Well, I was able to attend PAX East for the first time this year. It was a big thrill just to walk in there and see all the games and people wearing shirts and costumes that only a gamer (or geek) would understand.
There was a huge line that I waited in just to get my entrance pass and then another line to get into the convention. After waiting for nearly a hour for both of those things (and seemingly being routed into the wrong line), they announced that we could enter through any entrance that the lines were on longer necessary. That sucked.
Once I got inside, I was overwhelmed with the number of people there. It was kinda like that Star Trek episode where the enterprise is empty and the planet is so overpopulated that all the people are constantly bumping into each other (maybe the Japanese subway is a better analogy) I was kinda surprised when vendors I talked to said something like "when you get back to your hotel" I assumed that most of the people who attended this event were from the local area, but I guess a number of hotels were completely booked due to people flying in to this event.
I was happy to find that Tribes Ascend was available as an open beta. I have played both the original Tribes (though well after it's heyday) and Tribes 2. I cannot remember if I ever bought Tribes Vengeance (or if I did, if I ever got a around to playing it). Anyhow, playing Tribes again after so many years was bit confusing, as Tribes plays a bit differently from other shooters, with it's jump packs, vehicle spawns and now it has around 9 classes (the original had 3, IIRC). Still, from what I played of the game captured the feel of the original Tribes. The only real problem was the server was always fully populated, so there were always people all around, making it hard to sneak up on any enemy without getting shot in the back. On top of that some of the devs were playing, and I think they were kind of dominating the matches, having a bit of an edge over the convention goers with their fresh knowledge of the game. I also have to compliment the team at Tribes Ascend, for having a great set up with minimal wait time.
I also got a chance to play Star Wars Kinect (which I thought would have been playable in the local Best Buy, but wasn't). Unfortunately, the only game modes they let you play at PAX were Podracing, Rancor Rampage and Galactic Dance Off. I turned down the opportunity to play Galactic Dance Off and was given the chance to play Rancor Rampage. Galactic Dance Off does have some entertainment potential, but Hyperspace Hoopla (at Star Wars Weekend in DisneyWorld) is more entertaining. Anyhow, Rancor Rampage was okay, but it was lacking the Star Wars experience I seek from a Star Wars game. I had really hoped to play one of the two lightsaber games that Star Wars Kinect has, but was told that they take too long to set up so I couldn't play them at there.
Of course there was swag, T-shirt give-aways a few plush animals and a lot of paper stuff. I didn't find much in the way of game give-aways. I wanted to check out Borderlands 2, but the hour and a half wait time deterred me from doing so, even with the offer of a free T-shirt.
And for those of you who have seen pictures of cosplay girls from Comic Con or such, I am sorry but this was a bit of a disappointment in that area. Guys outnumbered the girls 100 to one. And of those girls who did attend, there were less of the smoking hot variety and more of the apparent geek variety. So a lot of the cosplay was less of the stunningly hot variety and more of the I want to be this character variety. Though there were a few hot ones, including a woman dressed up as Loki (I think). She appeared to be walking around alone, but I didn't see her advertising anything. While there were a fair number of guys doing cosplay but, in general when guys do cosplay it's a lot less appealing, but it can be good when the guy makes a nearly perfect costume. Still not sure why a guy was dressed as Naruto at a gaming convention though.