PAX Australia 2017 Dates Announced

Woohoo, we finally have news of the PAX Australia 2017 dates!

PAX Australia will take place 27-29 October 2017 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and tickets are scheduled to go on sale 14 March, 2017.

Early bird tickets will save you $5 AUD on the full ticket price. Friday Only, Saturday Only, and Sunday Only tickets will cost $65 AUD. Three Day Passes (including International Three Day passes) will cost $165 AUD. Attendees wishing to bring their own computer, can also purchase a BYOC pass for an additional $45 AUD.

“Australia’s gaming community has given PAX such an incredible home here,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of PAX and Penny Arcade.  “This year will see the fifth PAX Aus erupt in Melbourne, and there’s every indication it will be the best one yet.”

We can’t wait to get stuck into creating a bigger and better Classic Gaming Area at PAX Aus 2017. We hope to see you all there!

 

Ausretrogamer 2016 Highlights

As another year draws to a close, one can’t help but to reflect on the year gone by. With a record number of visitors hitting the site, we had a heap of highlights in 2016, so dwindling them down to a handful proved to be harder than we thought. Are you ready? Here we go!

We started the year by learning how pinball machines work and how to troubleshoot general problems – a course that was well worth doing!

Getting the grand tour of ZAX Amusements and getting to play the newly released (at the time) Ghostbusters Pro pinball machine was a double highlight!

What better way to spend your birthday than having the awesome Ms. ausretrogamer organising a birthday mystery tour involving escape rooms, USA foods, retrogaming hunting at vintage markets, arcade action and a drive-in movie!

It is always a wonderful surprise when you go on a holiday and find a market that has retrogaming goodies! Carrara Markets delivered the thrill of the hunt buzz we were looking for!

After the birthday mystery tour, it was only fair to repay Ms. ausretrogamer in kind, by surprising her with The Walking Dead Pro pinball machine for her birthday. The look on her face was priceless!

When Marcus Sezonov extended us an invite to his Rosstown Retro Pinball Arcade tournament, we definitely could not pass up the opportunity. With a fantastic pinball collection comprising of classic machines from a variety of manufacturers from around the world, we could not stop flipping the silverball. Oh yeah, Marcus also had an original Japanese Space Invaders cocktail table to satisfy our arcade urge.

Being part of Australia’s biggest gaming event is a privilege. For PAX Aus 2016, our Classic Gaming Area was even bigger and better – more arcade and pinball machines, old school computers and consoles, handhelds from yesteryear and for the first time, a classic gaming museum!

Another PAX Aus 2016 highlight was participating in Seamus Byrne’s Geek Trash or Treasure? Finding Collectibles with Real Value panel in the Gamespot Theatre! We can now say that we popped our public speaking cherry.

Last but not least, meeting Jack Guarnieri at the recent exclusive Melbourne Jersey Jack Pinball event was a huge highlight and one we will not forget in a hurry! Oh yeah, playing the Pat Lawlor designed, Dialed In, was pretty great too!

We can’t wait to see what awesomeness 2017 brings us all! We’ll take this opportunity to thank you for your patronage and hope that you’ll come and visit us again in 2017.

Happy New Year to everyone – we hope it is a happy, healthy, successful and fun one!

 

PAX Aus: It’s All About The People

featured3Sure, there’s always heaps to see and do at PAX Aus (more and more each year it seems!), but the best part is always the people – meeting new people and catching up with old friends. We had many laughs, hugs, handshakes and great conversations over the course of PAX Aus 2016 – here a just a few of the wonderful people we caught up with.

Many of the great people from Ausretrogamer, Retro Domination, Weird and RetroBartronica, Zax Amusements, Pinmem and the Bayside Pinball Club who worked with PAX to bring you the CGAcga-team

The CGA enforcer team was fantastic (again) this year – here are just a few
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A special thanks to the fabulous CGA Enforcer Team Leader – Zailee (thanks also to Spyder!)
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Look who stopped by the CGA to chat with Glenn – none other than Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg, PAX Aus Content Manager
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… or is it Gabby Boreland?
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Glenn and Zailee
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The ausretrogamer team – Alex Boz, Kerith (ms ausretrogamer), Alan Ly and Brant Raven
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Alex with Weird and Retro‘s Serby
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Greg and Josh from Bartronica
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Retro Domination‘s Matt and Daz
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…and Mark and Peter
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‘We’re just making sure they work!’ Weird and Retro‘s Dr Curlytek with Scott Kellett and Pete
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Bayside Pinball Club President – Lucas Bardin
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Lucas with pinball wizards Nick Hamhougias and Wal Dickie
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Group shot with some of our interstate friends – Meezergal and Lord Panek from Sydney plus artist, DM,  retro game developer and top hat wearer Mr Ant Stiller from Brisbane
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Ant with bro Grant, or ‘Granthony’
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Nick with Melbourne Silverball League‘s Martin Robbinsmarto-nick

Paul and Hoa – Weird and Retro
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Aaron from Press Play on Tape Podcast and the adorable Phoebe
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Aaron and Phoebe with fellow Tasmanians Tehkella and Damian
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Chris Van Graas very kindly loaned some amazing items for the CGA retro museum, including Mel Croucher’s ZX Spectrum used to code ‘Deus Ex Machina’ and Chris Huelsbeck’s MIDI sampler used to create the famous music for ‘Turrican’
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Chris also introduced us to three metre pizzas!
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Alex with passionate classic gamer, Harmik
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Retrogamer and artist Sean Tagg with the awesome Henry
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Pinball prodigy Jordan ‘JTH’ Tredaway and family
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The talented costume and prop-makers from Combustible Props
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Bethesda ANZ Community Manager Noel Wheatley, CNET Editor Seamus Byrne and Stacey Borg (Dr Curlytek) with Alex pre-panel (‘Geek Trash or Treasure? Finding Collectibles with Real Value‘)
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Seamus also stopped by the CGA for quick game
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Some friendly faces in the ‘Geek Trash or Treasure’ audience – Serby, Skye, Alan, Aaron, Damian and Tehkella
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Selfie with Frank and Lauren from Mana Mojo
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Great pic of tech journalist Adam Turner and son
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Shane Rubans, Marcus Sezenov (Rosstown Retro Pinball Arcade) and Luke Marburg
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John and Ryan Sozanski
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Alex with Hal, Kale and Kevin Tilley (Reset magazine)
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Sairuk with Aaron
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Alex with Kelly (Weird and Retro) and Andrew Owen
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Tamagotchi!
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Alex with Adam Renardson, Content Services Manager PlayStation Australia
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Developer and YouTuber Rob Caporetto with programmer and CGA enforcer Rajesh Singh
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Raj, Rob, Kevin and Chris
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Rob in super-cool mode!
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The most triumphant moment of PAX Aus 2016 – collecting our ‘PAX XP’ PAX Aus towels (thanks to Alan for doing most of the legwork):
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PAX Aus 2016 was a blast – and spending time with awesome people was really what made it. We’re already looking forward to 2017, can’t wait to see you there!

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

PAX Aus 2016 – I’m Making A Note Here: HUGE SUCCESS

featured-2So… we’re calling it – PAX Aus 2016 was a triumph (it’s hard to overstate our satisfaction).

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welcome-homeThis year’s PAX Aus was bigger and better than ever – including a huuuge Tabletop Area, a speed running stage, a VR Freeplay Area, awesome speakers like Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb (Director of Programming for Xbox Live, Microsoft) and live performances by 7bit Hero and Axis of Awesome. But best of all was the massive Classic Gaming Area (of course!).

pax-aus-2016-map-1 pax-aus-2016-map-2 (Maps from the PAX Aus website)

We met heaps of cool people (look out for our upcoming article about that), saw masses of amazing cosplay, and basically spent three full days on our feet helping man (and woman) the Classic Gaming Area or wandering around, taking in all that PAX Aus had to offer (which was a lot!).

Let’s start by celebrating the Classic Gaming Area. Back for the fourth time, the CGA was bigger than ever. The CGA is a joint initiative between PAX and Melbourne-based retro gaming experts Ausretrogamer, Retro Domination, Weird and Retro (all providing retro consoles and computers), local barcade Bartronica (providing arcade machines), and pinball enthusiast Scott Kellett with  Zax Amusements, Pinmem and Bayside Pinball Club (providing pinball tables). We also had an awesome museum of retro treasures and rarities this year.

The PAX Aus Classic Gaming Area – Stay a while… stay forever!
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The arcades were as popular as ever
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The consoles, computers and handhelds provided much nostalgic fun
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Competition was fierce but friendly in the CGA tournaments
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Pinball tables were a hit!
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A new addition to the CGA – the retro museum
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But PAX Aus 2016 had more to offer than just the Classic Gaming Area…

The Expo Hall
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The Tabletop Area
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PC and Console Freeplay
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The Handheld Lounge
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Queuing for merch
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The six rules of PAX
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Noms
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Pin-pressive!
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D20
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Sanic
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Game over – until 2017
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And just like that, PAX Aus is over for another year, but we had a blast – and we have so many great memories. We hope you do too. See you all again next year!

Photos: ausretrogamer.com and Alan Ly

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

PAXAus 2016: Classic Gaming Tournaments

paxaus2016_cg_tournamentAttention gamers: Sharpen your gaming skills now and prove your retro gaming worth in the Classic Gaming tournaments at PAXAus 2016. As usual, you can compete for fun or glory!

There will be head to head racing, high score challenge competitions on arcade machines, consoles, 8-bit computers and pinball tables to show off your prowess. Speaking of pinball tournaments, Saturday’s competition will be fully sanctioned by the IFPA!

We suggest you put the Classic Gaming tournament schedule in your diary right now. Are you game to compete?

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First Impressions: Stern’s Game Of Thrones Pro Pinball Table

GoT_AlexBozAt the recent PAXAus, we were lucky enough to have two Game Of Thrones Pro Edition pinball machines placed in our Classic Gaming area (Ed: thanks to Scott Kellett and AMD). Having played the table and then watched other pinball wizards battling against ‘House Targaryen’ for a huge multi-billion score, we can safely say that we were quite impressed with Stern’s latest table.

Designed by legendary pinball guru Steve Ritchie, the Game Of Thrones Pro table is made for fast, furious and rewarding action (Ed: as a good pinball table should be!). The Pro table comes with great (superspeed) ramps and toys, like the battering ram sliding bash target and the Sword of Multiball to name just a few. As per tradition, there are electric gates (for those start bonuses to rack up your points) and three pop bumpers with LED lighting to get your hearts racing. Oh yeah, Sandor Clegane (aka: ‘The Hound’) lends his voice to narrate the action!

The aim of Game Of Thrones is to win the war for the Iron Throne. This is done by selecting one of six Houses of Westeros (Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Baratheon, Martell, Tyrell) to fight for. House Targaryen cannot be selected – you’ll face Daenerys, her army and her dragons in the last battle. Once you select your House, your goal is to conquer all other Houses standing in your way to the Iron Throne.

Every flip of the silver metal ball feels accurate. The ball remains true when hit, which makes aiming at targets that whole lot easier and very satisfying – perhaps being a fan of the HBO TV show helps here too! The layout of the Pro table draws you into play and the gameplay is so rewarding that you don’t even feel cheated by a lost ball. The two ramps are at perfect angles so that balls do not drain if you haven’t flipped hard enough to complete the shot. Even the Dragon Kickback is forgiving with the ball firing back at the right flipper – good for us middle-aged people with slower reactions! There is something second-nature-ish to playing this table, almost like your hands are an extension of this wonderful world of Fire and Ice!

Watching people play then return to the back of the line to play again was a resounding endorsement for Stern’s latest offering – this machine is an absolute winner! The table will please novice and pro pinball wizards alike – it has plenty of challenges no matter your experience. For all those pinball fence-sitters, do yourself a favour and drop a gold coin in the Game Of Thrones pinball machine, you won’t regret it! Game Of Thrones has translated perfectly to the realm of pinball. Get flippin’!

Game Of Thrones Pro ready for action!
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Beautiful side art
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Learn the rules!
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The playfield (with glass removed!)
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The Westeros Families
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Swinging the Sword Of Mutliball!
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Cash in your multipliers at the Iron Bank
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Keep your wits about you – this dragon kicks back hard!
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The ultimate goal – sitting on the Iron Throne
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Weird and Retro‘s Aleks ‘Serblander‘ Svetislav gets flippin’ on GoT
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Stacey ‘Dr Curlytek‘ Borg shows us all how it is done
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For more details on the Game Of Thrones pinball machines (Pro, Premium and Limited Edition), go to the Stern site. If you want to get head start on your friends when battling it out on the Game Of Thrones Pro machine, grab the strategy guide right now!

 

Sean Tagg: The PAX Aus King Of Kong

PAX_DK_4There was no doubt that the Classic Gaming area was popular at this year’s PAX Aus event. One of the more popular attractions were the competitions, especially the high score challenge on the original Donkey Kong arcade machine (Ed: a big thanks to Greg Pell for sharing his awesome machine with us all!).

The PAX Aus patrons swarmed to the Donkey Kong machine like moths to a flame. High scores were racked up while players took control of ‘Jumpman’ to hurdle over barrels in the attempt to save Pauline from the evil clutches of the great anthropomorphic gorilla.

With great poise and precision four-way control, Sean Tagg showed the masses how to go about saving Pauline. While Billy Mitchell was declared the King Of Kong all those years ago, it was Sean Tagg’s high score of 103,900 (on Sunday) which saw him crowned as the PAX Aus King Of Kong! Well done Sean!

Sean Tagg barrel jumps and then hammers his way up to the top!
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Sean’s high score was enough to clinch the PAX Aus King of Kong crown
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Like father, like son – Henry gets in on some arcade action!
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The PAX Aus Classic Gaming medal is handed to its rightful owner!
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