OLL '23 will once again be celebrating the biggest and best of the region’s gaming scene alongside Norwich's gaming communities, as well as showcasing the region's largest exhibition for indie game studios, curated by Debug.
Over the past weekend, Retro Gamers, content creators and vendors from across the world descended upon Norwich Showground to take part in the mighty schedule of OLL 2023. What is OLL I hear you ask? OLL is a popular Video Game Convention that brings thousands of people together with classic stage shows like The Retro Game Championships, Quizzes, independent retro game shops, traders, gaming artists, Indie Developers and much, much more. But before we talk about the tremendous lineup, let's take a moment to mention the Safe In Our World Charity; whom OLL teamed up with to promote this event. It's wonderful to have affiliations to such a wonderful cause. Well done to Jon and his team for this.
Lineup and Traders
OLL was packed with us content creators from as far away as Seattle, USA to Sweden! The full lineup was:
Bitmap Bureau are an Indie Game company that recently released Final Vendetta; a side scrolling Beat 'em Up that was influenced by Streets of Rage and Final Fight. Of course, the lads at Bitmap Bureau have other games to their name, including Xeno Crisis, which is just about to release on the N64! I was lucky enough to be given one. I would personally like to thank Mike for this gift, along with the signed, framed Xeno Crisis poster.
The Retro Game Championships took place on Saturday. We were placed in to teams of two and were pitted against another team of two. The games varied from round to round.
Now, I'm probably going to get roasted here as I may have gotten the order wrong! What I can tell you indefinitely are two things: John Riggs and I were team mates. We were playing Pilotwings with Dawbs and Olly from Retro Gaming Revival. Sadly we lost by two points. The mighty John Riggs took a massive gamble and attempted to land on the moving platform on Rocketbelt. Needless to say, we could not have conceded to a better pair to be honest. (SPOILER ALERT: Adam Koralik and Nostalgia Nerd won). Well done everyone.
After 6pm, we all hung out at the after party with a small bar and a Super Smash Bros tournament rattled on in the background on stage. Jess, myself, John Riggs and his amazing wife Michelle, left before the quiz and music started pounding and off to dinner we went.
Traders, vendors, Indie's and more
OLL23 kept us all busy for the entire weekend. From the amazing RAW Talent Art to Sega Mags to Last Level Games to Wave Game Studios and more. For the full lineup you can click here. You'll see how the show was set out in my YouTube Episode from day one. Compared to OLL22, it felt clear that the organisers have gone much bigger this year. Every time I saw Jon, I thanked him for the amazing job him and the OLL Team had done. Well done from everyone here at Team24. I mean, anyone that can get a wall of CRT TV's at short notice is a legend in my eyes.
I would love to see more Retro Video Game vendors at OLL24 (assuming there will be one). In fact, a few people said this to me.
If you did not fancy purchasing any retro games, you could sit down and play them. Norwich Amiga Group had lots of hardware and new software on show, Game Cubes, N64's, PS1's, loads of retro games consoles were all free to play and it felt great seeing people relive their childhoods all over again.
I close this blog with a huge and heartfelt thank you to you, the reader, the fans! Without you, none of this would have been possible. See you at the next one.
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