Boss Rush Diaries: PAX West 2023, Day Three

September 03 marks the third day of PAX West 2023 in Seattle, Washington, and the Boss Rush Network crew’s final full day at the convention. David was joined by his family and attended Nintendo Live 2023, attending the PAX West exhibition halls later in the day; Tom continued his journey through the indie scene inside PAX West. The Boss Rush crew definitely felt exhaustion setting in on day three, but soldiered on, eager to discover new favorites and hidden gems.

David: Editor In Chief

Visiting Nintendo Live 2023 felt like entering another world. While the event’s structure shared a lot in common with PAX West (booths, elaborate displays, game-testing areas), the professionalism and quality from Nintendo was off the charts. There were so many moments that made me audibly gasp; the Japanese gaming company hasn’t lost their magic.

Whether it was waiting in line and listening to the live orchestra perform music from my favorite franchise, The Legend of Zelda, or opening my free tote bag to discover a real Mario coin, retro pins, and an activity book, Nintendo went above and beyond to make sure fans enjoyed themselves at the event. They even provided unique pins for each game fans tried, all of which were very high quality.

There were pins and collectibles everywhere at Nintendo Live 2023.

The highlight of the day though had to be playing Super Mario Bros. Wonder. My family and I played together (up to four players can join at once) and progressed through multiple levels. Unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I never felt the frustration of playing alongside others; there was less interference or power-up stealing. Nintendo has really streamlined cooperative play, and I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment. This game is going to be an all-timer for 2D Mario.

Tom: Associate Writer

First, a poem.

Overstimulation. Burnout. Exhaustion. A meeting of the minds. A melting of the arts. A psychedelic video game hurricane. Everything you want in one place. Welcome to the penny arcade, where everything new and exciting is on display. Witness an industry thriving and staying in its lane.

As an enjoyer of all things anthropomorphic animal related, I have feasted at this year’s PAX West. From Extremely Powerful Capybaras on day one to testing out Techno Banter on day three, I’m shown once again just how versatile the animal kingdom is at capturing our imagination and exploring the human condition in ways not previously possible or thought of.

You can see the artistic decisions made by the developers shine through in each title. The creatures lurking in the dark in Animal Well are left creepy and ambiguous intentionally. The cute, low-poly, highly saturated colors of the animal soccer players in Button City Soccer Days are inviting and lower your defenses, allowing you to participate in a low-stakes soccer match with a friend. Games are a form of conversation with the player. Utilizing anthropomorphic animals is just one tool in a developer’s toolbox to get the conversation going.

And then there’s Steel Wool Studios. They’ve been killing it in their own lane for a while now when it comes to the FNAF franchise. And with a FNAF movie on the horizon, one has to wonder when the hype train will die down for the series, if ever.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our reflections each day as we experienced PAX West 2023! To read our final reflection on the conference, click here.

Tell us what you think! Will you be attending PAX West in the future? Are you here now? Share your reactions in the comments below or join the conversation on Boss Rush Network’s Discord and Facebook.

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