I am a 28-year-old guy who plays video games on occasion. I'm a casual collector and own various games from the Atari 2600 to the current generation of game consoles. Nothing really on the "rare" side... unless you count owning about a dozen variations of Wheel of Fortune as "rare."
I write and review things on occasion. I occasionally write reviews of games, otherwise it's me ranting about gaming and the industry at large. Be forewarned: Expect loads of cynicism over gamers and some of the things they say. I hate fanboys and all the things they stand for. I also dislike arguments without facts to back them up. Otherwise I'm a nice guy unless you try to teabag me in a multiplayer game. Then I might not be so nice.
When not sporadically contributing opinions to Destructoid's community blogs, I write about gaming obscurities and oddities at You Found a Secret Area.
Hey Dtoiders. Was great seeing some of you guys, and my apologies if I ate and ran on Sunday, I had some personal stuff to deal with. Here's hoping our meeting's a bit more friendly next year. :)
So, PAX was last week. I'm still recovering from the nasty post-con cold I got there. Naturally if you're going to an event like this, there's bound to be free junk available for people to grab. Here's what I got.
Dear lord, that's a lot of swag, right? Let's crack this sucker open and see what we got. Note this is not everything, the rest is just codes and promo stuff that's since expired. Also, I went to the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary thing which took up most of Friday, so I got a bit less swag than I usually get. That's fine by me, it means a shorter blog entry here.
These weren't from PAX, but rather at a Value Village that was a bit away from the convention hall. After taking the long walk, I found these three babies for $7. Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters, The Colonel's Bequest and Police Quest II. The previous two are Sierra games in their original packaging, complete with floppies. Even PQ2 had copied floppies in the box as well as (presumably) save disks. Granted, I don't have a floppy drive on my PC, but now I can download these and not feel as much shame as I did previously. Lucky Letters was more of a gag purchase, it was $3 and had not been opened. Clearly the GameStop clerks who tried selling this just dumped it here, because it's got those stickers everywhere.
The main PAX swag bag was pretty awful this year. You had to pack your own stuff, and by Sunday it was mostly picked clean and had nothing really cool to mention. A bunch of promo stuff, some tournament codes for Uncharted 3, and some Magic: the Gathering crayons and coloring books. That's about it. Word around PAX congoers that supposedly the last Nintendo Power was in earlier bags but I find that suspicious. Here's hoping PAX Prime 2013 goes back to the old system, where you just grabbed the bag the moment you hit the queue room.
A shitload of pins!!! This was the year of the pin as I grabbed a fair share of pins around the show floor. Some of them include Magic: the Gathering, Jetpack Joyride, BIT.TRIP Runner, Offspring Fling, Rock Band Blitz, Hitman: Absolution, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, NiGHTS into Dreams, and a few other custom pins such as the Phoenix Wright cosplayer, a One of Swords pin and a Critical Path pin. There's also a few random gaming and nerd-related pins in there, they were literally handing them all out on Sunday and I grabbed a few.
There were much fewer T-shirts available this time round, me only grabbing four of them. It's bullshit because a fair share of them were only available if you decided to pre-order the game. I'm no fan of preorder junk so I passed that offer. I hope this is not the norm, I loved going to past PAX events and coming home with a dozen shirts. The shirts I got were for New Super Mario Bros. 2, Hawken, RIFT and a plug for Japanator, a Dtoid sister site. Only two of these shirts will fit me fine, the RIFT shirt is in XL. Do I look like I fit an XL????
The Batman: Arkham City comic book was given out at the WB Games booth, while the Line of Defense comic was just hidden out of plain view as you transition through parts of the expo hall. Still not a big comic book guy.
Thanks Dan for handing out Guitar Hero: Van Halen to anyone who wanted it. Which seems to be pretty much anyone who headed to your panels. It's funny, they do this promo thing for people who bought Guitar Hero 5 yet they're still giving these away almost three years later.
A fair share of stickers were given away for Hawken, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Machinima.com and of course, Dtoid stickers. One of those Dtoid stickers was stuck to my shirt on Friday's meetup, I hope they come off easily. I liked the “I <3 Video Games” stickers and pins until I found out it was an advertisement for the Spike TV Video Game Awards. Ugggggggggggggggh.
If it wasn't the above things mentioned, the thing they were giving away were promo codes. Avatar items, betas, get free currency in whatever free-to-play game they were shilling... these were everywhere. Anything to give an incentive to try out their games.
That Mega64 con DVD was left by someone at the Metal Gear Rising booth, and I just grabbed it after I was done with the demo. I felt kinda sorry for taking it, but I did ask if it was anyone's they left there by accident. I got not one, but three sets of Kid Icarus: Uprising AR cards, because I had to play single player since the multiplayer was full. I believe only winners got one set of AR cards, so bonus score for me.
That Kirby stress ball is the best darn thing out of the whole show. Though it's a bit inaccurate, Kirby shouldn't be smiling, he should have his “game on” angry face going on at all times. At least that's what Nintendo of America thought for so long. The Dance Central 3 swag was pretty damn cool, with a disco ball keychain and a slap bracelet with a watch on it. I think Harmonix wins best swag at the show. Because of slap bracelet watches. Slap. bracelet. Watches.
Lanyards! Lanyards everywhere! For NOS, Square-Enix, Sega, League of Legends and Remember Me. Of course there's the usual Behemoth lanyard that's graced PAX badges for years now that I didn't get a picture of here.
Fancy a goofy hat or mask? I grabbed a few of those, for Okami HD, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, ZombiU and Injustice. Injustice was more of a headband than a hat or mask, but if it goes on your head, it goes here.
I stopped by The DOTA2 International tournament and snagged these patches as well as a book advertising the event. It even comes with an item in DOTA2. If I was even moderately interested in MOBAs, I'd redeem it.
Want some excess energy? Chug a NOS energy can, or a 5-Hour Energy shot. 5-Hour Energy had a small booth by the queue line, while NOS was just handing these cans out Sunday night after PAX. The last two things are a PC Gamer swag bag with codes and promos I snagged somewhere, and a Harmonix beach ball they were giving out during their game show event Saturday night.
And the final, most intriguing thing here. This black box by Bethesda. They were giving these out at their booth. Could it be a T-Shirt? Some codes? The Necronomicon in a box?
Nah, they're just portable cardboard speakers, advertising Dishonored and The Elder Scrolls: Online. I would be disappointed but these rival Dance Central 3 slap bracelets as the coolest swag of the show.
So yeah, PAX. I have a lot of swag from 2009 to the present, mainly because I don't have the heart to throw it away. Expect to see me on Hoarders in a few years with all this junk. Though, the best swag is not physical. It's the experiences of people you see, things you play and meet, and making new friends. That's what PAX is about. The swag is a close second, though. :P