Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Seattle Indie Expo 2012, Metro 2033, and an iOS assist needed!  


Events: This Sunday (July 29) is the second Seattle Indie Expo, and it's got a new location. 

Rather than the SoDo area where it took place last year, it's now being put on at DigiPen in Redmond. Doors open at 10 AM and the event continues until 5 PM.

Skulls of the Shogun
The selection of games this year looks absolutely fantastic. If you haven't already seen it, you can check a trailer for the event right here. For more info, click on over to the website and if you're anywhere near the Seattle area that day, come on over.

I’ll see you there!

(Psst...If you're in the mood for more gaming get-togethers, make sure to check the PR/News/Info section at the bottom of this post for an update about the upcoming Retro Videogame Expo in Portland on September 29-30.)


Games: I'm still putting some time into Metro 2033, but I've got to be honest here, folks... the appeal is really wearing off. What a difference a few hours makes, eh?

Like I said in the last blog post, the game started like a knockout and grabbed me right away. It really did. The first few hours are pretty amazing, and I had no problem getting sucked in. Once past the first few hours, though, it hasn't been nearly as tight.

A little goes a long way.
Basically, it feels like the middle section of the adventure is unnecessary padding that doesn't add anything except more gunplay than is desired. Desired by me, anyway. Since stealth is hard to pull off successfully, things often degenerate into a gunfight when enemy humans are around. Plugging big swarms of mutants isn’t very thrilling, either. Despite the fact that the game is presented in the first-person perspective, it seems like a waste to have such a rich world and potent atmosphere fall back onto common shooting so often.

The other issue is that the story gets off on the right foot, but it soon starts going astray. I've never read the book that this game is based on, so I have no idea whether or not the developers have included all of the various story detours as a way of being faithful to the source material, but I'd rather have something that was six hours and laser-focused than what it is now – a game that's a lot closer to ten or twelve hours, with the dramatic momentum in danger of totally evaporating long before the end.

I was pretty close to quitting tonight for no other reason than the game doesn't seem to have any new tricks to share with me, and I'm not getting enjoyment out of going through a lot of similar-looking tunnels and ruined buildings as the story rambles forward, but I decided to take a break instead. I'm nearly done, and it would be a waste to stop now. 

I'll try to chip away at it, a few levels at a time.


Reviews: I'll be starting a brand-new feature at GameCritics soon, focusing on iOS titles. I plan to review three or four at a time, so if you've got a favorite that you want to see reviewed, then drop me a line here at the comments section, through e-mail, or on twitter.

Raid Leader

Also, I'm looking for a title for this series. I've got a few ideas at the moment, but nothing’s really clicking quite yet. I'm open to suggestions, so if something clever occurs you, let me know about that, as well. 

If I use your title or if I review a game that you brought to my attention, I'll give you a shout out and my most heartfelt appreciation!


Families and video game fans from around the Northwest can look forward to the seventh-annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE) on September 29-30, 2012. Held last year at the Doubletree Hotel, PRGE moved to the Oregon Convention Center to accommodate the event's growing popularity. The event will be held in the 60,000 square foot 'Hall C' of the Convention Center. Specifically, PRGE will feature a greatly expanded arcade section which has been coined the 'Megacade.' Nearly 20,000 square feet of floor space will be set aside for attendees to play more than 100 classic arcade, console, and pinball. The arcade is being presented in partnership with the popular classic arcade, Ground Kontrol.
PRGE attracts fans of video games and their history and is a family friendly, all-ages event. It is made up of three areas: The arcade, speakers and panels, and the Vendor Marketplace.

The arcade will feature an unprecedented number of classic arcade and pinball machines, showcasing everything from Asteroids to Zaxxon. More than 40 classic home consoles will available to play, including such favorites as the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Sega Genesis. All games will be free to play with admission.

The Theater will feature two separate auditoriums where attendees can see speakers and panels on a variety of classic gaming topics. Attendees can participate in a video game trivia contest, a cosplay/costume contest and a live auction for many rare video game items and memorabilia.

The Vendor Marketplace is by far the largest and most popular part of the convention. More than 40 vendors will be selling classic games, consoles, and memorabilia from over 30 years of video game history. Game-related crafts and art pieces will also be available. 

Passes can be purchased online or at the door. Pre-sale tickets will allow attendees to get into the event one hour early on Saturday, September 29. Vendor space is still available and PRGE is soliciting arcade game owners to volunteer their games for the event. Visit RetroGamingExpo.com for more information.
“Our new arcade alone is larger than our entire event last year. I feel that this portion of the expo will offer something that attendees have never seen before – a nostalgic arcade experience on a vast scale." says Chuck Van Pelt, one of the organizers of the PRGE.

“Last year, we doubled our size and our convention was still packed. We have responded to the demand by selecting the Oregon Convention Center for the 2012 Expo. I’m really excited to unveil the Megacade, " says Rick Weis, of PRGE.

For tickets or information on the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, visit RetroGamingExpo.com.
For press passes, photos or interviews, please contact:
Rick Weis, Vendor & Exhibitor Services, 360-619-2217rick@retrogamingexpo.com
Chuck Van Pelt, Public Relations & Marketing, 503-349-3970chuck@retrogamingexpo.com


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