Righty-ho, it's about time I put my 2p's worth in.
First impressions, the event seemed far better organised this year than last year.
There was a brilliant selection of machines, and more arcade cabs than last year. I was also far happier seeing more pinball machines.
It was great to meet up with all the regular forumites and meet some new faces. It's always fun meeting up with like minded people.
Anyway, let's run down:
Meeting up with you all
A great selection of retro computers, consoles, arcades and pinball machines along with an excellent selection of systems from traders (I was really impressed with Attic Bug and Console Passion)
The Waggle-O-Mania competition was awesome - in fact, with me, Cosmicfrog (AmiBay) and r0jaws (AmiBay) and Resident Paul in attendance, it was a laugh a minute
The AmigaKit store, the Old School Gaming stand and the Psytronik stand
It's in Blackpool!
On the Saturday, it was difficult to get on the pinball machines and on the arcade cabs, but eventually got on SF2CE for a bit.
Now for my biggest downer of the event: The event closing at 7:30pm on the Saturday for some over-priced 'after show party' that, from what I can gather from the comments of some others, wasn't all that! I'm sorry if people disagree, but, the Hilton is an expensive place, on top of that, paying £10 entry to an after show party, especially after having paid the price for the main Replay ticket for some .... well, it stinks of a bloody rip-off, charity or no charity! I ain't spending money like that. If I want to waste money, I'd prefer to have something to show for it (like some games & systems) - saying all that, I am gutted I missed the SID80's (about the only thing from the after show party that I was interested in)
Also, on this point, every other event I go to, it's been open till late (usually around 11pm - 12 midnight) and we can play games and get drunk all at the same time (usually making for a great evening) - I'm just not interested in a quiz, a meal probably full of stuff I don't like and bar priced for the rich! The only exception to this late opening is for the RCM event, but that's a different kettle of fish entirely.
Other bad points: you could not hear the tannoy in the competition room, making it hard to know what was going on when if you were in any of the competitions - also it was hard to hear in the pinball area and in the trading area.
The announcements for the talks were not often enough, in fact, almost non-existent - I think I only heard 1 announcement for the Team 17 talk that I was really interested in going to, I'm glad I made that though.
The signing for where the talks were happening was not clear enough - I discovered the venue for the Team 17 talk by accident!
On a couple of occasions (but noticed mostly on the Friday night during setup) there was a disgusting smell in the corridor joining the main hall and the tournament room - I know that's kind of 'beyond the organisers control' but maybe somebody on the crew should've had a word with the hotel staff !?! I apologise if somebody already did this.
The hotel bar staff were quite rude with me on one occasion - OK, maybe I did something stupid and didn't originally notice the queue, fair cop, I apologise for that (and no, I didn't get served ahead of anybody else) - but that does not give the hotel bar staff in the main hall the right to verbally lay in to me - I'm sorry, but they can F**K OFF - they lost my custom for that! After that I decided to bring my own food and drink in to the event - on this subject, should there be a Replay 2012, I will be supplying my own food and drink in the future (unless the hotel staff don't like it an throw me out) - sorry for sounding like a 5 year old, but I do not go to these events to get verbally abused.
A brilliant event which was an improvement over last year's Replay
A big thanks to Dave (arcadian), Gordon (SirClive), Matt (witchfinder), Simon (boggyb), Andy (Console Passion) and everybody else on the Replay crew for putting on a good event. I will continue to support the Replay events with my attendance as I always enjoy these, despite a couple of down points.
I'm really looking forward to future events, especially GEEK 2012 in Margate next year ...... hope we see all the regulars. Maybe even Opa-Opa will make it to GEEK 2012
That's my 2p's worth - hope the above feedback helps.