Play Blackpool 2016 Recap
I've just arrived home from what was another great Play Expo event in Blackpool at the Norcalympia Exhibition Centre at the Norbreck Castle Hotel. For those who don't know, or haven't read my blog posts in the past recapping the fun to be had, the Play Events take place at various different locations roughly three or four times a year. With the ones at Blackpool and Manchester being close to where I live, I've been going to these ones for the past three years. The events are filled with old school games, arcade machines, pinball tables, next-gen consoles, tournaments, vendors and plenty more!
The Main Hall
Before I'd even got through the entrance door, I messaged and text punkyliar
with quite some urgency, as I thought she would be coming with my press pass. I then came to the harsh realisation that Punky had emailed me with the pass earlier on the week. What the hell I did with the email, I still don't know! Thankfully, the Play Expo team had my name down via the order number, so my free weekend access was granted!
I headed into the main area and scoped out the main hall really quick for a few key things:
- Quality old school games to play on the SNES, PS1 and PS2
- The SNES Super Mario Kart tournament
- The Classic Gaming Championships
The first two were there but unfortunately the CGC wasn't anywhere to be seen, unless I'm blind. I dived into the trading hall next to see what goodies, if any, I could pick up. Not that I should have really been buying any! I pretty much always look for the same stuff - SNES, GameBoy games (DS and GBA), and maybe some clothing or accessories. After mooching around and comparing a few prices, these three little beauties caught my eye:
A couple of nice SNES games and a GBA title
I've played The Mask
before on the SNES back in the day and had a lot of fun with it so this was a good buy. I'd played Super Probotector: Alien Rebel
at the last Play event in Manchester and was really impressed by it. It was a bit on the pricey side but I thought I may as well just treat myself. Lastly, Mega Man Battle Network 3
is bound to impress. I've got 5 and 6 from the series but I've still yet to play 6. I'll probably never get round to playing any of these games but if I do, at least they are there
More of the Main Hall
I headed back to the main hall to see what was on offer. I came across the arcade stand version of 18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
. I first came across a bigger arcade version of this many, MANY years ago when my missus and I went to Blackpool over 10 years a go on a day out. I'd was brilliant using the steering wheel and pedals to play and I never saw another one again after that. I hopped onto the machine ready to rock and roll in an 18 Wheeler and then to my horror, the pedals weren't working!
I told one of the staff members who said that one guy was in charge of the arcade cabinets and she'd let him know it was down. Unfortunately it didn't get fixed until the next day.
I came back to it today to see that it was working. I failed on my first attempt on my way to Las Vegas and left it at that. I came back to it again and there was a guy playing who'd just lost his attempt too. Despite seeing me stood waiting, he tried again anyway only to lose again on the same level. Then he tried again while I stood waiting patiently! He lost, yet again, and then finally let me get my hands on the wheel. Awkwardly, he stood nearby watching me. It was my time to shine! I managed to get to the same level and failed also, but obviously I just continued the game anyway, like he did to me. Then, I smashed the level and continued to complete the final level in one attempt too!
I strolled off with pride while the credits rolled
Another cabinet that caught my eye was Crazy Taxi
. This was also a version with pedals and a steering wheel. I came back to this a few times but didn't have a massive amount of success playing as I couldn't get the boost to work where you can switch to reverse, let go of the accelerator, flip back to drive and hit the gas for a boost.
I then checked in at the SNES tournament for a potential third win in a row. In case you missed it, I won the overall tournament at last year's Play Blackpool event and the following Manchester one too. Sami Cetin
was hosting the event again and the same rules applied. Participants had to set the fastest time they could on Mario Circuit 1 using any character. Anyone trying out got one attempt and by 2pm that day, the top 8 players would qualify for the knockout tournament. I finished 2nd overall in the times using Luigi. I know that Toad and Koopa are favourites for the majority of players who won't have mastered Bowser/DK, but I won in Manchester using Mario, so I thought I'd give Luigi a shot in the tournament.
Shockingly, I was knocked out of the first round 3-0!
I raced well against my opponent who used Toad but he raced very well also and benefited much more than I did from items. Out of the three races, I got one good item - a star! Even then, I didn't capitalize on the moment as I ended up hitting a planted green shell shortly after my star power ran out. My opponent lead most of the races and even when he was behind, he managed to get a red shell at the right time or use his mushroom boosts really well. Unfortunately, the same guy who beat me made it to the finals but lost to eventual champion. I'll try again in Manchester come October and take the safer option with Toad/Koopa.
I also brought back good memories with some Street Fighter II Turbo
action on the SNES and Donkey Kong Country
. I checked out MegaMan
on the NES, watched the Cosplay tournament, played a bit of Diablo III
and then made my way back home a little bit earlier today so I could squeeze in some Xbox time before a busy day tomorrow. I didn't really check out much else really as the selection of games wasn't that amazing this time round. However, the event did have a bit more VR stuff going on this time around and there was a great raffle going on that I should've took part in really. The most noteable prizes where the Mystery Box from Konami that included what must have been 5-6 games, two footballs, some other stuff, and lastly, a nice size box that had Metal Gear Solid
artwork all over it. The guy who won the box didn't do a great job of actually showcasing what he'd won and the guy with the microphone didn't tell us what he'd won either. From where I was standing, it looked like a MGS-themed console of some sort or possibly a figurine of an MGS character. Either way, it looked good! The main prize from the raffle was a signed Oculus Rift that could only be won and wasn't being sold via retailers.
All in all, it was another great gaming weekend and I'm looking forward to what Manchester will have to offer. If you haven't been to a Play event yet, then you REALLY need to check it out! It's a great day/weekend out for all range of gamers!
Thanks for reading!
Posted by Dat Boi Treezy
on 01 May 16 at 18:08
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