John Lee attended the PAX East 2011 convention this past weekend at the BCEC in Boston. The event started Friday and lasted through Sunday. It started Friday after work when Jen proceeded to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for his second PAX East, he had gone last year to the inaugural PAX East event at the Hynes Convention Center. He really had no idea what to expect as last year he attended as part of the media and really just passed through the event last year. This year, he planned on fully soaking the PAX goodness.
There were a lot of things John wanted to do at PAX. Some of those things included: competing in the Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs Capcom 3 tournaments, seeing all the cosplayers, demoing some of the newer games, and try some board games. Needless to say, John was able to do all of those things. John hadn’t been to the BCEC in a couple of years and was skeptical at how necessary the huge space would be used for a convention that was held quite nicely last year at the Hynes Convention Center right in the city.
Upon walking to the exhibit hall on the first day, John was quite surprised at how large the hall was and how many exhibitors there were. The displays were quite beautiful and large and over the top all at the same time. Sadly, since John isn’t that adept with current mainstream games, he had a hard time recognizing most displays and cosplayers as well. He was aware of the names of major games, but simply didn’t recognize the in-game graphics or characters associated with those games.
John managed to walk through the exhibit floor a little and watch some demos of some cool looking games. The key word is watch , as the lines for a lot of these games were quite long and ridiculous. Some of the more popular games henoticed people lining up for were LA Noire, Portal 2, and Dragon’s Nest. He did get to try some games though. He got to try Super Street Fight 4 for the Nintendo 3DS. John had heard about the new glassless 3D portable console, but was quite skeptical of the display and how good it would look. He had heard about a very small “sweet spot” and that viewing angles were quite strict to get the full effect. Good and bad news… the game plays great and looks great. The 3D is incredible, it really is, John was stunned at how great it looked without glasses. And the game utilized the bottom screen of the 3DS for instant super moves, made it quite easy for the portable platform.
Unfortunately, all the other things being said about the 3DS were true as well. John noticed the sweet spot was somewhat strict. A slight nod or a glance at a cosplayer left the screen slightly off and the 3D effect not looking quite right.
Afterwards, John was able to play some Marvel vs Capcom 3 at the Sprint booth. John was quite confused what Sprint was doing there. He got a chance to play on these side-by-side setups, but was quite confused. The characters John uses in the game need very precise inputs and strict execution to perform some of the fancier combos. John noticed these extravagant combos weren’t coming out. There was an extreme amount of lag during gameplay. John attributed this to possibly the monitors, but later found out Sprint was trying to highlight their 4G network. The irony, John was left with an extremely sour taste in his mouth from Sprint and their 4G after playing…
On a brighter note, the version of Marvel vs Capcom 3 had 2 of the newest DLC characters, Jill and Shuma Gorath. John didn’t really ever notice that many Marvel players lining up at the Sprint booth to try the new characters, but he messed around with them, and like his friend Andrew; he thought Jill had a lot of potential in the game. John definitely plans on spending some time in the lab with her.
John played in the Super Street Fighter 4 tournament with his Cammy. He did OK, and managed to make 12th, but this was a dismantlement relative to his 3rd place finish last year at PAX. Now, John has been playing Street Fighter 4 for a little over two years and was solid in the game. He was nothing fancy, but had some few gimmicks and some stylish combos. As for Marvel vs Capcom 3, John was quite the expert in Marvel vs Capcom 2, but that game is over 10 years old. His execution in the game mixed with his fancy resets and combos helped him make a name for himself in that game over the last couple of years. Although this game is technically a sequel, there are very few things this sequel shares with MVC2. That being said, John’s Magneto was up to snuff relatively early. He was capable of performing this loop combo that very few could do.
The SSF4 tournament had fewer players and John was one of the better players in the tournament. On the other hand, in MVC3, while there were almost double the number of players, the game had been out less than a month, and John was already quite skilled at a game in so young. John wasn’t sure which game he would place higher, he was hoping to perform really well in MVC3, the newer game… but that wasn’t the case. While John cruised through his first two opponents, his third opponent played a very awkward team. John’s lack of experience with that combination of characters resulted in an early exit out of the tournament.
John came to PAX beleiving that the majority of the crowd would be PC Gamers, and then a bunch of console gamers, and then finally a respectable amount of tabletop gamers (card/board games). Well, John was dead wrong. After walking through the console and PC freeplay area, exhibit halls, and various other places, John finally came up on the Tabletop section… The place was huge. Along the walls there were various companies with their dice, custom wooden tables, and of course a multitude of various cards for all sorts of games. But the main attraction was this huge dedicated area of tables for people to play board games, you could rent them or bring your own. It reminded John of an over sized high school cafeteria.
John’s friends introduced him to that new crack, otherwise known as Carcassonne. Now John’s previous board game experience is probably like most and comprised of games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, etc.. This game Carcassonne encompasses so much strategy and thinking which made it right up his alley. John thinks most people should give the game a shot as he plans on playing a lot more now. And it doesn’t hurt, but enhance the game by adding a monetary variable to entice those playing, he means play Carcassonne for money.
And the last objective of John’s was definitely the cosplay! Now it is embarrassing in the fact he doesn’t know about 90% of what people are dress up as, but he can definitely appreciate the effort and creativity when people decide to cosplay. Who knows, John may give it a swing at next year’s PAX East?
It is amusing in the fact that John usually doesn’t ask the cosplayer what he/she is dressed up as in fear of disappointing the cosplayer that he doesn’t know what they are dressed up as. The cosplayer might think he/she didn’t look similar enough to the target, but the truth is most of the time when someone told him who the cosplayer was dressed up as; John was completely clueless as to who that was. John took so many cosplay pix that he created a separate album just for the cosplayers! Can’t wait until next year’s PAX East!
Checkout the rest of the photos on the Pictures tab, or check below!
Switch to our mobile site