My E3 2017 Odyssey

It finally happened.

In June 2017, I made it to the big time - the Mecca of gaming, the holy grail of geekdom - E3 in Los Angeles. It was an absolute whirlwind of chaos, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The excitement and awe I felt amidst all of these games surrounding me throughout LA's massive convention center was simply off the charts.

As you may know, E3 2017 was the first ever E3 in which the public was allowed in alongside media and developers for the first time (I know - hell of a first time to hit E3 huh?) And while I certainly expected a packed house, I didn't anticipate the sheer numbers of people that would pour into the convention center. I mean, we're talking packed almost wall to wall in many cases. Lines for even mid-level games would frequently extend to multiple hours. People were sitting there fully immersed in their Nintendo Switch games, knowing they probably still had an hour or more with which to occupy themselves. Was I in over my head? I certainly felt a bit like it upon stepping into the convention center for the first time and seeing the place absolutely crawling with fellow gamers. But I was a man on a mission, and even a near record setting crowd wasn't going to stop me.

Charles Martinet, aka "voice of Mario" sighting!
My 4 day Odyssey took me through a plethora of various developer conferences and hands on demos from all sorts of games. I got to swing by Bandai Namco's booth and get my ass handed to me in Dragon Ball FighterZ, conquer some Mario + Rabbids Kingdom at Ubisoft's booth, and even kick back with an adult beverage and some horderves while rocking some Xbox One and Switch games at private events held by Microsoft and Nintendo conferences. Thanks to these events, which were interspersed throughout the day, and by occasionally flashing my prestigious press badge, I was able to keep the line waiting to a minimum and often bypass the gamer masses. If the 12 year old version of me knew about this, he'd undoubtedly be flipping out. I had arrived, baby!

The highlights of the show? Well the obvious one would be Super Mario Odyssey, though I also quite enjoyed the intense and creatively crafted opening stage I got to play of Wolfenstein 2, as well as the surprise hit, Kingdom Come Deliverance - a Game of Thrones/Skyrim-esque epic RPG sans the magical fantasy bombast. But not to be outdone, I also enjoyed me some Sonic Forces, Rabbids, the enjoyably silly co-op of Sea of Theives, 90's -style 3D platformer Super Lucky's Tale, and others. I reveled in the fact that I was among the first to try out these cutting-edge games, all while going into them knowing little of what to expect. It was a digital roller coaster ride and I didn't want to go off.

But the ride extended beyond just the games. Following our afternoons of manically running around and hitting up our various bookings, attending conferences, trying out games, and scribbling down poorly thought out notes, I got to check out the scene of downtown LA at night, hitting up a few bars and restaurants with my fellow staffers and indulging in some fattening but nonetheless delicious pizza, burgers, and of course - beer. Hell, with all the walking involved in this trip, I figured I could excuse the insanely high consumption of calories anyhow. Besides, this food was leagues better than the absurdly overpriced cafeteria food served at the convention center.

After four action-packed days, with my sleep deprived state firmly taking hold, and hastily jotted notes in hand for my upcoming preview articles, I headed back home, to the less-than-exciting clutches of Chicago.

I can safely say my first ever E3 trip was a "great success," in the words of Borat, and a bombardment of gaming bliss that I'll never forget. The icing on the cake was that admist all of the insanity, I was able to forge my chicken scratches written during the convention into some readable game previews, which can be found at