PAX Memories

 

Me and my good buddy M. Chief

DAY 1: I remember PAX being overwhelming. At any given moment there were 40+ different things I would’ve been interested in doing. The first thing I checked out was the Expo hall. I checked out booths by Nintendo, Capcom, Sony, Namco Bandai, Harmonix, and Blizzard. I think the game made the biggest impression on me that day was probably Contra Rebirth, or Scribblenauts. I also made sure to check out the Pink Gorilla booth. I had seen pictures of their booth from a year before and was very interested in seeing if they had another Nintendo 64DD this year.

 

Lo and behold, they had exactly what I was looking for. To make a long story short, almost 3 hours later, after eating lunch in Seattle’s lovely Pike’s Peak Market, I was the proud co-owner of a Nintendo 64DD and a set of 6 Nintendo 64DD games. Yes, you heard me right, I said co-owner. I can’t afford a $550 console add-on. What ended up happening was, I traded in about $300 worth of stuff towards the Nintendo 64DD and my friend who was also very interested pitched in for the remainder. We now co-own it kind of like the copy of Radioactive Man #1 that Bart, Milhouse, and Martin co-owned in the Simpsons. Some weeks I will have it, some weeks he will have it. I traded away a copy of Radiant Silvergun (my extra copy), and my Mega Man 9 Press Kit (I kind if regret trading it away), but who the fuck does anyone know that owns a Nintendo 64DD. I thought it was fun owning an Atari Jaguar CD, but nothing beats this.

This probably would’ve been the highlight of my day, but this being PAX and the fact that we were in Seattle, who knows what dreams may come. After taking care of the biggest video game purchase in my life, I went back to the Expo hall for a couple more hours and at some point checked out the Borderlands! panel. I didn’t have an interest in the game, but my friend did. Luckily they fed us what apparently amounted to about $1000 worth of Dominos Pizza. They had so much pizza left over, they were giving audience members entire boxes. After that we checked out the ChatterBox TreasureBox Gameshow where I originally won a Monsterpocalypse starter set, but traded it in for a Zippo lighter. I remember most of the questions being pretty good, but one of the contestants being pretty bad. We then headed back to the hotel where I got ready to head back out, not to the convention center, but to a different part of the city.

Earlier in the day, I happened to pick up the local Seattle alternative weekly paper to check out what else was going on in the city. I saw that the Bumbershoot festival was going on and there were a bunch of great bands playing, but I didn’t have the time or money to go to a music festival. As I looked through the paper, to my amazement I saw that Daniel Johnston would be playing only about a mile away from my hotel. "Holy shit" I exclaimed to my friend. "Daniel Johnston is playing." "Who’s Daniel Johnston?" my friend asked. "He’s this folk singer who suffers from schizophrenia and has had a crazy life." "There’s a documentary about him" I said. "He’s a living legend." I walked to Nuemos, the bar he was playing at, and proceeded to experience the most powerful live performance I’ve ever seen. I was almost moved to tears. Afterwards, on my way back to the hotel, I stopped by the convention center to say hello to Stemage of Metroid Metal who we interview not too long ago, and checked out the console freeplay room.

I ended trying to play Steel Battalion. Trying is the key word here. It took me 5 mintues to try and figure out how to boot up the mech. After I finally figured that out, I turned to fast and my mech fell over, so I had to eject and start all over again. It’s an interesting game, but it just made me want to play some Virtual-On.

I finally got back to the hotel, where I found my friend asleep. I couldn’t sleep because I had experienced such an awesome day and was very excited for whatever else was to come. Oh, and I forgot that during this entire day, the weather was perfect.

Me and my homie Scott Kurtz. He looks like he’s doing a dragon punch fist bump

Day 2: I did more of the same from day 1, but actually played more games on the Expo floor. I played No More Heroes 2 and got a free roll of No More Heroes 2 toilet paper. I also checked out Tatsunoko VS Capcom, Bit.Trip Core, Cave Story, Heavy Rain, Starcraft II, TMNT: Smash Up, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

 

One of my favorite things to do throughout PAX was visit a stage that had a Rock Band set up. This set up was basically the greatest Rock Band experience you can think of. First of all, every song released to date was available. The whole set up was hooked up to a PA system, 3 flat panel TVs, and a projector. The drum set was the $300 Ion drumset. The first day, I screamed Beastie Boys "Sabatoge", and on the second day, I tried to scream System of a Down’s "Chop Suey", but failed the twice. "Chop Suey" is really fun to scream when you’re drunk. For some reason, I really like to scream when I play Rock Band. It’s the same thing I do when I do karaoke. Although I’m not actually that great at singing, I always turn heads because I sing or scream so loudly. Throughout both days, between going to panels and checking out the Expo hall, I usually sang a song or two.

The first good panel of the day that I went to was the "Pitch Your Game Idea" panel featuring Jeffe Kalles, Porkfry and Wil Wheaton, who were a riot. I pitched my video game idea which is basically The Red Violin: The Game or Accordion Crimes: The Game, but instead of a violin or accordion, we follow the history of a gun. Instead of the game ending after being killed, the game instead continues, but with the person who killed you. According to my friend who was sitting near the front, when I pitched this idea, Wil Wheaton was briefly impressed. He turned to one of the other panelists and said something to the effect of "that’s a cool idea." I moved on to round 2, where I screwed everything up by anticipating what I thought they were going to ask me about my game. In hind sight, it might have been better to just go with my other video game idea. It’s called "Orifice." Oh well, there’s always next year.

The other good panel that I went to was the GFWBrodeoReunion. Do you know how some people think they’re funny, but they acutally not. You know, people like Jeff Dunham. Well, these guys are the exact opposite. I actually showed up pretty late, but ended up asking the very last question during the Q and A (20:21). I wanted to convey that even though I myself am a Korean (with a birthright to zerg rush), I find the dozens of Korean MMOs released by non-established companies here in the US, annoying or boring. I don’t know how these companies can afford these ginormous booths at conventions, but nobody really cares. In a world where World of Warcraft exists, why even try? Unless you are an already established company here in the US with a property that people are familiar with, you don’t really stand a chance. I love my homeland, but give it up Nexon and Webzen. You are going about trying to break into the American market in all wrong ways. Also, when you know that StarCraft II is coming out, why try?

After checking out Jonathan Coulton, who was great, my friend and I ended our glorious day checking out the PC Freeplay room, where we played Team Fortress 2 until 3:00 AM. It was an incredible experience playing on LAN with no lag whatsoever. Unfortunately for us, it would be our last day. We were not able to get tickets to leave Monday, and ended up leaving Sunday morning, missing most of the last day of PAX.

DAY 3: I managed to get into the Expo hall for 45 minutes before I absolutely had to leave to catch my flight. I was saddened by the fact that I could not stay, but excited about the prospects of PAX EAST!

Thanks PAX for putting on an incredible event. I can’t wait to go back.