Archive for April, 2010

PAX East – part 2

Posted: April 21, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Imagine a convention with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. Now hand all of them a playable deck of Magic: The Gathering cards when they check in. Then add in a newbie tournament where they teach people to play M:TG and give them more cards. Congratulations, you now have the best advertising method ever devised. There were so many people sitting around playing during PAX, my friends and I included. A few of us played in a actual tournaments. I didn’t, I had only learned that day. I admit, it was more fun that I was expecting. I hadn’t been a fan of Yugioh when my friends were playing it in middle school. It was kind of great to wander around the convention floor and see all the different groups of people playing M:TG in the lines waiting to go in for talks.

As far as the tournaments went, the only one I personally competed in was for Munchkin. I ended up placing in the top 3 (though not winning) and won an expansion deck called Clerical Errors. It was fantastic. Now, for those of you who have yet to play Munchkin: FOR SHAME! Munchkin is an absolutely amazing game that more or less makes fun of Dungeons and Dragons and is full of fun little jokes. The basic idea is that you’re a party of adventurers going through a dungeon and each of you wants to be super powerful, and by that I mean make level 10. The first person to make it to level 10 is the winner. And you can curse the other players or send monsters after them. This results in my joke that its actually a game about how mean you can be to other people.

PAX East

Posted: April 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
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So I’m going to start by apologizing for my long absence. As a college student, I don’t have nearly the amount of time during term that I do during breaks. I think I’ve worked out a system by which I can continue to update. However, I also intend to broaden my scope from just video games to all gaming. Or at the very least, to video, board and card. I might even end up talking about the LARP (live actoin role play) community I’m a part of, but who knows.

But moving on, PAX. PAX was a glorious weekend of gaming. I played board games I’ve never heard of, competed in two tournaments and saw some absolutely amazing new video games. Also, I have never seen that many pokewalkers in one place and will probably never see such a sight ever again. I’ll devote a few days to talking about the amazingness. To start, the exhibition floor with the demo games.

So the exhibition floor had all different companies showing off their newest products. There were a surprising number of companies that make computer hardware. I hadn’t been expecting that. I also wasn’t expecting there to be so many companies from the west coast, or that one that I think was from Europe. Most of the companies had some sort of swag and most of it was pretty awesome. I think I got a weeks worth of t-shirts out of it, including the one I bought from Behemoth. As it turns out, I really like Castle Crashers and they had one with the troll on the back. I had to get it.

But I’m here to talk about the games. Gambit Labs, out of MIT, was demonstrating a few games they’ve been working on, including their MMORPG designed specifically to teach people to read and speak Chinese. They were also running a live action game that was also some sort of social experiment. Basically, some people were Infectors who could go around infecting people with different “diseases” known collectively as PAX Pox. I was spreading LARPcolepsy. It causes you to randomly fall asleep while reading character sheets or talking to elves. On the final day, we started to spread the cure. It was pretty fun. Behemoth was demonstrating a new game that looked fairly similar to Castle Crashers only set in the modern day. And also, Dante’s Inferno. Oh man, Dante’s Inferno. So, the graphics are in fact just as shiny and impressive as people have been saying. I played it for a little while and I have to say, I’m impressed with the way player progression system was built. The button combination for attacks that lead you down the path of evil are easier to pull off. This is the first game I’ve ever encountered where its hard to be good. The XBox people are finally releasing the game that has been anticipated since Guitar Hero first came out. I can’t remember the name off the top of my head. Power Gig, I think. Basically, its a real electric guitar that you can plug into a real amp or use wirelessly with the XBox to play a Guitar Hero/Rock Band style game. This way, you can play a party game and learn to play the guitar at the same time. There were so many different games being demoed that I can’t even remember everything I played.

Be sure to return on Wednesday when I’ll talk more about PAX and the board games and card games I took part in. Including a tournament of being mean to complete strangers, I mean playing Munchkin.