This past PAX East event was my first PAX event ever and going into it I had high expectations for the expo. I mean from all the news of PAX East 2010 and the fact that they had to move the expo to a larger location (From Hynes Convention Center to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center) due to the shear amount of people who attended. Oh, FYI, this PAX Event is officially the largest PAX event with an attendance of 69,5000, surpassing PAX Prime 2010’s attendance of 60,750 and PAX East 2010’s of 52,290.
I will say above all that the event was decent, however the fact that even at the larger location, the event was as bad as navigating a mine field. Many of the lanes were either partially or completely blocked to the point that you had to have a skill set of a line backer to get through them. Though many of the PAX Enforcers made it a point to help move the masses back so people could get through, even though it didn’t seem to have any affect, the gesture was welcomed.
Of course the main reason everyone went to PAX East was for the GAMES! And games there were; Battlefield 3 (Unplayable to the public) Star Wars – The Old Republic, Mortal Kombat, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Build More Robots, Fallen Frontier (Unplayable) , L.A. Noire, Portal 2, Brink, Rage, Duke Nukem Forever, Dragons Nest (Looking forward to this hack and slash MMO) and many more. Though many of the high profile games such as SW:TOR were swamped. And when I saw swamped I mean 6+ hour waits on all days of the event. I know that couldn’t be helped, but perhaps the amount of time that the game could be played or setting up more computers for the hands on go would have helped. I won’t even mention the 3DS booth… seriously I just won’t.
For more information on what games I was about to view or get my hands on and pictures of the event, check out the links.
(Sadly the laptop that I wrote my articles on ended up taking a nose dive on the way back and the hard drive didn’t survive.)
Swag, yes there was plenty of swag. From buttons, pens, huge ass bags (From Nexon and these bags were half the size of my wife) lanyards, flashlights, discounts that you could take advantage of online, but no demos. There several events just as a digital scavenger hunt and a button match up from Nvidia. My wife and I were also extremely lucky to snag two of the Star Wars: The Old Republic T-Shirts that were being tossed out in the crowd. I’ve never seen her jump so high, it was amazing!
The Button match up was a nice idea actually; You would pick up a button or buttons and you would attempt to find another person at the event who had the same number as you. Of course this lead to many people grabbing as many buttons as they could in the event to find their counterpart. I lost count of how many people had basically their entire body covered in buttons. It did get a little annoying as you would constantly getting stopped so the person could look at my buttons. But when I asked someone why they kept doing this I was explained that the prizes were worth it. Sadly I never found anyone who had the same buttons as me.
I also didn’t like the many of the panels were either impossible to get access to as they were full as soon as the panels started, even if you got to it an hour before. Also many of the panels were over lapped so you were screwed in that aspect as well. I missed all of the panels I intended to goto.
All in all the event was a welcome distraction however for the next PAX East (April 7 -9) I hope they organize it a little better. Numbers for PAX East 2012 maybe a little lower as well since this is the weekend of Easter 2012.
Until next year!