Sunday, 7 December 2008

Halloween rock party and Resident Evil: Live

Things got spooky when Rock Band, Jonathan Coulton and Resident Evil invaded the Britannia Ballroom on Halloween

Following a feverish day’s work I headed to the Britannia Hotel to wrap up the second day of GameCity with a suitably themed Halloween party. The mood was upbeat at this informal get together and gave fans the opportunity to chat to some of the guests that stuck around after their panels. Wannabe rockers got the chance to win the crowd with their Rock Band performances. As soon as the techies had everything set up a queue of egger hopefuls literally rushed to the front of the room in seconds. After the attendees had laid down their renditions of rock classics, Harmonix took the stage to show everyone what months of lunchtime practice can do for your hi-score.

Meanwhile, in the Ballroom’s atrium Derek Taylor was busy attempting a world record (second of the day for those who’ve been counting) for the fastest ever Resident Evil 4 speed run. Sat in one of the hotel’s comfy leather chairs, Derek displayed a frightening level of concentration as he fought his way through Capcom’s trademark menaces with a GameCube controller in the Wii edition of the game. He eventually achieved this feat in a time of two hours and one minute, and was presented with a certificate on stage.

Partying even later into the night, Jonathan Coulton returned to please fans with more of his video game-related music. So perhaps it was this dangerous mix of cheap sweets, zombies and American rock, but my experience of ‘Resident Evil: Live’ that night has to be the weirdest thing that happened to me at the festival - and that’s really saying something! After waiting in line for this fabled event, I was abruptly forced into a pitch black corridor and told to retrieve a special object at the other end. My only weapon: a halogen torch. Drawing on all my gunplay skills from playing the best horror and FPS games in recent years, I made my way through the corridor as decaying figures attacked me left and right from behind doors and rusty partitions. Upon reaching the object I pretty much tired to bolt straight back the way I’d come, only to slam straight into a zombie and hit the floor in defeat. In all a ridiculously exciting, yet creepy night - suffice to say: you had to be there!

See more photos from my Halloween adventures in our GameCity 3 gallery.

Aaron Lee