Things I’m looking forward to at EGX 2015

With EGX opening its doors today, I thought I would write a small something about what I am looking forward to when SmashFace journeys up to Birmingham for the final day on Sunday. We’ve managed to obtain a couple of press passes, and the app is downloaded with guides on my phone, so lets get started!

So what’s intrigued me?

Four Sided Fantasy

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Link: http://foursidedfantasy.com/

Originally when I saw the title I thought this would be a generic fantasy rpg in some form or another, but I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on the site for more details. The game utilises the screen wrap feature regularly used in games as a key mechanic to progress in level and negotiate past a number of obstacles (think when Pacman wanders off screen to appear on the other side). This develops into a number of interesting abilities as the player manipulates the screen.

The graphics look simple, but in a cute cartoony aesthetic, and it looks like something that could be picked up fairly quickly. I can definitely see the Fiancé playing this if it’s available to demo. I’d like to see if there is an option for multiple players, and to see how far this mechanic can go.

Raging Justice

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Link: http://www.makingames.com/

I’ve already tweeted about my interest in this game, for the simple reason that it looks like a sequel to Streets of Rage. Similar aesthetics (obviously brought up to the modern day), similar looking game play – this has the chance for some hilarious gameplay. Lets hope we see some, and maybe chat to the devs to see how much SF inspired them.

With the big games there are a couple I want to drop in and have a look at – Rock Band 4 (since we’re still enjoying the Rock Band Revival in our house), Ratchet & Clank, Lego Dimensions, HTC Steam VR, Playstation VR, Mad Max, Mario Maker. I definitely have a lot to look around! We’ll be spoilt for choice!

In terms of sessions scheduled, I’ve spotted a couple that have caught my eye. Whilst there seems to be a big focus on cosplay for the final day (prepare for photos people), I’ve spotted a couple of talks I might go sit in;

  • Teaching Robots to Play Spelunky: Why Scientists Love Gaming
  • Interview and Q&A with Mike Bithell
  • Zombie bites – a live demo
  • Eurogamer Let’s Play – Mario Maker

This is my first EGX, and first big gaming event. I’m really looking forward to heading up, and sad we could only make the final day. However I hope to meet lots of people. I’ll be running around introducing myself, so if the name clicks and you’ve read something from our blog, say so! I’d love to chat and get some feedback from you guys.

Have I missed anything? Let us know in the comments!

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Enjoying a Rock Band Revival

So a couple of weeks ago my fiancé finally handed in his dissertation, finishing his 2 year masters. To celebrate this amazing achievement, I very sneakily arranged and held a surprise party for him at our house.

On a whim I decided to get a friend to help me set up our old Rock Band stuff in the livingroom, and thought we would get an old fashioned drunken play through like we all did back when we were in our late teens/early 20s. The game hasn’t been touched since we moved into our house 3 years ago, and so I thought it would be a good throw-back. In fact, it went so well, I woke up the next morning to find out that the future husband had ordered Rock Band 3, and now we own Rock Band 3, 2 mikes, a keytar is being delivered as we speak, and now he’s saving money to purchase an Xbox One ready to buy Rock Band 4 which is released next month.

So naturally, I thought I’d blog about it.

Rock Band and Guitar Hero (*INSERT VERSION HERE*) were the go-to social games in our friendship group back when we all hung out years ago a while back. We all had instruments we preferred (I tended to end up singing unless it was screamo. I love karaoke, so there wasn’t much forcing if I’m honest). In fact, the guys back then were in a band together, so band practice with real instruments ended and playing with toy ones would be how we’d all relax. Over the years, we started to have more sing star parties, or board game days, and we started to lose interest in setting up all of the accessories in order to play through a few songs.

So why have we jumped back on the plastic guitar train so readily? I’m not *entirely* sure, but a good guess would be it’s a combination of fond memories, and testing to see how good we still are. I’ve been spending a lot of my evenings with the other half going through the campaign / career stuff for RB3, and unlocking all the stuff and seeing our “band” (either Death Egg or the Low Keys (say it fast enough and it sounds like our cat’s name Loki…yeah that one was my pick) depending on which one of us signs in first) progress is strangely satisfying. I haven’t tried the harmony vocal option on RB3 yet but I fully intend to next time we get a group ‘session’ going. And of course we’ll probably end up fighting over which one of us gets to try out the keytar first.

I was surprised that we had to pay £6 to transfer over all of the songs we bought/had with RB2, and even more annoyed when some of them didn’t transfer properly. We’ve had issues where some of the RB2 songs cause the game to crash when selected, and when we Googled it we saw that it was a fairly common occurrence which was a little disappointing. You’d think they’d have gotten it together by now with transferring songs. Graphics-wise its still looking roughly the same, with the same cartoony/chunky figures. I do like the look of all the games, and I don’t think it looks particularly dated. We’ve got the same kind of eclectic mix of heavy metal, 80s pop and 90s punk rock which I also like (I’m a very eclectic person. I’ll happily listen to Metallica and Wednesday 13, yet I’ll also listen to 90s Britney Spears and songs by Alaska Thunderfuck (Drag Queen famous for appearing in Ru Paul’s drag race. Seriously, go listen to “Nails”, it’s my favourite song right now).

It feels like we’re binging on the game right now, so I’m not entirely sure how long the interest will last. The things we’ve bought recently have been pretty cheap (I think in total we’ve spent less than £30 so far on new accessories and games so we’re doing ok), so I won’t be too upset if we don’t make it to the end of next month before putting everything away. But what this has shown us is, regardless of how long we leave it, this game franchise always has us coming back for more. To quote Tenacious D:

You can’t kill the metal
Metal will live on

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