2014 Play Expo

This weekend (the 11th of October) myself and Adam went up to Manchester for the Play Expo (http://www.playexpo.net/).

We found ourselves in for a fairly long drive and as such we decided to take the scenic route, we’re both fairly chatty so we always fine some strange subject to talk about. The subject of this journey was whether or not we could make Halo prop weapons that used Arduino boards to power the sound effects and ammo counters, pretty interesting stuff and possibly the topic of a new video.

Anyway when we arrived at Event City in Manchester we were confronted by a queue the likes of which neither of us had seen. It snaked all the way round the building to the other side and the other entrance for the other event space. We decided a walk around the huge in door shopping center would be worth it to try and shake some of the queue.

The shopping center was absolutely huge and made us feel like the part of the country we come from is some sort of back water place as we have nothing as big as this! The whole place is designed after a strange 1800s Greco-Roman revival thing (I have no idea if that is the right term!). It was incredible and had literally every store you could want and plenty we didn’t! Though strangely after walking round for nearly half an hour we hadn’t found anything to eat and for me and Adam this is a vital step in any journey!

We finally stumbled into the food court area after having to consult a map at the information center! Though we were soon mislead form the food by the sight of a Namco Arcade! We found ourselves spending the next hour in the arcade playing ticket games including some weird space shooter, a monkey grabbing game and 10p slots. In the end we scored 200 tickets! Oh Yeah! Though this apparently would buy us a hand full of sweets and a bouncy ball so we kindly donated them to some needy children.

After fueling up we headed into the event which now had no queue at all. We were absolutely amazed straight away by the size of the place and the amount of stuff (and people) in it. The transformers Bumble bee and Barricade cars lined our entranced along with the Delorien from Back to the future. The first area of the space was simply packed with PS4s running many demo titles including Octodad, Minecraft and Driveclub, but there was also the new MXGP game which is due out soon, so i took much enjoyment in playing that!

We then ventured further in and found a mass of Greenlight and Kickstarter games available to try. This took most of our time as we are avid Indie Developer fans. Thee was some great game including TerraTech, Raging Justice, Mutiny, Beyond Flesh and Blood and Finally an amazing game called Iron Fisticles that me and Adam manged to come in the top 6 for and win some free games Yay!!

After that we moved on to the see the League of Legends stand which sadly wasn’t being played as there was many internet issues which didn’t surprise us given the amount of stuff going on. Then there was absolute shed load sof PCs running all manor of tournament style games.Next was an area for Board games and Card games, here i found myself mesmerized by a Japanese game called Weiss and Schwarz which I’m going to be looking into o help with my Japanese reading skills.

At the back of the venue was a huge Retro section including Pinball machines and Arcade Cabinets. There was also RetorCollect who had brought tons of old school games and machines! It was a retro gamers paradise. After much fun here we moved on to look at the many traders.

There were plenty of stalls sells video games bits, along with other memorabilia and anime, manga and other Japanese culture bits. We didn’t really make it round to everything and definitely missed all the talks that were going on through out as we just didn’t have time, we really needed the second day!

Though all in all it was a great day with some much to see and do, so many great cosplayers and brilliants stalls. We also managed to meet up with our new friends from TheGebs24 YouTube channel and had some fun with them. So great time and can’t wait for the next one!!

Cheers,
Ollie

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