So I just got back from Pax East, and I bet you guys are wondering; did I have a good time?
Even though I ended up missing a bunch of panels I wanted to go to, avoided most of the larger games on the show floor to avoid waiting in endless lines, and had to skip the third day to catch my ride home, I had a great time nonetheless.
Now, I don't want to go over EVERYTHING I did, mostly because I forgot to take photos for much of it, but here are some of the highlights;
- Playing "What is Love?" in Dance Central in front of a huge crowd and actually doing a pretty good job with it.
- Seeing the Cosplay. Seeing ALL THE COSPLAY. ALL OF IT.
- Helping to make a new setting at the Steampunk Workshop. While I personally don't have anything to show for it, the people who ran it promised to eventually post the results on their blogs, which are here and here. They even said they might do a one-shot game in the setting we made at next year's PAX.
- Buying Xenoblade Chronicles.
- Playing Muchkin Quest for the first time and winning every round.
- Playing Power Stone 2 for the first time and losing every round.
- Meeting over 200 People on 3DS Streetpass.
- Seeing Johnathan Coulton and the Video Game Orchestra live.
- Beating Lolth in a fist fight.
That being said, there are a couple more things I want to gush about.
First, Firaxis Games' X-Com: Enemy Unknown. It is, in a word, promising. I admit the original came out before my time, so while I liked the concept and most of it's gameplay mechanics, I wasn't really fan of it's clunky UI. But after seeing the Enemy Unknown demo, it went all the way to the top of my "must have" list. While it nixes action points for a simplified "1 move action/1 attack action" system of combat, everything else, from the varied aliens to destructible environments to character customization to permadeath, are kept intact. Honestly, I can't think of any other company that I would trust with an X-Com remake.
That being said, the guy running the demo seems to like the direction that the upcoming X-Com FPS is going, as he said it "captures the spirit of the original". Maybe he's just shilling the other game so 2K Games stop pestering them, but I doubt it; Firaxis has more integrity than that.
Either way I'm going to reserve judgement on the FPS until I actually play it. Here's hoping for the best.
Retrograde, was a surprising little game I found. I remember hearing about it a year ago or something, and I fell in love with the concept of playing a shooter game backwards, but it dropped of the radar so I thought the game was canceled. Turns out it wasn't! Huge surprise!
I don't have a guitar controller, so I can't really say I'm going to buy it, but I totally recommend it to anyone who has one.
Sine Mora was another little gem I found. It's a side scrolling shooter, but with an interesting twist; you have to blow up ships to add to your timer just to stay alive. It's forgiving on the easier settings, and brutal on the hardest settings without relying on "Danmaku" style gameplay. Another recommendation for anyone who loves the genre.
Finally, Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, an action/stealth game that was an Independent Games Festival winner from a few years back that is only just now about to come out. It is the super bestest game ever and I'm not just saying that beacuse they gave me a T-Shirt.
...okay, seriously though. It is a great game that looks very stylish and has a lot of interesting features, such as multiple playable characters with radically different abilities and involved co-op gameplay. I'm probably going to buy it the moment it comes out.
Of course, for all my praise, there is one thing that I saw that I found seriously disappointing;
Dragon's Dogma is a 3rd person action-RPG made by Capcom that's set to be released in about a month, and quite frankly I wasn't impressed by what I saw. The graphics seem rough and textures have poor resolution, and while I didn't get to play the game myself I have a hard time believing it's combat its going to top games like Kingdoms of Amalur and Dark Souls. It just seems like an attempt to ape those games without adding anything new, which is a real shame because Capcom does good work even today, it just doesn't seem to be willing to pour time, effort and resources into making anything other than Street Fighter sequels.
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Dragon's Dogma will be good enough to be the next Skyrim. I sincerely doubt it, but a man can dream, can't he?
Now, for those of you who read this looking for free stuff; I picked up a couple codes for the Dungeon Defenders Penny Arcade Character Pack, and I'm going to give them away to two random people who post comments. And by "random", I mean "people who say the funniest and/or most constructive things within an arbitrary time period". So get posting, people!