As you may be aware, I attended EGX Rezzed representing Vita Player (as well as Geekology 4M@ and Amiga Mart/Micro Mart), on Friday 28th March 2014, with the event running over the weekend as a whole.
I was hoping that going on the Friday would make the show a little quieter than the Saturday and Sunday, but the event was very busy and early in the afternoon it appeared some school trips had been arranged.
The event was held in a single hall at the NEC, Birmingham, and though indie games were quite a focus there were stands publicising releases from larger companies, but it was very much a PC focused event, which hopefully will work well for any Sony studio staff present, as PC games appear to be coming over to the PS4 and PS Vita with aplomb.
Of course of major interest was Sony, as they had several stands in one area, and another in the 18+ area. The Sony staff were, in many cases, wearing PlayStation Heart (Loves) Indies tee shirts, as they were playing host to many smaller developers showing off their PS4 and PS Vita games. I must admit to being a little disappointed that there wasn’t a single PS3 on display on either Sony’s stand, or, indeed, anywhere else at the event (even though Sony had games on display that were coming to PS3 as well as PS Vita and/or PS4.) Mind you there were a few titles coming out on other PlayStation consoles as well as PS Vita where the PS Vita version was nowhere to be seen and neither was a logo for the PS Vita to signify availability on the handheld. This is particularly disappointing from Sony and included titles such as SteamWorld Dig, Velocity X2, Super Exploding Zoo, Titan Attacks, Final Horizon, and Foul Play (though it was also on the Mediatronic stand in it’s PC form, and their display included the fact it was on the PS Vita).
The Vita was pretty much ignored by every other stand at the show, with the exception of GAME’s which had so little lighting it was difficult to read the titles on the game boxes, and I really feel sorry for the staff of their trying to sell almost in the dark on there. As mentioned previously, the PC Foul Play stand mentioned the PS Vita version, as did the Luftrausers one, but that was pretty much it. Only Sony’s stands had actual PS Vitas to play games on.
A decent selection of games was available to try out with Sony on our favourite handheld, with a mixture of forthcoming games ones ones already available from PlayStation store. The only game being released physically featuring with Sony appeared to be PS4’s Infamous: Second Son. It was all about the digital download pretty much across the show though, with Steam completely dominant across the PC as you may expect.
You could try your hand at a range of titles on the PS Vita from the newly released Gunslugs, Fez, Surge Deluxe, OlliOlli, Luftrausers and TXK as well as the forthcoming Hotline Miami 2: The Wrong Number, Mousecraft, and MurasakiBaby. Also on display and playable on the PS4, yet also for the PS Vita were Helldivers (also coming to PS3), SteamWorld Dig, Velocity X2, Foul Play, Titan Attacks, Super Exploding Zoo, The Swapper, and Final Horizon.
Other titles playable on the PC across the show that hopefully will make it to the Vita at some point were Team 17’s Flockers, Not a Hero from OlliOlli developers, Roll 7 who were present on the Sony stand as well as their own, and Broforce that may be going into negotiations shortly.
Flockers is essentially what would happen if the sheep weaponry escaped from the Worms games and tried to escape the Worms weapons factory, avoiding all kinds of macabre traps that will essentially turn each sheep into pile of meat, complete with the what seems to be necessary blood. The sheep flock together and you have to guide them through what is essentially a puzzle-like level from the entrance to the exit. To aid you you can give abilities to each sheep or group so make it through the levels. It appears the experience gained at Team 17 doing ports of Lemmings for Sony has not gone to waste. There is even a Super Sheep as first appeared in Worms: Director’s Cut and reminding me of the Super Lemming from Lemmings 2: The Tribes.
Broforce is an incredibly over-the-top platform based shoot ’em up where you play various characters influenced by Hollywood tough guys from the 80’s and 90’s with names such as Rambro and RobroCop, and very American in style as you may expect. The violence level reminds me almost of Mortal Kombat in that it’s so ridiculous it becomes funny, yet with destroyable landscape, the 8-bit styled game becomes a bit more strategic while being as bloody as you may expect.
Not a Hero is a platform game in a rather different isometric viewwhich is bascially making it a straight on platforms with a slight slant, hence it being advertised as being made in the amazing 2.25D Iso-Slant engine – but your view will be a matter of perspective. To quote the press release; “When an anthropomorphic rabbit/mayoral candidate from the future named BunnyLord needs a murderous loner to clean up the city during the election, Steve heroically offers up his dubious skills with a gun and lack of self-preservation instinct to this mysterious stranger from beyond.” I see a lot of red pixels flying.
On a personal level I was a little disappointed by the event. The lighting levels in the hall were low enough to be a possible risk, while with all the screens on in the hall resulted in a nasty headache by the end of the day.
It was also annoying to find out that most of the developers who were supposed to be present on the Sony stand weren’t, and the staff representing Sony expected them, themselves. They may well have turned up on the Saturday, but that’s not much use when such a large number of people from the media were present on the Friday to avoid the main crowds. The Team PlayStation staff were great as always though, and did their best to help people to get a play on the games on the stand.
The lack of Vita support across the hall especially with games on the PC that so clearly would suit the machine was a cause for concern and I can only hope Sony are contacting as many of them as possible to get ports across to bolster the PS4/PS3/PS Vita cross buy scheme further.