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Gamescom 2012 – Visitor’s perspective

Written on: September 21st, 2012 by: Chux Views: 2,534

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For a 2nd year running, Guru Gaming organized a group visit to Gamescom, the largest gaming event in the world. With help from our friends and partners from HCL, 27 people from all over the country and beyond, gathered on the 17th of August in Rijeka and set off on a long drive to Cologne, over a 1000 km away.

 

To make things more interesting, we made a few targeted stops along the way. The first one was Red Bulls Hangar 7 in Salzburg. A truly unique and remarkable place with some of the most interesting machines and exhibits. From F1 and nascar cars, the X2010 and a tricked out taxi cab to stunt planes, fighters, bombers and attack helicopters. The hangar itself is covered with nothing but glass panels and is by itself something to gaze uopn. Once the sun goes down and the music kicks in, it features a cosy and relaxing ambient one could spend hours in and simply not get tired of it. Last but not least, a one of a kind rest room words can’t describe :)

 

 

We reached Cologne in the morning the next day and settled at Hostel Köln. The place is just awesome and puts a lot of hotels and more expensive accommodations to shame with ease. Breakfast buffet, really nice rooms, a terrace with a view, friendly staff and excellent service, overall – just perfect. Way beyond my expectations, if you ever find yourself in Cologne, this is the place to stay.

 

Konami had a pretty interesting booth. Circular in shape with consoles scattered around, running the new PES for people to try out. A few 3DS handhelds were also laying around with various games. I managed to get hold of one with Castlevania and the 3D effect is really sweet. Though the game is a sidescroler, the objects really pop out when you dial up the 3D. A nice feature but there’s no way to see it other then trying it out for yourself since the camera can’t pick it up. You’ll just have to take my word for it :) The main attraction however, was Metal Gear Rising. A playable demo awaited up top above te centre of the booth and the queue wasn’t even that bad so we gave it a shot. Badass! Fluid, fast paced and just packed with action. Stands up to the “Lightning Bolt Action” nickname the devs gave it. Despite being in the Metal Gear universe, don’t expect a MGS game, this is more of a Devil May Cry style. Can’t wait!

 

 

The Firefall promotion was unlike any other I have ever seen. A playable beta, beta keys, an interactive booth with all sorts of game info, hosts cosplaying game characters you could take pictures with, T-shirts, hardware and inflatable plasma rifles. Hats off to the hosts and the whole crew for really putting on a show, awesome giveaways and overall just fun promotion. “Free crap for everyone. Bitch!”

 

ESL was just massive. 3 huge stages for competition and spectating. StarCraft 2 and League of Legends were the most followed, the seats more or less full 2 to 3 hours before the games even started. And once the matches took off, the whole hall fas focused on the enourmous screen. Some visitors were here just for the ESL games, a chance to see some of the best players in the world clash on a live event on stage was enough to draw them to the event. We were also fortunate to have access to the ESL Players Party which took place on Saturday night in the ESL Hall. A chance to take a break from Gamescoms fierce pace and just relax and have some fun. Met some interesting people, had a good time and overall the party was a blast!

 

 

Unlike everyone else, Steam had a very simple and minimalistic booth design, difficult to spot and recognize until you found yourself at the front counter as it had only the trademark Steam grey printed all over with no logos whatsoever on the outside. The rumors turned out to be just rumors, no sign of Half Life 3 or anything spectacular, a couple of stations in the back with award winning indie games and that’s pretty much it. Up front however, is where most of the crowd was concentrated. Each visitor received 2 Steam codes that unlocked random games once activated. Well done Valve, awesome stuff for everyone who decided to check the booth out.

 

The retro section featured some unique systems I didn’t expect to encounter. The “standard” Amigas, Comodores, N64s, SNESs and SEGAs were all there. A nice collection of consoles, games and extra peripherals but nothing really stood out. The old school corner is where things got interesting. 1958 Tennis for Two, considered to be the first video game ever made. It’s played on an analogue computer and uses a oscilloscope as a screen. Controls are simple, a knob and 1 button and it takes some getting use to since you dont have a clue about your angle. You just have to play it a bit to get a feel for what you’re doing, but nevertheless it’s pure fun. A couple of vintage arcade cabinets with classics such as Donkey Kong, Arkanoid, Asteroid and a few more, a pinball machine and an electromechanic basketball game from the 1960s. Makes you wish more stuff like that was readily available since ist so much fun to play them. And lastly, Nintendo Virtual Boy was also there. An interesting experience, but yes, it’s every bit as crap as everyone claims. Always wanted to try it out and 5 minutes was enough for a lifetime.

 

Gamescom also had its fair share of Cosplay. Some were there as part of the crew promoting the games, but most of them were just visitors who decided to have some fun. Numerous characters, from League of Legends to Left for Dead and Metal Gear Solid, you name it. One hall even had a dedicated “Cosplay Village” corner where most of the action took place, but you could find them roaming around the booths all the time.

 

 

The rest was still interesting stuff but nothing I was too excited about and willing to spend a couple of hours in queue. Overall way way too much things were going on and two days weren’t nearly enough time to catch all the action. Come to think of it, with that much content available, I doubt the whole week would be enough.

 

Although Gamescom was over, we still had one more destination before heading back to Croatia, Munich. With a whole afternoon available, we made the most of it. Firstly BMW World, a exhibition facility designed to present the current BMW products. As cool as the cars and bikes inside are, the structure itself is even more impressive. A one of a kind design, both interior and exterior, that’s just difficult to compare to anything else. Next came a strole through Olympiapark and a visit to the Olympic Tower. The view from the tower is just magnificent, revealing the entire city in all directions as far as the eye can see. Lastly some time to grab a bite to eat and try some German beer in one of the most famous breweries in Munich, Hofbräuhaus, where beer is served only in 1L mugs.

 

 

In the end, an unforgettable experience worth more than the free crap we looted on various booths. It’s still to early to tell if we’ll do another visit next year, but if an opportunity to visit Gamescom presents itself, go for it, you won’t regret it.

 

More photos can be found in our Gallery and the guys on HCL also made a nice Video Report so feel free to give it a watch.

 

Matija “Chux” Čukelj 

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Već drugu godinu zaredom, Guru Gaming je organizirao grupno putovanje na Gamescom, najveći gaming sajam na svijetu. Uz pomoć naših prijatelja i partnera iz HCLa, 27 polaznika iz svih krajeva Hrvatske skupilo se 17. kolovoza u Rijeci od kuda se krenulo na dugu vožnju prema 1000 km udaljenom Kölnu.

 

Kako bi put učinili što zanimljivijim, na putovanju smo se zaustavili na nekoliko interesantnih odredišta. Prva stanica je bio Red Bullov Hangar 7 u Salzburgu. Uistinu jedinstvena i zapanjujuća lokacija koja je dom nekim vrlo zanimljivim strojevima i izlošcima. Od F1 i Nascar automobila, X2010 i taksija do stunt aviona, nosača bombi i borbenih helikoptera. Hangar je prekriven tek panelama od stakla i već je sam po sebi zapanjujućeg izgleda. Kada suce zađe i čuje se glazba, ugođaj postaje nevjerojatno opuštajuć i poželite ostati unutra satima bez da vam dosadi. Za kraj spomenimo jedinstvene toalete koje je jednostavno nemoguće opisati :)

 

 

U Köln smo stigli sljedećeg jutra i smjestili se u Hostel Köln. Prekrasan hostel koji bez problema može zasjeniti mnoge hotele i puno skuplje građevine slične namjene. Švedski stol, ugodan smještaj, terasa sa pogledom, prijateljski nastrojeno i iznimno uslužno osoblje, sve u svemu – savršeno odmorište.

 

Konami je imao poprilično zanimljiv paviljon sa mnogo konzola koje su vrtile novi PES kojeg su posjetitelji mogli slobodno isprobati. Okolo je je ležalo i nekoliko 3DSa sa mnogobrojnih igrama. Uspio sam ugrabiti jedan sa igrom Castlevania i mogu reći da je 3D dosta zanimljiv. Iako je igra sidescroler, objekti doista iskaću kada pridodate 3D efekt. Zgodna opcija, ali to morate sami isprobati da bi doživjeli jer je osječaj nemoguće uhvatiti kamerom tako da čete mi morati vjerovati na riječ :) Ipak, glavna atrakcija je bio Metal Gear Rising. Igriv demo je čekao visoko iznad paviljona u samom centru i zastoj nije bio prevelik tako da smo odlučili stati u red i isprobati. Badass! Fluidan, brzog tempa i pun akcije. Opravdao je glas “Lightning Bolt Action” koji mu je dao razvojni tim. Iako se nalazite u Metal Gear svemiru, ne očekujte MGS igru, ovo je više Devil May Cry stil igre. Jedva čekam!

 

 

Promocija Firefalla je bila nešto što nikada nisam vidio. Igriva beta, beta ključevi, interaktivni paviljon sa raznim informacijama o igri, domaćini u kostimima likova iz igre sa kojima ste se mogli slikati, majice, hardver i plazma puške na puhanje. Skidam kapu domaćinima i cijeloj ekipi na trudu, odlični pokloni i sveukupno poprilično zabavna promocija. “Free crap for everyone. Bitch!”

 

ELS je bio jednostavno ogroman. 3 velike pozornice za natjecanja i gledatelje. StarCraft 2 i League of Legends su bili najposjećeniji, gledalište više manje popunjeno čak 2 do 3 sata prije samog početka. A nakon što je natjecanje započelo, fokus svima je bio golemi ekran koji se nalazio na sredini. Neki su posjetitelji došli samo kako bi gledali ESLovo natjecanje i ugrabili priliku da vide neke od najboljih igrača na svijetu u međusobnom sukobu za vrijeme glavnog eventa. Također smo imali priliku biti na ESL Players Partyu koji je održan u subotu navečer u prostoru ESL hale. Prilika za opustit se od žestokog tempa sajma i dobro se zabavit.

 

 

Za razliku od ostalih, Steam je imao paviljon poprilično jednostavnog i minimalističnog izgleda, teškog za opaziti sve dok se ne nađete na središnjem pultu koji je imao samo sivo obojenu oznaku Steam bez ikakvih dodatnih logoa izvana. Tračevi su ipak ostala samo na tome, nije bilo ni traga Half Lifeu 3 ili bilo čemu spektakularnom, tek nekoliko stanica sa nagrađivanim indie igrama u pozadini i to je sve. Sa prednje strane pak se moglo štošta vidjeti. Svaki posjetitelj je dobio 2 Steam koda za otključavanje nasumice odabranih igara nakon što se aktiviraju. Dobro odrađeno Valve, za svakoga ponešto.

 

Retro sekcija je predstavila neke jedinstvene uređaje za koje se nisam nadao da ću ih vidjeti. “Standardni” Amiga, Comodore, N64, SNES i SEGA, su svi bili tamo. Zanimljiv izbor konzola, igara i dodatnih periferija, ali ništa se nije posebno isticalo. Kutak stare škole je bilo mjesto gdje su stvari postale zanimljive. Tennis za dvoje iz 1958, prva video igra ikada. Igra se na analognom računalu i koristi oceloskop kao ekran. Kontrole su jednostavne, glava sa jednim gumbom koja zahtjeva period navikavanja budući da je kut neprepoznatljiv. Jednostavno moraš igrati neko vrijeme kako bi dobio osjećaj za igru koja je ipak prava zabava. Nekoliko prastarih arkadnih kabina u kojima su se mogli zaigrati klasici kao što su Donkey Kong, Arkanoid, Asteroid i još par, pinball mašina i elektromehanička košarka iz šezdesetih. Poželiš da postoji više takvih igra spremnih za korištenje jer je njihovo igranje pravi užitak. Nintendo Virtual Boy je također bio tamo. Zanimljivo iskustvo, ali ipak toliko loš koliko svi govore. Oduvijek sam ga želio isprobati i 5 minuta igranja je bilo dovoljno za čitav život.

 

Gamescom je imao zavidnu količinu Cosplaya. Neki su došli kao dio tima za promociju igara, ali večina su bili posjetitlji koji su došli samo kako bi se zabavili. Prerušeni u mnogobrojne likove, od League of Legendsa do Left for Deada i Metal Gear Solida. Jedna je hala čak imala “Cosplay Village” kutak u kojemu je bila večina, ali moglo ih se naći i u blizini paviljona u bilo koje vrijeme.

 

 

Ostatak sajma je isto tako bio zanimljiv, ali ne toliko da bih tome posvetio preveliku pažnju. Sve u svemu bilo je toliko toga da je bilo doslovno nemoguće sve pogledati unutar dva dana koliko smo bili tamo, no kad malo bolje promislim, mislim da ni cijeli tjedan nebi bio dovoljan.

 

Iako je Gamescom završio, mi smo još imali jednu destinaciju prije povratka u Hrvatsku, Minhen. Budući da smo na raspolaganju imali cijelo popodne, vrijeme smo iskoristili maksimalno. Prvo smo posjetili BMW World u kojem je predstavljena trenutna BMW-ova ponuda. Sama građevina u kojoj se nalazi je čak i zasjenila sve automobile budući da je dizajn nešto unikatno i nemoguće ga je usporedit s ičime. Slijedila je šetnja kroz Olympiapark i posjet olimpijskom tornju. Pogled s vrha je jednostavno veličanstven i otkriva cijeli grad u kojem god smjeru se okrenuli. Na kraju dana je bilo vrijeme za nešto pojest i popit pa je odluka pala na jednu od najpoznatijih pivnica u Minhenu, Hofbräuhaus, gdje se pive serviraju isključivo u dozama od jedne litre.

 

 

Na kraju, jedno nezaboravno iskustvo vrijedno više od bilo kakvih sitnica koje smo uspjeli pokupiti na putu i iako je rano za reći, ali ako i sljedeće godine bude prilike za posjet sajmu, toplo preporučam odlazak, isplati se u svakom slučaju.

 

Svakako bacite oko i na našu Galeriju sa dodatnim fotografijama, a dečki sa HCLa su također objavili i zgodan Video Report kojeg svakako pogledajte.

 

Matija “Chux” Čukelj 

 

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