We are going to forget how a dodgy pint of lager curtailed my trip (I have only myself to blame) and crack on with attempting to answer the essential question – can a gaming dinosaur truly enjoy EGX? Give me a PS1 and FFVII and you have got a 10/10 rating from me.
Therefore, if you are like me you are probably wondering if or not a gaming conference (warts and all) is well worth going to. My trip was the brainchild of my beautiful girlfriend who on wanting to bump up my birthday present (March if you are wondering) Googled”retro gaming event”. Google being Google proceeded to load up the biggest gaming event of the year only because it had a”Retro Gaming Keyboards”. I fought my natural instincts to flee and consented to this union.
Six months down the line and our intimate trip to Birmingham was upon us. For people who have not been there believe me when I say it’s rather a wonderful city to go to and has more restaurants than you can shake a selfie stick at. Anyhow, I digress. After a relatively painless train travel we arrived at Birmingham International. The NEC is rather conveniently connected to the station. What’s rather unhandy is that the cross Birmingham increase through the channel for it (I kid of course), but we came nevertheless.
“It will damage your eyes ” She was able to say,”You will need glasses when you are old!” She is right but I would never remind her of it. I pondered the alternative, office-type squint-inducing fluorescent light and reasoned the organisers knew best.
Right by the entrance are the indie games that I had to applaud. Tell a gamer that the new COD or FF is lurking around somewhere and they will search it out, 2 hour queue and all, however they are somewhat more reluctant to find those indie gems. The quality of the indie games on display was quite phenomenal and it is going to also reassuring to see that the retro gaming vibe remains powerful (watch out for features on Conga Master and Modsork shortly ). It’s definitely given me something to aim for with my current job. Given it was a Saturday afternoon there was still ample room to move around and talk to the programmers whilst using a gander at their wares. Indie-only events are most likely still a better bet for hunting them out but seeing as this was a small part of a enormous pie you can not complain.
A ginormous banner for Final Fantasy XV attracted me hurtling back to reality. We were in it today. I barely felt a thing. I could attribute Sony but then I would have to dismiss my love for the PS1 and PS2. But I’ll decide to blame the part inside of me that refuses to commit to a video game and my perform these games need that (FIFA17 apart). And I am not sure I enjoy it. Give me three buttons and a spiky blue hedgehog and I am happy.
Which brings me nicely to the hallowed Retro Gaming Corner, a great deal bigger than I had imagined (a nice surprise). That is a slight exaggeration but my were there a lot of these and all with cathode ray tubes to boot. Perhaps it was the heat from all of the CRTs, perhaps it was the beginning of some sort of bug but I couldn’t stop sweating. But throughout the sweat my eyes can make out the many kinds of stated blue hedgehog, manic miners, an under-fire from plenty of barrels plumber and all was well. What delighted me were the swarms of younger generation folk enjoying these jewels. In a world in which you’ve over six buttons to master, the two/three button universe has to be a doddle. The games were also divided by genre – the light gun games in 1 area (still far superior than anything Kinect as to provide IMO), the”newer” rhythm matches in a different, platformers, shooters etc.. . There was something for everybody. Would I like to have seen more of a fuss made from the retro gaming corner? Perhaps with a little more interaction? Of course I would, but EGX is not about retro gaming, it is about previewing new things and being a step ahead of the game.
The all-day ticket is rather pricey (about #20) but the afternoon session from 2pm – 7pm was about half that. Only in case you’ve got a little interest in current gen gaming as particular retro gaming events offer a whole lot more for less cash. I would also take a couple of days off work and go on a Thursday to overcome those pesky queues. And steer clear of this beer.