EGX Birmingham 2015 – The Roundup

EGX has come and gone and while we were only there for the day we managed to sneak a conversation with a few studios to talk about their upcoming titles; so here is our roundup of what we achieved at EGX 2015.

Rezzed Zone:

Aperion Cyberstorm:

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Developed by Apiori Digital Aperion Cyberstorm is a new fast-packed retro themed space shooter that focuses entirely on five-player multiplayer mayhem. The game, which is due out for the Wii U within the next year, contains a mission based campaign mode alongside multiple 5-player multiplayer gameplay modes.

Two of the modes were sampled saw up to five players attempting to destory each other using any of the weapons on the map. The first gameplay mode, simply deathmatch, challenges all players to destory one another with the highest scorer crowned the winner while the second gameplay mode we saw offered a similar experience except this time one of the players was a giant ship. The idea is that players can either work together in destorying the target or go solo and attack anything neabry; but once again whoever scores the most points wins.

Aperion Cyberstorm also offers customisable weapon and spaceship loadout; as before each match and campaign mission the ship and it’s firepower can be chosen.

Not G.T.A / Not C.O.D:

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Two titles were on offer from the small indie development studio NOT Games and while they ‘officially’ didn’t say it these titles are Not Grand Theft Auto and Not Call of Duty. Basically they are hand-drawn-variations of the ever popular mobile game Snake; except this time it’s taken the theme of Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty.

Just like in Snake the objective is to walk around the map collecting various objects while avoiding the enemies that appear. As you can probably tell its been designed intentionally as a parody game and its meant to be taken lightly; but at its core its actually a half-decent snake clone.

The Crystal Rift:

CrystalRift-screenshot

Set within a dungeon The Crystal Rift is an Oculus Rift game whereby players are submerged into the world and must escape it. The concept is pretty basic but, as with all games, it presents itself extremely well; for instance the demo we sampled saw us attempting to escape the twisting turns of a dungeon styled maze while avoiding death from taps, enemies and holes from within the floor.

The game might look basic from onlookers but with the Oculus Rift attached to your head you are transported into another world and as a result you must look around in order to survive – even if you look like a fool doing it. We were told that this demonstration was only a sample of what to expect; but nevertheless it was entertaining and exciting as you start from an empty room and carefully progress forward through a dungeon collecting weapons, items and avoiding danger at every turn – in a sense this is the virtual reality variation of the TV gameshow nightmare.

Worms W.M.D:

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Worms W.M.D, otherwise known as Worms: Weapons of Mass Destruction, is the latest instalment into the long running worms franchise and surprisingly enough it’s returned to its original roots – or so you think. Visually the game looks like the worms of old, especially Worms World Party, except new gameplay features have been implemented into making the game a bigger challenge; both for newcomers and veterans to the franchise.

For starters vehicles and level-based-weapons have been now been introduced, hence the name “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, on selective weapons and when one is approached that worm can use it. It’s a rather satisfying feeling to acquire a tank and then use it on your opponent and whats most interesting is that these weapons even have their own health bar. For our demonstration we only managed to see the tank and a turret gun; but we’ve been promised to expect other weapons in the full game.

The second major addition to this game is the ability to go into buildings; a useful tool for either escaping from the enemy or looking for well-hidden-supplies. Worms W.M.D might look like the same game as those released many years ago; but having sampled what it has to offer it is a completely new experience of worms-based-warfare.

Main Floor:

Rock Band 4:

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It’s been five years since the release of a Rock Band title and Madcatz / Harmonix are back in style with the release of Rock Band 4; and their demonstration of the product was also something to be marveled at. As part of Rock Band 4’s EGX presentation they turned their entire booth area into a single stage and offered potentially players the chance to come-up on stage and sample what it has to offer.

As an on-looker the game looks no different to how it does in Rock Band 3, with the exception of improved visuals, however once you dig deep into the games mechanics you can tell things have changed. For starters Rock Band 4 will, after launch, be compatible with all previously released DLC content and if you own that content in the same console family you will gain access to it. In terms of gameplay mechanics then new ‘free-style’ features have been implemented whereby you can play the guitar your own way as opposed to following the notes on screen. Other notable features include continous play and the biggest setlist ever found within a Rock Band game.

Street Fighter V:

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Despite being one of the biggest fighting titles around Street Fighter V’s presense at EGX was relatively small; but the game remains as good as you would expect it to be. The demonstration we saw offered eight playable characters, including fan favourites Ken, Ryu and Chin-Li amongst newcomer Necalli.

The controls and input commands remain the same as they did on Street Fighter IV so if you know how to perform moves then you will already have an advantage; something which i myself found out when i played the game against an unsuspecting new player (sorry!). Visually it has improved, both on screen and off, but from a gameplay stand-point its the same. Attempting to use Necalli on the otherhand prooved difficult but as with all fighting games its about learn the characters moveset and understanding how they worked; either way Street Fighter V is just as good as you would expect it to be.

Retro Zone:

Retro Floor:

retro-zone-egx-2015

The Retro Zone Show floor was filled with all-sorts of gaming equipment ranging from the Atari 2600 and ZX Spectrum to the more recent Xbox 360 and PS3. Dedicated multiplayer zones had also been setup whereby you could take part in 4-player multiplayer games such as Mario Kart 64, Lylat Wars and Goldeneye.

The highlight of the retro show floor, for me at least, was the ‘through the years’ section whereby a single franchise from old to current would be displayed; for this instance we saw Mario Kart and Super Mario Bros with games ranging from the NES all the way up to the Wii U. Of course there were other platforms, such as Sonic The hedgehog, which saw sonic games ranging from the Master System all the way up to the recent Sonic Lost World on the Wii U.

Classic Gaming Championships:

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The Classic Gaming Championships were underway at EGX whereby players were challenged to achieve their best score on three games across three platforms.The three games themselves were Dragster, Tony Hawks Pro Skater and Super Star Soldier.

The Classic Gaming Championship is sponsored by www.funstock.co.uk and each day the leaderboard was updated with the current highscore; so if you attended the entire weekend you would have an idea of what score to beat on that particular day.

Visit www.funstockretro.co.uk to view our full range of retro products and www.funstockdigital.co.uk for our full range of PC Games.