We’ve heard before that bigger isn’t always better, and that might be the case with certain events these days, at least in the local scene. Where dealing with the logistics of how to fit many attendants into one place, and the increasing complications that come along with more and more attendees. REV Major seems to be painfully aware of this, and perhaps for a number of reasons, decided to go with a smaller scale event this time around. Along with this, a feature guest list that might love some surprised, puzzled, or whatever else. But attend REV Major we did, and here’s the breakdown of what the event was like.
I would say that there are two completely stand-out booths in the event, that would be the Globe booth featured a fighting ring theme along with an old-school game cabinet that might look like it would feature Street Fighter 2, but it had a few more surprises in it, for fun. The design was attractive, and the presence of an arcade cabinet as the centerpiece made it compelling to walk into.
The other booth that was frequented by people walking around would be set up by Rumble Royale, where they basically just wanted to feature some merchandise but had a photo area that was themed around a certain joke. And that joke was about how people are willing to play the old fighting game, Melty Blood, anywhere. This attraction was of two parts, a stall for a toilet that was deliberately made to look upside-down, so people can pretend they got dunked into a toilet. The second part would be to its side, where you can see a standard game setup put up against a bathroom wall, where competitors can sit on portable toilets. People were also free to write on the walls to complete the look, and many were more than happy to participate. They not only played Melty Blood, but other obscure games as well, including Dive-Kick and that other game where ponies fight each other.
Another unique attraction would be the free arcade area that was handled by “Tito Steef.” We have our retro setups for various games, even a CRT TV for some very old arcade shooters that require a light gun. I’d also like to note a new “bring your own console” area which is basically a free area for people to add their own setups and play freely.
Other booths for artists and other types of merchandise were there, but as only some of the items they sold were tangentially related to the event, it was difficult for them to hold my interest. Still, they carried things that were generally popular at the time, so there’d still be people looking through what they might like to buy from them.
There were very distinct areas for where the sponsors would be, where the tech would operate, and where people could eat. Perhaps the more modest attendance played a part, but getting around REV Major this year was just as easy to do despite the smaller venue. The only place where it might have been difficult to get around was the fighting game pools area, and that’s to be expected. It was also intelligently placed towards the back, so you don’t really have to deal with it unless you actually have to be there.
The main stage was quite simple but effective. A little bigger than it needed to be to allow two players to duke it out in single (fighting game) combat, but does give a more regal air to it with its minimalism. It helps that behind them would be the large LED screen that helps everyone keep up with the action even if you’re at the very rear of the audience. It was also positioned close to the other functioning parts of the tournament, so players and audience alike could stay in the same area and not be too far from the action, whether that be in the pools, or on the main stage.
While I can’t really speak to how the online streams were handled as I was there in person, tournament brackets appeared to have run smoothly and without any major issues. In fact, I was pretty surprised to find out that the main feature tournament, Tekken 7, finished before 10:00 PM. Historically that hasn’t really happened before, they always finish at a much later time. Partially, this could be due to a number of reasons, and one of them is the sheer amount of people competing.
REV Major might be getting a bit of a weird omen, where their events run smoothly save for maybe one minor electrical issue erupting out of nowhere but not really doing any harm. This time around, instead of a spotlight from last year, a power outlet for the use of one of the concessionaires had given out, causing them to lose power. This was quickly addressed by the organizers and staff, and operations went back to normal.
The event also had vigilant security around the entrance, stage, tech booths, and VIP areas. As of this writing, no major incidents with the guests have been known to happen.
Sometimes, no news is good news, while the scale has certainly taken a hit, the attendees don’t really seem to be complaining about anything. The program went without a hitch, and even the featured guests have made positive interactions with the crowd.
Perhaps the organizers have decided to play it safe and carry an event that’s smaller than usual, hopefully, the attendance and feedback of the people who showed up can encourage them to try to take the event further, not necessarily in a way that may burn their budget, but to have more creative attractions that non-competing attendees can enjoy. The Tito Steef arcade and the simple, funny, and effective bathroom attraction from Rumble Royale are great examples of this.
So here’s looking forward to REV Major 2024. Hope they can Do it Again.