The combination of the long journey and some of the long queues for games means that (like last year) I had to pick out one or two things I was willing to queue for and then dart around everything else. They had a Mario Kart 8
tournament (or it might have just been a general multiplayer area) going on and it looked great on the massive screen, but my experience of that is limited to a handful of games whilst visiting friends. I saw a little bit of Halo: MC Collection
on the screens and that looked quite nice, but I didn't stick around for that. I also saw a bit of gameplay from The Order
whilst queueing for another game, and it looked quite pretty and atmospheric but a bit "run-of-the-mill shootymans". I didn't really look at any Nintendo stuff - I haven't owned a Nintendo console since the original DS - but if I had more time I would have liked to see Bayonetta 2
as a lot of people are going nuts over that... I also poked around the back of the first floor where they had the usual retro setup, which is always nice as there's a lot of variety in terms of games to play.
A large part of the day was spent queueing for Bloodborne
, which I really wanted to see as it's a new IP from the creator of Dark Souls
- a series which I'm bad at playing but I admire in terms of design and gameplay. The DS
games are available for 360/PS3 but Bloodborne
will be available on new-gen systems, and the graphical improvement really shows; there's tons of detail and the lighting and other effects make it very atmospheric. People who have played DS know that a lot of the combat revolves around watching attack patterns, waiting for openings, striking at the right moments, but Bloodborne
seems quicker to overwhelm you with attacks and so you've got to be a bit more aggressive; I learned that the hard way when my session ended somewhat abruptly. The setups of the demo stations were also great; I was wearing some ace headphones that did a good job of cancelling out the show floor noise.
I also spent some time at the merch area to pick up some DVDs and a tee, as I didn't really have time to shop for merch last time. Other attractions I didn't really visit included some sort of big area especially for MOBAs which had DotA
things going on and big ol' displays showing gameplay... there was a cosplay area near the retro bit, a few smaller stands where people like NVidia, GAME and Turtle Beach could push their wares onto folk... I think a few specific events happen on certain days so I couldn't see everything. I believe there's supposed to be an area for tournaments for things like Street Fighter but again, no time. Anyway, it was good fun, and given that I don't own any of the new consoles (yet) it was nice to see so many shinies, and I'm more keen to pick up some kind of new box in the future.