It was a weekend to remember. Cosplay, NZ Celebs, International Actors, World Wrestling Champs, Gaming and overly commercial. It was the Armageddon Expo 2012.

The queue that went the distance of almost a block on opening day was a clue as to the body mashing within as Wizards, Warlocks, Mario’s, Pokemon, Assassins, Ewoks, Orcs, Ogres, a plethora of Star Wars character impersonators and regular humans jostled about from stall to stall within the mega-sized Events Centre in Auckland City, New Zealand.

Shane the Gamer was there to check out the gaming sector, which when compared to previous years was ten times bigger and practically took up the half of the Expo.

Everything was hands on.

PlayStation showcasing their yet to be released God of War – Ascension (releases March 2013) to age specific attendees, Little Big Planet Karting using the PS Move controller, a stand of Vita’s and Book of Spells (releasing November 2012) whilst pumping out DJ’d tracks within their darkened, neon laced area.

It was clearly a family orientated environment, where there was something for everyone.

God of War alone was a bigger enough draw card for me. It is looking to be as epic as we would expect, however I would’ve been keen to have tried the Multiplayer aspect, but it was not available at the time that I was in the previewing booth.

Moving over to Xbox really saw the masses do an onslaught to the Restricted Halo 4 (releases November 2012) Multiplayer LAN.

Luckily I had managed to get a preview in of Halo 4 before the public bombarded the building.

There were six 360’s connected in a game of ‘Be the King’, which basically meant you had to win a shoot out within a multi-tiered arena. Much like Team Fortress or Counter Strike.

You selected your Spartan and weapon of choice before taking out the local foes.

Smooth and crispy. I did wonder how this would translate to actual Online play (as opposed to local) and whether it would have the same fluidity.

Forza Horizons was also a main title aswell as Gears of War – Judgement, again in Multiplayer (LAN).

Then there was Kinect. Dance Central 3 and Fable – Journey to keep the gamers active and jumpy.

EA Games networked up a plethora with Most Wanted and Battlefield 3, not forgetting the upcoming Medal of Honor – Warfighter aaaand my personal favourite Crysis 3.

Activision devoted an entire booth to Spyro Skylanders – Giants. This was a hit with younger gamers and the Just Dance floor was continually packed with attendees that either had no shame or had such a good Cosplay costume that no one would’ve recognized them anyway.

Farcry 3 was shaping up to be a good play and kept the crowds churning through.

There was ALOT of Age Restricted areas in the gaming sectors and equally alot of areas where filming or photos were not allowed, such as where the new Tomb raider title (hands on) was being played.

Then there was Nintendo, who stole the show with a hands on with the Wii – U console.

Either using the Game Pad (a tablet like device which boasts a full colour touch screen with hardware controls) or the garden variety Wii Remotes a selection of titles were available for playing.

From shooting targets through to a weird looking race / maze game to the best of all Mario Bros.

Of all that I got to preview at Armageddon 2012, this was a standout.

Either using the conventional method of playing on a TV screen or playing / continuing the gameplay on the Gamepad (without any TV whatsoever), you control Mario (to begin with) down memory lane as it were in gameplay very similar to the recently released Mario Bros. 2 on 3DS.

Collecting coins and tearing through the multi- tiered Levels within a specified time frame.

Played in Full HD (finally), the multiplayer is where it’s at. You can compete against your rival or help them out to get through successfully, whilst a third person (or you can opt to have a two player in this manner) will create platforms for you to jump across as you need them to avoid hazards, obstacles, large caverns, enemies and so on.

I spoke to younger gamer named Daniel Kilfoyle after he had just had a lengthy go on Mario Bros. U;

“I think it’s amazing! The best part is that you can have more than four players. The touchpad looked like real fun and I’d definitely play Mario Bros. again”

Ubisoft also had a few Wii – U’s rocking where Zombie – U was a must play.

In first person you equipped the gamepad which was not only used for controlling including gyro, but it was also an in-game scanner for your environment.

The object was to clear the area of Zombies, naturally, and not overly original, but with the controlling mechanisms adapted for use with the Wii – U, it was a clincher for both having the console and this title.

Blizzard didn’t miss the opportunity to enlighten WoW (World of Warcraft) and Diablo III fans either.

While the rain pelted down outside in traditional ‘Auckland weather’ style gamers had so much to consume that even for a seasoned attendee such as myself, it was almost overbearing.

The biggest, the best it’s ever been – Armageddon Expo 2012 was the place to be over the weekend, whether you’re into Sci-Fi, Fantasy or as we are, Gaming.

Did you attend the Armageddon Expo 2012? If so, tell us what you thought of it? Loved it? Hated it? Didn’t want it to end? Let us know in the Comments field below.

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Shane - Site Admin | Snr. Editor

Shane - Site Admin | Snr. Editor

Site Admin / Content Wrangler / Contributor - NZ | AUS | US at Shane the Gamer
First playing Pacman and Astro Wars Shane then moved to Nintendo's Game & Watches and the mighty SEGA Master System II. He has owned every major gaming console in the past 30 years of gaming and been in the Video Gaming industry for over a decade. He is also a diehard fan of all things horror and any Jim Carey movie aswell as anything gadgety and with blinky lights. He tries to convince others that he has Super Powers. He doesn't.
Shane - Site Admin | Snr. Editor

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