Sunday, 28 October 2012

Play Expo 2012

Better late then never, I was meant to post this nearly a couple of weeks back now but unfortunately life got in the way. Here it is at last, my thoughts on Play Expo 2012.


I had to set off very early on Saturday morning to arrive at the venue on time for it to open and I managed to arrive fifteen minutes after opening to find a very big queue outside which was due to technical issues on the inside. Due to this the event was delayed by thirty minutes and originally the organisers were going to open for thirty minutes longer but in fact opened for an extra two hours, top marks for that.

I was volunteering on the Saturday so managed to get in to see what I was supposed to be doing and it turned out that I was on the afternoon/evening shift which meant that I got the morning to myself to freely wander round and try things. After taking in the rather large array of hardware the first thing I did was pop over to Console Passion and pick up a complete SNES game in the form of WWF Royal Rumble, a game that is now nineteen years old and if memory serves me right not actually that good a game but one I've wanted for years none the less.

After that it was time to head over to play on one of my holy grails of gaming... the Crazy Taxi arcade machine. It was free play and I certainly made the most of that free play as I had some goes over the two days of the event. After a couple of plays on the arcade I headed over to the WiiU section which was starting to open. I managed to stand second in line on the none ZombieU side (that was in a separate section for over 18's) and waited and waited until finally giving up due to some of the machines breaking.

By this point the doors had opened and the place was starting to fill so I decided to take a wander round the retro section seeing what machines had been set up and what games were being played on them. Playing on machines that I hadn't played on before like the Vectrex and games that I had never played before like Judge Dredd on the SNES and Hulk on the Saturn.

I then briefly had a look around the developer section without playing anything due to queues before starting my volunteer shift on the modern section. Once that was finished and the crowds were winding down I headed back to the developer section to try out games like Darkstalkers Resurrection and the new Devil May Cry which was fun enough in the small amount that I played. I had a look at the new Metal Gear Solid game and it looked interesting. If you played the twenty minute demo you received a poster, due to it being so late I cheekily asked if I could get a poster and the member of staff was kind enough to give me one. I also picked up a Darkstalkers poster to go alongside it which was good.

Alongside all of this I met a few people from the Retro Gamer forum including markopoloman and friends who I shared a room with and Darran, the Editor of the Retro Gamer magazine. I also met a couple of member who are fellow bloggers, jdanddiet who writes Jdandiet's Gaming and Move Blog and also TwoHeadedBoy who writes TwoHeaded Thingies and who also gave me a Ghostbusters two from the box of goodies that he had.


I was volunteering again on Sunday morning and this time I was assigned to the retro section which was more to my liking. Due to a late night in Manchester Sunday started with a mad dash to the venue to prepare but luckily we made it in time.

For the first couple of hours I was wandering round the retro section making sure that people were getting on OK and enjoying themselves and chatting with various retro gamers. After that I was on the information desk next to the entrance and which was also next to the Cos-play section. It was interesting seeing the people in the Cos-play section and the dedication that they put into their costumes. Whilst not something that I would myself I do admire the people who do partake in Cos-play, especially when the costume looks like this.

Once I'd finished on the info desk I played some more retro and met some more people, both from the RG forum and people at the event. I headed over to the WiiU stand again and this time I managed to get in and try out the hardware and what hardware it was, even with the consoles still being developer kits. I'm not going to go too much into it as I'm going to write a separate post but what I will say is that after playing Rayman Legends, Mario Bros. and NintendoLand is that I will definitely be buying one at some point.

I also played on some 3DS games which included Kid Icarus, the new Professor Layton game (well I watched part of the opening story before moving on) and the upcoming Paper Mario: Sticker Star which was an absolute joy to play. The graphics loved lovely and the game play of what I played was superb with the stickers being used for fighting and for using as part of the environment, There was also a game hub that resembled the one from Mario Bros. 3 which was great.

After this I played some more Darkstalkers and the latest Pro Evolution which was a bit meh and also on the first Metal Gear on the NES. A guy next to me was playing Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation and just as he died someone walked past and shouted Snake, Snake, Snaaaaaaaaake which made me laugh, unfortunately the guy playing didn't really see the funny side.

Sadly I had to leave a little early to head home so unfortunately ended up missing the staff competition on Chompy Chomp Chomp but from what I did see it looked like a fun game and people seemed to be enjoying playing it.

Over the two days there were some minor quibbles (like food prices and the attitude of younger gamers) but overall I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, played some great games and met some absolutely wonderful people and really enjoyed being there, which is what gaming is all about.

More photos can be found on the Game Over Yeah Facebook page.


  1. Cracking weekend overall, nice write-up too - I missed the Chompy thingy too. Didn't even play that game AT ALL, come to think of it!

  2. Was a excellent weekend and really cool to finally meet people from the forum, really enjoyed myself.

  3. Nice mate, was a top few days (bit more than a weekend for me!), good to meet you - jd