In just a matter of days now the summer convention season kicks off at E3. Followed by San Diego Comic Con (and other Con;’s across the states and Europe), PAX, GamesCom and many more. In celebration of this, ASTRO Gaming are offering 50% off with FREE shipping from ASTROGAMING.com on all gaming apparel found in their online store. The offer is only valid in the United States store, not the Canadian, UK, German or French unfortunately. Good news for our US readers, bad news for the rest of us.
Are you heading off to a convention over the coming months? Let us know below and let us know what you’ll be getting from the ASTRO Gaming range.
I am going to make an assumption based on the fact you are reading this… you like the ‘Popular Arts’; videogames, sci-fi, comics, cosplay etc. I know I am right, so if you are based up North and near Manchester, it might be worth getting yourself a ticket to the MCM Expo taking place at the Manchester Central on Saturday 20 July.
Special guests already announced for the event include Warwick Davis, whose Hollywood credits include Willow, Star Wars and the Harry Potter movies; Kai Owen, best known for playing Torchwood’s Rhys Williams; Rupert Young and Eoin Macken, stars of hit fantasy series Merlin; and Gerran Howell (Vlad), Clare Thomas (Ingrid) and Simon Ludders (Renfield) from award-winning BBC show Young Dracula.
The expanded hall will also play host to top games publishers such as Nintendo and Koch Media – the latter previewing Saints Row IV – while the sold-out Comic Village area will be home to talented artists and writers including John McCrea, Antony Johnston, Lee Bradley, Laura Howell, Jack Lawrence, Al Davison and metal band The Dead Lay Waiting with their new comic.
MCM Manchester Comic Con also features costume competitions; onstage panels; a Dance Dance Revolution and retro gaming zone; the battling bots from Robot Live and, of course, stands selling everything from sweets to sci-fi collectables. Retailers attending include anime distributors Manga Entertainment and MVM Entertainment, Tokyo Toys, MyM Magazine and NEO.
So here we are, the part of my MCM Expo coverage that talks about everything gaming – exclusive to ThisisXbox. If you want to read what I thought of the day in general then head over to my personal blog and read all about it here.
So without further ado let’s talk video games.
Firstly I need to apologise to you and to myself… as I attended MCM on Saturday 25th, I missed ‘Commander Shepard Uncovered with Mark Meer’ on the Games Stage. GUTTED doesn’t begin to tell you how I feel about this, but what I can tell you is he was an absolute gent during the whole weekend. Reports are coming in of him spending longer than planned signing autographs, discussing Dungeons & Dragons and mingling with his fans. Mark Meer is most definitely a fan favourite and didn’t disappoint anyone over the course of the event.
Although not Xbox related I did take an hour out of my morning to make a quick stop and visit the MCM ESports Theatre and watch the first Semi Final of their League of Legends Tournament. Sponsored by Madcatz and in conjunction with Backdrop Gaming (DDR:UK), the arena was packed with ESports and MOBA fans. Never being a massive ESports fan myself but always curious about the ever growing popularity and celebrity status of some of the stars, this was truly an eye opening experience. The fans are passionate and the players unbelievably skilled. Unfortunately for me, the fans I was sat near were unskilled in the art of personal hygiene and although greatly enjoying the action on screen there was only so much body odour I could endure… so I made a quick exit for fresh air only an hour in to the action.
Let’s talk about the crazy red and black clad anti-superhero also known as Deadpool. Yeah that’s right, MCM Expo attendees got to get hands on with Activision’s soon to be released title and oh boy it was fun and also a WORLD EXCLUSIVE! I won’t give much away now as ThisisXbox will have a review for you closer to release date (28th June), but nothing is done lightly in Deadpool and everything is taken to the extreme including driving rocket powered bicycles which is enormously good fun!
Anyone that knows anything about me will know that Resident Evil is one of the original reasons I am completely Zombie mad. I have fond memories of sitting up all night with my cousin @CasperMcGrew playing Resident Evil 1 and giggling to cover up our own fear. ‘What! What is this?’ – Five points to whoever can tell me who said this and when. Anyway, Capcom were on hand during the event to showcase (along with some other titles) Resident Evil: Revelations. Set between 4 and 5, Revelations focuses on and follows Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield; BSAA Founders. I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t get much time with Revelations as the queues forming behind were huge and tempers looked to be running short, but it looked polished and detailed. The controls were intuitive and responsive and I felt completely home taking out some T Virus scum. Keep an eye on the site over the following week or two for my full review of Revelations.
Whilst attempting to send a tweet out to @KittyKat1988_ a car loving, FPS fan and twitter nut, I remembered the biggest title I was looking forward to playing before I review it is GRID 2; the 5 year later sequel to Race Driver: GRID from racing game powerhouse Codemasters. How do I sum up what I played? The AI is actually intelligent, the cars feel much more real than any I’ve ever experienced in a game and it looks and sounds magnificent. If you have been following our GRID 2 coverage in the lead up to its release you will know just how excited I am about this game – multiply that by 10… no 100, and that’s how I felt after getting hands on. I can see some late nights with beer, pizza and my buddy Ben coming up soon when I finally get my hands on this game.
Lost Planet 3 was also on the show floor with many attendees stuck to the controller, frozen in joy. Lost Planet 3 is in fact a series prequel and takes a look at E.D.N III when it was more of a frontier planet. Spark Unlimited (Developer) and Capcom have promised more focus, more approachable gameplay and more chills. I ran out of time to play Lost Planet 3, but did manage to catch the last 5 minutes of live gameplay footage on the Game Stage. Take yourself over to Twitch.tv and catch up for yourself and let me know what you think.
Other games on the show floor included (in no particular order) Dofus (Windows/MAC), Dynasty Warriors 3 (Xbox360, PS3), Luigi’s Mansion (3DS), Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS/WiiU), Utimate Ninja Storm 3 (Xbox360/PS3), the incredible looking Tales of Xillia (PS3), Wakfu (Windows/Mac), One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3), a title we recently reviewed; Persona 4 Arena (Xbox360/PS3), Tekken Card Tournament (PC, iOS, Mobile), Mario Kart 7 (3DS), a game I cannot wait to play when it arrives on the door step; Metro: Last Light (Xbox360/PS3/PC), soon to be released; Remember Me (Xbox360/PS3/PC) and Project X Zone (3DS). A handful of these I managed to get a couple minutes of game time with, but very limited. Remember Me looks fantastic and I wish Tales of Xillia was out for the Xbox360 because it would definitely be on my buy list.
The last thing I have to share with you is Splinter Cell Blacklist. I had almost forgot I had a seat reserved for me on the Games Stage, so at 15:58 I dashed through the crowd to take my place 2 rows from the front to watch a live stealth demo with commentary from Ubisoft Art Director Scott Lee. Instead of talking about it, head here to watch the full demo with commentary – watch it as I did and enjoy!
And there you have it, my games coverage albeit short and sweet of what was on offer at MCM Expo. This was very much just a warm up in preparation for EuroGamer later this year for some people, but I hope I have given you a glimpse of what was on offer and maybe even convinced you to head down (or up (or over the channel)) to London next year for MCM Expo 2014.