Play Expo Manchester 2015 Recap

So Play Expo Manchester came and went in something of a blur. It was fantastic to finally attend an event and bring the Dreamcast to the masses of gaming fans who maybe never owned one or are too young to even remember it. Not only that, it was brilliant to be able to speak to people who listen to the DreamPod and who are active members of the many Dreamcast forums, communities and Facebook groups (including our own!) around the web.
The DCJY Team - Tom, Gaz, Rob and Martin
We didn't have a massive presence at Play Expo - as a relatively small concern we were allotted two tables on the periphery of the Re:Play retro gaming section, but we still managed to attract a lot of traffic. We had two CRT TVs, a giant VGA-enabled LCD and a proper VGA monitor. Hooked up to the LCD we had a powerful sound system that really enhanced the experience for those people who got to try out Rez.

The larger of the two traditional TVs was exclusively used for The House of the Dead 2 (with two guns, naturally), while the VGA monitor and smaller TV were used for shmups such as Ghost Blade, Dux 1.5 and Fast Striker (thanks Aaron); and fighters like Capcom Vs SNK and King of Fighters '99. We really wanted to show the diversity of the Dreamcast's library so the main screen was also used to play host to four-way Virtua Tennis battles (which were a real crowd pleaser) and also that old fail safe Ready 2 Rumble Boxing.

The Twin Stick, steering wheel and arcade sticks went down a storm, as did the opened-up Dreamcast that we used to show people what the inside of the system looks like (don't worry - it was a broken one!). The wireless DreamConn controller was also very well received by those who used it, and and karaoke unit confused and intrigued a lot of people too!
Away from the Junkyard's showing, the expo boasted hundreds of arcade cabinets and pinball machines, consoles from every generation, cosplay competitions, a whole load of indie devs showcasing their latest games and of course traders selling games for every system you could want. Personally, I picked up a RetroN 5 and a Neo Geo CD for very reasonable prices.
The two-day event really was an outstanding success for the 'Yard and it was amazing to meet so many people who are readers of the site, listeners of the podcast and fans of the Facebook page. David Webster attended and demoed his ambitious work-in-progress shooter engine at the stand, and thanks must go to Sore Thumb games for lending us a couple of Dreamcast titles that we forgot to bring! Perhaps the best moment for me though, was when a young lad of around 9 years old came up and told me that his favourite console is the Dreamcast and his favourite game is Chu Chu Rocket. It's great to know that the next generation of gamers still have a place for the Dreamcast next to their PS4s, Wii Us and Xbox Ones. Below are a few more pictures from the event, and hopefully this will be the first of many more.


Anthony817 said...

That looked like a lot of fun. Wish there were more retro conventions here in North Central Texas. Would be awesome to attend something like that.

Tom Charnock said...

Yeah, it was great fun. Did you get your PS1 controller yet?

Anthony817 said...

Unfortunately not yet. There seems to have been some kind of problem at his local post office with them being kind of backed up. Hopefully I get it soon though.