OTRONICON v.4.0 (2009) – Moments to remember
Part 2: SSBB, PC Gaming Dungeon, Guitars, Retro Games & Computers
The Super Smash Festival became the place to be to exhibit your gaming skills at SSBB. I still see lots of people who prefer to use their GC controllers to play with. Because my favorite character is Solid Snake, I simply use the WiiMote with the Nunchuk. Too bad I did not get to sign up on time to play. The wedding and the first single-player competition took place at the same time. Ok, back to SSBB. There was a player unlike any other at the event. His name is John Vastola and his skills were unmatched. He’s perhaps the best SSBB player I’ve seen. He won once, and got second place either one of two other tourneys. Other game competitions included Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Super Smash Bros. Melee, World of Warcraft, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Wii Fit.
The PC Gaming Dungeon was perhaps one of the coolest areas of the event. About a dozen PCs connected to the Orlando Science Center network gave gamers the opportunity to experience World or Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Valve’s Left for Dead and other games on state-of-the-art Dell XPS computers. All the PCs were used most of the time. The LAN party was hosted by local Gigabits LAN Center located accross the street from the University of Central Florida.
The Rock Band Hall, the place where the marriage took place, was full of people rocking outloud. On Friday night, people proved their skills on the set at the Guitar Hero Face Off. I was amazed by the skills I got to see, especially in the little kids. I’m so happy to have seen families playing music games in front of lots of people cheering for them and giving them the applause they deserved. There’s no way you can play like this at home like these families did. The presence of radio personalities from Orlando’s WHTQ 96.5 FM made this event an even better show. On Saturday night, everyone was still rocking with both Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
The Classic Arcade Lounge brought back lots of memories. This time, I was able to beat an old classic: “Smash TV.” If you are old enough to remember that game, I bet you thought about all the coins you may have used to play (to try to beat) this game. The great thing about “Smash TV” and “Pac Man” and all other games was: no coins were necessary. It was a sweet’er victory completing the game not by myself, but with a former high school student of mine who was a volunteer at the event. How often do you see a former teacher and a former student finish a classic arcade game? Only at OTRONICON. I also “caught” a policeman playing a retro game. Don’t believe? See the picture.
Outside the halls, there were classic computers and console games to take a look at. I was very surprised to see old Apple computers at the show. Those computers from the 80s and 90s were in good-working conditions and were accompanied by other recent computers with pictures next to them of the two men responsible for creating what we know as Apple: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. When it comes to retro gaming, it had been many years since I got to play the first “Halo” one as well as some old SNES and PS2 games like “Dr. Mario” and a old version of “Dance Dance Revolution.” But if you wanted to play on the big screen, you had to come to the 8-story tall dome at the Orlando Science Center. There was no better place to play Halo 3 or any other action/adventure/FPS/MMORPG game than at the CineDome (8-story tall). The first match was, of course, between Desiree and John, the newlywed couple. John won. After some early matches, even an all-girls match including Desiree, over 100 players who were patient enough to wait for their turn got to play on the big screen. No one was unhappy; it was really worth the wait.