PAX Part 2 or Schwag me no Schwag me more!

Can you tell this will involve the Exhibitor’s? I want to point out now that I was A overwhelmed by the stuff in here and B am short and honestly I probably missed stuff because I can’t see through walls of bodies well. The guys with me did a good job of trying to get views or info for me if I couldn’t but Exhibitors Hall is really not for those of the short variety.

Left for Dead 2 – As I noted in the previous post I was assaulted by the wall of bodies waiting to get their hands on a test run of this game. To say it is eagerly anticipated is really an understatement by the length of the line and the fact it was consistently really long. In fact it wasn’t until the close of the Hall at 6pm that I got a look at the area at all. And to my both disappointment and relief it seemed like they only deemed to put it on X360 for demo. Disappointment because I am a live and die PC gamer ( btw I do love my consoles but if it is on PC and not some crappy port from console then I’m playing it on PC) Relief because I didn’t stand in the line to demo it. (well really I’d have stood there so the Hub could since he likes FPS more than I do) Still the sheer amount of people waiting to play I think speaks highly of the franchise. hmmm zombies… (btw I ❤ Valve. Just had to throw that in there)

Blizzard – Truth be told I made like a bee to this area dragging the Hub behind me who I am pretty sure was pondering getting into the L4D line. I took a look at Star Craft 2, promptly remembered that I don’t do RTS games, and can thus only tell you that it was very pretty. I mean it looks GREAT but it is still an RTS pretty or not I’m not torturing myself with it.  Diablo 3, oh how I have longed for you, and the game looks stunning. I honestly thought I was going to get to spend more time in the Hall so I didn’t jump in line immediately and missed a chance to play the game. But from watching on the screens over the players head I can tell you that while yes it is brighter than the previous games it looks stunning and bad ass. I certainly wasn’t disappointed and eagerly anticipate D3…ok more than I did before at least. WoW: Cataclysm watching people play as worgen and gobbies was cool. I know the game play of WoW already so I wasn’t all eager to get in it myself. I really do think they did a great job making the goblins feel right. Seriously, people have wanted to play them for ages and I think Blizz got them right on the money with it. The worgen looked good as well, the atmosphere for them is very nice dark and brooding which I think fit really well with what we know of their story so far.

Where did Blizz go wrong for me? Schwag. (What I totally warned you in the title it was going to come up) I dunno call me greedy (because I am) or a demanding consumer (because again I am) but hand sanitizer that says Blizzcon on it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Is it weird of me to say I would’ve wanted a keyfob or something more. I mean I get that flu season is upon us and the fear is constant but…it just I dunno Bliz was the first booth I hit and given that I got an…wait I can’t tell you that yet!

Warhammer – A step over and around a bit sat me down playing WAR again. Sadly there was no eager crowd honing in on this booth. Which really is a shame given that I still love this game (even though I quit it because of the end game) Their schwag made the Hub giddy (if such a thing is possible). We scored cards with ingame items on them, niffty buttons, and a poster. Given that the Hub is a HUGE Warhammer fan (he plays fantasy and we both play 40K wargames) it was a treat of goodness for our house (he is still deliberting on where to put the poster).

Dragon Age Origins – Ok big line to get the hands on demo of this game. And honestly I totally am there. I mean it is Bioware makers of my beloved Neverwinter Nights (and who didn’t make the accursed NWN2 which shall not be mentioned in my presence) and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Now while I didn’t get in line (remember I’m lazy and don’t wait for things) I DID get their schwag…a blow up SWORD! YES an inflatable sword! I dunno maybe it is just me but that was a great play to the kids in us all. However, I did sit back and watch people play…very promising.

Ubisoft – Let me start by saying No More Heroes 2 looked KICK BUTT! I mean it is more of the same in the first game but the first game was good and this is just more good! Now you get two swords instead of just one! I mean I’m excited. (no link to their site since I can’t find an official one yet) Now as I’ve established I am not a huge shooter game person (with some notable exceptions) so let me inform you of an upcoming exception…Splinter Cell Conviction. I mean it isn’t really my genre but watching the demo on the huge screen (kudos to the guy playing because I watched two demo and he did take downs different each time which was pleasing) I was jazzed for the game to come out (the Hub is likely secretly pleased he won’t have to slip it by me since it is on my list to get now).

Alienware –  Man I am still miffed I missed the Plants vs Zombies tournament. The set rigs they are looked nice and who wouldn’t want to start their morning off killing zombies? Someone brilliant put an energy drink give away with them too. Proving some people in marketing understand that gamers put in long hours at their computers and need a way to stay awake.

WotC – WOOT! Honestly you knew I was going to go there, admit it. Soo they had a book where you could look at upcoming products *wiggles eyebrows* (btw NO they did not or at least I didn’t see art for the new  Paul S Kemp book…YES I did look…twice…and made the Hub look too…shush I’m a book addict I will go to treatment never.) Where was I? Oh so walking into their…booth. Tables were set up and had people running and playing D&D. They had a register and were selling the 4th ed books. A guy was showing the new shoes and shirts but you couldn’t buy them. Of course they had Magic going on. (Had to keep the Hub away. I don’t need him restarting that obsession ;p) I got to watch some of the new Magic game coming out on Xbox, which only reminded me I still don’t own an Xbox. They had more booths but I kept my distance…again little time and keeping the Hub from rekindling his Magic romance seemed like a full timer there.

Star Trek Online – I really did try to stand in line to play this…but seriously long lines, short time, and no patience do not make for a demo played. It looked good while I stood there. So it looks pretty but I really couldn’t stand that long when I didn’t have enough time to hit all the booths I wanted in the first place.

Mass Effect 2 – This was another one that had a huge line that I actually wanted to get some time wit. (btw there will be a demo ettiquette post coming Friday…grrrr) It looks good, people who played it seemed happy The people playing in my line pissed me off and the people behind them off enough that…grrrrr Where was I? Oh yeah…I didn’t get to spend much time here because of anger issues…Moving on.

Brink – This one is by beloved Bethesda (yes beloved). The boys caught the demo of it and said Wow. And immediately followed with…tedious. Basically missions will give different bonuses to different classes all of which you can switch on the fly. They all said “Yeah switching every 2 min because you can and why wouldn’t you to take get the most advantage? No thanks” Which really impressed upon me that sometimes less is more. But I am at this very minute wearing a Brink shirt so obviously the schwag factor worked.

There was a lot more going on with the Bethesda booth but I got easily distracted by Aion next door.

Aion – OMG PRETTY!!!! I have an awesome picture with me sporting black wings out of this booth and I love them for that alone. They also had a nifty model of their game world in a case that actually caught my eye walking around. But obviously my first impression of the game is pretty. Man People were getting on this MMO and just staying put. Part of this is because of the sheer amount of options for character creation. But seriously when I walked around to watch and try and get on the demo people weren’t budging. Which is really good for them but bad for me 😦  (Also this week is the open beta but you have to have a beta key fyi. Don’t be like me and think open beta dl means truly open)

Champions Online – Man I didn’t even bother after walking by this area. Visually it is VERY unappealing to me. My initial reaction was, “ARRGG MY EYES!” Followed by, “Skip it and stay with CoH/V”  Seriously, it was awful to my eyes, the jarring aqua colors have stuck with me this long and haven’t diminished my rejection of the game.

Darksiders – All I can tell you is that they had a mechanical horse (instead of bull) for people to get on and ride. I can’t tell you anything else because it was jammed packed, but that horse was so big even shorty me could see it. And of course I remember them because of it.

Peregrine – Yes! Someone came up with a better design for the game glove. My only downside is for MMO it might impede my massive chat fests if I bind macros to the tips. But still super interesting. They gave out shirts and lanyards and some other stuff…and yes they gave out hand sanitizer in niffty flat black squirty things that people guessed were us ports because they looked so unlike hand sanitizer actually.

*sighs* ok that isn’t even everything! But I mean I didn’t get to play Resident Evil but I did poke my head in the box people were playing it in and get an eye full of how good it looks. And I never did find the freaking Razer booth. I want want want to get my hands on the new mouse and see how it feels before I put money down on it ya know? I figured if anyone had a sample to get my hands on it would be them…and never could find them even though my friends swore they were there…somewhere. (Come on a Silver Hand player did the video announcement how can I not want to play with one?)

So in closing? If you are going to hit PAX try and make it for all 3 days. I didn’t hit all the booths I wanted or panels. Never mind the gaming that was going on the different floors. I totally dug they had open gaming going on, movies and concerts. One day was enough to make it an experience and cement that next year it will be all 3 days.

Again much love to the guys at Penny Arcade (special grats again to Jerry for the new baby) and all the people that worked on making that a super blast! *hugs*

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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