We came back double fisted

It sure is a hard day's work taking notes and playing new video games.

I am leaving the hotel at 4 AM as I have a 6 AM flight. It is about a 25 to 30 minute ride to SFO. So you can bet I will be sleeping on the plain..

Tonight you are getting a at-a-glance overview of the day. I will have an article with more substance on Blogcritics later.

The day started with a continental breakfast and then we broke into three groups. My group was to see SimCity Creator first, rock on that is the game I am most interested in.

Most of the demo focused on the Wii version, though some of the DS version was shown, plus a couple PowerPoint slides. The two games are very different.

Everyone met back up for a tour of the campus, consisting of four different buildings. Also the EA field, and a huge labyrinth made of grass and sand. Guess that saves on shrub trimming, doesn't it.

Next up was MySims Kingdom, led by the executive producer on the game. Again the majority of the demo focused on the Wii version, but then we were given an over-the-shoulder walk through of the DS version, as the room we were in was not equipped with the hardware to display the DS on the screen. This is also a big update for this fresh franchise, and is not a direct sequel.

I was not a fan of the first one, but this one goes give me more reasons to take a look, and really left me impressed.

Lunch was your garden variety cold cut platters. Not that I am complaining (because I am not). Oddly the entire table of bloggers broke out in a number of different discussions on U.S. Politics. I think it was four, but a number of the bloggers here were from Europe. So talking with them about the Prime Minister and U.S. Politics was an interesting experience

After lunch we hit SimAnimals. Both Wii and DS were shown, we got to actually play a little of the DS version during this demo. I knew absolutely nothing about the game going in. The best way I can describe it, and forgive me for stating the obvious, but it is like The Sims but with animals. These happen to be forest animals though, not domesticated ones like gods or cats -- or if you prefer Dogz or Catz.

Next up was the EA Experience visit, that would be the store on campus. They were out of Spore, to the chagrin of nearly every one at the event. Being able to snag that for $10 would have been sweet! I settled for Boom Blocks (free voucher) and Battlefield Bad Company for $20.

After drooling over things at the store, and spending other people's money, we all filed into a room for a MySims PC demo. That lasted for a full hour, which is twice as long as it was scheduled. I am glad it did though, as they showed us a bunch.

Five o'clock rolled around and we had dinner in the atrium. Pizza and salad. They also had a bunch of dev kits setup for us to play -- MySims Kingdom on four Wii, plus MySims Kingdom on two DS. I was actually hoping to play some more SimAnimals or SimCity Creator. Oh well.

I did not leave brokenhearted though. We all left with a goodie bag with some great stuff: SimCity Creator for Wii, SimAnimals jar of Gummy Bears, a pack of MySims Kingdom character cards, oh and a SimAnimals sticker.

So we all walked back to the hotel with a bag of games in one hand and a bad of swag (including another game) in the other.

The list of outlets here today is pretty diverse. There were one or two people here from: MySims Questionnaire, WiiWii.tv, GearDiary, British Gaming, Loot Ninja, Kiwibox.com, GameZone.com GamingSteve, Nintendo World Report, That VideoGame Blog, Infendo, NintenDojo, BrainyGamer, Girls Don't Game, and of course I was there representing Blogcritics.

OK, well guess what. I have to be ready to leave this hotel at 4 AM. That means I am getting up at 3 AM. Even though it is only 9:45 it is 12:45 EST and my body feels like it is EST, so I am signing off.

So last plug before I go: Full impressions on all four games will be up on Blogcritics... later.

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