The annual event for gamers kicked off this past weekend in Oaks, PA. As always, Too Many Games attracts players of all ages as well as provide nostalgia for older gamers and introduce upcoming developers trying to enter the video game market. There was no shortage of venders displaying a displaying the history of home gaming, showing system and games from the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 to the NES and Genesis to Playstation and Xbox. Attendees can buy to add to their collection or trade games to make room for new ones.
Enjoy the good old days of popping quarters at the arcade? Well, you’re were in luck. Classics cabinet games were on full display. Familiar games such Pac-man, Street Fighter and Fatal Fury appeared alongside several less recognized games yet enjoyable titles like Popeye and Outrun. If standing playing games isn’t your thing, then pull up a chair and relive the days of just sitting at home and playing with your buds. Older systems, PS1, SNES, Atari, drew those who recall those happy times in their childhood. Too Many Games always brings the old and new together making for a wonderful gaming experience. On display in the arcade were a couple games popular in Japan. Among them, the popular Dance Dance Revolution, which keeps players light on their toes trying to match a sequence of arrows set to upbeat dance music. Gaming tournaments (brought to you by Big E Gaming) were hosted in the same area. Competitors faced off against each for prizes and bragging rights. It was impressive to see how many entered and how smoothly it ran.
Too Many Games is also the spot for new game developers to showcase their creations and get a foothold in the gaming industry. I took a hands on approach to these innovative titles and, while there were many to choose from, there were a couple that really interested me. Coda Games displayed their dark, fantasy RPG title “Liege.” I asked developer John Rhee about the inspiration behind “Liege”, stating a striking resemblance to Blizzard’s “Diablo 3” title. He confirmed that the title is part of their inspiration but also said their fondness of RPG games and good storytelling also lead the creation of “Liege.” From playing “Liege”, I saw that the battels are indeed turn based, however, there is no transition that pulls you away from the story and into a different area. The heroes simply draw their weapons and the battle happens right there. “Heroes Guard” by Under Byte Studios was another interesting game. It is a story driven adventure title based on the “create your own adventure” books. Players would read the story of a weary and weathered adventurer that changes accordingly to how the questions about his life are answered. Along the way, you can get items and abilities, and partake in a card game that will test your skill and strategy. There were a lot of RPG based games in the Indie circle perhaps due to the fact that Too Many Games was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Legend of Zelda. But if action is more your speed, then Heavy Key Studios had the answer. Their title Blind Blades, Winner of the Most Innovative Game at Gameacon 2015, is fighting type of game in which four players take the role samurai warriors and use skill to be the last man standing. There are no life bars or hit points. It’s one shot, one skill. Old school rules, baby. I found Blind Blades fun because it not only uses stealth but the stage and characters have that feel of Samurai Jack. I spent time playing this and, let me tell you, it is kinda addictive.
And what’s a convention without panel discussions? Too Many Games did not disappoint, with an impressive lineup of well-known internet stars and musicians. Hip hop artist and nerd, Mega Ran aka Raheem Jarbo, and DJ Cutman talked about music and video games, Brentalfloss and SILVERMANIA took on burning questions and gave back even more burning answers as well as TeamFourStar, who are best known for their popular abridged series of “Dragon Ball Z”, “Attack on Titan” and “Hellsing Ultimate”, talk about YouTube and gaming. Uncle Yo kept the crowd entertained with his nerdy humor, and for the second year in a row, J1 Studios rounds the day out with our Cosplay Competition where the contestants have a chance to be featured in the 2016 J1-Con commercial that will air on Cartoon Network. There are always interesting and fascinating costumes in the contest and they keep getting better and more creative each time.
In short, Too Many Games was a lot of fun. Now I see why it gets such great reviews from those who have been going to the convention for a while. I had a great experience. From the panels, to the vendors, to the concerts, everything seemed to run smoothly. This is an awesome, family oriented convention that truly anyone who loves games and all around entertainment can enjoy. I shall return next year!!