Today, my brother and I visited the TooManyGames convention at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Paks, PA. This was only my first con, but having read about events like the San Diego Comic-Con and the Penny Arcade Expo, I had a bit of an idea what to expect when I got there.
What I expected was what I got: games, and lots of them. Nearly every table had boxes full of video games from nearly every game console imaginable – NES, SNES, Genesis, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Game Boy, Game Gear, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube – you name it, someone somewhere had a game for that system…and in some cases, even the consoles themselves (including those hybrid game consoles like the FC Twin). It was hard for me to choose a game to buy, but I think I got a pretty damn good deal when I bought Tobal No. 1 (an early PS1 fighting game) for $10…when copies on eBay are being sold for up to $100. I would have taken a few more NES games, but I’ll need to get my NES out of the garage and pray that it still works before I can even think about doing that.
A few tables, rather than selling games, were being watched over by a few independent game developers from the area. The two games I saw in action that intrigued me the most were Snake361 (an in-development sequel to yyrGames’ Xbox Indie Game Snake360) and Splice (a new and weird puzzle game from Cipher Prime Studios, makers of Fractal and Auditorium).
Tucked away in the far corner of the convention center floor was a cluster of arcade games – some of which I recognized by having played them on other consoles. In short, I still suck at R-Type, but am surprisingly good at Gorf and Solar Fox, and wished that those two games had made it onto one of the Midway Arcade Classics collections. I could see why Gorf didn’t make it, though – there are two stages modeled directly after Space Invaders and Galaxian (the Galaxian stage isn’t on the Atari 2600 port), which are owned by Taito and Namco, respectively, so there would have been a bit of legal wrangling necessary to make it work.
Aside from the actual video games being sold and displayed, some booths had game-themed T-shirts, posters, buttons, and other assorted artwork. I got a half-dozen Player Pins from The World Ends with You (one of which I gave to my sister), and some Mega Man bead art, which I’ll use to decorate my room once I get a hanger or two.
My brother and I hung around for about three hours, listening to music and enjoying the sights and sounds, though there weren’t as many cosplayers in attendance as I had expected – one guy in a full Sub-Zero outfit, and another pair dressed up as Jedi holding a mock lightsaber duel were the only standouts. I hear that brentalfloss and the X-Hunters put on some good shows, but it was so dark in the band room that I really couldn’t see either of them. I just bobbed my head to some of the tunes while I took a beating playing Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (just barely avoiding a thorough humiliation by pulling out a surprise win as Juri in the second round of my match).
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to attend any of the panels – my old high school buddy Will at 8bitX held a panel on podcasting, and we left a little while before James Rolfe (a.k.a. The Angry Video Game Nerd) and Mike Matei of Cinemassacre were going to have a panel on their favorite moments from eight years of AVGN episodes. I would love to have been in the room to hear some of his fans try to prod him into dropping some F-bombs.
Of course, I had a helluva good time again, despite only hanging around for the middle parts of the show. I’d have no trouble coming back here again next year. My brother was pretty satisfied, too, even though he didn’t come away with anything tangible.
It’s a good thing I brought my 3DS along for the ride – I think I got over two dozen StreetPass tags! Problem is, only the first ten of those are registered in my Mii StreetPass Park…but at least I still get assorted bonuses for my Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Dead or Alive: Dimensions games. Tomorrow, I’ll have to play those as much as possible. Then, and only then, will my trip to Oaks have been truly complete.
I posted some of the photos I took on Facebook. Go ahead and take a look!