The third and final day of PAX East was upon us and it was destined to be a more casual day for me. The day was to start with a media only Q&A with Gabe and Tycho but they were running late and after we realized it was delayed I was already too late to get into the Rock Band Panel I was to liveblog. Yes PAX East started with me unable to get into yet another panel. It turned out okay as the Gabe and Tycho Media only Q&A was pushed to 10 am and I was able to liveblog that intimate meet and greet.
I have to say this was my favorite Q&A as the fanboy waves of adulation was stripped away and we were left with a nice concise and relevant Q&A session. The major points they touched on were that the CON was already too big in its first year for the venue (Hynes Convention Centre) and it will be switched next year to the monstrous BCEC and their absolute joy at the event.
Both had key memories of PAX East, Gabe saw a Witch Cosplayer (Left 4 Dead) who was crying jn a corner. When someone tapped her she jumped up and chased him screaming, the security guards had no idea what to do. Tycho was told about a CCG game called Thunderstone during a public Q&A and sourced one of the few sets available from someone at the event and then organized an impromptu game right from the stage. Both were thrilled with the event and cannot wait for PAX Prime and next years PAX East already.
Following the Q&A we had a chance to meet them and they were tired, but still very gracious and signed our anniversary books (Gabe drew me a Spiderman at my request) as well as posing for a picture. They took time (as best they could) to talk to as many people as they could. You can still tell they are adjusting to celebrity and wonder what the hell people are thinking.
Following this we decided to go back to the Expo hall to check out a few more games and get a last run at swag. Seven knapsacks, two more packs of magic cards, a memory stick, five t-shirts, six pens and more stickers then you can shake a stick at we decided to check out the big games we missed Saturday. Splinter Cell Conviction plays and looks as good as everyone heard and more. The gameplay is refined and polished and the multiplayer modes we were able to see were very, very fun and addictive. There really are no surprises for this game anymore as the media blitz on it has been substantial, but I can say all the hype is deserved.
Prince of Persia the Forgotten Sands was the other big title I missed and again there are no real surprises with this game, except for how much it reminds me of Sands of Time. Ubisoft seems to have heard our pleas and dropped the combat heavy ideals of Warrior Within and the never fail ideology of Prince of Persia. They have added some tweaks in the form of element mastery; you can affect elements (running water as an example) to progress through puzzles. The graphics are stunning, the animation is amazing, the puzzles are devious and I cannot wait to play a lot more of this game.
Following the Expo Hall I had to let my inner Geek run again and I lined up to meet Wil Wheaton. It was a long line, but at the end we met Wil and had a few minutes of conversation about roleplaying. My childhood and D&D was much like Wil’s so I wanted to chat with him about a campaign setting or rulebook that he thinks everyone should have. He told me by signing the recommendation in the book I bought (Memories From the Future, buy it, it is great!), GURPS Horror is something every gamer should have according to Wil Wheaton. Another fanboy fuelled picture later and we were on our way.
Travelling through the Roleplaying area I was able to restock on some dice as well as get some bonus items for D&D Online and a demo on a memory stick wristband for Magic the Gathering. We were now nearing the end and entered our last line of PAX East, the line for the Omegathon Final and closing ceremonies. There were some issues getting the room and event ready so we waited in line for an extra hour. I filled the time by running an impromptu Ebberon campaign with some guys in line with me…thankfully I had just bought dice so I was able to actually roll attacks and skill checks.
Once we were finally allowed in Gabe and Tycho swiftly came out and called up the remaining four Omeganauts who would compete for a trip to Germany to attend Gamescon. Up on stage it was revealed that the final would be a four game relay and that if any of the games freeze or fail there will be a reboot. The winner must have a clean run, sounds like foreshadowing doesn’t it? My twitter feed probably explains how things went best:
4 games at Omegathon! It will be a relay of games! Awesome http://twitpic.com/1bma6w
6:02 PM Mar 28th
First game is Super Mario Bros. on a SNES! Collect 50 coins!
6:06 PM Mar 28th
Second game is Rad Racer! Team one is dominating! Third game is Tetris!
6:09 PM Mar 28th
Last game is Contra, but the game failed and they had to restart the whole thing… Team 1 was killing Team 2
6:11 PM Mar 28th
Team 2 pulls off the upset and wins! Poor Tetris playing on Team 1 parts is the reason…great event though!
6:21 PM Mar 28th
It was a true upset and you had to feel bad for Team 1 as they lost in the final seconds. The cruel hand of fate and the Konami code expiring on Contra cost them the Omegathon. It was a great matchup though with a great deal of tension and excitement.
With the winners announced Gabe and Tycho said one last very fond farewell and mentioned that PAX Prime is going to have to step up their game to be called Prime anymore. Tycho further said that PAX East is the true Prime and in his mind the best PAX to date. It was my first, but I have to agree with him, the event was well run, full of fun and friendly people and there was more things to do then there was time. Expect more PAX East interviews, previews and stories over the next week as I relieve in print the amazing time, sights and games I was able to experience.