Saturday, August 6, 2016

GameOn Expo 2016 Report

Hails and pixels metalhead gamers! I just got back from a long day at the second annual GameOn Expo! This is a convention started by YouTuber Gamester81 that celebrates all things video games. I went to the first one last year but only for the opening day as I got busy with work on that weekend. I also didn’t go for the full weekend this year but the day was filled with fun, games, friends, and my fiancée. Hit the jump to read all about it!

Making the long trek from the north valley to the east valley, my fiancée and I arrive at the Mesa Convention center. Part of the itinerary is to see the newly uncovered Nintendo Playstation. This was originally a deal between Sony and Nintendo to produce a CD system add-on for the Super Nintendo with a version that would have the CD and cartridges bundled together.

As reality has shown, this never materialized as Nintendo didn’t like the deal and basically stabbed Sony in the back by dissolving the deal and Nintendo going with Philips for licensing out Nintendo properties for CD. All that was revealed to the press were some artist rendering and some images behind a glass case. A prototype was recently uncovered by Dan and Terry Diebold. They got it to work again with the help of Ben Heck. The Nintendo Playstation was on display for everyone to see with a Q&A session going on. While I was there (I arrived a little bit after it started) there were not any questions that offered anything new or terribly insightful other than the fact that it was discovered that the Nintendo Playstation was not as powerful as originally imagined.

After taking a few pictures of the Nintendo Playstation we decide to hit up the vendor hall. This is a great mix of local businesses, stores from out of state and local people hocking their wares and creations. It is interesting to the diversity in games and prices between the vendors which means that you need to keep your eyes peeled for any deals. I found a few deals as well as met some old acquaintances, former co-workers, and friends who were working booths and some who were just wandering around.

One of the first vendors that I hit up was the Gaming Zone. I had visited their store when they first opened several years ago but because of the distance from home I haven’t made it a regular destination. Here they had a few bins of bargain bin games that were two for five dollars. Rummaging through the random plastic shells netted me Ridge Racer 64 and Solstice for the NES. Immediately in front of that vendor was Game Over Games where I know the owner, Ian Olds. They have a fantastic selection of games and while I own the majority of what they were offering, there were a few titles that stuck out. I picked up Psychic Detective complete in the box for the 3DO as well as Make My Video: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch for the Sega CD complete in box. I got them for a pretty good deal and its two games to add to my FMV subset collection.

While exploring what the vendor hall had to offer, I ran into another buddy, Juan Gonzalez who makes quality custom arcade sticks under the Anomaly ArcadeSticks moniker. We caught up for a few before my fiancée and I continued on our exploration of the vendor hall. As we were making our way towards the end we ran into another buddy of mine, Chad Stafford who is part of Super Geek Friends and his own YouTube channel ChitChad. We caught up for a bit before my fiancée and I checked out the video game area for a bit before heading toward the MetalJesusRocks panel.

We were pretty early for the panel with us showing up halfway through Pat the NES Punk’s panel. When MetalJesusRocks panel because it was a short bit on how to collect games on the cheap followed by a lengthy Q&A session. I got to ask a question about how he felt about the new Opeth single, Sorceress. Turns out that he is not a fan of the new direction of Opeth, which is not entirely surprising since their shift from post-Heritage is pretty divisive. I personally enjoy all of the output that Opeth has put out and the shift was not surprising to me since Mikael Akerfeldt always injected obscure progressive rock into Opeth and he was starting to grow tired of death metal in general. Regardless it was a fun little panel and after it was over it was lunch time.

My fiancée had went home before lunch so it was mostly my friends and I that spent the rest of our time at the convention. We checked out the vendor hall again and I got some other deals at a smaller vendor. I found Major League Baseball Presents Ken Griffey Jr. for the N64, Populous on the SNES, Final Fantasy X-2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, and Epic Mickey 2 for the Wii for a decent price. Feeling that we had found what we wanted we headed towards the arcade area where cabinets line the walls and synthwave artists provide the soundtrack.

There was also a Retro Championship happening where a modified version of the Nintendo World Championship  cartridge is up for grabs to anyone who nabs the high score on it. My friend and I decided to compete. The three games were Super Mario Bros. (collect 50 coins), Rad Racer (complete the race), and Tetris (get as many lines as possible). The objective is to get as high of a score as possible within a short time frame. Even though I tried to hype myself up, I did poorly on the Super Mario Bros. section which affected my performance in the rest of the games. I had a good set up for Tetris but none of the long blocks showed up for me preventing me from even nabbing a Tetris. I didn’t place but one of my friends got sixth place and I wish him good luck even though he got all of the long blocks from Tetris.

It was a long day filled with fun, games, and mild disappointment from my performance in the tournament. Well, there is always next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment