EGX 2015 – The search for more energy drinks
Once again I, DanLV and a few others made the long journey down from Bradford to take a look at The UK’s biggest game event.
This was the first time that I had been to an EGX, all I really knew is that there were going to be games, and my god there were a lot of them.
We arrived well within time for the early slot our tickets allowed which meant we had a bit of time without having to queue, which we used to meander our way around the relatively quiet aisles. It wasn’t long until the doors opened and the hordes of people entered…
There were a large number of exhibitors in attendance, including one of my friends who is working on the
soon to be v1.0 Prison Architect. A game I can wholeheartedly recommend if you are into micromanagement games.
Nintendo were there with a massive stand which included a mini stage. They were continuously running little events on it including Smash tournaments and Mario Kart races with the winners taking home swag bags. They had an open competition running as well to guess the amount of amiibos in a crate, the winner would end up with every amiibo released up until that point. All I know is that I haven’t been contacted so I didn’t win L
They had a stage packed with many different games, Including Zelda Triforce Heroes which was a game that Dan had been wanting to play for quite a while. We and another person dragged into the mix began to play but with my seeming instant inability to work a 3DS and the other party’s inattentiveness I feel it may have been a less than stellar time for Dan (if you’re reading this sorry!)
EGX had a huge area dedicated to Indie devs and their games, and there was a nice flow to the area. You didn’t have to wait too long to sit and play a game if you wanted. The same could not be said for the AAA game area which is to be expected I have to admit. But as soon as the main doors opened, all you ever saw at the end of each queue was…
This was the case for all of the AAA games, it really irked me and Dan as it really means to get the most out of the weekend you would be expected to queue for so long at least once or twice. It was even more annoying that towards the end of the day the queues were shut down early. For example me and Dan made our way over to one of the bigger stands (not naming names), with over an hour left of the day and they were not letting anyone else in because they had no spots. Except when we looked over the stand, there were stations with staff sat there twiddling thumbs. Queues on other stands had also dwindled long before the day was at an end and none were allowing anyone in.
Now I have experience of events wanting to shut up shop on time, so I can understand stopping people from queuing who have no chance of getting in to actually play, but shutting up shop at half four and then appearing to have little to no one actually playing for a good remainder of the day is a tad stupid in my opinion.
Another interesting thing, was that two of the open stands with unreleased games and no noticeable no photography signage asked me to remove pictures I had taken. This was on The Division stand and the Star Wars Battlefront stands. It was certainly a bit weird considering the content on display was stuff that had been shown in numerous trailers in previous months.
(You can see two of the pictures below)
Replay events had a nice area full of classic games consoles with a wide variety of games. They had a few areas set up for different game series and console generations. This became the stage where Dan tried to reclaim some glory when we set out to play Street Fighter on the SNES, though once again, my cheese fighting skills were on point winning all but one fight, where upon Dan claimed his lost pride and ended the game.
Asus were on point with TinyTomLogan of OC3D who was showcasing the PC they are giving away in an awesome Lian-Li case. They had a number of Twitch streamers on stand all day playing numerous games themselves as well as a number of laptops set up so you could stick your head in with a bit of Rocket League.
Razer were there with the touring RazerBus and had a number of battle stations set up so you could play to your hearts content. Syndicate was on hand doing what Syndicate does.
Sony were on hand showcasing the 20 years of the PlayStation with original PS1 through PS3 cabinets for that awesome retro feel. They also had a competition on for the best lap times in Ridge Racer, which I would have loved to have attempted, but decided against.
They also came with ready with another stand of Star Wars Battlefront, the Uncharted HD Collection and the n+1 Street Fighter entry. To showcase Mad Max they had a real life Magnum Opus on display for you to take a picture with.
Square-Enix had a huge area for Just Cause 3 with dozens of machines set up for you to work through the demo on display. Simalarly to the other games like Assassins Creed the queues were in the hours to get on to play, despite the large number of machines.
Myself and Dan decided against waiting in line and managed to catch a closed tent preview of Deus Ex Mankind Divded. The demo showcased a lot of the new features being developed including a true passive mode. It means no more scripted kills for bosses as you take the chance to charm your way with words.
Sony, HTC and various stands with Oculus kits were showcasing the VR side of things. A number of Indie Devs were showcasing titles that make use of the Oculus VR Kit. Whilst HTC had private sessions for those lucky enough to register in time. Sony had a more open area but only had two kits out for testing. Whilst I didn’t play with the proprietary VR kits from HTC or Sony, my friends that were able to get in were very positive about the experience.
One of the biggest stages was for the return of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, with the whole stage for Guitar Hero Live designed to look like an amp. It was quite an impressive set up and looked immense when up close. There was a smaller stage in another area where groups of people were playing Rock Band 4. Me and Dan were drawn there later in the day as a group of people were playing Tribute by Tenacious D which meant that anyone near had to sing along.
I’m forgetting a lot of the event now as I’ve drank since then, but one of my highlights was playing a spiritual successor to F-Zero GX. Fast Racing NEO as it is aptly titled is about as near as you will get to a HD version of F-Zero without Nintendo doing it. It was a very fun game to play in two player even though I was soundly beaten by Dan.
There were some brilliant cosplays at the event as well, including a stunning Alien Queen, and numerous Predators wandering around. The attention to detail was simply brilliant.
At the end of the event it helped me see why some people will make a weekend out of going to one of these events, the majority of things going on doesn’t change over the course of the event which allows you to get into the queues for the major games early and then have time to look at all the smaller things going on. Or in my case acquire 8 energy drinks over the course of the day and have a crazily heavy backpack to carry.