Eurogamer Expo 2011: Day 1
So, today was mostly recon. Scouting the halls. Figuring out where on earth everything was, so that on the remaining three days of the expo, I had a plan of attack. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Starting off, I found a surprisingly populated stand for Rayman Origins, which I then proceeded to play an entire level of.
Running at an unwavering 60 frames per second, the game is striking to look at. Running through a lush jungle as the limbless wonder felt fluid and fast, with some wonderfully tight platforming and combat. It’s simple, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work a treat. Also, I managed to find a bonus level within the stage I played. I found myself launching Rayman at a large wooden structure, attempting to topple it, and I of course succeeded, with my prize taking the form of a breakable cage, one of six in each level. Origins is remarkably reminiscent of the Rayman games of old, and really does feel remarkable.
Moving from a revitalized franchise to a revived one, I then checked out SSX. Every fear I had about the game melted away when I watched my rider detach their feet from the board and spin it around, and my anxiety turned to glee when I discovered that the controls were set up just like I remembered them from the old games. All those worrying visions of a world gone dudebro have been replaced by blue skies, great course design, and fun around every corner. If I play anything better in the next few days at the expo, I’ll be amazed.
Of course, nothing at the expo will measure up to meeting Nolan North. I shook the great man’s hand, got a signature, and an photo with him too. He was genuinely happy to spend time with each and every fan, and was just super lovely to everybody. He even went and found something to sign for me, when he looked down at the Rayman postcard I was holding, and said “I’m not even in that!” Even after a full panel, Q and A session, and then a limited seating interview I attended, he was still warm and kind to everybody who approached him. Truly somebody humbled by popularity, not elevated to egomania by it. Certainly a moment that will stick with me for quite some time.
And that’s my expo adventures for today, tomorrow I plan on spending some quality time with the Vita, dropping a building on some guy’s head in Starhawk, and doing several backflips in Joe Danger: The Movie. Catch you then!