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ABUNAI, WII AND GYAKUTEN SAIBAN 2

01 November 2006

Last weekend was quite the weekend. I was at Abunai, the yearly Dutch manga convention, and despite the reservations towards it that I put down in the previous rant, I had loads of fun. As predicted also. I know myself all too well, it seems. As usual I found myself in the dealer room most of the time, which is the culmination of all social activity. The merchandise on sale seems to attract globules of pure social, as it were.

For the hell of it -because I didn't want to bereave the scarce few fans of a chance to obtain them- I took with me six Year One pockets (which you should absolutely buy in the online store right now if you don't own them already, in which case you are made of awesome). I thought: maybe I'll sell one to the usually manga-obsessed crowd. But I didn't think my chances were very high. Imagine my surprise when at Friday night, the first few hours the dealer room opened, no less than four copies were sold to eager people! Some I had to convince, others came to me with motivations of their own (mostly through mouth-to-mouth advertising). Feeling I was on a roll, it didn't take me long on Saturday morning to get rid of the remaining two. So where once I thought I wouldn't sell a single copy, it now turns out they sold like hotcakes! Amazing!

I could get analytical on your asses and say it had to do with the level of confidence with which I sold it and the susceptibility of the crowd; having most all of them grave cases of Filled Wallet and little places to ease their burden. I confess myself duteous to their plight. So, in any case, I have renewed faith in these conventions as viable places to expand my audience. Does that sound cold? I think I'd be doing them a favour. Look at it not as reeling in unsuspecting victims so much as enriching their lives.

The fun didn't end on Sunday evening, however. The next day I visited the Dutch Nintendo headquarters to try out the Wii, something I already did in Belgium, but one shouldn't pass up on these things. Not in the least because it also offered me the chance to finally try out some real games instead of novelty software. I played the E3 demo of Twilight Princess, which was a fun experience as expected, though the game's visuals looked below par, with blurry textures up close and a graininess not of this generation. There was also Super Monkey Ball, which Atari brought in unexpectedly as an extra, which proved fun, the little bit I played of it. The real surprise was, however, Wii Sports. I had already played the baseball and golf games out of the bundle and had come to the conclusion that it offered only mild amusement. This time however, I played multiplayer tennis, bowling and (wait for it) BOXING. It was this that surprised me more than anything else. The boxing was just sheer fun and energetic, and the bowling great to do. I find myself enthusiastic about the package now, with Wii Sports as a free extra with the console itself!

So, surprises all over this weekend. And seeing as how Phoenix Wright 2 came in from Hong Kong as well, I'm pretty happy right now. This'll be a fine week! As I write this it's Monday evening, and I look forward to carving up some pumpkins with Mon for Halloween tomorrow!

Roderick.