The Boston winter has not been kind. The winds are harsh, the temperatures brutal and the amount of trolling has reached epic proportions as we played our way through PAX EAST 2017.
Even though this is not my first PAX EAST, there is always something new to see as there are always new developments in hardware (computer parts, accessories, peripherals, new board/card games) and software (console, mobile and PC) fronts of gaming. Allow me to give you a quick wrap up of the TEN Things That Were Cool at PAX EAST.
- Cool Cosplayers
No Con would be complete without some cool cosplayers that really stick out. Overwatch seemed to dominate the scene this year – and rightfully so due to it’s being one of the most popular games right now. However, as good as hobby cosplayers are, the company sponsored Witcher 3 guy takes the cake. He had the full getup AND the accent to go with it!
- Video Games Galore
Tons of demos, advanced previews, free beta keys!
3. Card Games and people to play them with
There are tons of vendors selling games new and old but half of the fun is trying out new games. There are hundreds of tables laid out for people to join in on game demos or just play a custom more lethal version of a game your friend brings.
We played Braintopia-boozled. Person who screws up ends up winning a spin to pop a bean-boozled jelly bean. Fun but not fun as the aftertaste of dog food kinda stuck in there for a while…
Rej as Jon Snow trolling and getting trolled in Drakon.
4. Hard(ware) Pron
I build my own computers, and am very particular about the peripherals I stick into my machine (ok, it sounds dirtier than i thought it would.. but whatever..). This year I passed by out every headset vendor and tried out their cans. I’ll make a future post to report my findings. I was quite shocked to NOT see ASUS, to see how tiny the EVGA booth was and how some smaller companies have expanded their presence since last year. Corsair, MSI, Logitech, Steel Series,Thermaltake and Zotac came in with big guns and had pretty impressive lineups. One thing that really stood out is that everyone is trying to cram in LEDs in everything, making customization easier, and at least in my opinion just overall waaaaaaaay too brightly colorful. As expected Intel, Samsung and AMD had their own things going either directly or through 3rd parties showcasing their stuff
Even though a lot of naysayers are saying nay to VR, a lot of hardware and software developers are embracing technology and it’s potential.
Compared to just a handful last year, this years VR showcase had lots of titles for people to queue for. I was impressed at how Zotac even brought in their backpack demo for the full untethered experience.
Aside from the usual Hearthstone tourney that goes on, there was an entire area dedicated to eSports and eSports team merchandise. There were several contests running that had pots that ranged from new rigs to a whopping 10 grand.
Tons of free stuff.
free beta codes.
protip: As the Con comes to close, tons of vendors would rather get rid of all the swag than ship them back. This is a perfect time to swoop in and get free crap!
8. Early Access to stuff
The cool part for me in attending these Cons is that you get first dig at some of the games you are looking forward to. I am a big fan of the Final Fantasy franchise and XII on the ps2 has been one of my favorites in the series because of its grand political overtones. Getting to play a pre-release version of the remastered version left the FF fan in me all fuzzy and warm inside.
GT Sport is really looking amazing here!
9. Developers and Industry experts
I had the pleasure of meeting the creative director for the game Ruiner. He, like a lot of us are fans of Ghost in the Shell and Akira- and it shows in the game. Talking to devs and seeing their passion for their work is absolutely inspiring. Ape out and Ruiner get my vote for best indie games being shown at PAX this year.
Like any other con, there was a lot of queuing for the real popular stuff. But as with anything else, good things come to those who wait as we managed to experience some pretty great titles, meet a few cool people and get a lot a swag.
PAX EAST might be over but we had a lot of fun and have earned a few new stories worth telling to hold us over till next year!