PlayExpo 2017 Weekend

PlayExpo 2017 Weekend

Left to Right – GaminGuys, Richard31337, RobVissernet, RetroGamersClub

Our 6th year at PlayExpo Manchester and what a blast!

There really is no soaking it all in when you go to an event like this, that has such a variety of stuff. If you were stood there and thought where to go next, you may end up having 2 giant hands come down through the ceiling and just rip you to bits and then a mouth appears and says ‘well that’s what you asked for’ because you simply can’t be where you want to be at any point. Take a breath, grab a pint and ponder where you would be if you hadn’t.

So this year, I was fortunate to finally meet (another) Neil aka @Retrogamersclub, we’ve gotten kinda close on Twitter recently and it seemed the perfect time for that to happen. After a 3 hour drive from Nottingham, Friday night, Neil and I headed for the Trafford Centre to hook up with a couple of other friends, Richard and Rob, who visited my pit of depravity last year. We went for a quick meal because the two Amigo’s were starving and then moved on to Namco in pretty swift fashion to check out some games. It’s rather glorious in the Trafford Centre, reminds me of a Sultan’s Palace or somewhat and Neil did seem to be overly impressed.

For a second I did consider asking the boys if they wanted a game of ten pin but quickly dismissed it because they really didn’t do all that driving or planes (Rob comes from Holland) and after a brief recon mission, Richard and Neil jumped straight on Pac-Man (pretty sure there was a bit of Galaga first) whilst I just had to try the AMC machine of The Walking Dead. You can pitch me a tent at this point because I’d quite liked to have messed about with that game way more than I did. The odd pint occurred with my better half collecting us around 11pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1

Saturday morning ran smoothly and we arrived in plenty of time. As we were all Press for the Expo, we were in the hall very early at 9.45am or so, the beauty of no queues. The queue system had moved indoors, a wise move I thought for those pre-processed for tickets, but we breezed right past the lot. We headed straight for the arcade section which get’s rather busy, jumping on AfterBurner (premium version) and continued to play in this section for quite a while. Neil hit the pinball almost instantly as it demands massive attention, he had a lot of fun in that section both days.

The overwhelming urge to meet up with people took a grip so it was a quick reckie of the car-park (the usual meeting place at Play) and we headed back in and scanned the entrance area for indie games, saying hello to the usual Dev’s from MakinGames (Raging Justice’s Nic and Anna) and asking how the Xbox One port was being received. I was determined I would get a shot at that game version after missing out at EGX and being an Xbox gamer but at a later time. We trawled the whole middle section after that, checking out the trader stalls where I bought a Sega Saturn Arcade Racer steering wheel, followed by the GamesYouLoved area for a bit of a meet and greet then literally back in the arcades. At this point, I knew I would have to break off from the pack if I was going to see more Indie games but we were having too much fun as the rat-pack so it never came. We soaked the odd beer up when hunger struck at 2pm and the rest of the day vanished as we had to leave by 3.30pm to grab food at a hotel before going on to Arcade Club. Arcade Club is another story for another day.

 

Day 2

Sunday morning also started well, however as we went for the door, we were confronted by an ‘over-keen’ security guard that told us “You never came in the Expo before 10am yesterday” funny that, we had pictures at the back of the hall at 9.48am so guess who’s wrong there dumb-ass! I guess someone never got their oats. We wasn’t prepared to argue, so skipped hand-in-hand across to Krispy Kreme for a coffee. Whilst there, we thoughtfully bought the Expo staff 12 Donuts and it appeared we were given 12 more, however, my £6.49 bill mysteriously turned into £11 so I take it back, maybe I paid for them without asking, seriously no idea but the guy was nice enough serving, so who cares?

Balancing 2 boxes of Doughnuts, we made our way back, plonking them on the Press desk (after sneaking one out to a security guard round the front entrance). It’s nice to be nice and ‘thanks for the hard work so far’ but we gotta go lol. Back inside, after missing Darth Maul thankfully, it was more of the same, however of course, it was Cos-Play day, which always makes things more interesting.

On a side note, PlayExpo seems to be consistently busy but Sunday’s do seem to draw in the merchandise buyers. Luckily there seemed to be more ‘free-roam space’ this year. I’m not sure if the trader stalls had been cut or it was just the layout, but it seemed much easier to view things even as people shopped. One to remember for future Expo’s right there in my opinion….

Pretty soon the 2 panels we had been looking forward to, came round. Goldeneye to start with and as both Neil’s had purposely purchased boxed games, we were intent on getting them signed. I had positioned 8ft from the RHS of the stage speaker for maximum clarity with 2 recording devices. Some other poor sod had gone for the view and was destined for echo.

You may spot us both walking back from a crowd of people towards camera, that was the point where DURING the event (49:50), I actually went on stage sneakily during the voting confusion by the hosts and got both signed. We did have a giggle about that because everyone else tried the same but were put in place. Cheeky Cheeky Very Cheeky…

After lunch, it continued with the Spectrum Panel, however unfortunately, at home, my SD card reader went faulty and decided to wipe all my other interviews and all my pictures so promptly went in the bin and was replaced by a better one. Needless to say, this ruined the latter part of my recording day as I had multiple other interviews.

Late Sunday afternoon was all about the merchandise, where I spent a shocking amount of money buying T-Shirts and Hoodies for everyone in our party, plus my daughters. All I got was a stupid Dev signed boxed, absolutely adorned, Goldeneye and a Sega Wheel that adds to my Saturn boxed collection, too bad eh?

Ah well, there’s always PlayExpo 2018 and I for one, am already looking forward to it. For this one? It’s a strong 9.4/10.

Adios Amigos.

Owner of GaminGuys.com I collect retro games, consoles and accessories and play all era's of games from old to latest. Found on eBaY as 'MCRTrading'

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