Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Mysterious Majora's Mask 21/02/2015

It was amazing to hear of various members actually counting down to the event on this occasion, the hype for the event itself was on a new level!!

We turned up at 10 to set up at Academi, and as normal we had a few issues with access, but thankfully it was sorted out a bit quicker than previous times, and we shouldn't have an issue for the future at least!

Set up was very smooth, and although we were only planning on one set up, one of our members provided a second Wii U for free play, which included games such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Smash Wii U.

As usual, the door opened officially at 11am, and people signed up for the "main Zelda competition", and first session of "Smash League" and also registered their masks for entry to win a Deku Shield!
The raffle prizes were the biggest we'd had to date, with a Majora's Mask, the Wooden Shield Phantom Hourglass, and a Zelda messenger bag for the star prizes. There was also an official Majora's Mask 3D Game Guide up for grabs for winning the Main Zelda Competition.

We were a little late starting as a couple of people were late arriving with their masks, so we started off the main competition just after 12.

We also passed around the photobook that we'd made over Christmas of our previous 18 months of StreetPass North Wales :)

It consisted of 3 rounds on NES Remix/NES Remix 2, with the shortest times being added up and the winner being the person with the overall shortest time.

The 3 stages were:

- (NES Remix) Legend of Zelda Stage 10
- (NES Remix 2) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Stage 9
- (NES Remix) Bonus Stages, Stage 2

There were 15 entrants.

Dylan demonstrated the first stage, and then we worked down the list as everyone gave it one shot!
The first stage took between 56 seconds and 1 minute 30, but the second stage was a little bit more tricky.

Dylan failed when doing the demo, and then nearly everyone followed suit bar 3 people!! Everyone who died got 1 minute automatically added to their score, and the ones who succeeded ranged from 26 seconds to 41 seconds.

Third stage was a little bit simpler, with everyone succeeding to the end, and times ranging from 19 seconds to 31 seconds.

Dan ran away with the lead, with a final overall time of 1.37.2, and 2nd place was Mark with 2.07.1; and Chris E in 3rd with 2.10.3

After the first round we had to have a break though, as the latecomers had turned up and we needed to get a picture of all the masks together. As it turned out, a couple of entrants couldn't wear their masks properly, and another couple couldn't lay them down on the table!! we went for a compromise in the end, with one photo "wearing" and another photo of them on the table.
To make the decision as fair as possible (and make the masks anonymous a bit more too), we put the vote to the other StreetPass group founders and asked them for their feedback on why they thought certain masks were the best. They were judging on creativity and innovativeness! I gave them 2.5hours to make their decision.

It was a tie at one point between the 3-way mask created by Mark, and the King of Red Lions created by Dan. Dan got lucky again, with the votes overtaking in the last couple of hours.

Here are some quotes:

(King of Red Lions- Dan)

"It looks amazingly well done and thought out. It stands out a lot more personally." - SP Manchester

"Looks great. Really stands out and a lot of work must've gone in to it." - SP Leicester

"It's just purely different! I would have expected most of the other but not that one!!"

(Combo/3 Headed Mask - Mark)

"3 headed mask gets my vote, best fits with ideology of Majoras Mask." - SP Reading/Berks


"Oof they are all so good!" - SP Cornwall

There were also a couple of votes for the Midna's Mask from Twilight Princess, created by Stacey; and also a couple for the Makar's Mask, created by Amy.

All in all, twelve different StreetPass group leaders/admin cast their votes!

There was a small gap here where people went over the street to get food, and a few had a quick game of Game & Wario on the big screen!


Whilst the voting was happening online, we carried on in the event with the start of this year StreetPass Gaming League- Smash 4!

This will work in a similar way to last year, as in it will be a combination of skill and loyalty which gets the points. There will also be 3 rounds per sesssion: 1 on Wii U, 1 on 3DS and 1 "Wildcard" (they can be in any order)

This event kicked off this time with a themed "Wildcard" on Wii U - 5 minutes, unlimited stock, random Zelda Stage and Zelda themed characters/items.

The second round was on 3DS, which featured no items, 3 stock, unlimited time and a random omega stage/chosen character.

VERY close one here!!

The third round was back on Wii U, with ALL items on, 5 minutes. unlimited stock, random normal stage.

There was an interesting mix of outcomes with only 2 people getting top marks for all 3 rounds.

Ben and Kyle had to do a tiebreaker at the end to win the Toon Link amiibo which was up for grabs.
They even had an eager spectator with front seat viewing!
Ben took the victory on this occasion on Yoshi's Woolly World.

Next came the all important raffle and prize giving!

It was a great one for our regulars this time, as although #Johndidntwineverything Jack did pretty well, and so did Nick who won the Hyrule Warriors scarf back in October's event!

After the raffle was over, the winner of the mask competition was announced. and presented with the Deku Shield.

Ending the event, we took the group photos, thanked everyone for coming and reminded them that the next big event is only 4 weeks away on March 21st! :D

Credits for photos: Mark Coxon, Jen Griffiths

Sunday, 15 February 2015

SPUK Smash Final, Birmingham - 24/01/2015

Having run our qualifier in early December, our three representatives were raring to go down at the Custard Factory in Birmingham.
Dyl & I had gone down for the weekend in order to help with set up and the running of the event itself. Drn chose to join us with his girlfriend too, which was maybe one of the best choice he's ever made ;)

The four of us arrived in time to help SPUK set up on Friday evening. There were 11 of us plus the promotional people, so between us all we set up stools, beanbags, TVs and consoles. We made sure that the Smash wii U games were all unlocked, and that the right paperwork was by each table along with their clipboards.

Once everything was tidy and working we realised we couldn't book a table anywhere because it was the same day, so four of us went to the Bullring Pizza hut first and tried to get a table. With 11 of us the staff were a bit unsure, but after opening the previously closed area at the back they were able to accommodate us, and even better, it was like we had our own little private mini party! Shame some of us weren't used to eating so late, but we all managed a pizza of some sort before going our separate ways for the night :)

Early start on Saturday, with the SPUK guys getting there for 8am and the rest of us slowly appearing from 9am. We were ready quite early on which was nice as it gave some of the early birds a chance to chat to each other while it was still quiet.

The coaches of those further afield started arriving from 10am, and I had the opportunity to be on the reception desk with Chris of StreetPass Birmingham, so it was nice to be able to meet and greet everyone, seeing some familiar old faces as well as some brand new ones.

As far as SPUK goes, this was the best attended event to date, with coaches from as far as Aberdeen and Portsmouth!

The beginning of the tournament started with pools across the 8 screens. Unfortunately both North AND South Wales' participants got knocked out in the pools which meant none of them made it to the top 16. The competition was tough though, and the favourite to win was JMiller, who had only recently won another Smash tournament over in Sweden! Being on the desk I heard a few mumblings from the people who had found out they were in this guy's pools at the beginning... we all knew it would be a tense one!

The food came out - sandwiches and crisps for everyone!
Just as the first round of food was over, Towny himself showed up! He'd just left his job as Nintendo Community Manager, so this occasion he was there purely as a spectator.
Whilst at the desk there ended up being a discussion about how fantastic the game "Paper Plane" was, to which everyone involved agreed to see if they could beat Towny's high score.

During the top 16, Drn got a chance to commentate for the Smash rounds, which was fantastic for experience, especially as he'd been teamed up with a well-known commentator for Smash.

Check out this video for the overview (Drn is commentating about half way through.)

JMiller's Luigi was always going to be the favourite in the final, but the Pikachu he was up against certainly put up a good fight!

Massive cheers followed from the crowd and JMiller was presented with a special Smash Bros trophy made by Newcastle's Chompworks.
He also did a really nice speech, exmphasising on the community of Smash and how the events like this help bring the community together and encourage the friendly environment too.

As soon as the tournament was over I tried to round up all the Founders for a photograph. Unfortunately Aberdeen's Founder was too quick and had nipped out for food, so we had to carry on without her!

Everyone else (mainly in their green StreetPass shirts) managed to make it into the "other" room for a photo, including Towny right in the middle. I swore to the SPUK admin that every big event they did we would have a "Founders" photo :)

Some hang around to chat, but most had coaches to catch and long distances to travel, so most went fairly soon after. 16 of us left, we started to clear up all the stuff, and due to our experiences the night before, I suggested a few of us went ahead to reserve a table as we'd already mutually agreed that we wanted to go to Wagamamas.

Trying to accommodate 16 people with no notice was always going to be a challenge, even more so when I accidentally said 14 to the waiter! (There were only 6 of us to start with.)
Surprisingly, once we'd waited 30 minutes or so, the waiter was able to accommodate ALL of us! :o

It was a fantastic way to end an epic event! 16 of us on one bench, and a fairwell meal for Towny too, as he goes off to start new adventures :)

A few of us stayed another night so we weren't as tired for the long distance driving. We met some others for a McDonalds breakfast before heading our separate ways through the Bullring.

Here's to more national events under the SPUK umbrella!

(photographs courtesy of K McGroarty)