PAX 2010 – Day 1 – Expo

While driving to Seattle the night before,  my wife was kind enough to text me to let me know that I forgot my Digital Camera.

“FRAK!!”

I don’t have a fancy DSLR or anything, but my trusty Canon Powershot SD1000 can sometimes take some pretty good pics.

Without a decent camera, I would have to rely on my 5 Mpixel LG GW825 camera phone.  It has a LED flash, but overall it sucks as a camera, as it is with most smart phones.

So, come Friday morning with my 3 day PAX badge around my neck and camera phone in hand, I arrived at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center at around 9 AM.

Parking was a pain the ass, but luckily I scoped out the area the night before and figured out a place nearby where I could park.  There were already people walking from every direction towards the convention center.

I really wanted to catch the opening keynote by Warren Spector, but it was being held at the main theatre several blocks away.  I didn’t want to miss out on getting a SWAG bag (not knowing how many they would have), so I decided to line up a the expo instead.

There were a few people dressed up (costumes and such), but a lot less then I expected.  Everyone was really excited.

While waiting in line, Intel passed out buttons.  I was told that if they caught me wearing it on the show floor, they would hook me up with a prize.

Once they opened the doors at 10 AM, we were all greeted by the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

The DeLorean was there to celebrate the fact that Telltale Games is doing a 5 episode treatment of the story.

The artist at the bottom of the pic was starting work on a giant rendition of the Metroid: Other M poster partly shown at the left.  There was also a stack of Metroid posters there; free for the taking.  I didn’t grab one at this point since I didn’t want to carry around any posters.

After grabbing my SWAG bag I headed into the Expo.  I’ve been to other tech conventions with work (though sadly not E3 or CES), but I was immediately surprised by the size.  Funny enough, I didn’t realize at the time I was only seeing a third of the show floor.  I didn’t have a plan going in, but I soon decided I would try and hit every booth the first day and then go back to the booths that interested me the most on the 2nd and 3rd days.

Leeloo here is practising her fighting skills so that in 253 years she can save mankind.

Her fighting style: Kung-Fu

Training method: Kung-Fu Live

The game uses the PlayStation Eye in order to transport the player directly into the game.  Different movements and positions execute different moves.  It looked fun, but I would think that the novelty would wear off fairly quickly.

The Expo spanned the entire 4th level of the convention center (2 parts connected by a skybridge).  Near the entrance were booths from big names like Sega, WB, EA, 2K Games and NVidia.  Go across the skybridge into the 2nd part of the expo and here you find booths from the likes of BioWare, UbiSoft, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Lucas Arts.

Electronic Arts had large booths dedicated to showing NBA Jam/NHL Slapshot, Medal of Honor and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.

They had Neef for Speed showing on a giant screen TV (shown here).  They also had a raffle to win a custom NBA Jam cabinet (TV, Xbox 360 and arcade controller jammed into a big wooden box).  I tried NBA Jam on Wii and it was actually pretty fun.  As usual, the Xbox 360 graphics were far superior, but without the motion controls.

Just across from EA, SEGA had a large booth dedicated to show Sonic Colors/Sonic 4, Vanquish and Conduit 2.  They also had a hidden room showing Shogun 2: Total War.

Vanquish looked really good.  The character design, story and presentation have a Japanese feel, which makes sense since it is being done by Japanese Studio PlatinumGames.  At first glance it appears to be a Gears of War knock off (cover system, camera angle & character size), but it’s not.

I didn’t get a chance to play it, but I watched for a bit and it looks really good.  I’m planning on giving the demo a go in the near future (demo available for Xbox 360 and PS3).

One of the more impressive displays at the show was a near life size model of a Light Bike from Tron.

The bike looked awesome and the game looked pretty good too.

It still needs some work though.  The graphics looked good, but it was choppy.  There is still plenty of time before the game is scheduled to be released, so hopefully that will be cleared up.

After Tron, I walked across the isle to Disney’s largest booth which was dedicated to the upcoming Wii game Epic Mickey.

For a Wii game, it looked pretty darn good.  One section was dedicated to demoing the game, the other had two easels set up where a Disney animator would draw you a custom Mickey stencil.  At the time there were probably only 8 people in line, but only a single animator was on duty.  I figured the wait would be too long and decided to stop by another day.

I spent the rest of the day going from booth to booth getting a feel for what they were promoting and making mental notes for where I wanted to go the next day.  I got a bit overwhelmed and sort of forgot to take pictures.  Along the way I was able to score 6 t-shirts (see my entire collection here).

I didn’t get around to see any panels during the day, but decided I really wanted to see the InFamous 2 panel at 7 PM (since the expo was closed anyway).  I wanted to see the Square Enix Panel at 6 PM, but I didn’t think I could get to the InFamous panel in time.

By the end of the day my bag was pretty full of t-shirts and promotional material.  I left shortly after 6 so that I could drop my swag off at my car and head to the Sony panel for 7 PM.

For details of the InFamous 2 panel and Day 1 evening events, you can read my next post here (coming soon).

ComputerAbuser

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