This past weekend, Gamers from all over the northeast (and beyond) descended on Boston to attend PAX East. On Saturday, the second day of the convention, I spent my day roaming around the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to soak in the experience that is PAX East.
My friend Alec and I only had Saturday passes for the convention so we decided to make the most of them and spent pretty much the entire day at PAX. Unfortunately, most of the panels we actually wanted to attend were on Friday but we still had a fantastic time. We arrived a few hours in, around 11:30 AM and started off by wandering the Exhibition Hall for several hours.
Navigating the crowds could be a bit difficult with a wheelchair but it was mostly manageable. I got cut off a few times and people almost walked into me, including Princess Zelda, but other than that I didn't have that much trouble. Playing any of the games there was a bit difficult with all the crowds and some of the setups not really being very accessible. Seriously, some of those tables were obscenely high.
We mostly just wandered around and checked out the cool sights and cosplayers. I tasked Alec with taking pictures of the cosplayers but he didn't do a very good job. He didn't ask many people to get pictures but if you want to check out some of the cosplayers we ran across, over on Kotaku they have a PAX Cosplay feature. I don't have any pictures to share but the highlights for me were a fantastic Mad Moxxi from Borderlands (who declined for a photo), both Male and Fem Sheps from Mass Effect, and a super awesome trio of Ghostbusters. Alec asked Male Shep for a photo but totally derped it and didn't realize until much later.
Being huge Rooster Teeth fans, we just had to stop by their booth to get some swag and hopefully meet some of the RT crew. The line was massive and due to my situation it was not an option because of the tight space. Luckily we sort of got moved off to the side and were able to pick up some shirts and meet Monty Oum, the creator of Rooster Teeth's RWBY.
Then this happened. We got a chance to get a group photo with almost everyone at the booth! It was totally unexpected and I am so grateful to them for going out of their way to make my day. That's me in the front middle, Alec on the right, Monty on the left, Michael, Lindsay and Gavin in the back, and Ray peeking out over Micheal's head in the background. Thanks to Burnie for taking the picture and leaving a hilarious selfie.
After missing the only panels we were kind of interested in seeing, it was time to get some lunch. The food there was pretty good but it was ridiculously expensive for what it was... Once we ate we got our photo taken with some Mass Effect voice actors cosplaying as their characters. We're still waiting for the photos to be available on the Mass Effect Facebook page but that probably won't happen until after PAX is over.
Update 5/6/2014: The pictures were finally made available online so here's the picture with cast members from Mass Effect
We then met up with some of Alec's friends and then proceeded to wander around some more and check stuff out. We watched a couple of them duke it out in Steel Battalion, that original Xbox game with the ridiculous peripherals, and checked out some old arcade cabinets. Some of Alec's friends were pretty kick ass at Space Invaders.
After all that wandering it was time for a well deserved break for a few hours once the Exhibition Hall closed. Then it was time for the PAX concert in the main theater.
The first act was the Doubleclicks, a musical duo comprised of sisters Angela and Aubrey. Aubrey played the cello while Angela played the guitar and ukulele. She even broke out a cat keyboard for one song which was hilarious. They sang some pretty hilarious songs about meeting people IRL after being friend online and people requesting the song Freebird at every show. I found them to be pretty enjoyable despite the fact that I'm a heavy metal type of guy.
The second act was the nerd rap group MC Frontalot. Their bass player started out with a short acoustic song about humans exploring space and colonizing worlds which was alright. Once the actual group started I didn't really get into it. Rap just isn't my cup of tea and I had a hard time hearing the words.
The final act was the Video Game Orchestra, or VGO for short. They were absolutely amazing! Rock and orchestral music combined to make epic renditions of video game music? That's a recipe for an amazing show. They started with a cool rendition of some Final Fantasy song. I've never played any FF games so I'm not sure which one. Next up was "Snake Eater" from Metal Gear Solid 3. Their vocalist was super amazing. The next few songs were a track from Super Hexagon, a Sonic 2 piano medley, and Ocarina of Time strings medley. The next highlight was an epic rendition of "The Dragonborn Comes" from Skyrim. Their singer impressed again with her amazing voice and when they broke out into harmonized dual lead guitars my mind was blown. Next was a song from Sonic Unleashed and then Big Blue from F-Zero. They shredded so hard on this song. There was amazing solo work and their bassist did things I didn't even think possible. The three guitarists and bassist even played their instruments upside down over their shoulders at one point! After jamming out for a bit on random songs including a part of Freebird (just cause why not?) they wrapped up with "Zombies on Your Lawn" from Plants vs. Zombies.
After the show it was time to head home after a long day of fun and excitement. Next year we will try to get more pictures.