Play Expo 2016 – The DVDfever Review

play-expo-2016-10b180I grew up with the ZX Spectrum and the Atari VCS 2600, including games like Space Invaders, Manic Miner, and Midnight Resistance, the latter brought to the ZX Spectrum by gaming legend Jim Bagley (right), who was also at Play Expo!

This year, the Retro Gaming section was partioned even better than in the last two years I’ve attended. While 2014 saw the consoles and games spread about randomly, and 2015 had them partioned into individual sets of games (eg. Tomb Raider, James Bond), the partion boards were upright, so they acted as a barrier, leaving the arcade area looking a little cut off. This time, most of the consoles were placed in their own section with the game posters adorning the outside, so everyone passing could see them, and step inside if they wanted to play them.

So many great games, many of which I hadn’t played before, and many of which I didn’t get to play this time as there was so much to do, but there’s always something to play. Check out my full Retro gaming album.

The MSX Users Club were back with a number of games, for the console that never saw its potential in the UK in its day, including Road Fighter. Sure, the games don’t quite always stand up to today’s standard, but they’re an absolute must for sampling a classic piece of gaming history.

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On the original Xbox, I’m not sure which game this one, but just look at that controller!!! Eventually, I started to figure out what to do but didn’t do very well at it. After moving on to another game, it was easier to watch someone else play it when they clearly had a better idea of it than myself 🙂

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Atari VCS! Jungle Hunt! Pitfall! To be honest, I don’t recall playing Jungle Hunt back in the day, but Pitfall was a game I played over and over until the cartridge melted. Nowadays, the game feels a little repetitive, but back then, I just couldn’t get enough of standing on a crocodile’s head, desperately trying not to fall into its mouth!

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On the Philips CDI-450, I really have no idea what this game was about – other than with the main character being called Gandorf, it was clearly inspired by the works of JRR Tolkein – but why are there young women surrounding our wizard, wearing nothing more than their underwear and a smile? I had no idea, but it did make me laugh.

If you’re not sure what Philips CDI was, it was like a pre-cursor to DVDs. Using MPEG I-quality encoding, you could play movies on it which were sold on such specific discs, but while DVDs (MPEG II) were just over the horizon and coming very soon, the quality of MPEG I movies was woeful by comparison and the machine never replaced VHS, especially since VHS looked better! And as such, the games never took off, either. Still, it’s another example of checking out machines you won’t see anywhere else.

Go to page 3 for the Cosplay pictures.

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Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.

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