Event Recap: Nintendo at GX Australia 2017
GX Australia is a very different convention to what I have previously attended. In part, due to its smaller size, but that comes with a tighter focus on the LGBTQI+ gaming community. First arriving in Sydney last year, the Kickstarter based convention had it’s second (yet final) year a few weeks ago.
As somebody who falls into the LGBTQI spectrum, the event was a very welcome change of events from day to day life. When first picking up my pass I was instructed to not only my name but also my preferred pronouns. While it may not seem like much to most, having that safe space and freedom is very welcoming and was very happy to see queer couples holding hands & transgender attendees presenting themselves without any fear or secrecy.
Nintendo Australia stepped in at one of the last moments to become a major sponsor for the event and as such had their newly designed Switch booth setup in the main hall. The newly released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was on show with the 4 player wireless options, 1-2 Switch was set up in their glass boxes to give onlookers a peek at your mad cow milking skills and of course, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was also centre stage. The only currently unreleased game at the convention was ARMS and I was very eager to get my hands on it.
When ARMS was first shown off I was very intrigued and the following Treehouse presentations kept my interest in the title. After playing it (a very early demo to what’s currently being shown off in the recent Japanese Tournament) I left a little underwhelmed. While I had fun with what I played and thoroughly enjoyed it, after 6 matches against my friend I found myself not only fatigued but also fulfilled with what it had to offer. Thankfully button controls are available for my first issue, I can only hope before it launches next month that there’s something more added than new playable characters.
There were also multiple indies at the show, however only Nnooo could comment on future Switch releases. In speaking with Nic about their newly announced 5 publishing titles being looked at for release on the Switch, Anodyne (by Analgesic Productions) will most likely be the first of the 5 titles released, with Nnooo’s own Blast em Bunnies being looked at for release also.
Nic also confirmed what other developers have stated about the costs of the development kits being much cheaper than previous consoles, as well as Nintendo’s use of the IARC classification system making it not only cheaper but also easier to get international ratings for their games on Nintendo platforms. With Nintendo only sending out dev kits recently, hopefully, by the time PAX rolls around smaller developers can confirm their games for release.
The panels at GX Australia were based on Diversity, Marketing, Game Development & Keynote talks from public figures, they had a very different feel to other events being a lot more focused and concise instead of broader topics. None of the panels were specifically Nintendo based, Fire Emblem characters did get a mention in the “Sexy Men, Sexy Games” panel.
While it was sad that this year was my first and now only year for the convention, it was obvious that it had taken a toll in Liam & Joshua, the event’s founders/organisers, with not only stress but from a financial aspect as well.
Hopefully one day the event will be picked up again and while it may have a different layout, the community it was built around will continue to make an enjoyable experience.