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Wembley magic for Potter star

Written by Jonathan Weinberg

WEMBLEY Stadium was rocking last weekend to the sounds of thousands of gamers playing and dancing to Electronic Art’s upcoming hit Rock Band.
The big brother to Guitar Hero, it allows people to create a group, grab their lead or bass guitars, hammer away on the virtual drums and even sing too, in a bid to become the coolest virtual band on the planet.

It was certainly the most popular title at the Play.com Live expo, which took place at the home of English football and saw more than 20,000 people flock to try out forthcoming games, watch live bands and see celebrities such as Lee Sharpe, Gemma Atkinson and Virgin Radio presenter Iain Lee.

Iain, who hosted the main stage, told me: “It’s been a great weekend, so busy and there’s been loads of screaming kids enjoying themselves.

The best game I’ve seen is Rainbow Six Vegas 2. I was a big fan of the first. Ghostbusters looks good and I’m keen to get my hands on it. Gran Turismo 5 was also stunning.

“I’ve just downloaded Worms at home on Xbox Live. I’m into retro stuff at the moment. But I also like a bit of Wii, my girlfriend likes it too. I still haven’t touched my PS3 though. I played it once when I first got it. There’s nothing on there to draw me away from my 360 and I don’t think there will be for a while.”

Among the raft of celebs who popped along was actor Danny Dyer who turned up with his daughter and said: “I thought I’d bring the little ‘un down. I love games, I’ve always grown up with them. I’m a real football nut so it’s Pro Evo for me all day long.

“I’ve just bought FIFA Street 3 but I can’t quite get my nut around it. I want to like FIFA as it has all the kits and it’s got great graphics, but it just misses the boat.”

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Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, also magic’d up an appearance. He revealed: “We play loads of games on the set of Harry Potter when we’re not filming. We have a Wii. Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, also magic’d up an appearance. He revealed: “We play loads of games on the set of Harry Potter when we’re not filming. We have a Wii.

“This show is great, very cool. I’ve been playing Call of Duty with about 10 people. But I was crap, I only killed about two people. My favourites are driving games like Need For Speed, doing all the cars up.”

And Hollyoaks boys Darren Jeffries (OB) and Matt Littler (Max) (top) also spent time checking out what was on offer. Darren said: “We both came to see Resident Evil 5. We are big fans of the whole series and four was amazing.

“Annoyingly, my Xbox 360 broke recently, it got the red ring around it. I’d heard about it happening to other people and laughed at that and then I got it. It must be karma. But Microsoft were really good replacing it.”

Matt added: “I’m playing Devil May Cry 4, Call of Duty 4 and Army of Two right now. I love the Wii too, Mario Galaxy on there and Zelda Phantom Hourglass on the DS.

“I am looking forward to Grand Theft Auto 4 and Metal Gear later this year. And Mario Kart for the Wii of course.”

Hopefully Play.com Live will return next year. Judging by how much everyone there seemed to be enjoying themselves, refreshingly a mix of all ages, it proved just how big a part of mainstream entertainment gaming now is. But we all knew that already, didn’t we!!


Original article can be found here at The Sun I March 20, 2008

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