Yep, so I tried posting this on the Steam forums, but they deleted the thread. Oh well. Anyways, I had a great PAX this year, but not as good as previous years. By branching out and going off of the Expo floor for once, I ended up losing 8-10 hours of playtime, none of which really paid off. So I have a new game plan for next year. Anywho, I wrote my "blog" of the event in day by day reports of the expo. The sentences are concise, yet I wrote them in a format that does not flow as smoothly as an English paper might. Meh.
Day 1: Oh the Lines
Yeah, so today I wasn't able to do much, sadly. After waiting for 2 hours in the Queue Room for PAX to begin, I finally made it onto the show floor and made a beeline for the Borderlands 2 booth. After waiting for 3 hours, I finally was given a neat shirt and pushed into a dark room. Fearing my impending death, I was relieved to see a hands-on presentation showcasing the Terramorphous (BL2's equivalent to Crawmerax) and the almost complete Mechromancer, who is looking like a definite must for my second character. And after that I got 15 minutes with the game on a Tour of Duty-like arena. It was comforting to see how closely it resembled the original Borderlands after getting some hands-on time with it.
After that, I waited in a line back in the Queue Room for 2 more hours for a Swag Bag. Got a magazine and a couple of codes, but the bulk of the bag was disappointing compared to last year. At that point it was 3:30, so it was time for lunch. Fish and chips: fish had bones in it, but fries were good and had nice seasoning.
Not wanting to wait in any more lines that day, I decided to see what the place had that didn't involve lines. First stop was a Japanese import shop, where I got a scary 3D puzzle where you have to assemble Mario piece by piece. Then I stopped by Sega and tried out Sonic All-Stars Racing: Transformed, which was good but the drifting was seriously broken compared to the last iteration. And after walking around for a bit, I was pleasantly surprised to see a booth for Octodad: Dadliest Catch. I had never played the original, but the playtime with this had cemented in my head that I NEED this game. After that, I saw an interesting racing-ish game called Harold, where you are a guardian angel for a foot racer that is in charge with saving your racer's life and killing (no blood though, just respawns) opponents. Pretty fresh and quirky, so I might pick it up. And finally I got to play the carazy Antechamber, which made my brain hurt. Games I want to hit tomorrow: Sonic Adventure 2 HD, Dead Island: Riptide, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Dishonored is what I can think about now offhand.
Day 2: KOJIMA
Went to bed at 2:00 AM because I was busy giving out DLC codes/watching youtube videos. But some nice ladies at a booth were giving out 5 Hour Energies in front of the expo floor, so in a minute or two I was all set to tear up PAX. First stop was Metal Gear Rising: Revengence, which was surprisingly fun, but was definitely rough around the edges. Notably, Metal Gear Solid 4 from 2008 had better graphics, which was a tad odd. Then I went to the Sega booth, and checked out the HD remake of Sonic Adventure 2. The level was City Escape, which was great as always. The floor was too loud to hear anything, but the lady at the booth informed me that the classic City Escape song would be in the game. Next stop: the Sony booth. Wasn't ready to hit anything like the Last of Us or GoW, but I was able to hit a must-see of mine, The Unfinished Swan. I'll spare you the lengthy synopsis, but it is essentially De Blob except you are painting in the definitions of the world. A couple blobs of paint and you can uncover a statue of a chicken, a bench by the lake, or even the walls and floors of the room you are in, assuming that you are not actually outside and just don't know it yet.
Now something that you should know is that there are actually 2 floors of PAX in the Washington Convention Center. On Floor 2: Rock Band set up by Harmonix. On Floor 3: Tabletop/Card Games as well as the Nintendo Gaming Lounge (aka Beanbag City). On Floor 4: The Expo Hall and the Queue Room- where yesterday took place. But today, I went to Floor 6: the other floor. Here is usually where companies that won't fit on the Expo Halls go. There are very small indie companies, upstart graphic novel labels, as well as some big name developers out of the blue.
After I waded through various tech schools and PC cooler booths, I finally made it to the big attraction: The Museum of Mojang. Inside I found amazingly detailed sculptures such as a Creeper with a quarter of his body missing (meant to display the anatomy and bone structure of the creature), a "Chicken That Was Cut in Half", and the clothing and armaments of a man named Steve. There was also a 3D model of the Mojang offices, a scuplture of a character from another game of theirs (don't know, don't care), and a display of the Lego Minecraft kit. The best part, though, was the official paper from Notch's lawyer notfying him of the Scrolls lawsuit with Bethsoft. It was in Swedish.
Next door was the gift shop, but I didn't care about that as much when my eyes came across Guncraft. A real game (I had to ask the developers this), Guncraft is a multiplayer FPS set in the Minecraft Engine. It is every bit as amazing as it sounds. I had time before I had to go see Kirby (more on that later), so I thought I'd settle on a mobile game to fill it with. It was a great puzzler called Blast Monkeys. Not sure how to describe it, really, but it was developed by 3 guys and was shaping up pretty well. Or I at least think so, with my limited knowledge of mobile games these days.
One of the big events of PAX this year was the event Nintendo was putting together with the goal of breaking the Guiness World Record for the most people to blow a bubble with bubble gum simultaneously, in celebration of Kirby's 20th Anniversary. Participants were also getting a limited edition Kirby t-shirt, as added incentive. The event was starting at 1:00, so I figured that I'd show up at 12:45. About 10 minutes later, the line was closed behind me. So I waited in line for another hour and a half, and I see at some point that they ran out of shirts. So they started giving away bags with a poster and a Kirby stress ball inside. I ended up getting the latter, but that wouldn't have been so bad if it were not for what happened next. See, the people who got the item, whether it be a shirt or a poster+ball, got sent to another line immediately after. That was where the big event was taking place. BUT what was not known to the attendees or the guards who were making the cap was that there was an intended limit of 600 participants. So sure enough, me and 150 other people were denied a chance to participate in the breaking of a world record. They did broke it, by the way.
After I was denied entrance, I hopped over to an autograph signing that was about to begin next door. The autographer was none other then Hideo Kojima himself. When I was almost at the front of the line, I asked a Kojima rep if he would sign my Kirby poster. Apparently he was only signing small MGS 25th Anniversary posters, which was completely fine (he even signed the "O" in his last name with a peace sign), but I was hopping to make a fortune on eBay with a one of the kind Kirby poster signed by Hideo Kojima. Oh well.
At that point it was almost 3:00. My feet hurt for standing in line for so long, my lower back was in agony because the backpack I was using was from 2nd grade, I was completely dehydrated, and I was getting a bit munchy. So I had to stand in line for 30 minutes at Subway. I had a Cold Cut Combo with onions. Not that anyone gives a damn.
Seeing the time, I realized that the presentation back on the 6th floor for Dead Island: Riptide was about to begin, so I hightailed my way up there and got into a surprisingly packed line. I was expecting something else, but what I saw was good too. Riptide is essentially an expansion to Dead Island, set on a nearby island riddled floods and an overall shredded island due to a monsoon in the area. The demo took place in an area called Jungle (not the same one from the original, mind you) and you were trying to survive several waves of zombies, COD-style. I was skeptical at first, but it seems to really work well with the game, though I am not sure how a person without guns could expect to get through it. You may have heard about your save file from Dead Island being compatible with Riptide. Great news amiright? Well I decided to be "that guy" and ask if the reverse was possible. Can you use your Riptide save with the original Dead Island? The guy said that he had never heard someone ask that before, and frankly said that adding that in was a priority, but it was not looking like it would be a possibilty given the changes between the two games. Another thing I noticed was the fifth character that was talked about a bit in the news. He was never actually mentioned in the presentation, but the main menu depiction of him looked almost exactly like Bill from L4D. Odd, but I'll take it.
The rest of the convention was me failing at fighting games. Got creamed by a developer in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and schooled by a complete stranger with little fighting background in Injustice. Both were looking mighty fine. While waiting in line for Injustice, I gawked at the Far Cry 3 booth. Co-Op was there, but I was more interested in an event happening on the booth. There was a barber's chair and an electric razor set up in front of a camera. If you get a mohawk like Vaas, you can win a free copy of the game. Not willing to ruin my hair for a game, but it was fun watching other people do it.
And that was the end of PAX that day. Well, accept for an awesome Engineer playing More Gun out on the street corner in front of the Convention Center. He made a lot of money that day. Anyways, tomorrow I am looking forward to seeing a presentation of The Last of Us, playing LBP Karting (never got a chance after I raffled off a beta code on the internet), and the Guardians of Middle Earth game. For the Gandolf hat, of course. And at 4:30 is the Gearbox panel, so I should probably show up at 2:00.
Day 3: Gearbox Panel
This day is titled as such because that took up 5 out of 8 hours of the day. For the first 2 hours, I was waiting in line to play Dishonored. The game itself is shaping up pretty well, but I think that the trailers/gameplay demos shown of the game might have had beefed up mana or god mode on, because I never had enough energy to do all of the crazy stuff shown off. I spent a lot of energy getting to the target building, and when I found some rats inside, I could attach those spring mines to them. But the possession of the rat and the walking him off into a crowd of enemies was never a possibility due to the little amount of mana I had left. But there are probably upgrades and what not to alleviate that in the full game. As swag, I got a Dishonored mask (not the Corvo one, unfortunately), some cardboard speakers (that produces LESS sound then my iPod), and some assorted dlc codes for Xbox 360 only.
Then the remaining hours of PAX went to the Gearbox Panel. I got to the Sheraton hotel at 1:45, to find out that the lineup for the event actually started at 2:30. So I tried to get back to the expo floor, but at that point a thousand people were blocking the exits, so I was stuck there. After a painful wait on the stairs, we were finally allowed access to the third floor where the event was held. We were lined up against the window and it was pretty cramped in the first place, so the fact that I was wearing a black shirt did not help the matter. There were giveaways during the several hour wait, but I wasn't able to hear a thing. Got some DLC codes again, but they were both for 360 again. This year's PAX truly was different because there were no codes for the PS3 gamer, at least at the booths of my favorite games.
So at 4:30, we were given our free pizza and were shuffled into the theater. I could breathe again. The panel, though, was not worth the time despite the hilarious jokes. What it all amounted to was already released trailers for BL2 and Aliens, the announcement that Brothers in Arms: Furious Four changed so much that it isn't a BiA game any more, and we were given the release date and price of the Mechromancer character. It will be released BY October 16th and will cost $10. After that was an in-game look at the skins and heads for the characters in BL2 as well as an in depth look at the Mechromancer's skill tree. It was pretty entertaining, and I wasn't interested in the options as much as the sheer amount of hilarious names for the skins. One that I remember was Crafty, which we were told to never discuss, but it is a head skin for Zero and one might guess what it would look like. It is a reference to Minecraft, by the way.
One silver lining, though, was that every attendee got a Season Pass for Borderlands 2, so that'll save me some money in the future. But it was 6:30 when it all ended, so I missed most of my last day and didn't get to go on the last minute loot grab that I was looking forward too. I also didn't get to play LBP Karting and a couple of other games that I wanted to play last year. So this day was kind of a wash, but with 4 days of PAX next year, I should have better luck next time. Thanks for reading!