Right now in Cologne, Germany, gamers are going absolutely crazy — and for a change, it’s not because of Pokemon Go.
The world’s biggest gaming fair has started as of Wednesday, August 17: Gamescom 2016. Unlike the previous years, more than a few things have undergone changes. This year’s event will be a special one, as the Cologne fair made sure that the security level is raised. Cosplayers aren’t allowed to bring any kind of weapons; visitors are asked to leave their bags at home and just bring the most necessary items with them. Before you can enter the fair, every bag has to go through a minor bag check. The reason is not that there has been any kind of threat, it is simply a precaution.
Nintendo is once again represented, and as tradition demands, their booth is in Hall 9. Your first stop should be the information counter, where you can pick up your very own stamp card. You can collect up to six stamps, and if you successfully collect them all, you will receive a Nintendo lanyard as well as a code for Nintendo coins, You can also snag other goodies such as amiibo cards (if you show them your amiibo card related game), and Pokémon codes for the Gamescom exclusive shiny legendaries. You can also get funny paper hats in Pikachu or Jibanyan shape.
In order to obtain all stamps for your card you need to play various games from Nintendo’s booth. There is a total of six categories, the first one being The Counter — this one basically comes with the card. For the rest of the stamps, you need to play one game from each category. Best course of action is to start with the two titles where you do not have a choice. Those would be Mario Party: Star Rush and the RPG Monster Hunter Generations.
While this station allows you to play for 20 minutes, it was not very popular. If you look for a quick play then this is your game!
If you are done with that, you can go on to the next category Indie One, which holds the indie, or “Nindie”, games that run on the 3DS. Part of the collection is Rhythm Paradise Megamix, filled with 70 crazy mini-games that let you see how good you can keep up with the beat. It features multiplayer, so you can play it with up to four people. Pirate Pop Plus is a game where pirates hunt soap bubbles, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 and the colourful Runbow Pocket are also possible options to choose from in order to obtain the stamp.
Indie Two on the other hand is the label for the Wii U Nindies such as the action RPG Severed and Jotun: Valhalla Edition. They also have the action puzzle World To The West. For strategy fans there is Steam World Heist, a space game in which survival is the key. In the jump and run Super Meat Boy you are rescuing Bandage Girl. If you prefer the speed of a fast car you should check out FAST Racing NEO, it even has the DLC pack Neo Future installed! Last but not least you also have Axiom Verge, a 16-Bit game that has been greatly inspired by classics such as Metroid, Contra and Blaster Master.
The Battle Corner has a whole bunch of different games to choose from, all of which are multiplayer titles. While all of them have already been released, there is still a nice challenge in competing with one another at Gamescom. Free to choose from are: Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Pokémon, Tekken and last year’s favourite, Splatoon. Each completed turn in the Battle Corner awards you with a game-themed pin. There are also competition events taking place.
The Battle Corner had a huge setup that looked truly amazing. I’d love to have that in my living room!
Nintendo also has Yokai Watch (the first, already released game, demo) available to play. If you play through it you can choose to be awarded with a pin or a Yokai medal which can be used in the new YokaiWatch mobile game from Nintendo. There you can use the medal to crank the wheel and play mini-games. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, Disney’s Magical World 2, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past as well as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice are available to play on the show-floor.
Besides that, there are also regular events such as guests, German interviews, live-demos and raffles. There is plenty to do, that’s for sure. There is one question that remains: What about the most anticipated game title that’s clearly missing from this list? Yes, Breath of the Wild is at the Gamescom — in a small booth surrounded with walls that keep unwanted eyes off the screens. In front of said booth there is a sign that states “Appointment Only”. There had been a competition before Gamescom where people from Germany, Switzerland and Austria were able to send in pictures of collections, cospalys and more as proof of how Zelda they are. They gave away a total of 50 appointments. While this number seems random and caused a lot of anger boil within the community, you should reconsider your evil words about the bad Nintendo of Europe’s decision because it clearly isn’t theirs. Responsible for this limit seems to be none other than Nintendo Japan.
In the picture you can see the winners of the Splatoon tournament who scored themselves an appointment at which they were able to play the demo. If your main reason for attending Gamescom is to play Breath of the Wild you might want to consider to ditch it all together.