Fun & Games

PAX Australia 2017 – Day 2 Impressions

Returning to PAX again today and classic Melbourne weather makes its appearance: looks like it’ll rain at any moment but it still finds some way to stay warm. REALLY WARM.

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First stop for the day is Penny Arcade’s “Make a strip” session which this year had Kris Straub fill in for Mike. I really enjoy watching the process for creating a comic strip live and seeing how these guys make use of the tools they have at their disposal.

I spent a bit more time in the main exhibition hall today and it looks like the indie section had grown once more and is a fairly dominating space with most games / developers each having a single space amongst many to present their work.

This year PlayStation truly went all-in with PSVR with a long row of machines ready for an even longer queue of attendees to play. Considering the work required to manage those stations I couldn’t see it being done any better… It was impressive to see. For Star Wars fans there’s some branded PS4’s on the way but they really don’t compare to those awesome 360s that arrived with Star Wars Kinect.

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Returning to the Xbox booth I lined up for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds which I was familiar with on PC but never played before. So now that I finally have it’s so easy to see how Fortnite Battle Royale helped itself to so many of that game’s concepts… It’s literally the same thing but with a different art style. Maybe Fortnite has building in it too (a feature of the “real” game) but that isn’t something that drives the Battle Royale game mode much at all. It’s hard to get a feel for it after one turn and dying without finding a weapon but all the building blocks for the game are there.

One of my personal highlights was in the classic gaming area where there were complete collections of Atari Lynx (handheld) and XE branded (8bit computer) cartridges. Some of these weren’t ever available in Australia when the systems were on sale so they’re quite rare.

Seeing as I’m still working through my own collecting phase it’s great to see some hard to find titles for these machines in near mint shape. It gives me a lot of inspiration to keep on searching for games. 🙂

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I attended a couple more panels during the day too. One involved a group of games journalists attempting to defend their positive reviews of games that were generally disliked then do the same for the audience’s own guilty pleasures.

My last for the day was a group playing through the latest Jackbox Party Pack, now in its fourth iteration. Unfortunately there were a lot of technical difficulties and it wasn’t as smooth an experience for the audience as sessions in previous years which really dampened the experience.

It was great to spend more time walking around and seeing what else was going on outside the panels. On the last day I’m lining up for Sea of Thieves first thing in the morning… Can’t wait!

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