Over the weekend, PAX finally arrived in Australia anddd it was amazing!
For those who aren’t aware, PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) is a huge gaming convention that started in America. I was incredibly lucky to get two Saturday passes for Ash and myself after a few came back on sale in June. Wish we had both gotten the three day passes instead but oh well, definitely next year if/when it comes back!!!
Warning: This entire post will be incredibly long and filled with game reviews by Ashley ♥
We were at PAX from 11am till about 8pm and yet it felt like we still hadn’t explored everything!
We started out our day there by attending the Koei Panel (Dynasty Warriors) with the director, Atsushi Miyauchi; where Japanese games in the western market were discussed; alongside with the struggles they face when trying to keep long-running game series fresh whilst being faithful to the concept and fans.
Oh, right. I should also mention that Ashley won a free signed copy of Dynasty Warriors 8!!!!!!
Which I take full credit for (ahem) ..and actually isn’t released in Australia until the 25th July. So since I’ve currently lost the boyfriend to DW8 at the moment, I decided to get him to write a review on how he likes it so far.
Dynasty Warriors 8: When giving this game a whirl, I thought that the best part would be playing it unreleased, I was mistaken. I don’t want to bore you with each and every little modicum of information but just some of the major things to note are: the terrible Renbu system from DW6 aka press square forever is thankfully still gone. The story mode plays out like an improved DW4 story mode where you pick a kingdom rather than a single character, with the ability to go against history and prevent destined deaths… BUT ONLY if you are good enough ;D And finally, the ability to switch weapons not only mid-battle, but mid combo adds some much needed depth. I’m not too high on the rock paper scissors addition they call Heaven, Earth and Man; but that’s a small blemish on an otherwise refreshing take on a dwindling series that brought this old fan back into the fold. So it turns out, playing this while virtually no other Australians can is only the second best part, the best part is seeing how far the series has come and enjoying the fruits of Koei’s long labor.
After the Koei panel, we explored the Exhibit Hall, which was filled with heaps of different publishers and developers presenting a wide array of games that we could experience first hand! We spent hours within this hall inspecting each stall – from the Indie Developers to the top tech range like Alienware – we endeavoured to visit each of them!
Of course, there were also amazing cosplays to view inside the Exhibit Hall !!!
The photo on the left are actually two of my awesome friends cosplaying as champions from LoL!
We tried as many games as possible – well, at least as many that didn’t require us to line up for a billion hours (damn you Oculus Rift!!!). Many of which happened to be by Independent Game Developers in Australia! A lot (if not all) had free badges …so I made it my mission to collect a bunch whilst Ashley tried out game after game haha!!
Well okay. I tried out quite a number of games too ….whilst still collecting all the badges !!
So as this is a lovely gaming post, here are a few reviews on some games that either Ashley or I tried out.
BlastPoints: This was a 3D movement spaceship shooter for iOS/android, utilizing the always graphically impressive Unreal engine. The rep was quick to enthusiastically prelude the occurrence of many explosions, while I was just relieved to hear they wouldn’t harm the player ship. Although I have limited experience playing spaceship games, I was instantly reminded of Star Wars Battlefront II space battles. I played it on a joypad which controlled well, but there’s also the option to play it with the native touchscreen of your device. While the game did have a sense of polish, it did not feel like I was playing something new or different. Overall, Blastpoints seemed to be a well-realized if somewhat rehashed concept brought over to new platforms. And yes… there was indeed many explosions.
Epoch 2: A graphically impressive arcade shooter for iOS. It plays smoothly however the decision to use auto-aiming may be a poor oversight. According to the person running the booth, it was done to appease casual gamers but may have segregated seasoned gamers through oversimplification. For both Melody & me, another iOS game that we’ve tried, Mayhem by Adult Swim (free btw) is more fun due to the manual aiming, even though Epoch 2 boasts a superior cover mechanic… but in the end a shooter game is about the shooting, no?
Yaiba Ninja Gaiden 7 (demo): You are thrust straight into a zombie apocalypse, only you are a bad-ass cybernetic ninja, which means less zombie apocalypse more zombie eradication.. does that not just scream out fun? It uses a stylistic cell shaded design, and is quite easy on the eyes even if it’s not the next big graphical breakthrough. It doesn’t seem very serious, so it’s very easy to pick and up play; and I was racking up phat combos and mowing a bloody, bloody path through legions of zombies within seconds. Only detractor was while both Melody and I were having heaps of fun, we could see ourselves falling prey to boredom via repetition. Hopefully the final release addresses this.
After hours in the Exhibit Hall, we finally remembered that there were other buildings to visit woops!
We headed over to both The Big Top and PC Area which were both pretty incredible!! The Big Top consisted of console freeplay & tournaments, tabletop area and handheld lounge ..which pretty much just translates to Games Game Games!! The PC Area was similar except instead of consoles like PS3, Wii, Xbox ..it had a billion PCs for LANing haha.
Ashley and I managed to rent a Wii and played Mario Kart for about 30 minutes. All I’ll say about this is… I sadly did not win any of the races :( I’ll console myself by knowing I’d beat him if we had picked Tekken.
So PAX definitely was worth the $55 ticket each ..and I can definitely say you’ll see us both there next year!
And since I took a few more pictures, you can see them all over here.
What’s your favourite game at the moment?
I’d also like to say a big thank you to Ashley for helping me write this post ♥