Shorty

EGX 2015 - Eurogamer Expo (Birmingham NEC)

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My highlight was getting to play Elite Dangerous on the HTC Vive. That was rad.

 

The retro section was pretty cool too, I thought.

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Highlights: Halo 5, Tomb Raider, Mirror's Edge, three player Zelda with @Dyson and @Dan_Dare and a brief experience with HTC Vive. Was great meeting all the indie and small company developers too and talking about their games, giving feedback, marvelling as they updated code between expo days. Good to see @Jimbob again too, didn't manage to meet up with our fledgling @Tphi though, although he seemed quite busy. Mr. Yoshida's talk was great too, and it was funny hearing him talk about the harsh handheld environment in the wake of mobile gaming and then see it hit the gaming news shortly after.

 

Also picked up some sweet loot like Destiny tshirts and posters, and a Hotline Miami 2 vinyl record.

 

Now that I know what to expect from the expo, next year will be even better!

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Well, that was quite an eventful weekend. Full of many great memories and experiences throughout, many great games were played, some games there I was interested in buying as they are out now, but needed a test to see if I’d like them. Some of the games were not labelled clear enough to see where they all were, so many could have been missed without asking around. Thoughts are as follows.

 

Games played on Saturday

 

Uncharted 2 (PS3)

 

I played this for 20 minutes whilst waiting for my slot to arrive for the PlayStation VR. Only other Uncharted game I played was Golden Abyss on the Vita. Looked good, played well and I quite enjoyed it. Wetted my appetite for The Nathan Drake collection coming in less than 2 weeks.

 

I managed to get a slot on the new PlayStation VR set. In order to get a chance on the PlayStation VR (formally Project Morpheus), you had to Pre-register. Luckily for me, the slots went live whilst I was on my lunchbreak so I got in pretty quick. Once I had arrived at NEC for EGX on the Saturday, I headed straight to the VR section as I was late arriving due to train delays. As I had pre-booked, I was given a 10-minute window to arrive in so things could be sorted out. I was initially thinking as slots were non-transferrable, you had it linked to your PSN account. But really, if you told someone whom wanted a slot your name, they could have taken it. Once the formalities were done, I was told to wait in a fenced off area (felt like cattle herded together) to be called. The only issue was the waiting time, it was meant to be pre-booked slots but I (and others) were still waiting 20+ minutes after our slots to even have a go.

 

When it was finally my go, I was called up and was spoken to by a nice chap from Sony. He asked me if I’ve tried other VR’s before coming here, I said no because I hadn’t. He also said the VR is very good and it has to be seen to be believed, so by now I’m quite excited to be giving this a go. I was met by another Sony chap who gave me the whole prep talk. Basically, asking if I suffered from motion sickness or nausea. I was instructed on how to adjust the headset for my own comfort, so I could enjoy the experience fully. And finally, it was time. The headset was put on, and I was given one final piece of advice. If I felt sick, put my hand up and shut my eyes so they could remove the headset and make sure I was ok. Then the headphones went on and I was given the DS4 control pad, now I was ready.

 

The game I demo’d out was Battle Tanks, a remake of the 1970’s Atari game. Just from looking around, I could see the control panel of the tank I was in, the guns to my left and right. And I could look out of the windows, this was very immersive. I did feel iffy, but this settled down as I adjusted to the visuals. The headphones pumped the sound through, so I could hear the whirring of the tank and the lift. Then I was away, controlling the tank with the control pad and seeing and hearing things flying around the view. Best description, imagine looking out of your eyes and seeing graphics instead of the real world. Honestly, you got lost so easily. The game played like the game should, so there is not a lot I could say there (you could see the game on the TV in front whilst waiting for your chance on the VR). Then before I knew it, the level was done and the equipment was removed by the Sony chap. Like earlier, I had to adjust again, this time back to the real world.

 

After my experience, I was given a survey to complete on my experiences. I was asked questions like “would this demo encourage me to buy the VR when it came out” and “would I recommend this to friends and family” and “did I feel ill in the time I was in-game”. Once this was done, I was given a cardboard tube with 2 posters inside.

 

Overall then, this was a great experience of Virtual Reality gaming. But, I probably wouldn’t go out and purchase one. I’ve heard it could cost as much as the PS4 itself, plus I believe this would be another gimmick like motion controls and the Eye Toy were.

 

 

So, after my VR experience I carried on exploring the venue

 

I joined the queue, probably one of the best queues of the whole event. As I was waiting, I did see 2 cosplayers dressed as Jacob and Evie (the 2 Assassin’s in the new game). At one point, I saw Jacob coming towards me, and I commented to the chap near me that he wasn’t a good assassin as I saw him coming. I didn’t see Evie coming from behind, sly move and very well thought out in their characters. The game itself was fun, played a mission around the Tower of London. And yes, you can kill the horses as I tried out. And I overheard someone in the queue say “why did you do that to the horse”. I didn’t have any bugs or glitches, so I guess Ubi have learned from the mess called Unity. The mission was great, so good that I had a 2nd go later and did it a different way.

 

 

Nintendo got the queue time wrong, but the game itself could be released. They had 2 missions on demo, you could only choose one to try out which was ok. My thoughts on the controls, not a fan of the mix of gyro and conventional controls (the gyro was used to aim). That needs sorting, it felt it needs tightening up. The game itself though is fun, feels like Nintendo have taken Starfox back to its routes in terms of gameplay.

 

 

Super Mario Maker

 

Yes, it’s already out. But I thought I’d try it, it’s a game I’m interested in but not sure on buying. Yet another reason to play. It’s a great time-killer game, personally speaking it’s not something I’d play consistently, more like for 10 minutes or so at a time. I liked the design aspect of the game, being able to make any level you fancy making and letting the creative juices flow. I made a level that not even the Nintendo rep could beat, but it was beatable as I completed it and a few others.

 

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

 

I found this on the side of the VR booths, so I thought I’d give it a go. Again, it was Uncharted 2 so nothing different except the graphics. Naughty Dog have certainly cleaned things up, looks very impressive indeed. Looking forward to next week now.

 

Darksiders II

 

Found 1 screen free, so gave it a bash. Not too bad, not something I’d be interested in though. Couldn’t get off the first level, as the system crashed before I could get any further.

 

Triforce Heroes

 

Back to the Nintendo booth for the final game of the day, with this think “Four Swords”. Because it was basically a remake of it, just with new levels and items. Quite good from what I played, played it with 2 others (one dressed as a very impressive Ocelot). We got the level done once we’d stopped throwing each other off the ledge.

 

And with Saturday’s games done, it was onto the after party. Which wasn’t much good to be honest, luckily the NEC left the Wifi on, so I watched the Rugby on my phone with a few others. And with beer getting on for nearly £5 just for a bottle, I didn’t drink too much.

 

Overall, Saturday was probably the best day in terms of the experience. Everyone was in a good mood, the staff at the game demos wanted to chat to people and give them a good experience of the event. Yes, you had plenty of cosplayers walking around (the Mortal Kombat ones were mind blowingly good), so was the Darth Vader I saw and the ones at the Nintendo booth. And I found an area where you could play games in an alternative way, in my case Mario Kart 8 with your chin.

 

Games played on Sunday

 

Sunday, had my early access and planned to jump straight onto Star Wars. But it would seem, so did 80% of the early access queue. Didn’t get on as planned, so ventured around and did other games.

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

 

Didn’t start well, had the Call of Duty staff basically having a go at me for changing the controls from inverted to normal. They said the controls were set for a Call of Duty player, and felt like I wasn’t amongst the “elite”. To be fair, I wasn’t. It was a game to play. I’m not a fan of Call of Duty as it’s known, so it felt “meh”. Like any other multiplayer shooter to be honest.

 

Project Cars

 

Found an empty booth, played for 15 minutes. Did many laps on Donnington, it felt like Forza in terms of handling and performance. I was quite impressed with the game overall; I may get it at some point down the line.

 

Got on this just before the queues arrived, it’s quite good in terms of what can be done. When the staff said that the grapple was the greatest weapon in-game, they were not wrong. I grappled a cow to a car and watched it drag down the road. I caused a statue to facepalm itself, I grappled someone into a tower. And they said you can destroy anything (near enough), so I did quite a bit of damage on my demo. I liked it, felt like an overly improved Just Cause 2

 

 

Kaiju Panda (Indie)

 

I raided the Indie section next, found this game. Think Tower Defence, and you’ve got an idea of what this is like. Basically, you mine resources to build stuff to defend the town from the enemy. You also need to rescue people, whom can help with making better stuff to defend said town. One of the developers was nearby and welcomed opinions on the game.

 

Beam Gleam (Indie)

 

I was told by someone nearby, it’s a shooter that you can’t shoot. You have a mirror which you use to reflect lasers to hit the enemy. Quite challenging, which made it enjoyable. Only out on Xbox and Steam, not PS4 (yet).

 

Everybody’s gone to the Rapture

 

It’s been hyped as being good, I quite enjoyed looking around the town. Couldn’t see any orbs to interact with though, but it looked good none the less.

 

I played this as I was waiting for the chap on the next machine to finish. The demo I played, you had to find artefacts to open a path to the next area. Problem was, that 3 artefacts were in the game area. The 4th was behind the door that opened once all 4 artefacts were put in place, I guess this was a glitch or something. From what I played, it looked and felt good.

 

 

I am Toast

 

What can I say, think Octodad and you’ve got an idea of this

 

Banjo Kazooie (Retro)

 

Well, a TV in the retro area was free, so sat down and had a bash. They had a retro challenge on, but I didn’t partake, but I did accidently set the fastest time to clear Mumbo Mountain. Such memories, my childhood was revisited.

 

Goldeneye (retro)

 

Again, childhood revisted. 4 player split screen in the Bunker, I won 3 out of 4 matches.

 

By about 4pm, I had done all I wanted to do (some of the queues were ridiculous, 3 ½ hours to play some games). So I joined quite a short queue for this, luckly I did as I got the 2nd to last slot. What can I say, wow. You can tell why the queues were as long as they were, this was great. Played on Hoth, where the AT-AT’s attack the rebel base, but this time we were mixed up. Some of us were rebels, others were the Imperials. I thought it was very good indeed, worth playing the beta in a few weeks.

 

 

Sunday wasn’t as good, still great walking around and talking to people. But some of the indie devs were idiots, refusing to let people play their game (as I heard from someone, that they were fed up of people not playing it right).

 

Overall though, apart from some of the queue times this was the best EGX yet. Nice to see @Shorty and @Dan Dare on the Sunday. Did see @CoolFunkMan as well around. Photos of the event are here, great memories and I’m looking forward to 2016 already.

Edited by Jimbob

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Did see @CoolFunkMan as well around.

 

You did? Damn, sorry I missed you, but it was such a busy weekend!

 

I had a blast though, and it was a great first EGX. Checked out a ton of awesome stuff, but the queues for the triple-A games were ridiculous! Definitely need to do more days next time, so that I can check out everything. I missed out on Mirror's Edge and Tomb Raider, which I'm pretty gutted about.

 

I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts right now, but I'm definitely going to be putting my thoughts on my blog soon...

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You did? Damn, sorry I missed you, but it was such a busy weekend!

 

I had a blast though, and it was a great first EGX. Checked out a ton of awesome stuff, but the queues for the triple-A games were ridiculous! Definitely need to do more days next time, so that I can check out everything. I missed out on Mirror's Edge and Tomb Raider, which I'm pretty gutted about.

 

I'm having trouble gathering my thoughts right now, but I'm definitely going to be putting my thoughts on my blog soon...

 

I walked past you twice and tried saying hello, but as you said it was a busy weekend and quite noisy. Still, glad you enjoyed the weekend for a first EGX.

 

I don't think i spent longer than an hour in any one queue at a time, even on Battlefront. I think i timed everything quite well (either that, or i was quite lucky). The shortest queue was on Banjo Kazooie, the seat was empty. But shortest triple-A title i played was Call of Duty, only had 3 people in front when i joined.

 

I managed to play everything i set out to play, if i had done the 4 days i would have used the final day to play the retro and indies as a chill day. Queues were not ridiculous in these areas, so you could easily have played many games in a short space of time.

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[Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

 

Didn’t start well, had the Call of Duty staff basically having a go at me for changing the controls from inverted to normal. They said the controls were set for a Call of Duty player, and felt like I wasn’t amongst the “elite”. To be fair, I wasn’t. It was a game to play. I’m not a fan of Call of Duty as it’s known, so it felt “meh”. Like any other multiplayer shooter to be honest.

.

 

What? Backwards inverted controls means you're proper COD player? Idiots.

 

Nice impressions.

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What? Backwards inverted controls means you're proper COD player? Idiots.

 

Nice impressions.

 

I know, it annoyed me at the time. But thinking on it now, i chuckle.

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Inverted controls? Sod that!

 

I always choose Normal controls for anything other than games which are flight-based.

 

Can't imagine playing an FPS with inverted sticks, not that I play that many but still.

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What an awesome awesome weekend EGX was. Business and pleasure.

 

We got to cut queues for games, got to avoid queuing up with civvies to get in, got interviewed after playing Halo and will feature on a reel of feedback on their site. Got interviewed for 1001up.com and tagged in whatrhinosaid.com.

 

We scheduled a meetup with the staff from the board game section before EGX as they contacted us with regards to if we'd review board games on our site. So spent 3 hours playing games with them on Thursday night. They liked our EGX summary we did after the weekend so are officially in business with us sending us games to keep and review.

 

Got front row seats to the Yohsida Q&A which was incredible. Such an awesome weekend. Gang Beasts was incredible, probably the highlight of it all. CupHead was also a massive surprise.

 

If anyone was interested in our summaries we split them up into the 3 days we were there.

 

Day 1 - http://geeksleeprinserepeat.com/2015/09/29/egx-2015-day-1/

 

Day 2 - http://geeksleeprinserepeat.com/2015/09/30/egx-2015-day-2/

 

Day 3 - http://geeksleeprinserepeat.com/2015/10/01/egx-2015-day-3/

 

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@Murr why didn't you tell us you were going eh?? And sneak us into a few things :p

 

I thought I dropped you guys a message with my mobile number on. Maybe I didn't.

 

Gonna go to the Rezzed show in April next if you guys are along for that?

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