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PAX East 2011: Day 3 Wrap-up

Posted by: Ben Berry at 3/13/2011 9:12 PM
PAX East 2011 has come and gone. I worked, I partied, I hung out with old friends and met new ones. I saw a bunch of games that I'd heard about but not seen before, and I saw a bunch of games I've never heard of. 

Today was casual day for me on the show floor, which had originally meant just snooping around with some of the newer games from smaller players, and picking up some swag. I wasn't really successful in the swag department other than a few small items; but the swag pile on my dining room table is so big as it is, I'm going to take a picture of it before it is dismantled.

I started the day with the Boston Indie Game showcase, where the quality was good, even if the quantity was not. I've already detailed my time with these folks in a post, but suffice to say I'm hopeful next years crop will be bigger. I guess these things are cyclical, so with the economy on the rebound, hopefully we'll continue to see more growth in what has been a good cottage industry here in the northeast.

Then, Tina Amini invited me to join her for an appointment to see Darkness II. While Tina will be writing up the coverage of the game, I have to tell you that it looks really cool, with the mix of mafia and devilish mayhem. Plus, I have to give Tina a shout out, because as she played several members of the booth staff gathered to watch her violently make her way through the hands on demo. I heard several muttered phrases of admiration including "Geesh, she's better at this than I am" and "Wow, she's really getting into this" as she ate hearts and impaled villianous henchmen in her path. Mad props, Tina.

Then, on a lark I walked right up to Rockstar's booth and asked if they had any openings to look at LA NOIRE. Amazingly, they took me right back and sat me with a press briefing that was just about to start. I'll go more in depth on my post about the game, but this is a game that I'm definitely going to play, and with a May 17 release date, hope to have in time for my late May birthday. They showed us one of the murder cases in the game, and the best way I can frame the game is that it is sort of the anti-GTA game, but uses some of the elements we love from the series very well.

With a little more walking around, and some browsing the retail sections, I said goodbye to a few friends, and headed out. I spent a pretty decent amount on food and parking, but bought only Jim Zubkavich's trade paperback of his Skullkickers comic this weekend. If you haven't been reading it, you should. He'sa friend of the site with a bright future, but his now is kicking some serious ass too. A project manager for UDON (they do the art for the CAPCOM games), and an artist in his own right, he's really setting the world on fire these days.

While I'm sad the shows over, I'm also excited to have seen some pretty amazing stuff this year, and I'm looking forward to next year, which I can only imagine will be even bigger.