Wow, this month’s actually really flew by hasn’t it? I never actually posted on what I got up to or how I got on in London, so I guess it’s time to get up to speed on that.
First things first, my order of business there: Eurogamer Expo 2010. I LOVED IT. I’ve got a few posts up over on Press X Or Die relating to them, all of which you can read here. I also got snapped by Red Lynx staff playing Trials HD (below), and heard id Software designer Tim Willits talk about upcoming title RAGE. Turns out I was sitting beside him for a few minutes a few moments before and never realized it was him until he got up and started talking. Side effect of being just a name behind the work rather than a public face that’s always caught on camera, like a Hideo Kojima or a Cliff Bleszinski or similar. Nonetheless, I facepalmed to myself once I realized the glorious moment I had to shake the guy’s hand. I mean, come on, he made Quake.
The overall experience, for it being my first show, was rather overwhelming. I wasn’t expecting it to be as big as it was, considering how little attention it seemed to have outside of Eurogamer’s own site, but at the same time, there was a lot of empty floor space that could have been better utilized and had more games on show. I don’t know why Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood had as many screens as it did (There must have been a good 32 at LEAST), yet games like Brink with its hour-long queue only had one small section with about 8, and worse again, games like the new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Goldeneye Wii, only got ONE SCREEN EACH. Crazy.
Games of the show have to be the ones I have already posted above about, with the exception of Gran Turismo 5. I can’t nominate it for a “Game of the Show” when it really doesn’t bring in anything new and immediate to the table, as well as forces only a 2 minute demo before resetting itself. Seriously Polyphony? TWO MINUTES? That’s not even a 2-lap race! WHAT THE HELL MAN. It doesn’t help my opinion of it, and its players, when 90% (exaggerated estimate, but definitely the vast majority) of other players never used the brake button ONCE. Oh yes, THOSE driving game players. Newsflash guys, Need For Speed was on the far side of the hall. That was my game of the show, I had so much fun playing that, and I’m definitely picking it up. Other honourable mentions go to Rock Band 3 (some really enthusiastic reps working the stage all weekend, hats off to them for being the most helpful guys there), Gears of War 3‘s new Beast Mode, Killzone 3, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and Little Big Planet 2. Oh, and CaptainCortez from Capcom-Unity, who stole Saturday’s hearts by going in as Chuck Greene from Dead Rising 2 (which wasn’t at the event, boo!)
On to the rest of the holiday then. Thursday was basically spent wandering around the city with no real aims or purposes. I basically used the time to reacquaint myself with the city, and also map out my ideal way to travel to and from the expo (without realizing that the Earls Court Exhibition Centre is right at the entrance of the Underground station, derp), and also used the time to prepare myself mentally by taking in an Edge magazine sitting in Green Park for an hour or so just relaxing. The evening I spent sitting in watching Liverpool play against FC Utrecht in the Europa League. And by watching I mean I slept for a bit during the second half, what a snoozefest. Boring game of footy.
Monday was quite the event for me because it was my first time being in London during a Tube strike. I’d gone up to Oxford Street to do a bit of looking around different stores and pick up a few new threads, and wound up having to walk a fair chunk of the way home. I ended up walking from Oxford Circus, to the Marble Arch, back past Oxford Street to Tottenham Court Road, and down to Trafalgar Square before getting a series of buses back to Hammersmith. This isn’t easy when you’re carrying 5 heavy books, and a heavy coat, in the most awkwardest of Uniqlo carrier bags.
Tuesday I’d met up with an old acquaintance of mine from the prime of my time around the Football Manager community, Q, and we basically talked about football and other non-related rubbish for about 2 hours in Starbucks offering up snarky commentary on passers-by and lamenting the old days when the fan sites weren’t all at each other’s throats (effectively seeing me leaving forum moderating behind me). It was a great way to end the week, I have to say.
So… there you have it.