PAX East 2012 guide: Surviving the Game (Convention)

If you managed to grab a three-day pass to PAX East 2012, you're probably not going to have time to see everything there is to see within the gargantuan halls of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. If you have a one-day pass, you definitely, definitely won't. We recommend planning your schedule ahead of time, a process we hope to make a bit easier with this handy PAX East guide.

If you managed to grab a three-day pass to PAX East 2012, you're probably not going to have time to see everything there is to see within the gargantuan halls of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. If you have a one-day pass, you definitely, definitely won't. We recommend planning your schedule ahead of time, a process we hope to make a bit easier with this handy PAX East guide.

If you're looking to play some new games — of the video, not board variety — you've got a plethora of options. The exhibitor list is quite long, featuring developers and publishers that are giving playable demos to anyone bold enough to wait in line. Here's just a few titles you'll want to plot a course for:

  • 2K Games — Borderlands 2, Civilization V: Gods & Kings, Spec Ops: The Line, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Indie Megabooth — Antichamber, Airmech, Vessel, Go Home Dinosaurs and so many more
  • Microsoft — Crimson Dragon, Deadlight, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Trials Evolution, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, Fable: Heroes, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
  • Nintendo — Mario Power Tennis Open, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, Ketzal's Corridors, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
  • Paradox Interactive — War of the Roses, The Showdown Effect
  • Perfect World — Neverwinter, RaiderZ
  • Rockstar — Max Payne 3
  • Sega — Hell Yeah, Sonic 4 Episode 2, Jet Set Radio, Aliens Colonial Marines
  • Square Enix — Sleeping Dogs, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Quantum Conundrum, Heroes of Ruin, Risen 2: Dark Waters
  • Uber Entertainment — Super Monday Night Combat
  • UbisoftFar Cry 3, Mad Riders, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, and a video from Assassin's Creed III
  • Zeboyd Games — Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 3

If you only have time to attend one panel, you should make that panel ... our panel! We're announcing our name and doing some major hobnobbing with our dear readers. There will be laughs, tears and free stuff.

You might have time for other panels, though. Here's a few good video games-specific ones:

And, because we have your best interests at heart, here's a few protips from us to you:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. The BCEC is the size of a small city, and getting from end of the other requires a lot of legwork.
  • Bring your 3DS/Vita to rack up some serious StreetPasses/NearPoints. Also, we might have made up NearPoints.
  • Check out the Console Freeplay area, and peruse the mindboggling collection of classic games. (Repeat: Classic games. If we see you playing Dark Souls by yourself — which you could just as easily have done at home — we're going to box your ears.)
  • Download the Guidebook, and keep it with you at all times. It's invaluable.
  • Make some dinner reservations if you plan on eating around the convention center. Unsurprisingly, everybody there needs to eat, too.
  • In the same vein, if there's a game or panel you're desperate to see, chances are everyone else wants to as well. Line up early. (But don't be pushy about it.)
  • Wash your hands. Did you see Contagion? You're going to cause Contagion if you don't wash your hands.
  • Go to the concerts! Minibosses, Paul and Storm, Metroid Metal, MC Frontalot and more are playing this year. Bask in the warmth of your fellow nerd rock connoseurs, and then go wash your hands again.

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