PAX, or Penny Arcade Expo, is a three-day video game convention open to the public. It was started by the folks who made the Penny Arcade Web comic. They have two a year, one in Boston and one in Seattle. This last weekend was the PAX in Seattle. As I’ve done now for four years, I went to the show in Seattle and this time I brought along my brother Jeff and we had a lot of fun! So here’s a three-part picture blog of all the stuff we did there!
Now keep in mind that I won’t be writing about EVERYTHING you can see and do at PAX. I’m only one person and can only do so much. But I think I did a good job of covering as much as I could. Plus I met with a lot of companies for hands-on time and Q&A about some of their titles.
The first meeting I had on Friday was with Square-Enix. I first played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, third in the popular series (and available now). Not really my cup of tea, but the game looks to combine first person shooter gameplay with Metal Gear style stealth. Your character can purchase enhancements and augments for each part of his body at any time to make him stronger (I purchased a skin enhancement that increases defense), and supposedly, no two players will have the same augmentations.
Other games Square-Enix featured were Dead Island, which is a zombie game, as well as Quantum Conundrum, a puzzle game made by one of the creators of Portal. I didn’t see that game on the show floor, but I got a cool foam pink hat with the logo on it! Another big game from Square-Enix was Final Fantasy XIII-2. I couldn’t tell you much about it except for I saw two pink-haired ladies in it. It’s amazing how little I care about new Final Fantasy games now, especially since back in high school in the 16-bit days, I was a huge Final Fantasy nut!
My next meeting was with Reverb. They’re actually a PR company that handles many games from different companies. They may have had a small booth, but they were packed with more games that interested me than most other booths at PAX. First was Sine Mora, a 2-D downloadable shooter that looks like something you’d play in the arcade. The unique thing about this shooter is that it’s time based. You collect power-ups to extend your time, and if you get hit, you’ll lose it. Another game was Sky Drift, a racing game with flying vehicles
One of my favorites at Reverb was surprisingly, BloodRayne: Betrayal from Majesco. Normally I hate vampires and especially the BloodRayne games, but this downloadable title is a 2-D action platformer with hand-drawn graphics. Plus it’s made by WayForward, so you know it’ll be good. One thing they added since my playtime with it at E3 were UV spotlights you had to destroy so BloodRayne wouldn’t get hurt. Since she’s a vampire, these lights would damage her even at night. So yeah, this might be the first BloodRayne game I actually like. Naturally it’ll be for more mature players since there’s blood and violence, although it is rather cartoony.
Next at Reverb was Dungeon Defenders, which combined Gauntlet style action with tower defense gameplay. It actually reminded me a lot of the indie game Protect Me Knight, except this one had nice 3-D graphics and seemed pretty complex for a downloadable title. The only retail game I played was a near final version of Supremacy MMA. It’s a fighting game for mature players because of the violence, but I was surprised how easy the game was to figure out. The last two downloadable titles I played from Reverb were Ugly Americans, based on the popular Comedy Central cartoon. I don’t know much about the adult cartoon myself, as I’ve never watched it, but the game combines shooting with classic beat ‘em up sidescrolling gameplay. I’m sure fans of the cartoon will love it, and it comes out very soon. Finally I checked out Black Knight Sword, a very stylish 2-D platformer with graphics that look like Japanese paper cutouts on a theater stage.
When I wasn’t in meetings, I walked around the show floor, taking pictures and checking out interesting games when I had time. Activision showed a lot of games, but I didn’t look at any of them. They had a special event on Thursday, but I flew into Seattle on Friday morning so I couldn’t go.
EA had a lot of games, but I only took this picture of Battlefield 3 because I thought the truck looked cool.
FireFall is a PC shooter game that had a HUGE presence at PAX with a flashy booth and everything. I just liked this statue.
NCSoft was at PAX again showing off Guild Wars 2. I think they’ve shown it every year I’ve been to PAX and it’s still not out yet. But their booth was always very crowded so it still must be highly anticipated.
They even had a Guild Wars 2 truck driving around downtown Seattle.
PAX isn’t all about console and PC games, though. It’s also about card and tabletop games. So here’s a picture of a not so mini Mini-Figure.
SKYRIM was another popular game at PAX. I just liked the HUGE dragon at their booth.
Sony showed a lot of games at PAX, like Uncharted 3 and Twisted Metal. Only one I would be slightly interested in though was Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One.
TellTale was showing off their Jurassic Park point and click adventure with their dinosaur themed booth.
World of Tanks also had a big presence at PAX, and even had a tank outside in downtown Seattle.
The last meeting of the day was with WB Games. Their booth was always crowded, as they were showing off their main hit: Batman: Arkham City. Another new game they showed was Lollipop Chainsaw, where you play as a cheerleader and kill zombies with a chainsaw. Obviously it’s for mature players, but the premise sounds so darn silly. Plus, they gave away one of my favorite pieces of PAX swag, foam chainsaws like those fingers you get at sports games.
I was supposed to meet with WB Games to look at a demo of LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, but we had to cut the meeting short because there was a panel that Jeff really wanted to go to, and I didn’t want him to miss it. This panel was from UbiSoft to show off one of their new games: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. The panel was held in a theater downtown and it was HUGE. I don’t know much about the series, but Assassin’s Creed must be a really popular game series because the theater filled up all the way!
The panel was held to show off a new trailer for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game. While it looks like more of the same to a non-fan like me, the audience was hooting and hollering every second. This must’ve been one of the biggest panels at PAX, because the whole thing was hosted by Adam Sessler from G4, and featured special guests like one of the creators of the game as well as the voice actor of the main character. They even let audience members ask them questions.
But the reason why Jeff wanted to go to this panel was because after they did all that, they brought out Toby Turner, or Tobuscus as he’s known on the Internet. I’ve never heard of the guy, but according to Jeff, he’s very popular on YouTube and sings silly spoofs of movie and game trailers, among other things. He did his shtick live on stage with some of the Assassin’s Creed trailers. I hated skipping out on my meeting with WB Games, but it was totally worth it to see how happy Jeff was to see this Tobuscus guy.
And that’s all I did the first day! Click here for Day 2!