Hello dear readers! After all that football furore which took place over the last few weeks, things have started to calm down here at Shoot the Rookie, and I’ve had a chance to reflect on my recent holiday exploits. This isn’t a travel blog though, I mean heavy-metal pubs in the heart of Bristol may not be what you want to read about on a games blog. However during my break I was lucky enough to have several gaming experiences, and I’d like to share them with you here.
Despite it being ridiculously hot, I managed get some unexpected gaming in. This all started in a slightly unusual location – my best friend’s wedding! Not only did they set up an awesome games room (with pretty much every game ever) AND put on a full Rock Band gig, they also included lots of little nods to the gaming world around the venue, including this totally awesome Resident Evil typewriter as a guest book:
From the wedding in Wales I made my way to Bristol where I hung out at another gaming gem: Kongs of King Street . This is a cool pub with lots of delicious craft beer as well as a multitude of arcade cabinets. With games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter 2 & Donkey Kong, this place will not disappoint retro gamers. You can even branch out to Ping-Pong and Foosball if you want a screen break.
My final gaming expedition of the holiday came back in my hometown of Glasgow, where I attended an event called Games Mania at the Glasgow Science Centre.
Games Mania is a gaming event featuring four decades of gaming on more than 150 platforms. Running from June 27th to July 16th 2018, the daytime sessions offered a great day out for families during the school holidays, whilst the evening sessions (which were ‘over 18s only’ events), offered grown-up gamers a chance to game with beer. There was also one day which was a dedicated autism-friendly session. Being a fan of beer, I opted for one of the evening sessions and it was certainly one of the best gaming events I’ve been to. To be honest, I would have liked to go back for another session, as there was no way I could fit it all into 3 hours!
Games Mania gave me an opportunity to play many games for the first time, including my first VR experience in the shape of Wipeout (or indeed, as it is apparently known, wipEout). I found it an interesting experience, and although it made me feel slightly queasy, I’d definitely like to try it again. After I’d finished my first race, the lady in charge of the VR stuff suggested that perhaps I hadn’t had my headset put on quite right, but I reassured her that I could see fine but that I do in fact suck at racing games!
As well as getting to try my hand at VR and a few new games like Mario Odyssey, I also spent a lot of time playing the retro arcade machines, such as OutRun (yes, more racing games) and Operation Wolf (where, as you can see from the picture above, I wasn’t terribly successful). I also got to play one of my partner’s favourites – Gauntlet. After rampaging around collecting keys and avoiding ‘death’ with Valkyrie, Warrior, Elf and Wizard I got a real feel for the game and would like to try it again.
I also messed around with a bunch of random games, including Sonic Generations, Nidhogg and Guilty Gear (I’m not sure which installment it was but I liked being tiny girl with huge axe…), and finally got to try out the immense Streets of Rage, which I’ve previously only known about through Axel Stone’s exploits in Project X Zone 2!
At these kind of events I always seem to spend a bit of time playing games I already own, so I also clocked up some battles in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Super Smash Bros, and was reminded why I love both of them and should play them more.
Finally, I want to share with you the one game at this event which seemed to get everyone talking. It is in fact not exactly a video game, but a physics game in which you use a tiltable bar to roll balls into a yellow hole (for victory), whilst avoiding the other holes (for death). Whether or not you succeed in placing the ball correctly you are greeted by a terrifying voice from the ether. I assume it’s actual message varied depending on your success, but as I couldn’t hear it very well over the din of the event I think it might just have said ‘I’m going to kill you’ over and over again regardless. It was an involving, addictive and slightly terrifying experience! Very sadly, I have no idea what it’s called, so you’ll just have to make do with some pictures for reference:
Overall, I would highly recommend Games Mania if you ever get the chance to go to it. There was only one tiny thing that was a real disappointment, and that was that they PROMISED that the game Commander Keen, an old favourite from my childhood, would be playable there, but instead all I got was this lousy sticker:
Now it’s your turn! Have any of you enjoyed any gaming during your summer holidays, or been to a video game themed wedding? Lets discuss in comments below!
Thanks for reading,