Last week we attended Gamescom, the largest trade fair for interactive games held in Cologne, Germany. Two weeks before the fair even began, tickets were completely sold out. During the five days, a total of 335,000 visitors from 88 different countries attended the event. As you can imagine, the entertainment area was flooded with people.
Wednesday was for trade visitors and press only, but the halls were far from empty. Six thousand journalists and 31,500 trade visitors roamed through the fair, along with the few lucky people who managed to get their hands on wildcards. The exhibition area remained the same size as last year (140,000 m²), and hosted more than 700 exhibitors from 47 countries.
The blue area is open to private visitors, while purple is trade visitors and press only.
It wasn’t just awesome cosplay we saw at Gamescom last week. As usual, Nintendo had its booth in hall nine, and this year they did a great job with it. They had several giveaways, some of which were so popular that they only handed them out every hour. Apparently everyone wanted a Pikachu cap. Other freebies, such as the Pokémon Vivillion codes, were gone by Saturday morning.
As in previous years, Nintendo had set up a 3DS charging station. You could sit down, charge your 3DS and check your StreetPass hits, or play games. If you didn’t manage to get a seat for charging, most people found a spot on the floor to sit and watch the large screen. The area was always crowded with people.
On the screen they showed several trailers of Nintendo’s games, and held a competitive event called “Battle Tower”. Winning in Super Smash Bros. 3DS earned you a ticket for the Battle Tower, where you and three others got to play Super Smash Bros. Wii U. When you reached the tower (after waiting in a really long queue), you had to prove yourself worthy once more in order to win the precious and rare Smash Bros. medal.
Who do you think won this battle?
This doesn’t mean that the Wii U version was restricted to the Battle Tower. If you scored second and third place, you could practice a bit more on the Wii U. Both versions had a different selection of characters. For example, the 3DS version lacked Zero Suit Samus, but the Wii U one had her included. This gave you the chance to try out different characters, while the stages mostly remained the same. Although you were given different choices, Arena and Battlefield were randomly selected most of the time.
On Saturday, Nintendo added more consoles to its stations, which reduced the wait for Smash Bros. significantly. Less popular than Smash Bros. but no less fun was Splatoon, a colourful third-person shooter. It proved itself as quite an entertaining game, especially because a large group of people could play it at once.
Lucky us! On Saturday/Sunday, the queue was so long that they put up signs: “Queue here for Hyrule Warriors. Approx. 300 minutes wait.”
Hyrule Warriors was one of the first games we headed to. As we lined up for the demo, we were surprised to see Midna was playable; she’s been introduced to us via trailers and Nintendo’s Treehouse livestream, but we hadn’t been able to play as her ourselves until that point. We also saw different control modes, with one catering to fans of the Zelda franchise and the other one made more comfortable for Dynasty Warriors fans.
We had a blast at Gamescom!
Next year, Gamescom will be back in Cologne, Germany from August 4-9. Will you be there?