, and even though my poor friends would have rather had been anywhere else, I had a blast.
Couldn't find Sonic 2, so Sonic 3 will have to do.

It was a small convention composed of small booths full of handmade merchandise, old school gaming consoles, and retro games for nearly every console ever made. The most popular were the Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis. I could have added several games to my old collection of only Sonic 2 if I knew where my old Sega Genesis was. Merchandise ranged anywhere from the hand beaded characters you see above (a hand beaded Pyramid Head that I unfortunately didn't get a picture of was the highlight,) to fan art posters, to Mario hats, and a necessity at every expo; Link's shield and sword.

Being the stereotypical broke college student, I only bought one thing at the expo...buttons...
And as pathetic as it may sound I tried to pick them so they would have sentimental value. Not only are they my first pieces of merchandise from my first convention, they all have meaning in my gaming heart. During my long Nintendo DS gaming life an embarrassingly long amount of time was spent in the world of Animal Crossing. I explored every inch of my little town, visited my friends towns who also had the game, tried to keep every animal neighbor in my town from moving, and tirelessly tried to work off the never ending debt to the bastard Tom Nook...what a dick that guy was...Anyways, when I saw the Animal Crossing character I just had to pick it. I picked Princess Peach specifically on her Mario Kart because that was another game I spent countless hours on and she was always my character of choice. The Pac-Man ghost, well who hasn't played Pac-Man. And finally the I love my Playstation 3 button because I do. It was my very first console where I played a game to completion the very first time and one day it will be a showcase at some Retro Gaming Expo and I will be telling kids my nostalgic memories of good ol' 2000's.

By far my favorite part of the expo was the game room. They had all kinds games in all kinds of consoles hooked to every kind of TV imaginable. On the outer walls there were arcade games and pinball machines ranging from South Park to even a pinball machine based on the movie "Twister." The popular games in the middle of the room were one of the many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, the original Donkey Kong, and Mario Kart 64. Considering the fact that Mario Kart had so many people gathered around in the hopes to play that they decided to create a tournament, I gave up and sadly walked away and then stumbled on Mortal Kombat II. I immediately grabbed the controller and threw the other into the hands of my friend who has almost zero gaming experience. I chose Scorpion and tried my best to coach my friend through it but then I realized my only coaching instructions were "just hit the buttons...button mash." It was a disaster of epic proportions as our characters swung and kicked away at mostly air, only sometimes causing damage to the other player. But I didn't care, it was the first time I had played a Mortal Kombat game in years and I had a blast, no matter how terrible I was.

All in all I had an excellent time and I will certainly be on the lookout for more gaming expos to hit the Las Vegas area. And one day, maybe very soon I will save up the money to travel to Pax Prime up in Seattle, or maybe I will just go for the big guns and hit up San Diego Comic-Con or go for the ultimate dream of going to E3. One day...I'm determined.

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