Well once again winter is upon us and just as the temperature has dropped so too has the time come where comic book nerds, cosplayers and gaming addicts alike converge upon the wild and fantastic convention known as Supanova, held each six times a year across the country. Today, I’m talking Supanova Sydney.
Though the convention is a celebration of all aspects of pop culture the gaming industry has had a sporadic showing at the convention in the past with digital media schools and big name publishers generally being the main attractions. The emergence of the EB Expo has contributed to their lack of appearances however this year was a change from the norm with a great selection of vendors and publishers making the trip
For fans of retro gaming there was a surprisingly good variation of stalls this year with vendors “Epic Gaming” providing a range of classic games and systems for sale such as the Sega Master system and nintendo gamecube alongside an Xbox and two PS1 consoles set up for play featuring classic games such as Halo, Crash Team Racing and Simpsons Wrestling. In addition to their retro setup “Epic Gaming” also had their traditional laser tag arena allowing in game disputes to be settled in real life combat.
Custom PC builders “Origin PCs” Kept things contemporary with a large bank of systems set for games of CS:Go showing off their range of high end custom built machines and peripherals in addition to a partnership with HTC displaying the revolutionary VR technology of the HTC Vive. To show off the VR headsets functionality Origin PCs and HTC ran a competition to see who could reach the highest score on their new VR shooter with the top two receiving one of Seagate’s new Hybrid Solid State Drives.
Continuing the competitive gaming theme Wizards of the coast had the latest expansion of “Magic Duels” on display continuing the success of the online version of their legendary card game “Magic the gathering” with Shadows over Innistrad, a H.P. Lovecraft inspired booster set featuring a plethora of grotesque and frightening creatures and mind breaking spells and artefacts.
Not to be outdone, arcade suppliers AMD coin-op also had their new toys on display with the release of Stern’s new Ghostbusters cabinet and the remastered Spiderman pinball machine fresh from the vault. Sadly their yearly tournament in partnership with Timezone did not run this year but the spectacular machines more than made up for it. In addition to the new machines FX television also had the absolutely outstanding Premium edition of the Walking Dead pinball machine on display complete with all accessories. The iconic fish tank makes for an impressive and gory display piece.
On the indie side of things digital entertainment industry educators JMC academy had a wonderful hybrid sumo battle/party shooter on display known as Mogbattle. Though the game is an as of yet unreleased student project I personally really enjoyed the demo and I would hope that the developer continue to work towards releasing it to the market.
Overall, Supanova Sydney 2016 was a great showing by the gaming industry and with VR gaming continuing its emergence I cannot wait for next year to see what develops, and what the convention supports. Supanova hits Perth this coming weekend, June 24-26.
Chris Senz is a freelance gaming journalist, contributor to PN2 and you ain’t seen nothing like him in any amusement hall.