Tuesday, 03 September 2019 18:25

What You Missed at PAX West

Annual Video Gaming Convention Did Not Disappoint

For one weekend every summer, Seattle transforms momentarily into the mecca of video gaming when the PAX West convention hits town. If you were unable to attend this year's convention or did not have enough time there to experience everything, here are some highlights of the great new technology, video games and happenings that were showcased there:

Google Stadia

Many people were understandably skeptical when Google first announced Stadia earlier this year. After all, 4K video game streaming may sound terrific in theory, but in actuality it seemed more like a pipe dream. But you can put down those pipes, as Google demonstrated at PAX West that Stadia is indeed for real.

As long as you have a 35 Mbps Internet connection, Stadia works really well. Google's booth at PAX West included 80 PixelBooks connected to HD monitors, and gamers were able to stream titles such as "Doom Eternal" and "Mortal Kombat 11" in 4K really well. At least, until all 80 computers were playing at once, which is a scenario that is unlikely to happen in your living room.

Games, Games and Even More Games

Here are a selection of some of the great games — from both big studios and indies — that showcased at PAX West:

Marvel's Avengers

While "Avengers" actually debuted earlier this year at E3, gamers were able to discover a lot more about the upcoming title at PAX West. They learned that it is a much deeper game than many were led to believe at its premiere. Not only is there a lot of intricate action, but you can actually customize all the characters quite a bit. So, no two people's version of the game should look the same.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics

Fans of both Jim Henson's 1982 film "The Dark Crystal" and the recent Netflix series "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," which serves as a prequel to the film, will enjoy this new game. It combines the introduction of new characters with excellent game play.

Until You Fall

If you enjoy immersive VR experiences, you will likely very much enjoy "Until You Fall." This game places you in a beautifully rendered fantasy world, where you must battle all kind of unique and dangerous monsters.

Hitchhiker - A Mystery Game

Among the indie titles showcased at PAX West, "Hitchhiker - A Mystery Game" by a company called Mad About Pandas, really stood out. In this game, you become a hitchhiker who has lost all memory. To get it back, you must interact with the various persons who give you lifts, in order to figure out exactly who you are.

Natsuko Ishikawa

PAX West was not only about games and gaming technology. It also had some human elements, such as when Natsuko Ishikawa came to the stage on Monday during a panel discussion. Ishikawa is a scenario writer for "Final Fantasy XXIV Shadowbringers," and she is largely credited for helping take the game franchise to new heights.

The crowd roared upon the announcement of her name, and she became so overwhelmed by their reaction that it brought her to tears. It was a warm moment for an industry that is not exactly known for having warm moments, and it was especially nice to see a woman receive such accolades from what has been a male-dominated culture.