PAX Australia 2018 – Day One Impressions

Day one at this year’s PAX Australia felt like it could almost be a prelude to having a Quakecon in Melbourne as the team at Bethesda had a presence that was hard not to notice from the numerous booths to the E3 replays and advertising to the panels it was hard not to notice one of their games, especially Fallout 76.

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The first panels for me today was of course the story time session with Rhianna Pratchett. Run by IGN’s Lucy O’Brien the session went into how Rhianna made her way into the industry to where she is now. Even now it seems like writing is still not always an integral part of the early design phases of games and people like her often have to weave some pretty good magic to fit a tale neatly within a game. The Penny Arcade Q&A rounded out the morning with some fun banter between the hosts.

Certainly my choice of panels for the afternoon did not shake the feeling of Bethesda world domination with the first about the company itself followed by another about developer id Software. I was a bit disappointed though that there wasn’t more about Doom Eternal but RAGE 2 is on the show floor so I’ll try to see if I can get some time with it,

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Trying to find the Xbox stand was not easy at first, the Sony and Nintendo stands are far more prominent, but once you are there it’s obvious what titles they are pushing with Forza Horizon 4, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Ori and the Will of the Wisps having some clear presence. Battlefield V has an area neatly tucked away nearby so that will be worth a look.

Sony had plenty of PS4 Pros up and running with Spiderman which was an easy win for them with a steady flow of eager players. Nintendo had an even larger queue waiting for Super Smash Bros Ultimate which shows how much of a difference having the right games on show will make.

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As is tradition for me I have to pay a visit to the Classic Gaming area to see what’s new (or should I say old?) and play a few games. I knew about it in advance on Twitter but it was cool to see the end result of putting an Atari Lynx into a modded 2600 case and the result is pretty sweet to say the least. Some people may be a little intimidated by the original system’s 160×102 resolution on a big screen but it comes off well and the Lynx 2600 even supports scanlines which might soften that impact for players.

A shoutout to Retro Revolutions for the awesome work done on the Lynx 2600 and also to the team at ausretrogamer who are PAX regulars and owners of one of the best retro gaming collections I’ve ever seen. 🙂

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The first day really indicated to me how much there was to get through and I barely made it this time. The panels I went to today were okay but not earth shaking which surprised me a lot. It could just be I’ve been to every Q&A since PAX Australia started and maybe I need a break from them. I had a lot more fun today’s wandering around and seeing cool things like the Lynx 2600. Still… there’s more to go tomorrow and I’ll continue to be wandering around as much as I can. 🙂

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