GameStop Expo 2012

Only a few days ago, I was in Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio surrounded by unreleased video games I was itching to play. There were so many options, and I wish I would have had enough time to play them all. By the time 4:00 p.m. rolled around, my hands were full with free stuff and my head was spinning from all the awesomeness I had just experienced. Say farewell to sleep and money my friends, because when these games come out, you'll be hooked.

Fable Journey for Xbox 360 Kinect

The Games 

My first encounter with an unreleased game at the expo was in the VIP room an hour before the event opened it's doors. Amid the food displays, water jugs filled with fruit punch and gamers sorting through their bags filled with goodies were two stands with a playable level of Lego Lord of the Rings.

This Lego adaption had the typical quirky comedy infused with the already great Lord of the Rings storyline. As expected, each character had unique abilities. For example, any tall character could throw Gimli so he could break high targets. Yet another game on my 'to buy' list. In addition to Lego Lord of the Rings, I managed to get my hands on Dishonored and Halo 4.

Dishonored was everything I hoped it would be; grungy, laced with blood and lots of stealth. I only played a few minutes into the level, but for what I played I know it's going to be amazing. My favorite ability was mind control - it's not everyday you get to scurry around as a rat.

I was too short to properly see the screen.

The lines to play Halo 4 were surprisingly short. After watching only two games, I got my chance to play. My boyfriend and I played a single Free-for-All match with a total of 12 players, each on their own screen.

Multiplayer played like a dream. It was the perfect mix of Halo 3's general gameplay and Halo Reach's items, classes and abilities. There are also a few new additions, such as the ability to sprint by pushing down the left thumb stick. For the little bit that I was able to play, I know this upcoming November will be filled with sleepless nights. 

The Swag

What's an expo/convention without free stuff? In addition to my goodie bag for being a VIP member, I picked up quite a bit.

Agent 47 Bag - Adventure Time Lanyard (2) - Adventure Time Button (2) - I'm a Fighter Dead or Alive Necklace - Power Up Lanyard - Sonic the Hedgehog Hat - Signed Game Informer posters - GameStop Bag - NOS Lanyard - Skylanders Figure 

Also, I was one of the very lucky winners of a Square Enix drawing. Every hour at the Square Enix booth, a few prizes would be given to the people who held a winning ticket. In the first drawing round, I won the second prize pack; a set of six Final FantasyXIII-2 figures!

Aside from all the free stuff, I made some sweet purchases as well. My boyfriend and I purchased a Retro Lancer Replica along with a Creeper vinyl figure - both of which were cheaper at the expo than they were online. 

The Experience 

Out of the three general sessions offered, I only went to two. Activison's was first on the list, I skipped Ubisoft's to play games and Square Enix's was last. These sessions were a lot different from what I expected, but more on that later.

My favorite thing from the expo was meeting the editorial team of Game Informer. Since Game Informer was the magazine that really got me interested in video game journalism, it was an honor for me to meet the team who is responsible for the magazine's success.

Me and the Game Informer editorial team

If only I would have had more time. I could have played the WiiU, Assassin's Creed III or even would have waited in the never ending line to try Black Ops 2. There was so much to try, but in between the general sessions and waiting in lines, there just wasn't time for it all. Maybe next year I'll pass on the general sessions and sped more time on the floor.

Overall, the expo was definitely worth going to. Between playing awesome unreleased games and the great free merchandise, I know the GameStop Expo is something I will continue to go to. Whether or not I choose to be VIP is a story for another time.

For more pictures from the expo, check out my Facebook gallery.

Yours truly,