The Ten Most Interesting Games From PAX Prime 2014
...Alas, this was a bit trickier to cover, if only because between having to get my info second-hand, the overlap between major games that appeared both here and at Gamescom, and the fact that not many people wanted to update on Labor Day weekend, info on any good highlights from the show haven't popped up as much. But let's just see what we have...
Well, if there was a reveal everybody was talking about at PAX this year, this was definitely it: The reveal of the mysterious Firewatch that had been teased before by notable veterans of the gaming industry, now shown as an intriguing first-person adventure taking place in 1989 starring a fire lookout seemingly paranoid after the 1988 Yellowstone wildfires and setting out on a bizarre personal journey where his only link to humanity now is a female voice on the other end of a radio...Can't wait! Also, any game that has Olly Moss doing the artwork deserves to be noticed. Damn sweet.
Costume Quest 2
Honestly, I could pretty much leave this at just "It's Double Fine, therefore it shall be awesome and I will buy it", but I'll elaborate and also point out that it's a sequel to an incredible kid-friendly RPG, appears to contain even more of the stuff that made the original great and more, and apparently lets you now play as an evil clown that can combat Steve Martin. So yeah, it shall be awesome and I will buy it.
Yes, I mentioned Titan Souls here before as well. But I think we can all safely agree that any game that can be described as "Dark Souls + Shadow of the Colossus + The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" quite easily deserves all the coverage it can get. Seriously, I dare you to disagree.
A Fistful of Gun
Also in stuff that's hard to disagree with, chaotic and action-packed Western-themed top-down co-op shooters. Which sounds like quite a mouthful, but then again, the game throws quite a bit at you itself, as you may see, and that's the way we like 'em. It may have to duel with Secret Ponchos for the title of Best Indie Top-Down Western Shooter...and the upcoming enhanced Westerado game as well...dang, this is kind of an odd trend.
A City Sleeps
So having already conquered the world of rhythm games, Harmonix now decides to take a shot at the world of "bullet hell" shooters. Kind of an odd direction, but the attacks are directly tied into the soundtrack, so they haven't strayed too far from their roots. And aside from looking awesome, we also get a cool story about diving into peoples' heads to perform dream exorcisms, and as mentioned before, anything I can even remotely connect to Psychonauts = Giddiness from me.
Salt and Sanctuary
Well, Ska Studios impressed the hell out of me last year with last year's Charlie Murder, one of my top indie games from then that featured old-school gameplay where you beat the tar out of every known monster available to man. So let's bring back the parade of monsters again and wrap it all in a Dark Souls-inspired Metroidvania game. Yeah, I'd say that sounds like a good (albeit punishing) time.
Spry Fox sort of basically earned my eternal gratification for producing Road Not Taken, as you may remember last month. So when they announce a new game about dragon-wrangling and the joy of movement as you fly through the air, damn straight I'll pay attention. And it has a Western theme as well, because seriously, how did that suddenly become a thing among indie games?
It might not even have a name yet, but after Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, and Battleblock Theater, The Behemoth could probably release a game that consists of nothing but a blank screen and everyone would be all over it in seconds. But instead they're prepping what looks to be one hell of an incredible turn-based strategy RPG with a lot of personality, as usual. Actually, screw the name, it's safe to say we'll take this as is.
Well, it'd be silly of me not to feature anything from the PAX 10, a selection of outstanding indie games chosen to be given honors and featured at the show. So for a change of pace, why not a mobile game where you're a living skull flinging itself around by its brains in order to take down undead deadbeats and collect debts from them? Ah yes, that'd definitely be one hell of a distraction for your phone...
Another game from the PAX 10, you may notice that the trailer for Nova-111 is notably not new. I know it feels a tad like cheating, but I sadly missed out on playing the game and E3 and regretted it, because the premise of a turn-based adventure and puzzle game in a real-time world is quite intriguing indeed, to say the least. So here's to you, Nova-111. May you hopefully charm our pants off soon (hopefully with a new trailer, at least).
And yes, we have even more trailers, believe it or not. It probably doesn't help that the Tokyo game Show also began just as I was writing this. But seriously, let's take a look at some of the other remnants next and see what we get...