WHAT UP INTERNET?!
This past weekend was the second annual PAX South convention in this Bro’s hometown, San Antonio, Texas. Due to personal obligations (See: work) the crew and I weren’t able to attend Friday, however we hit Saturday and Sunday hard. We like to spend our first day at Cons running the floor, scoping the exclusives and getting our hands on any swag we can swing. The great thing about PAX South last year was none of the lines were particularly unbearable, and that was essentially true this year as well-save for the line for hands on time with the Oculus Rift. Since y’all already heard about that illustrious experience, I thought it’d be helpful to provide a brief overview of our time at PAX South along with some tips we’ve learned since we’ve attended this particular convention EVERY SINGLE YEAR since its inception!
If you’re on the prowl for a certain piece of swag or merchandise at PAX South, my best piece of advice is get there early. We like to show up approximately an hour to an hour and a half before the floor opens, as we’ve found this to be more than ample time to grab a good spot in the queue hall (the area where everyone lines up before hitting the floor). Also-and I’m not sure if this rule was in place last year or was new for this year-if you’re looking to buy specifically from the Penny Arcade Merch booths which slangs the #Exclusive pins, you do not need to line up in the queue hall, you can simply inform the enforcers you’d like to line up for the Merch booth. I was after a particular shirt, and although they’d sold out of my size on day one I assumed I would’ve lined up in the queue hall like everyone else.
Considering Twitch had a strong presence at last year’s PAX South (and we saw multiple advertisements for the service in the official program) our game plan was to head straight to Twitch in order to get some of those sweet drawstrings bags and stickers so everyone could know where to head to watch your Bro stream. Twitch was also giving away an #Exclusive pin set with the accompanying pin to be released at PAX East-since your Bro will be hitting up PAX East for the first time this year, I had to get the #Exclusive “Copy and Pasta” pin. I heard someone refer to it as that in passing, and if that’s not the official name it needs to be. Keep up the good pin work, Twitch!
After this I saw the latest entry in the Street Fighter series was available to demo, so I moseyed over to the Capcom booth and queue up for a few rounds. Although I was much more excited for Umbrella Corps I did rush over to get some hands on time with the latest entry in the series. That’s not to say Street Fighter V disappointed in any way-on the contrary, the updated art style felt fresh and animations were as crisp as ever. I’ve never been a tremendous fan of the fighter video game genre-I’ve just always preferred RPGs and multiplayer shooters when I get that (rare) competitive gaming itch.
Perhaps it’s due to the many afternoons I spent during my youth losing to my sister and older cousin in classics such as Tekken, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, but I’ve never been one for any fighting series. When it comes to Street Fighter I always pick from the Ryu/Ken/Akuma subset of characters and dole out the same moves I’ve been busting out since the days of the SNES. While I’m certainly no expert on the most updated incarnations of any of the aforementioned series, the action in Street Fighter V moved familiarly but not too quickly-something I always look for when getting some hands on time with any title in the fighter genre. After owning my Bro in both rounds it was time for us to see the rest of what PAX South had to offer.
The remainder of the day was spent getting some hands on time with games I was unfamiliar with. Intel had a strong showing at PAX, allowing gamers to get some hands on time with various games covering a multitude of genres on (what I presume) some of their sweet gaming rigs. I played a few rounds of what I think was Rainbow Six: Siege, but it did not go well. I’m no PC gamer and unlike the familiar and relatively easy to comprehend gameplay of Street Fighter, Rainbow Six requires constant communication, knowledge of your weaponry and environment as well as strategic planning. Coupling my disdain for verbal communication with my lack of PC gaming knowledge and it spelled a recipe for disaster-I’m pretty sure after getting smoked two rounds in a row I handed the reigns over to the next Bro in line.
After doing some shopping it was time to hit up our first panel of PAX South, and we opted to attend one entitled “Get into the Game: Game Industry Career Panel.” From the description we figured this panel would be focused on the development side of the industry, and although I do not plan to learn to code any time soon I thought it would be interesting to gather some perspective from those involved in the industry. The panel essentially focused on general business tips on how to land a job, and although this is information I’ve heard and read countless times before, the continued reminders to be persistent, professional and to network with those around you are solid advice. Each of the panelists were entertaining, cordial and professional and ensured this informational session did not feel rigid in the slightest, and kept with the light mood PAX South carries with it.
After this we swung by the Tiny Build booth which was always bustling with activity. They had a wealth of titles available to play but the only one I got any time with was Party Hard, a Steam game where the story is your neighbors are throwing a raucous party so you’ve taken it upon yourself to murder them and everyone at the party. As someone who has lived in a number of apartments it’s fairly easy to recognize where this premise originated from-BUT YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NEVER CONSIDER DOING THAT. Still-the premise was simple enough to understand.
The game was essentially a puzzle with you finding ways to subdue partygoers without attracting any attention to either yourself or the “remnants” of your handy work. Although I only managed to take out approximately a quarter of the party’s attendees before the cops showed up and hauled me away (there’s a line I never thought I’d compose), the gameplay was simple yet engaging enough to pique my interest. If this particular indie title ever makes its way to Xbox Live I’ll be sure to scope it.
After this the crew and I spent the remainder of the day getting some shopping in, nabbing all the swag we could haul and taking all the pictures we could of all the exhibitors’ booths. Since this post is already getting rather lengthy, I’ll save all of those for the part two. Until next time, Bros!