The ScrewAttack name is familiar to most gamers who have actively been a part of internet culture since 2006. Many fans were first introduced to the brand when they debuted their original Top 10 lists on a site called GameTrailers (which only recently shut down). Since then, ScrewAttack has emerged as a major force in the industry, hosting a variety of original and third-party partner content on their site.
One other thing the folks at ScrewAttack are known for is an annual event called the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention, aka SGC, aka “The Biggest Party in Gaming.” (Fun fact: The name “ScrewAttack” comes from a popular attack upgrade given to protagonist Samus Aran in one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, the Metroid series.) The first SGC was held in 2009 and shuffled around various venues in Dallas, Texas for a number of years. This year, after ScrewAttack became a part of the Rooster Teeth family of content, the event was moved to the JW Marriott in Austin, just two blocks from RTX.
SGC is primarily known for 3 things: A large 24-hour free-to-play arcade, the “ScrewAttack vs.” panel where they compete in a tournament of games against other popular video game personalities, and their annual rave party. This year’s rave was packed, with attendees having to stand shoulder to shoulder listening to live music from game-themed artists such as Dj CUTMAN (who takes his name from a robotic villain in the Mega Man series). At one point, a huge conga line was formed, as if party-goers weren’t already having enough fun just hanging out in good company with great music.
The free-to-play arcade is always a highlight of SGC. This year was no exception. The team tapped the folks at Arcades 4 Home to provide the cabinets. There were dozens of arcade machines set up, including some of the most popular cabinets of all time such as The Simpsons and X-Men; there were also a number of racing games including Mario Kart Arcade GP, Hydro Thunder and The Fast and the Furious; of course, all the most popular fighting games were also available, from classics like Street Fighter II and Killer Instinct to modern favorites including Mortal Kombat X, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Street Fighter V.
Beyond the arcade, there was also a huge free-to-play console area, where attendees could play an assortment of games from every console generation from Atari to Xbox One/PS4. The games offered here were perfect for every type of gamer, from music fans who like to play Guitar Hero or Just Dance to puzzle fans who’d rather spend some time surviving the tests in Portal, to solo players looking to survive alongside Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot. No matter your preference, the ScrewAttack gaming areas had plenty to choose from.
Perhaps the most entertaining and engaging part of SGC each year is the “ScrewAttack vs.” tournament, which sees the members of the ScrewAttack team compete in a live tournament against other popular gaming personalities. Over the previous two years, they competed against the Mega64 team, known best for their gaming-related podcasts and video content. This year, the ScrewAttack team faced off against the guys from Kinda Funny, a group of ex-IGN employees who now make their own original online videos and content.
The competition consisted of 5 games, with the first team to win 3 of the games declared the winner. Each side was allowed to pick 2 games that were represented in the tournament, with the fifth game serving as a potential tie-breaker that was determined by the spin of a game wheel. The five games — in order of their tournament schedule — were WWE All Stars, Crash Team Racing, Wii Sports Tennis, Gone Home and Gang Beasts. Kinda Funny took an early lead after winning the first round before ScrewAttack went up 2-1 after beating them at both Crash Team Racing and Wii Sports Tennis. By the end of the fourth round, everything was all tied up, so it took a tiebreaker 3v3 match of Gang Beasts to determine the winner. When the dust settled, ScrewAttack emerged victorious. The celebration was short-lived, however, as a member of Mega64 hijacked the stage to declare that next year’s tournament would be a 3-way competition between ScrewAttack, Kinda Funny and Mega64, much to the delight of an ecstatic crowd.
SGC is a real blast for both gamers and fans of quality entertainment in general. It truly lives up to its claim as the biggest party in gaming. I can, without hesitation, highly recommend it to anyone who can make it out to Texas for the weekend-long event. While the panels are definitely more suited to 17+ and adults (due to some mature content and language), kids can have an excellent time at the free-to-play arcade and console free-play areas. For the latest ScrewAttack news and content, be sure to visit their website. Those interested in attending next year’s SGC event should follow the convention on Twitter @SGCwoo for updates.
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Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © Vincent Parisi / Best of NJ