Take it away DarkMintyBadger -
So as this is my first go at doing a review of an event I didn’t know where to start, so I thought that I would start from the time I arrived at the Excel Centre and the sight that waited me.
When I stepping off the tube I was greeted with a sea of people in cosplay, from games, film and anime. It was a strange thing for me to take in as I did see cosplay at the Eurogamer Expo last year but not on this scale. It was time to head to the Expo its self and the queuing was handled well considering. People were separated by ticket if you had a weekend pass you went straight through and got a wristband and waited for the show to open and if you had a day ticket you queued separately so they could scan ticket.
The show its self was a lot different to any I had been to in the past, the room was a lot smaller than I imagined but had a lot in the space. As a gamer there was not that many games to play but the ones that were there were very good, they were; Sleeping Dogs, Steel Battalion, Lego Batman 2, Dead or Alive 5, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which where all playable. They also had Aliens Colonial Marines which was playable but only the multi player section of the game. There were a few more but as I was only there for a day, I spent my time with the up and coming games.
Now all the games I played were very good but for me the stand out game was Aliens Colonial Marines. They handled the visitors quite well, you went into the booth area and watched the team from Sega playing the game against the people that went in before you. This meant that you got to see what the Aliens looked and controlled like before your turn would come and the next wave of visitors would then take over the marines side and play the Sega team. The game handled like any FPS but had all the things you expected from the Aliens franchise; the sounds were spot on and the controls were tight they even had the motion tracker mapped to the left bumper button, the Aliens controlled very differently unlike the Aliens vs Predator game you controlled them in 3rd person not 1st and that made thing much easier, my team lost the match but I could see this game taking a regular gaming night with the Midlife Gamer community when it is released.
The other games were no surprise, we all know what a Lego game is and how it plays but the new Lego Batman is a whole new thing, it is set in a wide open Gotham city were you can go anywhere there is still a story to follow but it is a better game than any Lego game I have played.
The fighting games were as you can imagine, the same as most fighting games in the past they both looked excellent. The biggest shock for me was that Sleeping Dogs was there and it was playable! It had an open world feel like Grand Theft Auto but handled much better, the action was great and the combat felt like it was lifted for Batman Arkham city, it was fluid and had some great finishing moves which used the environment for some stunning kills.
For the rest of the show it was mainly stores selling everything from Manga to Henti and all the bits in-between. I have to say that it’s not cheap to buy but if you are a collector you could spend hours looking. Gamespot were there and had a stage from which they had talks with developers. Due to the amount of stores and booths there I did miss some of what went on but what I did see was very informative info about Sleeping Dogs and Lego Batman.
The main problem I had was that I was only there for one day and to get the most out of the show you needed to be there for the whole weekend, as they had different events on the Sunday which I, unfortunately, missed. The one stand out thing was meeting the voices of Ashley from Mass Effect 3 and Hawke from Dragon Age 2 I even managed to get a picture of them while I was there.
In conclusion if you planned to go next year my advice would be to take lots of money, bring your own food, plan to do both days and enjoy yourself soak up the atmosphere.
Simon – aka Dart Minty Badger bought entry into MCM London Expo himself, he was not funded by Midlife Gamer or its staff.