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22 Jul 2009
By MusterBuster

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MB's Visit to The Gathering Hall!

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28 Replies 3,690 Views edited 22-07-2009
22 Jul 2009
By MusterBuster

 

 

 

It's not been long since Leo Tan posted on the EU PlayStation Blog to tell you all about The Gathering Hall. Hot off the heels of this rather unique news, MB blagged his way into a sneak preview of the London based community gaming venue to grab some snaps...

 

I was pretty excited to say the least, I've seen how successful Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite has been in Japan. Thousands gather to play this game, not over the internet - but face to face, and definitely within bragging range. I have an undying love for community gaming and, wondering whether such a gaming phenomenon could occur here in the UK, I trotted out of SCEE HQ and set off for The Gathering Hall.

 

First things first - The Gathering Hall is not the kind of place that you'll struggle to find. Two minutes from Tottenham Court Road tube station and, walking down the street, you'll come across this:

 

 

 

No need for Google street view then!

 

Walk inside and a quick flash of your PSP and a copy of Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite will give you entrance to the ground floor. Dark and moody, this is an area for the pros.  With wireless internet access, down here you can access special challenges for the game which are, as yet, unavailable to the public. But be warned, they are not for the faint of heart! Dare to take them on and the rewards are said to be worth worshipping.

 

Up to the first floor and it's clear that The Gathering Hall knows its audience: Massive bean-bag chairs with added back support for those especially grueling quests, PSP charge stations to safeguard against any low-battery related rages and importantly; a massive air conditioning unit.

 

 

 

 

It's more than just creature comforts that have gone into the Gathering Hall. The whole venue is passionately decorated with Monster Hunters in mind - graffiti tags and artwork litter the walls and threaten to take a bite from your head whilst you're not looking. Descriptions won't really do it justice, so I'll let the pictures do the talking...

 

 

 

So - amazed and still suspicious of the walls, I was swiftly nurtured into a group of fellow beginners. I had never played a Monster Hunters title before and didn't quite know what I was in for... but lucky for me a Monster Hunters expert in the form of Leo Tan was around to ease me and two others into the game play.

 

His philosophy on tutorials is simple - skip them and do exactly as we were doing, get an expert to take you on a quest. He talked us through the basics: in Monster Hunters you slay or capture monster shaped baddies and use the materials you collect from them to craft yourself bigger and better weaponry, with a view to trotting off and slaying bigger and harder baddies. He even showed us how to start a quest together, equip ourselves and how to track and kill our designated prey. Eventually we managed to find and slaughter what I later knew as a Giadrome and, after dancing a victory dance over its corpse with my hunter, Leo took the time to tell us a bit more about the purpose behind the Gathering Hall.

 

He talked of tutorial nights designed for newbies to meet, greet and learn all about Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite, with expert hunters on hand to share their knowledge of the finer points of the game. DLC events focusing on specific quests with time-trial leaderboards and awesome prizes... even chances to play with the game's producer: Ryozo Tsujimoto. It's clear he is excited about the Gathering Hall, and having experienced it - so am I. This is a real hark back to gathering your mates around for some living room gaming and has all of the stimulus that online gaming cant provide; sharing in defeat, reveling in your most recent slaughter... even watching the rage emerge on your fellow hunter's faces as you frantically try to explain that whacking them over the head with your massive, dirty axe was an accident (it wasn't, but it was funny).                                 

 

My message is pretty simple. If you own Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite, the Gathering Hall is not to be missed. Questing with friends (or lack of, after hitting them with axes) is part and parcel of the game and there is no easier place to meet and play with fellow hunters. If you're a beginner, the Gathering Hall and its inhabitants will save you from 3 hours of tutorials. Intermediates will find hints and tips to take their game to the next level and, if you're a pro, ‘Special DLC quests unavailable to the public' is really all I need to tell you.

 

 

If you're looking for buddies to take a trip to the Gathering Hall with - stay right here in our Monster Hunter forum. Pretty soon you'll find more info on how to get to the venue, what events are on when and, importantly, when MB will be there so you can whack him around the head with a big, dirty axe of your own.

 

Much love -

 

MB

Message Edited by MusterBuster on 22-07-2009 01:11 PM
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Very Nice MB but Im curious about how long sony will keep that place open
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Eweor wrote:
Very Nice MB but Im curious about how long sony will keep that place open

It's open till 30th August... so not long left!

 

I'm sorting out a fun night for before then, probably on a Thursday. Think you can make it?

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Unfortunately not mb, I live in newcastle and Im too busy with work etc at the moment
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@MusterBuster wrote:

It's open till 30th August... so not long left!

 

I'm sorting out a fun night for before then, probably on a Thursday. Think you can make it?


 

I've already been once just to check out the place and nab my free T-shirt :P

 

I might attend a fun night. It just depends if I can work up enough courage to meet my fellow forumers face to face *gulp*

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Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:

It's open till 30th August... so not long left!

 

I'm sorting out a fun night for before then, probably on a Thursday. Think you can make it?


 

I've already been once just to check out the place and nab my free T-shirt :P

 

I might attend a fun night. It just depends if I can work up enough courage to meet my fellow forumers face to face *gulp*


Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

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@MusterBuster wrote:
Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

 


 

Nah, I already sniped you on Killzone 2. My lifelong ambition has been fulfilled :Thumbs:

 

Seriously though, don't you feel awkward about meeting forum people in real life? What if someone you know quite well on the forum meets you and suddenly has an age problem or racial problem about you?

 

I'm 28. What if I show up and everyone else is 14? And I'm like "Erm... sorry I thought this was the bingo hall. Cheerio."

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@Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:
Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

 


 

Nah, I already sniped you on Killzone 2. My lifelong ambition has been fulfilled :Thumbs:

 

Seriously though, don't you feel awkward about meeting forum people in real life? What if someone you know quite well on the forum meets you and suddenly has an age problem or racial problem about you?

 

I'm 28. What if I show up and everyone else is 14? And I'm like "Erm... sorry I thought this was the bingo hall. Cheerio."


I think it would be a bit weird and awkward, and how would you know who is who? Everyone wear a white rose or something?

Also the way you imagine someone to be and how they actually are are often completely different. Take musty for instance, if I saw him and he wasn't the pumpkin headed, demigod I imagine him to be, I would be shattered. 

One thing I'd also find hard to get over, the whole nerdy aspect of it. What's nerdy than a bunch of people meeting up to play games? At least if I stay at home and game online I can fool myself into thinking I'm not one of them.

Saying that, I am tempted to go. Although, I'd find it awkward explaining to me family what I was doing. Oh the dilemma's.

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ZootSuit wrote:

@Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:
Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

 


 

Nah, I already sniped you on Killzone 2. My lifelong ambition has been fulfilled :Thumbs:

 

Seriously though, don't you feel awkward about meeting forum people in real life? What if someone you know quite well on the forum meets you and suddenly has an age problem or racial problem about you?

 

I'm 28. What if I show up and everyone else is 14? And I'm like "Erm... sorry I thought this was the bingo hall. Cheerio."


I think it would be a bit weird and awkward, and how would you know who is who? Everyone wear a white rose or something?

Also the way you imagine someone to be and how they actually are are often completely different. Take musty for instance, if I saw him and he wasn't the pumpkin headed, demigod I imagine him to be, I would be shattered. 

One thing I'd also find hard to get over, the whole nerdy aspect of it. What's nerdy than a bunch of people meeting up to play games? At least if I stay at home and game online I can fool myself into thinking I'm not one of them.

Saying that, I am tempted to go. Although, I'd find it awkward explaining to me family what I was doing. Oh the dilemma's.


Well - how about something along the lines of -

 

You go to the gathering hall, you announce a phrase, known only to the Official PlayStation Community and get a t-shirt for doing so which says "Sony's Monster Hunter' on the back...

 

Would that help break the ice? You can point at each other and go 'OMG ITS A FORUMER!'

 

Plus, I suffer from social mania - I'll happily introduce you all to eachother and the staff at the Gathering Hall are awesome at it too :D

 

MB

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@MusterBuster wrote:

Well - how about something along the lines of -

 

You go to the gathering hall, you announce a phrase, known only to the Official PlayStation Community and get a t-shirt for doing so which says "Sony's Monster Hunter' on the back...

 

Would that help break the ice? You can point at each other and go 'OMG ITS A FORUMER!'

 


 

 

Nice idea! I'll walk in and say

 

"The monkey lies beneath the surface of the lake and only responds to the stillness of the pale moonlight."

 

And the staff member will be like "......... say what?" :|

 

Hmmm, I'm warming to this idea already. Perhaps I shall come along after all :Thumbs:

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@MusterBuster wrote:

@ZootSuit wrote:

@Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:
Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

 


 

Nah, I already sniped you on Killzone 2. My lifelong ambition has been fulfilled :Thumbs:

 

Seriously though, don't you feel awkward about meeting forum people in real life? What if someone you know quite well on the forum meets you and suddenly has an age problem or racial problem about you?

 

I'm 28. What if I show up and everyone else is 14? And I'm like "Erm... sorry I thought this was the bingo hall. Cheerio."


I think it would be a bit weird and awkward, and how would you know who is who? Everyone wear a white rose or something?

Also the way you imagine someone to be and how they actually are are often completely different. Take musty for instance, if I saw him and he wasn't the pumpkin headed, demigod I imagine him to be, I would be shattered. 

One thing I'd also find hard to get over, the whole nerdy aspect of it. What's nerdy than a bunch of people meeting up to play games? At least if I stay at home and game online I can fool myself into thinking I'm not one of them.

Saying that, I am tempted to go. Although, I'd find it awkward explaining to me family what I was doing. Oh the dilemma's.


Well - how about something along the lines of -

 

You go to the gathering hall, you announce a phrase, known only to the Official PlayStation Community and get a t-shirt for doing so which says "Sony's Monster Hunter' on the back...

 

Would that help break the ice? You can point at each other and go 'OMG ITS A FORUMER!'

 

Plus, I suffer from social mania - I'll happily introduce you all to eachother and the staff at the Gathering Hall are awesome at it too :D

 

MB


That doesn't sound too bad. Although, reserving a special little corner for us would be prefered, perhaps get some waiters and stuff.

What sort of time were you thinking of doing it?

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ZootSuit wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:

@ZootSuit wrote:

@Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@MusterBuster wrote:
Will it help if I let you take a free shot at my face with a big axe? It helped me :D

 


 

Nah, I already sniped you on Killzone 2. My lifelong ambition has been fulfilled :Thumbs:

 

Seriously though, don't you feel awkward about meeting forum people in real life? What if someone you know quite well on the forum meets you and suddenly has an age problem or racial problem about you?

 

I'm 28. What if I show up and everyone else is 14? And I'm like "Erm... sorry I thought this was the bingo hall. Cheerio."


I think it would be a bit weird and awkward, and how would you know who is who? Everyone wear a white rose or something?

Also the way you imagine someone to be and how they actually are are often completely different. Take musty for instance, if I saw him and he wasn't the pumpkin headed, demigod I imagine him to be, I would be shattered. 

One thing I'd also find hard to get over, the whole nerdy aspect of it. What's nerdy than a bunch of people meeting up to play games? At least if I stay at home and game online I can fool myself into thinking I'm not one of them.

Saying that, I am tempted to go. Although, I'd find it awkward explaining to me family what I was doing. Oh the dilemma's.


Well - how about something along the lines of -

 

You go to the gathering hall, you announce a phrase, known only to the Official PlayStation Community and get a t-shirt for doing so which says "Sony's Monster Hunter' on the back...

 

Would that help break the ice? You can point at each other and go 'OMG ITS A FORUMER!'

 

Plus, I suffer from social mania - I'll happily introduce you all to eachother and the staff at the Gathering Hall are awesome at it too :D

 

MB


That doesn't sound too bad. Although, reserving a special little corner for us would be prefered, perhaps get some waiters and stuff.

What sort of time were you thinking of doing it?


Evening-ish, quite like some feedback from you guys on that actually!

 

I reckon we'd have some folks from capcom's community with us to.

 

MB

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I'd prefer it to be in the afternoon, just so don't end up travelling too late.

What date did you have in mind as well? 

Meeting the Capcom guys would be pretty cool as well. Perhaps if you could persuade them to bring lots of free merch... A guy can dream, can't he?

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Sounds good - shame I'm so far away.

 

I was due to be in London for 2 days on 24th & 25 Aug for erm.... The biggest comeback the world has ever seen at the O2 (No not Nathan Drake but Michael Jackson) - but unfortunatelty that isn't happening now.

 

Which is a shame cos was going to come along to the Gathering Hall whilst I was there.

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Haha how cool

 

I would join but i dont have the game and am to far away :(

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Which one is you on the pictures musterbuster?
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seenbeens comeback started on the 3rd December at 5:49pm

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seenbeen wrote:
Which one is you on the pictures musterbuster?

None of them! HA!

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I'd love to come along to that myself but hopping on a plane to London isn't exactly the easiest or cheapest thing to do :p
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if i just got time to go to london :smileyvery-happy:
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I've already been to the gathering hall on it's official opening. I can confirm that the staff there are really friendly and once you get over the initial nervousness it's really easy to get into a game. Even if your a touch shy people who are more outgoing will approach you.

 

Since visiting though i haven't had chance to go again i'm planning on definitely going for the closing party at the end of August but hopefully i'd be available for a meet up before then.

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I have been past the gathering hall a few times recently (today infact) but when I tried to go in without my psp a man attacked me with a sword made from an omniraptors leg! (ok that didn't really happen but I dreamt it might)

I would be up for a meet up of fellow forumers, hopefully the chosen day won't coincide with my work hours.
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