The London Gaming Market takes place every four months at the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square, London. I last attended in July 2019 and managed to find copies of Herdy Gerdy (a game I think only I have ever heard of) along with Syberia (damn Kate Walker and her silly ways).
Last weekend’s event was different to the previous ones we’d been to for two big reasons. First, Luke from Hundstrasse had planned to meet us there for coffee and retro-gaming talk. I was really looking forward to seeing him again because, although we talk regularly, I hadn’t seen him in person since the first time we’d met at EGX Rezzed in April 2018. Back then we’d sneakily edged him into the queue we were waiting in for a developer session by Tim Schafer – good times.
Secondly, CORVID-19 is currently making its way across the UK. Almost 800 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed here at the time of writing and, with that figure rapidly growing every day, people are understandably concerned. The organisers released a statement on their Facebook page during the week before the event confirming that March’s market was still going ahead, to give customers ‘the power to decide whether they would like to attend or not’.
With that in mind, Pete and I made the decision not to go this time. I’m rather disappointed because it means I didn’t get to meet Luke or find more games for the PlayStation 2 I picked up there last year; but with a young stepson and elderly parents, we realised it just wasn’t worth the risk. News about the postponement of EGX Rezzed at the end of the month and the cancellation of Insomnia66 in April arrived recently, and it’s likely we’ll see a similar fate for other upcoming gaming events.
So what’s a blogger to do? Well, attend the London Gaming Market virtually! Instead of travelling to Russell Square on Sunday, I sat down at my laptop with a cup of tea and checked out the websites of the traders that were due to be there. That got me thinking about the items I would have kept an eye out for if we’d been there and I may have made a few purchases online. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the following games streamed on the Later Levels’ Twitch channel very soon.
Frank Herbert’s Dune
Pete arrived home from work while I was watching the trailer for this one, and it’s an addition to our shopping list after he looked over my shoulder and said: “Cracking game. Cracking film too.” I’m curious about why he thinks it was so good when it was a critical flop that received bad reviews for poor storytelling, interface and controls. Apparently, it was one of the last titles developed by Cryo Interactive before their shares plummeted and they had to file for bankruptcy.
Shadow of Memories
I don’t recall ever playing this game but, after watching a video of the gameplay, it seems weirdly familiar. The user interface and Homunculus character with its red eyes feel as though they’re things I’ve experienced before. Maybe I had it on my original PS2 and have simply forgotten? I’d need to pick up Shadow of Memories and give it a try to see if it brought back any recollections. This adventure title about a time-travelling young man trying to prevent his death does sound as though it would be something I’d enjoy.
The X-Files: Resist or Serve
Luke was playing through The X-Files Game on his PlayStation towards the end of last year, and told me in one of our conversations that he thought it would be one I’d enjoy. It could therefore be worth picking up The X-Files: Resist or Serve for my PS2. Although it’s a different genre and I’d probably end up getting Pete to play this survival-horror while I watched from behind my hands, I’m kind of intrigued about investigating a ‘string of unusual murders linked to ghost sightings’.
Bonus game: Shinobi for the Master System
Following on from the first title above, Pete couldn’t resist getting in on the action and wanted me to add Shinobi to our shopping list. It was his favourite arcade game as a kid and the reason he pestered his parents to buy him a Master System all those years ago, which he still owns. He never managed to complete this side-scrolling action title back then because it was far too difficult; he thinks he’ll have better luck now that he’s an adult and more experienced in the ways of ninja (apparently).
Hopefully we’ll make it to the next London Gaming Market on 19 July 2020 in person. In the meantime, stay safe and well everybody.
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.