What made us glad and sad at rAge 2014

4 min read
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Rage2014 batman

The rAge weekend has come and gone. I had the joy of keeping Darryn chained in my basement hosting Darryn, seeing lots of cool people at our social drink and watching an unnamed loved one on a power trip. But the expo itself was the main event, and here are all our thoughts in one place.

The Glad

Rage2014 Xbox white

rAge had a ton of awesome code this year. With fantastic offerings from most of our major distributors, it was wonderful to see people getting a chance to kill each other in Mortal Kombat or Evolve, as well as seeing all the frequent deaths in Bloodborne or the gleeful destruction in Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4. Even off-the-wall favourites like Splatoon and Sunset Overdrive were consistently busy. It was excellent to see such a wide variety of games available to play and I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone gleefully experience the things I had to fly to other countries to play.

Those fantastic games were also presented better than ever. The design and layout of the show was much better than previous years, allowing for more free flow of foot traffic, even on the ridiculously busy Saturday. Some of those stands looked like something straight out of E3 or Gamescom, with the Mortal Kombat and Evolve set ups getting a particular amount of attention.

Rage2014 MKX

The novelty goods were there in force, with the artist’s alley finally moved to a more spacious area. It was excellent to see local talent on show so visibly, especially as they accepted commissions for custom art and made some glorious prints and apparel. Hot Toys had some incredible figurines on show that made all of us ache for larger wallets (and display areas) and there were some excellent toys and comics available for those willing and able to dish out the necessary cash.

The cosplay this year was at a stellar level. People put some serious effort into recreating their favourite characters, although of course Darryn wins our award for most awesome – his Batman was so impressive that he could barely move two steps without a request for a photo, and maybe some codpiece groping.

The Sad

Rage2014 Splatoon

While there were certainly some excellent things on show, we couldn’t help but notice some glaring absentees. As usual, Call of Duty was missing from the line up, despite releasing soon. It seems that every year rAge struggles to get Call of Duty, and this year was no exception. Then again, its major competition was also notably absent this year, with no sign of Battlefield Hardline anywhere. In fact, EA was almost completely absent from rAge this year, with only a FIFA 15 section included in the Xbox stand.

Wow there were a lot of people! While it makes me happy to see how people come out in droves for the event, the venue simply feels over crowded, stiflingly hot and uncomfortable, especially on Saturday. While I disagree with people who want to change the venue entirely, I certainly believe that rAge could benefit from moving the LAN to a separate (but close) location in order to make more room for the public exhibition.

Rage2014 acu farcry

Speaking of layout, the eSports at rAge was difficult to spot again. While fans knew about their friends playing in the DGCs, it was almost impossible to spot anything regarding the DGL at rAge. Even the NGL, the newly reformed NAG Gaming League was tricky to pick out of the crowd – yes it was broadcast at the event, but it seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Added to that, the NGL shout casters were separated from the event, actually broadcasting from the already too small press room. I’d complain about them stealing our food or drink, but that was almost non-existent anyway. Woe are we, poor journalists.

Additionally, moving the cosplay competition to Sunday, it felt like it lost a lot of focus. Plenty of people don’t even attend on the last day of rAge, and plenty of people are tired of being in costume by the end of the weekend. Plus, without a cosplay village or set place for them to relax and pose for pictures, it made it more of a free for all on the show floor.

Finally, we were rather disappointed in the lack of awesome specials. One of my favorite things to do is buy all the awesome novelties, comics or games at ridiculous rates. Instead… there was nothing that really jumped out at me this time around. Perhaps each of us missed out on the specials, but there didn’t seem to be anything worthwhile. Did you all sneak in and swoop up all the specials before we could spot them?

Your highlights/lowlights?

Rage2014 evolve

I’m sure meeting us is a highlight, right? Right? Don’t worry, I know we’re not that special, but please tell us what you enjoyed from rAge – were the games incredible, or were you blown away by the cosplay and people? What were your highs and lows? We agree that this was the best rAge in years, but you are welcome to call us complete idiots.

Last Updated: October 14, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • Admiral Chief 0

    Lowlight Nr1:
    The Admiral not being in attendance
    🙁

  • Rags

    You are complete idiots. 😉

    • Sageville

      Support with evidence or repeat your comment to a mirror.

    • Skyblue

      And someone needs to spank DGL for not hosting a Quakelive finals this year.

  • Jaded_Reprobate

    Rage reminded me exactly why i don’t like conventions… way too man people crammed into way too tight a space all trying to look at the same things…. it was just horrible… maybe Saturday was not the right choice of day for me to go

    • Lardus-Resident Perve

      Friday is the bestest of the days to go!

    • Admiral Chief 0

      Heat + crowds + weird smelling people + extended distance to drive to + crap parking = NO WAY

      • Hammersteyn

        One of the interns can walk around with a camera and receive directions through Skype or Whatsapp while we all braai somewhere?

      • Jaded_Reprobate

        and i had zero cell signal…. so i couldn’t even get into contact with the people i was supposed to be meeting there…

        was basically just a shit idea on my part

        • Admiral Chief 0

          Yeah man, same happened to me last time

    • Skyblue

      It’s a well known fact that the Dome is overcrowded on the Saturday of Rage every year. Last year the doors had to be closed at a point to get some people out before allowing more in. The floor layout this year was far superior to previous years but space is still clearly a concern.

  • I was quite shocked that EA snubbed us to be honest.. expected better from them.

    The one thing I’d like to see to make things better is a spectators area for the eSports.. a nice big screen somewhere with seating etc so when we are bored we can sit and watch

    • Jaded_Reprobate

      that awkward moment when some1 expects better from EA????

    • How did they snub you?

      • Matthew Holliday

        snubbed the convention in general.

        “EA was almost completely absent from rAge this year, with only a FIFA 15 section included in the Xbox stand.”

        • oVg

          I thought EA South Africa all got re-trenched.

          • Matthew Holliday

            also remember something about that, doesnt mean that EA south africa doesnt exist though.
            I also expected SOMETHING from their biggest releases of the year.

          • oVg
          • Admiral Chief 0

            Good grief, I remember that as if it was yesterday….AND LOOK WHERE THE TIME WENT!!!

          • oVg

            That was just after the Bone launch and the NFL EA Microsoft deal.

          • Admiral Chief 0

            Madness, time stands still for NO man

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Blame Obama and TV!

      • They snubbed the entire expo.

    • Matthew Holliday

      we’ve been asking for a spectators section and decent coverage of atleast the finals of games for years.
      if there was a decent spectator loung, I guarantee theyd get more of the Cape Town crowd up there.
      I would atleast consider making the trip up.

      • Mikhil

        I know it’ll never happen, but CTICC in Cape Town would work
        brilliantly. Expo in the main halls, LAN in the ballroom, viewing/chill
        area in Auditorium 1. Plenty parking, close to all major public
        transport. It actually pisses me off no end that they don’t at least
        attempt to rotate it.

        • Matthew Holliday

          agreed.

          I dont think having a Cape Town RAGE would work, but Organised Chaos has just started up again, under new ownership i think.
          they have hardware to cater for 1000 people, with the success rage has had in recent years, i dont see why they cant atleast attempt something similar on a smaller scale.
          they had a pretty successfull dota tournament a while back under the previous owners, something a bit grander than that could do wonders for the local scene.

          I stopped going because I was bored of playing the same games that I was playing in 2006, if they could come up with a workable solution to that, or run an annual event with a bit of pomp and splendour, I would defs go again, pretty sure alot of people feel the same.

  • Brendyn Zachary

    Highlights: Evolve, Lina Cosplay and meeting the Lagz crew.
    Lowlights: The never ending Prickasso debate at Hogshead…

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      oh please, you loved that part! especially the pictures 😛

      • Brendyn Zachary

        I WAS NOT THE ONE THAT SAID “He’s quite buff” WHEN THE PHOTOS WERE SHOWN!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Natural bristles are clearly superior when it comes to even brush strokes.

      • Matthew Holliday

        dunno what the debate is about, but badger hair is the future.

  • Kikmi

    Highlights? Getting white girl wasted with you bastards, duh

  • Hammersteyn

    Wanna go next year, have enough leave saved for the Israelites to leave Egypt on “holiday”

  • ReaperOfSquirrels

    The level of Cosplay in SA has just grown, some of the creations were absolutely amazing, except for seeing 4 different Steves (from MineCraft). RAge this year was probably my favorite of all time, except for maybe 2008, where I got comp tickets to the LAN :P. Lego Batman 3 is a surprisingly fun game, Splatoon is epic fun, Farcry 4 is beautiful and fun, Mortal Kombat X looks amazing (couldn’t get a hands on), The Crew handles pretty well, uhhh out of game highlights.

    Lowlights. Too crowded, LAN taking up too much space as per usual, lack of a lot of soon to be released games, Ryse was there AGAIN, cell reception went to hell as soon as you walked into the Dome.

    Biggest highlight, meeting all the people that pitched for the meetup, and meeting RINCEY after all those hours of gaming.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I liked The Crew from when I played during the beta. Once I got used to the handling I was happily ramming other drivers completely accidentally.

      • Hammersteyn

        Gotta brake somehow

    • bluegoon

      Lots of furries too! Wonder if they were planning an orgy behind the Spar.

  • Lardus-Resident Perve

    Glad-ish points:
    1 – Great selection of games and huge amount of consoles to test them on.
    2 – coming back from trailing in NBA2k15 and doing a fast-break ally-oop dunk
    3 – Mortal Kombat looks AMAZING
    4 – Hands-on with both PS4 and XBone.
    Sad-ish point for me:
    1- the stage presentation of Civ and Witcher. It was just the same clips we’ve been having online already.
    2 – how much better NBA2K15 looked on PS4 than XBone.
    3 – how much better the XBone controller feels than the PS4 controller, meaning one has the looks and the other the feel.
    4 – Rugby 15 looking andplaying like crap, even on the PS4.
    5 – How badly I sucked playing with Sub-Zero!
    6 – No Dragon Age 🙁

    • Hammersteyn

      Mortal Kombat FTW

    • Why didn’t you meet up with us!? 🙁

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        I actually never read the details about the meet-up. I think I need to make a plan next year – but that is probably what I said last year!

    • Hammersteyn

      Releasing crap sport games to a rugby mad nation borderlines on criminal exploitation.

    • Skyblue

      I’ve been using both controllers for a little while now and they are both far superior to their predecessors. I have found the PS4 controller to be very comfortable during extended periods of play but that Xbone controller is just amazeballs.

      I also wish we could get a great rugby game sometime.

  • Matthew Holliday

    dunno about the lack of specials zoe, i was watching evetech posting vids all day of stores selling stuff at cost price for hours.

  • Well the highlight for me was meeting some truly awesome peeps and having a blast with them! From Tim to Squirrel it was great finally putting faces to names! PS. I have to laugh at this pic. We were shouted at for pointing the gun at Mater Chief, apparently it isn’t allowed… So Tim decided to point it at me, bastard.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      NERDS!

      • oVg

        I think the Farcry crown is in that duffel bag 😛

        • Haha! Funny you should say that, it was stolen 😉

          • oVg

            Well this is South Africa.

          • Well to be honest, when I had it on I walked away wearing it… If it wasn’t for Tracy I’d still have it on 😛

          • oVg

            lol People were probably wondering what cosplay you were doing.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I told you, Prince Rince the Ponce. And all the rest of it that I can’t remember anymore 😉

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Are you referring to the newly crowned Queen Tracy I? Suspicious timing!

          • Dark

            I wondered where that crown went.

      • You shut your whore mouth!

    • L337J1MB0B

      Wait, Rince is a.. guy?

      • Admiral Chief 0

        LOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

      Wooooooo! It’s me!!!!!!

  • Guild

    I’m glad I got talked into taking the day off and attending Friday with Rince. I found that it wasn’t crowded and I got decent game time with almost all the games (evolve just seemed to have a ridiculous queue all day so didn’t get a chance). I have found games I will definitely get and others I will skip completely. The layout was great since it didn’t feel crowded. The only time it was hectic was when SAGamer were throwing out free stuff to the crowd they formed. I skipped Saturday cause I knew it would be crazy and went briefly again on Sunday.

    The downside, I didn’t find any decent deals. I was looking for Shadows of Mordor and Diablo 3. I didn’t see anything of the eSports. They all seemed to be locked up downstairs somewhere. Would have been nice to see some of the action and what was happening.

    • Skyblue

      The e-sports back in the day was covered far better than it is now imo as there was a dedicated area for viewing.

  • bluegoon

    Was shocked at the IGN Africa stand, they had less people than comments on their site.

  • Poor Batryn

    • That pose almost broke my bloody back, ironically.

      • Admiral Chief 0

        Hahhahahaa

  • Lizzard

    Don’t you dare move the LAN! Evil ONE!

    • Sageville

      DIE LAN DIE!

  • Harr Fast

    From a shoutcasting perspective: The DGC finals were awesomely hosted this year (in the ‘dungeon’ section as usual); excellent network set ups, great admins all round, fantastic effort from nAv TV providing us all with laptops, mics, uniforms etc. There was a spectators’ lounge set up near the DGC competition area, but I reckon they’d benefit from advertising this more and providing passes to the press for better coverage.

    On a side note, Gavin might be interested to hear that we witnessed what appeared to be Colin Webster getting bounced from the comp area for only having an open LAN pass, hahaha.

  • Pheonix182

    it was not all that bad on saterday. got a awsome photo with Zoe lol,i used the shuttle service to rage so much beter, but anyway hated to stand in long ques to play games.

  • Jedi Consular Kromas

    R12000 3D printer was a highlight for me.

    • Guild

      The R15000 gaming chair was a better one

  • SurrealTiggi

    Couldn’t agree more re. specials, LAN and e-sports areas, really felt too sporadic and disorganized (ironically not far removed from the perceived state of e-sports in SA).
    Also wish they had a fighting game/old school arcade area for random encounters. Heck, add rhythm games like DDR to the mix, I can’t be the only one who misses the glory days.

  • Sageville

    My feels:

    BAD

    1.) The LAN Area needs to bugger off now, put them all upstairs or somewhere else cause there is really not enough room for the rest of the show.
    2.) Cosplay on Sunday! I came with my kids dressed up on Saturday, slim offerings for them in the Cosplay department. Thanks to those who did pitch on Saturday though.
    3.) Very Overcrowded on Saturday.
    4.) Don’t give me a plastic bag with just 3 adverts in it. Where were the old copies of NAG?
    5.) I missed the LG crew (SADFACE)
    6.) I felt sorry for the VIP on saturday, some top dood in Dota /LoL or the likes. Maybe he’s a bit too niche for the event. The crowd response/MC didn’t really inspire.

    GOOD

    1.) A lot more games to view, loved checking out MKX and Evolve. (Was sure I saw some COD Adv gameplay)
    2.) Floor layout was much better than previous years.
    3.) I got free stuff from Cosmic Comics (They do rock)
    4.) I liked some of the new stands about, that Dog tag place and the artists and book authors showing their wears was cool to see.
    5.) Overall better than last year.

  • Ant

    It would help if people didn’t bring their ENTIRE attached family to the con. The organizers may have to consider limiting the number who can attend on a day or not allow small children. It’s getting ridiculous and some measures need to be put into place.

    • Sageville

      As a parent I’m totally disagreeing with you.

      Primarily because if you are showcasing games aimed at a wide age group including small children, why then would you ban them?

      • Ant

        Im sorry to say, but its reaching that point. There were too many unattended kids hording the stands, not listening to stand attendees about time limits and age restrictions. As much as I want it to be a wholesome family event for everybody – it’s getting ridiculous and ruins the experience for everybody.

        • Sageville

          I’m sure you are generalizing, as it clearly did not ruin the experience for everybody.

          I will concede that unsupervised kids are a no-no. But I think it would be stupid to showcase a game aimed at 8 year olds and then ban those same 8 year olds.

  • Killer Mo 26

    Bought a Vita from C N A for R999. They had PS 3 bundles for R1999 and Xbox for R1499 – those were awesome deals

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      i would have bought a vita for that price! how’d i miss that?! 🙁

  • Bjorn

    The issue i had with the NGL is there is no incentive to go watch it in person. The 1 screen that they had behind the competitors had no seating and alot of people just ended sitting uncomfortably on the floor.

    I would much rather have stayed at home and watched it from the comfort of my bedroom than go to rAge.

    We are trying to promote and push esports as far as competitive and spectator friendly sport but the event organizers are really not helping themselves achieve this.

  • Matthew John

    My lowlight.. not going this year 🙁

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

    SPLATOOOOON

  • Fred

    It was a good show , but next time get 2 halls at nasrec. Mk best of show.

  • Pheonix182

    well my high was meeting Zoe, (she’s really awsome). got hands on with Mortal Kombat X that was my fav. could not get a chance with The Crew(people that do not give other people chances). but i think overall it was good(Ran away everytime i saw BATMAN lol)

  • Nikola

    I actually enjoyed Rage quite a bit loved getting my hands on the new games that are releasing and watching some developer presentation only thing I regret is going on a Saturday as it was ridiculously busy on that day but still had a good time got to play all the games I wanted to play!!

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    I thought the xbone controller was pure quality…. sigh! I held one in CNA in the other night and it really feels a little flimsy to me… but then, I do have manly Banana hands!

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