GameStart, an event that started out back in 2014 with the goal of bringing together the different aspects of gaming, was back for the third time running.
The event ran from October 7 to 9, with 68 exhibitors, 36 independent developers and 10 gaming tournament, drawing in a crowd of over 20 000 attendees.
This is the first event in Singapore, maybe in southeast asia, that I would consider an actual games convention, a far cry from other events that claim to be a “gaming convention” and feature pretty much nothing.
But as with any event, there are things that I found slightly lacking about it, and today we’ll be focusing on their two main selling point this year: games and competitions.
As with any event that dare to call themselves a “gaming event”, the main focus of the event should be obvious : games.
GameStart 2016 passes the bar easily, surpassing all others that can only dream of calling themselves a gaming event.
The move to rope in Xbox Singapore was by far, one of the best move pulled off this year. It allowed gamers to be able to try out games that are exclusive only to the Xbox One, widening the variety of games that can be showcased.
Games such as XCOM2, Gears of War 4 and even Tales of Beseria were all playable and allowed both gamers and non-gamers to try their hand on these games. The event does not neglect the old-school crowd too, featuring booths with old school arcade machines on it, and exhibitors looking to bring the nostalgia back into the new age with modern technology.
One of my biggest gripes however, is that even with the variety of different new games available, there is still not enough of it.
Publishers such as EA Singapore and Ubisoft Singapore are noticeably missing, with the latter setting up what is essentially an art exhibition, that in all honesty, I could care less about.
This event was a perfect time for both EA and Ubisoft to sell their game to the Singapore market, upcoming games such as Battlefield 1 , Titanfall 2 and Watch Dogs 2 could have gotten even more publicity, allowing gamers to have an experience for them (and possibly earn themselves a few more pre-orders).
There is no lack of competition for this year’s GameStart, which included Sony’s South East Asia Major 2016, which featured games such as Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, BlazBlue Central Fiction and also King of Fighters XIV.
Other tournaments, such as Tekken 7 and Overwatch were held at other locations throughout the event hall, which did not make the crowd end up clogging one location on their own.
However, there is a significant lack of variety (again) for the competitive scenes. Games such as Battlefield 1 (or maybe, Battlefield 4), Titanfall and Gears of War 4 would have made the competitive scene for the event much more balanced, with a fair share of both fighting and shooting games.
At the end, this is not a article dissing the event, but rather a more balanced critique of what was done well, and what could have been done better.
I had really enjoyed my time in the event, and had a real fun time trying out the games that they had on hand.
Hopefully, the event management would take these criticisms in mind and hopefully make next year’s GameStart a much better one.