September 11, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: 2009 Panels

Admittedly I didn't attend very many panels, mostly because I was more interested in the exhibition hall and free play areas. There were a few panels I wanted to attend but didn't have the time to, and to be very honest, most of the panels covered subjects I simply wasn't interested in-- which is fine. I think nearly all the panels deserved to be at PAX, so it was simply a matter of personal appeal.

That said, here are the few panels I did attend (game previews are coming up next!)...


Most of you have probably heard of Mega64, a number of short videos a group of guys uploaded onto YouTube and have since then grown in popularity (Paper Boy is my favorite). What I enjoyed most about this panel was it seemed more like a giant nerd conversation involving microphones. I learned way too much about all the guys' penises and there were more tangents than actual answers to the Q&A, but I think that's partially what a panel like this should be.

I also learned that Rocko's Final Smash would be a piece of cheese because Shawn is lactose intolerant. It's things like that I remember best from the panel. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, so I'll let you decide.


Penny Arcade Makes a Strip
This was a lot of fun, Scott stood in for Tycho/Jerry until he could make it back from the hospital. Meanwhile, fun technical problems kept Gabe/Mike from drawing too much, so most of the panel was Q&A for a good while. Right about when Gabe finally got things rolling, Tycho showed up and stole of all his thunder.

It was especially great for me to finally see and hear the two in person, their banter is great, even better when paired with thousands of nerds. The penis talked continued, and also dribbled into cumsquates. I've never listened to talk of teabagging for so damn long.

As for the comic itself, at one point Gabe drew Tycho as a three eyed alien (you can see the beginnings of it in my photo post) and a hot dog fairy. I believe there's some kind of inside joke that has to do with said fairy that I've never heard of, but regardless it was fun to watch Gabe draw a fabulous bunned sausage.

Star Wars Old Republic MMO
I am so damn tired of the trailer for this game, I'm not even kidding. Even so, the panel itself was okay and interesting enough. I'm probably going to play it when it comes out, and I'm not an paying MMO player (but it looks so close to KOTOR that I don't think I'll be able to resist!). I think what really shined was the two spokes persons, they were charismatic and funny. Perhaps their presentation was a tad scripted, but it was clear they knew who their crowd was.

And by this I mean that they nerded out the entire time. Once of them even professed his love for pixel women in so many words. I appreciate corporations sending in the right people for the right places in order to promote their material.

So what was the extra special stuff that came with the panel? Knowing that Courscant is a playable area.

Oh, and we were all given free downloads of KOTOR from Steam.

Sex in Video Games
I think my post bellow says everything I've ever wanted to say about this panel ever again.


Localization and Translation
This was a great panel headed by two guys who localized several FF titles, most notably FFXII as most of their great examples were taken from that game. It was very informative on how the localization process is and what exactly they do. I believe gamers often take for granted that localization is more than just translating, and that we don't appreciate why liberties are made with the original text.

Granted, some liberties are ridiculous, and the panelists were very upfront about that. But the work they did in XII is phenomenal. I'm most impressed with the attention to detail and work they put into choosing certain voice types (British for the Empire, American for Dalmasca, Fran with a Scandinavian accent to make her seem other worldly). What impressed me the most is that they actually rewrote script into iambic pentameter. FUCKING IAMBIC PENTAMETER. That's dedication to quality. For anyone who has ever had to work with iambic pentameter, you know exactly what I mean.

Then panelists were also humorous, but I also appreciate how professional they seemed. I liked that they were friendly but also gave the feeling of respect towards those who took the time to sit at their panel. It wasn't fancy, but it was clear, to the point, and provided information in a compelling way. I sincerely hope they return next year.

Wil Wheaton Awesome Hour
I was one of the very lucky hundred to see Wil Wheaton. His lineup started in the queue room hours before his panel was to begin, and I can see why. He's hilarious and fully deserving of the main hall or a bigger room (PAX, are you listening?). All of us were crammed into Serpent Theater (and that is not a small room, by the way. I'm going to say max capacity 200) to cheer and snort at his life adventures (and some people gave him bananas? Whut?). Very personable and gracious, I'd gladly wait over an hour just to see his panel again.

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