Hey everybody, I'm just settling in from getting back from GenCon this year and since I'm still pretty pumped I figured I'd report in on the Resident Evil aspect.
Bandai had a much smaller presence at this year's GenCon with a smaller booth. Last year the first thing I saw upon entering the exhibition floor were massive promotional banners for Resident Evil and Naruto. Overall, this year was a bigger event with more booths, but almost every booth was smaller (even big publishers like Fantasy Flight).
All of the currently released sets were available for purchase at full MSRP and the game mats for $25 USD each. The first thing I checked for were promos and consequently the first thing I saw was a huge stack of sealed Wesker GenCon promos sitting in a glass case. Wesker was free with ANY purchase so I grabbed a booster pack of Naruto cards for $4, donated the cards to some random dude, and FINALLY got my Wesker promo. I grabbed a pack of sleeves as well so I could get my brother a copy.
There were also free posters to promote Mercenaries. If Tylar gives the okay, I'll post pictures of the cards revealed on the promotional poster, but until he does I'm not going to steal his thunder in regards to previews on the news page. Either way, the poster in combination with Tylar's recently released info on the set will guarantee a complete re-balance of the way Resident Evil is played and seems to be on the track to pleasing just about EVERYBODY. Seriously, get hyped. It turns out Tylar was "ignoring" us on the forums since last fall because he was making a really awesome, fun, thematic game into a slightly different, but overall much better game. The dude has definitely been reading/listening to what the community has to say.
On Friday I swung by the booth again and checked the glass case of promo cards and saw that there was now a stack of probably 300 Yoko Suzuki promos next to Wesker. A friend bought the Star Trek DBG for the heck of it so I got the Yoko promo (just gotta get the other two girls now!). When I went back to the booth Saturday, Yoko was gone and LiN Chris and Jill were in her place. And of course there was that massive stack of Weskers.
The Win-a-mat tournaments took place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Friday and Saturday's brackets filled up before the convention started from what I understand. I played on Saturday and had a blast. I was shocked that the format was Alliance set Partner Mode. I've easily played 100 games of Story mode and Mercenaries mode, but never touched Partner mode when I initially read that it wasn't balanced and that it was too easy. I played with 3 super cool guys who were all semi-familiar with Partners, but I found that it was insanely easy to pick up and was actually probably the most fun I've ever had with the game haha. I ended up with Chris and Billy. I never got enough gold for the flamethrower, but I had fun with the Russian Assault Rifles and some opportunistic Telescopic Sniper Rifles purchases. The game was close, with scores of 34, 30 (me), 28, and 1. Well...it was mostly close.
The winner used Josh (partner) and Leon (leader). He got the Signature Special pretty early on and dominated most of the game with it attached to Josh until the very end when Wesker knocked Josh out of the game. It slowed him down a bit, but even the desperate comeback attempts with only 1 Infected left in the mansion at the end of the game weren't enough to take the game or the mat. Congratulations to that guy again. Again, I had tons of fun and learned a lot. I was happy to see people get excited about the game because I'd like to see more of it. Also I forgot to mention that everyone who participated in the tournament received the LiN Chris and Jill promo pack. Winners took home the mats we played on.
My only complaint is the same complaint I've had about this game since the beginning. The marketing and promotion are failing in a HUGE way. The Wesker GenCon promo is easily one of the most sought-after cards Bandai has printed in recent history and nobody knew it was there. Out of 32 people in the tournament I played in, four of us actually knew Wesker was available. There was still a good 150 in the promo case along with 400 or so LiN Chris and Jills by the time the convention closed at 4 PM on Sunday. Oh well, hopefully there's some really effective promotional tie-in for the game when Resident Evil 6 gets released.
Lastly, it seems as though there are plenty of GenCon Weskers to go around so I'm sure we'll be seeing them soon.