GAMEfest Day 2 Report

GAMEfest – NEC, Birmingham, UK – Day 2, 17 Sep 11

I arrived at Day 2 of GAMEfest to a pleasant surprise; they had opened the event early due to the large amount of people arriving early to queue.  Which mean that those keen enough to get to the NEC were given an extra hour on their tickets.  Obviously, most fans rushed towards their favourite games and the gaming/queuing combo began.

I’ve heard a few complaints about the queuing (I’ve heard more praise about the event than complaints, but I’d like to address the queuing) and I think people have to remember that a lot of it is down to the individual companies and their stands.  Game allocated space to each publisher and get people in through the door, which they did admirably.  I mean, yes by all means register your complaint about how long you had to queue for, but remember that Game are not responsible for how many Arkham Asylum units were on show for demo purposes.  I think the popularity of the event caught everyone off guard, which means that next year it can only get bigger.  And don’t forget that £10 for a ticket is a steal!  You’ll queue for a damn sight longer at a theme park and you’ll pay four times the price for the privilege.  I agree that queues are annoying, I hate queuing as I’m generally an impatient guy.  But I really wanted to play Battlefield 3 on Saturday morning, so I sucked it up and stood in line.  You didn’t have to go for the big games, I mean, you know you’re going to buy them anyway right?  There were loads of games with hardly any queues because most of the attendees were queuing for the blockbuster games.

The Nintendo stand on Saturday was busy, and had it’s share of chaos, but you could be on a 3ds system very quickly if you stood near to one.  I had another go on Driver Renegade and Super Pokémon Rumble.  Unfortunately neither of them grabbed me.  I loved the comic style cut sequences in Driver Renegade, but the game itself looked terrible.  Some of the missions available were amusing and I liked the way the game handled, but the graphics just put me off.  I suspect with the game already released, that it is a pretty closed-to-complete demo rather than a work in progress.  I was hoping that it would be the new GTA Chinatown Wars as that’s one of my favourite hand-held games, but it’s not by far.  I’ve also read reports that the game itself is pretty short, but that’ll be commented on in our full review.

Super Pokémon Rumble wasn’t for me either.  I guess if you’re a Pokémon fan you’ll probably be all over this, but I found that even the demo at the event was repetitive.  I guess if you get in to it, the levelling up system will be what drives you on and I suspect that if I started the game, I would be constantly at it, but after two good plays on the demo at GAMEfest I don’t think I’ll be picking this up.  I did see several young children getting very excited about it, and it was good to see they loved the 3D features.

The Nintendo Unleashed team began giving out Zelda key rings and Ocarina’s in the afternoon.  Did you get hold of one?  A photo of the prizes can be seen below.  They are offering the same promotion at Eurogamer.  So come along in costume on the Sat or Sun between 14:00 and 15:00 to get your prizes!

I also had a quick blast on Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure.  While it’s obviously aimed at a young audience, I found the concept interesting and I’ll be pleased if it does well.  For those of you unaware of the game, the initial boxed set provides you with the game, three character figures and a portal of power.  Each figure becomes your character and as you place it on the portal of power, it becomes a memory card, saving your characters development.  You can swap characters, but additional figures and then take them to your friends house and play co-op and versus matches.  I’ve already picked my character, Stealth Elf for the win!

From @GameDigital the figures through the door were estimate at “6K on Friday, 12K on Saturday and around 12K on Sunday”.  With both Saturday and Sunday selling out I think it’s almost guaranteed we will see a bigger show next year.  Already publishers that weren’t there are showing interest in the next one and the publishers that were there will know what to expect.

I really enjoyed myself.  Yes I had to queue a fair bit, but I got to play on lots of great games, meet some awesome people, Streetpass a lot and got loads of free stuff.

My game of the show was still Capcom’s Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City, and their GAMEfest Street Fighter IV t-shirt was my best freebie.

Roll on GAMEfest 2012!

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