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EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.

 

 

EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.

 

 

The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.

 

 

There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.

 

Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.

 

 

The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.

 

There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.

 

 

A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.

 

But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.

 

Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.

 

 

All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.

 

And with that…

Isnotavampire.

 

 


September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a “limited edition product”, even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES’s successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to “Super NES” or just “SNES”.

 

Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

 


Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK (click to enlarge).

 

Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It’s not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don’t have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

 


The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

 

But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini’s 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console’s favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region’s consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

 

Games available from the start:

 

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • SECRET of MANA
  • Star Fox
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!

 

While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

 

The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; European Retail Price is to be confirmed.


June 26th, 2017 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo | 1 Comment »

Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX

The official logo for the Pokémon franchise internationally
The official logo for the Pokémon franchise internationally

As is customary for Nintendo, overnight fans of Pokémon were surprised by the sudden announcement of a Pokémon Direct scheduled for 3pm British time today, with the promise of news of “future entries in the franchise”. Lasting just 8 minutes, the Pokémon Direct was a short and sweet affair, making three major announcements without going into detail about any of them – but here’s a summary of what we DID see.

 

Pokkén Tournament DX

 

As many people likely expected, Nintendo is bringing a Pokémon game to the Switch, although it’s not a main series RPG as many had hoped. Following in the footsteps of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another of the most popular games on the Wii U, Pokkén Tournament, is coming to the Switch in an upgraded form. Pokkén Tournament DX will be bringing the popular Tekken-inspired Pokémon beat-em-up to the Switch on September 22, 2017, augmenting the original 14-Pokémon cast (and two additional alternative forms) with additional characters such as Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk, and Decidueye. Three-on-three team battles are also being introduced to the DX release, alongside online ranked matches and friend-only group fights.

 

Gold and Silver on Virtual Console

 

On the same day, Nintendo will also be re-releasing the second generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, to the 3DS Virtual Console. The last Pokémon games before the modern GBA and DS era, Gold and Silver allowed players to traverse both Kanto and Johto on their hunt to catch all 251 Pokémon across both regions and beat the 16 gyms. Famously remade for the DS as HeartGold and SoulSilver with many enhancements, the original games will now be re-introduced to the modern generation as eShop exclusives on September 22, 2017; and like the Red, Blue and Yellow Virtual Console releases, will also support Pokémon Bank, allowing you to import your Pokémon into Sun and Moon to bring them to the latest Generation. Check out the announcement trailer below:

 

 

Unlike the original games, there is no word yet as to whether transfers between the Red/Blue/Yellow VC releases and that of Gold and Silver will be possible – but we wouldn’t put it past Nintendo to have thought of this too, so watch this space for updates.

 

Ultra Sun and Moon

 

Perhaps the biggest announcement of all though is the reveal of the next main series titles. On November 17, 2017 Nintendo will release to Pokémon fans worldwide Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, promising new monsters not found in the original releases and a different story, along with new features that, according to the video, “will allow you to enjoy your adventure even more, making this truly an ‘ultra’ title”. Details were scarce, with only ten seconds of footage shown, but there is a strong suggestion that the new titles will be a sequel/upgrade to the current generation Sun and Moon games, in a similar fashion to how Pokémon Black and White were later followed up by Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 (commonly referred to by fans as Black 2 and White 2).

 

No doubt by now you’ll be wanting to watch these other announcements yourself as well, so enjoy the official announcement trailer below; and don’t forget to check back here for all your latest Pokémon and other gaming news!

 

This article first appeared on Technically Motivated.


June 6th, 2017 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo | No Comments »

Sanitarium.FM News Update | 05/06/2017

Overwatch in China, FIFA 18 and Rainbow Six: Siege – your news update!

 


June 5th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Tequila Works Would Remove Denuvo When Rime Is Cracked

A lot of big games and some of the smaller ones nowadays use some form of anti-tamper or copy protection tech in their games to prevent games being ripped and pirated online. Such protections have their upsides but also in the case of a few, legitimate players see them as being a bit of a barrier to them as well if the tech goes wrong.

 

So the news that developers of Rime, Tequila Works, might remove the Denuvo protection from the game if pirates manage to crack it is welcome to some but mainly confusing. It’s quite the surprising move, considering most companies wouldn’t touch it after the game was released unless it was negatively impacting on the game in some way.

 

This was announced over on Rime’s Steam forums by Tequila Works’ staff member Dariuas, who said that the inclusion of Denuvo had been a hotly debated topic in the studio. They decided to include it to “preserve [the] quality in Rime”, as cracking the game runs “the risk of creating issues” with the game’s graphics and audio, as well as being a way to stop pirated copies emerging of course.

 

However, if pirates do break though Tequila Works will “release a Denuvo free version of Rime and update existing platforms.” With Denuvo still being pretty good at keeping pirates out in the first month of a game’s sale but not so much beyond that after it’s been worked on, Rime could be going anti-tamper free sooner rather than later.

 

The responses to this have ranged from bemusement to utter outrage, with the Steam Thread being locked down due to the sheer amount of angry replies. Who knows how the move will work out in the long-term for them?

 

It’s probably going to lead to a lot of pirated Rime online in just over a month though…

 


May 28th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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