Comic-Con Time With the Raroos[GameSetWatch has sent GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family to San Diego Comic-Con to report on their adventures there. We'll be running daily updates from the Raroos as the convention progresses, and after the first, second, and third parts, the fourth segment is about Saturday.]

Saturday, July 25: Running on Fumes

We were originally planning on being at the Convention Center in plenty of time to catch a SpongeBob SquarePants panel at 10:30 am, but all the activity of the past few days has caught up with us and we opted to sleep late instead. Seeing as we were running out of energy throughout the day as it was, I think we made the right decision to let our bodies rest a bit. All in all, we felt both physically tired and a little worn out on Comic-Con in general. It is grueling.

Our slight ennui was compounded by a couple of dud booths. I really wanted to see Scribblenauts at the Warner Bros. booth, but celebrity signings meant the booth was off limits, even though they had a demo station up and running. To top it off, the WB representatives were rather rude when I asked if I could take a quick look at Scribblenauts, so we figured they weren’t worth any more of our time and we went elsewhere.

Sadly, we fared no better at the Mattel booth, where they had Cars toys on sale. Kaz has almost all of the main characters in his collection, but he’s missing Sarge and Sally, both of which were being sold for five dollars each. However, when we got to the front of the line we were informed we couldn’t buy a specific character, but instead would be given a random character for our five dollars. We didn’t want to waste our money since we probability wouldn’t have been able to snag Sarge or Sally without dropping a small fortune, so we told them to forget it. The day was not going well.

Thankfully, my luck soon changed. Taking the time to try out Ignition Entertainment’s games turned my mood around and put me in high spirits. After going a round or two with the impressive-looking King of Fighters XII, I noticed Ignition’s Shane Bettenhausen walking around and introduced myself. Not only had Shane heard of GameSetWatch (hooray!), but he was more than happy to guide me through a demo of Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade

I’ve been excited about Muramasa since I first saw screenshots of the game months ago, and I’m happy to report it didn’t fail to impress. Even though I especially enjoyed the art direction of developer Vanillaware’s previous game, Odin Sphere, the actual gameplay didn’t quite grab me the way I had hoped it would. Muramasa, on the other hand, seems to be everything I wanted Odin Sphere to be. It’s filled with luscious visuals that utilize a gorgeous array of colors, and its character control feels spot-on and responsive. In other words, the demo was wonderful!

What really stands out to me about Muramasa are the numerous subtle touches littered throughout the experience, such as protagonist Kisuke periodically glancing in the player’s direction as he runs forward. I’m really anxious for the opportunity to sit down with Muramasa away from the frantic Comic-Con floor and enjoy it at my own pace in the comfort of my home. Without a doubt, Muramasa is not only my most anticipated Wii game of the year, but it’s the game I’m looking forward to the most for any system, period.

Still, my elation at finally having some hands-on time with Muramasa wasn’t enough to fight off my exhaustion, and both Kaz and Missus Raroo were not faring much better. Kaz was not in any type of mood to walk, which meant I had to carry him around almost the entire time. Meanwhile, Missus Raroo’s morning sickness returned in full force, and at one point she was looking so miserable that a security guard asked if she needed some first aid!

Thank goodness for the anime programming! It provides a cool, relaxing place to take a load off one’s feet for a bit. We headed into one of the rooms that was airing episodes of fairly light and family-friendly anime series, such as Ramen Fighter Miki and Clannad. We kept Kaz entertained with water and crackers, but after almost an hour he got bored and started acting silly, so we had to leave the room so as not to disturb the other audience members.

Old School, New SchoolOne thing I noticed while sitting and watching the anime episodes is that a great deal of the audience members appeared to be at the convention alone. And, on top of that, it seemed like they were camped out for the long haul, ready to spend their whole day watching anime. That got me thinking about how Comic-Con means so many different things to different people.

Whether it’s the old-school attendees who come to dig through stacks of vintage comics for that one last issue needed to complete their collections, or new-school attendees who couldn’t care less about comics and instead are eager to see the latest, trendiest celebrities, Comic-Con truly provides something for everyone. It’s pretty exciting to realize that there exists an event so massive and thorough that just about anyone can have something to get energized about.

On our way to the exit we happened across a booth full of toys that had a small selection of yo-yos for sale. Inspired by one of Missus Raroo’s relatives who wowed everyone with his yo-yo skills at a recent family reunion, I’ve taken up the yo-yo a little bit, just trying to get the basics down and learn a few tricks.

The yo-yos at the booth were all from Yomega, and the packaging revealed they were about a decade old and originally intended to be sold in Japan. I walked away with a Hyper Raider for five bucks, which was a really good deal! I tried it out on the walk back to our car and it’s got a solid feel and sleeps really well. Score!

F*** This Tree!We also made a short pit stop at the little playground located in the “Park in the Park” at Petco Park. I had to cuss out a tree with low-hanging branches, upon one of which I hit my head really hard. Even though it hurt, I felt a little bad that I bellowed “F*** this tree!” Missus Raroo thought it was more hilarious than offensive and laughed at me, even though my head was bleeding from the collision. Ouch!

The end of Comic-Con is in sight. We’re planning on taking our nephew along with us for the final day, so that should help to freshen up the experience a bit because we’ll be able to enjoy the it through a new set of eyes. Hopefully our nephew won’t mind too much that his aunt, uncle, and cousin will most likely be dragging their feet a little as he rushes around to take in all the new sights and sounds surrounding him.

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and many pets. In addition to writing for GameSetWatch, Mister Raroo irregularly writes content for his blog, Moments. You may reach Mister Raroo at mister.raroo@gmail.com.]