Nintendo Connection Tour Australia (At Miranda Fair)
I managed to go to the nintendo connection tour down under a few days ago, what else can I say but what a huge disopointment.
The connection was called the "nintendo wifi tour" they didn't have any hotspots set up at all and the majority of the crowd were 10 year old girls waving around there nintendo DS's with nintendogs.
The show floor was set up with a bunch of nintendo DS game consoles set up around centre stage with demos of games on them.
The games included Brain Training in the special "adults area" (which was a bunch of cushy chairs around a table with some model brains and a rubiks cube on it).
Animal crossing Wild World which was hidden at the back and due to its long story took forever to begin. (The funny part was when the kids would stop playing the game they'd turn off the console making the next kid to turn it on have to sit through a 10 minute speech by that badger guy about the importance of not turning it off. Halarious)
Mario Kart the demo version.
Pokemon Puzzle Demo version
Nintendogs Demo Version (just in case you forgot to bring your copy I guess).
Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (which is due for release here at the end of February (which I also braught along my own imported copy of having finished it a week before the event!))
The show started with nintendo opening the gates to the area and accepting sign ups for the mario kart tournament that was to be held. There were a fair amount of older gamers in the que to sign up for this tournament however the majority was still children aged between 9 and 13. The gimick was that who ever won the tournament would recieve a years supply of nintendo products (which baffled me as how can you recieve a years supply of a cartridge? Do they come and take them back off you after a years time? This is just my problem with bad english however and I will move on.).
Once a player had signed up for the tourney they recieved a pass with there player number and told a time about roughly when there race would start. Having only played Mario Kart DS once on the demo machine as the gates opened I did not enter. However my younger brother decided to enter the tournament (even though he himself has only ever played Mario Kart once before). He signed up giving his name and address and was given a pass and a free nintendo mario kart decal to stick on his DS system (limited to one for every person who signed up however thanks to the staff there (who were a bunch of giggly blond teenage girls with no idea what the system even was!) I managed to use some charm on them and persuide them into giving me a bunch of free ones (Of which I will never use).
The races started soon after the sign ups not wasting any time. To begin with it was mostly a childrens race and thanks to a brilliant piece of design by Nintendo they had projected the image of Player Ones Nintendo DS up onto a huge Nintendo DS set of screens on centre stage. The races were mediocre at best and often it was more funny to just watch the kids with no concept of the game walk away crying or dazed at how they could ever lose!
After about an hour of Mario Karting the tournament was put on hold and a stage show began with 2 Nintendo staff giving a demonstration on the big screens of Nintendogs gameplay. Needless to say this was the thing that every 10 year old girl had been waiting for and the crowed erupted in applause as a dog ran onto the screen and the show began.
The Staff actually did a pretty good job on this showing the features of the game and were evn offering prizes such as nintendogs beanie babies and free game cart's to anyone who could answer various nintendo related questions (however they seemed to be biased towards odlder gamers as when questions like "Does anyone know the name of the new game starring princess peach!?" and when no one put up there hand (except for a couple who weere compltetly wrong) I decided to try my luck and raised my own. He looked at me and then just kept talking. I was upset by this and by the time I had been ignored 3 times when the question of:
"So who here has a funny Nintendogs story they'd like to share with us"
Once again the floor burst open with a wave of hands pointing up towards the stage (it was like watching an army of Nazi midgets) and dead sucking silence to persue as every girl sterained as hard as they could to be chosen. I was standing at the back of the crowd now with my brother only awaiting his turn in the tournry and making sarcastic comments about the event. My comment to this question in the waiting silence however of "Well this one time I had a nintendog who got sick. So, so I took it out the back and then I shot it!!!" was so loud that it rang off the walls of the shopping centre and got me a severe amount of dirty looks from staff members and children. I was however heralded as a hero by the older gamers.
All of the features of nintendogs was demonstrated and I guess every 10 year old girl left satisfied as the staff then opened there DS into bark mode allowing other players to connect and unlock new rare breeds of puppies into there game packs.
I planned ahead and braught a few copies of games I had imported to the event (one of them being princess peach) by the end of the day I had more kids around me than the demo booths!
The tournament soon resumed as as the races went on more of the advanced players begin to show up. These guys would have been about 16 and were obviously very serious when it came to playing. Finally it was my brothers turn (He was number 136) and that's when more of the opros began to show through. Now as I've said my brother had only played the game once before today, however I consider him an expert gamer and would not have expected him to do as badly as he did) The group he raced with were a bunch of older gamers around 16 years old. Let me tell you something, when nintendo allowed for snaking in Mario Kart they completely ruined the multiplayer experience. The screen that everyone could see showed player one, a 16 year old boy of greek appearence called George, Now he had some skills. The amount of snaking that was happening inside this race it was clear who the winner was from the start. No one else had a chance when this simple strategy came into play and in a time that was quicker than any other race so far the match was over.
When my brother returned he gave me the lowdown of what it was like to race in the tournament. He said that"You can barely see the screen for all the scratches" (I asked the staff later and they said that they had been using these same DS units since forever) and that "Because of where the event was held (under a glass cieling on a bright sunny Australian summer day) the glare on the screen was so bad he could barely see the race!" and for anyone who's tried playing a system with a scratched screen under direct light you may know only too well how this will affect your gaming experience.
The crowd erupted again for the winner and the next set of races was held. Unfortuanatly this is where my attention lapsed and I just didn't care who won. I spent some time showing off great imoport games like electroplankton and Princess Peach (as well as some others). I talked to some of the staff whos only real response was to twirl their hair in their fingers and smile ditzilly when asked any serious questions.
I opted not to stick around any longer and headed off. As I have made clear the whole event was disapointing. There was a bunch of things that could have been implemented to make it a propper "Wifi Tour" such as these:
- Actually having a Wifi Hotspot set up for people to get on!
- Not allowing snaking in Mario Kart DS (I'm sure everyone who's played online has wished for this).
- Having propperly trained staff.
- Actually selling the Nintendo wifi adapter at the event. I can't think of a more perfect time to be selling them! The most they had was a leaflet that had details on how to call nintendo and order one with your credit card. (Because obviously the average child will be able to do that). They missed out on the best opertunity they had to sell it.
With nothing better to do for the day I located my closest wifi hotspot (which was so far away from the event that you wouldn't even realise it was there and so week that if you're running a Nintendo DS and a PSP at the same time they both will not connect (Yes I have tried this) that it was just stupid) and proceeded to launch animal crossing and get my free gift from nintendo before going home. Leaving the event and nintendo fangirls behind me.
Inshort if you're an australian and want to go to any of the remaning events and wish to compete in the Mario Kart tournament make damn sure you know how to snake well. Other wise just don't even bother, that is if you don't want to see games that will not be out here for another month but have been out over seas for the last 3 months.
If you are a parent or a girlfriend make damn sure if you tag along bring a book or SOMETHING because the amount of parents and significant others who had no interest in nintendo sitting around looking pissed off was astronomical!
Nintendo tried there best to put on a good show but thanks to faults in the games such as Mario Kart and the amount of giggly and downright rude 10 year old girl following coupled with the complete lack of wifi hotspots for the "Nintendo WiFi tour" the entire event was just a let down.