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Author Topic: PAX East 2012 - now with impressions and rec's for games you've never heard of  (Read 1297 times)
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wonderpug
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« on: February 26, 2012, 04:38:46 PM »

PAX East!
April 6-8!

Keynote speaker: Jordan Mechner!
Who made: Karateka! (plus the upcoming remake)


And also: This Game!


Concerts!
Friday: VGO, Protomen, Metroid Metal, Minibosses
Saturday: Supercommuter, Paul & Storm, Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot
(lineups seem to be changing)

And: More!

Here's the schedule
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 06:01:42 PM by wonderpug » Logged
wonderpug
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 04:44:54 PM »

So who do we have going this time?  I've got my 3-day badge, but since this year it overlaps Easter I might have to dip out some for family things.  Still planning to take Friday off of work, though.

The past two years I've only gone to the Saturday night concert, but both times I've enjoyed seeing the Video Game Orchestra more than Paul & Storm or Coulton.  Plus, last year's P&S and Coulton pieces seemed pretty similar to what they did the first year.  I think I might just do Friday night this time, which will help me not get as exhausted from the long Saturday.

Not a whole lot of other exhibitors confirmed yet, but I'm happy to see that the Classic Arcade Museum guys will be there, and they'll also be doing a panel on pinball machines.  I really enjoyed the panel last year with the creators of Ms. Pac-Man, so I think this pinball one is on my must-see list.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 04:30:44 PM »

The forum interest in PAX is off the charts! 

But in case we have lurkers or shy people interested in going, they're almost out of Saturday passes, which is probably the best single day to go to if you aren't doing the whole 3-day shebang.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 04:36:05 PM »

ahh i love it when the expos and conferences start,we also have the GDC in San Franny next week(Lionhead have an announcement at that -CVG)

so many great titles are already announced for this year,and i want them ALL

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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 04:49:29 PM »

I actually missed the 3 day passes, so I have to see what I want to do. Friday is also good because the keynote is always entertaining.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 05:07:45 PM »

If I were you, Teggy, I'd grab a Saturday pass now and decide later, unless you're completely against the idea of selling your pass on craigslist down the line.  Aside from Saturday giving you the most hours for your buck, you never know which day your must-see panels are going to land on.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 05:13:19 PM »

IronKrakenRod, you've never been to one of these, have you?  I think it's well worth your $35 and a trip into town even if you just poke around for a half day or just a few hours.
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 05:19:05 PM »

OK, I grabbed Friday and Saturday passes and I'll see what I want to do. <gripe>I understand making the 3 day pass cheaper than buying 3 individual passes, but cheaper than buying 2 individual passes as well is kind of annoying.</gripe>
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 06:41:35 PM »

Hmm about a 9 hour drive to Boston.  I am still thinking about it.  Never been to anything like PAX.
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Chaz
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 07:06:18 PM »

I'm such a bum when it comes to cons.  The first year PAX was in Boston, I only wound up going for a few hours on Friday, then gave my pass to a buddy for the rest of the weekend.  I didn't go last year, and I don't think I'm going this year.  I feel like I should, but then I think "I don't play the finished games I own, so what's the point of standing in line to play unfinished games I'm probably going to buy (and not play) anyway?"  slywink
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 08:19:14 PM »

I've spent very little of my time waiting in lines for demos in the last two events.  I caught the 3DS line when it was only 4-5 minutes long, The Old Republic and Brink I was content to watch over people's shoulders, and every other demo I played had either no line or a very small one.  But I spend most of my time in places other than the main exhibit floor anyhow.

Quote from: skystride on February 28, 2012, 06:41:35 PM

Hmm about a 9 hour drive to Boston.  I am still thinking about it.  Never been to anything like PAX.

I can't fathom you being disappointed with making the time/money investment. There are so many offerings available for so many different tastes. 

The main exhibit floor is a blast to explore.  I got to try the 3DS months before it came out.  Teggy was super interested in getting early glimpses of The Old Republic Gameplay.  There's lots of playable demos of unreleased games big and small--and some of the little indie games were really neat to see.

I really love spending time in the classic arcade room and the classic console room.  The arcade is like stepping back in time into circa 1985 and earlier, with everything on freeplay, of course.  The classic console room has every game console in history up for grabs, with a large library of games to choose from.  Last year Teggy and I tried out the Vectrex, which I think was the only vector-based home system ever made.  Two years ago they had a Steel Battalion room, filled with several dozen Xboxes and giant controllers networked together.

The panels are a lot of fun.  Teggy was excited to try and see the Dead Space panels and the Adam Whatshisname guy from G4.  My favorite one was definitely seeing the Ms. Pac-Man creators talking about the early days of game design, with one guy pulling out the original paper cutout mockups of the game maps that the others hadn't seen in decades.  It was also a lot of fun seeing Bill Amend talk about his geeky gamer side and how he tries to bring it into Foxtrot as much as possible--and how his World of Warcraft addiction played no small part in Foxtrot turning into a one-a-week strip instead of a daily.

If you're at all a fan of Penny Arcade humor, their panels are a blast to see.  The Q&A and Make-a-Strip panels are hilarious, with lots of on-the-spot humor and unexpected things coming out of the audience participation.

The concerts are worth $35 just on their own.  The Video Game Orchestra guys are my favorite to see, but Paul & Storm and Coulton are great to see as well.  I haven't seen the other recurring acts before, but I've heard they're also great.

While I don't spend a lot of time in the lines on the main exhibit floor, I do spend a ton of time in lines for the popular panels I want to see, because I like getting a good seat.  The lines themselves are a lot of fun, though.  You can bring any multiplayer DS game and find hundreds of opponents in wireless range, but there are always people in arms length who bring card or board games to play in line.

I'm obviously more enamored with the event than say, Chaz  icon_wink, but I mean: it's a weekend with 70,000 like-minded gamer geeks at a convention not designed for the press, but for the gamers themselves.  It's worth seeing!
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 08:55:19 PM »

Yeah, totally don't take my ringing endorsement (ha!) as me saying you shouldn't go.  Just take it as me saying "I'm an old weirdo who would rather put the money toward an obstacle race registration fee than a convention floor pass."  I think that spending almost four years working in the games industry, my need for geek culture saturation has pretty much been fulfilled for the next decade.  Everyone besides me raves about PAX, so definitely give it a shot!  smile
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wonderpug
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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 10:25:00 PM »

Schedule just went live.

Not many panels seem to be jumping out at me aside from the usual PA ones I like, the keynote, the pinball history one, and the one with Ms. Pac-Man and Food Fight creators.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 10:50:30 PM »

Saving my excitement for Gencon, now with more added Kato (tm) !
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 12:01:13 AM »

Quote from: Harkonis on March 01, 2012, 10:50:30 PM

Saving my excitement for Gencon, now with more added Kato (tm) !

kato's going to be at gencon?
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Harkonis
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 12:40:56 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 02, 2012, 12:01:13 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 01, 2012, 10:50:30 PM

Saving my excitement for Gencon, now with more added Kato (tm) !

kato's going to be at gencon?

that's the plan so far.  now EVERYONE has to go  icon_twisted
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 01:28:54 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on March 02, 2012, 12:01:13 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 01, 2012, 10:50:30 PM

Saving my excitement for Gencon, now with more added Kato (tm) !

kato's going to be at gencon?

Unless there is a giant mutated spider at the front door of Gencon, yes I will be there  ninja
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Vidiot
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 03:31:56 AM »

Well, unless there is another change at work it looks like I will be going again this year.  I should probably take a few vacation days this year and explore Boston a bit, it was a bit depressing only seeing the cab ride from the center to my hotel last year.  Reading this thread just reminded me that it happens to be on Easter this year, family isn't going to be happy.  ninja
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wonderpug
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 03:37:31 AM »

Did you already get your ticket, Vidiot?
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2012, 06:44:55 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 22, 2012, 03:37:31 AM

Did you already get your ticket, Vidiot?

Exhibitor tickets.  Hopefully I get to wander around more this year, last year was a bit crazy.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2012, 06:01:08 PM »

Oh, right, forgot about that.

I think you've got a chance of getting some extra traffic this year.  Just from anecdotal observations in the PA forum threads about the convention, there seems to be some grumbles from people in the PC gaming crowd over a perceived reduction in PC exhibitors and events this year.  No nVidia booth on the main floor, for instance.  Maybe these folks will come see your room instead? 

Will you have the GTX 680 in your machines?  That seems to be one of the things in particular the grumblers are wishing they could see.
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Harkonis
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2012, 06:39:17 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on March 02, 2012, 01:28:54 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 02, 2012, 12:01:13 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on March 01, 2012, 10:50:30 PM

Saving my excitement for Gencon, now with more added Kato (tm) !

kato's going to be at gencon?

Unless there is a giant mutated spider at the front door of Gencon, yes I will be there  ninja

I used my new connections to make a request for the WotC contribution to Gencon for you man.  icon_twisted
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2012, 03:21:07 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 22, 2012, 06:01:08 PM

Oh, right, forgot about that.

I think you've got a chance of getting some extra traffic this year.  Just from anecdotal observations in the PA forum threads about the convention, there seems to be some grumbles from people in the PC gaming crowd over a perceived reduction in PC exhibitors and events this year.  No nVidia booth on the main floor, for instance.  Maybe these folks will come see your room instead? 

Will you have the GTX 680 in your machines?  That seems to be one of the things in particular the grumblers are wishing they could see.

Not sure.  I'm not even quite sure what room we will be in.  Honestly I am not quite sure what hotel I am even at right now, just found out I was going.  retard

Still need to figure out my flight schedule and if I want to take a day or two in Boston the next week for vacation.
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2012, 10:40:48 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on February 28, 2012, 08:19:14 PM

It was also a lot of fun seeing Bill Amend talk about his geeky gamer side and how he tries to bring it into Foxtrot as much as possible--and how his World of Warcraft addiction played no small part in Foxtrot turning into a one-a-week strip instead of a daily.

Okay, that is just sad.  I suppose if he's wealthy enough now that he doesn't need to work, it's his decision.  But to think about how many people enjoy his work and to see him not doing it because he's playing WoW.  That's just sad.

There's plenty of us where if we didn't work, it really wouldn't matter to anyone else but us, one way or the other.  But Bill Amend is not one of them.  I suppose it could be worse, at least he's not setting aside curing cancer for playing WoW, but still I can't help but be sad that more Foxtrot has been traded off for WoW playing time.
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« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2012, 04:38:28 AM »

Woot! Trip booked and a flight Monday instead of Sunday this time so I have time to see the city a bit.  Anyone know of any must see locals?  I should have Sunday evening and Monday morning/early afternoon free before I need to get my butt back to CA.
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« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2012, 04:29:54 PM »

BTW Wonderpug's post earlier almost convinced me to go but the circumstances just weren't good for me this time.  My friend backed out last moment, I'm in the middle of buying a car, ticket availability etc.  I'll try make it next year and hopefully I can buy the 3 day pass as soon as it's announced.
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2012, 12:40:16 PM »

Woo! Just got through the line to get into the line to wait for the Queue Room. Now the waiting can begin!
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« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2012, 06:01:09 PM »

More detailed impressions to come, but here's my quick list of what caught my eye the most at PAX:

  • (PC) AirMech - I went in having no idea it existed, and now I'm incredibly excited about it.  It's a spiritual successor to Herzog Zwei, cult classic Genesis game and arguably the first ever RTS.  Fly a little Robotech-inspired jet/robot around moving your army units, or join in the action yourself.  Elements of League of Legend/DOTA gameplay involved, as well as robot jets inspired from other mecha series besides Robotech, and being developed by the team that was involved with Fat Princess.  Currently in an open alpha stage you can go play right now.  Go play it right now.
  • (3DS?) Theatrhythm Final Fantasy - A Final Fantasy rhythm game.  Sort of like Ouendan! or Elite Beat, but with characters, levels, art, and bosses derived from pretty much every FF game.  I saw everything from pixely FF1 characters fighting bosses to the crude 3d animations of FF7 to cute little marching black mages.  It's even better than it sounds, even if you already think it sounds awesome.
  • (360) Steel Battalion - Now a must buy for me.  Some people were playing it Kinect-only (I think), and that looked terrible.  Then I saw them demo it with the hybrid controller + Kinect control scheme.  Awesome.  The internet says the game takes place in the future, but everything about it screamed WW2 with mechs.  It even starts with a d-day landing.  With mechs.  They're slow and lumbering, and it looks amazing.  I will expound much more on this later.
  • (PC) Tribes Ascend - This hadn't really been on my radar but I really liked what I saw.  Seems to have everything people liked about the original
  • (XBLA) Trials Evolution - I never played Trials HD but this new one looks really slick.  Take the Trials gameplay, and add multiplayer with multiple lanes.  It's Trials Excite Bike, basically.
  • (PC?) Loadout - I played one round of team based multiplayer and had a blast.  It's kinda sorta Team Fortress 2 meets Monday Night Combat meets a ridiculous number of weapon customization options.  Choose bullet type (plasma/bullet/beam/rocket/more), single/burst/full, big/small magazine, accuracy vs power, etc. 
  • (XBLA/PSN) Double Dragon Neon - Modern Double Dragon remake!  I only played the first level but it was a lot of fun.  Combat is entirely old-school.  Looks like it has real potential.
  • (?) Monaco - JUST LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY ALREADY.  I saw it described as Ocean's Eleven meets Gauntlet, and that sounds about right.  4-player cooperative heist game, with great simplistic graphics, slick line-of-sight visual representation, and fast, fun gameplay.  I fell in love with it at last year's PAX, and they've refined and improved everything about it in the last year.  I must have this game.
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« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2012, 06:11:51 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on April 09, 2012, 06:01:09 PM

Monaco - JUST LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY ALREADY.  I saw it described as Ocean's Eleven meets Gauntlet, and that sounds about right.  4-player cooperative heist game, with great simplistic graphics, slick line-of-sight visual representation, and fast, fun gameplay.  I fell in love with it at last year's PAX, and they've refined and improved everything about it in the last year.  I must have this game.

yeah, it looks very cool.  the main website describes it as 'Co-op Action Stealth Pacman meets Hitman'.  we've been talking about it in the PC forum, but they say it will hit at least one console along with the PC/Mac.
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2012, 07:41:44 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on April 09, 2012, 06:11:51 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on April 09, 2012, 06:01:09 PM

Monaco - JUST LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY ALREADY.  I saw it described as Ocean's Eleven meets Gauntlet, and that sounds about right.  4-player cooperative heist game, with great simplistic graphics, slick line-of-sight visual representation, and fast, fun gameplay.  I fell in love with it at last year's PAX, and they've refined and improved everything about it in the last year.  I must have this game.

yeah, it looks very cool.  the main website describes it as 'Co-op Action Stealth Pacman meets Hitman'.  we've been talking about it in the PC forum, but they say it will hit at least one console along with the PC/Mac.


This looks awesome!
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