As I walked through the automatic doors at Best Buy, a feeling of excitement overtook me. It was 5:45. I had just departed work, and in mere moments, I would be playing a few of this year’s biggest Nintendo games. Or so I believed. As I walked towards the back of the store, I found the last thing I expected to see: a whole heck of a lot of people.
I approached a Luigi hat adorned Best Buy representative. To my shock and terror, he informed me that there was a wait list. They could put me on the list, but I wouldn’t be able to schedule a play session until 8:40, nearly three whole hours later. Knowing that my evening plans didn’t account for waiting an entire three hours, I did the next best thing: I watched the other players and hoped for the best.
Next to me sat a table filled with Nintendo related goodies. Luigi hats. Year of Luigi coins (which went quickly). Mario Kart flags. If I couldn’t play any of the games, a few Nintendo related freebies would be a nice runner-up, I figured. “Those are only for people playing the games,” the representative said. Foiled, once more.
The first player I watched played The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Now, I’m a big Zelda fan. I’m really excited for Wind Waker HD. But you have to understand something about these Best Buy promotions: you sign up for ONE game out of the four they have available. Unless you get lucky, that’s all you’re playing. That means no Super Mario 3D World. No Mario Kart 8. No Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Instead, you’ll be playing a game that came out ten years ago. As I cursed this fool that had either the foresight to come earlier, or the lack of a job, I simply watched the breathtaking visuals while biding my time.
A short time later, a couple played Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Graphically, the game looked stunning. The visuals were clearly a step above the previous outing from Retro. The levels they played didn’t seem all that different from what we’ve seen before, but there were a couple exceptions. While I didn’t get to see a water level, the promised return of swimming was already there, in the form of a small pool in which DK could grab some bananas. I also got to witness a neat visual effect as DK and Diddy blasted between barrels that wrapped around a tree in 3D. I also caught my first glimpse at the game’s adorable penguin Vikings. As in the 3DS port, Donkey and Diddy have three hearts, once again. As a big DKC fan, I really wish I’d had a chance to go more in depth with this one.
As the couple wrapped up their game, I found salvation, much earlier into my evening than I had expected. The Luigi hat adorned Best Buy representative called the next name on the list, a player that had signed up to try Super Mario 3D World. As the reps tried to get as many people trying the games as possible, he asked for three volunteers to join the game. I raised my hand, and I was in. Not only would I actually get a chance to play, but I would be landing a Luigi hat, as well. My luck had quickly turned around.
Before the night was through, I would find fortune in a second game: Mario Kart 8. Stay tuned to Nintendojo where I’ll be dissecting both of these play sessions and delving further into my day at The Nintendo Experience at Best Buy.