The weekend of October 30th-November 1st saw the Australian incarnation of the Penny Arcade Expo: PAX Aus. Thanks to both Battlefront and Disney Infinity, there was a much larger Star Wars presence there this year; cosplayers displaying lightsabers, popcorn, X-wing minis for sale, and more.
The Rebel Legion’s Hoth Base, the 501st, and the Mandalorian Mercs’ Sandhawk Clan were all trooping, with a massive snowspeeder at the RL booth and a shelf of buckets—though the 501st were often found around the Battlefront booth. The snowspeeder made an unfinished appearance at the con last year, and it was cool to see its progress since then.
The Battlefront beta was available to play at the con in the Playstation area, showing off the co-op survival campaign on Tatooine. I actually entirely didn’t plan on playing the beta, but I had a lot of fun playing it with my friend—something I hadn’t had the chance to do during the beta period—and I am somewhat more inclined to actually get the game now that I’ve given it a chance on console. We may have broken the victory cinematic.
Above the Battlefront play area was a screen playing the trailer for The Force Awakens, spreading the sound of lightsabers throughout the convention floor. Battlefront‘s Playstation neighbour was Disney Infinity, with playable demos and a lovely set-up showing off concept art and figures both Star Wars and otherwise. Those Infinity figures sure are gorgeous.
PAX isn’t just for video games, with an entire tabletop and boardgame area. While X-wing was typically the easiest to find, there were also packs of Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars: The Card Game for sale too. There were X-wing tournaments, and chances to learn to play both X-wing and other miniatures games. Even in the tabletop hall, Star Wars references could be found everywhere, such as in the half-drinking-half-RPG game, Drinking Quest.
PAX Australia was a great convention with great things to see and do, and it was nice to see more Star Wars in general this year, as well as having the costuming guilds in a more central area—seeing the cosplayers is always a con highlight for me. Having the chance to play the games I might not normally otherwise was awesome and may have even changed my mind on shelling out for the new game. We’ll see.
While the convention is for gaming—both video and tabletop—and game dev, almost anyone can find something they will enjoy. Have a particular love for Star Wars pinball? They had it! If you’re in Australia and thinking of going next year: do it.