Brian Ho (brianho) wrote,
Brian Ho

Closing out ACen

I wanted to try to update last night while the memories were still fresh, but it got late again (2am) and I just couldn't quite muster the will to stay conscious.  We're actually on our way back home now, so I've got plenty of time to update.

Things did improve after a little nap.  It really only amounted to about half an hour, but it was just enough of a recharge to put a little pep back in my step and banish some of my moodiness.

After my experience with the concert tickets (i.e. not having a ticket because I didn't know I needed one), we decided to pick up tickets to the masquerade.  Sam had wanted us to actually participate in the masquerade, but he wasn't able to get approval from the oragnizer through email before the con, and all the spots had been filled by the time we arrived and waded through the obnoxiously long reg line.

Sam wanted to participate in a Drummania tournament that was to start at 4pm.  Then it got pushed back to 5pm.  I went to inquire whether we would be permitted to enter the masquerade late since we already had tickets.  My hope was that Sam could participate in his tournament and we could still see the masquerade.  There was a fairly large group of people at the information desk who were irate because they had run out of masquerade tickets.  Many of them were expressing that they didn't know tickets were required.  Apparently I was not at all alone in being underinformed about that.

I was asking a girl at the desk if we could get in late, but she had to ask someone else who was busy dealing with all the irate people.  Clearly there needed to be better information/communication about procedures, but the way in which some of those people were treating staff was rude and unnecessary.  I finally got my answer after several minutes of waiting.  They said they would probably allow extra people in to fill any available space, so there wouldn't be room for us if we arrived late.

We decided that we'd go ahead and try to go to the masquerade and perhaps leave early.  Sam was banking on the "flexible" scheduling (read: last minute unannounced changes) seemed to be pervasive at the con.  Maybe his tournament would start late and he'd still get to play.

They had someone checking tickets as we entered the line.  That was an improvement over me standing in the line earlier for half an hour before I found out I needed a ticket.  But while we were waiting in line we were approached by someone who offered us $60 for 5 tickets so he could get his friends in.  There were 6 of us and we decided that we weren't that commited to the masquerade, so we gave up our tix for the cash.  It bought us a tank of gas.  Sam's tournament did end up starting a bit late also, so he was able to participate.

Next up for me was a Pump It Up tournament.  It had been postponed from Friday night and was really the only thing I specifically wanted to do at the con.  Hanging around the game room about 75% of my time at the con, it seems like there's a trend of antisocialness amongst gamers.  Many were just introverted, but there were also quite a few elitist jerks.  However, all the coolest people I met at the con were Pump players.

Andamiro sent some representatives to the tournament, and it was run by Yehaw McKickass whom I had previously conversed with on the DDR Freak forums.  The tournament was well run and fun.  I entered both Speed and Freestyle divisions and did surprisingly well with a third place finish in Speed (WTF?!) and a win in Freestyle!

I'm not sure what the heck happened in Speed.  Obviously I'm not a Speed player...I just enetered for fun.  It was not a bracketed tournament.  Everyone played the same song for each round and the lower half (or so) of scores were eliminated.  I actually liked the format, but there were several players who were much better than me that got eliminated ahead of me.  I'm not sure how much the format may have contributed to that.

Freestyle was a great show.  It was cool just to get to see the routines.  There were 2 or 3 other participants who had more choreographed routines compared to my typical improv style.  But we had a really good crowd for me to draw energy and excitement off of.  That always tends to help my performance, and apparently the judges appreciated it.

The Andamiro people brought some pretty cool prizes along, and I ended up with an NX t-shirt, NX poster, a PIU pin, and another one of those Zero mousepads.  Unfortunately, they only had an ACen trophy for the Speed division.

The tournament lasted for quite awhile which delayed me joining the rest of the group for our little cosplay adventure.  I finally made it at 10pm.  Sam really wanted to reprise the Yatta! costumes from years passed.  I was ready to retire it after last year for fear that it was getting a bit old and used up, but I agreeed to do it again.  This year it was modified by covering the leaf shorts with garb to make us look like spartans from the movie 300.  We had a little skit where we'd reveal the leaves that we were going to enter in the masquerade, but we decided to just do it randomly in the hall instead.

The 300 costumes were a pretty big hit and got the uproarious cheers and photo ops that Yatta! had gotten in the past.  Funny, since it has pretty much zero to do with anime.  We ended up only doing the reveal skit once in front of the line waiting to get into the Soap Bubble dance.  It was a pretty big hit as well and was met with a tremendous cheer.  Then we just walked around for awhile longer in the Yatta! costumes.  The response was kind of lackluster compared with previous years.  I think the costume may indeed be worn out as I had suspected.

After that, we got redressed in normal clothes and went to get in line for the Soap Bubble.  After standing in line for about 10-15 minutes, I decided I was crashing, so I just bailed back for the room.  Yeah, I'm old and lame.

I got up this morning around 10, but I decided not to leave the room.  I just turned on my computer and killed time.  Everyone else finally go up around 11 and we packed up to head out.  We had originally intended to leave at 1pm.  I decided to check out the ACen merchandise booth and say some good byes in the game room.  There wasn't much of interest at the booth, and the game room was pretty dead.  Even some of the games had already been removed.  As a result, we hit the road a little early.


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