Over the Halloween weekend, Jen and I travelled to Melbourne to attend our third straight PAX Melbourne show.
For the uninitiated, PAX is an expo that focuses on the culture and community of games. It’s a broad umbrella that incorporates new technology, console gaming, PC gaming, competitive gaming, retro gaming, portable gaming, board gaming, indie gaming and just about every other subset of the genre you could think of. Jen and I find ourselves coming back year on year because we’ve always found it to be a lot of fun, impeccably well organized and its a great to excuse to visit Melbourne, one of our favourite cities in Australia.
PAX Melbourne 2015 didn’t disappoint. We got to do all of our favourite things – attend panels with interesting speakers, try out new games and chill out with some coffee and donuts while playing a bunch of board games. Here’s a few highlights from the weekend.
The Sony booth was the biggest its ever been with Uncharted 4, Star Wars Battlefront and Ratchet and Clank being amongst the highlights. Playstation VR was there but unfortunately only behind closed doors. It was interesting to note that despite the imminent release of various VR products, it probably had a smaller presence at PAX than the previous two years.
Every year I try to make time for the reto games section. This year I played some Marvel vs Capcom, a shooting game on a Colecovision and Baywatch pinball.
It was interesting to have a chance to play a Steambox device – a games console that runs Steam as its O/S. It has a unique controller than has a touchpad interface where the DPad would normally be as well as an unusual placement for the four face buttons on the right. I played a game called Screencheat. In the game everyone is invisible so you have to look at the other players screen to see where they are. It’s a strange concept riffing off the good old days of local multiplayer split screen games.
I found the controller to be pretty weird, although you eventually get used to it. I don’t really understand the point of placing the XYAB buttons where they are though. Overall, I was rather underwhelmed.
Every year I like to sit down in the handheld section and pick up 500 Streetpass hits for my Nintendo 3DS.
The board game auditorium.
I’m pretty much over Cards Against Humanity so it was nice to play a game that has a similar format (card based, simple rules, crude humour) but with a fresh angle. Slash is a game where players take turns drawing a character card describing a well known fictional character from literature, pop culture, film and television etc. The other players have to try and find a suitable match for them with the cards in their hand. Very simple but a fun game nonetheless.
Machi Koro was a fun resource management game. Simple rules, takes twenty minutes to play.
Pirate Cove was probably the most complex game we played and ultimately the most engaging. You get to do everything you’d want in a pirate game – hunt for treasure, sail the high seas and engage in ship to ship combat with rivals. I kind of regret not picking this up while I was there and hopefully can track down a copy one day.
I’m always impressed with the cosplay at PAX. The outfits that people come up with are pretty incredible.
Here I am disarming a stormtrooper. Clearly I have no idea how to hold a gun.
Thanks for having us Melbourne! See you again soon!