As is customary, the Penny Arcade crew has graced our eastern shores with PAX East in Boston this past weekend We are here to share some of the highlights we were able to glean from afar.
The team from Nintendo was able to grace everyone with their presence this year at PAX east offering up 5 games to demo while people wandered from booth to booth. Two WiiU games and three 3DS games made it to the floor this year. Here is a run down of a few of those..
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
If you are a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem, this little bit was probably already in your cross hairs. With a base game play style and fighting mechanic derived from the Persona universe, which is where this story takes place, joined by known characters from Fire Emblem, which is where the Personas come from, this game looks to be stylish, entertaining and at its core weird and quirky. Shin Megami games are well known for their odd story and characterization and by the looks of it, this seems to be on par with the norm. Unfortunately with the released video you can’t really glean too much information about the story except that your protagonists seem to be ‘Idols’ or pop singers, and for whatever reason they pair up with the team from Fire Emblem as their personas. Take a look at the video below and see what you think, I’m pretty stoked on this release as two favorite game worlds are finally colliding.
Based on the above video, it looks as though some of the battle elements from FE are finding their way into the turn based battle which should make for a more tactical approach to fighting, as well as dungeons seem to have their own interesting flair with music styles and fun puzzles unique to each area. Keep an eye out as this should prove to be a contending title for any RPG lover.
Kirby: Planet Robobot
The lovable pink puff returns in a brand new 3DS epic, except with an upgrade, a mech suit! Who doesn’t want to play Kirby in a mech suit? Actually honestly I don’t think anyone would have thought of that combo but after a few good looks its an idea we can get on board with. With not much to show, we do know that Kirby will return with his standard repertoire of moves, floating, eating his enemies to gain their abilities and so on. Throughout some levels he will also be able to pilot a mech suit for areas that are a little more difficult for a tiny puff to navigate. Interestingly enough and not shown in any footage, his mech will also apparently be able to absorb enemy abilities to use on a larger scale.
By all accounts this should be a fresh and fun return to a platformer many people love and have been awaiting for some time.
The game that brought in new and fresh ideas to the RPG genre and was widely loved by both critics and fans alike has returned. This time around expanding on its already abundant list of job classes and its insane replayability with near endless side quests and 14,000+ lines of dialogue to uncover, Bravely Second looks to keep fans playing for longer periods of time. Honestly if this game is anything like the last, hours and hours will be poured into this game without thought, as the story was engrossing and the over all game play was fresh and rewarding. You felt like you were really working towards a goal with each and every step, and the overall reaction to the newest edition seems to be on a similar level. Keep an eye on this if you want to get something worth your time and money.
Aside from Nintendo, some other surprising games reared their heads..
If you are familiar with Bastion and Transistor, you’ll be happy to know that SuperGiant Games has given us a a little glimpse of what is to come from their next release. If you thought Bastion was beautifully done and the artistic style of Transistor was to die for, wait until you get a peek at the trailer below for Pyre, it falls in the same line as its predecessors and gives you a new style of game play that feels somewhat familiar. If i could put it into words, its basically flame basketball with a twist, and even then, that doesn’t do it justice.
I’m a big fan of bringing video games and vibrant yet haunting art styles together, pair that with an emotional soundtrack and great character development and you’ve got me hooked, probably even replaying the game multiple times. Transistor was that game for me, and by the looks of Pyre, I’ll be making the journey at least once if not more.
Rock Band 4
Harmonix, the creator of the ever so loved Rock Band series was out to deliver some interesting news.
First off, online multiplayer is coming to Rock Band in the holiday season. Now I don’t know about you but Rock Band to me is a game built for getting your friends over, destroying a two-four and singing/playing songs terribly until someone passes out. I get it, we live in a world where people would really like to not leave their bedroom for anyone but the pizza guy, but does adding an online element to Rock Band cheapen the experience or am I just getting old and like to see my friends still? Either way, this should prove a valuable update to anyone who feels they really want to play Rock Band with people but not leave the comfort of their home.
Ok, second announcement… Battleborn teams up with Rock Band. This little teaser picture was released with not very much info just that Thorn and Miko from the aforementioned game would be appearing soon. Suffice to say, this should be a fun addition, its always interesting to see different versions of characters in the background while playing these games. If I could get my created character jamming to tunes with any of my favorite characters from other universes I’d be all in.
We Happy Few
One of the last games I want to touch on is a bit of an oddity, created by Compulsion games We Happy Few was kickstarted last year and is being released on Windows, Mac, Linux and Xbox One platforms in June. The game is about a fictional city in 1960s England where everyone is taking a drug called Joy. The city is split into two, one part of the city is inhabited by those who are happily enjoying the day to day by being high on Joy, the other part is occupied by the ‘Downers’ people who have negative reactions to the drugs and are exiled from the Joyful. The understanding is that you wake up in the ‘Downers’ side of the city and you make your way through the city to escape the insanity. As you make your way through the city you start to see more and more of how the city became divided and the seedy underside of a drugged up community. Looking through the video it has some very BioSheck-esque vibes and I’m down with that. I’ll definitely be picking this up in June for the PC.
For those of you looking to get this on the PS4 the developers have stated they would like to ensure the game is polished and perfect before moving it to another console, so that could mean a year or so down the road or never, we’ll see though.
All in all PAX East had some interesting announcements and fun looking releases on the horizon, keep an eye out for the above if any of this resonated with you.