On the scene at the Pokémon X and Y launch event
As previously reported on Bulbanews, there were several events held worldwide to commemorate the launch of Pokémon X and Y. I was fortunate enough to attend the event in Toronto, Ontario in Canada and would like to share my experience with the rest of the community, especially those who were unable to attend similar events themselves. (This is my second time attending an official event - my first was the Pokémon Black and White Sampling Tour way back in 2011.)
This was an event officially sponsored by Nintendo of Canada and was promoted as Canada's largest gathering commemorating the launch of Pokémon X and Y. The event was held outdoors at the Harbourfront Centre, located in downtown Toronto. The event was held on Friday, October 11th, one day before the game's release. The event ran from 3:00pm until 9:00pm. Unfortunately, I was not able to leave my workplace early so I didn't arrive until around 7:00pm. Despite that it was dark and getting cold by the Lake Ontario waterfront, there were still lots of fans present, all excited about the new games.
When my friend and I arrived, we had our hands stamped with "XY" to indicate that we had been admitted. At this time, we were given the choice of a paper hat featuring either Froakie or Chespin (there were other attendees wearing Fennekin hats, which I assume were the most popular and they ran out), so I chose Chespin and my friend chose Froakie. Once we got in, there were tents set up where gamers could try a demo version of the games, as well as a stage with lots of seating available. On the stage there were statues of Froakie, Fennekin, Chespin, Xerneas and Yveltal. The stage was used for a variety of purposes, including cosplay contests (there were three cosplay contests in the hour and a half that we were there, in which the hosts would choose about six cosplayers from the audience and fans would vote for their favourites by cheering) as well as a trivia contest. Winners of each of these contests were given a mystery prize bag. In between contests, the hosts would talk to the audience about the games and occasionally played music for attendees to dance to. The hosts also encouraged us to get talking to other players and either trade or battle with our existing games.
After sitting for a while and getting through all our StreetPasses, my friend and I decided to finally get in line to try the demos. We ended up getting a table together where she got to try the Y demo and I got to try the X demo (ironically, we had intended to purchase the exact opposites). In the demo, we were each given a starter Pokémon with the opportunity to battle other Trainers, capture Pokémon, and eventually speak to Professor Sycamore, who allowed us the chance to try Mega Evolution, with him providing us a Mewtwo to use in the battle. After concluding the battle using Mewtwo, the demo stopped with a screen saying "Pokémon X and Y coming soon on October 12th!" and shut off, to prevent players from taking up the game too long and giving someone else a turn.
After hanging out for a while longer, the event began to wind down around 8:40. We decided to leave at this point, and on our way out, the hosts were giving away paper hats, this time offering us one of each of Froakie and Chespin (so now I've got two Chespins and one Froakie). We were also offered another item - a Poké Ball. Originally we thought it was just a collectible (it came with a display stand) but my friend's brother then discovered when she got home that it is intended as a game carrying case! Inside the Poké Ball is spots to hold three DS or 3DS Game Cards. The stand also says "Pokémon X and Y" on it, distinguishing it as a collectible from this event.
All in all, it was a great event to attend and I definitely would recommend attending organised events in the future. Nintendo did a great job planning an event that fans could enjoy and get excited about playing the upcoming games.