We’ll ignore the fact that a dodgy pint of lager curtailed my trip (I’ve only myself guilty) and crack lets start work on trying to answer the important thing question – can a gaming dinosaur truly enjoy EGX? Many of our retro gaming buds are fully clued with current/next gen gaming for the purpose I salute them. Anyone who knows me can tell 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 may be wondering whether a gaming convention (warts and) may be worth going to. My trip was the brainchild of my lovely girlfriend who on attempting to bump up my gift (March should you be wondering) Googled “retro gaming event”. Google being Google proceeded to group the biggest gaming event of the season purely as it had a “Retro Gaming Corner”. I fought my natural instincts to emerge from and opted for this union.
Six months in the future and our romantic vacation to Birmingham was for us. For those who have not been there let’s face it when I say it is quite a nice city to see and has more restaurants than you are able to shake a selfie stick at. Anyway, I digress. Excitement meant a 5am start was had, hardly ideal as soon as your train only leaves at 10am. After a relatively painless train journey we reached Birmingham International. The NEC is quite handily linked to the station. What is pretty unhandy may be the cross Birmingham hike from the station to arrive at it (I kid obviously), but we arrived nevertheless.
The right off the bat that struck me was how dark that it was. My mother always said off for online video video games in the dark the truth is. “It’ll damage the eye area son!” she utilized to say, “You’ll need glasses when you find yourself old!” She’s right but I’d never remind her from it. I pondered another, office-type squint-inducing fluorescent lighting and concluded the organisers knew best.
Right from the entrance are definitely the indie games which I was required to applaud. Tell a gamer the modern COD or FF is lurking around somewhere and they’re going to hunt against eachother, two hour queue and all 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 as well as also reassuring to see which the retro gaming vibe remains strong (look out for features on Conga Master and Modsork soon). It’s certainly given me something to target with my current project. Given it absolutely was a Saturday afternoon there seemed to be still ample room to move about and talk with the developers whilst using a gander at their wares. Indie-only events are usually still a greater bet for seeking them out but seeing that this became a small percentage of a massive pie you may’t complain.
A ginormous banner for Final Fantasy XV brought me hurtling time for reality. We were inside it now. The queues were long (apparently much shorter on the Thursday or Friday if your kids are in school) but I did can get a glimpse of said new COD, new Gears of War and in addition new FIFA and also you know what? I hardly felt one thing. I don’t know who the culprit for my complete absence of attachment to current gen gaming. I could blame Sony then again I’d ought to ignore my adoration for the PS1 and PS2. I could blame Microsoft whilst also ignoring the 360 sat around my bedroom. But I’ll choose the culprit the part in 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 (itrrrs this that you wanted Nintendo!) and I’m uncertain I like it. Give me three buttons and also a spiky blue hedgehog and I’m happy.
Which brings me nicely towards 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 all sorts of with cathode ray tubes as well. Maybe it had been the heat from all of the CRTs, maybe it turned out the start some kind of bug but I literally couldn’t stop sweating. But throughout the sweat my eyes can make out the various forms of said blue hedgehog, manic miners, an under-fire from a lot of 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 over six buttons to get down, the two/three button world have to be a doddle. The games were also split by genre – light gun games in a area (still far better than anything Kinect about offer IMO), the “newer” rhythm games in another, platformers, shooters etc… There was actually something for everybody. Would I like to have observed more of a fuss made from the retro gaming corner? Perhaps with a tad bit more interaction? Of course I would, but EGX isn’t about retro gaming, really want previewing new stuff and like a step ahead from the game.
The all-day ticket is very pricey (about £20) however the afternoon session from 2pm – 7pm was around half that. Would I recommend it with an avid gamer? Only if there is a bit of an interest in current gen gaming as specific retro gaming events provide lots more at a lower price. I’d also go on a few days off work and go using a Thursday to overpower those pesky queues. And steer clear in the beer.