It’s been a while since video gaming gets the big convention treatment in Singapore, but GameStart looks to spice things up this October at Suntec City Convention Centre with a killer lineup of exclusive gaming attractions in a magnitude never seen before.
Designed to appeal to across gamers of all persuasion from casual players to hardcore enthusiasts, GameStart 2014 organizers Eliphant recently unveiled a buzzworthy list of exhibitors and activities, from international names to home-grown gaming startups. We dropped by the media preview at St. Games Cafe for a sneak peek of what’s to come on Oct. 25 and 26.
First thing that hit us hard in the good feels is the huge catalogue of video games that will be exclusively showcased in the GameStart convention — 37 triple-A games are set to make their public debut in Singapore, including Bloodborne by From Software (Demon Souls, Dark Souls), Ubisoft’s latest release Far Cry 4, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Sleeping Dogs HD and many many more. The one that we’re most excited about though is the hands-on preview of squad-based shooter EVOLVE by Left For Dead creators Turtle Rock Studios, where folks are more than welcome to get a taste of the (literal) monster mayhem at the 2K Games booth.
Sony Computer Entertainment seems to be holding a tight grip on GameStart 2014, judging from the obvious lack of any Xbox promotional material in the event — not that we’re complaining. As main exhibitors, they’ll be occupying more than 250 square meters of space showcasing highly-anticipated Playstation exclusives such as The Order 1886, Until Dawn, Little Big Planet 2 and many more. There’s also a pretty smart trade-in programme for those wanting to go next-gen; old game consoles can be traded in for a $100 rebate to purchase the PS4 console and an additional $10 will get them accessories such as game controllers and wireless headsets.
Meet the makers
The two-day conference will also feature appearances by renowned game producers such as Ono Yoshinori (Street Fighter series), Masaaki Yamagiwa (Bloodborne) and Junichi Yoshizawa (Freedom Wars), where they’ll be meeting with fans and speaking on stage to talk about their games. Yamagiwa has made it known that Bloodborne will be a lot less punishing than the sadistically hard Dark Souls series, so you can soon thank him personally for that.
Indie developers and retro games
Independent games are getting exponential popularity in the global landscape of gaming and in GameStart, they finally get their time in the spotlight. The GameStart Founders Base is a dedicated area featuring local game developers and artists such as Boomzap Entertainment and Witching Hour Studios, the folks behind the widely acclaimed turn-based RPG series Ravenmark.
The old guards of gaming will also make a nostalgia-heavy return in GameStart’s Retro DNA segment, featuring consoles from the golden age of gaming such as the Nintendo Famicom, Sega Dreamcast and even the Atari 2600 on display, where attendees can even get a hands-on play through classics including Final Fight, Super Contra and Mega Bomberman.
Prizes, freebies and merch
A conference wouldn’t be complete without the freebies, and GameStart promises to deliver on that end. The first 300 visitors on each day of the event will receive a ‘Random Loot Bag’, which could contain anything from games, posters and other exclusive items to level up their stats. All ticket holders will qualify for daily lucky draws, prizes range from Razer to Creative products. Even trying out the games entitle you to free shit, so you’ll probably find yourselves over encumbered pretty easily.
eSports and gaming tournaments
No $10 million DOTA 2 prize pool here, but you’ll still have a blast catching the Capcom Pro Tour Asia competition where top Asian Street Fighter players will compete for the championship. Pro gamer and the world’s most ‘successful player in major tournaments of Street Fighter’ Daigo “The Beast” Umehara will be be making an appearance at the conference to display his mad arcade skills along with local pro gaming celebrity RZR Xian. Other tourney finals for games such as Naruto and Soul Caliber will also be be held at the conference.
Photo: Ilyas Sholihyn; GameStart Asia Facebook page; Mad Catz Facebook page
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