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EGX 2016 Review

Yooka-Laylee by Team 17
Yooka-Laylee by Team 17

From the 22-25th of September, The NEC, Birmingham becomes home to the UK’s biggest games event of the year: EGX. Packed full of games for everyone to play from big AAA titles like Unchartered and Call of Duty, to smaller, but just as anticipated games such as Yooka-Laylee and Unbox over in the Rezzed Zone. There’s plenty to do from competing in game tournaments, playing your favourite retro games to many talks from industry professionals in the Rezzed and main developer sessions.

The absolute favourite for almost everyone I’ve spoken to at EGX has to be Yooka-Laylee from Team 17. It’s reminiscent of 90s classics such as Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, and is hotly aniticpated amongst adults and children alike! Soundtrack-wise it’s everything you would expect from a game with such strong inspirations. Brought to you by Grant Kirkhope and David Wise, the music is fun, playful and a wonderful match for the games’ visuals. Alongside the music the sound effects by Steve Burke add a sense of humour, with funny noises for characters speaking to you and the squeaky rubber ball sound when Yooka and Laylee team up and roll. It adds to the atmosphere and comedy of playing but also harkens back to the 90s classics with the sound design. Nobody can wait for this title, set for sometime around March 2017!

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Little Nightmares Booth at EGX 2016

On the opposite end of the spectrum, in terms of game-mood, there is Little Nightmares from Tarsier Studios. Gameplay mechanics are comparable to that of Little Big Planet but the atmosphere is as if Tim Burton came to direct the 1991 film Delicatessen, but created a Grimms’ Fairytale game instead. Music comes from the talented in-house composer, Tobias Lilja, to keep us feeling tense but also add a sense of mystery and dark playfulness to the game. Sound Design is also very well done, with tense and uncomfortable creaks and squeaks in the demo, but also the plastic squeaking when our yellow-coated character jumps that reminds you of the plastic wrapped meat and butchers setting all around. Unnerving, but 100% one to watch.

Lastly I came to play a much smaller title in the Rezzed Zone: Mekazoo. It’s a really awesome-looking game, even if some of the mechanics need polishing. The music is what really makes me mention the game. M.J. Quigley is responsible for the really awesome electronic/dance/triphop music, accompanying the journey through the glowing undergrowth as you switch between various “Mekanimals” to battle through levels and defeat bosses. Worth checking out for a fun game mechanic and a pumping soundtrack.

Paul Wolinski and Joe Shrewsbury at EGX
Paul Wolinski and Joe Shrewsbury at EGX

65daysofstatic also gave the last developer talk on the Friday, entitled “In Space No One Can Hear Your Score“, about their recent work on the soundtrack for No Man’s Sky. It was interesting to hear about their creative process and working in a medium they were not familiar with, but had perhaps accidentally prepared themselves for, through composing music for installations. They are soon to embark upon a tour, the “No Man’s Sky Tour“, that includes three UK dates in November.

All in all, plenty to watch out for. There are a few day tickets left for the Sunday if you fancy a last minute adventure.

 

LINKS

EGX

Official

Twitter

Facebook

Games

Yooka-Laylee

Little Nightmares

Mekazoo

No Man’s Sky

Music

Yooka-Laylee

Little Nightmares

Mekazoo

No Man’s Sky

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Alyx Jones
A Composer for Video Games and Head Writer for The Sound Architect, I particularly love indie games and the emotional experiences games can bring, that stay with you for a lifetime. For me the soundtrack is the biggest part of this, and that's why I do what I do!
http://www.alyxjones.co.uk

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