We love going to as many of the Game Conferences as we can, looking to find the latest and greatest in gaming. Melbourne was again the location of Australia's equivalent of E3, the eGamesExpo.
Time for the younger folk – Disney Interactive
With the notable absence of Nintendo as an exhibitor (Sony was also a surprising absentee), the mantle of the family friendly game zone was handed over to Disney. The Disney display had Disney Sing It, a game similar to Singstar using songs from Disney movies such as High School Musical as their selling point. Another game on display was Toy Story Mania, which is basically a collection of colourful mini games that are heaps of fun to play against a friend. The other major game at the Disney exhibit was the latest Spectrobes game, Spectrobes Origins on the Wii. The game has some fast paced fighting combined with an adventure story. Again, in true Disney style, the visuals are colourful and would no doubt be attracted to the younger gamers.
And now for some sporting fun – 2K Games
After having some casual fun with the Disney games, I thought it was time for some more adult fun. I looked around and noticed an exhibit surrounded by a black curtain. Surely there would be something with a harder edge inside. As I walked in, there was a screen that seemed like it was showing a live basketball game. On closer inspection it was 2K games latest NBA title NBA 2K10. Man, sports games have come a long way. The visuals are becoming more realistic with each season, and the controls seem to be getting smoother. I haven’t really been a huge fan of basketball since the days of Michael Jordan, but I still enjoy throwing down a few hoops and the atmosphere in the game is as close as you will get to being a NBA star without actually being on court.
2K also had their latest FPS Borderlands on display. The game has only been released for a short time, so until this point, I haven’t had a chance to play it myself. On show was the X360 single player version. And I really enjoyed it. In reality, I’m mostly a PC gamer, especially when it comes to FPS because the controls are that much more accurate, but Borderlands does a decent job in that regard. The visuals have that steam punk, almost cell-shaded look to them and the post-apocalyptic setting keeps you on your toes as you find your way to your next mission goal.
Another fun eGamesExpo experience
Another year and another great experience. Although the expo seemed somewhat smaller than previous years, probably due to the absence of the two major console manufacturers Nintendo and Sony, there was still plenty to see and do. The Global Financial Crisis may have hit, but gamers certainly can’t get enough of the latest in gaming hardware and software. I was simply mesmerized by the 3D visuals of the Avatar game, and that was certainly the highlight of the expo for me. I came away thinking about the future of gaming and what would be the next gimmick to capture the gamers’ attention. I may well have to wait until next year’s eGamesExpo to find out.