Monday, 26 September 2011

Eurogamer Expo 2011 in London Thoughts

Last year I went to the Eurogamer Expo and was so excited as it was the first time I had the chance to play the big upcoming games before they had been released, it was a great day and you can see my thoughts on it on the blog entry I did at a year ago which can be seen here.

Journey There

London is only an hour and a bit away by car journey, something I always tend to forget. I spent my time in the car playing on Fable Coin Golf trying to get all the Gold medals and finish off the game. I managed to get all but 3 which I was quite happy with. We managed to park on some red lines (which you're able to do on a Sunday for free) and a few minutes walk and we was there. 15 minute queue and we were in.

Wandering Around

First thing you do when you get to a place like this is walk around finding out where everything is, checking out the queue sizes for the games. First booth we got to which had an available seat was for the new Ace Combat game. The flight genre is probably one of my least favourites but I looked forward to sitting down so gave the game a go. I wasted 5 minutes of my life trying to shoot down an enemey, I must have fired 50 missiles and thousands of bullets yet the bugger didn't go down. My brother or Dad didn't have much luck either but at least my Dad enjoyed it.

Just Dance 3

After getting off of the Ace Combat game we managed to stumble accross Just Dance 3 which I was quite interested in. The kid playing at the time seemed half decent which gave me a good chance to see what the game is actually like. Now I didn't seem to impressed. Now if you know me you know how I rant and rave about how good Dance Central is, Harmonix are great at making games so they set the bar high. This Just Dance just didn't seem to match. I failed to see any way of the game letting the performer see where they was going wrong. On Dance Central the characters body glows red to let you know what part of your body is slacking in the dance move, I didn't see anything like that in Just Dance. Instead the game was playing around with lights, making it like a rave scene. You can kind of see what I mean from the top picture I took although it was taken from a distance(as to not disturb the gamers). I did like that it shows you the lyrics in the bottom left corner, gives you a chance to learn the words to a song which is neat.

I decided to take 2 photos for this game as when I was coming around later on in the day I saw how 2 ladies had now started performing in these little booths. Needless to say a photo needed to be taken haha. Ultimately I'm sure this game will be decent and fun but Dance Central 2 does seem to be far superior. I'm not creating a section for DC2 so I'll say briefly here what I saw. It looked like the same formula we have already seen with a few changes. I noticed that you now get like gold moves, I assume that getting perfects on them will gives you more points, probably because it's an important move to nail. Either way I have already researched Dance Central 2 from online videos and know it's going to be great, didn't need to see it much at expo.


Joe Danger The Movie
Towards the back of the show floor you could find the indie and XBLA games. First one I had a go on was Joe Danger The Movie. I think I may have briefly heard about this game but didn't know what it was about. Basically it's a 2D sidescroller where you're in a type of contraption which you need to perform tricks on in order to shoot a movie. You can jump, do flips, combo moves with the bumper buttons all in order to string together really high scores. They had 5 different levels available to play and I had a go on most of them. One time I was skiing jumping over slopes whilst another level had me acting as a policeman on a motorbike doing wheelies. They had a developer there who spoke to me a bit who told me it would be at the £9.99 price point (the original was a PSN exclusive I believe) which works out at 1200 points. It seems like good fun but I reckon the novelty will wear off quite quick, make it 800 points please and it's a worthy purchase.

There were 4 consoles set up for this game with each console squaring off against another one. Me my brother and Dad went on one as we got ready for the 3V3 battle that the game was advertising. There is nothing special to see here, just a standard game which I know I'd enjoy playing for gamerscore if it was at the 400 point mark. You spawn as one of 5 characters and have to take down the oppositions towers whilst you defend yours in the 2D sidescroller. My dad wasn't keen and put down the pad in a couple of minutes (probably because he didn't know what he was doing) so I didn't stay on it long.

Rayman Origins

I was sure to give this one a try as I know when it was announced my brother was hyped about it, having 2 player co-op play meant me and him stayed on and had a play on all 3 levels they had to offer, Cave, Jungle and Desert. There's no need to go in to gameplay details here as it's what you'd expect to see. Challenges and puzzles as Rayman and Globox have to get from screen to screen. It was definitely good fun and caused me to use my brain a few times to figure out how to get through certain obstacles. I can't remember if this is an arcade game or full retail (I know it swapped from one to another) but needless to say it's going to be great.

Free Stuff and Turtle Beach

Now is a good time to mention what we left the expo with. At one point a lady working at the event had a bunch of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 posters to hand out, she didn't have too many but I thankfully managed to get one off her before they went. I then had kids asking me throughout the day where I got it from, I was lucky. Still haven't put it up in my room yet but it will go somewhere, just need to think a bit more. My dad one something much better though. The guys at Alien were giving out scratch cards and my dad happened to win on one of them. Whether or not there are plenty of winners or not I don't know but eitherway after filling out a form and signing up to the competition on the computers he was able to walk away with an Alien keyboard. The guys were claiming it's worth £100 however Google told my dad it's actually about £40. Still, for 10 minutes of your time it's definitely worth it.

The purchases come in the form of pairs of turtle beach. I've always been slightly interested in them but never enough to fork out the cash for a pair. Just so happened that the guys had a stand at the expo and I decided to go take a look. They had about 12 pairs on sale ranging from £20 to £120 but the one that caught my eye was the one on offer, the DPX21 for just £65. I didn't have much knowledge in the value of this product until I started checking the Internet on my phone and seeing it be sold for over £100 on the Internet. Knowing I was getting a bargain I finally decided to go for it and so did my brother. Since being back I have set it up and they are fantastic. I've been watching Prison Break late at night so it was a perfect opportunity to test them out and I'm really impressed. Need to fiddle with the settings still as there's a lot and it's complicated however I have no regrets thankfully, worth £65.

All The Rest

There were a lot of games, most of them I didn't play and those that I did were only for 5 minutes max really. For the rest of the blog I'm just going to write a paragraph on the games.

SSX: - This was the most exciting part for me, checking out an SSX game. It was the only booth where the developer would boot you off after you've rode to the bottom of the slope. I meant to come back to give it another go later on in the day but never managed to. Eitherway I had mixed opinions. I liked it as it was a snowboarding game and I know I'm going to enjoy playing it however it seemed too damn easy. I didn't fall over at all, in fact nobody I saw playing did as it's not possible to. It seems that no matter how many flips or spins you do you're rider manages to stay on his feet somehow and roll away. I don't like that as there doesn't seem to be much challenge! I hope they address this but we shall see, game modes haven't been announced yet but fingers crossed as this is a big one I'm looking forward to.

Lord of the Rings War in the North: - I managed to sneak my brother in to the 18+ section with me to give this a go. We were thrown in to a story mission in co-operative play, I was a dwarf and he was an elf. Obviously I went for hand to hand combat and he stayed back with arrows. At first it seems great, classic hack and slash gameplay with a LOTR feel to it however I started to realise that once a few enemies gang up you become defenseless. I'm used to being able to take on as many enemies as there are when you're surrounded by them, looks like that may not be case here as I'd get 20 hits on me before I can even do anything, 5-10 seconds of this every 30 seconds really does start to bum you out. I wont let this put me off eventually playing the game but it is food for thought.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier: - LAN battles were going on with 6v6 battles. Me and my brother both got on next to eachother on the same team and I'm ashamed to say he ended up getting a better kill death ratio. I started off good with 2 kills in a row and then proceeded to get 5 deaths and no more kills in the 5 minute game. I'm not quite sure what the game mode was as I presumed it was Deathmatch but there did seem to be some objectives to do. Anyway, gameplay wise it's really good and I can tell this game is going to be loved. I found it hard to be accurate when shooting but I presume this is because it's third person perspective, I'm used to Call of Duty at moment so that explains why I didn't do well. I never figured out how to do anything like turning invisible or playing around with futuristic weapons which is a shame but oh well.

Saints Row The Third: - Man I was much more impressed with this than I thought I would have been. I'm not really in to sandbox games, it's because I like to keep things linear as I otherwise feel like I am missing out on doing something which results in missed achievements (which really bugs me). But yeah, starting the game off going in to a club with your team and gunning people down was so much fun. The way the enemies fell is what made all the difference. Think about it, when you kill somebody in a shooting game you're used to the usual body falls to the floor sequence. Well when playing this game I noticed much more animation on the death of an enemy. It's only little things like firing bullets towards the roof as they fall down but it gives a great impression. I am actually going to download the demo for the game when it comes out just to see if I feel the same way again or if I'm just slightly biased towards wanting to enjoy it as I was at the expo.

And that's all I can be bothered to say really as any other game I didn't play properly or only watched being played, this includes the two big guns Call of Duty and Battlefield 3. I wasn't going to bother queuing up to play these games so I just watched from a difference. The Spec Ops Survival mode looked good in Modern Warfare 3, similar to that of Horde from Gears of War which I think is great so I approve of it being implemented in to Call of Duty. There was UFC games, Ridge Racer, the MMORPG that is Star Wars (which had massive attention from people, big queue) Batman, Skyrim and plenty more but it just can't all be seen properly in the 5 hours I was there. Oh and Rage, that looks to be quite brutal for a 15 which surprised me. They had like 20 consoles set up for that game which is quite a lot and I was surprised.

The End

As we left woman were handing out free packets of doritos which was nice, I got 2 packets as I must be special haha. On the way home we saw a fire starting off in a skip which was pretty cool to witness as the fire truck came and started dealing with it. It wasn't too serious but was enough to get me to stop playing Fable Coin Golf to switch to camera mode and take a picture. Afterwards it took me another 45 mins to get Gold medals on those 3 levels and the 200G and game completion was mine. It was a good day and I would go again next year. I would much rather go with friends though as my dad only plays chess over the Internet and even my brother isn't too in to games anymore. So yeah, anybody wants to meet up next year so we can go in a group I would be more than willing. It's a year away though so no planning now, Jason over and out!