Destructoid Discusses! PAX 2008

In case you missed CTZ’s post collecting all the community members’ PAX stories, we thought we’d throw out one more “I <3 PAX” piece to cap off the glory that was PAX ’08. Although the discussion doesn’t contain all the goodness that was experienced, it does give the editors one more chance to gush about the games, drinking, games, and drinking that occurred.

Feel free to add your own two cents at the end of the post. I know that, even though it was only a week ago, our eyes are slowly turning forward to next year’s PAX(es!) and all the awesome that they will contain. So, here’s to the memories!



I know that almost everyone had the best time of their lives at PAX, but they also had some game stuff too. I’m not sure if we did a “best of” post on the site yet, but here’s a chance to comment, not only on the awesome times we had, but the games that were on display, and the general opinions of PAX. Considering how insanely packed it was, I’m concerned that it may become like the E3s of old – long lines and over packed.

Conrad Zimmerman

Well, I know it was easily one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. Meeting everyone there was an incredible experience and I’m pretty sure I remember the majority of it. Next year, I’m totally getting a room at the Red Lion so I don’t have as far to stumble when we close down that pub downstairs yet again.

As for games, I never manage to play as many as I’d like to because of lines and they were quite a bit longer this year than last. I did manage to get a good chunk of time into Fallout 3, which has only heightened my need to lose myself in it from the comfort of my own home. And playing Guitar Hero: World Tour with Nick, Samit and Chad was so much fun that my mind has been changed on the franchise and I’ll be picking the game up when it arrives. It won’t be the same without them, but I’ll be able to cling to the memory of belting out “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

The expo is experiencing some growing pains, to be certain. I did hear some complaints of lines being long enough to prevent people from seeing many things, in some cases the very thing they were standing in line to see. Despite having a deep love for nearly every band that played, I only attended the performance of The OneUps. Crowds were just too massive and I’m at the point in my life that practically no live musical performance is worth being crammed in between several dozen sweating geeks creating an air temperature in excess of 115 degrees.

Word is that they’ll be expanding into an additional floor next year, so that will (hopefully) alleviate some of the pressure. And with PAX coming to the east coast in 2010, it’s possible that less people will make the trek across the country when they can just hit up Boston instead. It’s still the best show I’ve ever been to and I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I have faith in the management that they’ll make the necessary adjustments to ensure that everyone continues having a great time.

Samit Sarkar

A good amount of the editors went to E3, so they were familiar with much of the stuff that was at PAX. However, since I was halfway around the world during E3, everything on the show floor was new to me, so while I had an amazingly awesome time hanging out with all the Dtoiders, I made sure to actually go and play a few games during the weekend.

My personal Game of the Show was Mirror’s Edge. I agree with everything that Rev and Tiff said at E3 (it was the same demo level, the white rooftops we’re all familiar with by now). I’ll have more details coming up soon in my own impressions post, but suffice it to say that Mirror’s Edge put an ear-to-ear grin on my face like few other games have done before.

A very close second to Mirror’s Edge was LittleBigPlanet. I stood in line for over an hour with power-glove, and it was worth it. I’m not an imaginative person by nature, but that game got my creative juices flowing, and I can’t wait to put together my own levels from scratch and then tear through them in a Mr. Destructoid-esque SackBoy. The cooperative-but-still-competitive mechanic is what makes the actual platforming so special — you and your team members need to work together to make it through the levels, but at the same time, you’re trying to beat them to all the collectible orbs to finish first in the points race.

In addition, I was able to get my hands on Rock Band 2 as well as Guitar Hero World Tour, and I loved them both. I sincerely hope Sony can make both games backward compatible with the Rock Band instruments, since I can’t afford to buy the bundle for either game. Still, if I have to choose, I might just go with the GH WT bundle, since its drums felt fantastic.

Finally, two other highlights of PAX were Fallout 3 and Castle Crashers. The former’s gritty, post-apocalyptic world blew me away visually, and V.A.T.S. is awesome — I blew a guy’s head clean off! As for the latter, well, I played it for less than ten minutes with some random guy, and I can definitively say that it’s the first game to make me legitimately want to own a 360, just to play it. So does anyone want to contribute to the “Buy Samit an Xbox 360” fund? PayPal works just fine…

Nick Chester

The best part about PAX for me was whooping Dyson’s ass in Tetris DS, and then having him blame it on “lag.” The worst part of PAX was the actual, legitimate lag between the drums, television, and audio at the Rock Band 2 set up, which caused me to fail “You Oughta Know.”

Jim Sterling

I had a great time. I masturbated a couple times. While sat at home. In my own shit. Occasionally playing with a pair of scissors.


Followed in Jim’s tracks. Did some unmentionable things on Necros’ bed, reviewed The Last Guy, and cried in my sleep.

Jonathan Holmes

Same as Brad and Jim, except with more Tropic Thunder.

Also worked on the Mega Man Maker. 

Jim Sterling

“Dtoid Depresses!”

Joe Burling

I didn’t get to go, but here are the highlights I saw from home…

1) Left 4 Dead
2) Our fantasmic community
3) Left 4 Dead
4) Dtoid Panel
5) Left 4 Dead


On the Tetris issue, there was lag so bad it hurt, and I was hungover more than usual, but I did lose. The funny thing about Nick’s excuse for failing at Rock Band 2 (drums weren’t calibrated correctly) is the fact that the Harmonix folks didn’t re-calibrate the drums after Nick played them, but no one else had a problem with them. Strange that Nick, and only Nick, couldn’t get the song out right, huh?

Anyway, enough shit talking. Nick and I are really just competitive people 😉 Here’s my Tetris friend code if you want a rematch: 120026-390873

The thing I liked best about PAX was hanging out with all the awesome Dtoid community members. Time and time again, people ask me what the best thing about the site is, and I always respond that it is the community. This last weekend proved that opinion by leaps and bounds. Everyone was continously looking out for each other, even though most of us have never met in real life. I decided to stay an extra whole day and The GHost let me stay in his hotel room without asking for anything at all.

That was just one nice thing that someone did for me, but it happened to others as well, not to mention all the other goodness that everyone showed to each other. Stuff like that really drove home the feeling that there is something super special about Dtoid and its people — something that I know can’t be found anywhere else — and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

As far as games, aside from beating Metal Slug 5 with Asian Joe, I didn’t play a single game on the show floor. The lines were enormous and I am so impatient that I didn’t want to wait more than 15 minutes to play anything. I probably could have flexed my press pass powers, but I figured that I’d see these games again soon and hanging out with people I rarely see took precedence. I did get Superflossy drunk before she had to go see Fallout 3, which she said would be “the BioShock of 2008,” so there’s that.

About the lines, I had heard upon returning that there will be an East Coast PAX coming next year, which I think is both bad and good. Bad, because I will now have to go to two PAXes, and good, because the lines were so long and the floor so crowded that I was worried that the show may become like the old E3s. People had to wait over an hour to see games, and if the attendance at next year’s show grows any larger, the wait will be unbearable.

The panel was hilarious, btw. According to Dale, I was cracking him up by sitting in the audience drinking tall boys out of a paper bag. What else can I say but “that’s how I roll”?

And I passed out in a hotel elevator for 45 minutes one night. That was fun. 

Hamza CTZ Aziz

Where do I even start?! I went to just hang out with everyone and that’s what I did. I played a few games when press had early access, but didn’t bother when the horde of nerds rushed the floor each day. Hell, I didn’t even go to the show floor on one of the days. I would have liked to play a few games such as Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead, but those lines were killer. 

PAX was about the community and that was my main priority. I learned a lot from this trip and hopefully next years plans will actually happen as um, planned. Also, everyone will be staying at the Red Lion next year, FYI!

Samit Sarkar

Meh. Next year, we really need to find a bar with better service than the Elephant & Castle.

Hamza CTZ Aziz

It was the only hotel with a bar that I saw! Hey, hopefully they have a better staff next year!

Samit Sarkar

It’s not your fault — it just seemed like a great central location (two blocks from the convention center, close to most other people’s hotels), and I liked the outdoor/indoor setup. But if I have to wait 45 minutes to order a drink again, I’m going to choke a bitch.

Joe Burling

Is Samit Sarkar gonna to have to choke a bitch?


He almost did. I suggest that we post up at Shorty’s next year. You guys missed out on one awesome bar. Cheap drinks, good service, and around 20 vidja games, mostly pinball machines. They did have a working Galaga, which Gameworks did not, much to Topher’s chagrin. 

Hamza CTZ Aziz

Shorty’s is a must. Gotta do it the first day, otherwise everyone won’t want to leave the Red Lion!

Topher Cantler

Indeed. It took Pop’n Music, Samurai Showdown IV and Taiko no Tatsujin COMBINED to make up for the lack of Galaga. Yet they had Galaxian. That’s like a steakhouse that doesn’t have A1 but has plenty of mustard.

Samit Sarkar

That’s the greatest analogy I’ve ever seen.

You know, I should get around to playing Galaga someday…*ducks to avoid thrown objects*


Taiko no Tatsujin alone would be enough for me. Which one was it?

Samit Sarkar

Is that Taiko Drum Master?

Topher Cantler

It was 9. Couple years old, but still rockin’ enough. 


Yeah, they just came out with 11 halfway through my time in Japan. Ten had Haruhi and Lucky Star on it 😀 😀 😀


Can you tell that we like games? We get chatting about PAX and then it segues into Taiko Drum Master, a game I have yet to play. Maybe I’ll give it a go at next year’s PAX. Hopefully even more Dtoid people will show up next year. Maybe then I’ll finally figure out who the community member was who is partially responsible for these nice cigarette burns on my arm!