Back for round 3, GameStart 2016 continues the aim to be South-East Asia’s Premier gaming event. Held at the Suntec Convention Centre Halls 405 and 406, Kenneth Wong explores the gaming event that is set to bring back favorites as well as new and exciting content for everyone.
Welcome Microsoft to the Game
A name that has been missing the past few GameStart events, the Xbox One maker finally joins in the gun at GameStart 2016 with a respectable sized booth. Not as grand as the Playstation booth last year (which has set the standard) but still big enough to not only have demo stations of current titles but also a section for you to try out Gears of War 4, its latest AAA title coming very soon (October 11th 2016). A good effort by Microsoft and hopefully a sign of things to come especially with the “buy once, play on two platforms” initiative by Microsoft.
eSports Powered by PlayStation 4
Those looking forward to another grand display by the Japanese console giants will be disappointed as Sony doesn’t have that two story booth this year. Instead, visitors are treated to an eSports playground complete with live commentary and a sleek stage to boot. Fans can not only expect rows of PlayStations to try test their skills but also catch the biggest names live as the Capcom Cup makes a return.
Made in Singapore Games
Familiar sights this year at GameStart 2016 are the Games Solution Centre booth and Founders Base. While you will not find big budget AAA games here, these made in Singapore games are still worth the look around. From puzzle to fantasy, these locally developed games are like hidden gems waiting to be discovered if you would give them a chance. Oh and you are the adventurous kind, do check out the Kaiju Den booth where horror meets virtual reality.
Gamers will also want to drop by Witching Hour Studios booth where their latest game Masquerada is available to try out. Recently launched on major platform such as STEAM, GOG and Humble Bundle, it is always heartwarming to see a local game on the big stage.
The World Needs Heroes
On the other side of the eSports spectrum, we have the PC Master Race as well with inaugural Overwatch Champions Singapore PC Tournament, presented by MyRepublic GAMER and co-sponsored by Armaggeddon. Expect exciting qualifying matches at the Armaggeddon booth before the grand finals at the GameStart 2016 main stage. Something fans of Overwatch and eSports in general will not want to miss!
Oh My Sweet Loot
GameStart 2016 is also the place to spend that hard earned coins nicely saved in your bank. Yes we are referring to all those nice loot to bring home. From cool gaming mice, keyboards and headsets from Armaggeddon to the new PlayStation 4 Slim, your wallet will never be safe till you leave the hall. Non gamers are also not spared with Doujin Market making an appearance at GameStart 2016. From really cool prints of popular game characters to keychains and stickers from popular anime series, it is going to be a poisonous place to tread through.
Xmashed Gear is another place to visit with their cool new designs and epic sales while the LIONGEEKS x Grey Orge Games booth is the booth to go for awesome prints and merchandise.
Cosplayers Be Pleased
Cosplayers will be pleased to know that GameStart 2016 is a Cosplay friendly event. Not only do you get to enter for free (only if you are in proper cosplay of a recognizable character) but you get to also meet cosplay guest Miu and Okageo over at the Neo Tokyo Project booth.
Do take note however that the Frostwolf Cub Plush is not meant to be removed and the cool Turret model kit is meant for admiring only.
Cosplayers looking for studio shoots can also check out LunarWorks Studio’s booth by the side and check out their demo set. While they are new to the scene, the nice people behind running the studio are veterans in the scene so feel free to approach them for more enquries.
GameStart Asia has Leveled Up!
GameStart 2016 has definitely seen an interesting shift in focus compared to the previous two years. Yes it is still about gaming, more gaming and even more gaming but in terms of eSports. Sure you still get your demo booths with Microsoft and Namco Bandai being the most noteworthy, but having the Sony PlayStation booth go full eSports and the presence of the Overwatch Champions Singapore PC Tournament sure does make for an interesting mixture.
Either way it is still a “win win” for everyone and hopefully we will see even more big names joining the GameStart Asia fold (Yes Nintendo I am looking at you!).
© POPCulture Online 2016