VuePoint: Play Expo Manchester

Well I haven’t written anything for a while have I? Sorry about that, I have a pretty busy schedule, some things slip through the cracks, but fear not! I’m back now with an article that I’ve been trying to find the time to write for weeks now. A few weeks ago (on the 9th of September to be exact), me and some others from BearSleuth went on a little adventure to PlayExpo at Event City, and after walking into the wrong building and finding myself in the middle of a baby and toddler fair, full of people looking at me with confused looks (probably due to my camera gear and geeked-out attire), I eventually made it to the right place.

And what a wondrous place it was.

I’ve only been to a few of these types of conventions, but each time the atmosphere has been electric. Everyone is perfectly friendly, you can become best friends with a stranger thanks to a mutual love of an obscure title, and nobody bats an eye at you wielding a camera! I tried vlogging in my home town once and feared about someone running past me grabbing my camera and taking off with it, but enough about where I’m from, I was in Fandom Central and I was loving it.

One of my favourite things about these events is how people can express themselves and their love for gaming, film and generally anything they want. Given that she’s 20 years old this year, there were understandably a high number of Lara Croft cosplays, but everyone had their own spin on it, which was cool. Hell, I even came across a whole family of Lara’s. mother, daughter, and yes, even the father had donned the tight blue top and hot pants for their family day out!

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Feeling like I had to get into the spirit of things, I picked up an – admittedly overpriced (the only true criticism of these events) – Deadpool mask, and went around asking people to be my sidekick – another stunt that’s acceptable in this environment, but not anywhere else.

Of course, even if you’re a social hermit who hates interaction with other people, there’s plenty to see and do here. Rows upon rows of retro arcade games, every console from Sega Genesis to the PS4 is set up somewhere and even a gaming console where fruit is the controller. I’m not kidding. I made a video over on my YouTube channel, so if you’re interested in actually seeing some of this stuff, there’ll be a link at the bottom for you to go check it out!

Unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lot in the way of brand new content to check out. A few indie puzzle and platform games were set up, and something called the “Battle Zone” invited players to try out the new PS4 VR in head to head matches with other people. This sounded super fun, so we jumped into the queue as soon as we saw it. Alas, due to the estimated waiting time and the fact that we didn’t have as much time as we might have liked, we had to pass on trying it out. Next time Battle Zone…next time.

But all was not lost! I did indeed get to experience an – admittedly basic – version of Virtual Reality, in the form of a polygonal tank/robot/mech/shooty game thing (I’ll have you know that was the exact title of the game as penned by the developers). It was pretty cool to actually try VR for the first time, but I do hope that the PS4 version will be better. The game was very simplistic, the controls pretty stiff and the headset itself weighed pretty heavily on my head, resting uncomfortably on my face.

I might be overestimating what VR can do, but in my opinion, the whole point of it is to make you feel like you’re inside the game. The headset should sit comfortably enough that you forget it’s there when you’re playing. If you feel this massive bulky thing crushing your face, you’re going to be fully aware that there’s a massive bulky thing crushing your face, and it’s going to take you out of the experience. Hopefully the PS4 version will be more comfortable to wear – it definitely looks it.

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Let’s keep this article short, as I soon have to return to my busy life and the soul crushing responsibilities that come with it. Just a quick note – I recently got Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4, so check back here next week for  a full review – DLC and all!

Check out my video of the event below if you wanna see more from the day – including a few snippets from the cosplay competition –  and until next time, keep gaming my friends!

That was this week’s VuePoint!!! Check back soon for a new BearSleuth article!!!

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