Saturday, 15 April 2017

Review: Revival Retro Solstice '16

Wrote this a looooong time ago and for some reason never posted it for, probably, needing to add photos. Which I still haven't done. But here it is anyway.

Whilst not apparent from the title of the event, Revival Retro Solstice was a retro computer gaming event held at Bank's Stadium in Walsall. Knowing that these types of events take place in various places around the country, and figuring that, being a kinda large city, there must be one held somewhere vaguely close to my house, I've been on the lookout for a gaming event for quite a while. After lots of putting random computery-type words into Google & Facebook, I finally came across this one.

When I mentioned it, I'm not sure my wife knew quite what to expect; quite possibly she was thinking it would be something along the lines of the UK Games Expo. So when we entered the room in which the event was being held, and she saw what was there, there was a sudden look of panic and an attempt to back out and go shopping instead.

Thankfully, she didn't (though she did leave to go to the shops for a couple of hours in the middle of the day) and what was had was a fun day of playing old video games for me and the children.

Yes, all of them, including my 5 year old daughter who pretended she didn't know me and one point and want off to play games on her own. Because she's a big girl now.

Essentially the room, probably about the size of a school hall, was filled with rows and rows of old consoles from the past 30 years or so and a bunch of arcade machines. Down the side were half a dozen traders selling, well, it's a bit obvious what they were selling. There was a panel room at the back (I never actually went to any of the talks so I can't comment on those) and in the centre a stage where various tournaments took place...

My 7 year old signed up for absolutely everything he could. He was a boy obsessed. An announcement went out, and seconds later he was scribbling his name down on the sign-up sheet. Hadn't heard of the game? Didn't matter. Hadn't heard of the machine it was running on? He couldn't care less.

The funny thing was he actually did quite well. He'd have won the Megadrive football tournament if he hadn't started fouling the opposition and had half his men sent off. As I pointed out to him afterwards, it was a lose-lose scenario for the middle-aged bloke he played in the final - the man faced the prospect of either beating a small child, or being beaten by a small child.

My older son played a bunch of games but was particularly fond of the light gun and House of the Dead 2. He wasn't particularly happy when I explained that while, yes, we had a Dreamcast at home, and yes, we even had that game, he wouldn't be able to use the light gun because of our lack of CRT TV.

And, as I mentioned, my daughter had a load of fun playing racing games and attempting to play arcade games that she wasn't tall enough to see the screen (we got her a chair in the end).

Meanwhile I bought none of the things I was looking for from the traders (Jaguar, you continue to elude me) but a bunch of things I wasn't looking for. This included an N64 that I was 'forced' to buy after 7yo didn't win the football tournament and I had to make him happy somehow.

I'm not sure it was the best of days for my wife, but for everyone else it was a Grand Day Out and we'd definitely have gone the following day too (for more tournaments, if nothing else) but we had a prior appointment at Grandma's house. We look forward to the next one!

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