I’ve never been to PlayStation Experience before. I would never have even known it existed had some friends not suggested I come with them. That being said, I had a great time and it was a veritable playground of video games. Not only that, this was my first foray into cosplay again and I’m so delighted at the reception I received at this particular event. Hit the jump to hear my thoughts on PlayStation Experience 2016!
Those who know me will know that when I was a kid, I came from a single-parent household and I felt far too guilty even thinking about asking my mother for a gaming console. Because of this, I am in a somewhat unique category of gamers who can’t game for shit. I know there are a lot of bad gamers out there but I think I’m up there with the best/worst of them. I don’t really have any grasp of intuitive controls and I get easily flustered with anything involving puzzles due to my learning disability. Don’t even get me started on co-op. A game where all your teammates are depending on you? Not great for someone with anxiety. And yet, I had fun anyway.
This was the first con I went to that I was able to play video games with reckless abandon; without worrying about how my ability as a gamer would be perceived. Usually, I stay away from them despite wanting to play because I’m concerned I’ll be an inconvenience to everyone else. However, when you have friends forcing you to enjoy yourself, you don’t have a choice, and for the better. In two short days, I got to experience what it was like to be a shitty Batman in Arkham VR, a shitty Ras in Psychonauts 2: The Rhombus of Ruin VR, a shitty samurai in For Honor, even a shitty Chloe in Uncharted Survival despite the Uncharted games being some of my favorites. And honestly…I had fun every step of the way. If anyone else has anxiety I can assure you that most people won’t care if you’re shooting an arrow at a wall in co-op 87 times because we’re all trying to figure out the goddamn controls because no one’s played these fucking games, yet.
In terms of my favorite video games (of which I played as many as I could in between networking) I highly recommend Ray’s The Dead. Ray’s the Dead is an action-puzzler about a little boy who has become a zombie and is slowly recovering his memories. Sounds morbid but it’s actually adorable. As one of the game devs told me, “Think Pikmin, but with zombies.” With the adult themes and the interesting puzzles, gameplay, and charming music (the first level has a track that sounds an awful lot like Thriller) I can see it being a hit. And with the adult subject matter strewn in, I can see it being comparable to Psychonauts in tone. Another one of my favorites was Let It Die and no, I’m not being biased because the actors from the booth pulled Brendan and I out of line so we could merc one of the characters. The beginning reminds me quite a bit of Dark Souls as an action-adventure role-playing game. Sure, character creation isn’t as in depth nor is the game itself as difficult, but I feel like a lot of it is quite similar. You can fight with a two-handed ax for God’s sakes!
And while some might be quick to call it mindless hacking and slashing, I love the themes and environments: imagine Dark Souls but in a cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic universe; the Wasteland but with more neon. I honestly cannot wait to play this game, again. For Honor is also another recommendation. I could go into the amazing fighting mechanics, weapons, and how realistic combat is but I’ll just say this: Vikings vs. samurai. GO BUY FOR HONOR.
I think one of the most exciting things for me was to cosplay, again. I had been doing it on and off for the past few years but had to stop for a while due to it not being financially viable, anymore. And unlike Comic-Con, everyone is there because they are fans of PlayStation properties. Occasionally, I’ll have people at larger cons not know who I’m cosplaying as. Who could forget the time I cosplayed as a femme Malcolm Reynolds only to have some drunk guy lumber up to me and ask if I was “Lara Croft or something? Whatever, you’re hot.” At this con, I helped my friends Brendan MacNeil and Ryan Berry of Gam3rCon do some PR. Brendan asked me to come be his Chloe Frazer at PSX as I already had a Chloe cosplay put together. This is one of the few times I’ve been to a con where nearly everyone knew exactly who the fuck I was. (I still did end up getting the Lara Croft comment but I’m almost certain that guy was being facetious.) Additionally, even though we got an abysmal time and score in the Uncharted Survival contest, the game devs ended up loving our cosplay so much they asked us to stick around for a bit after we finished playing! How fucking exciting is that?
One of the complaints I had about PlayStation Experience was how difficult it was to find people. Strangely enough, even though it wasn’t a huge con, it was still difficult to find my friends who I knew were in attendance there.
However, I still had a great time and unlike, say, Comic-Con, PlayStation Experience kept its number of attendees proportional to the size of the venue. I never felt like I was going to be crushed and I never had trouble getting to where I needed to go. Also, the lines are not so ridiculously long as it with Comic-Con. I think the longest I may have waited to play a game was 1 ½ hours. This wasn’t always the case though as I found out that my friend, Stephen (who did not subsequently get hate-fucked) waited 4 hours for standby tickets for Resident Evil: Biohazard. For something like standby tickets, this seems like an egregious waste of time. Another issue we ran into was badge pickup: this took almost 2 hours. There did not seem to be enough people processing badges to meet the number of people in line and the number of badges that had already been sold. The PlayStation Store onsite also had an unnecessarily long line for people that would want to buy exclusive merchandise which seems counter-intuitive in terms making more money. I have a few other complaints as well as positive comments for PlayStation Experience 2016 but I’ll have to save them for the podcast.
Overall, PlayStation Experience seems to be a great event for PlayStation fans, not too crowded, a great place to meet people, network, etc. I’m definitely looking forward to going again if it continues to be held in Anaheim.
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