GameStart Asia 2016 Glimpses into the future

The event at Suntec City’s Convention Center the past Friday kicked-off by meandering past the queue of over a hundred avid gamers already finding their comfortable spots outside the halls. The five second walk past the drapes and registration booths was the closest I’ve come to the Yellow Brick Road, and just seconds into entering the convention halls, you’re ambushed with the welcoming strobe light flickers, and the sweet scent of nostalgia.

“…a spectacle for all ages and all gaming devotees; displayed exquisitely by GameStart Asia for a much needed ride down the roads of reminiscence.”

GameStart Asia’s third instalment this year saw bigger stages set, higher stakes raised, and more powerful fog machines equipped. The beautifully planned floor map and ambience the lights and sounds bolstered demanded your guards to be dropped to embrace the #throwbacks they outlined for their guests.

The Xbox party made their first appearance at GameStart Asia, showcasing their upcoming titles; as Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and Final Fantasy XV, while also setting up PCs and broadcast their new cross-platform play feature between the console and the PC.

The PlayStation camp came prepared with an extensive setup of their own; luminous lights glowing blue-hot, and their own stages set with polished trophies lined up to tempt the prospective competitors.

All that could, and should, be expected of any gaming convention, make no mistake, but where GameStart Asia truly excelled was the forethought of taking it all that one big step further.

I remember putting all my duties on hold just as I stumbled upon their retro gaming booths, and took significant time out to visit my pre-pubescent days of two-buttoned analog controls, and Contra. That was just one of the hundreds in their vintage game collections, mind you; titles ranged from the PlayStation 2, to the Nintendo Super Famicom! (!!)

Virtual Reality was always going to be the talk of the town, and with the PlayStation VR launch still a week away, we sank our teeth into the beauty of the Oculus Rift, particularly with locally-engineered game Stifle. Andre Pong from Gattai Games graciously hooked us up with the Oculus Rift and laughingly wished me all the best as I dived straight into the eeriness of the game. Relying solely on virtual reality and the wonders of echolocation with the microphone, it brought the needed amplitude to bring the future of gaming to soaring new heights.

The cosplayers did well to turn up too, displaying strength in numbers and comical innovation, and maintained the boisterous caprice throughout the three days in what was a spectacle for all ages (seriously, all ages) and all gaming devotees; displayed exquisitely by GameStart Asia for a much needed ride down the roads of reminiscence.

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