Monday, September 01, 2014

I went to PAX Prime 2014 and all I got was this lousy copy of Daigasso! Band Brothers Request Selection

To those of you wondering if this post is going to be about PAX Prime 2014 or Daigasso! Band Brothers Request Selection: it's going to be about both.

Let's start, though, with some general thoughts on PAX Prime 2014, the Seattle-based gaming convention that began last Friday and ends today.

For the first time since I moved here nearly eight years ago, I acquired a one-day badge to this hot-ticket event--and then used it to attend on Saturday.

The long and short of my maiden PAX Prime experience: it's not really my thing. Specifically, being surrounded by hundreds of strangers isn't really my thing. That's not the only reason I walked away from PAX feeling pretty sure I'd never return, though; another is that the games that were on hand just weren't my cup of tea.

Case in point: Nintendo of America's booth consisted of two games, Hyrule Warriors and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. Both games looked great--I watched others play the former and actually spent a few minutes with the latter--but I can't say they're games I've been dying to play. I would've much rather spent time with Fantasy Life or Yoshi's Woolly World or titles of that ilk.

One game that was on hand that I wanted to play--but didn't, because I'm lame--was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Although I watched others play it, and considered getting in line to do so myself, I chickened out in the end because I was nervous about having to fight the game's beasts alongside three other players (as opposed to doing so on my lonesome). Like I said, I'm lame.

What else did I play? The Behemoth's 2013 XBLA (and PC) effort, BattleBlock Theater, was one. My blogging pal, Jess, recommended this title to his readers via this recent post, and in doing so reminded me of its existence. So, when I saw it available for play at The Behemoth's booth, I decided to give it a go. For what it's worth, I liked what I experienced of it--its art style and puzzler-platformer-ish gameplay, especially.

At the moment, I can't remember anything else I played or watching others play--aside from a few rounds of BurgerTime and Ms. Pac-Man in the event's "retro arcade" room, I mean. Which, I know, says quite a few things about my PAX Prime 2014 experience--or lack thereof--but what can you do?

Other than all of the above, I perused a bunch of the awesome merchandise booths, like the Fangamer one and a few other t-shirt-centric ones. Also, I checked out the booth manned by the youthful staff of Seattle's main retro- and import-game store, Pink Gorilla. In fact, that's where I picked up the complete-in-box copy of Daigasso! Band Brothers Request Selection mentioned in the header above.

This title, released in late 2005 as an add-on to the base version of Daigasso! Band Brothers--Request Selection's cart goes into a DS' GBA slot while the Daigasso! Band Brothers DS card is in place, too--had been on my "to buy" list for ages, but I failed to buy it until this weekend because I never wanted or needed it so badly that I was willing to hand over the 25 or so dollars eBay sellers tended to ask for it.

It wasn't until I came across the rather pristine copy--and its attention-grabbing $10 price tag--seen above at Pink Gorilla's booth, that I was spurred to action.

I haven't tried it out yet, but I will soon, especially since it adds 31 new songs to the ones showcased in the main release. When I do, I'll be sure to share my impressions here, as I am wont to do.

In the meantime, did any of you also attend PAX Prime 2014? If so, what are your thoughts of the event?

13 comments:

Will said...

I've really enjoyed PAX this year. There weren't as many games that I was looking forward to checking out. I did hear about a few games that I now know I want to buy and I became interested in some games I had heard of only after I saw some gameplay. I didn't get as much cool schwag as I did the previous 2 years. The parties I went to might have been better than the con itself. I made some new friends this weekend as well. I want this to continue to be an annual tradition for me as long as I can get badges.

michaelstearns said...

I have been at PAX this weekend and I'm heading in again today. It's a lot more fun with people who aren't strangers, a lot of my friends went so I had plenty of opportunities to tag along or just hang out and street pass. The places I find more in line with my interests are the indie mega booth, and also there's a kind of secondary exhibitor hall on the sixth floor that isn't nearly as crowded and I like that area better. (That's where Shovel Knight was--sure, I already have Shovel Knight, but the staff is fun to talk to!)

I definitely agree with your assessment though, it's noisy and crowded and a lot of what's on display isn't interesting to me but I manage to have a good time anyway.

(Also I was able to give a "boxed" copy of Tiny Barbarian DX to Keiji Inafune at his signing panel... then he asked ME to sign it! I hope he didn't just drop it in a dumpster on his way out, ha ha ha!)

By the way, the Seattle Indies Expo is running near PAX today, just in case that might interest you: http://www.seattleindies.org/

thegaygamer.com said...

That's great to hear, Will! I wish I had enjoyed it more myself, but I'm OK with the fact that I didn't. This isn't a comment on the quality of the event, by the way; as far as I could tell, it was put together really well, and pretty much everyone I came across seemed to be having a good time. I think for me to enjoy it, though, it would have to be both more intimate (which is never going to happen) and less focused on AAA games for next-gen consoles and PC.

thegaygamer.com said...

Hey there, Michael! Oh, I completely forgot that you might attend this event, too. Anyway, good to hear that not only were you able to attend with friends, but that you have had a good time so far :) BTW, I love your story about giving Inafune your game. Here's hoping he plays it and loves it!

apricotsushi said...

Aw, that's a shame that the event wasn't as exciting as you would have hoped! Did you meet up with anyone of note? I know a lot of folks enjoy these conventions because they're a way to meet folks that they wouldn't be able to see otherwise... But I can definitely understand the sentiment that it's a bit too crowded and aimed at a different sort of crowd than you might fit in with

Zaphod65 said...

For MH4U, you're not lame. You're just inexperienced. I've been the guy running around like a panicked chicken while others do the heavy lifting, and I don't blame you for not wanting to be "that guy."

thegaygamer.com said...

Yay! Seriously, Terry, thanks for making me feel better about that part of my post :) That said, I'm going to use this experience to push myself to get back to MH3U so that I'm not a chicken the next time I find myself in such a situation (or when MH4U is released, whichever comes first).

michaelstearns said...

Regarding both of those desires, have you checked out the SRGE (Seattle Retro Games Expo) before? I went this year (early summer I think) and had a really nice time. It's a very small venue and not something you have to plan a big event around, I think it only cost around $5 to attend. I think my favorite thing, my wife and I went together, and there was a lot of stuff there that was just straight up more to her interests, like there were a lot of nerdy hand-made crafts and even a tea company there, and all the local retro stores come out for it too of course. Besides those guys, one thing that really surprised me was a guy who was just there selling off his extra Intellivision game cartridges (he had a lot of them!) and aside from that he was just kinda promoting the Intellivision in general. It was really cool to see that passion for an old console in person. Anyway I think you should check it out next year. :D

michaelstearns said...

Oh speaking of local cons, I meant to mention this, have you seen the Kickstarter for Video Games Northwest? They're trying to do the video game equivalent of those free local food, wine, outdoors, etc magazines, a free game mag to be distributed at local game stores and such, focused on local developers, shops, arcades, and gaming events in the Northwest. I think it's a really cool idea and hope they make it, and it seemed like it might be your kind of thing, too! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nathanmartin/videogames-northwest-free-print-magazine-for-local

apricotsushi said...

I totally understand... I do try to go out of my way to go attend conventions and the like, but I'm usually so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people/noise that I don't enjoy them very much. It's too bad you couldn't meet up with shidoshi! But at least now you know what it's like, and you can say you went ;)

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, thanks for reminding me of this, Michael! I actually considered going this year, but I think I wasn't around/wasn't able to go for whatever reason. After reading your thoughts on it, though, I'll definitely add it to my calendar for 2015. Like you said, it sounds much more like my kind of thing. That it's just $5 or $10, rather than $50 or so, makes it sound even better :)

thegaygamer.com said...

I haven't seen this before now, Michael. Thanks for letting me know about it! Not only does it sound like something I'd like to read, but it also sounds like something I might like to write for--should they actually use freelance writers, of course. Anyway, thanks again for the heads up!

thegaygamer.com said...

Yes, it really stinks that I wasn't able to attend shidoshi's session :| That's my biggest regret of the whole she-bang, actually. And, yes, at least now I can say I've gone and now I know it's not my thing. Next year, I'll go to the retro game expo instead. It's supposed to be smaller (more intimate), cheaper and focused on games that are more my cup of tea :)