It’s one of the most dreaded parts of playing your favorite video game…reaching the final level. You’ve stayed glued to your seat, making sure you didn’t miss a hidden coin or unlockable, and it dawns on you that you’re almost at the final level. After that, it’s nothing but the dreaded credits. In a sense, Summer is a lot like a video game, except it’s a game you only play once a year. So you have to do your best to ensure you find all the hidden objects this three-month adventure game has. Luckily, Columbus, Ohio plays location to the Ultimate Warp Zone of the Summer.
Matsuricon is one of the last conventions in the Ohio area for the summer season, but it’s one of those conventions that brings together everything that makes animé and summer the perfect combination like peanut butter and jelly. Like last year’s superhero themed convention, Matsuricon put its best 8-bit foot forward to bring a special video game themed setting for the seventh installment of the convention spectacular. Special events included to fit the video game motif included a special Pokémon Snap photo safari, where congoers would shoot photos of cosplayers or groups while riding in a special cart, which paid homage to the popular N64 classic, “Pokémon Snap”
If you love dressing up as your favorite animé or video game character, then the Cosplay scene might be up your alley. Last year, we saw everyone from Iron Man to Batman and even Bane. This year, to keep with the video game theme of the convention, cosplayers brought fantasy into reality and brought out some of the most over the top characters to life. We saw everyone to Princess Peach from “Super Mario Bros.” to GlaDOS from “Portal” and even the occasional Daenerys Targaryen from the fan favorite “Game of Thrones.” (Click here to check out the incredible cosplays of Matsuricon 2013)
Once again, Matsuricon spared no expense to bring some of the most popular voice actors and talent guests to the convention to shake hands with fans, sign autographs, and share some of their stories working in their respected industry. One of the guests, Kyle Hebert, shared his experience about coming to Matsuricon alongside one of his voice acting peers, Sean Schemmel, best known as Goku from the popular animé, “DragonBall Z.” “I always have a killer time at Matsuricon,” Kyle said in a one-on-one interview. “The support of the fans and staff are amazing, and one of my favorite parts of the convention is getting to reunite with all the friends I’ve met here, and even getting introduced to some new fans of my work.”
Along with the convention’s panels and main events, one event that blew the convention out of the water was not even scheduled. If you ever wanted to see one of Marvel’s most degenerate heroes talk about some hot button topics in the fandom with just a little bit of liquid courage, then “Tea Time with Deadpool” is sure to meet with your approval. In the Food Court of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, a group of renegades, with no panel room or projector, gathered to toast to the over the top antics of Deadpool and his cohorts as they give their thumbs up or thumbs down (in substitute of cheering and booing) on topics such as Ben Affleck’s new role as Batman. Jason Roberts, who portrays Deadpool at his Tea Time panel told us why his panel is so popular, despite not being highlighted as one of the con’s main events.
“Fans of Tea Time are very vocal about disappointment when it gets denied a panel room at a con.” Roberts said looking at the crowd that marched with him singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” through the corridors of the convention. “There are some events you have that barley fill up a third of the room you give them, and here I am with around 100 people for an event you didn’t want at your con. Tea Time fans are the greatest, and I have some of the best fans ever…it’s amazing.”
However, one of the most powerful items at this video game themed convention wasn’t a hidden mushroom or even a piece of the Triforce, but the staff and volunteers that dedicated their entire weekend to making sure that everyone in attendance had the time of their lives. These people made sure the lines for registration were moving fast and efficient, making sure the projectors for the panels were operating, and kept the convention glitch and error (video game humor) free. These are the unsung heroes, much like your favorite video game’s producers and programmers, that make sure there is a Matsuricon that is safe and enjoyable by every person attending that weekend.
Like with all video games, Matsuricon reached its’ end-of-game credits, also known as Sunday afternoon, and as quickly as it filled up, the convention center empties, leaving only the lingering presence of the electricity that was felt throughout its’ halls that weekend. If you missed this year’s Matsuricon, next year’s convention will take place August 22nd through the 24th, and with a music theme for the next installment, Matsuricon is looking to pack as much excitement as a Summer concert tour, and the All Taste Explosion will be on the road to bring you coverage once again in 2014.