Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Grand Christmas Showdown! 10/12/2016

We didn't get off to a great start with almost being refused entry again, due to the manager of Academi not communicating our booking with security AGAIN.

Anyway, security said they'd let us off this time, but you may find us in a different venue next year. We'll keep you updated if the normal venue changes of course!

So after a rocky start, we got set up quickly and got some freeplay going on the Wii U, with Drn unlocking bits of Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing for the main tournament.

Once we'd done our usual sign ups and socialising for the first hour, we got stuck in with round 1 of the final SPGL Athlon sessions.
The first round was a Mario Party Star Rush Coinathlon.
It was a very quick deed, as it's all about how fast you can get round 3 laps, repeating the same 3 mini games. (We did the download playable version.)
4 to a group for each game.

We started the main tournament a slight bit early, as everyone was raring to go, but not before I'd announced the Animal Crossing Challenge:

Do Level 6 on the beginners' Island Tour with a set team.
We knew that quite a few hadn't got round to downloading it, so I let people use my console where needed.
Derwen ran away with the victory of a score of over 33k, whilst 2nd place trailed behind with a score around 27k.
The prize for that was an Animal Crossing action figure and £10 eShop credit.

On to the main tournament, and everyone was either in a group of 3 or 4, and each time the top 2 went through.
Each group did a grand prix, and as the rounds progressed, the noisier and tenser it got!
As most people were unfamiliar with the game, even the mario kart 'pros' found it a challenge.
We left the final round until after the next round of the league session.

Others set up freeplay Smash 3DS, and we also saw a few games of Rhythm Paradise Megamix.

Round 2 of the league ensued, which was the main feature of the event. Smash 4, teamed with your amiibo; It was still groups of 4 people, but 8 players. The stage was of a certain selection and the only item was a smash ball.
The only rule for the actual players was that you could NOT play as the same character as your amiibo.

All 3 of our top players had scored the maximum 5 points in the first round, but things got really shaken up in the second round!
John's group was up first, but what we'd all forgotten was how lethal Cat's mario amiibo "Itsame" was! (It had in fact won a previous amiibo only Smash tournament last year...!)
It got down to it being John vs Cat's amiibo. It was nail-bitingly tense right down to the last 10 seconds...
John was just about holding on, but as it hit 5 seconds, Mario managed to grab his character Link and launch him off stage. If he'd managed to hang on there just half a second longer, it would have gone to sudden death, alas his character died just as "GAME" appeared on the screen. He therefore got 3 points for the round, and Cat grabbed the maximum 5 points.

Next up was Jack's group. It got all the way down to Nick vs. Jack's amiibo, but no matter how much Nick tried, he couldn't inflict much damage on the amiibo "Zeldaport", so Jack's amiibo made sure he grabbed the maximum 5 points.
Kieron unfortunately didn't have much luck with his round and was only able to grab a mediocre 2 points, sealing him in 3rd place for the final trophy.

The final of the Sonic and Sega racing tournament was played by James, Drn, John and Kieron.
There was only a point between each player at the end, but Drn grabbed 1st place, and James grabbed 2nd. (£20 and £10 of eShop credit respectively.)

Round 3 and the final ever round of SPGL Athlon 2016 was a "Mystery". Dylan had decided on 6 games that had been used over the last year of events:

  • Bomberman
  • Runbow
  • Mario Kart Wii
  • Nintendo Land
  • Mario Sports Mix
  • Tetris
He put a random spinning wheel up on the big screen, and everyone watched as it spun round and eventually chose "Bomberman"

With only one cartridge, as we played the DS version, the groups took it in turns to play. First up was Kieron's group, and he got lucky because everyone else kept accidentally blowing themselves up!
John's and Jack's groups weren't so lucky as they kept getting draws. In the end though, all 3 managed to get the maximum 5 points.

This meant that Jack had got 15 for this session, but John had only got 13. As they were neck and neck on the league table, Jack just pipped John to the post for the 1st place trophy. 

We then awarded the prizes and presented the trophies to the winners.

... but since both 2nd and 3rd were so tall, we decided to do a second shot with Jack on a chair! 

Finally, we did the raffle. With a lovely Build-a-Bear Eevee, who could refuse?!

Derwen also kindly contributed 4 hama bead Christmas decorations.
After the raffle prizes were collected, we had our usual group photo right at the end.

We thanked everyone for their support over the year, wished everyone a Merry Christmas, and anticipate that the next main event will be mid-late January.

It's been an awesome year for SPNW, here's to even more! :D 

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Paper Mario Musical Megamix 22/10/16

Back in our usual venue of the Academi Cinema Room, we got set up firstly with the new Paper Mario Colour Splash game, but since it was one player, most people kicked off the day with a round of the Mario Party Star Rush Game. We managed to get two groups of four going.
John and Dylan played some of the Paper Mario in the mean time.

This time we had no major tournament, as the games that came out this month were more about the social or single player side, so instead we set up 3 challenges, and had our usual 3 round league session.

The 3 challenges were:
1) Fastest Time on the Rolling Mountain Course in StreetPass Slot Racer
2) Highest Score on "Trials and Tribulations" on Mario Party Star Rush
3) Highest Score on "First Contact" on Rhythm Paradise Megamix.

All challenges people were allowed to attempt as many times as they liked, but they could only submit their tries max 10 times. 

Arrival was at 11am, but most people came slightly early and got stuck into their mario party games.
We did the name draws for the first round of the league just after 12pm.

The first round was "Rocket Launch" from Beat the Beat. Any members who were there the previous summer will have remembered that Beat the Beat was used as one of the main tournaments for the last music themed event.
It was 1 v 1, and every score counted. At the end the group was split into 4 parts and points were divided proportionately. 

Some got straight on with the challenges!
Even though some didn't own all the games, I let people borrow my console to attempt any of them. (Earnt me a lot of coins for Megamix, thanks guys! ;) )

It was quite evident early on that James had won the Mario Party Challenge with a score of 597. No one even came close!

The Slot Racer and Megamix ones were a lot closer though, and carried on right until the deadline of 4.30pm.

 In between rounds, people either nipped across to Asda for food, or played Remix 10 on Beat the Beat. Nearly everyone in the room gave that remix a go, some more than once! 

 Due to more people now having to work weekends, we had a few had to leave halfway through, and others joined halfway through, but as far as competitors went, we had at least 14 for every round. Total attendees were about 24. It was nice to briefly see a couple of new faces, and one of the families popped in to say "hi" too :)

 Round 2 was old classic "Donkey Konga".
Again 1v1, with proportionate scores split across the 4 parts. The tunes selected were at "random" but people didn't seem to mind.

This was particularly fantastic when half the room started singing along to the tunes that were picked!
I only managed to get 30 seconds of "all Star" though, and almost missed little Sean trying to play one of the competitor's bongos!!

Round 3 was the newest game - Megamix. Mine or Dylan's consoles had to host most of the 4 player groups as hardly anyone had got the game yet.
4 players took on the "Pattern Play" challenge, and points were awarded depending on the total of each of their individual score accumulated throughout the three rounds.

As the deadline came up for the challenges, we realised there was a 4-way tie on the Megamix Challenge. Jack, Kieron, Nick AND Cat all got 95 points and no one could seem to beat it!
We had to choose a tie breaker, so because Jack also owned the game, I had to pick a game that I knew he hadn't played yet. (I was slightly further ahead in the game.)
I chose "Blue Bear" as the tie breaker, and told the guys not to let on to the others which game it was, so they were all doing it as brand new. They only got one shot too (after the mini practice at the beginning)
Cat took the final victory with a score of 90!

The league session produced some interesting results, leading to the top 3 on the table having just 2 points between them, with John and Jack on 63, and Kieron on 61.

When it came to the prizes and the raffle, Cat did the best out of the eShop credit, winning both the Megamix Challenge and the league session!
John won the Slot Racer, and of course James won the Slot Racer challenge.
Much to everyone's groans and slight bemusement, the top two raffle prizes were won by two of the guys who had to leave early! The third one had gone already too, but he'd left his tickets with a friend.
Didn't stop everyone hanging around at the end though, JUST to see the Boo amiibo glow in the dark!!

We also had a special mario kart auction which was won by Phoebe :)

We of course finished the day off with our customary group photo!

Thanks to all who made it!
The next event will likely be to mark the release of the new Pokemon games, and our next BIG event will be Saturday 10th December where we conclude this year's league: SPGL Athlon and award trophies to the top 3 :)

Best of luck to you all!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Olympics to GO! 14/08/16

We arrived a little bit early for being let in, but we spotted a Squirtle and a Charmander on the Pokémon GO "sightings" tab, so we went on a mini hunt before 10am. No luck though, as they ran away before we found them!

We got set up promptly at 10am and let people settle in with some freeplay as they arrived and signed up.
We had Mario Kart 8 on the go on two consoles and then a smaller console setup with a few games to choose from. This was courtesy of Jeremy, who was visiting from Basingstoke for the second time, and brought along his updated amiibo music box for all to enjoy as well!

We started at the earlier time of 11.30 with round 1 of the league, to allow gaps for people to go hunting Pokémon. We had set up a few lure modules throughout the day to see what people could catch, but this time it was fairly quiet, presumably because all the students who played on the campus had moved out for the summer by now.
There were a few back and forths of the gym down the road so we knew who was on their way up out of the Pokémon GO players.

We also left a few gaps in the day to allow for Pokémon hunting.

We had Team badges for the Pokémon GO fans - all they had to do was give me the secret word associated with their team. Team Valor was Passion, Team Mystic was Wisdom, Team Instinct was Truth.

The SPGL Athlon session theme was "Sports" to honour the month of the Olympics; as the main Rio Olympics game was our major tournament (Wii U) and long jump high score challenge (3DS)

The first round was Bob-omb Dodge from Mario Sports Mix. 4 player, and ranked in the order they got knocked out. It was over pretty quickly, as we had 11 people to start with and we did it over two consoles.

The main tournament kicked off and it was an "octathlon", meaning that every entrant got to do all 8 of the activities. Dylan put everyone's individual scores into a big spreadsheet and the overall top 4 got to play in the final.

Before we kicked off the final, we did Round 2 of the SPGL Athlon session: Metroid Prime: Blast Ball!
Just before it started, Paul and Sarah appeared from South Wales! What a surprise! (Well, a couple of us were expecting them, but they'd only given us a couple of days' notice :P)

Paul was perfect to help out with Blast Ball as he happened to be looking for fellow players and was hoping he could find some up in the north. Some who had never played it before found that they loved it, so after the rounds were over (complete with tutorial from Paul for each group) a group of 4 carried on playing it!

After round 2 was over, it was time to get on with the final of the Rio Olympics!

The final was "hard" level gymnastics on "Reach for the Stars".

It was very intense (note concentration faces!), but Jack came out top gaining £20 of eShop credit, with Drn 2nd and £10 of eShop credit. Chan came a respectable 3rd and won a drink from the bar. In doing the final though, they unlocked expert mode, which they just had to try out after the competition had ended! Check out how they did here:

Round 3 was the old classic Wii Sports Tennis. Most people had played this previously as it came with the original wii console back in the day! :P

Some used a flick of the wrist, and others did almost real life power shots! Either way they had to be careful they didn't end up batting their opponents in the face!

After 3 rounds it ended up being a tie between Jack and Kieron, so they fought one final battle on Ice Hockey from Mario Sports Mix. It was very close, but at the last minute, Kieron's character got pushed off the side by a rogue ice block, meaning that Jack won the SPGL session too!

We had plenty of time this event so everything was able to have a short break in between, for food, drinks and/or pokéhunting (and obviously playing 3DS games too!)

We ended up with 10 minutes at the end before the raffle draw, so I did a shout out for the 3DS challenge again. James and Drn were so intense about it, and both had got over 10m by the end of the day. Drn managed to scrape the victory though with  10.174m (and James with 10.105m)
Drn had been trying so hard on the demo version that he'd unlocked non-accessible games on the proper version! Good effort Drn! :P

The raffle was drawn and Jack ended up winning the Pokémon GO plus token, with little Jack winning the Charizard plush, Chan taking the Pikachu and Derwen took the eShop credit and the keyring.

We had our customary group photo, and an updated club shirt photo with all the new orders!

Thanks to all the helpers, as well as the support from members. Thanks to our special guests Jeremy, Paul and Sarah for not only travelling the distance, but also helping out on the day too!

Our next main event won't be until mid October, but we'll be having a music themed league (one round of which involves Donkey Konga!) Date TBC.
We hope to have a more casual meet in September, so watch out on our social media pages/group for news and announcements!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Summer of Colour! 09/07/16

Back in our favourite summer venue, Bar Uno did not disappoint!

We got access right on time, and got set up fairly quickly, so that some of the early arrivals could get on with some freeplay. Runbow was the game of choice!

People arriving sort of meandered in, after it had transpired that half of them had been hunting Pokémon on the way up, via the latest app "Pokémon GO!" - we're all eagerly awaiting the official release of the accompanying watch too!

We had a few latecomers, as trains were delayed, and the weather wasn't great either!
We held off the start of the first competition, to allow for latecomers.

The SPGL Athlon session theme was "Rainbow". Sounds ambiguous?? That's because it was..!
With people assuming we'd be doing Mario Kart Rainbow Road, we let them assume. (Too obvious you say?)

Round 1 started with "Runbow" which was another obvious, but also known choice.

After the freeplay had up to 7 players, the 4 player one didn't seem too daunting. It proved a popular game, as throughout the day, people kept popping on the freeplay version!

Mario Strikers Charged was next on the agenda, and people also took the chance to grab food from the bar. With tribute to the Euro 2016 cup, and the history that Wales had made earlier in the week, we thought it entirely fitting!

Every pair was allowed to try out a practice run first, as bar 3 people, no one had actually played it before. It seemed only fair to put two of the more experienced ones against each other in the first round, and also first up to show people how it should be done! Obviously that meant that one of the "good" players got knocked out early, but thankfully they understood.
We had 14 entrants to the main tournament.

The football tournament went on a bit longer than planned - half because more people turned up than we initially expected (Which was awesome by the way!) and half because people kept nipping out to hunt for Pokémon!!

After realising we were running a bit later than usual, we warned people, and by the time Round 2 of the league was under way, we checked if anyone had to rush home, and adjusted the matches accordingly.

Round 2 of the league session was Splatoon - Turf War. We did explain to people that it was all about how much you painted, and not about necessarily killing the other person. (It was 1 v 1 across the internet, similar to how we did it in our Splatton event last August!)
Some people made a pact before the match, not to kill each other. Most notable were our two higher players, Jack and John. They ended up pitched against each other by chance, and both agreed not to kill each other during the match. Jack's face was a picture when  he accidentally splatted John with a "poorly aimed" inkstrike!
Didn't matter in the end though, because John won that round with quite a large margin of paint! 

We didn't have any time left at all, so we got straight on to round 3, which was the mystery of the day.
De Blob was a familiar title to some, but a completely unheard of title to others. Dylan explained that it was similar to Splatoon in a way, but you used your character's body to paint, rather than a tool! 
People had great fun playing it, although it was a shame that a few had to miss out due to having to catch buses etc. 

The league session's winner was John.... again! He really is #Johnwinseverything... ! 
He's given himself a strong lead over the others, but who knows next time, the gap may much more narrow!

We rounded off with the usual prize giving and raffle draw, with one of our newcomers winning our coveted Splatoon squid cushion. 

We had our usual group photo with the guys who were left though :)

Gwydyr Geek showed up for the first time, and did an interview with both the hosts. It was nice to see a couple of new faces along with some more familiar faces. We were amazed at the turnout for such a grey day, and hope that everyone can make it to the next event on Sunday 14th August! (There will be space for Pokémon GO still, and maybe even a watch in the raffle! Keep an eye on social media to find out more. )