As I write this, EGX 2018 has come and gone for me. Since attending the show with company last year, word of mouth got around and I was asked to pick up more tickets for more peeps who were keen on attending this year’s show with me. As usual, I had done my research beforehand and looked at the available games that would be playable on the show floor, and since I wasn’t desperate to play any one thing I kind of let others lead as I followed.The only things that piqued my curiosity from the list were maybe Tetris Effect – which I quickly crossed off my list when I realised that the demo was PSVR-based and you needed to book a session; not something I could be bothered doing when I just want to dip in and out of playable games with others – and Jump Force – which I saw being played and then decided that I wasn’t too desperate to get involved in after all. I know what everyone is thinking; truly, this is the investigative reporting that Disposable Media readers deserve – or maybe I’d just prefer to experience such games with the luxury of spare time and fewer distractions.
EGX 2018 – peripheral vision
One thing that did affect my usual schedule in EGX 2018 was that there were a lot more Nintendo fans in our group this year (I think Nintendo make great games but I’m too busy with the libraries of the systems I have to justify more consoles) – for starters, we managed to get our hands on Nintendo’s Labo hardware. Labo shouldn’t need much introduction – these DIY kits transform a joycon into one of several cardboard peripherals… and even though a cynic may scoff at the depth of the games on offer, the youngest member of our group thoroughly enjoyed the immediacy and ease of use that the peripherals offered. At the other end of the peripheral spectrum, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown offered a flight stick, throttle and other knobs and sliders that I was too scared to investigate… however, the youngest in the group enjoyed climbing, diving and swooping. I imagine I’ll take a closer look at the game upon release (especially after seeing the recent PSVR trailers shown on YouTube.)
EGX 2018 – game of the show
As ever, the “Replay” area and its retro offerings were a reliable source of quick entertainment without long waiting times or busy crowds, and we played everything from early FPS games to Puyo Puyo-style puzzle games and classics from the Super Mario series. (And yes, I was That Guy and hopped on to Super Mario Bros. 3 long enough to get the warp to world 8 and then walk away from the NES. Sorry.) As for my Game of the Show… well, in my last write-up I said that Space Invaders and Super Mario Kart were probably the most entertaining things I played. For EGX 2018, there was one clear winner. Walking past a Whack-A-Mole style cabinet and seeing art of Ryu, Chun-Li and “Dictator” around the screen, I made an audible squeak to the group and pointed excitedly at the Ken Sei Mogura: Street Fighter II cabinet. Released in 1994, this is essentially a Whack-A-Mole game where players hit the rising and falling “Dictator” heads with a mallet, and successful hits result in attacks playing out onscreen. It’s the kind of arcade game I would never, ever expect to see – even back when we still had arcades in the 80s – so playing this ended up being a lot of silly fun, and much easier to get to grips with than your conventional Street Fighter games.
EGX 2018 – wrapping up
These little flashes of random entertainment make up for any pre-show stress about “making time to see new games before crowds make things impossible for everyone”. If you’re looking for a fun day out with likeminded gamer friends, shows such as EGX 2018 are well worth a visit. Outside of the playable games, I even managed to get hold of a natty Persona 5 tee – I already have a couple of shirts based on P4 (indeed, I was wearing one to the show today) but hadn’t got around to picking up P5 shirts before now, so I’m satisfied with my goods. Oh, and there was no sign of Tornado stands either, so I managed to avoid that nightmarish mix of show floor fatigue and energy drink buzz. With another show visit wrapped up, all that’s left is to organise these photos offline and publish these words online. As always, leave a comment below if you’d like to share your own anecdotes of EGX 2018.