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    Manchester Play Expo, Saturday October 12

    Manchester Play Expo, Saturday October 12
    After a successful debut last year Play Expo returns to Manchester, bringing with it something for every avid gamer including classic arcades, pinball machines, tournaments, LAN gaming (Doom!) and just enough room to fit in a few modern games as well. I was there on the Saturday, thumbs at the ready.

    Starting with new games, Ubisoft were in attendance to show off Assassin’s Creed 4. While not a complete departure from the previous iterations, it showed off quite well with the spruced-up graphics and smooth gameplay. Being a next-gen game and a launch title at that, it’s hard to imagine it not being at the top of most people’s lists with their shiny new consoles.
    A Link Between WorldsNintendo up next, with the latest Zelda title on the 3DS, 'A Link between Two Worlds'. It’s a kind of sequel to the SNES game 'A Link to the Past' in that it takes place in the same world six generations after the death of Zelda's nemesis, Ganon. The game looks beautiful on the 3DS and having played the SNES counterpart to death back in the day, I can’t wait to get my hands on it come release day, November 22.

    Other new attendees at the expo included the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift and the infamously hard-to-play sequel Dark Souls 2, which were near impossible to get my hands on without having to wait in 2-hour queues. Bailing on that idea, the decision was made to explore the main beast of the expo: the retro gaming.
    Manchester Play Expo, Saturday October 12Moving onto the Pinball area, a huge array of cabinets were set up, all set to free-play. The soundtrack of flippers, score reels and rapid firing plungers brought great memories flooding back. Notable additions were Demolition Man, Addams Family and Star Trek: The Next Generation - all classics. After hogging the Star Trek cabinet for what felt like an hour I ventured into the Arcade area and was impressed with the diverse collection on offer. From Street Fighter 2 to Donkey Kong, there was something for everyone. Donkey Kong is now even more so a modern classic due to documentary A King of Kong, and it was nice to see a new breed of gamers compelled to jump over barrels to save the princess.   

    Manchester Play Expo, Saturday October 12Next up, the LAN area where classic Doom was the game of choice. After making sure nobody was using the God Mode cheat I managed to catch a few Street Fighter 4 Capcom UK qualifier matches on the big screen before I began to feel too inadequate to stick around. On my way to the trading area I was awestruck by the range of outfits cosplay heat entrants were wearing, notably Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head, a character that still resonates after 12 years. 

    Pyramid HeadThe trading area had something for every gamer ranging from replica Final Fantasy swords to stuffed anime characters. The amount on offer was overwhelming. Finishing off with some sweets from the Japanese stall Tofu Cute, I headed home safe in the knowledge I’d be returning next year. 

    Tofu Cute

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      Oriol's posts By Stephen Johnston
      @SMJohnston_


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