5.30 a.m was the time I got there. The streets almost empty, the sound of birds screeching as they flew overhead. Walking down Bold Street was incredibly unusual. No people to walk around apart from the occasional seagull. Actually, quite a lot of seagulls. It seems once everyone vanishes till later in the morning, the birds rule the roost and I was the foreign object invading their night-time party. Still I had my own party to attend, even if it was a bit early.
The 3DS. I’ve always enjoyed Nintendo consoles and I’ve always wanted to attend a midnight launch. Once I did go to the launch for Resident Evil 5, but that was a last-minute decision out of boredom. I turned up about twenty minutes before, grabbed the game and as soon as I got home, fell asleep. It wasn’t very exciting and all I got out of it was a small figure of Chris Redfield and a conversation about money. Money is very important and should be saved carefully to avoid weeks of eating just Super Noodles. So be careful.
I had decided to be first in the queue for this one as I thought if your going to go to a launch might as well try to be first. Plus I was told the early people would get bonuses! 5.30 a.m. may have been a tad too early to queue up though. This wasn’t London, so I’d underestimated the time people would bother to show up in Liverpool. Still I saw night turn to day and an empty city street gradually wake up. First it goes to the loo as the Grimebuster car sprays water to clean the floor. Then the escalators power up and one tends to need fixing up. People stand outside stores waiting to be let in, and HMV downstairs doesn’t open till 9.30 a.m. I always thought it was 9. What you learn… The cleaning lady kept me occupied for about an hour.
I had prepared myself for this long wait with a comfy chair I borrowed plus snacks and entertainment. I had bananas, sandwiches, gum, water, emergency pro plus on the snack side. Entertainment side was The Fourth Bear, a DS and my MP3 player. I had it all planned out, but waiting around is not the easiest task. You quickly become drained and the slight tinge of insanity starts to creep into the mind. Not that I’m unknown not to get these bouts of insanity. The body wants to fall over and hours become days, I’d been standing for a week in my mind. Thankfully a guy popped out and said I can come back later and have my place saved. A relief, though it was more a friendly way of saying ‘get lost’. I spent the rest of the day sunbathing and failing to take naps. The sun was nice that day, I wish I got an ice cream. Or didn’t decided to queue up till 5.
When I returned later afternoon a few people had turned up and the real queuing began! These moments were definitely the best part of the midnight launch. Very different people all looking forward to the new handheld wonder, and all genuinely nice guys and gals. I think the bonding and the laughs made it one of my best days in a long time and the free pizza which turned up pushed things further on the up. Sure not so many people turned up; about twelve at first, but it was entertaining all the way through. We got a photographer which hadn’t a clue what the thing was who insisted on taking loads of pictures of me, it was like being put in front of a firing squad. I was in ultimate zombie mode by 10 pm guys, don’t flash me! The bouncers which turned up were a barrel of laughs too. I loved the way the main bouncer man reacted to what we were doing with comical looks of surprise before cracking a joke involving dancing on a table. It was required to laugh, he looked well hard. Plus 25 18 inch American Pizza Slice pizzas was quite a lot to get through for so few people. Small events happened which helped add extra fun to the night, and when the doors open a giant relief and sudden pang of tiredness crept in.
It was originally going to be the first ten in an hour earlier, but due to the low turnout everyone was allowed in. Inside you could try out different games, talk to the staff or just mosey about. It was great seeing how enthusiastic everyone was about the system (obviously people who don’t care would turn up at a midnight launch) and spirits were high. The tired feeling of just being in quickly vanished and as midnight struck I finally obtained the 3DS and got my free cab home. Which was very shiny, but a little scary. The guy thought I was going to Lime Street and thought I was paying. He looked a bit like Niko Belic in GTA IV. As I rode home I thought of the anxious waiting, the excitement, the boredom, the need for sleep and the people I met. It was certainly an experience full of lulls and highs, and I hope I see the people I talked to again. They made the night something to remember fondly.
And the stash!
I got a Aqua Blue 3DS, bundled with a case and Super Monkey Ball. Then came the free stuff. A free game of choice, which I chose Splinter Cell, a T-Shirt, a £20 gift card, a booklet, a magazine, a sticker and some Rayman figures. A nice little haul to go with the console, it was like a Christmas stocking! Also the free 18 inch cheese pizza was worth mentioning. What a way to end the night.
I should have opened the pizza box first, it was heading to about 1am and I’d been up 20 hours. It was huge, the size of a curled up sheep and it went in about two minutes. It was my gift to the flat thought I had two slices for breakfast. It was very cheesy, what was that green stuff?
When the 3DS came out in Japan I saw the really nice bags they got them in. I like bags full of stuff, though I never really end up with a bag full of stuff. Until now! Treats in the left, purchases in the right. I think I could relive having a bag full of unopened expensive stuff everyday if possible.