When I first visited GameStart Asia last year in 2014, part of me leap for joy that yes the “Chosen One” for gaming convention is here to save us poor gamers from subpar gaming conventions wannabe. Fast forward a year later and here I am at GameStart 2015 thanking the gaming gods that GameStart Asia is not just back, but bigger and better! Spanning halls 401 and 402 of Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, GameStart 2015 is without a doubt bigger thanks to big names throwing their weight behind the brainchild of Ms Elicia Lee, GameStart Asia, in her quest to bring the feel of big gaming conventions closer to home.
The first of these big names is PlayStation with its very impressive booth that cleverly segments itself into the different games while promoting its heavy weight titles such as Street Fighter V, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Star Wars Battlefront, all on the ground level while the whole of level 2 is reserved for GameStart 2015 visitors to try, feel and immerse themselves into the virtual reality created by the Playstation VR which is open for visitors to try for the first time in Southeast Asia. Those looking to get their hands on the Playstation 4 Console are also in for a treat as good deals for the console set and crazy sales of games can be found over at the retail section of the Playstation booth. For fans looking to get into the Star Wars mood, the limited edition Darth Vader Playstation 4 with a specially designed controller is also on display for those thinking about getting it.
Moving onto the next big name in the gaming industry, Blizzard Entertainment’s booth is no push over as well with a 2 story structure showcasing its latest AAA (triple A) titles. From the upcoming World of Warcraft: Legion expansion beta sign ups to ganrantee visitors a slot to the latest League of Explorers that comes to Hearthstone, this is the place to be for all Blizzard fans. Not forgetting trailers of the latest Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and Blizzards recently announced Overwatch, visitors will want to drop by the Blizzard Booth to check it out and I hear that feebies might be given away at scheduled timings.
Rounding up the big names is Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia with their castle themed booth which holds treasures of great values for those who venture inside. Welcoming visitors first is Dark Souls III area with a replica sword and statue from the game. Visitors will get a chance to get some hands on time with the action role playing game that promises to continue the trend of being very challenging and difficult. Gundam fans will also want to head over as the Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS Force game will available for play. Recently announced that the english version will be coming next year, this is one game that fans will want to check out. Rounding up the Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia booth is the Just Cause 3 hands on section.
GameStart 2015 is also about promoting the local scene with sizable areas for both the Singapore Gamebox booth and the Founder’s base. Recently in the news for having a humble bundle set to raise funds for charity, these made in Singapore games are on display at the Singapore Gearbox booth together while Founder’s base showcases many interesting booth from local creative minds. Another local success story is Witching Hours Studios which is present with multiple terminals for visitors to get a hands on their latest game, Masquerada. Either take on the game with the traditional keyboard and mouse at their booth or head over to the Playstation booth if you are a controller type of gamer.
Visitors to GameStart 2015 will also want to ensure they have enough cash in their wallets as this year’s event is full of poisonous and tempting offers to send your bank account through a slimming session. From the great Playstation 4 deals to the many gaming peripheral from Armaggeddon, gamers looking to either get into a new system or beef up their gaming gear arsenal will be spoilt for choice. Another store visitor will want to head over to when doors open is the Saint Games booth as official GameStart 2015 merchandise, Blizzcon merchandise, cool socks from Freshly Pressed Socks and Arc System Works merchandise are all on sale. For those looking to get apparal with popular game designs can also head over to Xmashed Gear to pick up a good looking tee shirt and check out a live drawing session at their booth. Those looking to get Blizzcon merchandise will also want to take note stocks are limited and they only accept cash so do remember to pop by the ATM first before going in.
As the public days open over the weekend, there will be even more exciting activities to catch over at GameStart 2015 and I would suggest that visitors plan out their route of advancement first before heading in. From the Game On! Cosplay Runway segment by Neo Tokyo Project to the Capcom Pro Tour Asia and Xtr3me3’s FIFA 16 Champion’s Cup and the other exciting stage activities, it is going to be an action packed 2 days over at the event. Not forgetting the expected crazy queues that from last years’ experience that can last up to 2 hours and maybe more, do remember to drink lots of water, get enough rest and happy camping for those who are now there in queue waiting to be the first few in line when it opens to the public.
Thanks to GameStart 2015, it looks like a good note for Singaporean Gamers to end 2015 on!
Do check out our photo gallery of GameStart 2015 over at our Facebook page.
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2015