What was supposed to be a well thought out and planned day turned out to be a day full of last-minute decisions, delayed trains, the wrong Underground train, and things not going completely to plan? Having said that my brother and I still had an amazing day.
Having left at around 6:30am to catch the train to London It usually takes around two and a half hours on the train to complete the journey. The journey itself wasn’t as bad as it normally is for a Friday and was oddly on the quiet side and despite being slightly delayed on the way into Waterloo Station I didn’t let that impact the start of the day.
The first stop of the day was going to be the highly anticipated Pokemon Centre over at Westfield London. This wasn’t a part of the original plan and was really just a coincidence that it opened the very same day we would be in London. Having planned out the exact route we needed to take this is when we discovered that the Jubilee Line was delayed and incredibly busy as a result. While it didn’t majorly impact the route we wanted to take it did make it difficult when we needed to get off so we ended up riding an extra stop (or two).
Eventually, we found our way to the shopping center and found the store and by this point, it was around 10:30am. At first look, the queue didn’t look too bad. Maybe a couple of hours of queuing max? Oh, how very wrong were we. As we followed the directions of the staff (who were very helpful) we eventually reached the outside section of the queue. Walking down the steps, we honestly could not see the end. I was chatting to a member of staff who told me that those outside would be looking at a wait of around five hours if not longer before they get into the store.
At this point, my brother and I made the decision to give the Pokemon Centre a miss. As much as we felt disappointed at the time, we were only in London for one day and also wanted to make sure we spent enough time at EGX which was our original purpose of being in London anyway. We thought about maybe coming back later but even then it would have still been busy. We later learned via Twitter that the queue had been capped for the day a few hours later in the day which was understandable.
Having stopped to grab some food and also hopping on the wrong London DLR train we eventually made it to the ExCel Center. We grabbed our wristbands and made our way into the convention. Immediately I had no idea where to look first. Do we look at the games first? Do we go around the merchandise stands? Who knows! We ended up just taking it as it comes and started exploring.
As this was my first EGX I wasn’t too sure what to expect but we took a good look around, grabbed some bits from the merchandise stands and took our time to browse through the various different zones and games. We spent some time in the Retro Zone and played some Mario Kart with another couple of people and also played a little bit of Pinball as well.
I didn’t spend a lot of time playing many games myself but I did spend more time watching others play. My brother played a handful of games though. I did spend a lot of time talking to others & developers about the games, what we were seeing on screen and just about video games in general. One game that I loved and did get a chance to play was Phogs. I actually played this at EGX Rezzed one year and enjoyed it back then. I believe it has a release date of Early 2020 on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Steam and PlayStation 4!
After spending a bit more time at EGX and browsing around the different areas we decided to make a quick stop back to a few shops in/near the Oxford Street area. We popped into Forbidden Planet and picked up some more bits, mainly Pop Vinyls and a few little bits before heading into GAME to pick up a few Nintendo Switch Accessories for my brother. A quick stop to grab some dinner and it was then time to head back to Waterloo Station to get the train home.
Despite any obstacles that cropped up we both had a great day. As we were talking on the train on the way back home, we decided that to do EGX properly we would need a couple of days to be able to fully experience everything. Because of the time we had available to us, it did impact the day slightly but we made the most of what we had.
I’m not sure at the moment if we will go back to EGX next year. A lot depends on if it is held in London or Birmingham. Although I have a feeling we will be attending EGX Rezzed in 2020 at least depending on when it is being held.