PAX West 2019 Preview: A Guide

PAX West 2019 Preview: A Guide

For those of you who don’t know, PAX West is one of six Expo’s held by Penny Arcade (hence the name PAX).  It is one of the biggest conventions in the US, just behind E3. If you plan on being a part of this massive show, this weekend, at the Washington State Convention Center just understand that there is so much to do as a fan! We here at G FUEL want to give you some highlights, as well as some of the things we are excited to see! So, here are a few things you can do at PAX West.

Games! Lots and Lots of Games!

This is the most obvious thing to do at PAX, so, we might as well start with it. There are a lot of companies that come out to this convention. We will get to see the latest games that are about to come out. Both AAA studios and many Indie companies will be showing off what is in store for the next few months of games.

Nintendo has a lot to show off this weekend. No matter how you feel about Nintendo, they always put on a great nostalgic show. Their booth will be full of playable switch games as well as some unreleased ones such as Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Dragon Quest XI, and the brand new Pokemon Sword & Shield. They usually give out some cool pins too so don’t miss out! We will be heading over there to play some of the new games headed for release.

luigis_mansion_3My Nintendo News

Some other huge games coming soon that we absolutely want to check out, including Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Marvel's Avengers, will receive special presentations. We also know that Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games will reveal a new title at the convention.

PAX conventions have always been dedicated to showing off other smaller (and larger) developers work, as well as Indie Games. Developers like Remedy Entertainment and 505 Games who will be showing of Control, a supernatural 3rd person, female protagonist, action-adventure game. Echtra Games and Perfect World Entertainment, who will let you get a peek at Torchlight: Frontiers, an upcoming free-to-play, action, role-playing game.

Bungie will be there showing off Destiny’s newest (and 4th) DLC expansion Shadowkeep. Ubisoft will be featuring content from Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Rainbow Six Siege, and Roller Champions. Square Enix will have a whole section of their booth set up like Shinra’s Mako reactor to show off the aforementioned Final Fantasy VII Remake. Don’t forget that Bandai Namco will also be there showing Code Vein that comes out at the end of September.

If Indies are more your speed, then I urge you to check out both the Indie MEGABOOTH and minibooth which will have 70 games to show off. There will be the megabooth, for a little wider known audience, and the minibooth, with developers who are just starting out. Either way, many of the games being shown here have heart and a whole lot of talent.

How About A Panel?

PAX West 2019’s schedule also includes panels and live podcasts from the biggest gaming websites like IGN, GameSpot, Giant Bomb, and Eurogamer, as well as popular YouTube channels such as Jacksepticeye, GameXplain, and Mega64. The show is also brimming with fun opportunities like concerts, autograph sessions, and esports tournaments.

There are all kinds of fun panels to take part in. If you are an inspiring video game actor maybe you want to check out VG247’s “So you think you can Act?” which will include video game actors, and a casting director, who will give you a scene to act out on stage. Then they will give you a real performance review. You can participate in this on Saturday at 1:30 pm in the Sphinx Theater.

Perhaps you are looking for a more informative panel. Check out “Real Science in Games: Taking the Fiction out of Sci-Fi” on Friday, 2 pm, in the Sasquatch Theater. This panel will have some developers talk about how they use real science to inspire their own designed worlds and help them feel authentic.

Penny Arcade founders, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, will obviously  get involved in the festivities as well. Alongside PA’s usually hilarious Q&A sessions and live comic strip panels, Acquisitions Incorporatedand the Dungeons & Dragons show (starring the whole crew and some of their famous friends), they will also be putting on a live show on Friday at 7:30 PM. Fans can learn more about the Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual on Saturday at 2:30 PMand also catch The “C” Team’s live Dungeons & Dragons game on Sunday at 2:30 PM.

Bayou Magazine

There are panels for everyone to take part in, however,waiting in line may take some time. Just a key tip, show up early to the popular ones.

Check Out The Board/Table-Top Games

Gamers aren’t just people with their eyes glued to a screen/tv. Sometimes they like more personal attachments to their games. That’s why PAX has a whole section dedicated to the board game/table-top fans. Be sure to check out the tabletop Freeplay areas. This is where you and some friends can sit at one of the hundreds of tables and go through their lending library where you can check out games similar to how you might check out books in a normal library.

This is also for those of you that get that New Game Anxiety. However, that's why PAX West will be the perfect place to play some classics and some new arrivals. Hey, you might even discover a new table-top passion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about any game you want to try. Here are some quick suggestions on new games to check out.

  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf - Each player is assigned a secret role such as Seer, Robber, and Troublemaker that grants a special ability. Two players will secretly be assigned the role of a werewolf, and it is their job to convince all the others that they are in fact, NOT the werewolf. 
  • Golden Girls Funko POP! Board Game - Players navigate tiny POP! figures of Blanche and Rose around a game board, activating skills and engaging in mortal combat. Yes, I swear this is real. There are also other Funko POP! board games including Rick & Morty and Batman; check them out while you are there.
  • Captain Sonar - Played with 2 teams of 4 as each person will take on a different role as personnel on a submarine. The two captains, first mates, engineers, and radio operators, will compete to destroy each other by working together to navigate and maintain each team's sub. Battleship on crack, basically.

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Enjoy your time there. It will have you and your friends laughing in no time as you find a game you like to play. There will also be plenty of vendors to keep you stocked, answer questions, and send you home with a fresh new game to play.

Test Your Skills At Tournaments

Maybe you aren’t going to PAX just for the newest video game. Maybe you are headed there with one goal in mind: To WIN! Well, there will be plenty of games for you to test your skills against fellow minded con-goers.

You can test your might in classic fighters like Mortal Kombat 7 or Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Or maybe you were inspired by your favorite players at EVO 2019 and want to see your skills at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Read more:

Here Are The Best Mortal Kombat Games

15 Best Mortal Kombat 11 Characters To Annihilate Your Enemies

All Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities (And How To Perform Them)

16 Best Mortal Kombat 11 Combos And Variations (And How To Perform Them)

Don’t fret if these games aren't your speed though. They have plenty of non-fighter games, including Rocket League, Splatoon 2, Mario Tennis Aces, and Gran Turismo Sport, for people to show off their sweet skills. There are games for every person to get into the spirit of competition with. Think you have what it takes?

Oh, what’s that? These games really aren’t your thing? Well, maybe you really like to compete in games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, Beat Saber, Wario Ware Inc., Pokemon Sun & Moon, Tetris Attack, or Farming Simulator. Whichever game it may be, you can most likely compete with other enthusiasts. Good luck!

Tournament sign up happens on a first-come, first-served basis. Head on over to the area that the given tournament takes place (tabletop, PC, etc.) and the friendly Enforcers there should be able to help get you set up.

Have Fun!

Whatever you find yourself doing at PAX West 2019, make sure to be safe and have fun. G FUEL will be there for you to check out as well! Stop by the booth and say Hi! We love when you all do that. See you there!

What are you most excited to see? Do you have your eye on any special event or game?

Tell us in the comment section below!

Read more:

All Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities (And How To Perform Them)

15 Best Mortal Kombat 11 Characters To Annihilate Your Enemies

The Best Weapons In Final Fantasy VII Remake (And Where To Find Them)


Top Image via Alpha Nerds Guild

This article was written by John D. (AKA SomeBeardy2Love). John has been gaming for 30 years, has a bowtie tattoo, and watches nothing but Bob’s Burgers. He co-hosts a mostly weekly podcast and has a sponsored beard.