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Old 16 August 2002, 14:29   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 753
Game On Exhibition @ Barbican (London UK)

Info about the exhibition can be found here:

Thought Id write a mini review of this exhibition...

Entrance fee was £11 (16 euros approx) a ticket and you get a time limit of 2 and half hours to play as many games as possible.. but was it worth it? read on..

I went with my girlfriend (her treat) who hates computer games but she actually liked the exhibition. Got there at 10am and even though its the school holidays the only other visitors we saw arrived around 11am so we had the whole place to ourselves for an hour.

There wasnt that much there really. Place is divided into a number of areas:

Area 1: Retro arcae games...

All arcade machines were on freeplay and they had the classics you expect.. Space Invaders, Pacman, Defender, Donkey Kong and Tempest

They also had parts of the first machine that Spacewars was written on with a bit of history about it.

Moving into Area 2 they had retro consoles... There were some obvious omissions here.. No Game Gear or Lynx or any other handhelds apart from Gameboy. the earliest Commodore machine was a c64. The latest machine was a Playstation 2!! (retro already?)

They had a spectrum and a Commodore 64 not working and displayed in a glass box. Next to them they had a pc running a spectrum emulator (running Ant Attack) and another pc running a c64 emulator (running IK+ which cracked by 'Mersey Brothers'!!)

They had one Amiga 500 working but only game you could play was Kick Off. Small bit of info about the amiga was on a plaque but the last sentence 'Amiga died off cause it couldnt keep up with advancements on the PC' annoyed me.

They had some machines Id never seen before.. I got to play Street Fighter on the PC Engine which was great and Tempest on the Jaguar.

Majority of the show was taken up by next gen machines.. (read Xbox, Gamecube and PS2) and the games were ok. I liked Super Monkey Ball and Parappa 2 but they only had Halo on the Xbox and I cant use a controller to play fps games.

One area I was looking forward to the most was the Japan section but it was deeply disappointing... they had two Pachinko machines but no metal balls to play on them with. A dance game and 'Go Go Train' game which was boring. Worst of all they had some crap PD space invaders game that was completely racist. I dont know why it was there as it had nothing to do with Japan culture - and it took up the most space as it was projected onto a wall.

We got round the whole exhibition in two hours (including going back to play some of the arcade games again) I cant help thinking they could of done more to make it more interesting but it was quite good value for money (You could spend £11 in a 'normal' arcade well inside two hours..)

the gift shop was very expensive. Books ranged from £25 (Superarcade) to £50!! for some Jap ones..

Overall its worth going and girlfriend friendly - lots of cure Mario and Pacman games for them to play Just dont expect too much and make sure you get there when it opens (10am) to beat those pesky kids.
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