Sponsors: Nintendo, Circuit City, Panasonic, Yahoo, Blender Magazine
Bands: Evanescence, Cold, Revis, Cauterize, Finger Eleven
Games and Music
Nintendo offered a unique blend games and music at 2003’s Nintendo Fusion Tour. What better way to promote their newest games than by employing the help of popular bands? In my personal opinion, the concert was good, but could have been a lot better.
Upon entering the front doors of Chicago’s Congress Theatre at 6:00P.M., I was treated to a view of multiple high definition TVs showcasing the newest, soon-to-be-released Gamecube games. Nintendo lights were shooting all over the walls of the theatre as well as movies from games. After a quick pat down from security, I quickly jumped in line to see what games I would soon be playing.
Being the hardcore gamer that I am, I mostly went to this outing for the games, and not so much for the music. I saw the bands and music as an extra, not the other way around as most of the concert-goers did.
Star Wars: Rogue Leader 2
While waiting in line I witnessed people playing games around me. Soul Calibur 2 seemed to be on every TV in the place. However, I spotted someone playing the newest Star Wars game, Rogue Leader 2. I quickly changed lines to play this new Star Wars game because I already played the demo of Soul Calibur 2 from the GC’s newest demo disc. After a few minutes of waiting, it was finally my turn to take control of Luke. After playing this Rogue Leader 2 demo, I was pleasantly pleased. The game was of high enough quality for a definite rental or a possible purchase upon its future release. However, I do believe some of the game’s play control could use some tweaking. The aiming seemed a little jumpy when throwing a grenade into the AT-ST and when shooting down AT-ATs with a turret gun. These are all problems that can be fixed before its final release. To my dismay, the Co-Op and versus mode were unavailable for the trial. Only one player could play this demo. This lost some points in my book.
After playing Star Wars, I realized that every game available was on every single Cube station. I think this is the latest demo disc that will hit stores sometime in the near future. Happily, I found a F-Zero demo. This was the reason for the purchase of my ticket. After playing the short demo, I confirmed that this game will make a fantastic purchase upon its release. The very smooth, high frame rate will separate this game from every racing game before it. On the down side, the demo was only for one player yet again. I really wanted to see how this game played with multiple people racing at once.
Soul Calibur II
Soul Calibur II seemed to be the most played game at the show as you can always see someone playing within your field of vision. Once again to my dismay, this was the same demo on the newest Cube demo disc that is offered free when you buy a GC. Only two characters were available for battle. I was hoping for more fighters, but I think this game got its point across with all the people who played it. My friend was given the opportunity to challenge another concert-goer for the prize of a free shirt. The loser would receive a free poster. With nothing to lose, my friend accepted. My friend was defeated in the first round, but came back to win the last two. Thanks to the Nintendo rep named Kory, he won a free shirt.
Nintendo’s sequel from the N64 version was better than expected. Unfortunately, this was the only demo that allowed four players to compete at the same time. However, I owe this game my thanks as it won me a free t-shirt as well. My friend and I were playing this game when a Nintendo representative interrupted us with a proposition. He boasted that he had been playing this game during the entire tour, and he couldn’t get enough of it. With that said, the man had some practice under his belt. He said that if I could beat him in a race, I would win a free shirt. I quickly accepted his challenge. I started off bad, but came roaring back toward the finish. I won by half a second and was reluctantly rewarded with a free shirt.
This game was above average, but I thought it was strange that the “X” and “Y” buttons served no function at all. In a game that is based on tricks, I think these buttons should be assigned some kind of trick based tasks before the final release.
Viewtiful Joe, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, and Wallace and Gromit were also available to play. For a quick summary, Viewtiful Joe is a great game and Billy Hatcher has some potential even though it might be blown off as a kid’s game. GBA SPs were attached to the jackets of two extremely beautiful women. Wario Ware and Donkey Kong Country were some of the games available for play. I was hoping for these GBAs to be linked up for some multi-pak multiplayer gaming. Once again, I was let down.
Cauterize, Finger 11, Revis, Cold, and Evanescence were all performing this night. However, because I was playing games, I didn’t see any of Cauterize and Finger 11. I caught the last song by Revis and they seemed to be pretty good but my judgment about this band is skewed because I didn’t see the entire show.
I got a seat up close when Cold performed. I enjoy most of Cold’s music but I just wasn’t feeling them live. They didn’t really put on a good show. They mostly just stood in one place and played their instruments with a bright spider light flashing on a spider web curtain behind them. From this show, Cold is good band musically, but not the greatest thing live.
The headliners were Evanescence. They by far showed the most energy on stage that night, but their music all sounded the same. I am ignorant to this band as I only know their hit “Bring me to Life”, but their sound just seemed muffled and boring. Their music wasn’t that good, but they did put on a good show on stage. All the members in the band were in constant motion, jumping around and head banging. Their light show was pretty entertaining too. The female lead singer even wore a black tethered skirt complete with black wings. From the bands that I saw, Evanescence put on the best show.
I thought this concert was simply all right, but it could have been much better. I was extremely let down that most of the demos were only one player. I also wanted to see more upcoming games such as the new Metal Gear and Mario Kart. The music was nothing higher than average, but then again, these bands wouldn’t be my first choice to go see. I wouldn’t have gone to this show if it wasn’t for Nintendo being there. I went in with the philosophy of “I’m going to play the games, and if I have time, I’ll watch some of these bands.”
This show was unique enough to be worthy of a ticket purchase, but extreme gamers as myself might be let down by the lack of quantity of the demos. Nintendo gave away two autographed GBA SPs signed by Evanescence. Along with shirt challenges, posters and small buttons were also given away. I was hoping for more free stuff such as coupons for games or e-Reader cards. But I was pleased with what I got.
In my opinion, this show was good enough to go to and recommend. The prices of the tickets were fair, but I was disappointed in the amount of games to play, along with lack of multiplayer opportunities. If this tour is coming to a city near you, take a night out and go to it. This event was good, but could have been better. I think maybe that I had my hopes set too high because I wanted something close to an all-Nintendo E3.