Saturday, 11 October 2014

GamesYouLoved at Play Expo 2014 - day one

Day one update - 
Manchester - 11th October 2014

Magic. Absolute bloody magic. Whether we’re talking atmosphere, cutting edge gaming or arcane retro technology, Play Expo has it all. The team at GamesYouLoved enjoyed today so much, we really had to give you an update tonight.

We had a great time even after a fairly disastrous beginning. After cramming in a quick breakfast with the Funstock team (full English, of course), we jammed a bunch of old school consoles and equipment into the car and headed off. Immediately upon reaching the venue however, our car window refused to close, the mechanism had broken! We hadn’t even set up yet, so picture those stress levels going through the roof. Suddenly we’re in hard mode; getting the stand put together while trying to get the AA on the phone!

Fortunately everything was fixed and good to go soon after the doors opened. What struck me about Play Expo was the amount of space given over to gaming itself, almost half the venue was dedicated to games already released for people to actually play rather than obsessing over new and upcoming releases. This idea of gaming in the present and of course, the past, instead of a fixation on future gaming really speaks to me, the expo certainly lives up to its title.
Loads of floorspace was filled with every game under the sun, many of which were multiplayer set ups, you felt like you could start a game with anyone. There were a couple of consoles I hadn’t even heard of before, I tried an FM Towns Marty for the first time, there goes my credibility eh?

There was still a strong presence from the new console generation though, the big three were out in force.

The real hype was radiating from the arcade section: an absolutely mindblowing collection of cabinets, shoot’em ups, racing games, all that good stuff set to free play so you could game as much as you want. Personally the chance to play some real shooters by CAVE on an actual arcade cab was just awesome. With all the score competitions going on there were opportunities for all that bedroom practice to be seen by fellow gamers who genuinely appreciate it too. I’ve got a score to settle with Typing of the Dead tomorrow, that’s for sure.

It was all about playing the games, but also the retro community that surrounds us all. Retro Joe, Tooty UK (Stuart), Rich King Retro, Cybersnake (Jason), Dave 'imagamegeek' to name but a few where there. The GamesYouLoved crew and these guys and others took time out to chat and do some mutual filming too. All in a days work for these massive retrogaming fans. Not only this but we hooked up with Sam (@MrSidC64) to chat about his Commodore book on the stand - where we fitted in a short interview of this and his new Amiga Kickstarter which begins Monday 13th October.

A little walk through the venue presented me with crazy cosplay karaoke competitions going on in one corner next to a casual Smash Bros tourney run by the Bristol boys who’d come up for the weekend. Alongside this Retro Collect had their many competitions on and kept the energy up all day - great job guys.

There were enough stands selling retro games, quality prints and other merchandise to make me believe my wallet had a mind of its own. There was even a bloke selling swords, but thankfully the cosplayers weren’t all armed to the teeth.

So the end of the day found me back on an arcade cab playing Progear, just dying to finish my credit (it was a good run!) while being asked repeatedly by security to finish up as it was closing time. Eventually I had to relent and abandon my plane to its fate. See you all tomorrow though yeah?

By Ben Cataldo


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.