I don’t know London … at all. So, I was always going to make a bit of a mistake with the timing of travelling to EGX, but leaving an hour earlier than I needed was perhaps a little bit too cautious. Nonetheless, I reached the practically heaving ExCel unscathed and got through into the event hall, which even at first glance has benefitted from the increased space of its new venue.
First port of call was Final Fantasy VII Remake, of which I was thankfully early in the queue, simply because by the time I had finished the demo itself, I actually couldn’t see the end of the queue that had formed while I was making a mess out of the Mako Reactor. The entire experience was a nostalgia trip, to say the least, albeit looking more like I imagined it when I was younger.
After I got through the demo, both of the other really big titles (Doom Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077) had queues longer than the event itself lasts, so I went for a little wander around the indies. Albeit I will devote more time to really getting into the indie zones later in the week, but I did jump onto a couple that I definitely want to highlight for you all for genuinely surprising me.
- CrisTales from Modus Games. I had no idea what I was going into with this one before I jumped on, but I’m really glad I gave this one a try because this is an incredible RPG and now fully on my radar. The use of time manipulation in the game is interesting, the gameplay is solid, and the art style is gorgeous and expressive. Definitely one to watch.
- Streets of Rage 4 from Dotemu. Being a huge fan of the series in general, I really wanted it to be good, and I wasn’t disappointed. This actually feels like the original games felt from a gameplay standpoint, adding a few extra attacks to shake it up. My only misgiving before was the new art direction, and I’m happy to be wrong with that. It looks incredible in motion.
Finally, I stopped by the huge Nintendo section of EGX. Largely, the big games there were running the E3 demos, which are incredibly solid experiences and worth the try if you’re heading over to the expo over the next couple of days. This being said, I jumped on Daemon X Machina (which I don’t believe I previously skipped on – it’s great) and the gorgeous Trials of Mana remake.
The big surprise for me here was Ring Fit Adventure, which is insultingly enjoyable. The Ring-Con is deceptively tactile and responsive, which for a plastic ring was just unexpected. I know that Nintendo are known for this kind of thing by now, but it never ceases to amaze me. The game itself is intuitive, well-made, and definitely more exhausting than I expected it to be.
I played a section that involved jogging on the spot to make the character jog in-game, which is exactly as tiring as it sounds, while squeezing the Ring-Con to jump over gaps and actually physically exercising to defeat enemies. The last of these had me squatting, tilting, and even sitting on the floor to work my core. I didn’t expect to exercise so much at EGX, if I’m honest.
Today was my shorter day at the expo, what with the Pokémon Centre opening in Shepherd’s Bush, and so I’ll have a lot more time to check out more games in tomorrow’s diary entry. Honestly though, the main thing I have learned about today is that Ring Fit Adventure, after a day of walking around, was a mistake. A glorious, enjoyable, tiring mistake. Now onto tomorrow.
Evercade announce their first Bitmap Brothers collection
Continue the conversation over on The Digital Fix Forum