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Batthink avatar 5:42 AM on 09.17.2011  (server time)
Countdown to Eurogamer 2011: A Look at Last Year

Hollie and the gang hanging out at her home

For those of you basking in the memories of PAX Expos, E3 and Gamescom, you’d be forgiven for believing that all of these shows managed to cover all of the forthcoming videogame treats for the next year, and that there wouldn’t be any more to come. You’d be wrong.

As I mentioned in Destructoid a while ago, Gamescom happened in Europe. As such, there has been extra pressure on both British-based gaming shows to deliver something that the German one didn’t. After all, if someone has already had a whale of a time at one event, the newer event needs to give the impression that it isn’t a case of déjà vu. GAMEfest, happening in Birmingham at this very moment, will deliver the UK’s first chance to have a go on one of the biggest titles this year, Modern Warfare 3. Meanwhile, next week’s Eurogamer Expo will have the next chapter in Sony’s ongoing attempt to muscle in on the handheld market, the Vita.

For most of the Destructoid community across the other side of the Atlantic, this won’t mean much. The Vita will probably be demoed at a later event over there. For the British and European contingent, however, the Eurogamer Expo in London will be an important chance to meet up again and have brilliant fun. I promised a post-event blog on last year’s Expo, but I’ve decided to make a pre-event blog now instead. You can blame my laziness for that, but this is also an opportunity to stir up a bit of enthusiasm.

[b]Just to make you aware, cosplay doesn't happen very often at the Expo. When it does, the outfits look very good[b]

When we all met up last year, Kinect and Playstation Move were trying to muscle in on Nintendo Wii’s active-gaming craze. Kinect was stirring up a buzz with various attendees trying out Dance Central, whilst Move had several more booths on hand for people to try the sports launch game. Microphone-based Def Jam Rapstar was something that Hollie Bennett, our leader for the event, managed to give us a more detailed preview thanks to an early copy she was allowed to try out, and was also present on the floor of Earls Court.

Several more conventional games were trying to help people decide what to do with the contents of their wallets. FIFA 11, F1 2011 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood were on show, but the ‘highlight’ had to be several booths dedicated to the ‘phenomenal’ Mafia 2. With its slightly buggy NPCs that seemed to have the ability to lean on the most unlikely of surfaces, it ‘could’ have taken Game of the Show. If there was a ‘Game of the Show’.

Forthcoming games like Brink and Medal of Honour were getting extremely long lines, Gears of War 3 had its ‘Beast’ mode on display, and we were getting hands on with Hunted and Killzone 3. The latter game was also being displayed on a 3D television, another important feature of the show. Whilst I was sceptical about how well it would make a long-term profit (we only just had HDTVs out before then, FFS), I was impressed by how it worked on not only the aforementioned game, but also the new Motorstorm game. Seeing people, debris and stuff fly at you was awesome.

What wasn’t so awesome was when the developers of Hunted decided to show off their game in a developer session, only to see it crash right in front of the audience. Humorous, but you had to be reminded that the game was still at an unfinished state.

You'd be surprised how many peeps managed to fit in the tiny place

The first night was spend around Hollie’s pad, checking out Rapstar, socializing, playing around with fake promo Rapstar dollars and in one case, blowing chunks when the alcohol got too much.

There was much more to consider over the first two days which I attended. I didn’t get to see the booth with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, but I had fun with Mario Sports Mix instead. I was joined by Approximation (the same could be said about my spelling of his name, because he might have spelt it differently to how I believe), who related a tale of frustration at being barged off Marvel vs Capcom 3 by an over-zealous gamer. Both of us had a go in the end, and I was feeling particularly impressed at my ability to catch my rival’s characters in a Dante/Chun Li cross-up until a big attack on both my fighters wiped them out. But I was happy.

This is the smile of a man who got his first ever go on Marvel vs Capcom 3

Last year will also hold happy memories of what was the last time we got to play in the arcade heaven that is the Trocadero Funland. A hotel will be constructed in there for the Olympics for next year, and I’m sure that all of us will be mourning/enraged at its loss. I personally will be gutted, as will the area of its coin-op machines. I’m praying that they all get good homes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit Namco Station at Westminster instead or something.

And can I mention the karaoke? Yes, that was a thing that happened, and it will be happening again this year. It will be joined by a special after-show charity party AND a night watching Jurassic Park in the cinema. And don’t forget the meet and greets with the other Destructoid members. And all the stuff at Eurogamer like free Onlive sets, Gears of War 3, Halo: CE, Forza 4, the new SSX, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3, Saints Row: The Third, Sonic Generations, Soul Calibur V, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Retro and Challenge Areas, developer sessions, Rage, Ninja Gaiden 3, the Indie Games Arcade, Battlefield 3, FIFA 12, Dark Souls

gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp, huuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrr….

Expect to feel like this towards the last day of the Expo. Barring any mishap, Aidan (AKA Toilet Duck) will be present at this year's event!

I never knew that looking through the Expo newsletters and listing the names could be so tiring. O_O

Well, I let you in on how it went. Or I’ll let someone else do it, and do the same type of blog next year. Anyway, I’m looking forward to a weekend of fun. Roll on next week.

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