Monday, 7 December 2015

SPNW’s big Christmas Event 05/12/2015

With our different venue of “The Menai” in Upper Bangor, we were unsure of what to expect, even though we had trialled the venue a few months back for a smaller event. The weather was absolutely awful, with howling gales and pouring rain, so it was little surprise that we turned up at 10am to find buckets by the front door to catch the indoor leak! Nevertheless, the kind owners still let us hold our event, as long as we used the side door for access.

On we went with the setup. The big projector started off with freeplay Smash Wii U, as we needed people to test the screen for quality and playability. We had a second screen on a table, where people could either play N64 Mario Tennis; or something from the main Wii U. (Originally planned to be Warioware, but people ended up playing all sorts of games!)
We also had a Pokémon corner, which also welcomed card games, run by Tristan of BUMPS. 

Most people arrived before 11am, or almost right on time, despite the weather! We weren’t expecting a huge number of people, but we were also hoping for a good turnout, since it was the Final of the SPGL Smash, and also Basingstoke’s Jeremy had brought up his unique amiibo music box for people to hear!

Sign ups started, with a main tournament of Mario Tennis and a Mario Kart 7 session. The SPGL  Final was by invite only, and was for the top 8 on the table that had been built up throughout the year.
12pm saw the first tournament kick off. This was the first tournament organised where the actual hosts did not own the game! One of the regulars stepped up and provided the game, but also oversaw the running of the matches to make sure people knew how to play, as many had never tried the most recent Wii U version before. All rounds were done on the big projector for the Wii U version, until the final which was played out on the N64. John took 1st, Rhys was 2nd and Derwen was 3rd; winning £20 of eShop, £10 of eShop and an amiibo of choice repspectively.
After the tennis had finished, we served two traybakes, to mark what would have been Iwata’s birthday the following day. People could choose between chocolate or vanilla.

We quickly got on to the SPGL final. The Top Cut of 8 players were eligible. With one not being able to attend, and another unfortunately being disqualified, it meant that two of our other more regular members were able to squeeze in on the day! The brackets were single elimination, best of 3. The first round used random characters, smash ball and a random “alpha” stage. The other 2 rounds were For Glory. There were three slightly more “hardcore” regulars who were favourites to win, alas two of them got pitted against each other in the first round, so unfortunately The Mole got knocked out earlier on. It wasn’t until the final that the other two met though, where Ben took 1st and Drn took 2nd. The surprise was the 3rd place play-off, where Cat and Chan fought it out for the 3rd trophy. Chan came away (or Mega Yoshi did!) in the end, after a very explosive first round, and then seeing a 1-1 draw. It was all on the last game, but Chan just about got away with it!
The final was very tense, but Ben came out top. The main thing was that despite all the rivalries, everyone was smiling by the end!

Not long after that we got straight on to Mario Kart 7. This was a mini tribute back to last year’s league; so we had 3 grand prix and points based scoring. Top three prizes were the same as the Tennis tournament. Rhys came 1st, Drn came 2nd, and The Mole came 3rd. The Grand Prix were 150cc Flower cup, Mirror Leaf cup, 150cc Special Cup. We had to have a two way tiebreaker though, so the final race was Mirror SNES Rainbow Road.

Prize Giving was extra special as we had the custom made trophies made by DragonCraft of Amlwch. We presented them after the smaller prizes, and then as usual, rounded off with the raffle.
It has been another fantastic year for SPNW, and we hope you have enjoyed the events you’ve been able to make it to! :D

Thanks to all our members for their continued support, and particular thanks to anyone who’s provided equipment and/or prizes over the year. Thanks also to anyone who’s taken photos for us, it’s great to be able to have a record of all the different events we’ve had!
Thanks to the Menai for their hospitality, Bar Uno staff for helping us in the summer, and the cleaners in Academi for helping us out when we needed it!
Thanks to the Retro Rewind guys for letting us be part of something so awesome, thanks to BUMPS for being part of things, and also thanks to any fellow Founders of the SPUK community for any support or contributions you’ve given us over the year :D

We hope you all have an amazing Christmas and New Year, and see you in 2016!  

Sunday, 29 November 2015

SPNW does Retro Rewind Expo! 22/11/2015

The hype was real! This was the first ever charity event that SPNW had been a part of, and also one of the biggest collaborations.

SPNW had its own setup in a corner of the venue, complete with both challenges and promotional material. It kept the regulars on their toes, whilst promoting to any interested new people :)

The lead up certainly wasn't smooth though, with one major trader pulling out, one organiser in hospital and another with a broken finger! We pulled through though, and fair dos, the guys pulled off an amazing and near flawless event!

SPNW itself was fine up until the day itself, where out of 3 Founders, only 1 was able to make it! Backup was called though, and at short notice a selection of our regulars stepped up to help out.

Our stand consisted of:

NES Remix Challenge: Get the best time on the first level of Legend of Zelda. (£10 eShop to win)
Mario Maker: Get the fastest time on the "Retro Rewind" level. (Mario plush to win)
Mario Kart 7: Time Trial on Melody Motorway (any setup.) (£10 eShop to win)

We also had our photobook showing past events, leaflets and business cards, as well as a newly made large standee standing proudly in the background!
We also had our giant AR card which people seemed fascinated by, although most didn't dare to try it!

The event itself was 9am until just past 6pm. We set up from 8am, and had quite a steady stream of people throughout the day; some having never heard of us, some asking what we do. Others asking how we got started. Some just wanted to play the games!
We also had a free lucky dip, where people rummaged around in our item box to see what they could find. We had bullet bill keyrings, and 30th anniversary Mario badges. Later on the day we added some themed keyring covers and other badges too :)

The times were all fierce, but it ended up being some of our known members who won two of the challenges. Well done to Kyle for the NES Remix challenge, and James for winning the Mario Kart 7 time trial!
A visitor won the Mario Maker challenge, so well done to David Jones for that too! :)

There were themed cupcakes by the door, which proved very popular with the fans! 

Later in the day, Retro Vault held a Mario Kart 64 tournament, and then afterwards a Street Fighter II tournament. Our very own Drn was commentating, and there was a lot of energy within the tournament too!

The day rounded off after the main tournaments, with people hanging around for a brief chat.

Our next big event is just under two weeks away, so we made sure to promote thas much as we could, and were happy that a few new faces appeared on our social media channels over the weekend!

Welcome to all our new members :D
Hope to see as many of our members new and old, at our last big event of 2015, on Saturday 5th December from 11am in the Menai Pub, Upper Bangor.

Thanks to the members in particular who helped us out at short notice. Special Shoutout to Chant, Nick, Jack and Drn!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Pokémon BattleMaster Qualifier 2015! 18/10/2015

We were able to set up from 10, which was ideal and ran smoothly. It allowed the early arrivals to have some freeplay on Mario Maker, Runbow and Smash, before all the official sign ups happened between 11 and 11.30. Due to the nature of the event being a qualifier, and the lack of space due to layout, we had the cut off point for 11.30am sign ups so that we were able to check Pokémon teams were all legal and sort out groups for the final Smash league session.

Just after 11.30 was SPGL Smash Session Round 1 - This was a wild card, and it was very unusual at that! Dylan had decided to do a Target Blast, and end results would be grouped into 3 or 4 for assigning points. People had until 4pm to submit their scores. People were allowed to attempt it as many times as long as they showed their entries as they did them.
Cat aced this challenge with a massive high score of 632000!!!

We kicked off the main Pokémon qualifier at 12pm, with a nice round 12 entrants. We had a couple of people from Manchester, and some familiar faces from previous years, as well as our regulars. Competition was friendly, with more serious matches being very tense and in places taking quite a while!

We did 5 rounds of Swiss, all best of 3. Unfortunately 2 people had to leave early, so forfeited their places in the qualifier.
The two matches we were waiting for at the end just happened to be the same people (and set up) for the top cut.

Due to there only being 12 (now 10) participants in the session, we decided to do a top cut of 4. This was also best of 3 but was single elimination.

We also ran a mini Happy Home Designer competition to design a StreetPass themed house.

Only 3 people entered, but we had a similar pattern, with some doing mock car parks in the front; most including tables facing each other for multiplayer games, and arcade machines in the corners. One had a slightly sinister second room which looked like it had been scrawled in blood: #Johnwinseverything. (Thanks for that John :P )
Since there were only three and there were three packs of amiibo cards to win, we decided to give one to each of the entrants, as well as 2 free Special cards to start them off with their collections.

Round 2 of Smash was the For Glory one (on the Wii U), and Round 3 happened after the Swiss rounds but before the Top cut of Pokémon.

Freeplay Smash also happened in between rounds while the Pokémon tournament was happening. There was a parictularly weird picture that had everyone in fits of giggles though!

Round 3 was the themed one (Wii U) which meant that people had to be either Villager or a Pokémon Character, on an Animal Crossing Stage, in a coins battle.

We had our Top Cut players fighting for the qualifying positions which would send them to Manchester for the final next month. As soon as the top two were decided, they opted to call it quits, so we just had qualifiers and non-qualifiers! the unlucky ones went away with limited edition Pikachu cosplay badges; and the qualifiers got their certificates and a plush each.

The raffles prizes were different this time too - we had TWO raffles, because we know that the Pokémon fans weren't always a fan of Animal Crossing and vice versa, so we had yellow tickets for Animal Crossing, and blue tickets for Pokémon. Star prize was for the Pokémon league badges, and the Animal Crossing Raffle had 3 custom made plushes, some more fanastic creations from Tavington Crafts! People were allowed to enter both but it was quite obvious that nearly everyone wanted some of those badges.

Most anti-climatic raffle ever though, as the person who won the star prize had had to leave early, so we had to just put it to the side, and let others pick the remaining prizes!

We still had our customary group photo, but we were missing a few people by then, so that was a shame!

Another fun day was had by all, and of course we'll be doing a more informal Pokémon event hopefully in the spring again. Our next official event is on Saturday 5th December, and will be our final main one for 2015!!

Welcome to the few newcomers we had too - hope to see you again! :D

Please also help us support the charity "Stop Hunger" with the Retro Rewind guys in Llandudno on 22nd November in our "StreetPass Zone"!!

Photo credits: Jen, Mrs. Roberts, Tom Plater, Cat Reilly

Monday, 31 August 2015

August Splaturday! 29/08/2015

We managed to squeeze in a second local summer event this year as we managed to acquire the use of Bar Uno again!

This time was particularly special as we were able to offer all attendees £3 off their food/drink bill, and a limited food menu.

We set up from 11am, and some got a bit of freeplay in on Beat the Beat before the main event started.
We had signups at 12, but there were only two main competitions this time - Session 6 of the Smash League, and a Splatoon 1 vs 1 tournament!

We even had just enough players to have a "Monster Hunter" corner, so we got a hunt going there too :) here we welcomed a newcomer too, it's always nice to see new faces!

We started drawing names for Smash League Round 1, which featured four players teaming up with their amiibo to create a massive 8 player battle. The basic rule was that you had to play as the same character as the amiibo you had chosen. There were no items, and it was on a random omega stage.
This mixed things up a little, as no one knew how their amiibo would perform! (All at level 50, but no one knew how each other had trained theirs.)

Shortly after round 1, we drew the names for the splatoon tournament. One person was on one screen, and a second person was on a second screen. They connected to each other over the internet so both could have the full experience of the game. Each round was best of 3.

We had 15 entrants, so one lucky guy got a bye. We got down to the final 8, and then broke off for the second round of Smash League. this was the usual For Glory Round and was on 3DS.

Back to the final rounds of Splatoon, and things were getting tenser. There were some narrow matches, but most of the better players ended up on 2 -0 so didn't need to play the third match. The young ones were certainly enjoying themselves too!

Scott got the victory, apparently in revenge for his girlfriend Jade who got knocked out earlier on! He won himself £30 eShop credit.
Jack was 2nd and won £20 eShop credit, Rhys was 3rd and won £10 eShop credit, and Drn came 4th and got a bonus "drinks" token to spend. 

Finishing off with the "Wildcard" round of Smash League - It was a team... or was it?! Did you trust your amiibo to fight for you place, or did you prefer to fight it out yourself?! Only a minority chose to fight it as themselves, and most put in their amiibo. It was certainly an interesting round. Random omega stage, and the only items allowed were guns. 

Once the final round was over, we added up the scores for the league and ended up with a 3-way tie between John, Jack and Will. An extra For Glory round and against everyone's expectations, John won! He chose a Gannondorf amiibo to take away with him. 

We also had a presentation to make! Will had won the Mario Kart 8 tournament back in June at the North vs South event in Aberystwyth. However the trophy he should have won didn't make it in time, but finally appeared in time for this event; so we were able to present it to him properly! We took a picutre of the top 3 to make up for the lack of trophy, and then a picture of the trophy united with its winner :)

Top 3 players from North vs South.

We then did the prize awarding for Splatoon and drew the raffle. In the raffle, the Star Prize was a custom made Splatoon Inkling Hat in Purple. There were also a couple of amiibo, the promotional orange Splatoon hat and 3x 30th Anniversary Mario pin badges. 

Things ended slightly abruptly this time though, as quite a few of us were heading off to a Smash Brothers Tournament down the coast! We just about managed to squeeze in our mandatory group picture though, of course!

The next main event will be on Saturday 26th September from 11am, this features a slightly different twist as it will be the first event not run by Dylan and Jen! (also please note that there will NOT be a Smash League session in this event, and it's the perfect opportunity for any new people to come and check us out! :) )