Tuesday Sep 09, 2008
Saturday August 30th, 2008
Last night after the PAX meet and greet event I ended up meeting up with some friends who were in town for the convention to go see the late night concerts they had going on in the convention center. I ended up getting over there a little later, just in time to catch the end of the Freezepop set, which I wasn’t so much into. I’d seen them a time or two before in my journeys to Austin, TX for the SXSW music festival that happens every March, so i pretty much knew what i had missed. The headliner for the night was Jonathan Coulton, who i only really knew from his song ‘Still Alive‘ the theme from Portal. My friends said he had played the previous year and was fantastic, so i made sure to get there in time. In all honesty, I was surprised at how great the show was. Not only did Mr. Coulton have an amazing knack for writing catchy pop songs, but his lyrics were honest and most times pretty much hilarious — he even snuck in a They Might Be Giants cover, Rick Roll’d the audience (twice) and busted out this really cool drum machine thing which he composed a pretty funny remix of one of his songs. It was pretty difficult to snap pictures in the dark with my cameraphone, but if you look really closely in the picture on the right you can see someone holding up their macbook instead of a lighter during one of the ballads (about zombies).
Today is the first long day, with the doors opening at 10am (the line started forming around 8am — crazy!). Because it was saturday, we all expected even more people to be in attendance, and for the most part it did seem that there was a good steady stream of people from start to finish. I’m really curious how many sandwiches they must have made throughout the weekend, because i am pretty sure there wasnt any point i ever walked by the subway in the convention center and didnt see a 30+ minute wait in line for some grub. trust me this isnt an exaggeration — i braved it personally.
Today I got to see a little bit more of the exhibits, although having to man the SEGA booth for each day ends up limiting my time to sneak away for extended periods of time. However, with so many people there, you always expect to see neat costumes, accessories and merchandise that they picked up floating around. One of the highlights was getting to see a homemade companion cube that this guy made of of wood (he even let me hold the 20 lb. monster). One of my friends from work picked up this pretty sweet Pac-Man hat/helmet from the Namco booth and gave us all a good laugh. I also saw a lot of bald folks walking around with ‘HELL’ painted on their domes which i was informed was the result of the free haircuts they were giving out at the Ubisoft booth. Kind of scary, but i guess it could be worth a free game to serious fans.
Aside from just the loads of cool merchandise and people watching available a the convention, SEGA along with loads of other game publishers had brought some of the first hands-on demos of some of their upcoming games. I only got to check out a few of them personally, but its something really cool to get to see a lot of this stuff in action. I know that i was more than excited to be demoing Sonic Chronicles as after spending some time with it i really fell in love with the gameplay. it harkens back to the games that i fell in love with when i first started console gaming (Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, etc.) but with new revisions and some characteristically non-traditional RPG elements as well. It was great getting to interact with fans playing for the first time, as well as people who didnt know about the game. Overall i was very excited that almost everyone had positive things to say about their first experience with the title — i know i probably spent more time than i should have hogging the DS.
Stay tuned for the 4th and final installment and my PAX wrapup!
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