Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Placeholder  

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Update: Sorry for the lack of new posts. I've been up to my ears in review stuff for @Gamecritics, and working doubletime trying to get my Destiny review ready to go.  New posts are coming soon. Promise!
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Destiny, Day 1.5 - Impressions  

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So, Destiny is out. I picked up my copy and got a fair bit of time in on the first day and a little more this afternoon. Not sure if I’ll be doing a full review, but I figured I’d throw some impressions up in no particular order…

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>Great graphics (duh) tight controls, and getting your own speederbike is pretty rad.

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>Double-jumping is always awesome.

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>As a story-centric player, I'm craving a lot more than what Destiny offers. I don't need 15,000 books of lore or a cutscene every three minutes, but I’m just not getting any good mental hooks for me here… For example, your character is revived from the dead after a long, long time, so… What's up with that? Nobody even blinks at it – including your own character!

And seriously, Light and Darkness? Give me a break, it couldn’t possibly be any more cliché.

There seem to be plenty of ideas here, but Bungie just does not deliver on any of them. In another instance, it seems like there are PVP factions with in-game leaders – a perfect time to introduce a salty character or two, but they’re just flat questgiver types.

It’s almost like Bungie are intentionally keeping everything as bland, broad and inoffensive as possible in order to grab as many players as possible, but it has the opposite effect for me. I want some memorable faces, I want some crazy dialogue.. some personality!

(Side note: the in-game lore is that actually exists is apparently only readable on Bungie's website? WTF?)

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Need to get to sleep? I'm here to help.
>I really, really don't like Peter Dinklage’s voice here. Even though he’s supposed to be a robot of sorts, he sounds so totally flat and uninteresting. I don't feel any attachment to him at all, and I wish I could customize the voice into something peppier. He’s a major drag.

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>It seems like a lot of people are going Warlock, but I went Titan thinking that it might be a little easier for solo play, I’ve been happy with it so far. Punching enemies feels massively satisfying, and it wasn't long before I got some health and stamina increases. Unfortunately, it seems like the devs are expecting me to be using different kinds of weapons that I am – the buffs installed in some of my fancier armor are for gun types I never use.  Hopefully that will change later.

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>Although I occasionally come across groups of people in the "farming" zones, I’ve been surprisingly alone during most of the story missions. Some of the story missions can be quite a challenge without backup (especially in the no-respawn darkness zones) and I expected a lot more people coming by, but it hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky, but the game been feeling very empty when not grouped up in a fireteam of friends.

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>The farming missions are boring. All you do is basically kill people, pick up X things, or make your way to a certain location and scan something. I quickly abandoned them in favor of the story missions, but those haven’t exactly lit my world on fire, either.


Shooting stuff is fun and Destiny feels great in that sense – the moment-to-moment gunplay is fab for sure. That said, I’m not sure how long pure shooting is going to carry me if the story doesn’t pick up. The armor and weapon drops haven’t exactly been awe-inspiring, either… A lot of standard weapon types and incremental upgrades, but nothing really wild or impressive yet.

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As someone who played and completed the campaign in Defiance, I’ve already seen a game that does what Destiny is trying to do. My full review is here, and it’s actually free-to-play on every platform last time I checked – PS3/360/PC.

Defiance on 360
Of course, Bungie has technical prowess that Defiance’s devs could only dream of… No question there. 

On the other hand, Defiance’s world was always humming, it had plenty of interesting modes and varied quests, exploring the open world offered its own interesting rewards and there was enough story to keep me going until the end of its beefy campaign.

With a $500M investment behind it, I’m sure that Destiny is going to keep growing and evolving (and hey, I’m not even done with the campaign yet, so this isn't a final judgment) but my first impressions are of a slick presentation on top of an empty core, and I admit I'm wondering what lies in store for its future...


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Monday, September 8, 2014

Destiny, A String of Vita Disappointments, eXistenZ, and Short Circuit  

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Games: Like many of you, I'm looking forward to the release of Destiny in a day or so. 

   

Having played the alpha and the beta I already know what to expect, and I'm definitely ready to sink my teeth into something a little bigger than what I've been playing lately. 

Since I knew this was coming, I've been hesitant to start any large-scale games, and instead I've been spending time on handhelds and smaller projects. Nothing against them at all, but i'm definitely getting the itch to sit down in front of my TV and play something with a lot of pizzazz to it.

From what I've heard, the preorders have been about 3 to 1 in favor of the PS4, and I'm a part of that statistic… If you'll be playing on the PS4 as well, feel free to send me a friend request and maybe we'll see each other on the battlefield. Hit me up at GCBrad on PSN.

So, what about those handheld games I mentioned?




First up was Natural Doctrine


I've covered it a bit here at the blog before, but I sunk a fair number of hours into it since then and I have to say that I'm quite disappointed with the game, not only because it gets a lot of things wrong, but because it had the potential to be so great. I'll save most of the gory details for my full review which is still in-process, but a lot of potential is squandered thanks to a frustrating difficulty curve and systems which don't get properly explained. 

It's a real shame because when the game works, it's pretty cool… There are some great ideas here, and I'm a fan of the strategy RPG genre. I'm always up for another one, and especially one like this that has new ideas. Unfortunately, it just commits too many sins to forgive. I can easily imagine a lot of people who would have otherwise loved it staying away because of how offputting it can be.

I may chip away at this when I'm feeling self-hate, but it's on indefinite hold for now. 




Also on the Vita, I just played Don't Starve


I've been wanting to try this one for a while, but I knew it was coming to Vita and that seemed like the best place for it. I love the premise and the art is quite sharp, but I have to say that after playing it for about half an hour... I don't want to play anymore. 

From what I can tell, the game is just a bunch of crafting, and at this point in my life, crafting is a "game mechanic" that feels like a big waste of time to me. It feels erroneous to even call it a mechanic… You're simply collecting shit to make other shit. It's busywork, and while I can see how that might be okay for some people (and not saying there's anything wrong for liking it if you do) for me it's pretty close to the bottom of my list of things I enjoy.

Deleted.




I also spent a good bit of time with Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, and much like Natural Doctrine, it's another one with a lot of potential and a great premise that ends up being a bummer. 


I mean, the concept is that you are a person running around Akihabara, yanking the clothes off of vampires in order to expose them to sunlight. That sounds awesome, right? Unfortunately, the actual gameplay is a lot like Sega's Yakuza, only about 1/19,000th as entertaining thanks to an insipid story, way too much boring dialogue, a shallow combat system, and not nearly enough sex appeal to sizzle. 

I don't quite understand the logic of taking this premise and then making something that ends up being so boring, but there you go. 

Deleted.




Adding to this list of recent disappointments is Velocity 2X. I've heard a lot of people praising it, but I've got to be honest here… It just does not click with me at all. 


The action involving a spaceship that teleports never feels natural or intuitive… There's a weird kind of stop/start pace that doesn't build momentum, and it's not pleasant.  The weird thing is that the game clearly wants you to do speed runs, so that makes the way it feels to me even weirder. 

Besides that, it's just not very fun… You basically teleport to get around walls while collecting a bunch of crystals, and then every once in a while you leave the ship and do two-dimensional platforming, which is again, mostly about teleporting past walls and collecting crystals.  

Deleted.

Anyway, Destiny in a day or so!




Movies: I found myself in the unusual position of having a couple of hours with nothing to do and I've bookmarked about 1000 movies on Netflix without having watched any of them, so I figured it was a good time to knock at least one off of the list. I settled on David Cronenberg's eXistenZ… A title I only vaguely knew about, although I've heard people talk about it several times.  


Here's what I knew: it was gross, and people plugged into some kind of virtual reality.

Here's what it's actually about: people plug into a virtual reality simulator via incredibly disgusting bio-consoles, but it's really a psycho-trippy developer's-eye look into how games are developed and what they mean to the people who play them.

I don't know if Cronenberg is a gamer himself, but he gives uncommonly insightful commentary from the dev side, and I found it incredibly interesting and relevant, especially in light of the last two weeks.

eXistenZ ended up being quite a bit different than I expected, but in an altogether better way. I was bracing for one of those hokey films that wants to base itself on gaming without knowing anything about it, but it was quite sharp and provocative, and didn't feel dated at all. 

Excellent film.




Speaking of movies, we've been looking for films to introduce our five-year-old, and today we chose Short Circuit

It's been years since I've seen it, although I remembered quite liking it back in the day, and I have to say, it holds up really well as a kids' film. 


It's simple enough for even young children to understand, quite tame in terms of content, and it's paced superbly so as not to lose the attention of smaller viewers. 

Not only that, who doesn't like the military-robot-come-alive Johnny Five? Interesting to look at and easy to love, he's a great star. 

If you haven't seen it in years and you forgot about it, or if you're a parent looking for a good film to watch with your kids, this is a fun choice.
   

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Styx: Master of Shadows, the infiltration game from Cyanide Studios, has a unique verticality that is ample throughout the gallows, alleys, courtyards and winding halls within the Tower of Akenash. Coming October for PS4®, Xbox One® and PC, scale and prowl through the expansive and mysterious home of the World Tree, either subverting the guards, or quietly and invisibly disposing of them.

Today's video is the first of a series of gameplay trailers we will be releasing over the coming weeks until the release of the game. It illustrates some of the Goblin's skills, as he uses his stealth, weaponry, bold moves and smart use of the environment to get rid of the tower's denizens. 


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Today Deep Silver announces the launch date for Escape Dead Island - November 18th in North America. 

YouTube: http://youtu.be/VaAWvz2lKYc

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After a bit-longer-than-expected Anomaly 2 is all set up to hit PS4! The tower offense strategy - or reversed tower defense if you prefer - game will land in Full HD on PS4 on September 16th 2014.

Anomaly 2 is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Anomaly Warzone Earth. Maintaining the core elements of the original, Anomaly 2 adds new features to the single-player campaign and finally puts your skills to a test in a completely unique experience: the dynamic tower defense vs. tower offense multiplayer mode!

In the years following the invasion of Earth in 2018, the planet has been overrun by alien machines. Humankind is on the verge of extinction. Traveling together in huge convoys, they search the frozen tundra for food and supplies. Since the war, the roles have been reversed: now our species seems to be the Anomaly on a machine-controlled planet. Your convoy, Commander, is called Yukon.

For more goodies join us here https://www.facebook.com/anomalygame

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Idea Factory International is excited to announce today that Hyperdimension Neptunia™ Re;Birth1, a new installment in the long-loved fan-favorite RPG series Hyperdimension Neptunia, has been released on the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system in physical and digital forms in the North American market today, August 26, 2014. It will also be available in digital form in the European market tomorrow, August 27, 2014. Idea Factory International is also excited to reveal to fans in Australia that the game will be digitally released on the Australian PlayStation®Store!

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is a remake of Hyperdimension Neptunia, which was previously released for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in 2011. Updated event conversations, graphics, and newly added game mechanics will entertain fans who have already played the PlayStation 3 version of Hyperdimension Neptunia as well as newcomers to the series.

The official website for Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 now features a new gameplay trailers! Visit ideafintl.com/rebirth1 to find the trailers and more information about the game!

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Here are two characters from Persona Q that need no introduction. 

...because you get to pick their own names! Here are the character videos for the heroes from Persona 3 and Persona 4 for you to view:

YouTube: 
P3 Hero

P4 Hero

About Persona Q
Persona Q is a first-person dungeon crawling RPG adventure that combines the casts of the hit ATLUS games Persona 3 and Persona 4in a brand new story. Not only is Persona Q the first new RPG in the Persona franchise since 2008, but it is also marks the first time a Persona game will release on a Nintendo platform. The Personadevelopment team joined forces with the Etrian Odyssey development team to create a true fusion of the two franchises - Persona Q features the map-making and first person exploration from Etrian games and fuses it with the character development, combat, and motifs of the Persona games. Persona Q will be available at retail stores in normal and premium editions: 

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Have you pooped today? If not, we've just made your day by announcing The Binding of Isaac Rebirth's release on November 4th, 2014. That's a Tuesday. I sure do like Tuesdays, we hope you do too...Mmmm tacos. Tacos have fiber. Fiber helps you poop.

Anyway, as you patiently wait for Nicalis to squeeze out the game, you should watch the trailer below which was created using the blood of unicorns, bacon, poop, cream cheese, and burlap sacks. How many of those are actually true? Watch to find out! Nightmares included free of charge, of course!

More information can be found on the official website at http://bindingofisaac.com/ or on the Rebirth FAQ page http://bindingofisaac.com/post/77761867219/the-binding-of-isaac-rebirth-2014-q-a

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You're on your own. No one to come for you. No one to help you. No one to hear you scream. Slender: The Arrival, the official Slender Man video game, is coming September 23, 2014 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and September 24, 2014 on the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, announced Midnight City, the independent publishing label of Majesco Entertainment Company (NASDAQ: COOL), an innovative provider of games for the mass market.

Developed by four-person Toronto indie team Blue Isle Studios and the only official Slender Man game, The Arrival puts you in the epicenter of the mystery surrounding the enigmatic Internet persona that has captivated and terrorized millions. Slender: The Arrival wraps players in a dark, foreboding atmosphere and a story fraught with terror, paranoia and other-worldly forces.

Written by the creative team behind Marble Hornets, this latest iteration in the Slender Man universe expands the canon established by the original web-series, with some new twists and extended content. Building on the successful Steam launch last Halloween, Slender: The Arrival comes to consoles with brand new story elements and features extended levels that continue to unfold the Slender Man mythos. Players are enveloped in a world of sensory deprivation filled with haunting visions and audio cues that create an ominous backdrop perfect for fostering a healthy dose of tension and paranoia. Follow the clues and unravel the mystery, that is, if you can survive.

The new content will be offered to Steam and PC players who already own Slender: The Arrival at no additional charge as free DLC.

Slender: The Arrival is rated T for teen and will release in the US September 23, 2014 on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system for $9.99 digital download from the PlayStation Network, and on September 24, 2014 on Xbox 360 for $9.99 digital download from the Xbox Live Games Store.

Independent publishing label Midnight City will also release Costume Quest 2 this Halloween season from Double Fine Productions.

For more information, please visit our website: www.midnight-city.com
For more on Blue Isle Studios, please visit: www.blueislestudios.com

Follow us on:

Twitter: @Midnight_City https://twitter.com/Midnight_City

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PAX Prime 2014 - Day 3 & 4  

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PAX! PAX! PAX! 


Following up on the last post which featured the games that caught my eye on days 1 & 2, here are the titles I found worth mentioning from days 3 & 4. 







Toy Soldiers: War Chest (PS4/XBO/PC) The madmen over at Signal Studios have cooked up another installment of their active Tower Defense franchise Toy Soldiers (the first two were fantastic) and this time they’re shaking things up by including other toys besides the traditional little green army men -- unicorns, cupcakes and teddy bears join the fray, all in rainbow colors. There are also other armies that have not been announced yet, and word on the street is that there are some very famous properties being added to the mix at a later date… You didn't hear that from me, though.




H1Z1 (PC/PS4) I spent quite a bit of time with SOE’s zombie apocalypse survival title, and it has strong potential despite being early in development. There will be a huge world to explore, lots of random loot to pick up and craft, and it's even possible to create your own home/base/survival shelter, although other players are free to ransack it if they’re not the friendly sort. It seems like the core structure is in place, although my biggest question is why players would want to stay in a game like this since (apparently) nothing is retained on a permanent basis except knowledge of discovered crafting recipes. It seems to me like there needs to be a little permanence or more tangible goals added to the vision, but like I said, it's very early… With a little polish, this one could be quite attractive to zombie fans.





MK X (PS4/XBO) The new Mortal Kombat is looking quite sharp. The next-gen graphics are outstanding, the animations are great, and the team seems very in tune with what fans liked from MK 9 and Injustice. Notable new features include three variations of each character for changing up movesets and abilities, and an increased level of environmental interaction -- my favorite was when my opponent grabbed a senior citizen bystander and threw him into me like a projectile. Brutal… yet pretty hilarious. The new characters (the ones revealed so far, anyway) look great, and the insectile D’Vorah is sure to be a fan favorite…





Lords of the Fallen (PS4/XBO/PC) Now, this is a tough one to talk about. At first glance, it seems to be nothing more than a title trying to piggyback on the success of the Souls series. It's got the same sort of tone, tough bosses, and some of the design philosophy seems to be along the same lines. However, it's only got one set character to choose and it has a more traditional narrative focus. I don’t have a problem with those things at all, but playing it just felt… Wrong. For instance, the weight and heft of things didn't feel correct despite the directors telling me that they had a top stuntman doing mocap for the weapons. At one point I tried using a polearm and I actually thought the animation was broken because it took so long for the attack to happen. The director checked the stats to make sure my character was strong enough to wield it (he was) so there was nothing wrong… that's just the way the weapon worked. Others I tried felt similar. I don't mean to come off so negative on something that isn't done yet, but if I had to be totally honest, the demo gave me the impression that the developers took a quick look at Souls, thought they knew what made it work, and then made their own hybrid without having enough understanding of why From’s games are the successes that they are.





Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor (PS4/XBO/PC) Out of all the games I saw, this was probably the biggest surprise, and it was a jaw-dropping one. WB has put out several LOTR games, and if you ask me, they've all been middling or worse. As such, I wasn't paying much attention to this one at all before the show until I started hearing positive buzz. After checking it out, I was absolutely stunned at how amazing it looks. It's tough to sum up, but the main character is a human Ranger possessed by a wraith or spirit of some sort. He's able to traverse the environment quite nimbly, and the robust combat engine is similar to that in the recent Batman games. Interestingly, the main point of the game is to use the wraith powers to subvert the orcs serving Sauron. There’s a pause menu screen which shows the orc generals the player can eliminate or brainwash into serving the forces of good. If brainwashed, they can be sent on missions to eliminate other orcs or other various tasks. There's more to it than that, but I have to say that the game does a fine job of taking several different elements and combining them into something that looks absolutely amazing. I had no intentions of playing this before PAX, and now it's one of my most-wanted this year. Do not miss this one.






Chariot (PS4/XBO/WiiU/PC) is a super-cute physics-based puzzler that features couch co-op. A princess and her companion must take the dead king’s ashes to his burial site, so they strapped the urn onto a couple of wheels and must work together to push, pull, tug and balance… It looks quite lighthearted and amusing. Pretty charming stuff.




Wander (PS4/PC) This one is a bit of an enigma. It's apparently a combat-free MMO where the point of the game is to unravel the lore of the land. Players wander from place to place collecting bits of information and can transform into different shapes by reaching checkpoints. The player I saw started out as a tree being, and later changed into a gryphon. There will be at least 2-3 more forms as well. I like the style and I like the idea of trying something new, but to be honest it seemed like the player was doing nothing but walking from place to place. I have doubts about how long that sort of experience can sustain someone, but I’m still quite curious about it.





Dead Island 2 (PS4/XBO/PC) If you played first Dead Island, then you know what to expect from this one -- four classes, tons of melee weapons, and tons of mods. The biggest difference is that it has ambient co-op so players can drop in and drop out (similar to Defiance or Destiny) although the usual friends options will still be present. It's also got a much lighter tone, and the developers from Yager assured me that they have gotten rid of things that don't make sense, such as needing money or workbenches to upgrade (you now do that on-the-fly.) The game as a whole should also be more unified in terms of content and narrative tone.





Saints Row 4: Gat Out Of Hell (PS3/360/PS4/XBO/PC) is a stand-alone addition to SR4, featuring playable Johnny Gat and Kinzie in hell, battling for the soul of the boss. In essence, the developers have re-skinned and re-purposed the SR4 superpowers in order to give them angelic and demonic themes, and rather than a traditional narrative, the player is free to do open world challenges until they rack up enough experience to face off against Satan. Yes, please.





Escape Dead Island (PS3/360) is set in the same DI world as the other games, but seems to be its own thing entirely. A character comes to the island to investigate the goings-on six months after the conclusion of the first game (apparently the devs are pretending that Riptide doesn't exist, just like any sane person would) but it goes off in its own direction by being narrative-heavy, single-player only, and featuring a cel-shaded art style and a heavy emphasis on psychological and insanity effects. It looked to me like something that could be strong enough to stand on its own as a smaller-scale experimental project, and I'm quite curious to see more of this one.





Pig Eat Ball (PC) The good people of Mommy’s Best Games never fail to disappoint, and their latest is just as weird as all of their other output. Featuring both single player and multiplayer aspects, this game puts players in the role of a pig who must eat to grow larger, but when bitten on the tail, it vomits up its internal cargo and shrinks to a smaller size. There's quite a bit more to it than that, but you can check it out yourself, it's currently on Steam Greenlight. Also, it should be noted that this game was presented to players with a butt-vibrating pad to sit on, so whenever their pig was tweaked, your real-life booty got a buzz. I do not think the final game will ship with this device, but I'm sure creative players could probably rig up their own…





Never Alone (PS4/XBO/PC) is an unusual little project. Apparently the Cook Inlet tribes in Alaska somehow got the idea to create this game as a way of communicating their cultural heritage to a younger generation who’s losing touch. This title is based on actual legends from the Inupiat people there (with minor modifications) and the title "Never Alone" actually refers to some of their cultural beliefs – from what I was told, these people don't go in for the ‘lone hero saves the day’ concept, since it means that person usually dies and when they do, they’re not around to help out back at home. There are also brief snippets of actual tribal elders telling stories which relate to the content… All in all, a fascinating project combining education and gaming in a way that I haven't quite seen before.





Habitat: A Thousand Generations In Orbit (PS4/PC) In this game, the earth becomes so toxic that humanity has to launch all of its material goods into outer space, and it's your job to grab all of that junk floating around and bolt it onto your spaceship for different functions. Rockets can be attached for propulsion, Ferris wheels can be attached to become rotating laser arrays, and a stuffed T-Rex head can be turned into a makeshift flamethrower. With real physics, a sandbox mode and a campaign which has you trying to ensure humanity’s survival, this one looks like a tinkerer’s dream come true.





Mushroom 11 (PC) is an interesting take on action-platforming, but instead of having a character, the player has a blob of green stuff which grows at an alarming rate. Players can disintegrate parts of it, and the blob will grow in the direction opposite of where it lost mass, so in this way, it can be "encouraged" to grow in specific directions.





This War Of Mine (PC) I heard a lot about this one prior to the show thanks to its premise of controlling of a group of survivors trying to survive during wartime. It’s a fab idea, but the actual game left me pretty cold -- the presentation and structure just didn't seem to be a good fit. The game began with very little introduction and no tutorial, and I suddenly found myself in control of four survivors inside a house full of icons. It didn't take long to figure out that the bulk of play was collecting and crafting. Later on, one of my characters went out to scavenge other houses for more materials… It all felt so distant and abstract, bogged down from the get go with minutiae and not as immediate as it seems a game of this sort should be. I'll take another look, but first impressions weren’t great.





Adventures of Pip (WiiU/PC) was another surprise. Screenshots really don't do it justice, but the gist of this game is that the main character has three different forms -- a single pixel, an 8-bit form, and a 16-bit form. Each mode has different abilities, so the player must up- and down-res in order to get through specific challenges. It was very cute and approachable, and the concept was rock-solid. Really looking forward to getting into this one with the kids.





Four-Sided Fantasy (PC) was incredibly early, but the idea is genius. The player takes a small, nimble character and has the ability to "lock" the screen in order to navigate through otherwise impossible situations. For example, if there is a ledge the player can’t reach, they can move the screen over so that part of the ledge is not shown on the monitor, they "lock" the screen, and then jump to take advantage of a Pac-Man-like ‘wraparound’ effect. Definitely a mindbending sort of challenge, but clever.





Dreadnought (PC) Another one from Yager… These guys are really on a roll. This one puts the player in the role of a warship captain, and aerial combat in spaceships is the order of the day. However, these aren’t nimble fighters… They’re huge, lumbering monsters. Imagine trying to pilot a battleship hovering in the air, and you'll come pretty close to what it feels like. The game features five different classes of chips (each with various sub-classes) and something that really sold me was the ability to have not only a captain character, but a crew of four people who can be customized and leveled up to provide various functions and perks. The word ‘Firefly’ was mentioned several times. I was utterly hopeless with the mouse and keyboard controls, but controller support is coming soon, and although I'm not usually one for PVP-focused games, the feeling of piloting a massive ship like this was great. Further, it seems custom-made for consoles… I really hope they manage to bring it to the PS4, it would be a perfect fit.





Tales From The Borderlands (PS3/360/PS4/XBO/PC/iOS) I’m not the biggest Borderlands fan, but I do think the setting is rich with narrative potential, and Telltale clearly agrees. The demo followed the usual template that we’ve seen with Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us, but there was a slightly higher emphasis on action QTEs. However, the real hook is that the tale is split between the two main characters, Rhys and Fiona. After hearing what ‘he said’ as the first section of play, Fiona popped up for a session of ‘she said’ which put a different spin on things. It’s a great idea, and something we haven’t seen with Telltale before. Also of note: I found that I had a strong compulsion to play Rhys as a complete a*hole, quite unlike every other Telltale game… This is going to be an interesting ride.

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 … And there you have it, another year of combing the floor for new and interesting games. I hope you found something in my writeup that you hadn’t heard of before!

Also, although I had a great time at PAX, I've got to be honest -- the games are great, but the absolute best thing about the show is catching up with everybody who I know primarily via email or Twitter. In today’s world, everyone is so spread out and far apart that we often wish the friends we make electronically were a lot closer than they really are, and for a few days at PAX, that wish comes true. Of course, it’s impossible to meet up with everyone you wish you could (and apologies to everyone I missed, @Whamtan especially!) but it’s pretty amazing to just stop for a few minutes and chat with folks you’d otherwise never, ever see. 

It’s the best.

Oh, and just for the hell of it, enjoy some pics that I took at random.


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This thing was massive.



SIGH... You guys again?!? Seriously??




An insider's peek at Undead Labs.




These dudes took a seriously wrong turn. 




Pikachu's about to choose you!




One of Evolve's beasts. It was unbelievably massive and towered over the floor. Just heart-stopping. 




The men's room sign at Undead Labs.




The infamous 'Escalator Of Incredible Delay'.




Had NO idea who this was until my son told me. Because... I'm old?  >_>




Although I couldn't care less about AC, these costumes were quite impressive. SO detailed.




No clue how someone came up with the idea for this. Too much money at 2K?




It's a mechanical bull underneath the fearsome appearance.




Major props to this cosplay crew. Perfect outfits and accessories. 




No idea. This time, my son didn't know either. I'm not so old after all!  ^_^ 




This statue for The Order: 1886 was so lifelike it was creepy.




You never need a reason to have a robot statue at PAX.




New Vegas love!!




The Evil Within has an unhealthy obsession with brains and barbed wire. 




My only regret of the show was not playing Alien: Isolation. The lines were just too long.




My son, checking out the staff part of the Insect Glaive weapon in MH4U.




Forget the glaive. This is WAY more his speed.

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