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Salt & Sanctuary:  A 2D side scrolling action RPG, this could very well be the illegitimate bastard love child of Castlevania Symphony of the Night and Dark Souls.  This gothic indie game developed by a two person team will remind you how much fun repeatedly dying can be.  This game features a strong emphasis on character customization with over 600 items and gives you freedom to use any combination of spells and weapons you desire.  Extremely difficult bosses that require you to learn their patterns in order to get any hope of successfully beating them are promised by the developers.  While playing the demo I died a few times but I always made more progress with each subsequent attempt.  The controls were very smooth and felt intuitive.  Good Metroidvania games are hard to come by these days, and this looks like a good title to satisfy anyone who enjoys that style of game.  This game is slated to come to PS4 and Vita along with PC.

March of Industry:  This is a pretty unique game from the creator of 8 Bit MMO. I will attempt to describe it but will likely not do it justice.  This is a game where you are a business tycoon in a former Soviet country.  You combine natural resources to make weapons to sell for profit, some of these weapons I am told include dragons and black holes.  There are four different technology ages, each with their own base natural resource.  These are The Sand Age, The Copper Age, The Iron Age, and the most technologically advanced age, The Potato Age.  An example of how crafting works in the sand age is you start with sand and make it into glass.  Make the glass into discs, and then you can make disc launchers.  In the potato age, you start with (wait for it) a potato.  From the simple potato you make glorious vodka.  From that you make a guy named Ivan, who drinks all your vodka.  I hear Ivan is an extremely destructive weapon.  Community modding is allowed and encouraged.  This game is already approved on Steam, we are just waiting for its release.

Darkest Dungeon:  This is a roguelike tactical RPG.  Everyone in your party is disposable.  Eventually when you get enough upgrades you can select someone to be a sergeant and try to keep him alive while using everyone else as cannon fodder, but ultimately I was advised not to get too emotionally attached to any character.  There is a town that you return to as a constant home base in between trips to the dungeon to loot and get killed.  Currently this game is available on Steam Early Access with the finalized version slated to arrive October.  PS4/Vita versions are scheduled for early 2016.  The soundtrack is also available on Steam for a reasonable price, for anyone (such as me) who enjoys game soundtracks.

Necropolis:  I don’t know if there are roguelikes that are 3D action dungeon crawlers, but if there wasn’t there is now.  If there are, this is a welcome addition.  The laziest but not totally inaccurate to describe it is a game like Dark Souls trying to steal The Wind Waker’s look, except completely different.  That is actually a terrible way to describe it.  It has elements of everything I mentioned, but it is its own unique entity.  It has randomized dungeon layouts that you explore, collecting loot and trying not to die, but eventually one of the many various creatures will kill you and you will like it.  Watch the trailer that I linked since seeing it in action will showcase the unique art style better than I can describe it.  Harebrained Schemes, the people behind the newer Shadowrun games are putting out Necropolis, and are also working on a new Battletech game.

Potions A Curious Tale:  This is a game where you take the role of a witch named Luna who is accompanied on her travels with her cat familiar.  The main premise of the game is you gather various ingredients to make into different potions that you use to solve puzzles and serve as weapons.  There is combat in this game but it is pretty limited from what I saw, I mostly threw some fire potions at aggressive mushrooms and giant spiders.  Completing this adventure is more focused on puzzle solving and not relying on winning a battle for every solution.  As a witch you can escape enemies and travel quickly by flying on your broom which is a simple but fun mechanic.  The story was starting to get interesting when I reached the demo’s conclusion.  This is different from most of the games I play which are all about violence and killing, but the demo was enjoyable enough that I am intrigued to check this out when it is released.

IndieBox:  Remember when I said my next PAX post would only be about games?  I lied.  This is a subscription service similar to Lootcrate.  What they are is a company that caters to people who miss the game boxes and instruction manuals of old school gaming.  So what they do is every month they put together a box and mail it to you.  This box contains a USB drive with the game or a Steam key.  Standard items in addition to the game are the game soundtrack on CD and a game manual, along with other collectibles.  Each box includes more collectibles than just a single item, but some examples are the Rogue Legacy one had a sword key chain, Brutal Legend had a guitar pick, and Apotheon had a scroll with the world map.  If you enjoy Steam games and miss game box artwork and manuals, or just like game related collectibles, this is probably up your alley.

There were many other games I saw at PAX, some indie, some major, but these were the ones I spent the most amount of time with and am looking forward to playing the most.  Two major publisher games that looked interesting but I did not want to stand in the massively long for were Battle Born and For Honor.  I did not get the spiel on either game or play them so I cannot speak too much about them.  Basically Battle Born looks like a combat FPS from the creators of Borderlands with a similar art style.  I passed the display a few times and even though I know nothing besides what I just wrote it looks fun.  For Honor has amazingly realistic graphics, and looks like it is filled with carnage in three different heroes from different eras:  a knight, a viking, and a samurai.  I know nothing about this game aside from the trailer looks cool.  This paragraph was probably completely unnecessary and ultimately useless, but even though I know next to nothing about these games they look appealing and are on my radar.

This concludes my somewhat self indulgent PAX series.  PAX was a lot of fun, and as long and bloated as these posts have been I could easily have written 10 times the amount if I didn’t have a day job and other stupid adult responsibilities to worry about.  So many promising games were on display there, I am looking forward to seeing how the final products end up being.  This may become a regular occurrence with any PAXen I attend in the future, so depending on your frame of reference this could be a good or bad thing 🙂

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