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OK, the bad news is that I can't finish my Madden article at work, without my own notes handy (I COULD finish it, but I don't think I'll have everything in it, and being my first article, I want it to be good... especially with the potential for me writing for IP full-time looming. That, and my mostly finished piece is still at home...). But I DO remember enough about my trip to write about the trip itself, and stuff that isn't fit for a hands-on preview of a game, such as the bullshit tripe that goes on at private gaming showings, the different types of people there are, and all the other fun stories. I can write about how I made Marshal Faulk almost double over laughing, or how I beat Orlando Pace in a game that's not due for release in two months, or how 85% of the people at these premiers are so transparent and full of shit that it is stifling, with the best part being that Liz is likely the only other person to know what I'm talking about. Oh, and apparently, my fastball (baseball version) has dropped from the low-80s in high school to 64, according to a video game. What the fuck does this all have to do with each other? Let me tell you in my favourite writing style...

3:12PM EST - I just left the house, hoping to catch the 3:49 train from Stratford to Grand Central Station; the plan is to go from there to Times Square, and according to Jarrett, that should drop me right next to my destination (ESPNZone). I've kept things simple; I didn't have time to invest in a tape recording device, so instead, I've brought a trusty five-subject notebook, as well as a DS with the New Super Mario Bros. and Advanced Wars DS, and copies of the New York Post and Daily News.

3:41PM - How the fuck can I get lost going to the train station in Stratford? I pass it all the fucking time when going to Dad's! Well, I pulled it off... a call home to Mom reveals the problem: I overthought my root, and tried a shortcut. Well, isn't that the piss...

3:45PM - Arrive at train station; find I parked at the wrong side. It must be interesting to see me try to find the quickest way to get to the other platform that doesn't involve me crossing a set of train tracks that are a few minutes away from having a high speed MTA train occupying them. Getting run over by a train would certainly put a crimp in my day...

3:48PM - There's an automated ticket purchasing machine here, which is OK... except for some liberal arts fruitcake in front of me, who's using this as a means to be fucking philisophical. It's not War and Peace, cockholster, speed it the fuck up! It's not written in Gaelic.

3:49PM - The train's here... just in time for Twinkle Toes to finish with his exausting transaction. But not in time for me to purchase my own ticket; just as I'm finishing paying ($33), the doors slam shut, and the train moves on. Mental note: stuff the next guy I see wearing a collard polo shirt with shorts and sandals with socks into a locker. If no lockers are around, take him with me to buy one, and stuff him into it; he won't put up a fight, other than to say I'll be sued. The good news is that the next train is 4:08.

3:53PM - Let's use this time to catch up on the news. According to both New York papers, the biggest news in the world - much bigger than the war, or those two kids who lost their heads in Iraq, or Iran possibly going Dr. Strangelove on us... is New York Knicks coach Larry Brown being fired. And I'll say this... James Dolan is "gangsta". How hardcore can you be to basically announce through unofficial sources that your coach will be fired, but leave him hanging for 40 days, like Noah's Fucking Ark, waiting for him to violate some Draconian contract, or policy, just so you can try to get your $40 million remaining voided? Brown didn't take the bait; he kept doing his job. So instead, Dolan made shit up; accused him of talking to other GMs about trades (violating his media policy, which I'm sure he typed up in 10 minutes at breakfast Friday morning), and conducting interviews without a Knicks PR guy in the viscinity (another "violation"). That's hardcore... oh, wait, that's incompetant. But I guess I can see where he got his money... or not; he's Chuck Dolan's son, that's where he got his money, while playing in a bad blues band this whole time. Ah, shit, just another member of the Lucky Sperm Club. Oh, and the firing was announced... in a five paragraph press release. Wow. But yes, that's more important than Iraq.

4:05 - Try reading the rest of the papers; mostly local New York shit that I couldn't care less about. This just in: NY Public schools suck.

4:08 - Train arrives, and I board... to find the train nearly empty. I can dig this. Commence mass-Goomba genocide.

4:14 - I just got an 11-up. That's not a typo. No wonder games nowadays are too easy for the most part; it's impossible to lose!

4:21 - This train is filling up mad fast now. I think my dream of a single seat the whole way up is about to become unnatainable.

4:29 - I am tired of reducing the population of the Koopa Kingdom, and instead, decide to see if I missed anything in the paper. Larry Brown, apparently, was fired.

4:36 - I'm now the only person left in my cab that doesn't have someone sitting with me, other than some yuppies that took a corner to themselves. A quick sniff-check shows that no, I don't stink...

4:41 - My seat has been filled with an older lady with a book. At least she's not going to try to start some stupid conversation with me.

4:52 - Now there's just way too many fucking people on this train. Some people are sitting three-abreast in seats that can handle it (mine can't, thankfully), while the conductor announces that people need to keep their shit off of their seats to accomodate passengers that need seats. This is responded to by one of the yuppie cocksuckers in the corner turning his stand-up sized, cardboard cutout of Stewie from Family Guy around, and calling him a person... and sticking to it! I have made it my mission, in case some old woman needs a seat, to give her mine, get up, break it, and sit right next to him. He wouldn't notice, his Blackberry is too mesmerizing.

4:57 - This just in: Larry Brown was fired by the Knicks.

5:01 - Another attempt at Mario Bros. just starts to make me tired. In other news, Stewie is still resting comfortably. Meanwhile, four people are standing, including an honest-to-goodness Chinese couple. I should ask them if they know the Coe family...

5:04 - Fuck this; naptime...

5:31 - Wake up; we're in White Plains, apparently. Two things to learn about this: 1) The side of a train makes a very poor pillow, and 2) mixing soy milk with orange juice wasn't wise.

5:39 - Larry Brown was fired. Holy shit, you don't say... Meanwhile, Yuppie Man is protecting Stewie's seat like a spoiled four year old protecting his Barney tape; I half expect this faggot to start screaming "MINE!!! MINE!!! MINE!!!" if someone looks at it wrong.

5:42 - We're at Grand Central Station; I made a point to cut off Yuppie Man, which drew an exasperated "Excuse me!?", but not much more; I am a rather large, muscular man, and I made no mistake with a disgusted look on my face that I would not particularly mind utilizing that advantage (which I'm sure would make him utilize his advantage; a sure friendship with a prominent Ambulance Chaser. But I digress...)

5:49 - Just boarded the S train. I'm making much better time than I thought. No seat; I'm too proud to take one of the seats designated for handicapped people. I hope this doesn't take too lo--

5:51 - Well, that was fast...

5:54 - Funny, the bands that play in subway stations are better than most of the shit I hear on Top 40 stations nowadays. Ain't that a bitch?

5:59 - I've found the exit to 42nd Street, and am about to head out. Now, I've never been to Times Square or NYC, despite having seen the world. With my experience in other countries, I'm not expecting to be blown aw--

6:00 - ... Woah. Holy shit...

6:05 - This place is unbelieveably huge. Everything around me is a billion miles tall. I'm honestly impressed.

So I'm going to decide to walk around a little bit, since I don't have to be anywhere until 7PM. I don't plan on going anywhere special - I can get lost too easily - but just walking around a bit should be fun enough.

I really, REALLY should come here with Aileen some day.

6:11 - Of all the food I can get in this area... I get a hot dog from a corner vendor. Cost: $2. Not a bad one, but not great, either.

6:32 - I finally walk into ESPNZone, and give the guy my credentials. I'm given my press pass (a wristband, as if I was saying "I can drink"), but told to come back at 7, as they're not ready for media. Fair enough, I want to walk around anyway.

6:35 - I'm up at the restaurant... and they have a big restaurant with what looks like competant food, a decent bar... and stadium screens with every ESPN show, and some baseball games, being played. Full theatre screens. A closer look reveals TV screens with the viewer's choice of ESPN show PIPED TO THEIR TABLES. I think I just had an orgasm.

6:43 - They have an arcade area upstairs that just might be the greatest arcade ever. No pussy DDR shit here; nothing but shooting games, action based arcade games (as in, you do shit), and sports based games, where you can actually try to throw one past major league hitters (translation: hit a target, and maybe a full motion video of a major league star from years ago won't jack you up; it measures speed, at least, though I refuse to believe I've gone down to 64), and even shoot pucks - on SportCourt - past a cardboard goaltender who's moving around constantly, with points given in each zone you're in (ironically, I didn't do that well here; one, they give you these shitty little Mylec street sticks with these wobbly plastic heads, and... well, when you normally use a Reebok 7K, stepping down takes an adjustment. And for two, my first instinct isn't to just grip it and rip it; I have to show off my hands. So I spend so much time showing off my moves that I lose time I could be spending pumping pucks through. THAT, and when I DO shoot, and hit the goaltender, I hit it so hard that the puck goes flying, and I lose too much time waiting for it to come down, or knocking it down. Long story short, I'm too good for the hockey game. XD). Long story short, I REALLY need to take Aileen here!

7:02 - I've finally been let in. So far, it looks like an American Football fan's paradise; alpha versions of the Madden games are running on every system except GBA (and who cares about that?), there's NFL legends running around all over, talking to everyone and giving full access, there's a bar with free food and drinks (FREE FUCKING ALCOHOL!), there's hot women doing... uh, hot women things, etc. No wonder they don't release this shit to the general public; they couldn't handle it! XD

7:08 - Got my first play on Madden, after being given the talk on what I can do and can't do (basically, full ride for everything, enjoy the drinks!). I've decided that with my tolerance level, and the fact that I'm driving later, alcohol will have to wait, much to my dismay. Anyway, my first impressions of Madden were... not impressive. I knew the graphics were going to be weak due to basically being an alpha, but gameplay wise, I'm not really impressed yet, not on the XBox 360 version, anyway.

7:16 - Tried another version... the cell phone version. Yes, they're releasing Madden on a cell phone. Two different versions (J2ME + GRU), but it doesn't matter, they both suck.

7:31 - Finally got introduced to the new features from one of the producers. Basically... they changed a lot. I'll save the details for another time (preferably the article that I was sent for in the first place), but yeah... it's looking good.

8:04 - They just got everyone's attention for the Roundtable discussion. Basically, this involves getting all the NFL players on stage like cattle so people can ask them stupid questions like "how did you get into football". This separated the gamers from the jock-sniffers... and I was one of about three gamers left. My God, that's embarrasing for everyone else. The players, from what little I could hear, had nothing interesting to say, and no good questions were asked (they didn't want me asking someone "So, is HGH as big a problem in the NFL as it is in Baseball, with the average lineman weighing 330lbs. now?", anyway...). Basically, during this time, I played a game against someone previewing Madden for the New York Times. Nice guy, bad player.

8:46 - I've officially played Madden for every system so far. Basically, the XBox360 version is going to rule 10 ways from Sunday, the PS2/XBox versions will be a step up from '05, the PSP might be the most improved franchise out today (really, the PSP version is mind-blowing), the DS version has good ideas but still sucks, and the cell phone versions blow.

9:02 - By now, the roundtable is over, and everyone goes about doing one of two things: either having impromptu Madden tournaments (with an annoying, Rucker Park style DJ and everything), or... nothing, really. I'm one of the two people left still trying to do a job that's not working for Electronic Arts, and among THOSE guys, most of them are just trying to pick up women. It's gotten comical at this point.

9:24 - I just got the line of the night... on Marshal Faulk. I wanted a Pepsi (only one drink so far, and I want to pad my alcohol with caffene), so I went to the bar, and struggled to get in. Meanwhile, while waiting for some yutz to get the fuck out of my way, I see some guy in a power suit come along, and go to some woman... who really couldn't give two shits about being there. He just walks up and goes "Oh, hello! Let me introduce you to Mr. Faulk!", to which she is decidely apathetic; she'd fuck Mr. Faulk, but only to get some money out of it. After he leaves, and I have my Pepsi, I went up to Marshal and went "So... how many people DO use you to get laid?". I've never made a pro athelete double over laughing before, grant me that.

9:43 - By now, I'm asking marketing types questions, and it's not going well; they're telling me the same bullshit I've heard five times over, and introducing me to players as if I'm going to be impressed. He won't even tell me the new Trax soundtrack, only saying "it's available online now!". Gee, thanks.

10:34 - Holy shit, HERE'S a highlight: I just beat Orlando Pace of the Rams in Madden '07 on XBox 360 (a foreign system, with a new style of play), 35-26. That's something I can tell my kids. Couple things about this game:

- Orlando hasn't gotten the handle on the blocking dynamics of this game, despite being a Pro-Bowl blocker. Give him credit for trying his first time, though.

- I'm more impressed that the machines didn't blue screen yet. Heat issues in this place are creeping on on a system that already has heat issues, and combined with being an alpha... on a Microsoft product... you can see where this is going.

- Orlando is awesome with the kids. Really, one of the nicest overall people I've seen here, along with Marshal (who is the best interview in the room, BTW; he gave the same tripe interviews to every gaming show/site on Earth - UGO, IGN, G4, etc. - yet knocked them all out of the park. A true pro).

- Orlando runs a great running game. He doesn't run so great a passing game. Nor has he figured out the "bluff" playcall style yet.

10:42 - Enough is enough; I've had it. Time to have fun in a place I'm more comfortable... up to the Arcade. :'D

From there, everything was uneventful; I'd had three drinks, but spread them out to the point where I was good to drive home after the train/sub rides. I had to get going because I didn't want to miss that last train (I'd have been fucked otherwise), so I took the sub, then the train, car, home. Nothing left to see here...

Overall, a good trip, and if I could GET OUT OF WORK, I could finish the article that I was assigned to write in the first place. XD


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it! I can't wait to see the final version!
Jun. 26th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Awesome notes man. If the article is half as entertaining as your notes are, it'll be golden.
Jun. 26th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
I wish I could say it would be, but I'm writing the preview fairly straight laced. :(
Jun. 27th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
We can print the whole article you did here too!
Jun. 27th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
... You know, that's not a half-bad idea...
Jun. 27th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
We're definitely hitting the streets of NYC one day - I'll be tour guide~ ;) ♥
When I was there with my friends, we actually did go to the arcade, but didn't actually play any games because everyone else was like "Too expensive >:(" XD

(BTW, why'd you send me 4 of the same email? I love hearing from you, but dude... XDXD And did you by any chance get the voicemail I left you? dammit it's hard to find a good time to call you >_< >.>)
Jun. 27th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
You know I spare no reasonable expense. ;)

I sent four of the same because my email program glitched; I use webmail at work, and it was giving me crap. I didn't know what was going on until after they were all sent. :(

I did get it... this morning. Needless to say, I am very angry about work last night, because I missed the chance to talk to you. I'm sorry, baby... :(
Jun. 28th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
Indeed, you who spoils me rotten~ ^.~

It's alright. I'm just afraid of calling you at a bad time, like at work, or a game, or when you're sleeping, or...some other inconvenient time. >.> Timezones don't make things any easier, with what your mornings being my nights and vice versa. =/ But I'll keep trying anyway, so you haven't heard the last of me~ ;)

And just to bust your balls a little...

there's hot women doing... uh, hot women things

How so very articulate and descriptive there, dear~ don't ask me why this particular snippet caught my eye >>; 0:3 XDXD *SHOT*

Um...I love you! :D
Jun. 28th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
I don't spoil, my dear. I see it more as giving you what you deserve. And besides... if I let you, you'd do the same damn thing. XD

Don't worry about calling me at a bad time; had I had the phone on at work, I would have talked to you, and to tell the truth, I'm sure Gordy would have given me 10 minutes once I said "GIRLFRIEND CALLING FROM CHINA!". I haven't heard the last of you? That's awesome. :D

As for that line, I wrote it that way on purpose. The things women do when they're somewhere for no other reason than to be seen... the details can only escape me; it's hard to quantify. The reason for the whole thing was to be able to check out Madden '07, and yet, half the people there were women that had absolutely zero interest in the game whatsoever. So instead, they basically went around, trying to be hot. It really is... interesting, especially if you're someone who's #1 reason for being there isn't to meet some NFL players, but to cover the game itself.

I love you too, sweetheart. So much.
Jun. 27th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
o_o Ohh man. I'm going to ESPNZone this week. It would have been cool if you have been there this week instead of last. D:
Jun. 27th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
I must suck...because on that pitching "game" (2 strikes AT BEST and a HR on the third pitch REGARDLESS of where you toss it) I've hit 67 MPH D:
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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