We’ll neglect the fact that a dodgy pint of lager curtailed my trip (I’ve only myself guilty) and crack lets start on trying to answer the true secret question – can a gaming dinosaur truly enjoy EGX? Many of our retro gaming buds are fully clued program current/next gen gaming that I salute them. Anyone who knows me will show you that the last “new” game I bought was Final Fantasy XIII and appear how that went! Give me a PS1 and FFVII plus you’ve got a 10/10 rating from me.
So, should you be like me you are most probably wondering whether a gaming convention (warts and) will be worth going to. My trip was the brainchild of my lovely girlfriend who on attempting to bump up my bithday present (March for anyone who is wondering) Googled “retro gaming event”. Google being Google proceeded to stock up the biggest gaming event of the season purely since it had a “Retro Gaming Corner”. I fought my natural instincts to leave and opted for this union.
Six months later on and our romantic day at Birmingham was here. For those who weren’t there trust me when I say it’s very a nice city to check out and has more restaurants than you’ll be able to shake a selfie stick at. Anyway, I digress. Excitement resulted in a 5am start was had, hardly ideal if your train only leaves at 10am. After a relatively painless train journey we attained Birmingham International. The NEC is reasonably handily linked to the station. What is pretty unhandy could be the cross Birmingham hike throughout the station to go to it (I kid certainly), but we arrived nevertheless.
The right off the bat that struck me was how dark it had been. My mother always explained off for gaming in the dark the thing is. “It’ll damage the eyes son!” she employed to say, “You’ll need glasses if you are old!” She’s right but I’d never remind her than it. I pondered the choice, office-type squint-inducing fluorescent lighting and concluded the organisers knew best.
Right from the entrance would be the indie games which I were forced to applaud. Tell a gamer the modern COD or FF is lurking around somewhere and they will hunt it, two hour queue and many types of, but you are a bit more often unwilling to seek out those indie gems. The standard in the indie games on show was quite phenomenal and this will also reassuring to see that this retro gaming vibe remains to be strong (look for features on Conga Master and Modsork soon). It’s certainly given me something to target with my current project. Given it turned out a Saturday afternoon there were still ample room to move about and talk to the developers whilst which has a gander at their wares. Indie-only events are usually still an even better bet for seeking them out but as this was obviously a small part of a massive pie you’ll be able to’t complain.
A ginormous banner for Final Fantasy XV brought me hurtling to reality. We were inside now. The queues were long (apparently much shorter on the Thursday or Friday if the kids are in school) but I did get a glimpse of said new COD, new Gears of War and as well new FIFA and also you know what? I hardly felt something. I don’t know who responsible for my complete not enough attachment to current gen gaming. I could blame Sony even so I’d ought to ignore my fascination with the PS1 and PS2. I could blame Microsoft whilst also ignoring the 360 sat inside my bedroom. But I’ll choose responsible the part inside me that will not commit to a relevant video game and my do these games require that (FIFA17 apart). The line between game titles and movies is actually distinctly blurred (this is just what you wanted Nintendo!) and I’m uncertain I like it. Give me three buttons as well as a spiky blue hedgehog and I’m happy.
Which brings me nicely on the hallowed Retro Gaming Corner, lots bigger than I’d imagined (a pleasing surprise). Atari 7800s, Spectrum ZXs, SNES, Mega Drives, Master Systems in terms of the eye could see. That’s a slight exaggeration but my were there a good deal of them and many types of with cathode ray tubes too. Maybe it turned out the heat of all the CRTs, maybe it had been the start some kind of bug but I literally couldn’t stop sweating. But over the sweat my eyes might make out the various forms of said blue hedgehog, manic miners, an under-fire from many barrels plumber and all of was well. What pleased me more were the swarms of younger generation folk enjoying these gems. In a world where you’ve a lot more than six buttons to learn, the two/three button world has to be a doddle. The games were also split by genre – the sunshine gun games in a area (still far better than anything Kinect concerning offer IMO), the “newer” rhythm games in another, platformers, shooters etc… There was something for everybody. Would I like to have observed more of a fuss made with the retro gaming corner? Perhaps with more interaction? Of course I would, but EGX isn’t about retro gaming, it’s really down to previewing new stuff and as being a step ahead on the game.
The all-day ticket is pretty pricey (about £20) though the afternoon session from 2pm – 7pm was around half that. Would I recommend it for an avid gamer? Only if you do have a bit of an interest in current gen gaming as specific retro gaming events provide lots more on the cheap. I’d also require a few days off work and go with a Thursday to overpower those pesky queues. And steer clear from the beer.