Saturday, 29 September 2012

My Day at the Eurogamer Expo

So today I went along to the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court, London. Whilst I've been to several other cons plenty of times before, this was my first ever time at Eurogamer! Join me as I give a run-down of what I got up to during the day.

8.40am, my train arrives at Earls Court station. I promptly go and join fellow Tweeter and blogger James Hare (aka RealityGlitch) in the line, and queue until the early entry and press lot are allowed in at 10am. In the line we witnessed plenty of people go crazy over freebies, and I picked up plenty of Streetpass hits. Then finally, 10am rolled around, and the doors opened...
Cheesy grin :s (photo taken by James Hare).

Inside:

Myself and James headed straight to the Tomb Raider section. It's one of my most anticipated games right now, and I wanted to avoid the queues this early on. You'll read my "hands on" impressions of this in a separate post soon, but in short, Tomb Raider's demo felt fluid, it was fun, and pretty refreshing to see Lara actually struggle for once. 

After this, we headed on to the Wii U section, where we were shown the "Panorama Mode" on the Wii U tablet. Choosing a Japanese scene, this mode placed you in the setting. Moving the Wii U tablet 360 degrees, up and down allows you to explore the scenery. In this case, I was able to walk through a busy Japanese street, traverse through cherry blossom trees, and take a ride in a cart with a Geisha. I was actually rather impressed with how clear the screen and footage looked, and I can imagine this is a fun little time waster when you first get hold of your Wii U console.
James Hare playing the Panorama Viewer on the Wii U Tablet

Also in the Wii U section, we tried out three mini-games in Nintendo Land; Donkey Kong's Crash Course, Luigi's Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day. I loved playing these, especially the Animal Crossing game! Children are definitely going to love these fun and easy to understand games, and they make great party games. (My full reviews of these will be in a separate post). Sadly I never got to try out Zombi U, due to the ridiculous average queuing time of 3 hours. Unfortunately it seemed that a lot of games had similar waiting times, and yet this was ten minutes in to the early opening!

After spending near enough fifty minutes inside the Wii U section, we headed off for a look around the place. The venue was huge, and there was plenty of games of all different genres and systems! Also, I was surprised to see that the merchandise section was so small, after being used to the abundance of stalls in cons such as the London MCM Expo, but ah well, I was here for one thing today-the gaming. It didn't stop me buying this though!:

Today made me realise how much people love a freebie. A good freebie at that, too. For instance, Insert Coin Clothing handed out a bunch of free t-shirts, keyrings, stickers, promo codes and a hoodie, and honestly, it was like being in the middle of a mosh pit at a metal gig when items were thrown. I happened to catch the end of one shirt, before being practically jumped on by a hoard of guys desperate for their chance of owning a free t-shirt, worth £35. Alas, I didn't grab the shirt, but I didn't have a chance...I'm surprised it even stayed in one piece after all the tugging!

After playing some great little co-op mini games with a bunch of people in the Wii U section, we headed to Borderlands 2. I was a huge fan of Borderlands, near enough completing every achievement, and seeing as I have not bought the sequel yet, I was looking forward to giving this a go. As I expected, Borderlands 2 hasn't changed much from it's predecessor  but then personally I thought this was fine, as I never had many qualms with the original. (Again, my hands on review will be in a separate post!).
Photo taken by James Hare...check out my concentration face, yo.

I then tried out Dance Central 3, playing a Nicki Minaj track (no, I'm not a Minaj fan, but then it was fun nonetheless). It's more of the same, but I love the previous two. I've often mentioned that it is a great way to get in shape, and it looks like DC3 will add even more energetic dance routines, as well as a  more varied playlist. My hands on review will come up soon!

The indie game section had some interesting looking titles, but unfortunately a few of them seemed a little disappointing. I tried out The Button Affair, a endless running game that sees you avoiding obstacles such as lasers, trapdoors and gun-wielding enemies. Sadly it all got a bit samey too quickly, and the graphics weren't really that impressive either.


After a lot of walking around, we tried out Carmageddon Funsize, an iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad version of Carmageddon, remastered for the handheld generation. It looks like it'll be a lot of fun, but in all honesty I found the controls a little too clunky, and ended up getting a bit frustrated. Perhaps I was just rubbish at the game, but I'm sorry, I just didn't find it that enjoyable. 

The final game myself and James tried out today was The Cave, which is due for a release on XBLA, PSN and Wii U. An adventure game with a puzzling twist, this co-op game was a lot of fun. I also bagged a free tiny figure at the end of the characters I chose to play:

Hands On coming in a separate post!

So all in all, my day at the Eurogamer Expo was great. Yes, there was a lot of queuing, but there were so many impressive games on offer, plus it was nice meeting some Twitter people. I'm looking forward to the next one! 

Now, check out a few more photos:
Photo taken by James Hare. Me with Sonic!

A panorama I took of the show floor. Please click here to see the bigger version.

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