To get away from the Arctic tundra that can describe of a good chunk of United States I am hanging out in Texas at PAX South. Like I did at PAX Prime a few months ago, I am going to share my experience with my loyal readers, all four of you, through means of bloated articles where I briefly discuss things that I see here that interest me.
Enter the Gungeon: This is a roguelike/top down twin stick shooter. This bullet hell loot fest features multiple playable characters, each one with a unique history and final boss. Proper utilization of dodge rolls along with momentary invincibility are key strategic components to surviving this game. Individualized stories along with procedural generated dungeons allow for multiple unique playthoughs.
Okhlos: This game is an orgy of carnage and mayhem set in ancient Greece. You control an angry mob and the fun of this game involves leading this mob on a destructive rampage. The purpose of said rampage is to bring about the downfall of an oppressive god, so in a nutshell you rally the violent masses to commit simultaneous acts of treason and blasphemous deicide. Having never led a blood thirsty mob in real life I had no idea how much fun this is prior to trying out this game. An added perk for anyone at PAX South who was not already aware of this, anyone who tries out this game while wearing a toga will get the entire Devolver Digital catalog on Steam.
Videoball: This is a party game developed by a guy who spent 10 years in Japan forgoing any alcoholic imbibing in bars to play The Rumble Fish 2 in an arcade. I played a couple matches and discussed the game at length with the creator and I am still not sure if I can describe it in a paragraph and do it justice. The goal is to knock the ball into the opposing team’s goal which sounds incredibly dull and generic but it is actually pretty fun. To put it in the most simplified description, it plays like a hybrid between an overhead combat shooter and air hockey. If you are in the market for a unique sports party game this is a good one keep an eye open for.
Clustertruck: The description on the Steam store sums up it up perfectly, so instead of trying to top it: “Clustertruck is a chaotic physics based truckformer. Jump your way through insane levels in a game of “the floor is lava” on top of speeding trucks driven by terrible drivers.” Think Burnout if it was released by tinyBuild.
The Final Station: A cheerful post apocalyptic game about resource management. You travel around the world in a train, stopping along the way gathering food, ammunition, medical supplies, and other survivors. Resources are scarce, and you have to make decisions about what modern conveniences (such as electricity) you will go without to make it to the next destination. The quote about not knowing the key to success but knowing that the key to failure is trying to please everyone is applicable to the band of survivors that ends up in your care as you travel the wasteland. Similar to Punch Club, this is a game that appears simple but could potentially have a large amount of depth to it.
Road to Ballhalla: This is a modern take on a game like Marble Madness mixed with a rhythm music game. To literally add insult to injury, this game promises to mock you whenever you mess up.
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor: This is one of the more unusual games I experienced here. This is being billed as an anti-adventure game. You are an alien janitor and you wander about a space bazaar picking up garbage. You are also cursed, and you are able to eat hallucinogenic eyeballs. There is plenty more weirdness to be found in the game, but I will save that for if and when I write up a full review for this.
Umbrella Corps: This is a third person shooter set in the world of Resident Evil. This game is set for a May 2016 release with a target price of $29.99 and is built on the Unity Engine. There is a single player mode for this but that is more meant to be practice/training. The bulk of the game is meant to be multiplayer in up to 3 on 3 versus battles. As one would expect with the title the game is set in the Resident Evil universe and the levels are based on settings from various RE games.
Street Fighter V: I was a huge fan of Street Fighter back in the Mesozoic Era, and the thing I hated most about this franchise is every year there was a new and improved version for the SNES that brought new features and four new characters for the low low price of $79.99, which in today’s dollars is roughly $479.63. Street Fighter IV was also guilty of this nonsense too where I think there are 4 or 5 different incarnations of that game floating around. I learned today that Capcom is trying to atone for their sins of the past, and while SFV will be released with 16 playable characters and naturally many more will be released over the game’s lifespan, all new characters will be free (see below for details), meaning that for the first time since 1993 you need to only purchase one copy of Street Fighter V and not worry about it becoming obsolete. New characters can be acquired in one of two ways. The first way is the microtransaction approach of spending real money on digital content, and the other is earning pretend money by playing the game. Compatibility between different versions of SFV I am told will no longer be an issue, and people who have only the core 16 fighters will be able to play with people who have all the DLC content. Something else they are offering that I hope becomes more common is cross play between PS4 and PC, so if you have the game on Steam and your friend has it on PS4 you can still play against each other online. Because of this I am actually excited again about a once beloved franchise that I have become somewhat jaded toward. The fighting system in the game is new so if you approach the game like you are playing one of the many versions of II or IV you will not do too well. I only played a couple matches so I cannot go into too much detail on the specifics but this is one I was looking forward to a lot more than I was prior to spending some time with it.
Loot Crate Gaming: I am going to assume that most people who are reading this are at least familiar with what Loot Crate is, but if you are not, they are a company that sends you a mystery box once a month filled with assorted nerd goodies, random collectibles from things like sci fi or fantasy movies, books, comic books, video games, etc. They have branched out have different themed subscriptions and one off specialty boxes, like the Call of Duty Black Ops III or Mass Effect. Loot Crate Gaming is box subscription service that will be available in Spring. It is similar to other Loot Crate programs but this focuses exclusively on video game related items. In addition to the usual assortment of apparel, figures, and other random collectibles it will also include download codes for games or DLC. They will cover all varieties of games from independent to triple A. There is the possibility of exclusive games to be included in this program as well.
Omnibus: I didn’t spend any time with this game so I really cannot tell you anything about it aside from the fact it is scheduled to be released for the Atari Jaguar, so if any of you have that system collecting dust you will be able to purchase a new game for it.
Like all other PAXen, this one has video game music themed concerts. Tonight I saw The Returners who were great, just like they were at Prime. Bit Brigade performed the soundtrack to Mega Man 2, which once again I am disappointed that Noah did not lose any lives while playing, simply because I want to see what the band does if that ever happens.