Youmacon 2012 Recap

As finals loom around the corner for me, I went with a couple friends to Youmacon the past weekend, and it was awesome! Here’s a small recap:

– My friend Mike’s rainbow radio.

– Circling the Renaissance Center 4 times before finally figuring out where to stop so I could go check in.

– Circling the Renaissance Center an additional 2 times to find parking. We got a fantastic spot!

– Detroit is a nice city at night. It looks awful during the day. And it was empty! There were a few homeless guys, but other than that, there was no one walking around except con-goers. It was a strange sight for someone who walks around Chicago almost every day.

– I forgot to bring Brawl, so I spent a couple hours looking for an ISO and downloading it, only to find that it didn’t work. In the couple nights that followed, we found that we didn’t have enough Wiimotes to play New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Mario Kart Wii kept freezing. At least Mario Party 2 and Smash 64 worked!

– Watching CPU’s in Mario Party 2 is hilarious. LOL.

– We waited 3 hours for pre-reg on Friday. The normal registration line moved faster than we were! On the flip side, I got over 30 passes in Pokémon just by waiting in line.

– When we found the casual game room, I went to go play Brawl, and cheered for some Link player who got absolutely bodied because of me. LOL.

– After he got up and I sat down, the kid who had just won (and told me when I asked if I could get in that he, “needed a challenge,” very rudely told me that I could enter my name at the character select screen instead of in the options, and I had to explain to him that I have my own personalized controls. I then proceeded to win.

– My friend Mike then sat down, and the kid told him, as Mike was entering his own controls, that his controls were fine. He was soooo salty that he lost to me the round before. LOL. I don’t like rude kids, so I went Mario, told Mike to go Luigi, and proceeded to absolutely annihilate him. Don’t be rude to ex-competitive Brawl players, son!

– We watched two godlike American Dad and Family Guy episodes.

– Room service for the Marriott is godlike. We got a pizza on a super-fancy table, complete with silverware and glasses of water! The pizza was the best food I had the entire weekend.

– I got an ice cream cone at McDonald’s, and the woman (who was clearly stressed out) gave me a huge-ass cone, and I accidentally said, “Holy shit,” as I got it, and told her that she made the best ice cream cone I’ve ever gotten, which I’m sure brightened her evening considering all the rude people she must’ve encountered.

– For the first time, I didn’t finish an ice cream cone from McDonald’s.

– LIVE ACTION MARIO PARTY!

– I participated in the dancing mini game and totally got jipped of winning my team 10 coins because the judge systematically kicked me and the other guy off, and let the two girls participating dance for another minute until making his decision. Next year I’m gonna bust out shit that’ll guarantee me a win!

– Hanging out with the Michigan Brawl scene was super fun. I wish I could see them more often.

– I beat some kid in Pokémon with just Sigilyph because he let me set up all 6 Cosmic Powers. He was mad. LOL.

– I need to make a shirt signifying that I’m not Ash Ketchum, but Slam Dunkum! I also need a B-Ball Pokéball to make the costume complete.

– Watching Marvel was hyyyyype! I gotta start stream monstering more.

– I think I should go to more panels. I only went to one: Live Action Mario Party.

– If I had a swag coach, he wouldn’t want me to tell people that I have a swag coach, so I do not have a swag coach

– SWAG!

– The Dealer’s Room was awesome, though not as good as ACen’s. Still, I got a sweet Youmacon shot glass and some sick art from Artist’s Alley. I didn’t buy anything crazy like I did at ACen, and I’m glad I didn’t. $80 for an Espeon plush? No thanks.

– It is nigh impossible to find Clannad merchandise, and it’s impossible to find Nagisa Furukawa. I just want one Nagisa plush, dammit! Is that too much to ask for?!

– On Sunday, I walked down 46 flights of stairs with my suitcase and backpack. My legs are still sore today!

– I bought 8-bit sunglasses and wore them inside and at night. During the car ride home, when the sun was in my eyes, I didn’t wear them. LOL.

And that’s it! Overall, the weekend was awesome. If I have enough money, I’ll definitely be attending next year!

NSMB2 DLC 2 and more thoughts on Pokémon Black 2

Youmacon, Detroit’s premier anime convention, is happening this week, which I’m incredibly excited for. But, I already wrote about some do’s and don’ts at conventions last Spring, so I’m instead going to post my thoughts on Black 2 (as far as I am), and the new NSMB2 DLC that came out last week. Let’s start with Pokémon Black 2!

Pokémon Black 2

So far, I have 6 badges and am currently stopped at Cobalon (I’m going to RNG him with 31 IV’s and a good nature so I can EV him and hopefully use him in a team if I feel like it), and so far am loving the game.

When I make a team, I generally just look for a team that wasn’t a team caught in the beginning, and try to give myself superior coverage and the like. This time, I decided to copy the team the male protagonist of Black/White 2 in the animated trailer has, and so I have an Emboar, Lucario, and Arcanine (nick-named Slamboar, Dunkario, and Jamanine, respectively). Needless to say, Burgh was a piece of cake thanks to my having two fire-types. To top it off, I caught an Eevee (wild Eevee are incredible), and was going to give myself a Jolteon to destroy water-types, but the one I caught had a modest nature, so I turned it into an Espeon (my favorite pokémon). Coincidentally, I’ve never gotten an Espeon before for an in-game team, so it’s awesome to finally be using my favorite pokémon for the story mode. I normally nick-name my Espeon Anzu, but it’s male, so I named it Slameon. Coincidentally, the next Eevee I caught was Timid-natured, so I will be having a Jolteon soon! I got Genesect (named Genesect because I don’t nick-name legendary pokémon), at the very beginning of the game, and that’s my current team. I have a Ducklett that I use as an HM slave, but once I get the new dragon I’ll be using that on my team.

The game’s story is not too bad. The in-game scenes do not give the animated trailer justice, but I wasn’t expecting anything crazy. I haven’t actually really gotten too deep into the story. I’ve only encountered Plasma a couple times, although the old Plasma team in Driftviel city is pretty cool. Also, it’s AWESOME that you do bump into the other protagonist and that he/she has a purpose. I haven’t confirmed it, but I think she’s the subway boss for the Battle Subway singles, and if that’s true I’ll be really hyped.

Once I finally finish the story mode, I’ll put up my review where I’ll go more into the other cool little features, but those are my thoughts (and my team) so far.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 DLC 2

The two new courses for NSMB2’s Coin Rush are actually really good – they’re much more difficult than their two previous DLC counterparts (which are collect tons of coins and then a more competitive-oriented level). I nailed 30,000 on the first one without breaking a sweat, but the second one I just kinda ran through, but I found a few routes I can use to maximize my score. I need to find a good route for the first level, though. Stupid Boo Houses.

Just sayin’

Con 101

Anime Central (ACen) is in just five (including today) days, and since this is my 6th con, I figured I should share my own personal tools of the trade when it comes to planning for something like a con for all you who will be attending your very first con. So, without further adieu, here’s some things I think you should do to prepare for (and while at) a con!

Before the Con:

SCHEDULE!!!

Make a schedule a week or two before the con.

There are going to be some of you who say, “I’ll just do what I feel like doing.” I did that my fourth year at Youmacon and regretted it. I felt so rushed and never really could decide what I wanted to do. Even if you’re not the type to plan out things, keeping a schedule will REALLY help you. Trust me. You’ll feel much better if you’ve got some idea of what you’ll be doing throughout the day.

If you’re a gamer, this is even more crucial, because if you want to go to a tournament you can’t be late. Con tournaments may be more casual, but they’re strict because they’re usually running on a super-tight schedule, and it’s disappointing when you miss out. You may also want to schedule time to just play, so keep that in mind.

You want to schedule time to go eat, too.

And if there’s a movie or show playing you wouldn’t want to miss that!

And you might want to schedule time to sleep (more on that later).

Don’t try to go to go to everything!

There’s a lot of panels and events that are held at cons: fan panels, quizzes, games, concerts, Q&A with guests. With so much to do, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed when you want to see everything, so what I find really useful is to make a list and write down everything you want to see. Then, begin crossing off things that you feel you could do without. If you’re going with a group, try to coordinate with them if they’d like to go to the same panels.

My second and third year I went to a LOT of panels and felt exhausted afterwards since I didn’t have a lot of downtime. Right now, I’ve got 7 panels I’d like to go see. That’s it. Just 7.

With that said, let’s talk about one kind of panel that I’ve only been to once.

Fan Panels

I still remember my very first fan panel at Youmacon – my father and I walked in, sat down, and proceeded to waste away an hour as the panelists kind of circled around and didn’t really talk about anything interesting. Since it was a Naruto fan panel, topics like Sasuke or (Name of one ninja I will find later): who was hotter?, what’s going to happen in the current chapter of the manga (this is pre-Shippuden, and people were talking endings already), and then a half hour was dedicated to some fighting game that had characters from Naruto, One Piece, Dragonball Z, etc… and watching a trailer video and talking about it instead of Naruto.

I’ve never gone to a fan panel since.

Obviously, this is one example, and a personal one, so my advice is in no way right or definitive, but I just want to warn you that fan panels can be like that, and if that sounds like your cup of tea, then do go! I’m one for more serious discussion, so any fan panel that has deep discussion about plots, subplots, and character would be awesome, so that first experience was just awful for me, and I know that there are some that might be super-awesome, but I don’t want to take that risk when I can go to a panel about Japanese culture and learn something that, to me, might be interesting and cool.

So, just keep that in mind when you’re laying out your schedule.

Gaming

For all of you who love to game and are going to a con, this is REALLY important.

If you like anime and games, then making a schedule is really important so you can get to what you want to go to and have plenty of time to game (or enter a tournament!)

This year I’ll be spending a lot of time gaming because I’m holding a challenge in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so being there is important for me. Obviously, I won’t be there all the time, but I have planned out significant chunks of time to go and play and meet new Smashers.

If you’re going to a con just for gaming, this isn’t really a problem, but…don’t stay in the game room for long periods of time.

This is your warning. Do not plan on staying there for long periods of time.

For whatever reason, some kids think that one day without a shower isn’t bad. Now, if you’re sitting around all day at home, then yeah, missing a day isn’t too bad. But factor in all the other kids whom may or may not have showered, all walking, talking, and sweating while playing games in one room…

Yeah, don’t stay in there for too long. Go get some fresh air – take some time to walk around the con and just explore. Make sure to add that into your schedule.

You’ll thank me later.

Rides and Rooms

If this is your first year, I don’t recommend rooming with random kids. Just my personal preference, though.

I stayed in a room with my father my first con, stayed with my ex in her house the next two years, and then stayed by myself my fourth year when I went to Youmacon. Last year, at my first ACen, I stayed at a friend’s house.

This year, I’ll be staying in a hotel room with friends.

My point is, do think about whether you want to stay at the con or stay near it, especially if money is an issue.

Now, let’s move onto the actual con!

At the con:

Don’t get disappointed when things don’t go as planned

Sticking to your schedule is a good idea, but don’t get too disappointed if you miss something because you met someone awesome while walking around/at a photo shoot/playing games/etc… and you end up missing a panel or event. Trust me, meeting new people is really rewarding, and that should be one of the reasons you go to cons – to be around people who share your interests.

Just go with whatever happens if something doesn’t go as planned. Anything can happen, but you shouldn’t let any mishaps ruin the rest of your day!

Eating

Eat.

Don’t eat two meals.

Don’t snack.

Eat three meals.

Yeah, it may be hard, but it’s worth it.

A lot of kids eat HORRIBLY during the weekend of a con, and it does take a toll when you’re doing so much in one day. If you absolutely must bring snacks, don’t make them junk food. This may seem hard, but with a little bit of effort you’ll be feeling great all con.

A funny story that concerns money issues – I didn’t have money to spend on food at the con because of how expensive everything was. So, to make sure I wasn’t eating crap, I bought a jar of peanut butter, a jar of Smucker’s strawberry jam, and a loaf of bread, and ate nothing but PB&J all weekend for the measly price of $5. LOL. That’s right, an entire weekend’s worth of food for $5, and it was AWESOME. My friends and I still laugh at it because by the time Saturday rolled around, my loaf of bread turned into a flatted mush of bread.

If you don’t have money, bring your meals. You may not want to do PB&J all weekend, but that’s better than bringing candy, chips, and soda all weekend. I brought 5 bottles of water that year, and it was worth it.

This year, I’m still debating… but I am definitely going out a couple times since I have the money.

Sleeping

This may be the most important piece of advice I’m going to give you (besides the one about personal hygiene)

SLEEP!

FOR THE LOVE OF…um…ANYTHING: SLEEP!!

Don’t stay up too late – try to go to bed by at least 2AM. That way you’re getting at least 6 hours of sleep if you wake up at 8AM, and that should be enough to keep your body happy.

You may be thinking, “Yooo… I don’t need to sleep!” Oh yes, you do. I don’t even need to explain this one. Go ahead and get as little sleep as possible. Go ahead, stay up until 4AM.

I dare you.

Get a Program Guide

This is pretty self-explanatory, but some people don’t get a program guide and then get lost. Program guides are a great way to look over everything quickly while at the con, and it has a map for you to use, which is really important, because you may get lost while looking for a specific room.

And probably the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE

Personal Hygiene

Shower Friday, shower Saturday, and shower Sunday. All three days, yo. You’re doing no one any favors by thinking that you can skip one day, because you’ll be doing a lot of moving around and being in crowds of people in just one day, and you’ll need to clean yourself. Hell, you don’t even need to shower – bathing works just as well! Just clean yourself.

I could go on, but I think you get it. Don’t even THINK of shirking off personal hygiene for even a day while at a con.

Conclusion

Cons are a great way to engage with people who share your interests and expand your horizons on anime and gaming. Just remember to keep a schedule and try and be as healthy as possible when it comes to eating and sleeping, and remember to clean yourself every day, and hopefully you’ll have a good time at any con you go to!

P.S. If you want to find me at ACen this weekend, I’ll be wearing an old-school Ash Hat (from the first generation of the Pokémon anime) with plaid. I’m always happy to meet new people!

Just sayin’.