Andrew and Nick check out a game launch and a convention in Melbourne.
A few weeks back, my fellow Australia Correspondent Nicholas was in town for the Melbourne Anime Festival, and what better timing, Nintendo had scheduled a launch party for New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nintendo 3DS. Of course, we couldn't pass up this opportunity.
Like all good launch parties in Melbourne, The Nintendo Experience above the Swanston St. EB Games was the place to be. An over-sized Mario costume trundled about the store posing for photos and giving hugs to the kids at the event, while Staff handed out bags of chocolate coins as avid Mario fans got to try out both the new Mario title and the 3DS XL. Throughout the party, trivia challenges and coin collecting contests in New Super Mario Bros. Wii were held, with a prize pool of NSMB2 t-shirts and various Mario merchandise for the winners of each one.
Oh yeah! Mario time!
Mario is missing, again!
After a few hours of Mario fun, it was time for the main event: a Mario cosplay competition. There was a relatively small turnout of entrants into the competition; a Mario, a pair of Kangaroo Marios (?), a Magikoopa from a previous Mario event at the store and an adorable little Princess Peach in a fairy dress. Additionally, my good friend Lauren, who just so happened to be cosplaying Fire Mario for Manifest that weekend, had come to the party with us and decided to enter as well. She scored herself a free copy of Super Paper Mario for her troubles. The kids all got their choice of DS and Wii games as well, some really cool prizes for all. Congrats to everyone!
I think Lauren has the upper hand with her Fire power here.
Why didn't Nick get dragged into a photo as well?
After the launch of the game, we headed across to the Melbourne Showgrounds. It's become somewhat of a tradition of mine to go to Manifest and make a Nintendo-themed cosplay gallery for NWR, after all. I had planned to write up a special edition Mariobilia feature about the overwhelming amount of Mario, Kirby and Pokémon merchandise that's usually on sale at Manifest, but sadly this year there wasn't anything particularly noteworthy. A few stalls had the Zero Suit Samus figure I spoke about a few weeks ago, and with the post-release prices I saw, I'm sure glad I pre-ordered mine.
Mario about to chomp on his mushroom.
Nick had the idea to get a public consensus about the Wii U from an Australian convention-goer point of view, you know, the target audience for these things.
We had a surplus of chocolate coins from the Mario launch as the EB staff had been all too eager to give out bags by the handful, and they made the perfect bribery to lure in some unsuspecting gamer-types. We wandered about the convention with a sign and a bag of chocolatey cash handouts, seeking out interview material. You can hear the results of our conversations in the corresponding Connectivity show.
Chocolate always gets results.
But I digress, on with the cosplay photos! I'll see if I can arrange these by series.
Over-all, it was a fun weekend with lots to see and do, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next launch party Nintendo decides to hold, which will most likely be for the Wii U. You can bet your buttons I'll be there to cover the event, and I might be able to drag Nick down here from Sydney to join in the festivities as well. Like always, if you see us wandering around at any Nintendo-related events, feel free to come say hi. And of course, more pics pf the launch party below.