I only was able to go for a day but it was good enough to get a feel. Due to a lesser amount of big name titles the show wasn't the madness it was last year so here's what I got.
Indie games won
Indie games had both the mega booth and the advantage of popping up everywhere. I(finally) got around to playing Antichamber and Monaco, as well as checking out Super Time Force and Superbrothers. I spent the most of my time chatting with people but the games I did check out were a ton of fun. Or confusing. Probably both.
I could tell you about them, but pretty much everything I could say has probably been covered already. Doesn't make em any less fun though.
Giantbomb fans are fun people(usually)
I've met my share of duders over the last few PAXes but this is the biggest group yet. Apparently I missed Rock Band night by a whole day(According to the face of harmonix) but I still met plenty of awesome guys wearing everything from GLHB to Luchadeer shirts. I wore the classy 2010 original. It still holds up. I did find a few who didn't want to high five and talk about creeper cams, but I can be overzealous sometimes. Also met Patrick after I watched a GB interview take place in real time on airmech(Ryan and Drew) Little different than the stuff posted, but really in favor of the point of the site. I've yet to meet an uncool GB fan despite the PAXes I've been to before.
If it ain't broke, keep doing it
One of the best things to go to every year at PAX is the Harmonix booth. Bouncing jokes of John Drake, chatting with Eric Pope, Embarrasing myself in front of a ton of people on Dance Central(I was cheered and made a friend which means that I'm playing way too much and also should keep playing) and jamming on rock band. Other awesome things to play are the Capcom and Nintendo Booths for always having fun games to play with minimal lines and the smaller back areas for having older games with cool people like Greg Kasavin or "Chainsaw". They're always there, and that fact just makes it a good break from the rush of new stuff to just have fun. Not that there's anything wrong with freeplay, but it's nice to have some stuff on the expo hall. Also the Popcap Zombies are still awesome. Did a sexy car dance and then a crazy breakdance later. Still awesome. I'd like to imagine Jeff Green is one of them. Don't take away my fantasy.
Big names won't go for niche appeal
I only had a few big name games I could go to with the time limitations of one day. I wanted Far Cry 3 but it turned out to be only multiplayer. I then chose Spec-Ops: The Line hoping for some moral ambiguity and some awesome story. I had a great time chatting with some gamers in line, found out about Ubisoft and 2K's relationship from a business guy(from ubisoft) behind me and got a T-shirt. But the game...eh. Demo wise the lighting was amazing(Minecraft fans know how much lighting makes a difference) but the textures were shoddy and the animations uneven and split. Sometimes it wanted the fast and easy feel of Saint's row, other times the tactical yet weighted feel of modern shooters and then a few slow and realistic animations. I get they wanted to make it accessible but good feeling but they spread it too wide and it feels more than a little uneven. Other than the close up cutscenes of lips the lighting blows away all the technical weaknesses for a good look and the actual shooting felt good enough but the game doesn't even touch on the moral choices going straight shooter with light, and I mean really light tactics. I hope they focus more on the choices in the main game because this felt like it left out the thing I was most interested in to go for a sure bet. I would have preferred spending my time at the giant Borderlands 2(stupid fun gunplay) stand or at least check out the ACIII Booth(I'm interested, a little sad I missed it). But I learned that they'll go for a sure bet if they can over a innovative and unproven concept.
Bioshock is lost to me
Now if you were at PAX or have been watching the big theme is Bioshock hats everywhere. Other conventions have had their own cool things but this year it's Bioshock, and for good reason. The original was awesome. So I decided to follow the trail and see if I could find a little info on the game regardless of all else(okay I kinda thought the whole get your face in the game was kinda cool if tacky marketing advertisement) I slowly found more and more info on the irrational guys from a few polite questions and a long day of walking. Due to the mixed reports they wear normal clothing although I heard more reports of light blue shirts(Hint to the people still going). I did find a lot of interesting people including two Catherine cosplays from completely seperate people(One of catherine, one of vincent because apparently Katherine is dull) or a bunch of the normal stuff like TF2 or Link. And of course Pokemon. But the Irrational guys seemed to be nowhere. In the end the day ended so I left, but it was interesting to find out more.
After all's said and done
PAX even now is still one hell of a convention. I didn't even expect to be able to go this year much less be in town, so meeting all the people I love hearing from and chatting with a bunch of gamers was pretty damn cool. PAX works because everyone here loves games. Tabletop people are playing all the newest stuff, there's cards and food, performances and prizes, Puzzles and mazes, Cosplays and Press. It's awesome and the people there are awesome. Things like this where even a convention(which is missing some big titles set to come out soon like XCOM and Prey 2(Please be ok)) with much less big name titles than previous years still flourishes this well shows how dedicated we are to the games we love.