It’s 8 am, and I am sitting down with an energy drink in hand, waiting for the doors to open. Behind me, I can hear the murmur from a crowd of people in animated conversation, as if they had known each other for years. But truthfully, they had just met… that is, face-to-face at least. Comments such as “I can’t believe it’s you!” and “I didn’t think you would be that tall!” were met with excited laughter and cheer, as long-standing friends embraced for the first time ‘IRL’. That is just one of the many incredible stories of how the online gaming community got a chance to finally meet, and it all happened at The Game Expo’s inaugural event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

This brand-new event kicked off on the 11th of March, and had something to do for every type of gamer! So we took a tour around TGX, and this is what we found:

The Game Expo 2023 - Rocket League Friends Meet for the First Time
Caleb and friends, who compete against each other regularly in Rocket League, meet together for the first time at TGX 2023!

Of course, we had to start off by checking out the plethora of games around the centre. From jumping behind the wheel in the racing sim booth, to picking up a controller and trying to beat Alex Kidd, there were many ways to cause the hours to quickly fly by! And, if you like to put down your controller and move with the music, TGX had you covered with Just Dance. 

The Game Expo: Ace Zone Booth – Getting The Edge Over the Opposition

Over at the Ace Zone booth, we checked out a different part of the gaming experience. That is, the headphones. The standard piece of gear that any competitive gamer needs. After testing out Ace Zone’s A-Spire and A-Rise headsets, we found out exactly what it is that Ace Zone has over the competition. If you are an FPS player, this one’s for you. The A-Rise and A-Spire headsets offer players the ability to hear enemies’ footsteps from much further away, giving maximum advantage over the opposition.

The Game Expo - Ace Zone Booth
Standing with the team from Ace Zone, finding out how the A-Rise will get the edge over the competition!

Those days of being caught by surprise despite being really, really cautious are now over. By hearing the enemy’s footsteps much earlier, these headphones give players 1-2 seconds extra to react to the situation. That is the difference between life and death in a competition. The team at the booth gave us a full breakdown of this technology, and whilst we weren’t able to capture footage of that, you can find an explanation from the developers here.

Melbourne Indie Dev Might Have Hit Gold with Ace Attorney-Inspired Mystery!

A personal favourite was getting the opportunity to try out local indie dev, Callum Page’s new project Daemon Masquerade. This Ace Attorney-inspired, supernatural detective experience puts the players into a race for their lives against mysterious forces that the player must unmask. What intrigues us about Daemon Masquerade is that it tries to solve one particular problem that is present in the stellar Phoenix Wright series. That is, the feeling that you are just trying to fumble through clues till you get the right answer.

The Game Expo - Daemon Masquerade
Callum gave us the rundown of his new project, Daemon Masquerade.

Whilst this doesn’t always happen, I am sure we have all experienced moments in Ace Attorney when we ask ourselves
“Wait… how is this the solution?” Daemon Masquerade might just have solved this issue, but we will have to wait till its release in October 2023 to find out. If you want to find out more details about Daemon Masquerade, you can find them here.

The Game Expo TableTop Zone

TGX also boasted a large variety of board games and Tabletop RPGs! All were set up for punters to experience, with both guided sessions and free play options available. In the Tabletop RPG zone, we found the typical list of tabletop games, but also some lesser-known titles. Fragged Empire is one such title.

Can’t forget the board game exhibit!

Created by Wade Dyer, a Melbourne-based tabletop RPG designer, Fragged Empire can be described as a post, post-apocalyptic sci-fi RPG that features its own unique tabletop system which was designed from the ground up. Whilst we only managed to get a brief introduction of the game, having played roughly an hour overall, there are definitely a lot of cool ideas here and some distinct mechanics that any tabletop fan will enjoy. Fragged Empire 2nd edition’s release is just around the corner, and you can find more details about it here.

Bring On the Cosplay!

No gaming con is complete without people dressing up as their favourite characters. And TGX—like many other events—had many, many cosplayers. We saw so many creative cosplays out on display, such as: Altair from Assassin’s Creed, Roxas from Kingdom Hearts, Halo’s Master Chief and many more! It is always really awesome to see the time and dedication that fans put into their costumes!

  • The Game Expo - Halo
  • The Game Expo - Altair Assassin's Creed
  • The Game Expo - Snorlax

There was so much more to see at this year’s Game Expo, and whilst we did not get a chance to do it all, we will be looking forward to going back next year. So, if you like gaming cons, keep your eyes and ears out for The Game Expo 2024!

By Samuel Incze

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