PAX South: Invasion of the Nerds!
For those not in the know, PAX is the biggest gaming convention that graces my slice of Texas, but once a year. Despite hurling thousands of hours of my life at all things gaming, be it rolling the dice or grabbing the control sticks, I had never been to a convention like this. I’d like to share with you my favorite moments from the massive 3 day event and hopefully get you excited to check out the next PAX Event near you!
PC: The Rise of the Indies
I had one serious misconception about how my PAX experience would turn out: I assumed that this would be a mini-E3 where the gaming monoliths like Activision and EA would pimp out their new re-hashing of their old franchises.
I was so wrong! I thankfully got to meet plenty of independent game developers who were keen to sit down, walk me through their game and tell me personally why their title was unique.
When a Chef graces the table with a great meal, he is happy to take a knee by his guests and discuss the intricacies of the creation and purpose of the dish. My experience with a majority of the PAX developers was no different.
My PAX experience has made me excited for the state of gaming because control of the market is being wrestled from huge shadowy mega corps into the hands of guys and gals like you and me who develop their ideal game from the basements and home offices. Go little guys!
Pictured Above: Brawlhalla
A fun 2D Smash-em-up very reminiscent of Super Smash Brothers ( I don’t think the developers would detest to that comparison). I highly recommend giving it a go, it will test the nimble-ness of your fingers and quick thinking.
Another in the Multiplayer Brawl Genre: Knight Squad
Remember Bomberman, and how fun or frustrating it was to out flank and out-smart your buddies? Knight Squad made me think back to those days… and made me mad that a 10 year old (who I can only assume is named Timmy) shamed a bunch of full grown adults.
Dreadnought: Big Ships, Big guns
I like spaceships, sci-fi and big guns. Dreadnought is a release that was heavily proselytized at PAX. Hundreds of fans lined up to play the class based ship to ship combat simulator and I can assume we will be hearing more about it as the beta for PC rolls out in the next few months.
To sum it up: It’s a balancing act between offense, maneuverability and defense in a class centered gameplay.
Although I did not have time to play it, this one was on my radar since the last E3 and I hadn’t heard much about it since. I am so glad to see it’s back on track and cannot wait to play it in detail!
Boardgames: Cardboard and Counters Galore!
As a fan of all types of games, I had to stop by the board game section. Although Magic the Gathering still dominated the table space with tournaments occurring all throughout the weekend, there were plenty of fresh and new boardgame experiences to be enjoyed.
Here I met Writers, Artists, Co-creators and Fanboys who were happy to share their excitement and devotion to their craft.
To sum it all up, the state of gaming is alive and well! I was so happy to rub elbows with all the types of gamers under the sun from the covert gamer bros to the fully indoctrinated cosplays and everyone in between. You can certainly count on me being at PAX next year with more news, games and caffeine induced delirium.