Well folks we did it. The Big White Angus and I (Tasty Nades) made it through our FIRST EVER PAX. In case you missed it on our Facebook page, we went to PAX East 2017 in the great city of Boston. I want to take a quick “New York” minute to reflect on our experiences, games we played, and the overall environment. Keep in mind, The Big White Angus and I were there for all three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
To start this show off, I want to talk about the most obvious thing you would expect – the big name games. And, as you can guess, there was no shortage of big names at this year’s PAX East. Some of the big titles that BBR played were: BulletStorm: Full Clip Edition, Halo Wars 2, RAID: World War II,and Conan: Exiles. I won’t go into massive detail with all these games but all of them were solid games. BulletStorm: Full Clip Edition is a ‘remastered’ version of the FPS (first-person shooter) released back in 2011. The remastered edition had good graphics and a unique style of combat. It was very fast paced and offered a lot of different controls, weapons, etc. Halo Wars 2 was another game I was (personally) excited to play. The first Halo Wars was impressive, but 343 Industries somehow managed to make it even better in their second Halo Wars. If you enjoyed the first Halo Wars, then Halo Wars 2 is a must-buy. The controls were simple and easy to pick up on, and this game perfectly blends a “build your base” style of game with a combat/shooter style as well. I just can’t contain my excitement!!! Moving on, we also played RAID: World War II. This game is a FPS as well. It still had some minor kinks in it (especially in the mechanics of the game, such as climbing ladders, moving over obstacles, etc.), but overall it looked like it was going to be a solid game. It wasn’t too fast paced, but it had an old-school feel to it (combat, mechanics, gameplay, controls, etc.) and that is something us older gamers always appreciate it. It was by no means ‘slow’ paced, but it wasn’t the typical wall-running, jet packing, chaotic FPS’ we have grown accustomed too. Finally, we played Conan Exiles. Unfortunately, Angus and I aren’t ‘familiar’ PC gamers so we can’t judge this game fairly. But, what we will say, is that the graphics were amazing and this exploration-style of game has a lot of potential. In conclusion, there were several bigger titles, but we did not get a chance to play all of them due to extremely long lines and ridiculous wait times.
Ok, ok. So, we have all heard and even seen the big titles of this year. We know what to expect and know which ones we are going to get. But, what about the game developers and publishers of the future? Who in the hell are you talking about, Tasty? I am talking about those Indie developers. Indie game developers hold a special place in BBR’s heart because you never know when the next ‘Flappy Birds’ will emerge, right? Ok, that isn’t really why they hold a special place in our heart, but it is worth mentioning. Anyway, we enjoy Indie games because they are different than the ‘status quo’ of big titles. They provide gamers with a different and unique experience.
Some of the Indie games that Angus and I played were: Pathologic: The Marble Nest, BUCK, Deliver Us the Moon, and KLASK. Now, there were obviously much more, but these are the ones that were open when we passed through. That may not be the best philosophy in life, but hey, we had to make the hard choices. Pathologic: The Marble Nest was a very interesting game. Like the above-mentioned BulletStorm ‘remastered’ edition, this game is a bit of a remaster as well. At its core, it is based in a small town where you play as a doctor trying to prevent the plague from hitting the town. So, it is a survival-type game. It wasn’t quite clear what you were supposed to be doing at any given moment, but I suppose the ultimate goal is to explore, survive, and prevent the plague from hitting the town. BUCK was my personal favorite Indie game. It was a 2D side-scrolling game based in an apocalyptic time. You run through the city getting supplies, upgrading your weapon(s), gathering new weapon(s), and beating up some big-time bullies. Another interesting game we played was Deliver Us the Moon. This is a space-exploration game where you are sent to the moon to save Earth. You must explore the space station they set up there and figure out what went wrong and what you need to do to save our lovely planet. Finally, we switched gears completely with KLASK. KLASK is a tabletop board game that is comparable to soccer (futbol for the Europeans). You have a little magnetic piece that you control with another magnet underneath the board and you use this piece to hit a ball into your opponent’s hole. That sounds a lot dirtier than I thought it would… This would be an awesome game for family game nights. In conclusion, there were a TON of Indie games and developers there. It is a shame that we could not play more.
As I have already mentioned several times throughout this article, there were so many games we didn’t get the chance to play. A few of these worth mentioning are Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Oculus VR booth, and all the Nintendo Switch games. From the time the Expo Hall opened until the time it closed, the Mass Effect: Andromeda booth stayed 100% full. Unfortunately, the Angus and I have never played the Mass Effect games, but we had a strong feeling this game was much anticipated and desired. Also, there were several VR booths, but Oculus’ booth stayed packed as well. Oculus was one of the forerunners in VR technology so we suspect that they have the best VR experiences and technology out there; Hence why their line stayed full. Another booth we were excited to visit was the Nintendo booth. Well why would you ever want to do that? You know why reader…The Nintendo Switch. We wanted to try it out for the first time at PAX, but the lines for this booth and these games were almost impossible to get into. Once lines got full, there would be ‘queue’ lines that would start behind it with people just waiting to get in the real line. So, I apologize to all those die-hard BBR’s fans out there who were eagerly waiting to see some coverage of this. We would have spent an entire day in line just waiting to play 1 or 2 games…
In conclusion, PAX East was an amazing experience. The Big White Angus and I both could not have asked for a better experience to pop our ‘PAX’ cherries. Every day was sold out and there were hordes of people at every corner you turned. We went to various seminars that included TellTale Games speaking about some upcoming releases, ‘How to become a better journalist’, QA Jobs in the gaming industry, AbdallahSmash giving us some advice on how to further enhance BBR, and several more. These seminars were extremely helpful and insightful. Furthermore, the panel of experts leading them were more than qualified and kept the seminars interesting and exciting. Before I wrap things up here, I want to give a special BBR shoutout to the COOKIE BRIGADE!!! These folks were working hard all day to help raise money for their cause – Child’s Play. PAX East was an eye-opening experience and has only excited us for what the future holds for BlueBall Reviews. We are looking forward to a jam-packed 2017 and keep an eye out for some interesting additions to the BBR arsenal.
Did YOU attend PAX East this year or in past years? Let us know your thoughts and experiences. What games are you looking forward to coming out?