Sunday, August 28, 2005

PAX visitation

Dude! So I went to the Penny Arcade Expo on Saturday with Karen's husband Ben. It was a blast. Basically we started the day early by standing in line for an hour. Of course it wasn't really that simple. We ended up walking around the place for a while trying to figure out which line we were supposed to stand in, but got lucky by accidentally going into the building to see about buying a pass. That was what we were supposed to.

I was amazed at the amount of people that were in there. We ran upstairs to sign up for the Double Dash tournament, and headed over to the PC freeplay room which had a single PC left so Ben and I traded off. What was weird was that the immediate line for the exhibit room ran all the way up to the top floor and then down the hall (hence why we avoided that room right away.

After each of us taking a turn at Battlefield 2 on the PC (great LAN experience with the folks there). So now we found our way down to the exhibit room which had quite a few cool things but for the most part it wasn't that exciting minus the Nintendo exhibit. The were showing off the new Dungeons and Dragons online game which has some potential, but we will have to see how much they are going ot charge per month. There was another booth for Red vs Blue, Anime stuff for sale, America's Army (complete with recruiters), XBox playtest crew, PAX gear for sale, Card Games, and some other misc booths.

Ah but the Nintendo booth which was by far the biggest. They had tons of games out to see what is coming up. So really I will center on the ones that I was most impressed with. First off we have Fire Emblem for the Gamecube. Phenomenal graphics teamed up with some solid well tested combat creates a great combination. The second game that impressed me was a new Mario Soccer game (I think it is called Strikers) was there. Ben and I had a quick match against each other (which he won) but it was a blast to play.

We then got in some Double Dash practice since we were on standby for the tournie. So after a little practice (and a realization that we would lose) we took a trip up to the table top game rooms. After rounds of Super Munchkins, Chez Dork, and Illuminati we had then missed our standby time and only ten minutes to make it to the gaming controversy round table.

Lots of good points were made but I found the Q&A painful since all the gamers felt a need to preach to the choir instead of asking the panel about any initiatives toward working together to create a new gaming environment.

We made a final round to see if we could pop into some freeplay rooms but they were loaded to the gills so we went home (it was 9:00 anyway). And you may notice that there was no eating. That would be correct and a horrible decision. We could have easily made it for more game playing, but I was worn down.

Anyway it was so damn cool. Definitely going next year. Way to go.

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