A few weeks back I came across a flyer advertising an event that I’d not heard of before and yet somehow had taken place many times before. That flyer was for Button Mash, a gaming event based in Bradford that was on its’ eleventh show.
Uncertain quite what to expect, Dave and myself arrived at the Bradford Playhouse a little after it opened at 3pm last Saturday. Continuing our streak of being rubbish, not only did we not know that this event had taken place 10 times before, we also didn’t quite know where the Playhouse was demonstrating that we clearly suck at paying attention to things in Bradford.
Upon entering and paying (a little over the average apparently, because we’re nice) we were handed a Nerf crossbow and told to shoot some targets on the table in the entrance and that we would win a prize if we did. I completely failed to hit anything at all, but Dave did and got himself a little sprite art piece of Ken from Street Fighter.
Heading downstairs we were at first a little disappointed with the small size of the area, as there didn’t seem to be a huge amount there. Looking around, we spied a sofa and a Dreamcast in the corner that we’re occupied, so off we went. With a bit of Star Wars Racer as a warmup (much better than I remembered) and some Quake III Arena (much, much worse – the controls were ok in the late 90’s but in this age of dual stick shooters the default control layout is almost unusable) under our belt we played a few other systems including Dave’s first play of Mario Kart 8 before ending up on an Xbox 360 with Streets of Rage 2.
Arguably one of the best ever beat ‘em up’s and one of my favourite games from the Mega Drive, Streets of Rage 2 is always a lot of fun to play in co-op though the dodgy way that player characters can grapple each other if they get too close is something that has always annoyed. We did pretty well considering that neither of us has played it for years, but sadly ran out of lives on the sub boss just before the last boss of the game.
After some more of our group arrived, we branched out a little and spent some time checking out the board games available before settling on Boss Monster which is a great card game where you play as the boss of effectively an old school video game level and have to build your dungeon with enough traps to take out any attacking heroes and get enough score from killing them to beat the other players.
Over on the other side of the room was a group around a larger TV playing Mortal Kombat X. I like to think I’m fairly decent at it now (I’m probably not compared to other people) I decided to head over there only for it to be turned off and to end up roped into a game of Werewolf. Another game I’ve not played, Werewolf is a role play game played among a group where a small portion of the group are werewolves who have to kill the rest of the group who are largely villagers. I ended up as one of the werewolves and lasted till right near the end though I think they might have been playing off a slightly different rule set as the one I’ve just read online says that if you end with two werewolves and two villagers, which is where we were when I was lynched by the villagers, that the werewolves should win, but never mind.
Also present but not played (at least by me or Dave, anyway) was Rock Band 3 in a different room on a projector. I do love Rock Band, but I’d not had anywhere near enough to drink at that point to play around strangers!
We finished the night with a Nintendo GameCube. After a few matches of TimeSplitters 2 we somehow decided that it was a good idea to play every single Super Mario Kart Double Dash!! track back to back. I played a lot of Double Dash!! back in my university days and don’t remember being all that fond of it, but we had an absolute blast and visually it’s held up surprisingly well – I’d certainly say more so that Mario Kart Wii which now looks very ugly and blocky.
Despite initially thinking that we’d not be there all that long, it was after 10pm before we finally left with a lot of fun being had by all, and I’ll definitely be popping along to the next event.
Much like Play Blackpool, most of my photos came out even more blurry than usual and Dave has again let me use a couple of his for this article. You can see more of these over at his gallery.