Every year legions of Canada’s most passionate pop culture enthusiasts congregate in Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre for the weekend of geek glory that is Fan Expo Canada. Being the video game junkies that we are, Button Masher T.O. has assembled a quick “Best Of” guide for the events, personalities, and demos that should be on all gamers’ agendas at this year’s Expo.
Like in past years, Fan Expo has partnered with EB Games to bring The Gamer Zone to the show floor. If you’re willing to wait in line there’s plenty to see and play, as the biggest names in gaming stop by and drop off demos for some of the season’s most anticipated games. Odds are you won’t have time to line up for every game present at the show, so here are a few titles that should definitely make your cut.
Star Wars Battlefront (EA)
Coverage of Star Wars Battlefront has seen its ups and downs; multiple stories about removed game modes and lack of story left many fans worried this wouldn’t be the game they wanted. Fortunately, as more footage of the game released gamers warmed up to EA’s attempt to carry on the Battlefront torch onto next generation consoles – and hopefully now some hands on time with the game will eliminate any remaining worries that the game will be anything but awesome.
Super Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Wooly World (Nintendo)
Yoshi stakes a claim to being Nintendo’s most adorable mascot, and now he’s the star of their cutest game to date. Early reviews have applauded the game’s accessibility to players of any age while still providing serious challenge to collectors and completionists, and the Nintendo booth is looking to let players from either skill level experience the charm of Yoshi’s Wooly World.
An infinite number of Mario levels are at players’ disposal this year thanks to Super Mario Maker, a game that uses the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen and stylus to let players create their own custom made courses and set them in the graphical style from any generation of 2D Mario game from the original 8-bit to the HD Wii U look
Halo 5 (Microsoft)
Year to year, Microsoft always holds a huge presence within Fan Expo’s Gamer Zone. With the exception of last fall’s public Beta, few opportunities have arisen to let Halo fans try out the next entry in Master Chief’s story before its release this October. Experience the 4 v. 4 multiplayer that the series is renowned for at 60 frames per second on this year’s show floor at the Xbox booth.
Other Notable Demos: Project Morpheus (Sony), Mad Max (WB), Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft)
Voice Actors & Actresses
Video game voice acting has seen a serious improvement in quality in the last decade with quality and emotion of a character’s voice lending to the level of immersion game makers try to achieve in their storytelling.
Troy Baker is perhaps most notable for his leading role in games like Bioshock: Infinite and The Last of Us, and recently took on the role of a younger version of Mark Hamill’s iconic Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins and the animated Assault on Arkham film.
Nolan North, whose lent his voice to anything from Assassin’s Creed to Prince of Persia 2008, has helped to define one of the most memorable new characters from the last generation of consoles, Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series.
Grey Delisle is best known to gamers as Catwoman in the Batman: Arkham series. She voices Kitana and Mileena in Mortal Kombat X and holds a handful of minor roles in games like Bayonetta and Codename S.T.E.A.M. Before lending her voice to video games, Delisle made a name for herself in animation, voicing characters like Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Vicky from Fairly Odd Parents.
Gaming & Comics Personalities
From cosplayers to writers, some of the biggest names in the gaming and geek culture scene in Toronto and abroad will be stopping by the Expo to chat.
Meg Turney – Model, Cosplayer, host of Rooster Teeth’s news channel, The Know.
Shaun Hatton – Musician, journalist, host and reviewer for Electric Playground Network (Reviews on the Run & EP Daily), founder of NerdNoiseNight.
Sam Maggs – Author of Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, Host of Cineplex Pre-Show, Associate Editor and writer for The Mary Sue.
Shaun Hatton’s NerdNoiseNight is teaming up with Toronto based geek-culture blog GeekPr0n for a multi-night after party at the Horseshoe Tavern. 12 musical acts including Hervana, an awesome all-lady Nirvana cover band, will be spread across Friday and Saturday nights so no nerd needs to be alone over this epic weekend.