PAX is here! It's time for some fun! I'll be doing a running commentary of interesting things as I hear about them.
And we're done. The final round of the Omegathon was a tense but well-played round of Spy Party. Omeganaut Nantucket took home the honors with a display of steady nerves worthy of a steely-eyed missile man. He'll be heading to the Tokyo Game Show in September.
You guys have a safe trip home, and I'll be glad to see you all at PAX East 2014!
- I was just walking along in front of the center when I ran into an old friendly enemy. :) The life size animatronic Dalek was built by the gentleman in the hat standing behind it. It was remote controlled. He said next year he'll have the sound stuff installed. It's really solid work; it was a little creepy to stand there and take that picture, even without it wailing, "ExTeRMinATE!"
- Secret Ponchos is a game of frontier justice, debuting on the PS4 in Q1 2014. Journey to lawless Lonetree, create your outlaw, and battle to become a legend. More details up on http://www.secretponchos.com
- If you're looking to fill in your set of the Cards Against Humanity 2013 PAX Prime Pack, the trading table has been moved to Level 0 of the Annex (below the WOTC area).
- More Wildstar images - this professional cosplayer did a good rendition of one of the Aurin race.
Welcome to our first Monday at PAX!
If you're not onsite, the Twitch TV channels are a great way to check out some of the highlights.
- at 2:30, check out Inside Gearbox Software, particularly if you want details on the upcoming Borderlands shenanigans.
- Omegathon Final Round is at 5:30pm in the Main Theater. It all comes down to the last competition. The last Omeganaut standing will be on their way to the Tokyo Game Show in September.
If you're onsite, here's a couple notes.
- If you're a hardware fan, check out the drool-worthy rigs at their booth.
- I found out that the leering set piece with explosive tendencies at the bottom of the grand escalator is a member of the Chua race, from Wildstar.
- At 1pm, Serpent Theatre (3rd Floor, Sheraton) brings PC Gamer presents: CATFANTASTIC LIVE: A Wholly Insane PC Gaming Trivia Show. Pit your wits against the gang from PC Gamer. (Cory, we need to talk about the punctuation abuse. ;) )
- Yesterday, Bethesda came by with a food truck of Elder Scrolls-themed foods. One of our guys tried the "Sweet Cream with Khajiit Sweet Bites" and said it was pretty good. I never did get a straight answer as to what the sweet bites actually were.
- Very good cosplay of Kreig from Borderlands 2.
- Dungeon Roll is a recent Kickstarter success, and we've been very happy so far with the playability. Don't go in there expecting anything too hardcore, but for a small to medium group with mixed skill levels it's a good starter game. Runs pretty quick, and it has enough meat for the experienced players to enjoy but handles basic concepts in a way new players will be able to work with, too. The Kickstarter package came in a mimic instead of a regular chest, which was a cool touch.
I made it downstairs to one of the boardgame vendors, and well.... my budget isn't happy.
- I know I mentioned it above, but Mongolian Goat Rodeo is a card game from Hamster Press. It's based on a real life game of Buzkashi, or Goat Grabbing. It's a team game played from horseback around a course, while fighting for possession of a goat. Not joking. Instead of a ball, they play for a goat.
- The Tōkaidō was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo period, connecting Edo to Kyoto in Japan. Fun Forge has brought out Tokaido, a game that allows you to travel that same route, seeing the sites.
Sorry about the picture quality - those are phone pics and I don't have Photoshop here to fix them. Now, excuse me, but we're going to run a quick game of Dungeon Roll over our lunch break. I'll report back with that as well.
Sunday, 11 am
- Gearbox has a life-sized Claptrap at their booth. If you are one of his minions, you might want to check him out. He didn't beatbox any time we were there.
- It's full of games! If anyone was wondering, the Skybridge has the Cards Against Humanity booth.
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag looks awesome. I spoke to someone who got to play it, and he's very impressed with the new aiming mechanics. He said it was even better than the ship levels in Assasin's Creed III, and that's already very good. I already had this pre-ordered, but I love finding out that was a good idea. ;)
- Pikmin 3 is out, and they brought the whole gang down to Expo.
- I was weak and stopped by Ancient Wonders, a boardgame shop with a booth in the Level 1 of the Annex. I picked up a card game called "Mongolian Goat Rodeo" by Hamster Press, just because of my habit of using that phrase. We'll be trying it out later to see how it plays, but the Beers and Boardgames devoted a show to it recently if you want to find out more.
XCOM: Enemy Within Panel
I sent out some evil minions (Fire and Itsatrap), and they brought back some great intelligence on the expansion on its way 11/12/13 for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. All sorts of interesting things are in store:
- More 2nd Wave options; Training Roulette gives the characters random skills and stat bonuses
- Aliens now have a close combat range that will give you bonuses if you come within that range to attack them.
- Gene mods and cybernetics. One is called Bioelectric Skin which allows you to sense alien presence even when behind walls or cloaked. Once you have Mech soldiers, they can do devastating melee attacks.
- One word: FLAMETHROWER. It has a cone of effect, can light the environment on fire, and can cause nearby enemies to panic.
- A new breed of aliens called Seekers that can cloak, with their own dedicated AI that is set to help them take advantage of your engagement with other groups of aliens and soldiers off alone. It will also be playable in multiplayer. So watch your backs, and those of you who let your guys get out there by themselves better take note unless you want to use them as invisi-douche bait.
- A new resource type that will reward more aggressive playstyles. It's called meld. It's in big canisters on the battlefield with a countdown timer. Each one acquired will allow for a gene mod or a cybernetic enhancement.
- More maps. The DLC will add 50% more maps as there were in the base game, and 8 new multiplayer maps will be added to five currently available ones.
- More types of maps. The farm looks like it has some new cool options.
- Aliens will now no longer mysteriously only crash in forests. There will be more types of crash sites to deal with, including urban environments.
In other words, I'm going to disappear for a while in mid-November. I'll be getting my backside kicked, but I'll be having fun doing it.
My evil minions made a raid on Expo for me, and came back with a few interesting tidbits.
Forza5 is playable on the show-floor. My younger son ran several laps and all I got out of him was inarticulate noises of enjoyment. If simulation racing games are your thing, you might want to take a look.
The creators of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac are bringing out Mew-Genics, described in the cool little coloring book we got as "The first ever 'Crazy Cat Lady Simulator'. Enter a randomly generated world of cats, science, fame and fortune, and probably a lot of cat turds." If that sounds interesting (or you know someone who would get their brand of humor), look into it at http://www.mewgenics.com
Nyamyam games has brought their beautiful Japanese-theme pop-up book style adventure game. It's a sumi-style wonderland of puzzles and mysteries. They're looking at an iOS release in 2013, with WiiU, Windows, and OS X releases planned. Take a look at it yourself on http://www.tengami.com
We finally figured out what the very explosive display leering at people at the bottom of the grand escalator is. It's from the upcoming MMO Wildstar. The beta is out there, and I'm tempted to load it up just to go find one.
And the rumors of pictures of me in a cowboy hat with a Twomp hat-band are exaggerated. Extremely exaggerated. One of the gang is headed to the XCOM panel, and if the line isn't completely insane we'll see if we can get a report from him. I'll be back with more info and pics in a bit.
- A friend went out and hit the Expo floor on 6th Floor, and found the Think Geek booth. He got a full-sized Portal Gun, and I got a Minecraft redstone tap-light that lights and then progressively gets brighter as you tap it several times, and a torch lamp that can actually be hung on the wall at a 45 degree angle!
Pictures to the right. I am blissfully nerding out here.
Sorry this one's so late starting. PAX is open. The initial surge has passed and the ocean of humanity is happily sloshing back and forth all over downtown Seattle.
Of particular interest to the GWJ contingent, Tabletop has their usual area inside the Convention Center, Wizards of the Coast has the bottom of the Annex, and there are also have more space at the Olive 8 Hotel.
- PAX is in 7 venues this year: The Washington State Convention Center, the WSCC Annex, the Sheraton Hotel, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Olive 8 Hotel, the Paramount Theater and the Benaroya Hall. Picking up a convention schedule is a moral imperative this time around, for the maps if nothing else.
- Collectable expansions to Cards Against Humanity in the swag bags. 44 PAX/Geek related cards. Each set contains a random selection of the possible 44, some black and some white. They're numbered so you can tell exactly which ones you have or don't have easily.
- They also have a starter decks of Magic: The Gathering, too. One per bag. There are decks for each color available.
- Microsoft has taken over Benaroya Hall with the lots of displays to see around the Halo 4 Global Championships. The finals will be on Sunday. Head down there to see the displays and get the schedules and details for how to watch!
- PAX XP contest will be expanded, and more complicated. Head for Info Booth on the 4th Floor, and they'll point you on your way.