Firstlook Festival 2016

JNL Team was part of the biggest gaming event of the Benelux, Firstlook Festival! This event is all about the latest Games, gadgets, hardware, comics, cosplay, eSports, merchandise and more. Firstlook Festival is held every year in early October. This year it was held in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht The festival was held the 7th, 8th and 9th of October. JNL Team was present on Saturday the 8th, and Sunday the 9th of October.

The halls were split up in three categories: Merchandise, Games and Drone racing. When entering the building, there were three long lines of people waiting to go into the separate halls.

We went into the Merchandise hall first.  There were many stands that sold comic-related items, such as t-shirts, posters, caps and even figurines. Some stands sold comics from Marvel and DC, while other sold anime related items. There were stands that sold computer parts, keyboards and other stuff, as well as games and other merchandise. Lootchest was at the festival as well, selling Loot boxes filled with surprise gaming and ‘geekie’ merchandise. There were so many stands selling different kinds of Merchandise, that there was something interesting for everyone.

There were plenty of food stands spread out across the Jaarbeurs, all of them were, as expected, overpriced. The simplest things, that you would normally get for 1 or 2 euros, were at least 5 Euros now. While we knew festival food can be expensive, we felt the food was way overpriced.

After going through all the Merchandise, we went to see what this festival was all about: The games. As one would expect from the biggest gaming event of the whole Benelux, there were many games for people to play and try out. Especially since Firstlook Festival started working with New York Comic Con, whom made it possible to stream premium content from New York to Utrecht. This content would’ve otherwise been unreachable for Europeans.

Firstlook Festival had a whole list of games for their guests to play, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, Black Desert Online, Final Fantasy XV, Gears of War 4, Diluvion, Hitman, League of Legends and many more. The gaming area was obviously the most crowded area during the whole festival, as all gamers wanted to try out the demos to their new games, as well as play against each other in competitions.

Since we wanted to try out some games as well, and I like Final Fantasy, we decided to wait in line to play the demo for Final Fantasy XV. The line wasn’t even that long, but we still had to wait an hour and a half to play the demo. While waiting in line, they played many trailers for the game, which included gameplay as well as pieces of the Final Fantasy Anime.

The story for Final Fantasy XV is as follows:
Enroute to wed his fiancée Luna on a road trip with his best friends, Prince Noctis is advised by news reports that his homeland has been invaded and taken over under the false pretense of a peace treaty – and that he, his loved one and his father King Regis, have been slain at the hands of the enemy. To gather the strength needed to uncover the truth and reclaim his homeland, Noctis and his loyal companions must overcome a series of challenges in a spectacular open world – that is filled with larger-than-life creatures, amazing wonders, diverse cultures and treacherous foes.

There are some things that don’t really add up. Simply because Noctis is a prince, he gets on a road trip and he is broke… Do you see the problem here? It’s not as if the kingdom is poor either….

Each round the new players had roughly 20 minutes to play the game. I want more of it. Not because the game is that great, the story development is rather slow and it takes a little while to learn how to use the consoles. Because there is a time limit, I didn’t really feel like reading all the instructions and storyline.

The game graphics are amazing, they are so beautiful. The fighting is a little wobbly, but consider you learning everything, it’s to expect. From what I’ve seen, I would recommend this game if you are a FF fan, because the graphics alone are worth it. And although playing this short doesn’t give you a full overview of what the game can do, it does give you an idea about how the basics of the game work, what it looks like, and how to play it.

The game starts off in an area which burns, and while you walk around it suddenly explodes and you skip to a video. You get a little talk between Noctis, the main character, and his father, the King. Then you move out on a roadtrip with Noctis and his buddies. The first interactive part is pushing their car, which broke down. It’s a nice looking car. Through another movie you end up at a gas station, where a girl helps the boys out. In return for fixing the car, the gentlemen without cash need to beat up some local monsters. Once you beat the monster you get another mission to catch a person who ran away. By the time you’re on that location the time is up. No! It was finally getting nice to play! During the battles you learn the tricks and have to use them as well. Another nag point is the running, although you have sort of a sprint option, it works with stamina. There was no real way to speed up the game. Going from point A to point B takes a while.

At the end I got a free poster which sadly needed to be folded. Oops. It’s pretty though.. I would love to do a full review on the game upon its release, but sadly this game is for the PS4, and I do not own a PS4. So I’m happy I could get to learn a little but about the game through First Look and even though it was short, I really enjoyed it.


There was also a very popular game organized by Nintendo and Firstlook called Pokémon Catch! The game was very simple: Large stickers of several Pokémon from the new Pokémon Sun and Moon game were hidden throughout the venue. The goal was to take a photo of yourself with at least three stickers and post them on twitter or the Nintendo Firstlook event page on Facebook, along with two hashtags: #PokemonCatch & #Nintendo. Nintendo will pick a winner, and that lucky person will win a completely new 3ds with the new Pokémon Sun & Moon game as soon as the game is released.

Razer was also present at the scene, with their own bus! Inside the bus were computers set up with the game Overwatch. The players were split up in two teams and had to defeat each other. After the time was up, or one of the teams had lost, the players were politely asked to leave the bus. But not without a goodie bag, of course.

On Sunday First Look Festival held the Cosplay competitions, World Cosplay Summit (WCS) and Clara’s Cow Cosplay Cup (C4). The competitions started at 15:05.

The cosplays were fantastically made, and the cosplayers really pulled off their looks. Sadly, there were some technical difficulties during the performances, causing some of the performers to miss their cues. However, during one of the acts, when the sound completely disappeared, the cosplayers continued their act without music! That was very cool, so Kudos to that act.

One thing that coul’ve been better is the sound quality. I’m not referring to the technical difficulties, but the fact that music and noises from the other halls could be heard during the competitions. This made it very difficult to hear what the contestants and presenters were saying.

Nevertheless, the acts were great. The crowd was very excited and loud, which was nice for the contestants.

Watch the video we made of WCS and C4 here:

Overall, Firstlook Festival really lives up to its name. It’s a huge gaming event for fans from all around Europe, and we really enjoyed being there. The games were fun to play, and it was also fun to watch other players enjoy themselves. The Merchandise was fantastic as well, and it was great to talk to the representatives of the companies about their latest releases.

We really recommend visiting Firstlook Festival to any gamer who wants to test their skills, play new games or just enjoy themselves in hall filled with people who share the same interests. There is something to see and do for everyone, and I’m sure you will all enjoy it if you ever get the chance to visit Firstlook Festival.

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