How to maximise your gameplay time at GameStart 2015

The tips you need to play all the games at the biggest game convention in Singapore

Star Wars Battle Pod. Dark Souls III. Sony PlayStation VR demos. Star Wars: Battlefront. So many games, so little time if you have limited hours to spend at GameStart 2015.

The problem isn’t with time, honestly. It’s knowing which booths you need to focus on, spending the right amount of time to get a good feel of the game, and head for the next station.

We’ve spent half a day at the gaming convention held at the Suntec Convention Centre, halls 401 and 402, to give you an idea of how you’ll need to spend your precious time to maximise your GameStart 2015 experience.

Station 1: Star Wars Battle Pod

Start your session at the Star Wars Battle Pod booth, located just after the massive two-storey Sony PlayStation setup (more on that later). Don’t be daunted by the queue because it shouldn’t take you long before you get to enter the Battle Pod.

Once you do, you’ll get to pilot either an X-Wing, snowspeeder or the famous Millennium Falcon (depending on the stage you choose). Question is, which difficulty level should you go for? On our try, we wussed out and took the Yavin stage, complete with the Death Star trench run. That took a mere five minutes to complete, and counting the time we spent in the queue (which will most likely be twice or triple the time we spent), you might spend at least 15 minutes to wait for your turn.

But that’s totally worth it for the experience when you push that throttle, feel the air rushing towards your face and hear the roar of the engines picking up.

Total time spent since we entered GameStart 2015: 30mins

Station 2: Sony PlayStation VR

Now this area is a little tricky. Because depending on the queue situation and the available demo, it could take you up to 30 minutes before you come close to the virtual reality headset.

Once you’re in, you’ve got to be very, very picky with the games. Though each game is approximately five minutes, there could be another queue forming for particular games.

By our estimate, the more popular games will include The London Heist, which is perhaps the most interactive VR game in Sony’s arsenal. Imagine hearing someone screaming reload and you’re frantically gripping the left control stick and squeezing the right one to spew bullets at shooters on bikes and in vans.

Next on the list will be Summer Lesson, developed by Bandai Namco that showers you with attention via a sweet-looking female character. We won’t spoil the surprise, but we can safely say your heart might skip a few beats when you get up close and personal with her.

As for the other games, try them only if you really, really have the time. The Deep is worth a look, mainly for the sheer realism of going deep underwater and wondering if your fate is sealed when a shark attacks. Be warned, you need to have a strong heart to survive the horror-themed Kitchen VR game by Capcom. As for the Hatsune Miku Project: VR Tech Demo and the Playroom VR games, you could skip them if you’re short on time.

Total time spent since we entered GameStart 2015: 1hr 30 mins

Station 3: Sony PlayStation

Depending on the queue situation at the Sony PlayStation area, you could jump to this first before you head back to the PlayStation VR queue. Because here, you’ll most likely see a more manageable crowd, though most of them might be centred around the Star Wars: Battlefront demo area. Mainly because you’ll be the first to play the game before it launches on 17 November.

Don’t worry though, because each console has a Sony staff gently reminding gamers that there’s a five minute limit. You’ll get your chance, and if not, just give the Sony folks a friendly nudge to ask for your turn.

While you’re waiting for the PlayStation VR line to thin out, you can also feel like a rockstar and try out Guitar Hero Live. Fair warning, this game is pretty addictive too, so make a conscious effort to surrender the guitar if you want to have a chance at other games.

Nearby, there are other early access games such as Mighty No. 9, the title that pays homage to the Rockman series, and 2K Games’ new title Battleborn.

Total time spent since we entered GameStart 2015: 1hr 45mins

Station 4: Masquerada: Songs and Shadows

If you haven’t heard of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, for shame. Because this role-playing, turn-based tactics masterpiece by Singapore game developer Witching Hour Studios is launching very soon. Since you’re at GameStart 2015, you’ll get early access and see elements of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age inspiring this game.

Depending on how far you’d like to progress, you could spend upwards of 15 minutes to get a decent understanding of how the game works. On the bright side, there are sufficient PCs to go around, so you should have enough game time with the 2.5D isometric game. So no clamouring here, just friendly gamers being considerate enough to share the game time.

Total time spent since we entered GameStart 2015: 2hrs

Station 5: Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void

No, we’re not kidding. You really should go to the other stations before you drop by Blizzard’s. Well, unless you’re an avid Starcraft fan, then ignore our advice. Though, if you really are a Starcraft fan, you probably finished the campaign by now.

So this station is really for those who are still on the fence about getting the final episode in the Starcraft II trilogy. Be advised, stations are very limited here, with only two available for you to try the new campaign. Depending on how far you’ve advanced, we say it could take you nearly 15 minutes, maybe even 30, to complete a mission. Hence, if you see a queue forming, we’d advise you to move along to the other areas, perhaps catch a match or two, and return when the queue is shorter.

Total time spent since we entered GameStart 2015: 2hrs 15mins