Fusion Tour Bands and Celebrities Party Nintendo Style
Late Monday afternoon, we unexpectedly received an invitation from Nintendo to a party in Hollywood with the bands from Nintendo’s Fusion Tour and a host of other celebrities. Since the tour’s been on the road for several weeks now, it does seem a bit puzzling that they’d call it a kickoff, but no matter, Steven Rodriguez and I decided to attend.
Taking place at Joseph’s, a small club near Capitol Records that regularly hosts celebrity parties, Nintendo’s party was rather simple. On the sidewalk, there was a wall emblazoned with the Fusion Tour logo and a blue carpet (apparently they were out of red ones). Inside, there was a DJ on the dance floor, a large common area, and a small room set up with games next to the bar. At first it seemed that having the bar and games in the same area made it a bit overcrowded, but as some people started moving on to socialize, it turned into a valuable spot for Nintendo because whenever someone wanted a drink, on the way out, he or she would turn around to see a group of models or musicians having a blast playing Donkey Konga. Even late into the evening there were still people noticing the game for the first time, wanting to know what the heck it was.
Most of the game stations were occupied throughout the night. There were two Donkey Konga games set up with four bongos on each; a Metroid Prime 2 demo; multiplayer WWE: Day of Reckoning and Mario Kart: Double Dash; and Super Mario Bros. and Pac Man set up on Game Boy Players. The monitors were all gorgeous flat-screens, which look quite a bit clearer than what we’ve previously seen at Nintendo events. On the club’s regular TV, mounted in the corner of the room, there was a video reel of upcoming games like Resident Evil 4 and Baten Kaitos. To our disappointment, the DS did not make an appearance, despite the fact that it’s on display during the Fusion Tour concerts. Perhaps we’ll get a look when the tour heads back to town Sunday night.
As far as the celebrities are concerned, we were hard-pushed to recognize anybody, but there were actors, musicians, and a girl who claimed her job was stepping on people’s toes. I even met an artist that worked on the Final Fantasy feature film from a few years ago. We played Donkey Konga with quite a number of people of course, although there were times when the photographers had us get up so they could take pictures of famous folk playing together.
In all, Nintendo seems to have had a great night in Hollywood. Although the crowd shifted from room to room throughout the night, the invitation-only party was generally packed to the walls in every direction, even when we left after midnight. Not only that, but they were very enthusiastic about Donkey Konga, coming back to try again and again.
Photos by: Eric Charbonneau(c)Berliner Studio/BEImages