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Day One: PAX Seattle

Posted on Saturday, September 4th, 2010


Technically, my vacation isn't scheduled to start until tomorrow when I skip the country, but I was able to get a day pass to PAX, the "video gaming festival" going on in Seattle over the weekend. I don't have a lot of time to play video games anymore, but I still love them, and this was a great opportunity to see what's coming up from all the big gaming companies.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My vacation did not get off to the best start. This was made clear to me just as I was heading into Seattle...

  • BAD: Getting a speeding ticket because you didn't see the sign changing the speed from 70mph to 60mph.
  • BADDER: Having just 15 days to respond to the ticket when you'll be out of the country 16 days.
  • WORSE: Having to go to "Money Tree" so you can hand over your hard-earned cash to get a money order so your ticket is paid within the 15-day window.
  • WORSER: Standing in line behind a man at "Money Tree" who has no concept of what "personal hygiene" means.
  • ARMAGEDDON: Having to listen to the Glee soundtrack at full volume as you stand behind a man at "Money Tree" who has no concept of what "personal hygiene" means because you have to get a money order for a speeding ticket you got because you didn't see the sign changing the speed limit from 70mph to 60mph.

Yes. Not so much a good time so far.

But then I made it to PAX, and everything got better again.*

What I was most interested in was seeing the sequel to one of the best games ever. The line was really long to play, but I did get to see... PORTAL 2!!

Portal 2 Booth at PAX Seattle

Portal 2 Booth at PAX Seattle

Uniquely awesome in every way. I cannot WAIT for it to be released! My beloved Weighted Companion Cube lives on!

Lil' Dave with his Weighted Companion Cube

Surprisingly, many of the other "hot" games at the show all looked like Worlds of Warcraft clones. They all had guys running around with a shield and sword killing monsters... Guild Wars 2, Rift, Alion, Tera, Lord of the Rings, etc. etc. And if it wasn't a "swords and sorcery" Massive Multiplayer Online Game, it was a military shoot 'em up in either a modern, future, space, or post-apocalyptic theme.

FORTUNATELY, there were some properties that takes this kind of gameplay and makes it interesting just because of the property attached. The Disney-themed Epic Mickey was pretty darn cool (even if the controls weren't that tight) but it was Star Wars: The Old Republic that took it to the next level. You haven't lived until you're hacking everything in sight with dual-lightsabers and blowing the crap out of stuff with Force lightning!

Star Wars The Old Republic

The biggest disappointment to me was the Xbox "Kinect" where the games were somewhat boring (the dance game was just plain stupid)... and I didn't really get the sense that the "virtual controller" was being used in any way more revolutionary than just holding onto the Nintendo Wii controllers. Of course I didn't get a chance to play for very long or see all the games, so maybe there's more to it than what I got to see. Otherwise, it was definitely "meh."

The second biggest disappointment was the number of "closed" booths, where you could ONLY see the game if you stood in line to play it behind closed doors. This SUCKS because some of the lines are so long I had -zero- chance of that. I wanted quite badly to see Dragon Age 2, but wasn't able to. BOOOOOO!

Since I only had four hours on the Exhibit Floor, I didn't get a very good PAX experience, but I still had a lot of fun...

PAX 2010 Shots

Maybe next year!

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Categories: Travel 2010Click To It: Permalink


  1. sizzle says:

    Mr. Darcy is going to PAX today- he got in with an exhibitor badge because he’s doing concept art for a local gaming company (it’s a side gig). We foolishly went downtown to see a movie last night and grab some sushi and FORGOT that PAX was in full swing. D’oh! But it was really fun people watching. 🙂

  2. Sybil Law says:

    Ridiculous speeding ticket aside, I hope you have a fabulous, RELAXING vacation!!!

  3. Patty says:

    Hi Dave!
    Long time no post from me, huh? I thought of you when I was going through Wenatchee area this past week.
    Where are you off to this time? Need to live vicariously through others as I’m not traveling to far these days.
    Hope you are well and I’m finally starting back to the blog world.

  4. I think I got a speeding ticket last week. It was from a mobile camera-in-a-SUV thingy that the Phoenix PD love to move around on a daily basis. That camera flash went off about 10 times because everyone going down that street was doing at least 10 over the limit. So I just have to wait to see if I get anything in the mail. If so that will make ticket #2 for 2010. Go me!

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