Showing posts with label DCJY Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DCJY Events. Show all posts

Show Report: Nottingham Video Games Expo 2022

The weekend of 17 & 18 December 2022 saw the inaugural Nottingham Video Games Expo take place The city of Nottingham, England for the uninitiated, is the ancestral home of such luminaries as fictional horse jacker Robin Hood, painfully unfunny comedian Jon Richardson, professional face puncher Carl Froch, and Manchester United legend Andy Cole. It now also has its own gaming festival in the form of NottsVGE.

Naturally, The Dreamcast Junkyard took the opportunity to represent at this brand spanking new event, and it was a pleasure to be able to meet fellow Dreamcast enthusiasts, exhibitors and event visitors to spread the gospel of the Dreamcast to all who would listen.
Punters puntering
Several members of the editorial and podcast crew from the 'Yard manned our small but perfectly formed area, with Tom, Jaz, Andrew, Lewis, Kev and Lozz all taking turns to stand around and bore anyone who happened to wander near on the intricacies of the Dreamcast's genetic makeup or the splendour of the system's library and range of peripherals. Poor souls. The public, I mean.
Lozz, Lewis, Jaz, Andrew, Tom and Kev
It wasn't all fun and games though (or was it?), as we had a rather special competition to run. As alluded to in a recent post, our friends at Bitmap Bureau supplied us with several copies of the excellent Xeno Crisis to give away to those who were hardy enough to register a high score on the superlative Smash TV 'em up using the Dreamcast Twin Stick controller. 

Around 30 people took to the hotseat to test their mettle, including both Dan and Nick of WAVE Game Studios, and Dean Mortlock of SEGA Powered. Alas, the ultimate winner turned out to be none other than Aaron 'The Gagaman' Foster, a man who assisted in the early days of both the DCJY blog and DreamPod. It wasn't a fix, honest.
Elsewhere, anyone who visited our little section of the expo floor was able to sample some lightgun action with Houe of the Dead 2 and Confidential Mission, or the traditional delights of Sega Rally 2, Power Stone, Virtua Tennis, Cosmic Smash, Crazy Taxi, Yu Suzki's Gameworks and a range of other titles when they were available/the Dreamcasts were behaving and not throwing up random issues such as controller ports not working or AV ports refusing to play ball with the screens.

NottsVGE was a much more intimate event than previous excursions (Play Expo Blackpool 2018 was probably our largest, with around 15 Dreamcasts available for people to play), but what was especially nice was the abilty for all of us from The Dreamcast Junkyard team to actually hear and engage with visitors, and have some audible conversations (other events tend to be quite loud due to the size of them). 

It was also quite fascinating on a personal level to see how the younger visitors approached the Dreamcast and the peripherals on offer, many of them having never seen the console before. The impressions were overwhelmingly positive, showing that the SEGA brand can still bring a smile to the faces of kids who aren't as au fait with the brand's hardware as us old farts are.
The next generation of Dreamcast gamers.
Paul, Marc and Dean from SEGA Powered.
NottsVGE offered a range of sellers who were hawking their gaming wares, along with a couple of teams you'll no doubt be familiar with if you're in any way interested in the Dreamcast. First up, and as mentioned, WAVE Game Studios were in attendance selling and demonstrating a range of titles from their impressive stable, with Intrepid Izzy, Alice Dreams Tournament, Rush Rush Rally Reloaded, Shadow Gangs and Postal all popular. 
Dean was forced at gunpoint to autograph a copy of SEGA Power.
Our friends from both SegaMags and SEGA Powered were also at NottsVGE and it was really nice to be able to meet the legendary journo/editor Dean Mortlock in the flesh for the first time. Matt and James from Shenmue Dojo were also in attendance, as were Get Well Gamers, YouTuber TootyUK, and community magazines Evercade Evolution and Amiga Addict.
Tom and Lewis with Dan and Nick from WAVE Game Studios.
On the main stage, the team from The Retro Hour interviewed a trio of guests from the golden era of Rare's time as Nintendo's third party development darling; while later a Q&A session was hosted by Paul Drury from Retro Gamer Magazine. 
The Retro Hour introduced guests from Rare.
Tom with Skilljim and Matt from Shenmue Dojo.
A rather popular Mario Kart 8 tournament was facilitated by Nottingham Nintendo, but the real coup de grâce was a battle royale between WAVE Game Studios and The Dreamcast Junkyard. In a true test of guile and skill over the course of two games of three rounds (Power Stone 2 and Virtua Tennis), these two behemoths went toe to toe...only for WAVE to trounce us 2-0. Naturally, the blame was levelled at Lewis' cack-handed Power Stone 2 skills and Tom's controller port only working intermittently. Um.
At least someone was having fun...
Liberties were taken to be honest.
The final insult of the event came when James 'Jaz' Harvey unironically subjected several hundred paying event-goers to a disgusting display of hubris, with gameplay from Spirit of Speed 1937 being displayed on a giant projector screen. If NottsVGE don't invite us back again, I'm confident this act of wanton terrorism will be cited. Oh, and there was Kev wandering around offering people cupcakes of questionable origin.
Would you take a free cupcake from this man?
Congratulations and thanks to both James (ItsMuchMore) and Alex (gamesreup) for inviting us to be a part of their successful debut event. It all ran smoothly and they should both be immensley proud for putting on such a great expo and generally just being top blokes. 
Overall though, it was just really nice to meet people and talk face to face with fellow gamers who either have a passion for the Dreamcast; or who had never even seen one before. Here's to the next Nottingham Video Games Expo, whenever that may be.

Come and see us at Nottingham Video Games Expo and win cool Xeno Crisis swag!

It's been almost four years since The Dreamcast Junkyard last attended a live gaming event, and that is definitely four years too many. It was back in 2018 that we attended Play Expo Blackpool and hung out with those lovely chaps Adam Koralik and Dan 'DJ Slope' Ibbertson; and to be honest it seems like a lifetime ago. This is set to be rectified in December 2022 when The Dreamcast Junkyard attends Nottingham Video Games Expo in...erm...Nottingham, UK.

Adam was impressed with Kev's home made T-shirt.

Taking place over the weekend of 17th & 18th December (which is also the weekend of the 2022 World Cup final, footy fans) at the Richard Herrod Centre, NottsVGE is a fairly intimate event but one which is bristling with the cream of the UK gaming scene. Amongst the confirmed attendees are WAVE Game Studios, SEGA Powered, gamesreup_, It's Much More, SEGA MagsRare, and The Retro Hour and many others too; alongside a whole host of special guests and traders selling gaming gear. There's also a bar. Important detail, that.

Tried to make this lot look as sexy as possible.
Alas, this thing was a lost cause.

As mentioned, several of the Junkyard's podcast and editorial crew will be there manning our dedicated stand (where you can play some Dreamcast games or just generally loiter and chat if you so wish), and we've teamed up with those lovely folks at Bitmap Bureau to run a pretty cool little competition. 

The rules are simple: play a game of the excellent Xeno Crisis and record your highest possible score using the Dreamcast Twin Stick controller. If you place among the top scorers on the day, you'll bag an awesome prize! We have Xeno Crisis T-shirts and 6 copies of the game to give away on several formats (Mega Drive, Dreamcast and Neo-Geo CD), as well as a copy of the Xeno Crisis OST and a wad of Xeno Crisis promotional postcards.

If you're not familiar with Xeno Crisis, we reviewed it here at the Junkyard upon release for the Dreamcast in 2020, and Mike Phelan was pretty impressed with what the sci-fi themed top-down shooter had to offer:

"I'll be playing Xeno Crisis for some time, and I look forward to each and every re-entry into that damned colony and it's ugly denizens...Because it's fun. Bloody, silly, exciting fun. And that, really, is the greatest compliment I can pay any game. Indie Dreamcast developers - a new challenger has arrived in the arena, and it's here to show you how it's done."

Big thanks to Mike Tucker at Bitmap Bureau for supplying these prizes. If you haven't got your tickets already, head over to the NottsVGE website or give the event a follow on Twitter

We're only in attendance on Saturday 17th December so if you want to be in with a chance of either meeting Kev and seeing/touching/sniffing his glorious bootleg T-shirt, or bagging one of our Xeno Crisis prizes, then you know what to do. We look forward to seeing you there!

PLAY Expo Blackpool 2018 - Show Report

The weekend of 27 - 28 October saw the return of one of the UK's biggest retro gaming events to the northern seaside town of Blackpool. PLAY Expo Blackpool was a dedicated retro showcase, with hundreds - possibly thousands - of classic consoles, computers, arcade cabinets and pinball tables available to be played by event goers. Naturally, as 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast, we were in attendance to promote the system, its games and some of the more interesting hardware to come out of the whole Dreamcast story.
A surprisingly quiet moment at the DCJY area
On top of our fairly sizeable display section where we had almost 30 consoles available for people to play on, we also took part in a panel talk about the Dreamcast. The panel was organised by The Retro Hour, which for those who don't know is probably the biggest weekly retro gaming podcast there is. The panel was also made up of myself (Tom), Mike Phelan (author of our awesome A to Z of Dreamcast Games), our good friend and YouTuber Adam Koralik, and the whole thing was chaired by Daniel 'DJ Slope' Ibbertson of the awesome Slope's Game Room. It was a great panel and we took a range of questions from the audience, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can view the panel below from the comfort of your own home.

I'm going to get the panel uploaded as a podcast with an introduction too, so keep your ears peeled for that aural treat. Basically, the event was a roaring success, and our section of the main hall was bolstered by the inclusion of a couple of rare Treamcast consoles and a super-rare Divers 2000 Dreamcast; both of which were supplied by Quang of Asobitech.
Me with Quang of Asobitech
Huge thanks go to Quang and we have to give him kudos for the sheer number of other outstanding and rare consoles he had on display in his area of the hall. The FM Towns Marty, an N64 DD and even a Nuon made up the numbers at the Asobitech display and Quang could quite easily have put his Dreamcast rarities on show alongside them, but he loaned to us and that was an awesome gesture.

Event: Southampton Game Fest 2018 - Saturday 6th October

As well as running this place, a YouTube channel, an award-nominated podcast, the world's best Twitter account* and the largest Dreamcast-related group on Facebook, we fine folk at the Junkyard also occasionally crawl out of our respective holes to support live events. Indeed, any of you who have visited either the Play Expo or Revival events around the UK in previous years will attest to having witnessed the Junkyard team drinking heavily and beating away rabid fans/autograph hunters with extreme efficiency and accuracy.
October 6th will see some of us donning our protective hazmat suits once again as we attempt to engage the public at another event - Southampton Game Fest 2018. As the name suggests, this is a festival of all things gaming, and will be held in the city of Southampton on the south coast of England. Southampton Game Fest is held entirely in support of various charities, and this year will be held in several locations across the city. We'll have multiple Dreamcast consoles set up, along with a host of peripherals and games for people to play on.

If you're free on Saturday 6th October, why not come down to the event, buy us beer, play some Dreamcast games and get involved with the fun? As well as us, the folks from Bitmap Bureau will also be supporting Game Fest, so it's a perfect excuse to get some first hand experience with their awesome-looking retro inspired shooter Xeno Crisis.
For more information and to buy tickets (or become an exhibitor yourself), head over to the Southampton Game Fest 2018 website here. You can also find out more information on our upcoming events by checking the Events page here.

* This, like the cake, is a lie.

Play Expo Manchester 2016 Show Report

The weekend of the 8th and 9th of October 2016 saw Replay Events' huge Play Expo gaming event return to the north west of England, with Play Expo Manchester. The event has been a staple of the gaming calendar for many people in the UK and European gaming communities for the last few years as it blends retro, current, PC, console and board gaming; and supplements them with cosplay competitions, indie game showcases and more arcade and pinball machines than you can shake a stick at - all set to free play. Oh, and there are hundreds of sellers on hand to offer event goers the opportunity to pick up all kinds of gaming paraphernalia, should their budgets stretch to it.
Naturally, The Dreamcast Junkyard was there and our booth in the community zone was the biggest one we've put on yet, featuring 8 Dreamcast systems of all different flavours and a whole range of games and peripherals for the public to experience. The turn out at Play Expo was stunning and was quite possibly the largest and busiest to date, with thousands upon thousands of gamers and collectors flooding the Event City venue over the course of the two days.
As exhibitors, it was amazing to see so much appreciation and love for the Dreamcast, and our little corner of the event hall was barely ever empty and on more than one occasion it was absolutely teeming with people keen to play on the games we had on offer.

Event: Play Expo Manchester 2016

Play Expo Manchester is one of the largest events in the UK gaming calendar, and once again The Dreamcast Junkyard will be in attendance. Last year's event was absolutely brilliant, and the Junkyard team got to speak to hundreds of gamers, cosplayers and subscribers to the church of geek over the course of the two-day bash. You can read the show report and see some photos here, but you're probably more interested to know what we'll have in store this year should you be lucky enough to be attending the show.
Nerds, as far as the eye can see...and it's glorious!
Play Expo, first and foremost is about the games. The various events held around the UK by organiser Replay Events are a celebration of games both new and old and this is reflected by the sheer number of freeplay arcade cabinets, pinball tables, boardgames, and consoles and computers from all eras and generations. On top of this, there are talks from industry figures, cosplay parades and competitions, and movie memorabilia displays. Oh, and there are usually hundreds of traders selling all kinds of gaming paraphernalia. It really is a fantastic carnival celebrating everything great about gaming, and this year The Dreamcast Junkyard will be located in the Community Zone, along with a range of Dreamcast consoles, peripherals and games for the general public to experience. You can find out more about the Community Zone by visiting the official Play Expo website, but we'll be there rubbing shoulders with the likes of RetroCollect, GamesYouLoved and Bordersdown.

Event: Dreamcast 17th Anniversary Event, Burbank CA

Every time I put up a post here at the Junkyard detailing a new event we're attending, there always seem to be tonnes of people disappointed that they're generally held in the UK. That's because most of us here are based in old Blighty and since Brexit we're not even allowed to leave anymore. Naturally I jest, but this isn't a joke: there's a Dreamcast 17th anniversary event happening in Burbank, California on 9/9/16! This event is being run by friend of the Junkyard CD ageS (you know, the guy who owns the super rare SFL-2000P1 Control Unit we featured a while back), and sounds like a perfect way to celebrate the US birthday of our favourite console.
Click for a larger version!
This event is, as the name and date on which it is being held suggest, a celebration of the NTSC-U Dreamcast reaching the ripe old age of 17; and the venue - Game Realms - is one of the largest game stores in the area. Game Realms is no stranger to putting on awesome events and this one will be no different, featuring a selection of free play consoles and Dreamcast classics from 1pm on the day. Further to this, after 7pm the ambience will take on a slightly more competitive edge as the tournament begin and games are streamed on Twitch.
Entry before 7pm is free, after this time tickets cost $7. For further information, be sure to check out Game Realms' Facebook page and website. For those in the UK, The Dreamcast Junkyard will once again have a presence at Play Expo Manchester in early October and we hope to see some of you lovely people there. If you're in Burbank, CA have no reason not to get yourself down to Game Realms on 9/9/16!

Retropocalypse 2016 Show Report

Saturday 13th August 2016 saw the first Retropocalypse event held in Bournemouth, UK. While the seaside town on the south coast of England has played host to some fairly large comic, TV and film conventions in recent years, a dedicated gaming event has never graced it...until Retropocalypse that is! In truth, this was something of an experiment to see how much interest a retro event would generate and as such was held in a fairly small venue - The Four Horsemen pub in the town centre.
Supported by gaming sites Noah's Arcade, RetroCollect and - naturally - The Dreamcast Junkyard, Retropocalypse saw the modest venue turned into a cornucopia of retro gaming delights. It wasn't exclusively a Dreamcast-themed event, but there were a couple of consoles available to play alongside the Saturns, 3DOs, N64s and Jaguars. This event was in no way on a comparable scale to recent shows such as Revival Solstice or the upcoming Play Expo Manchester (which we'll also be at!), but throughout the day over 100 people ventured into the downstairs room, attracted no doubt by the melodious sounds of antiquated gaming goodness and promise of twinkling CRTs.

Revival Solstice 2016 Show Report

The weekend of the 30th-31st July saw Revival Retro Events' Solstice take over Walsall's Bescott football stadium for the UK's largest dedicated retro gaming event. The Dreamcast Junkyard was there to spread some love for Sega's final console and the event was an outstanding success. It wasn't all about the Dreamcast though, as pretty much every retro system imaginable was on display in the large gaming hall - all fully accessible and available to play. Even extremely rare systems such as the Pippin Atmark and NUON were on offer, and I took the opportunity to experience Marathon on the Bandai/Apple console and Tempest 3000 on the VM Labs hardware.
On the subject of Marathon on the Pippin, it ran way better than I was expecting and had a silky frame rate - far better than Saturn Doom, for example. Those two games were probably the (non-Dreamcast) highlight for me, but there were plenty of arcade machines and pinball machines on offer, and retro consoles going back to the very dawn of gaming were on show.

Event: Revival Solstice 2016

The time has come for The Dreamcast Junkyard to once again mobilise its fleet of consoles, monitors, peripherals and games for the betterment of Humankind. This time, we have our sights set on the UK's biggest retro-gaming event, Revival Solstice 2016. The event takes place at Banks's Stadium in Walsall over the weekend of the 30-31 July and promises to be an extravaganza of retro-gaming awesomeness - and not just because we'll be there. Those attending Revival Solstice can expect over 50 arcade and pinball machines to play, over 100 retro consoles to sample, traders selling all kinds of game-related merchandise (and games, naturally) and a host of competitions and tournaments. There are also some really great guest Q & A sessions including Paul Rose (aka Mr Biffo of Digitiser/Digitiser 2000 fame) and veteran games developer Jim Bagley.

Revival 2013
The Junkyard will be providing a total of 6 Dreamcast systems, each with a range of peripherals such as light guns and arcade sticks; and of course a wide selection of games for event goers to experience. Rather helpfully we'll also be situated very close to the fully-licensed bar inside the event hall, so feel free to grab a beer (or a coke) and come and have a chat or a game of Soul Calibur with us. Mike Phelan will be in attendance on both days, so if you want your copy of the Ultimate Guide defacing with his autograph (and having it's value reduced to minus figures), bring that along; while Tom will be charging a mere £85 for photographs and £75 for a handshake.

Tickets for Revival Solstice 2016 are available now and entry costs £12 per day for adults and £6 per day for under 12s (family/weekend tickets are also available). For further information and directions to the event, visit the official Revival Retro Events website or the Revival Facebook page.

Southampton Game Fest 2016 Show Report

Sunday 22nd May saw the second annual Southampton Game Fest, a celebration of all things gaming held in aid of Southampton Hospital Charity. Held at the maritime city's Grand Harbour Hotel and in the shadow of the world's largest cruise liner (no, really - the thing was docked literally across the road from the hotel's main entrance), Game Fest brought a taste of gaming and geek culture to the historic home of the RMS Titanic.
Harmony of the Seas. This picture doesn't convey the sheer size of the vessel.
The Dreamcast Junkyard was there in collaboration with RetroCollect and brought a decidedly old-skool theme to proceedings, decking out the entrance to the event with a number of retro systems. Megadrives, Neo-Geos, Nintendo 64s, PlayStation 2s, Saturns and - of course - Dreamcasts were all laid out for the general public to experience. The event was a total success and raised hundreds of pounds for the charitable cause it was held to support; and there were plenty of non-retro attractions too. A FIFA 16 tournament, a Bomberman tournament held by Games You Loved (from which I was eliminated in the semi final by a 10 year old!), a cosplay masquerade, traders selling all kinds of gaming paraphernalia and a whole host of indie developers showing off their new projects were just some of the things punters could take advantage of.