Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PAX 2012

This is going to be a post mostly of pictures, because my brain is fried.  This weekend was a blur.

A glorious, colorful, sleepless videogame-filled blur.  Awesome awesome awesome.

I love PAX - maybe you've heard.  I'm a great big nerd, and I'm especially prone to nerddom when it's not only encouraged but in fact celebrated.  I've heard rumors they're going to extend PAX to four days next year - to be honest, I'm not sure I could handle that.  We did Friday and Saturday (8 hours and 10 hours, respectively) and I was burned out by the end.  I spent Sunday and Monday on my couch, alternating between sleeping and lolling my head back, staring at the ceiling.

Things that stood out:

NINTENDO As usual, the Nintendo booth was awesome.  And crowded.  They were showing ZombiU, Super Mario Bros Wii U, Epic Mickey 2 and various assorted other games (handheld and console).  Then, because it wasn't enough to take up a good chunk of the exhibition hall, they also had satellite lounges on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  It's never enough!

We tried a demo of Epic Mickey 2 which has co-op play, which is awesome.  It actually prompted us to come home and play the first Epic Mickey (shamefully, we have never finished it!)

The Wii U is pretty fun, though I never did really figure out its purpose with Mario Bros (player characters (ie Luigi) use Wii Remotes, while the person with the Wii U acts as an "assist", placing blocks to help teammates).  It seemed to fare better with ZombiU, where you would use it to do things like pick locks and look through your backpack.  There was also a giant event with Kirby for his 20th anniversary where they tried to break the world record for most people chewing gum/blowing bubbles in one place (I think they broke it?!) A came back from the restroom at one point with this photo for me:

We also saw a demo of Paper Mario Brothers wth Stickers (I have no idea what the actual title is); it was fairly entertaining.  To be honest I've never really played the other Paper Mario games so I couldn't really say whether it was particularly innovative or anything.  Then we made a half-assed attempt at their sticker scavenger hunt but couldn't get past the second sticker (find the guy with the Mario hat.... there are like 10,000 people wearing Mario hats, you guys!!  Boo.)

CAPCOM was showcasing a Lost Planet game along with something called Remember Me but we were really there for Resident Evil 6.  It's amazing, graphically speaking.  We stood in line for 2 hours to play it; A opted for the Leon scenario (classic horror) and I got overconfident and tried my hand at the Chris scenario.  Chris is hard.  HARD.  It literally just spits you out into a warzone, and you either find the shoot button really fast or die trying.  I'm intrigued by Leon's scenario, as it had plenty of moments where it made me jump (zombies coming through windows, etc).

PS. Dear guy who played the Chris scenario for like 40 minutes and never did finish, just gave up:  You're terrible.  Please don't ever join my online games.  Please please please.  Thank you.

At one point everyone disappeared to go participate in the Kirby event so we took advantage of their absence to check out the SONY booth.  It was okay.  The big thing there was the Battle Royale game (Brawl for PlayStation).  I could only name about three characters from their roster, and I'm pretty sure some of the characters aren't just for the PlayStation (I distinctly remember a Big Daddy from Bioshock, which I've seen on the 360).

We did a weird circling thing (not entirely unlike sharks) around the booth for the Walking Dead game, which we still haven't purchased and were hesitant to spoil for ourselves.  But how can you resist a booth that looks this awesome?

You can't.  So we went in for a bit.  We didn't play too much - just enough to remind ourselves that we really, really need to get this game. 

We're really console gamers (not huge tabletop or PC fans), but there was plenty of that stuff, too.  PAX takes up 6 floors with panels, demos and the exhibition hall (where all the companies showcase their new stuff). The sixth floor was a League of Legends tournament, PC and console freeplay and some leftover scatterings of smaller companies that didn't make it onto the main floor.  We found Deep Silver (Dead Island) hiding up there, showing a demo of Dead Island Riptide.  I honestly walked away from that demo feeling that Riptide will be a noticeable improvement over the original.  The demo was Logan defending a dilapidated church from an incoming horde.  The big thing I noticed was that all four characters were there, even though only Logan was the player character.  It always confused me in the first game how you'd be running along minding your own business alone, then suddenly there would be a cutscene and, hey -- where did those two people I've never seen before come from?  And where did they go after the cutscene?  It was disjointing, to me.  The dialogue seems to have improved, and the character animations (we realized the reason the first game looks so odd is because the top half of the player's character never moves.  Ever.  Not while walking, swimming or jumping.  Weird!)

There was also a free arcade that we played House of the Dead 3 on.  Thank God it was free, or we never would have made it to that final boss.  The sad thing was, I'm pretty sure the game was on easy.

LINES.  DEAR GOD THE LINES.  They were everywhere.  Lines in the bathroom.  Lines to play a game.  Lines for the lines.  At one point, we contemplated making a line of our own that led to nowhere - how many people would line up for it and how long until they figured out they were standing in line for no reason?

In closing, here is a photo of Deadpool with a Pikachu hat on his head.  It feels right.

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