Hey Circuit readers! Just to make sure you know, I am indeed back from my vacation, and there are all-new Circuits this week. I spent a week in summer-like conditions at the Family Florida Compound, but have returned to the familiarity of a confusing Maine-style spring. Yes, I’ll admit; it does look nice outside, what with the fresh snow and all, but I’m ready to stop paying for oil heat now, thanks very much.

This weekend is PAX East! Who’s going? Me… that’s who. I’m going to meet up with some friends in Boston on Friday and we’re going to nerd it up for several glorious hours. Here are some things I’m particularly excited about:

The American Classic Arcade Museum! I missed it last year, but I will not make the same mistake this time. Every year, ACAM has a room at PAX, but if you live in New England, you owe it to yourself to go to the actual museum in Laconia, New Hampshire, and try out the hundreds of arcade machines they have. They’ve got more classic arcade games than you can shake a stick at (and why would you want to shake a stick at an arcade game?) as well as a respectable collection of pinball games. Pinball games aren’t really my forte, so I can’t tell you how good their collection really is, but they do have quite a few. The PAX room will be crowded and only contain a fraction of their collection, but the atmosphere is always excellent, and it’s a great way to take a break from the convention floor for a bit.

– The Zpocalypse booth: Zpocalypse is a table-top game (or, as we said back in my day, a “board game”) set during the zombie apocalypse. You’re familiar with the zombie apocalypse, right? You should be, unless you’ve been living in a fortified underground bunker for the past several years. In which case, well… maybe you are more familiar with the zombie apocalypse than I am. Anyway… my buddy Jed made the miniatures to be used in the game, and I’m very excited to check out their booth. Although, much to my dismay, Jed will not actually be there. He’s going on Saturday, and I’ll be there on Friday. Oh, the humanity! Still, I want to support his awesome work, so I’ll be going by the booth, saying hello, and if I’m feeling really rich, I’ll buy a copy of the game. If you also want to support my friend (and you should, because he is great), head on over to the Zpocalypse: Aftermath kickstarter page

– The Supergiant Games booth:  Yes, the creator’s of the fantastic action-RPG Bastion will once again be representin’ at PAX East. This time, they will have a playable early demo of their new game, Transistor! I can’t wait to try it out, and also buy a Bastion T-shirt, since last year all the good sizes of T-shirts were sold out.

And here are some things I will not be able to check out, because they are on the wrong day:

MC Frontalot. Damn, I wanted to see Frontalot at PAX. As a fan of both hip-hop and nerds, he’s right up my alley. I’ve seen him before (a couple years ago at New England Webcomics Weekend) but I really wanted to see him perform to a huge audience. Alas, Friday is my PAX day, and he is not performing that night. Oh well… guess I’ll just have to watch Nerdcore Rising again.

– Oh, and Bethesda is inviting people to drink beer in a castle. Why does this have to be on Saturday? I’m pretty sure I told Bethesda I’d be in town on Friday, dammit. Why must they always mess with my groove? I mean, it’s beer in a goddamn castle; it’s like they went through my journal and made this thing just for me. And then scheduled it on the wrong day. Sigh. Does anyone know of any castles open on Friday night where I could drink some beer at? Whatever. I’d be lying if I said I’d never drunk beer in a castle before. Maybe it’s meant to only be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Couple more things, not PAX-related: Two weeks ago I gave my first impressions of Mass Effect 3‘s new Citadel DLC. I was thinking I’d elaborate after I’d finished it, but I realized I summed it up accurately enough the first time; it’s fun and goofy. Try not to be mad about the other stuff that got you in a funk about ME3, if you did happen to get into a funk about it. Pretend it’s an entirely separate thing, if you have to; or pretend it takes place after the events in the main story. Taken on it’s own, it’s got a lot of great dialogue, and some really genuinely funny moments. It never takes itself too seriously, which I think is an important thing to keep in mind. I have to post this one Joker clip, because it’s especially great:

The thing is, I didn’t get this scene in my playthrough! Did anyone else? At first I assumed it was an alternate version of the scene where you first meet Joker at the French sushi restaurant (the French are masters of sushi), but it’s not; it’s a different scene altogether. It looks to be after the story mission, maybe? And it’s definitely in the casino, not the restaurant. If anyone reading got this scene in their game, I’d love to hear how you got it. There’s a Wrex one, too, which is equally hilarious, and which I also did not find in my playthrough.

Next week I plan on getting Bioshock: Infinite, so hopefully I’ll have some first impressions of that for you next Wednesday. Judging by the trailers and early gameplay, it looks really good. Not that you can accurately judge a game by its trailers, but… we shall see. I’m optimistic. Unlike some YouTube commenters out there. This last link is NSFW, by the way. Keep the volume down or put on some headphones.