The Road to Pax this year hit quite a few bumps, but in the end it all worked out. It had to...
Within 24 hours before I was supposed to leave for PAX I realized that my flight somehow was scheduled to be on Saturday, it was supposed to be Thursday. So after jumping through some hoops I got everything arranged like it was supposed to be. Whew. I get to the airport and as I am standing in the security line I reach for my wallet. It isn't there. F*$^!!! I left it in the car that just drove away. Fortunately for me Southwest is an amazing airline that deals with morons like me all the time. They got me on the next plane and I was off to Seattle.
This PAX I felt compelled to go, show my support to my friends at Giant Bomb, see my buds from all over the world, and play some games. PAX for me isn't really about the convention anymore, it is about seeing your friends and having a good time. I am lucky to spend my time with Brad (MarinoV1), Andrew (HeavyDuty32), Matt Pascual (DOTA legend), Trace (pseg) and Nick (royalsomethingorother), and the site's own Ian (LtSquigs).
My personal highlights include:
• The huge standing ovation for Ryan at the Panel. I got goosebumps, pretty incredible.
• The GB Panel itself. Hilarious, Stuff flying everywhere. You will see.
• Being all touristy and having at beer at the top of the Space Needle with my pals.
• The Mod Dinner
• Top Pot!
• Meeting Steve (Fobwashed)
• Playing The Resistance with Will &amp; Gina Smith, Drew, Ian (warning: He is the spy), Matt, Steve
I, like most of us have been in a daze all day. How can it be possible that Ryan Davis is gone? It seems so unfair...
Ryan had an energy that brought the room to life. Whether it was a room full of people at PAX or me driving to work he always brought a smile to your face. I remember my first interactions with Ryan, it was pretty nerve-racking on my end. I mean, this is the guy I have listened to on the "radio" forever. Dave Snider got me an opportunity to write the theme for the then untitled Bombcast, I really didn't want to mess this up. Dave told me that if they used the song he would fly me out to San Francisco for a weekend to hang out and meet the dudes. You could imagine my excitement at the idea of a) meeting my longtime internet/gaming buddy, Dave. and b) meeting the dudes I have listened to and looked up to for a long time.
The podcast launches and there is my theme. I did a victory lap around the room because I was honored to be part of the show and pumped that I might meet them. Fast forward a month or so and I am in the bunker in Sausalito. I introduce myself to them and they make me feel like I have known them forever. I will never forget that. Ryan asked if I wanted a Giant Bomb t-shirt, it was the logo with Giant Bomb written below, one of the first 12 they made or something but I still cherish the shirt every time I see it in my closet.
I only got to meet him in person a hand full of times, but every time he greeted me with "MR. RENO!" and gave me a big ol Bear Hug. I was super looking forward to that hug at Pax Prime.
I feel like I have lost a good friend, and in truth I have. Losing Ryan will affect my life more than than most people. I mean I spent at least 2 hours a week listening, laughing, and learning from the man. The podcast would end and I would start it again. Catching what I may have missed while I was driving. It makes me beyond sad that I won't be able to hear him say "It's Tuesday..." on a new podcast again.
Through Ryan I have met some incredible people, gotten to jam with some amazing dudes that I can call my friends. Playing with the band at PAX will go down as some of my favorite memories. That is all due to Ryan. I suggested to we do it, he ran with the ball. When we did the first show at PAX East I went to dinner with them and chatted with Ryan for most of dinner, then when we went back to the convention center and did "The Walk". Watching people lose their minds for Ryan and the gang was incredible. It was like The Beatles or something. The love that people have for the dudes is real. He knew it. We are all lucky to have had him in our lives in one way or another.
Halo Reach is released tonight at Midnight, of course I will not be waiting in line. I waited in line for my cat helmet years ago and didn't even play the game when I got home. Having to be up early because you have a job is a blessing and a curse. Anyway.... tomorrow is the day. I pretty much talked myself out of the Legendary Edition a long time ago, until last night. I know that if I happen to see that version sitting on the shelf I will end up getting it. But $150?!!! That is half a new xbox, A new Wii, 150 McDoubles....
I have recently gotten around to importing my cd collection into itunes (about damn time), so i am seeing cd's that I have not even looked at in like 15 years. When I was younger I would keep my concert ticket stub in the cd case for which album I saw them on tour. For example Primus in 1993 was in Sailing the Seas of Cheese. In recent years major concert ticket pricing has skyrocketed and I often wonder why we put up with it.
I have a few recent examples: Metallica - 1991 Black Album $17.25 vs. in 2009 $85 - They were a much better / bigger band in 1991. Van Halen - 1992 F.U.C.K. tour $19.25 vs. in 2008 $125 - Granted this is with Roth and I payed it twice, still.. that is huge. Primus - 1993 $15 vs. in 2010 $30. These guys get it. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I love the music. but seriously it is $100 plus fees.
It seems that we have gotten used to paying that, but really what are we getting that is any different than before? Yes the stage show might have more lights, but people want to hear the music and see their heroes. I don't know when it all derailed, but it isn't good. Maybe it has to do with record sales being so down (on that note, pay for your damn music), but some major band / singer needs to buck the trend so people can afford to go to these things. A concert shouldn't be a once every 3 months thing, there are too many shows out there, and if people priced accordingly we could get to them all.
Oh well, enough ranting.
p.s. f $45 concert t-shirts. It is a crime that you have to pay nearly half the ticket price for a shirt that cost them $3 to make at most.
I don't know about you all, but there is something about getting the Limited Edition version of a game makes me feel like I got something really special. The funny part about it is 9 times out of 10 the joke is on me. I rarely ever watch the bonus dvds, the multiplayer skins are kind of neat, but honestly I am more of a single player kind of guy. So what is the draw? I actually really like the Halo cat helmet and GTA deposit boxes, they look great on my shelf. That being said the God of War "Ultimate" Edition has soured me. The box itself is pretty neat but all the extras? All DLC! Are you kidding me? $40 for a box. BOO YOU SONY, YEAH YOU!
I've started to rethink my spending habits with the beginning with night vision goggles edition of MW2. It made me feel bad for passing up on it, but honestly I would never use the thing. Bioshock 2 Box is on sale at Best Buy for like $75 now, that is a good deal, but the Halo Reach set is going to be $150! It looks really nice, and I know me, when push comes to shove I will most likely buy it. But seriously, that is equal to 2 new retail games and $30 of downloadable content.
Oh well.. am I the problem or are you a sucker for LE editions as well?
X-Wing on the iphone seems like a no brainer to me. I know they have a version of the Force Unleashed coming to it, but it seems like the wrong game for the platform. All they would need to do to make it work is add a "throttle bar", like the slide to unlock bar, and a couple buttons to fire and we are off and running. The upside to the touchscreen is you can place stuff wherever plus you could toggle the graphic off and on. The idea of no "control HUD" in the game works for me, it leaves more gaming space.
If only I knew how to program... get on it Lucasarts!
I really had no interest in Crackdown initially, all I could get from the screenshots was a dude picking up a car, neat. The art style
didn't grab my attention at all. All that changed when the demo landed on Xbox Live, loved it, in fact pre-ordered it the next day. The Halo 3 beta suddenly was on the backburner. Many hours were spent looking for those damn Orbs, it should have been annoying, but in reality a total blast. The leveling up aspect of the game was brilliant, you could always do something you couldn't do an hour before. Driving was a pleasure once you got your skill up... all in all an amazing game that was sorely overlooked. I know it sold a bunch of copies, but how many actually played the game to completion? They totally missed out.
Realtime Worlds just need to spend more time on the Story and they will have a stellar game that could hang with the best of the best. I hope that they really do make Crackdown 2... might just have to fire the original up tonight.
Good afternoon peeps, hope your day is treating you well. I recently picked up the Metal Gear Solid PS3 Bundle for you guessed it, MGS4. The Playstation brand and I have a love / hate relationship. In the last Generation of consoles I was clearly an Xbox user, I thought the controller was better (still do) and the games looked much nicer than the PS2 counterpart. My main problem with the PS2 was the controller, I found it really uncomfortable to use. I love FPS games and the PS2 wasn't cutting it, sadly it became my least used console ever. Looking back it bums me out because I missed quite a few good games, the MGS series for example. Fast forward to the current generation, I love my 360. When they announced the PS3 I was stoked, but honestly for the first 2 years there was nothing I was interested in playing. Factor in the lack of rumble, why the hell would I want that? 360 is awesome.
Fast forward again to about 3 weeks ago:
The MGS Bundle was perfect, it had the 80 gig - tricked out PS3, MGS4 and the new Dual Shock 3. I took it out of the box and was shocked at how nice and solid the unit is. Built in Wi-Fi is a nice touch, I have yet to play a Blu-Ray movie - Netflix here I come. Now for the shocking part, I love the Dual Shock. Did they make it larger? It feels great, now with triggers! Too bad MGS4 didn't use them for shooting. I am happy to be part of the Playstation family again, with all the new games coming out (I just bought Resistance) and PSN's future looking bright. I'm stoked.