On Wednesday, September 10th, GameStop held their second annual expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. After a 3 hour trek across the city, our awesome contributor @Wolf6_Actual and I made it to the venue. Typically, when a convention is happening at the Anaheim Convention Center there are lines for days. But, with only a handful of cars in front of us, we were able to park within minutes of arriving and get on our way to collecting our badges.
The badge lines were a breeze too. With barcode pickup, there was a minimal wait time for people to shuffle through papers and ID’s, and whatever else they might need to claim their badges. A simple flash of the email and your badge was printing in seconds.
TO (DISNEY) INFINITY… AND BEYOND!
Once inside, our first stop was the Disney Infinity Booth where Dustin and myself got a hands-on look for 2 new amazing characters being added to the line up in Disney Infinity 2.0 – GROOT and Rocket Raccoon! The demo we played was on a PlayStation 4, which definitely threw us off a bit since we both stick more towards XBOX and Wii when it comes to this title.
In addition to GROOT and Rocket Raccoon, the Disney Infinity Universe is getting some major players from the Marvel World. All of the characters on display were playable if we wanted to test them out, but we decided to keep exploring and let others have a chance to play. Below is a quick shot of some of the epic characters that are coming soon to your console!
Right after leaving the Disney Infinity booth, we were in direct line of sight of the WiiU booth which was showcasing their latest games. Dustin and I both got a hands-on 10-minute demo of Hyrule Warriors. I played as Zelda, while Dustin opted for the classics and played as Link. There are definitely a few things that could be worked out with the gameplay when it comes down to this title, but if you are a true Legend of Zelda fan, this will be a must-have for your collection.
This 10-minute demo dropped you into the first level, where you are immediately thrown into battle to learn your controls. Zelda relies heavily on X to boost her orbs, followed by Y to attack. A combination like X, X, X then Y will allow you to build up 3 orbs for a powerful attack. As the attacks become more powerful, you will be able to build up to your Special Attack (A) and combo that in. A rule of thumb, most attacks will begin with X and end in Y.
Next up near the WiiU booth was Super Smash Bros, which Dustin took it upon himself to kick some ass on the floor. Playing as Link, again, he emerged victorious with 1st place.
ASSASIN’S CREED – ROGUE
While we didn’t stick around for this event, Assassin’s Creed presented an amazing theatrical experience for con attendee’s and even had a showcase off to the side of costumes from each game. That was definitely the part that blew our mind.
WB Games stole the show towards the back of the convention center with this larger than life version of the Batmobile from Arkham Knight. In addition to that, they also had handcrafted Batman suits around the entire floor created by fans, industry types and a ton of other notable individuals from around the world.
Handsome Jack tried to make a move on me over at the Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel booth! But luckily, I was able to get away and make it on safely to the rest of the convention.
Additionally, Call of Duty also was a show stealer, by offering gamers a hands-on feel for the new title ‘Advanced Warfare’ that comes out November 4th, 2014. If you’re a fan of the Call of Duty series, you will definitely want to make sure you get your hands on a copy ASAP. The gameplay looks great, and I know we can’t wait to see more.
We also got to play some of our other favorite titles, like Heroes of the Storm (which we’re in technical alpha for at this time!), Destiny on PS4, and even a hands-on of the Master Chief Collection coming out November 2014.
EA Sports had an epic photo booth that turned a picture of you taken there into a cover of one of their games! I let the photo booth guy talk me into being a UFC Fighter, and the photos are priceless!
And lastly, we cannot forget Dragon Age: Inquisition. While they didn’t have any more information or stuff leading up to the game at the convention, they did have an epic photo booth. And I cannot turn down the chance to sit on a throne made from a dragon’s skull.
On the way out, they had a booth set up as an epic store packed full of collector items and some exclusives we never thought we’d see again. I managed to pick up this Motorized SkyHook Replica for a Cosplay I am working on, but they even had Marvel Tokidoki Shirts that have been sold out for years, Comic-Con Exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Items, and even more.
While I don’t have a photo at this time, both Dustin and I walked away with more Swag then we could physically carry. I literally dropped my phone several times, along with dropping posters and a ton of other stuff any time I’d try to shift stuff around.
This is definitely a GREAT problem to have as a con-goer, and the VIP bags that GameStop Expo gave us with our badges definitely went above and beyond. Inside the bag, we got an Expo Shirt, Destiny Shirt, a reusable vinyl bag, A FRIGGIN BATMAN CAPE, and a bunch of fun toys and knick-knacks that are now decorating my office desk.
Other vendors were giving out shirts, pens, entries for giveaways like tablets and PS4’s… But the one that stood out the most was definitely the GameStop booth dead center. They were giving out Steam Codes, and after a couple of handfuls, we walked away with almost $200 in-game codes for various indie AND mainstream titles! Talk about a come up!
All in all, GameStop Expo is what every convention should aspire to be. Great crowd control to walking the floor with ease. And it is the first convention that I was able to do EVERYTHING on the floor AND walk away without an awful stress-induced migraine at the end of the day. And the amount of swag we walked away with was almost triple the cost of the basic VIP pass. One thing is for sure, I will be attending next year. And we really think that you should too!