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Play Blackpool – Thoughts & Highlights

Recently Play Blackpool took place in the Norbreck Castle on the Blackpool Coast. This is one of the top events in the Retro Gaming calendar, and this year didn’t disappoint. As well as the Classic Game Championship, there was a large set of retro games to play as well as some new retro style games, talks from industry luminaries like The Oliver Twins and Llamasoft, as well as Trading Events and Cosplayers.

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Greeting you by the Skyverge stand when you walked in was a myriad of arcade machines. There were a lot of classics, many of which have been at other events. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I enjoyed long sessions on Wonder Boy, Klax and NBA Jam. I also – in my first time at an event – completed a game! The rather dull Vigilante. I don’t recommend playing it.

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There was a PS4 stand, and whilst they had a few FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer games, they also had a few retro games. I finally got to play Shovel Knight (which I wasn’t completely sold on), and a remake of Q*Bert, but the best game I played in this category was Rouge Legacy. This was a simple Rouge-like game which was a side scrolling platformer, who’s characters only have one life. Instead you play their “heirs”, who inherit some, all, or none of the traits of their parents. It’s great fun and well worth checking out. Unfortunately, I don’t have a console that I can play on it! Otherwise I’d be totally buying it and reviewing it on this site.

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One of the highlights of these events for me is the Classic Gaming Championships, a tournament that picks three console games (one from the 8-Bit systems, one from 16-Bit systems, and one from 32/64-Bit systems) and sets a challenge to get the highest score or best time possible. The three games were Circus for the Atari, Flicky for the Megadrive & Wave Race 64 for the Nintendo 64. I generally do okay in these tournaments, but usually end up doing well should I’ve had one of the games when I was little. Thankfully I did: Wave Race 64. I finished second on this game on the first day. Unfortunately my day 2 fell apart, and didn’t do as well. Still was fun!

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Overall the weekend was superb! I enjoyed it immensely. As always the event was well organised, with very few queues and hold ups, and no problems whatsoever. If you are a retro gamer, be sure to check out the event in Margate or the big one in Manchester later this year.

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