Greetings internet dwellers!
Well, my third week of HHN, has come to a close. I will return to the event next Thursday. That is, if there isn't a giant hurricane over Florida. So, some interesting things happened over the course of the last few days.
Yes, even in their third week, HHN is still making changes. For starters, the music around the park seems to still be tinkered with. At least, the audio itself. The Chance interruptions are a little more frequent again. And you can hear them all over the park, more than the first weekend.
The music around the park, outside of the main Scare Zones, has pretty much settled into just remixes. The Exorcist, Halloween, The Walking Dead, and American Horror Story, pretty much dominate the soundtrack. But they are in a slightly remixed form.
They continue to add things to the houses as well. More Michael's in Halloween, some added scenic to The Walking Dead, and Krampus, keeps adding things too. I also noticed some of the houses have turned up the lighting a bit.
While I will talk Scare Zones a little later, we had something happen to us on Thursday, which I find unacceptable. Over in Dead Man's Warf, I was with a friend of mine, off to the side of the Scare Zone taking photos. After about 10 minutes or so, we were approached by one of the coordinator's who told us to leave the Scare Zone, to "keep the crowd moving."
This, should never happen in a Scare Zone. Especially with us being off to the side. There is no reason you should be telling people to move on, because it's a "small Scare Zone," and the crowd needs to keep moving. You know what that is? A design flaw. Don't make your Scare Zones so small, that people can't walk through them comfortably. And both of us, weren't even standing in the flow of traffic. We were off to the side.
This is yet another example, of some of the boneheaded, questionable practices, Universal is doing over the course of this event.
Ah, yes, The Repository. Right off the bat, let's talk the monkey in the room. Ever since this thing was announced, the $50 dollar price tag has been a bit controversial. A lot of people, couldn't stomach paying the extra money, after already spending so much to just get into the event.
I had budgeted this year, for a UTH. At the time, I couldn't afford both and would be skipping the experience. However, after Universal's photo ban on the UTH last week, I decided to skip the tour, and spring for The Repository.
From the very beginning, I said that the Legendary Truth angle, was there to basically entice the long-time players, to fork over the money to do the experience. There were a lot of questions about just how much Legendary Truth, would be a part of the experience. Well, the entire thing is Legendary Truth. So, there's that.
Without spoiling too much, the experience starts out, as you are placed in a lounge, with the rest of your party, which have booked for that time slot. You all enter the first room, before being separated into groups of four. Eventually, you are separated into groups of 2, before being reunited with the two other people in your group of four.
The groups of four, are separated by different colors. I only saw red, green, and yellow. I was in the red group.
To put it bluntly, this experience, is not worth the $50 dollar price tag. Paying the hefty price, is going to depend on you. If you aren't a player of Legendary Truth, some of what's going on, may leave you a little miffed as well. The two other players (yes, we only had 3 in our group instead of 4), we very confused on certain things. A lot of the experience just drops you into rooms, kind of awkwardly.
The other thing I have a big problem with, is the selling of this experience. It's being sold as a VR experience. Well, 99.9% of The Repository, isn't a VR experience. One tiny portion of it is. The vast majority of the experience, is part escape room, part "extreme house."
Which brings me to what I did like. I love the personal interactions with the Scareactor's in here. Yes, you do have to sign a waiver before going in. If you don't like to be touched, or have your personal space invaded, this is not the experience for you. I was yelled at, had my beard stroked, held hands with a crazy person, and cursed at. Fuck and shit, were said. More shits than fucks, but still very cool nonetheless.
Now back to the bad. The VR is an obvious downgrade in quality, from the VR done at last year's Legendary Truth experience. And, my audio wasn't working AT ALL during the VR portion. Which if I am paying $50 dollars, the equipment better be working.
The Repository is short. Very, very short. We waited longer in the lounge, than we did doing the actual experience. All in all, the experience lasted about 15 minutes. Trying to justify that price, with the short time, just didn't seem worth it.
There is a very abrupt end to the experience. In the final room, once again, we were met with faulty technology. Once we "failed to break the curse" of The Repository, because of said faulty technology, we were just ushered out into the daylight, and given a sticker.
That's pretty much it. I made it a point to listen to people coming out of the experience. The vast majority of the people, were obviously disappointed. One group, was handed the sticker, and promptly exclaimed: "That's it?"
There is also an opportunity to have your picture taken. However, you have to pay for said picture, and they wouldn't allow you to use your camera.
I got to talk briefly with T.J. Mannarino, who came to the exit of the experience. I told him about my no audio problem during the VR part. I was met with a very blase response about how they were aware of the problem. This, I have an issue with.
The Repository, is a culmination of pretty much every Legendary Truth and Horror Unearthed experience, from the past four years. They are basically taking elements, from different experiences players were put through. The last two years, were "tests" of technology for the game-play (including last year's VR). If the technology didn't work, that was cool. You just move on and be done with it.
However, you are now charging people. We aren't "testing" the technology anymore. This is a full fledged experience, which costs people money. If the main portion of the experience isn't working properly, fix it. You can't just shrug it off this time, and go back to the drawing board.
In the end, The Repository is a mixed bag. I enjoyed the character elements, but the technological portion, just didn't work properly. And the experience is just too damn short.
FINAL RATING: 2.5/5
HOUSE RANKING UPDATE
Let's finally talk houses! I'll make this really short.
9. LUNATIC'S PLAYGROUND 3D
7. THE WALKING DEAD
6. AMERICAN HORROR STORY
5. THE EXORCIST
4. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE
3. TOMB OF THE ANCIENTS
2. GHOST TOWN: THE CURSE OF LIGHTNING GULTCH
1. HALLOWEEN: HELL COMES TO HADDONFIELD
Actually had some good times in the Zones this week.
5. A CHANCE IN HELL
CURRENT RATING: 1/5
A stupid waste of space.
4. DEAD MAN'S WARF
CURRENT RATING: 3/5
Mentioned it briefly above. Yes, there is a horrible bottleneck that happens in here. And because of that, the actor's have retreated to the lumbering, won't scare you method.
3. SURVIVE OR DIE
CURRENT RATING: 3/5
Meh. It's fun, but still falls short of other Zones in NY in the past.
2. BANSHEES LAIR (OR WHATEVER THEY ARE CALLING IT THESE DAYS)
CURRENT RATING: 3.5/5
The crowd causes a problem here too. However, I did notice an uptick in energy in here. It was actually fun to hang out in here regardless of the crowd.
1. VAMP 1955
CURRENT RATING: 4/5
Finally. Had some really good times in here on Thursday and Friday. Lots of interactions, lots of energy, and a lot of fun.
So, that is it for me until next week. The houses still remain really strong, for the most part. Actually had some good times in the Scare Zones, minus the Dead Man's Warf thing.
Until next time, internet!
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