Wolverhampton Race Course became Mecca for retro gamers this past weekend, as the inaugural ‘Revival’ opened its doors. The two-day event showcasing the long history of Video Games, from Computer Space to PS3, via NES, Amiga, Atari ST, Master System, Oric 1 and many more. Visitors to the expo had chance to play on retro consoles, computers and Arcade Machines as well as take part in competitions and listen to talks from industry professionals.
I arrived at the venue at around 10:30 and after a short queue and a chat with fellow retro gamers I was in and ready to get my geek on. Visitors to the event were greeted by a 9 screen history of video games, featuring classics such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros, Elite, Crash Bandicoot, Luigi’s Mansion, Xenon 2 and of course Pong.
The first room of the expo was dedicated to consoles and computers of yesteryear, allowing gamers to play on a wide variety of machines and games. I myself headed straight for the Nintendo consoles and experienced and early Nintendo Pong console along with a Famicom and Super Famicom, each showcasing Excite Bike and Mega Man X respectively.
The layout of the floor was excellent with each type of console and computer having its own space alongside a dedicated section for driving and fighting games. Titles such as Street Fighter 2: Turbo, King of Fighters and even good old WWF Smackdown were available for your ass kicking needs.
In other areas, death match versions of Doom and Halo were played, alongside tons of arcade cabinets, with classics such as Pac-Man, Star Wars, House Of The Dead and even an arcade cab for Fix It Felix Junior (as featured in the movie Wreck It Ralph). Pinball tables also made an appearance with Back To The Future, Street Fighter 2 and Bram Stoker’s Dracula tables to keep you entertained.
As well as the multitude of games to play, there were various stores selling everything from games and hardware to t-shirts, magazines and memorabilia. The prices for games weren’t bad and were about equal to those found on eBay, with the exception of a boxed copy of Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64 which was marked at a staggering £140!
The main attractions of Revival, were the talks and presentations from the special guests. Saturday saw such industry luminaries as Philip Oliver,Sandy White and the team from Ocean Software all regaling us with industry tales and the fascinating history behind some iconic games.
The team from Retrocollect.com had challenges on both Sonic 1 and Donkey Kong Country as well as giving away free t-shirts, sweets and even games! Scott Schrieber and Mike James from Retro Gaming Roundup podcast also had a stall and held a raffle with some great prizes, including a signed Bob Wakelin print (which I won… YAY!)
Saturday was rounded off with a chip tune concert from Byzanite, The Virus Empire and Whitely. What a great first day and well worth the price of admission, roll on Sunday!
Sunday saw much the same in the way of stalls and games, however a new set of featured speakers were lined up. Today’s line up included, DropZone programmer and all round games legend Archer Maclean, the guys from Arcade cab builders Rastermania and the NewsField team who created the two most iconic magazines of 80′s gaming, ZZAPP and Crash.
Revival was a huge success in my eyes, a whole heap of retro gaming goodness to keep those in attendance entertained and well worth the price of admission. Revival 2014 has already been confirmed for the same venue and I for one can’t wait. Cracking expo and a huge congratulations Chris and Craig for organizing such an entertaining weekend.