This is a blog about my experience of the PlayStation Access event in Glasgow on the 19th of February. If you want to read more about the games featured at the event, have a look over here.
The prospect of waking up at an early hour on a Saturday morning to travel to Glasgow in this cold, Scottish weather terrified me. Why couldn’t I just go back to my lovely warm bed and then relax around the house all day? Could I not just stay in the warm shower for a while longer rather than attend PlayStation Access? In all honestly, I could have done that easily; but I’m very glad I didn’t, as the day that followed turned out to be the best day out that I’ve had in a long, long time.
It might have been the fact that Access was a completely free event, or it might have been that I managed to get lots of free things. It could have even been that I got to hang out and play games with a few people from TSA, namely wick15, CaptainMurdo, Colinbarr66 and even the elusive nofi himself (I’ll refer to them as Robert, Murdo, Colin and Alex respectively).
Whatever the reason could be, I’m left with extremely fond memories of Saturday and a huge grin on my face every time I think of the event. It’s going to be very hard to show my thoughts about PlayStation Access without breaking out into a song and dance about how absolutely, mind-blowingly, brain-meltingly super it was; but that’s what I’m going to attempt to do.
So, where shall I start? I won’t bother you with any boring details of my journey to the event; I’ll start with what happened when I arrived at the place, accompanied by Robert. The building wasn’t pretty; it was old, worn-down and ugly from the outside. The entrance was hidden around a corner but it wasn’t too hard to find. Outside stood some men (who I hoped worked for Sony) with someone that resembled a bouncer. As we approached him, the hard-as-nails look was soon gone as we handed over our printed-out confirmation emails and he placed bands on our arms (I got a red one because I was cooler than everyone else there)*.
Into the event we went, and almost instantly I received a nifty pass to wear around my neck; I was told to either write my name or PSN ID on this, so I simply wrote “mynameisblair”. After doing three laps of the area, we found Murdo playing SOCOM and Colin playing MotorStorm with his friend, Adeel. SOCOM looked really blurry for some reason, and I decided that the game must be rubbish, before Murdo pointed out the pair of 3D glasses lying next to the television. This was my first taste of 3D gaming. And what a wonderfully sweet taste it was; I was astounded.
Anyway, the venue itself; inside was the opposite of everything I described about how it looked on the outside: it was very pretty, new, stylish and filled with technology. The first area was filled with televisions in a hexagonal shape in the centre, all showing FIFA in preparation for the tournament that was to be held throughout the event. This area also included a bar overflowing with Red Bull and some lovely people and two televisions showing off Sports Champions.
Beyond this area lay another with a round table of PSPGos and many more televisions (both showing games in 3D and 2D) showing SOCOM, MotorStorm, LittleBigPlanet 2, InFamous 2 and other games. The large, wheel-shaped objects on the right hand side of the room stood out from the rest, they housed a television, a PlayStation playing Gran Turismo 5 (hidden away in the engine, as Robert pointed out), the GT5 wheel and even a racing seat.
I had never touched a PSPGo before, so I grabbed one of them from the round table and started playing Angry Birds. When you’re used to playing Angry Birds on an iDevice, the first thing you do is try to touch the screen; unfortunately that didn’t work on the PSP so I was forced to use the stick and decided I should stop playing before I was stuck in the infinite loop of ‘one more go’. For some reason, one of the first gamess I played was LittleBigPlanet 2 with Murdo. It was a great choice as it’s a great game, it was nice playing it in multiplayer and we soon found out there was a competition – to get a score over twelve thousand on the Hedge Hopping level.
The first attempt didn’t go too well; it was Murdo’s first time playing the game and he died very early in the level. The closest we got was eleven thousand six hundred on our second turn; we were so close. Third time lucky, eh? No, not really; one of the staff came over to tell us something and I was distracted, turning my Sackboy to dust in the process. One final try; it was horrible, after just four thousand points, Murdo failed and I had to do the last eight thousand on my own. Thankfully, I managed to get a massive multiplier and it wasn’t long before we were each handed a raffle ticket, that we thought we had to keep for later.
It was time to move on to the other games; I saw inFamous 2 at the back of the room and promptly grabbed the controller next to it. During my time playing inFamous, a man appeared with lots of pizza, this place was like heaven! Not too long after, Colin, Murdo and Robert and Adeel went to the special over 18s area and I was left to have a go of SOCOM, try GT5 out for the first time (in the process setting an embarrassing time for the competition) and walk around until they appeared again. MotorStorm was great, too; I had a lot of fun playing that and came back to it a few times during the event.
The FIFA tournament was now in full swing, and gamers were gathered around the televisions playing FIFA. Colin managed to win the first round, and had to return later to play again. Football bores me, so I didn’t pay much attention to it; I had games to play, Red Bull to drink and pizza and cookies to eat! And that’s exactly what I did, you can find out about all of that and more including how I won the best prize ever in part 2.
*The actual reason was because I’m not eighteen until Friday the 25th.