Tuesday 6 November 2012

MCM Expo @ London Excel

Every year I mark a very special weekend in October to take time out of a busy schedule and visit the wonderful Excel Centre for the London MCM Expo, an event that is everything anime, manga and video game. Over 150,000 thousand people check out this extravagant affair over the weekend to get a glimpse of new video games, rare comic books and waves of fans cosplaying as their favourite characters across various entertainment mediums. I could go on forever about how much fun I had but in particular I thought I would give you a run down of the key games on show and what I thought about the content I managed to get my hands on. 



Nintendo’s highlight WiiU title was without a doubt one of the most popular attractions on show at MCM. Getting up close and personal with not only a fascinating new IP but the WiiU machine and Game Pad was a real privilege as I started making sense of Nintendo’s future in the gaming market. The time I spent with ZombiU highlighted Ubisoft’s natural talent for high development value. The game looked stunning and showed off the WiiU’s powerful processor with impressive lightning and environmental structure all while paving the way for my first zombie encounter. The WiiU Game Pad can be used in a variety of different ways but mainly to access your inventory kit in real-time as you scamper for the correct equipment to deal with the zombie apocalypse. My time with ZombiU was short but sweet and I can’t wait to have an extended period of time with this awesome looking game. 

Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance 

The development behind Rising can be described as nothing less than a rollercoaster. Now that the game is in full swing thanks to Platinum Games, I was able to check out this highly anticipated title. My first impression was this game looked too good to be a current generation game – it’s almost a shame that this project wasn’t saved for the next batch of machines. Nevertheless the unbelievable visual quality was staggering and Raiden’s character model came to life as he ran around dismembering his foes. While the demo was fairly limited in content, it did give you a glimpse of the ‘free slicing’ mechanic that allows Raiden to cut through anything with his sword. Needless to say this was another highly popular title at the Expo and the time allowed to play was very limited unfortunately. 

Tomb Raider (2013)


A bold and brave new Lara Craft makes her way to the current generation of consoles on a deserted island as she fights for survival against menacing terrain and masses of enemies. The new Tomb Raider is highly sought after by the gaming community and from my quick peak I can see why. Tomb Raider’s artistic design again makes this title look absolutely exceptional. The third-person action combined with an open-world island intertwines together to form an intriguing blend of exploration and danger. Lara has to deal with a whole host of enemies including the terrain around her, using what she can find to survive. I am thoroughly looking forward to exploring this delightful world as Lara and can’t wait for the eventual full release. 

Hitman: Absolution 

I really don’t normally concentrate that much on graphics but it seemed that every title on show had the graphical capabilities of the current machines on absolute lock because everything was absolutely stunning! Hitman’s dark, ominous environments complimented the stealth gameplay and provided a different type of visual treat for me. While Konami’s Revengeance has taken a pretty big step back away from stealth, Hitman continues the tradition of stalking your pray, blending into the crowds and assassinating your target at just the right moment. I didn’t actually get an opportunity to play Absolution but I caught an over-the-shoulder glimpse and there’s no doubt this is another highly anticipated title. 

Ni No Kuni 

The surprise of the day came in the form of this delightful J-RPG. Ni No Kuni, which has been co-developed by the incredibly popular Studio Ghibli, shines with a delightful animated charm that only this talented team could create. Chronicling the tale of a young boy, little could really be gathered from the small demo other than it being a free-roaming RPG, but the graphics showed a completely different spectrum to what was on offer to me before. While games like Tomb Raider and Revengeance boasted life-like environments and characters, this dazzling mix of bright colours and beautiful animation exploded off the screen and had passers by commenting “I thought this was an animated movie.” Ni No Kuni could very well be the J-RPG that finally breaks the Western Market. 

Halo 4


Last but not least Studio 343’s first iteration of Halo was on offer at the Microsoft booth. I have been very fortunate and have spent considerable time already with the campaign and I can tell you that it’s certainly of the highest quality; albeit very similar to the experience we’ve had before. The story is well-paced, the new enemies are intriguing and offer variation into gameplay, Chief moves better now and the graphics are the best the Xbox has seen so far and could very well be the pinnacle before another machine is released. Unfortunately I’m still waiting for a shot on the multiplayer, but the campaign in itself is a roaring success in my eyes so far. So that was pretty much all the stuff available that is yet to come out and although the catalogue wasn’t as extensive as Eurogamer, it was still pretty impressive. 

I spent the rest of the day doing some shopping, checking out all the different merchandise stalls and posing with cosplayers for some awesome photos. Finally when my feet couldn’t support me anymore I went back to CeX’s mini-shop that was stationed next to the film memorabilia section and reflected on what was a pretty amazing day. If you’ve never been to a convention like this before I urge you to consider heading over to the next MCM Expo on the 24th – 25th November at the Birmingham NEC arena or wait till next year for another outing in London. 

In the mean time, live long and prosper. Igor.
Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl