Anime & Burnout Blowout

The last weekend was one that involved lots of watching games being played, lots of conversations about games and lots of playing of said games. How so? Well, I was at London Anime & Gaming Con of course! I took along one of my Dreamcasts and one of my Jaguar systems in order to host two of the challenges set up by RetroCollect for visitors to the Con's gaming zone to try their hands at. There were other challenges on offer, such as a Gamecube Ikaruga score attack and a Mario Kart 64 fastest time challenge...but what we're here to talk about is the Jag. I decided not to take my Jag CD unit at the last minute just because I figured that the consoles would be on for hours each day and I didn't want to risk overheating the CD unit having it plugged in for such a long period of time. So even though the Jaguar Super Burnout challenge was dubbed the 'Toilet Bowl Challenge' in honour of the Jag CD's lavatory-esque physical properties, I must admit that it was left safe and sound at home.

It became apparent from the get-go that the vast majority of people visiting the convention had either never heard of the Jaguar or were familiar, and had overwhelmingly negative impressions of the system. I was there to put those impressions straight...and I had a great tool at my disposal in Super Burnout. Rather than repulse people, the sublime arcade racer actually enticed a lot of people, and upon playing the game, the undulating terrain and silky smooth framerate got a lot of people interested - indeed, one of the RetroCollect team who didn't own a Jaguar left the event wanting to buy one just for Super Burnout. Other people who visited the retro-gaming sector left with a lot more knowledge of the Jaguar than they entered with courtesy of my good self, and I think Super Burnout was a fine choice of game when trying to exhibit the Jag's impressive sprite-scaling capabilities.

The challenge on offer was 3 laps around the Germany circuit on the Super Rabbit bike. The record lap time for the weekend was set in the first hour by Ian Wall - a gamer who regularly takes part in gaming competitions and is a finalist in the upcoming Classic Gaming Championships due to be held at Play Expo Manchester in October 2014 (it was around 38'43). Other players racked up times in the high 30s and low 40s (my best time was 40'24), but nobody was able to better Ian's time and it still stands on my cart! Several gamers asked to be shown some other Jaguar titles and handily I also had Doom, AvP, Tempest and Power Drive with me so I happily obliged. I also decorated my Jag with it's own mascot - a plastic Jaguar I got out of a Kinder Surprise!

Overall, it was a great weekend for the gamers who visited our little corner of the venue, and I like to think that my promotion of the Jag helped to dispel a few myths around the system. Here's to the next event where I can continue to show off the Jag and spread the good word! Here are a few images from the weekend (the high-quality Jag console portraits are courtesy of Gemma Sweeney's outstanding photography skills!):

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