Cubed3 Spends Two Days at EGX (Part Two)

By Drew Hurley 01.10.2017

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After a successful first day at EGX 2017, the first stop of the second day skipped the show floor entirely, heading instead to a private room for an appointment with Tequila producer, Remy Chinchilla, for an interview and time with Rime on Nintendo Switch. Rime burst onto the scene on the PS4 to much critical acclaim, a truly beautiful story with some stunning artistic design and a truly breathtaking conclusion. This is the type of game that Switch needs and it's almost here. Getting hands-on with the game removed any reservations about it on handheld; it looks literally just as good as PlayStation 4 version and looks amazing on the Switch's screen. Cubed3 played for a good hour, revisiting two stages from the game, and was very impressed with the performance and stunning visuals, and there was nary a stutter or a problem to be seen with everything from the day-night cycle to the emotive soundtrack and, yes, even the achievements are in attendance.

Why has it taken so long for Rime to get to Switch, though? Sadly, the port was no simple matter and when development began, the Switch version was not considered, but after getting hold of the dev kit, Remy says they knew they had to get it onto Nintendo's new offering. The port went through tons of iterations with the Tantalus team, continually optimising and improving. The Tequila Works team insisted if it was going to be on Switch it was going to deliver the exact same experience, which also meant adding the achievements to a system without any achievements! Much like Snake Pass, these now reside on the main menu for players to collect. No little Nintendo inclusions, though, á la Skyrim with Link's gear or Rocket League with the Mario hats. Remy revealed Nintendo is actually rather stringent on such matters and while Tequila Works considered adding a little something, the process to get such an inclusion is actually rather difficult. Quite surprising, as with all the little extras being thrown into ports as of late it felt like Nintendo may be insisting on them! Rime is launching 17th November on Switch, the same day Bethesda has since announced Skyrim on Switch. Wise gamers will be picking up both. If you have to choose one, though, sincerely, choose Rime.

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After a great time with Remy, it was time to head down to the packed show floor and packed is quite an understatement. The second day saw a huge influx of budding young game designers descend upon the NEC in Birmingham. Game development courses and jobs have become a major part of the event and it's fantastic to see the industry grow. This, of course, meant though that wait times went up to the usual times of Saturday and Sunday, with signs on each of the major titles warning of two, three, and even four hour wait times to get hands-on. The largest gathering was strangely around the Virgin Media stand, which was dedicated to Destiny 2.

Even though the game is already out, Destiny 2 had a huge presence at the event. The Virgin Media stand had gone all out with a great area to relax in, decorated with props and models, replica weapons, and a miniature sparrow, highlighted by mannequins kitted out in Destiny gear. Surrounding this was an unbelievable amount of stations setup for play. These split into 4v4 PVP matches or the chance to take on a new Strike, with all potential players being loaded up with free cans of Monster energy drink. All players were walking away with swag, everything from inflatable weapons to posters to T-Shirts and hats, and more. Anyone looking for a brawl could wander over twice a day to where the team tossed free merchandise into a terrifying sweaty mass that fought tooth and nail to get one of the 200-300 free T-Shirts.

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Sony had a huge presence once again this year with by far the biggest stage, but a stage rather under-utilised with the hosts taking plenty of breaks and smaller games attracting smaller crowds. Around the stage, though, were plenty of gaming stations smashing together a smorgasbord of titles. Particular highlights included Ni No Kuni II, a game many players would be forgiven for having forgotten all about. With the original game having been released way back in 2010, the Studio Ghibli RPG was a beautiful and touching title filled with addictive elements. This new instalment is recognisable from the art and style but the gameplay feels completely different. First off, the Familiars are gone - no more collecting them all here! Instead, they are replaced by little creatures called Higgledies that are key to the new real-time combat system. After seeing these changes, it was hard to get into at first but, thankfully, the new combat is solid and it completely makes up for it… but so help me if Mr. Drippy doesn't get at least a cameo…

Also on the PlayStation stand was Monster Hunter World and boy did Sony not anticipate the interest in this title. Just 12 stations were set up and a huge crowd / makeshift queue was permanently in attendance. The game offered the traditional Monster Hunter experience, picking up a hunting quest, tracking it down and cutting it to pieces. The gameplay looked stunning and familiar, yet somewhat new. Playing with three other hunters, Cubed3 embarked on a hunt to take down a Barroth and it was an intense and exciting experience, using the other players along with other monsters in the environment to slowly take the beast apart, targeting specific parts and using some fun new equipment. Nintendo fans may not be happy about the series straying back to Sony but this version seems to be incorporating gameplay elements from Western RPGs and it's looking to be the best yet.

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The second day was again closed out with some indie action - this time of the VR variety. The team from nDreams had staff dressed as bananas pulling in players to try their hand at being a checkout operator in an American supermarket; simple, and boring. Move the items from the conveyor to the bagging area until the store goes all Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Various killer fruit bounce through the aisles that require gunning down. It's a dumb game, but it's a heck of a lot of fun and the VR is impressively done and looks wonderful; the splattered fruit rain bright coloured pulp down as they explode from the gunfire. What more could you possibly ask for?!

Another year was over, then, and Cubed3 left EGX eagerly awaiting so many new titles after getting a brief glimpse at them here and wishing there was more time to see everything else. Did you go to EGX? What were your high points and low points? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out some of the photos taken at the event over on the official Cubed3 Facebook Page and don't forget to read what happened on the first day of EGX!

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