Arcade Con 2013 Round up and Irish Indie Games on the Rise!

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Comics and Cosplay
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So Arcade Con 2013 has officially finished and there is a combined sigh of despair from thousands of anime,gaming,sci fi and comic fans around the country with the thought of having to wait another year to feel the atmosphere of this amazing convention.

Now I should point out that this is all my own views and it may differ from others, mainly due to the fact that before this I was a “Con Virgin” and had never been to one before, so this was all an unbiased look at the world of comics, cosplay and anime.

The venue was the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin 4, and the day was Saturday the 6th of July, the con had been going on for two days and sadly, due to a major operation on my ear, I was unable to attend the first two days. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out the day I did attend was one of the most popular days of the entire convention. With people flooding in the doors snatching up tickets and t-shirts and wearing some of the most elaborate and some slightly freaky costumes I have ever seen. This was all handled perfectly and without a hitch by the team of staff at the con, also aided by the awesome and funny folks over at The Irish Pubcast. They aided in hosting some panels and also judging contests, very busy bunch of people.

I am not much of a sci fi fan myself and probably walked past a few people without a second glance and they could turn out to be one of the most famous actors in the sci fi world, if that happened to you (the person reading this) then I apologize! But I was definitely at home with the gaming and film side of things. With two rooms allocated for gaming, one retro and one indie I was in my element. That doesn’t mean I was amazing at the games, I did get my ass whooped at the Injustice: Gods Among Us session but I had some pretty tough competition!

One of my personal highlights was in the Indie game room when I was introduced to the folks behind upcoming IOS title Soul Grinder, at first I thought it was an IOS version of Soul Eater and needless to say I almost fainted! Unfortunately this was not the case, but I found that this game was not only very appealing to the eye and just bursting with nostalgic NES notions but also that it was bloody difficult.

I started to have a chat with the lead developers of the game, and to be honest I don’t think I could have asked for nicer interviewees, the folks over at Zombiesarus were both informative and witty. One of the first things I wanted to ask was where did the inspiration come from for this title, mainly because it looked and played like a couple of other side scrolling shooters that I have played before, but before I could explain the question Thomas McCloskey, the graphic designer for Soul Grinder, answered simply “The back of a Cornflakes box!” , for a second I had believed him and was conjuring up some way of figuring out how “this” came from a cereal box. He laughed and patted my shoulder, “I’m joking!” He sniggered.

Being a fan of the older systems such as the NES,SNES and Mega Drive he wanted to incorporate as much of the play style of games like R-Type and Contra into the market again today. The game itself plays very well, this is all thanks to the other half of Zombiesaurus,Ryan McDermott and as mentioned above it looks very good, Whilst keeping a slightly anime style and blending in some artistic features from the Retro titles, mostly seen in the boss fights, Soul Grinder will stand out on the marketplace but personally I think it has some competition.

With other games that have the same basic gameplay, a constant firing weapon, constant left to right movement and using a jetpack it is very similar to Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios. But I don’t think they have much to worry about, with it’s retro boss battles, specifically designed to give that nostalgic NES boss feeling, appealing colorful graphics and tough as nails gameplay Soul Grinder is definitely one to look out for on IOS by the end of the month. (Android and Ouya release date to be confirmed! )

Arcade Con 2013 had so much to offer it was almost too much to take in, everywhere you look there was something amazing to buy or to play or to EAT even, while you could have bought an overpriced sausage and chips you could have gotten some amazing cupcakes and treats from Super Treat’s table. These included items such as Thor Mjolnir Cupcakes, Batman Brownies, Ezio’s Assassin Cake and many more nerdy noms!

The guys from Dublin City Comics were bombarding the crowd with nerf darts with various offers written on each dart, if you were lucky enough to get shot with one you could bring it to the booth and claim your prize.

Replay Games was busy selling hundreds of board games and expansion packs to the RPG hungry punters whilst next door thousands of anime memorabilia and DVDs were being sold at ridiculously cheap prices.

Ever wanted to see Batman riding Nico Bellic like a bucking bronco? How about seeing yourself beating up ironman with a loaf of Brennan’s bread? All this could have been made possible by the guys from Lightning Strike who were selling copies of there comics as well as taking commission pieces of your own ideas.

Bryan and Karl from Dublin Comic Con were flaunting their wears and promoting their own convention in August by showing off just a fraction of what’s to come at DCC. These included a full Ironhide Transformer costume, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes and various pieces of both authentic and replicated props from films such as Predator, Alien and The Chronicles of Riddick.

Scott Langton of Cosplay Colour MUA , or Skit as he likes to be called, was busy turning all the cosplayers into whatever their heart desired. Mixing his expertise in both regular and special effects make up there was nothing that this guy couldn’t do. One of his most impressive feats was turning a once masked Deadpool into a maskless Wade Wilson. A massive undertaking and two hours of labour and love went into this piece and I’d say it turned a few heads!

With panels and talks almost every hour there was no shortage of entertainment and information. I found myself either looking at the goods on display in the trade hall or being taken aside to have pictures taken with fellow cosplayers. No matter what genre your lifestyle or interest is there was something for you at Arcade Con, and thats what I loved about it so much, you felt comfortable being around others that share the same interests and there was no persecution or bullying of any type against any interest, it was just perfect.

Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Arcade Con 2013, and am definitely looking forward to Arcade Con 2014. But there is so much more coming up between now and then, my fingers will be worn out to the bone I’ll have so much to write about! Next on my con hit-list will be Dublin Comic Con 2013 on August 10-11th, hopefully I will see you there!

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