Sunday, 25 September 2011

Eurogamer Expo 2011 - My Experience & Top Tips

This weekend was the Eurogamer Expo 2011 at London's Earls Court. The event ran from Thursday to Sunday and I made my visit yesterday between 2pm and 7pm. It was the first time that I have been to such an event and for the experience I am a little the wiser and more prepared for next year (to which I am definitely going to attend). So sit back, grab a beer and listen to my top tips to making the most out of one of these events.

Tip #1 - Go Early
Whilst this may seem obvious it is something not to be underestimated. On arriving at 1:20pm to Earls Court the queue for the afternoon attendees was already pretty long. Doors open dead on the hour of admittance and getting through the registration is a breeze, so the sooner you arrive to queue, the sooner you can peg it to the game of your choice. The most popular games all had queue systems in place and some of these were in excess of an hour long to wait in. Getting in line and inside as early as possible will give you the best chance to get hands on with your highest priority AAA title.

Tip #2 - Go Prepared
Always know what is on as best you can. All the biggest games are announced ahead of these events, and a floor plan prepared. You can guarantee that if you don't decide what is your Alpha target ahead of entry, and know where it is roughly located you will end up looking around to decide what is worthy of your time whilst that one queue you decide on continues to grow exponentially.
It also helps to see if any competitions are being run by the Expo. This year there was an option to go in cosplay in order to win a PSVita with judging done by Nathan Drake himself, Mr Nolan North. Whilst not the overall winner I had fun making my costume (YouTube link to follow in later blog) and was given an exclusive note book, personalised and signed by Nolan. He also signed my action shots from the costume creation (again - later blog to follow). Knowing what is on ahead of time will make your day so much better.

Tip #3 - Go More Than Once (Where Possible)
8 hours seems like a long time (and can be when it is spent in tedium at work), however with interesting developer sessions, long queues and the need to have sustenance (geeks don't get fat by not eating) those hours can fly by if you decide to do a lot of top class activities. I attended an Uncharted 3 developer session and was lucky enough to be ushered in... Because I was competing in cos-play. Had I not been ushered, the session and queue would have eaten 1.5 hours of my time. I didn't do a lot of queuing and still managed to enjoy RAGE, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3 and OnLive... However in 5 hours of visiting that doesn't equate to a lot of hands on time when etiquette dictates that 10 minutes is acceptable, 15 is ample, and 20 is pushing it... Be mindful of this and even if mid game be prepared to offer up your controller. Be prepared to watch a lot and not play everything unless going more than once.

Tip #4 - Go Socially Connected
Expos can be all about the swag. The best way to get this is to follow the event feed on Twitter or any Community Managers on the scene (@kleaneasy, @shade360, @EA_ActionMan & @Actonpies were my best discoveries). Anything that is Tweet worthy coming out from these feeds will be retweeted by the Expo and having mobile notifications will make things very easy. Exits are also a good place to be given parting gifts... This event provided me with 10 packets of Chili Heatwave Dorritos
As well as swag there are some useful feeds that come out from the Expo feed itself and getting questions answered is almost instant from their feed administrator. The world is becoming better connected through these services and they are incredibly useful. Also a good QR scanner is good for collecting links throughout the day to exclusive offers and trailers.

Tip #5 - Enjoy Yourself
Games are about having fun. Don't go and expect to be given any special treatment, be prepared to feel like a sheep and find blank expressions if asking complex questions from those at the stands. A lot of these people with STAFF on their shirts are volunteers. As for feeling like sheep, the main idea behind these events is to get as many people to play the game as possible in order to draw in extra interest in the product - so you will be herded through areas and expected to move when the shepherds tell you. Big games will be time limited or have restrictions on options and many of the highly anticipated will be run like well oiled machines with sessions run to the second and reset after each sitting. Skyrim was the latter, whilst Modern Warfare 3 offered up Multiplayer only. Thankfully Battlefield 3 had both Single and Multiplayer on offer, even if it was limited with regard to inversion.

That finishes my tips for attending Expos, and how to enjoy it from personal experience. I was looking forward to many games on display already, and Eurogamer Expo 2011 has done nothing to change those views... games that I got hands on time with were excellent and I am anticipating my pre-orders all the more.

It was disappointing that I didn't get to play everything I would have liked, and that it was only multiplayer on offer from Modern Warfare 3. In all however I certainly got the bug and will be a repeat attendee.

sent from iPhone

Thursday, 8 September 2011

My next platinum trophies... I am determined


Sorry... that is being screamed at a mirror, "You filthy trophy whore!!".

I've taken a fresh look at what is outstanding on my trophy list and despite my current immersion into the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, my whoring tendency is taking hold and making me want this and other Platinum's SO BAD!

So, I do declare that this winter (it might as well be with the bloody weather at the moment) I will be focusing my efforts on Plat-ing the following games;

  • Fallout 3 (come on - just a few more levels to get karma at)
  • Uncharted (JUST Crushing to do)
  • Medal of Honor (support actions & Tier 1)
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (JUST Final Boos taking no damage)
The problem games that I will probably never Plat are;
  • Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (bloody online trophies)
  • Skate 2 (bloody online players using the board throw glitch)
  • Tony Hawk Ride (why did I buy this again... it was £5 but still... WHY!!)
So... there we have my whore confession. Alongside the list of "to do's" I will be tackling Battlefield 3 and Assassins Creed: Revelations, so hopefully by the New Year by "to do" list will have shrunk rather than stagnated as that is just two games to disrupt my mindset.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The Deus Ex "Racist" Argument

Controversy in entertainment is nothing new, and games seem to get a hell of a beating when they cross that line. Modern Warfare 2 with it's civilian killing, Manhunt for it's use of any physical object, and Grand Theft Auto for... Well the list on that one is too long.

The most recent incident to come into the fray is Deus Ex for it's character "Letitia". I won't rehash verbatim here but the argument from some is that her position and manner in the game is representing her as "less than human", and is a slur upon all people of a coloured descent. The full story is at

I won't argue... The character has a stereotyped manner, but then on your trip to China the whole city is full of stereotyped pigeon English when an NPC can speak it. Letitia is also not the only NPC that is bin diving, just the only one you can interact with. Countless hobo's on the streets of Detroit ask you for credits and "... (they) won't lie, (they're) gonna buy booze." The use of all these stereotypes should be put under the spotlight, however there has not been the same outcry of insensitivity that just one character garners.

One reason for the outcry against Letitia is that she is clearly poor and sounds uneducated and that this is a poor racial stereotype from yonder years. These allegations however are completely ridiculous when we know nothing about her history aside from that she used to be an informant for Jensen. Perhaps she has always been poor, perhaps she is truly uneducated. The fact that she is of coloured descent is not highlighted in anything other than her visual appearance so to call this a "racist" issue is bogus as there are several other characters that are black and have done well for themselves... A computer genius, an undercover cop, a security guard. Jensen does not act in any way out of order to Letitia, no matter what choices you make in conversation. If the game were racist, I'm sure would do so in more than one example.

What this is however, is a lack of understanding and embracing diversity. It takes all sorts of people to make a community and the world is full of differing individuals with differing mannerisms, habits, accents and culture. To be pissy over Letitia is tantamount to saying "that isn't the correct way to represent a black woman, black women are like this... " and in my opinion Mr Nacisse of Time Magazine... That sounds pretty damn racist to me. These are just my opinions of the issue, they represent my outsider perspective on a situation that I feel has been blown out of all proportion. It's been a few days since this was actually blown up and there are two camps, those that see it like Narcisse, and those that understand that people are free to sound how they want and talk however they see fit.

Now I have that off my chest... Time to get back to enjoying this glorious game!

sent from iPhone

Playstation 3 Trophies