As I posted before Comic-Con, the Nintendo Gaming Lounge inside the Marriott Marquis & Marina was in full swing during the convention. This was one of the places I frequented during the convention, and for good reason! There were so many games to try, bean bags set up to lounge, and, of course, free goodies!
My initial visit took place on Thursday a little after 4 to pick up my pins from WhosGotTheButton.com – she then told me they were doing a Pokémon giveaway with all kinds of stuff so I promptly checked it out. There was a nice fellow handing out cards to redeem for a shirt, a lady handing out backpack bags (essential for the convention), and more handing out cards for the Pokédex 3D – if you use your Nintendo 3DS to scan the code, a Pokémon popped up on the screen. Fun! When I redeemed my card for a Pokémon shirt, I noticed a rather cool Link shirt to the left of the table. I asked how to get it and she said they were out today but to come back in the morning (they opened at 10am) and play Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. Dully noted! Upon continued inspection, I saw a Just Dance area set up which had some interesting characters over the weekend (a Storm Trooper to name one) participating, lots of 3DS and Wii set-ups, and a talented artist making a chalk art of a Legend of Zelda scene on the ground. There was also a platform in the middle and cool decals on the floor of famous Nintendo characters – Pikachu, Mario, and Link!
Over my other visits (I won’t bore you with all those details), I got to try out the Nintendo 3DS for the first time with both Ocarina of Time and Pokédex 3D (and, of course, earn free t-shirts from each). It was a little different than what I thought it would be but just as straining on the eyes as I thought. Turning down the 3D was helpful. I thought it was awesome that the lounge provided so many things for free, and half of the time the only prerequisite was trying out a game to get the stuff. That’s fair enough! All of the ladies were extremely friendly, the official Nintendo staff was helpful and also friendly, and the overall ambiance in the lounge was chill. The lights were down in most areas but up in others so you could really just relax and try out a game or hang out with fellow gamers. I also heard they were giving away Pokémon paper hats during the Pokémon meetups but I believe they were giving them out at the Nintendo booth inside the Exhibit Hall as well. I never snagged one. -:(
Throughout the convention they were also giving out Legend of Zelda posters – the same design that was being done in chalk art over the weekend. For a special surprise, Sunday you could get a poster signed by the artist. I thought that was pretty nice, too! There were plenty of posters to go around so everyone could get one – another great thing I appreciate considering the insanity of getting free stuff inside the Exhibit Hall.
I hope they bring the lounge back next year because I absolutely loved it. When I needed a tiny con fix without the Exhibit Hall madness, I’d pop in here for a little bit and walk around, watch the Just Dance people having fun, see how far the chalk art mural was going, and peek at gamers playing new games. No foul smell, no over crowding, and (for the most part) the other gamers were cool.
Chan’s Camera Rating: 10 cameras out of 10 — A great place to unwind, see new games and grab free swag!