Another PAX West is finished. Some people might wonder why I go to these events. Besides the panel I do at the event, it is much easier to see new games and know what the games are about than watching a bland trailer that reveals nothing about the gameplay or watching a stream of the game for 45 minutes after it has been out. I also get information about sales/deals passed along to me ahead of time if the publisher/developer/PR person takes me up on it. If no one tells me about a deal or I don’t find the deal, the deal doesn’t get posted. Anyways, let’s go over everything I saw.
tinyBuild Press Conference
The tinyBuild event started with a fire alarm going off and the firefighters arriving which was interesting. Once inside they showed off their new games while everyone ate and played bullshit bingo. If they heard a certain phrase they stamped their bingo card and then if they got a bingo they won a laptop. They showed off a lot of games like two new Hello Neighbor titles and Rapture Rejects which is a 2D battle royale game set after the rapture happens.
Windjammers 2 plays just like the original except there is a power meter. Once the meter is full you can unleash a super move. It’s a welcome sequel since the animation and 16:9 aspect ratio helps bring this classic into the 21st century.
You play a beat ‘em up dungeon crawler where you are two kids fighting monsters. If you lose you can swap out equipment and try a different strategy.
Streets of Rage 4
This is my favorite game I played at PAX West. Many remakes/sequels of games decades old often miss what makes the gameplay great or they want to add too many new features. For every Sonic Mania, there is a Sonic the Hedgehog 4. They got the gameplay of the original Streets of Rage games down exactly as you remember it.
The only differences are that you can juggle enemies with your friend easier and the special moves deplete health, but only if you stop damaging the enemy. So if you do a special, and continue beating him up, you’re good. If he hits you, you lose that health.
A lot of people didn’t like the art style shown in the trailer. I was on the fence too when I saw it. To be honest, they need to just show a few minutes of gameplay instead of the 10 seconds they showed and everyone would be fine. The people who worked on Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap are handling the animation and it shows. It looks amazing and the environments look great too.
The only concern I have is the music and sound effects.
I kept asking about Yuzo Koshiro, the composer of the first three games and kept getting no comments and things like that. During the demo they used Streets of Rage 2 sound effects and music which worked great but didn’t exactly match the new graphics. I’m pretty sure they are there as temporary placeholders until the final music and sound effects are done. Still, they did it. They made a great Streets of Rage game demo.
The two biggest differences from the last two games I saw was that in parts of the game you are in places without radiation and walk around without your mask outside. Also this game is more open world structured which is a huge difference from the linear gameplay aspect of the previous games.
Imagine Dead Rising 1’s escort missions in a Metal Gear Solid Game and you are about there. You play as three different people in a city war zone and are trying to help people escape. The more people you help escape the better the ending you get. The three protagonists’ stories intertwine at times too, kind of like in Resident Evil 2. There are also mech battles which looked great. The dialogue in the game though seemed like something from the movie The Room with the people in front of me trying to not laugh so loud as the main character is trying to get the sexy daughter to come with him instead of her dad.
Imagine a Metroid style game but you play as a cat in a robot suit. Sometimes you’ll need to get out of the suit in order to accomplish a goal or find a secret. The black and white art style sometimes makes enemies blend into the background so you need to be alert of that at all times.
The developer told me he was highly inspired by Journey when working on this game and it shows. You control a woman in a long gown as she solves puzzles in order to get to the next location in the 2D world. It wins my imaginary award for most ladies in line to play a game award for PAX West.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince
This game was a very relaxing puzzle platformer. You play as a wolf that transforms into a princess and leads the blind prince around by holding his hand. You solve puzzles by becoming heavy as a wolf, leaving the prince on a button, etc. They said it should take about six hours to beat but they put a lot of effort into the art book for this game since the art style is so great along with a CD Soundtrack.
The Caligula Effect: Overdose
This is a vastly overhauled version of the Vita game that came out a while ago. The user interface is completely different among other things. The battle system is cool. You plan your attacks and then see them in action in real time after you confirm.
The level I played was at a race course. You snuck around trying to get to the race car driver who needed murdered. I sucked at it and died a lot.
LEGO DC Super-Villains
Your typical LEGO game. The hook this time is you make your own Super Villain and play alongside other famous villains like the Joker and Lex Luther as you change between all the villains.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove
Played ToeJam for the third year in a row at PAX West. Thankfully it will be out this November.
Rhythm based dungeon crawler. You need to shoot enemies to the rhythm of the beat. Once you get into the groove you’ll have a lot of fun.
Played the Backer demo. Animation looks amazing.
Fun Action puzzle game where you turn enemies into stone and make new tiles in order to reach the goal.
This is my second favorite game I played at PAX West. It’s a motorcycle platformer with physics similar to the Trials games. You drive between the foreground and background a lot as well as use abilities like a buzz saw like front wheel that saws through pipes, enemies and grinds up walls and ceilings.
If you played the other Torchlight games you’ll have fun with this MMO centric game. You can play Solo or join up. It’s up to you.
Remnant: From the Ashes.
Some company accidently opened a portal to another world with demons and you run around trying to survive. Fighting the dragon was very fun and satisfying when I finally killed it.
The Spectrum Retreat for Switch
Fun puzzle game with a narrative style similar to the Portal Series. You need to pass certain bridges and barriers by holding certain colors. Sounds simple, but quickly becomes hard.
Aragami: Shadow Edition
Aragami is coming to Switch with some extras added.
Dying Light: Bad Blood
This is a multiplayer game is set in the Dying Light world. You gather weapons, beat zombies, collect hive material and then get to the chopper all while avoiding or killing other players. If you kill other players you collect their hive materials and weapons as well. Pretty interesting gameplay.
This is an auto running local co-op game. Each player is a certain color. In order to defeat enemies in your way the player with the matching color must be in front. There are a lot of things that will distract players like pellets you need to activate the checkpoint, picking a path and just getting the other player to pay attention. Reminds me of Overcooked where you need to yell what tom do next.
This game reminds me of a kid friendly Bionic Commando. You platform around with a grappling hook and catch projectiles to toss back at the enemy. Lots of secrets in the level too.
Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption
Like Dark Souls? Get this then.
Team Sonic Racing
The game added a cool mechanic to the kart racing genre. There is a multiplayer mode where the team with the highest placings wins the game. So if your team gets third, fourth or fifth, but one team got first, tenth or twelfth then you beat that team. Whoever is on your team that is in the top position leaves a slipstream that gives you a speed boost if you get behind them.
Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2
A lot of people like this franchise so I met the producer of the game and he helped me understand what people are buying since it was a free to play game. You are buying items that you use to combine demons, etc. You are not buying a powerful demon or anything like that which is cool.
Super Meat Boy Forever
This time the game is an auto runner. Really fun and not super hard at all like the previous Meat Boy game.
Gruesome 2D pixel art game where you toss a magic spear that teleports you to locations after you kill an enemy.
That was what is experienced when it came to appointments. Thanks for reading.