PAX East 2016 – Highlights from the far east

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.


Bravely Second

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.


Pokémon’s world is about to get a little more crowded

In a world of seemingly unending Pokémon games, we are officially blessed with two more. Why shouldn’t we be? It is in fact the 20th Anniversary of the franchise. Don’t forget, we are also getting Pokémon GO! this year as well as Pokken Tournament in March. So really, that’s four new Pokemon games this year alone. With that being said boys and girls, let me introduce you to Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Now that you have had some time to pick your jaws up off the ground. Lets get right down to what this means and what we saw.

You may have first asked yourself, ‘Did I just see Blastoise and Machamp riding in vehicles?’ If you did, you aren’t wrong. Its not completely clear where the location of the game is. But one thing is for sure, there are vehicles.

One of the most interesting new features that is rolling out with the re-release of Red and Blue is Pokémon Bank. With Pokémon Bank, players will be able to move their Pokémon from  Red, Blue, and Yellow to Sun and Moon. Red and Blue released on February 27th. An added bonus here is that Pokémon from the previously released Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, X, and U will also be transferable to Sun and Moon.

This means, that the Mewtwo you captured many moons ago will now be able to be recaptured and played on a newer game in the franchise. Sun and Moon are really re-defining what it means to catch’em all.

In regards to pure gameplay elements being introduced in Sun and Moon, we got no information on that during Nintendo’s announcement. The majority of the Nintendo event covered the franchises history. During Nintendo’s event it was stated that Sun and Moon will release later this year in time for the holidays. Whats more impressive is they will release worldwide, covering nine different languages.


With Sun and Moon releasing holiday 2016, it brings up an interesting thought that conventional wisdom points to the Nintendo NX being launched holiday 2016 but that doesnt seem likely. What Nintendo NX will be however is yet to be seen. How does the franchise play into this and what does this mean for the franchise overall? Only time will tell. Until then, lets play some Pokken Tournament this March on our trusty Wii U!

Nintendo Holiday List

Nintendo Holiday List – PRESS RELEASE

Nintendo Shows Off the Must-Have Games of the Holiday Season at Malls Across the U.S.

All the hottest video games of the holiday season will be on display when Nintendo visits 16 malls around the country from Nov. 23 to Dec. 20. Holiday shoppers who want to make a fun pit stop can try the Japanese sensation  YO-KAI WATCH game, which just hit U.S. shores on Nov. 6, the New Nintendo 3DS XL system, amiibo and more.

And the Nintendo fun doesn’t end there! In addition to  YO-KAI WATCH, other Nintendo 3DS games available to play include  The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force HeroesPokémon Super Mystery DungeonAnimal Crossing: Happy Home DesignerChibi-Robo! Zip LashSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS  and   Mario Kart 7.

For Wii U, the scheduled lineup includes  Super Mario MakerSplatoonMario Tennis: Ultra SmashYoshi’s Woolly WorldSkylanders SuperChargers  from Activision and   Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

Visitors can also check out the latest amiibo figures and visit Nintendo’s colorful interactive space to receive free giveaways and Nintendo Holiday Gift Guides, while supplies last. Nintendo holiday “gurus” will be on-site as well to assist gift givers with questions, and provide recommendations to those looking for the perfect gift from Nintendo. While supplies last, visitors can also receive a coupon for use on Nintendo products at Toys R Us locations this holiday season.

Celebrate the holiday season with Nintendo at the following locations:

Fans unable to make it to one of these locations can visit, where all members of the family can customize their own Nintendo holiday wish lists and then print, email or share it with friends and family.