PAX East 2015 - PAX Convention Tips and Advice

Since high school I always wished to one day attend PAX East, but I always found an excuse not to go. My school's March break never lined up with PAX weekend and university essays made March the busiest time of the school year. This year I didn't care about my school schedule or whatever assignments I needed to write, I just bought my PAX Easy 2015 tickets in November and dealt with the problems as they came.

I didn't know what to expect from my first PAX or my first trip in Boston; the Toronto Fan Expo convention didn't prepare me at all. After three days in the Boston Convention Centre wandering the show floor, I learned what to avoid and how to best manage time during the show.

These PAX East tips may not help veteran PAX goers, but they really improved my weekend in Boston.


Don't stand in line to play games, it's not worth it

After waiting an hour to play the Oculus Rift only to move a few feet forward in the enormous line, I knew I only wasted my time. My advice, avoid playing anything.

Crazy, right? At a video game convention it feels like an obligation to play the games you came to see.  In reality, the lineups (outside of some indie game booths) can take hours to get through. Don't waste your time; you can participate in so many activities instead of waiting in line for three hours. I know I'm going to buy Halo 5: Guardians and Splatoon. I don't need to line up for hours to validate my purchase or satisfy my curiosity - there's just not enough time to stand around waiting.

My Top 5 Games of 2014

Every year-end I wish I played more new releases. I write a lot about video games and I find it important to expand and my knowledge and opinions on notable games, which often influences what I spend my time with. In 2014, I learned to stop caring about what games I should play and just played whatever I wanted to play. If anything, I should probably play fewer games.

I never got around to Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dragon Age: Inquisition or Destiny and I probably won't ever. I'm sure each game ranks among this year's best experiences, but you'll need to read someone else's Game of the Year list to find out exactly where.

We need refunds, not just fewer broken games

When unfinished games release with bugs or missing content even after the emerging "Day One Patch," it's not your fault or the fault of millions of other players. A person's willingness to buy makes their money the most influential part of the video game industry, yet their purchasing power doesn't make them responsible for a game's issues. I shouldn't take blame for Halo: The Master Chief Collection's matchmaking issues or Driveclub's instability because I placed a pre-order at my local retailer.

Even as developers continue to release broken games, publishers, software distributors and retailers still provide no clear avenue for people seeking refunds. Regardless of policy, they still take your money in advance. The player's discretion makes them responsible for any buyer's remorse, but I fail to see how not pre-ordering or buying games at release eventually bucks the trend of developers releasing unfinished games.

Review: Sunset Overdrive - Grind, Shoot, Bounce

Sunset Overdrive lets players enable a curse filter, and for good reason. If players expect fart jokes and the same banter between Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet & Clank, then the punk rock aesthetic and free flowing cursing might jolt long time Insomniac Games fans. Sunset Overdrive both looks and sounds different from the decades of Ratchet games, but Insomniac still retains their signature weaponry and silly characters. Sunset Overdrive's dozens of goofy weapons and extraordinary character mobility turns Sunset City into the Xbox One's deadliest playground.

The Fizco Corporation initiates an apocalypse when their Overcharge energy drink starts turning Sunset City's citizens into mutants. Fortunately for the player, the deadly orange drink eludes your lips, but now you must escape the quarantined Sunset City to survive.

Review: The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Age is not Wisdom

A prompt pops up at the start of The Walking Dead: Season 2 asking the player to import a save file from the previous game. Plot points and player actions personalize each player's story, or so Telltale claims. Yet continuity only works if the story demands it - if a story still needs an end. Season 2 needs a new set of characters and a new main character to begin a brand new story. Instead Telltale brings back 11-year-old Clementine and places her in another dysfunctional group destined to not survive. The results of the second season returns the plot to where Clementine began, making the new season an unnecessary blip in Clementine's brief lifetime.

Clementine learns a lot over the past three years and owes much of her survival to Lee's guidance and support. Even around adults, Clementine must make her own decisions and often offers better alternatives than the group leaders. Regardless of her age, Clementine fights off the strength of adult sized zombies, shoots with pin-point accuracy and persuades anyone lacking just a shred of confidence - she can do anything.

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