I’m on a following spree. Please like if you post things about these.
Okay. I need to put words into action now
Okay… In this order… I will finally try to work through the games I own before moving on.
- God of War 3/L.A. Noire - haven’t decided which yet… I mean I already started God of War 3… L.A. Noire is so fresh
- God of War 3/L.A. Noire - whichever I didn’t choose first
- Disney’s Epic Mickey
- Final Fantasy XIII - good luck, me
- At this point… it either becomes next game to come out that I want to play or Donkey Kong Country Returns… hmm
In other news, this means I’m not really doing anything productive! So if you’re in Mississauga, I want to hang out and get out of the house. Baking party? Dim sum? (eh eh?) We can do so much!!! Why am I jobless? T_T
My experience volunteering for Video Games Live - Toronto
I still remember the moment when I saw the ad on tumblr about VGL looking for volunteers. I thought, “whoever gets this opportunity will be a lucky SOB… I’m gonna go for it.” I bookmarked that page and started a draft application in my email so that I’d be reminded every day that I needed to get it done. The application was due on Feb. 15 and we were told that we’d know no latter than Feb. 28 whether we’d be volunteering now. So I spent a week on that email and fired it out to VGL on Feb. 14. March rolled around and I still hadn’t heard anything from anyone so I figured I didn’t get it, which I was cool with. Instead, I’d pick up some tickets with my brother or some friends and go see it.
A week and a half before the event, I get an email from Mike Tallarico, brother of Tommy Tallarico and Merchandise Manager for VGL, requesting an email from me if I still wanted to volunteer for the event. You know me, online 24/7, so I answered that email within 5 minutes of receiving it. Unfortunately there was a grammar mistake so I’m afraid I didn’t make a very good first impression >_>
So, about half a week before the day (May 2, 2011) I get another email from Mike with instructions on when to be at the venue. 3 if I want to watch the rehearsal, but no later than 5:15.
Monday, I wake up early to get some errands done before getting my brother to drive me to the bus stop. I get there around 2:30, so I decided to walk around Eaton Center before heading to Massey Hall. When I get there, I call Mike, and he comes to grab me from the stage door to introduce me to Cesar Solorio, his friend who also does merchandise. Outside the venue, I meet Kendrew Heriveaux and his buddy Walter, the two singers who would perform Civilization IV’s Baba Yetu later that night.
After introductions, Cesar hands me an All Access Pass and I’m told to go up to the hall, grab a seat and watch rehearsals because they’re about to start.
I make it in time to see them set up lights!
One shining ball of light!
Two shining balls of light!
Three shining balls of light!
Four shining balls of light! Ah ah ah.
I thought this was really sick
Then they started rehearsal! Here are some of the videos I took:
Chrono Trigger - This one’s for you, Eryn!
Civilization IV - Unfortunately I only caught the end of this one…
One Winged Angel
God of War III
Street Fighter II
I only got the end of Civ IV because I was too busy taking pictures >_> In hindsight, I wish I took a video of this.
And finally, this is what spectators would walk into the hall to:
By now, it was 4:45 and no one had come to get me yet, so I had half of my sandwich and then whipped out my DS to play Mario Kart for a couple of minutes. After I completed to Cups and no one still came to get me, I went downstairs to see what was happening.
Here, I met Evan! He was the other volunteer who’d be working alongside me. I was wondering where our team was… Anyway, he’s playing Halo: Reach, and we exchange our hellos, and he tells me that the other two people on our team were no shows, so we’d have to make-do with just the two of us later that night. Did I mention the room we were in was totally kick ass?
The windows booth, they had a bunch of people here handing out fliers for some kind of prize.
Hahaha! I finally got my hands on one of these babies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find one of those 3D sim cards that I could play with, I did make a mii and stuff though. My verdict? It’s heavier than my DS lite, the buttons are really nice, not really a fan of the colour scheme and the 3D is pretty cool, though not mind-shattering. I also moved it around to see what all the fuss was about having to hold it in front of your face at this “sweet-spot”… yea… I can see how that’d be a pain after a while.
Dance Central and the Kinect! You can also see Halo: Reach to the right.
Sony PS3, Socom 4 and Mortal Kombat!
Evan was in charge of the ballot box station where people would fill out little sheets of paper and then Tommy Tallarico would draw their names out of the box on stage. They’d win a Kinect, 3DS, PSP or PS3… people got pretty intense, luckily no one got violent and there was a lot of security around.
Since we were shorthanded, I was in charge of the cosplay Contest as well as the Guitar Hero Contest. I was pretty bummed I didn’t any pictures of the cosplayers. There was a totally decked out Master Chief, two Links, a Ganondorf, a Luigi, a Toad, some Splinter Cell dudes as well as other character I can’t recall at the moment.
At the Guitar Hero station, people lined up to play Van Halen’s Jump on expert. They’d write their names down and then I’d record their score… if they finished. I believe out of the 15 or so people who tried the contest, only 6 completed the song. Bryon won with 228k points! Yea, no one else really came close to touching him. People started to funnel into the seating area and I took the sheet to Mike and Cesar. Cesar showed me how to get back stage, since I’d be waiting for Bryon at intermission to take him back there. There I met Tommy! Cesar then thanked me for my help and told me to go find a seat on floor level and enjoy the show.
I took one video before my battery crapped out! I didn’t even get the end of it -_-“
Civilization IV - Baba Yetu
Here are more pictures though!
Tommy during Megaman!
Martin Leung. aka Video Game/Blindfolded Pianist~! aka my gaming pianist idol. I had no idea he was going to be there! He played a Final Fantasy medley as well as his blindfolded Super Mario medley as well as a separate Super Mario Medley. Made me so happy.
Laura Intravia - Amazing classically trained vocalist and flautist. Also a music arranger! She was the female vocalist for several of the pieces that night. She also performed her famous Flute Link act for us on stage!
Master Chief also ran on stage at the end of Halo.
Tommy with his badass Steam Punk guitar with built-in sniper rifle! Bad. Ass.
Tommy also called a guy and a girl on stage and he proposed to her in front of all of us! It was pretty amazing haha. Tommy and the guy had been talking for a month prior to the event and had her pretty tricked =b
There was also an on-stage Frogger competition between a 30 year-old guy and 21 year-old girl. The guy did not know what Frogger was when he signed up and was promptly booed by everyone in the room lol. The girl demolished him and Tommy says, “Let it be known that on this stage, in Toronto, a girl beat a guy at video games!” lol
Intermission came and I waited by the Guitar Hero booth for Bryon so that I could take him backstage and show him what to do. Backstage was pretty hectic. Lots of the musicians were late showing up to the stage after intermission so people were being ushered. Bryon and I kinda stood there for a while, and then Tommy came by to give him instructions. I took that opportunity to take this:
I went downstairs and waited for the cue and when it came, lead Bryon center of the floor level and he got called up and rocked out with Tommy =]
I found my seat from earlier in the show and just watched the rest of a really awesome show.
We ended off with the promise of cake. Instead, we got group singing and a DS, PSP and cell phone party.
After the show, Evan and I hung out downstairs by the merch table and when the line for the meet and greet died down, we lined up for our chance to meet the performers, get our pictures taken with them and get some stuff signed.
Martin Leung and I ^^
Tommy Tallarico and I - too bad it’s a little blurry
Emmanuel Fratianni’s signature - conductor
After we said our goodbyes to the team, Evan and I hopped onto the subway and made our ways home. I don’t think I ended up getting in bed until like 2, but man. What an epic day.
Square Enix Announcements!
Square Enix had its 1st Production Department Premiere today (and by today I mean Japan’s yesterday… our 5AM this morning). Damnit, I should’ve known so I could’ve stayed up to watch the live stream. They announced several games and showed new trailers for other games that are releasing soon.
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance announced for the Nintendo 3DS
- no word on KH III
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy for the PSP
- basically an announcement on the various characters that will be playable in this installation of the game
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 for the PS3 and XBOX 360
- to be released later this year (in Japan, at least)
- Final Fantasy 0-Shiki [Japanese name] (previously known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII)
- to be released in Japan this summer
- Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PS3
- uhh… more trailers!
Day 5 - Game Character You Feel You Are Most Like (or wish you were)
I guess this character fits both criteria for me. Her personality is like mine and I want to look like her. This was a character I felt like I could relate to the most to too. She has a younger sibling who she’s very overprotective over; she’s strong-willed, stubborn and a leader.
This was a pretty easy choice for me. I mean, super hot, already a favourite character and relatable. Though I gotta say, I do get annoying sometimes… haha. Done.
Day 2 - Favourite Character
Oerba Yun Fang - Final Fantasy 13
(Isn’t she dreamy? *swoon*) [Warning: Spoilers to follow]
No other character really stood out to me except this one. I’d say I’m much more drawn to the story of a game, but I’ll save that one for a later day.
Fang is the kind of person that I’d idolize and want to be around all the time. She’s hella old from being a Cie’th for a long time and her l’cie mark is distorted which makes her special. She’s also probably the only character in this game that never annoyed me, which is saying a lot because every other character in this game annoyed me at one point or another. Damn you, character development.
She’s super hot and it’s hinted at that she and Vanille might have some romantic history behind them. (cue scene where the two are reunited and Fang looks up her skirt)
She wields the most badass weapon in the game: a lance/spear/staff combo. Staffs ftw!
These characters deserve honourable mentions though: (from left to right) Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII), Toad (Mario series), Axel (Kingdom Hearts II) and Tidus (Final Fantasy X)
Final Fantasy Distant Worlds
I probably hung out with my nerdiest friends today (11.27.10) and it was awesome! I loved every bit of it. Andrew and Martin picked me up around 1:30 and headed over to Kipling Station… and by headed over, I mean teleported because Andrew was driving so fast. Once we got there, Mark and his car of people (Chris, Kingson and Eric) arrived shortly.
I like to think that I’m always prepared, never over-prepared and today I’m so glad that I was. While on the subway, we started talking and realized that 4/8 of us brought our DSes and Martin brought his PSP along too. So we Mario Karted all the way there and I schooled them so hard haha. All of that practicing did me well.
Once downtown, we headed west on Queen towards Spadina and spent a good amount of time in Silver Snail. I made sure to check their stock of Muppets figures, but they never have any Animal ones. Everything else seemed really pricey as usual and I didn’t feel like making a spontaneous purchase on an indie graphic novel that I’d never heard of… though it was tempting.
After that we headed over to Spadina and Dundas to visit the anime store. So much manga!!! There were a couple of T-shirts that I saw in there that I would’ve bought if they weren’t $25… I just spent $60 on 5 shirts off Threadless on a joint order with the housemates, so I was in no rush to buy any more gear. The owner of the store kicked us out after we were there for a while and started talking. Apparently we were just idling… whatever.
w00t! So we got these instead! We thought it was pretty amusing that everyone had picked a different coloured straw. Can you guess which one was mine?
Headed to a clothing store called Nomad that Eric recommended just across the street from here. The styles in there were pretty sick, and since Mark and Eric were both in need of some new clothes we stopped here for a bit. Eric ended up getting a couple of shirts and then we street carred it over to the Eaton Centre.
Mark, Eric and Kingson shopped while the rest of us hung out downstairs near the McDonald’s since we were tired from walking around. We also had to meet up with Peter since he originally thought we were going to the concert tomorrow and had his plans all mixed up.
We left the Eaton Centre around 10 to 6 since we told Chris Graham (lead guitarist of The Framework) that we’d meet him at The Old Spaghetti Factory at 6. Peter met us there and said we’d have to wait 45 min to an hour. Mark then went and talked to the staff and worked his “magic” and we got our table within 10 minutes. It puzzles me greatly. Chris ended up arriving at the restaurant around 7:20, which I later learned was because he had to be with his family. Whatevs. He’s a rock star, he does what he wants. lol
After dinner, we jetted over to the venue just in time for the end of the opening piece. After the welcoming speech, they went right into the Final Fantasy Victory Theme which was pretty awesome haha and then straight on to To Zanarkand from FFX (*swoon* <3) I’d say I knew 6 or 7 of the pieces they played really well, and then the rest of it was just epic music which is pretty good for attending a concert that spanned 14 games lol… but they did leave out FFIV and FFXII entirely.. hmm In general, I thought the choir was WAY too loud and were completely muffling the sound of the orchestra. At times the percussion section seemed to be carrying (or attempting to carry) everyone, and then other times they were completely off. The strings, high winds and low brass were SO awesome. The trumpets and horns were sometimes awesome… Chris thought the horns were out of tune and that there were way too many mistakes. He also said that Arnie Roth, the conductor, was conducting ahead of the beat, trying to speed the band up… which they were already doing so everything felt rushed. But I said that maybe he was just trying to get the orchestra to match what was on the screen. At times I could feel him cringing beside me haha. There was also this high pitched white noise the entire time too, though that’s probably because of the cranked speakers so that the fan boys wouldn’t be disappointed with the volume.
At the end of the concert, Nobuo Uematsu, the chief composer for the Final Fantasy series, was in attendance so he came on stage (people who’d paid extra got a meet-n-greet and signing session afterwards). Wild applause erupted and someone to my right yelled, “You’re the man!” The concert ended with FFVII’s One Winged Angel and he joined the choir. It was so awesome.
See that here: Final Fantasy Distant Worlds - One Winged Angel
You could also tell that they (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra + Tallis Choir of Toronto) hadn’t rehearsed the music together much and threw them in with a conductor that they weren’t used to. *sigh* Not much you can do about that one though.
Not as many people cosplayed as I thought… really wanted to see some 1337 ones. Though I did see a really good Yuna and a kind of good Khimari, then a girl wearing Lightning’s jacket walked by too!
Then we bought our gear. Curses Mark! He bought the last signed poster =[ Hopped onto the TTC and made it home just past midnight.
The set up