Game Stars Live

Game Stars Live is still pulling in a steady stream of gamers. Luckily, the floor space is so large that marauding children never seems to become a problem and queues are kept to a minimum. I have a feeling the show organisers are waiting to pull out all the stops on the Saturday, which seems a bit unfair on weekday visitors. The stage was pretty empty today, as it was yesterday and not much was going on in the basketball court or the skateboarding area. Thankfully, there wasn't any sign of the squeaky boy bands the adverts promised, so I reckon they'll be wheeled out for the weekend crowd.

As promised, I made a bee-line for the Nintendo stand today. The power had been restored and the crowds could be let in as opposed to being left outside to wait in vain as they did yesterday. Good old Ninty had created a fantastical boardwalk, complete with a VW camper van for that at the beach feeling. The whole stand was surrounded by high walls dressed like a circus enclosure and in the middle they'd built a helter-skelter tower – cool.

Anyway, once through the gateway I headed straight to the Metroid Prime tent. Cloaked in darkness, with just the glow of the screens I remembered just how gorgeous this game was. Metroid Prime Echoes is the highly anticipated sequel to MP on Cube and that anticipation is well-deserved. As expected, it looks amazing and the player is on a planet inhabited with all manner of flying, stinging beasties. Basically, for all you Metroid Prime fans it's time to get excited. All the best elements of the game are intact, although I couldn't really see any significant enhancements in the short time I got to play. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, is what I say.

I spotted my chance – a free Pikmin 2 pod and scurried over. Ooh, snow, I hadn't heard there was snow. Another beautiful Nintendo game is coming our way – hooray! I met the new purple Pikmin, who are super strong, hairy and stocky. Olimar's fellow castaway is there to lend a hand and this time there's a talking ship, giving instructions in the most innocuous way. All the humour and cute lovely adorableness (that is a word) is present and correct and had me chuckling away to myself. Of course I didn't get a chance to look at the co-operative play, but there'll be plenty of time for that when I get my own copy.

Paper Mario 2 was on show and had me chuckling again in a way you can only chuckle to a Nintendo game. I had no idea what was going on, but it was great and I strongly recommend it. Abandon yourself to some childlike glee and put this title on your must try list.

Animal Crossing has FINALLY got a European release and I was sad to see that the pods weren't very busy. Don't these people realise what is in their midst! I guess it's hard to compete with the pat a pat pat of Donkey Konga. Yes, there were rows of people bongo drumming to everything under the sun. This is the latest peripherally enabled game. It's got Donkey Kong and you get your very own set of bongo drums to beat out rhythms – cha-ching! What more do you need, I ask you!?

Tearing myself away from the Nintendo fair ground experience I headed to Eidos. The best thing on their stand had to be Lego Star Wars. It's a Star Wars game, but all the figures and environments are made out of Lego – genius! Slay a droid with your light sabre and reduce them to a pile of Lego bits and bobs. They've even got those crappy felt cloaks you get on the Lego Anakin and Obi Wan. It could be the best the Star Wars licence has had to offer since Galaxies.

And to my great surprise, Fable was also present at the show. Peter Molyneux's next great hope and much anticipated RPG. Having only seen rolling demos I am pleased to say that the game looks amazing and will make a welcome addition to Xbox. It's a rare RPG that features a free-roaming aspect, which gently guides the player instead of crippling them through the daunting amount of choices. An RPG that's fun! Never thought I'd see the day. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this one.

The queues for Halo 2 showed no sign of letting-up and instead were joined by a queue for Doom 3. At least it'll be worth the wait, I thought as I made my way to a bench by the sparkling waterfront to make notes.

I didn't want to bore you with any details of EGN. Suffice to say, there were lots of suits drinking coffee in little booths, huddled round low, temporary coffee tables. When the industry weren't in meetings they were definitely milling around Game Stars, simply because that's where the fun is.

Tomorrow, I shall be heading to ECTS to see how it's faring against the competition. I'm hoping the ECTS bar will still be the focus and holding the side up…check in to see how I get on.

Also, check out my report on Zango Games – it's looking to shake up the industry and supply games for FREE! Can it be true!? It's coming soon!

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