Sorry this is too big (that's what she said). Just open the picture in a new tab to see the whole thing <3
SteamID & XBL Gamertag: ScottyGrayskull
Bit about me. I've been a gamer for the most of my life. When I was seven and waiting for my parents to pick me up from piano lessons, the teacher's two sons showed me Super Mario Bros 2. Needless to say I never learned to play the piano very well...
I've flip-flopped several times between consoles and PCs. I generally love non-generic FPS games, puzzlers (Tetris is probably my favourite game of all time) and platformers of all shapes and sizes. I tolerate RPGs, but usually don't bother because I just don't have the time to invest in them.
I'm one of those freaks that regard FF7 and Ocarina of Time as merely average. That might be partly because I'm biased against the first round of 3D games that generally looked and played like crap compared to the 2d games at the time (during that generation I was a PC gamer, where they actually could do decent 3D at the time). By no means are they bad games, but plenty of games have done just as well and actually looked good in the process.
Yeah yeah, graphics aren't everything. But as important as gameplay is, looks still matter. It doesn't have to be the best looking thing around, but it at least has to be passable.
I tried to be a collector for awhile, but realized there was no market where I lived and gave that up. Currently I have an NES, SNES, GameBoy/GameBoy Colour/GameBoy Advance SP, DS, a 360, and of course my lovely gaming PC. ^_^
So! Another PAX has come and gone. Another chance for people to meet each other without the filter of the almighty tubes. To put aside the disagreements, drama and juvenile humour (well... the first two at least...) for one weekend and celebrate, for better or for worse, just being gamers.
I was really looking forward to this PAX, because while I loved the last one I don't think I really took advantage of it. Most of my memories from that one are of running around a lot, but not really doing much or spending time with people. So heading into this PAX I promised myself I would actually enjoy the convention more, and make sure I spend more time with the amazing people I've met and would hopefully meet over the weekend. I am happy to say that I pretty much did just that. :D
One thing that really made me happy was the amount of good games that were available on the show floor. I generally don't bother with the long lines to check out the big name releases, as I'm either already committed to buying it or not and if I am still on the fence the game will get more than enough coverage online to help me decide. Thankfully, if you were willing to look past the massive and unnecessary booths of Triton/Gunnar, nVidia and the like there were a lot of small budget and indie titles. Since Sony didn't bother to show up and Nintendo's booth was pretty much just for Pokemon I can't say much about PSN/WiiWare, but there is a lot of good stuff coming soon for XBLA. ^_^
I did have some gripes with the convention though. First off, it was way oversold. I understand they want to maximize profits and that the venue is smaller than in Seattle, but they clearly didn't care about a safe crowd size as it was a lot more crowded than PAX West ever has been for me. And on top of this there were some last minute schedule changes that - unless you looked at the updated schedule on the website - you were not made aware of in any way. There was no change or notice in the programme/greeting bag, and there were no signs posted at the panels. In some cases it wasn't until the panel actually started did people find out they were in the wrong place/time. The whole mess was made even worse by the fact that the PAX Enforcers were absolutely useless. Now, I know that they are volunteers and many are just nerds looking to go on a power trip, but I remember them being vaguely competent at PAX West and the PAX organizers have done this long enough that you think they'd be able to recruit better. Almost none of them knew what they were doing or what was going on, and from what I could tell weren't even bothering to check if people had passes or not. On Sunday the Fire Marshall actually had people come in to take over the crowd control duties, which just goes to show how useless the Enforcers actually were. I thought overall it was very poorly organized and they tried to shuffle way too much of the blame for that onto the venue itself rather than admitting they fucked up.
But, like I said even with that I played some great games, and more importantly met and hung out with some great people. A few choice memories, sort of-ish in chronological order:
- Crossing the border into the US with Mr. Chewie and Volkarin. This is a terrible thing to think, but given my experiences with US border people in the past I was genuinely concerned about being a guy in his late 20s driving two Hispanic teens across the border
- Realizing just how cramped the room with Hamza, Kauza, and Walkyourpath would be, but having NikMonroe (a blanket hogging Brit) save the day ;)
- The wait staff at Uno being absolutely amazing and super accommodating
- Funktastic arriving the first night with a bag full of presents for everyone. Thank you so much for the Darksiders art piece! <3
- Hanging out with BunnyRabbit2, his roommate, and PowerGlove in the sweet Rock Band Lounge instead of bothering with the initial line to enter PAX
- Playing Pooyan in arcade freeplay, and realizing it's as bad as I remember
- Playing Ralph Baer's Brown Box prototype, which is older than almost everyone who will read this :O
- Finally seeing Metroid Metal live, and hearing Always during one of the intermissions
- Watching Tino almost beat Dragon's Lair
- Starting to feel sick on Saturday, but being saved by the magic of tussin'. Didn't start to feel sick again (and lose my voice) until after I got home
- Watching PowerGlove win at Monday Night Combat, then get utterly destroyed when the Devs decided they were going to play against the winners
- Playing Snoopy Flying Ace with NikMonroe, and being crushed to see no mention of Spike anywhere D:
- Not bothering with the SFX 360 party because Zen Albatross said the bar was "full of bros"
- Regretting not going to Karaoke, as they apparently had Always and Analoge was super excited about it
- Val (get a dtoid account! :P) and I saying on Sunday we needed to hang out that day and then almost immediately after not seeing each other again. Heh, whoops
- Trying and failing to think of a non-creepy way to ask a waitress if Mr. Chewie could get his picture taken with her
- Going to Harvard with Funktastic, and then the two of us making one last sweep of the show floor to get some Baconaise (which sounds like it should be good but... isn't D:)
- Guy begging for money with the most epic story I've ever heard someone use. Considered giving him a dollar just for making something like that up, but if it is true he'll have a hell of a story to tell when/if he gets home
- Being at, as Topher put it, "the swankest goddamn bowling alley on the planet", but just sitting around drawing penises and vaginas on PictoChat
- Waking up in a massive panic because NikMonroe and I both slept through the alarm, and my ride had been waiting in the lobby for an hour :\
So yeah, you could say I had fun. It was a privilege and a pleasure to see some of you again, and to meet the rest of you. I definitely can't wait until I get to see you all again. <3 <3 <3