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The PAXpocalypse List: The Best of PAX East 2014

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PAX East 2014 was a different type of show than in years past. Some big publishers, such as Nintendo, skipped the show completely, while others, like Microsoft, only brought a handful of unreleased games. This shift in the show floor allowed the indies to take center stage, and the majority of our PAX East 2014 PAXpocalypse List reflects this year’s status quo. But that’s not to say the big publishers skipped PAX East 2014 altogether. Towering displays from 2K, Bethesda, and Ubisoft dominated the exhibition hall map, and we definitely had some fun with a few games that will demand your time during this Summer and Fall.

So if we were cut off from the outside and trapped within the walls of PAX East 2014, which games would we return to over and over again? Well… (more…)

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Walking Dead: Season 2 coming to Vita next week; Season 1 now available on Android

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Telltale Games has announced that even more people now have a chance to experience their episodic games based on The Walking Dead.

The first two episodes of The Walking Dead: Season 2, “Episode 1: All That Remains” and “Episode 2: A House Divided,” will be released for the Vita next week. Beginning April 22, players can download both episodes for $4.99 each. As with all other platforms, a $19.99 Season Pass, which represents a 20% discount and includes future access to all five episodes, will also be available next week.

And for those of us who haven’t tried The Walking Dead: Season 1 yet, Telltale also revealed that the complete season (and the “400 Days” expansion) is now available for Android devices. Season 1 was made available for all Android devices through the Google Play store as well as through specialized stores such as TegraZone (Nvidia Shield) and the Amazon Appstore (Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Kindle HDX). The season’s first episode, “A New Day,” is currently available for free on all Android platforms.

Telltale is currently hard at work on the third episode of Season 2, “In Harm’s Way.” Expect to hear more about the continuing story of Clementine soon.

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Hyper Light Drifter Hands-On Preview: Like Playing a Dream

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Hyper Light Drifter exploded on the Kickstarter scene back in September of last year, eventually destroying its goal of $27,000. By the time the campaign ended on October 12, it had amassed an impressive $645,158 from backers. The game looked incredible, and I kicked it the moment I saw it. I was wary, as I have been about games on Kickstarter for some time – it’s more common to be excited about a game and have it arrive, months (sometimes over a year) later, and be a disappointing mess. But after playing Hyper Light Drifter at PAX East, I can say with confidence that this is one game that’s going to live up to how amazing it looks. (more…)

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Over 100 games will be included in the Indie Megabooth at PAX East 2014

paxeast2014Over the years, the Indie Megabooth has become one of the busiest spots at PAX East and PAX Prime and the 2014 East show is no exception. Organizers behind the Indie Megabooth have announced that 76 games will be permanently installed in the booth with another 28 titles rotating in-and-out of a special “Minibooth” within the Indie Megabooth over the course of the convention’s three days. For the first time, tabletop games will get a chance to shine in the Indie Megabooth. Sponsored by Cards Against Humanity, this selection of tabletop games includes bluffing game These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs, party game Funemployed, and six others.

Other highlights in this year’s Megabooth include Duet, a hypnotic mobile puzzler; Delver’s Drop, everyone’s favorite indie answer to the Zelda franchise; Hyper Light Drifter, everyone’s other favorite indie answer to the Zelda franchise; Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Answer, a sequel to the ultraviolent overhead shooter; and Secret Ponchos, an arena shooter that was one of our favorite games from PAX East 2013. Of course, with 104 total titles, this list of highlights is just scratching the surface of what’s available within the Indie Megabooth.

A complete list of titles that will be playable within the Indie Megabooth at PAX East 2014 can be found after the break. And more information about all of them is available at the organization’s official website. (more…)

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Amazon unveils Fire TV, a set-top box for games and video

amazonfiretvAmazon has entered another product market with the announcement of the Fire TV, an Android-powered set-top box that streams audio and video, and plays games. The Fire TV is available now for $99.

According to Amazon, the Fire TV is designed purely to outpace it’s competitors. The 0.7-inch-thick box features a quad-core CPU with 2 GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, and a dual-band wireless radio with two antennas for 1080p streaming. Long story short, as far as tech specs go, it trounces the Roku 3 and Apple TV with ease.

The gaming aspect of the box is geared more towards non-traditional gamers, people who may already tap about on a smartphone or tablet. To get into the game, players will have to purchase an Xbox-like add-on controller that retails for $39.99. The controller also comes with 1,000 Amazon coins, a digital currency used for buying games from the Fire store. If a game supports it, players can choose to use their smartphone, tablet, or Fire TV Remote instead.

Amazon’s in-house development team, Amazon Games, plans to build exclusive games for the device. Sev Zero, a third-person shooter/tower defense hybrid, is one such title and everyone who purchases the Fire TV Controller will receive it for free. Amazon hopes that by the end of next month “thousands” of games will be available from developers and publishers like 2K Games, Disney, Double Fine Productions, Electronic Arts, Sega, Telltale Games, and Ubisoft. Third party titles like Minecraft: Pocket Edition and Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne are already available for the device.

Amazon has pegged the average cost of a Fire TV game at $1.85, with prices starting at $0.99. Free-to-play titles will be available as well. But what else can the Fire TV do? (more…)

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Square Enix @ PAX East 2014: Hitman Go, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Nosgoth

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Square Enix will be bringing a trio of upcoming games to this year’s PAX East expo and not a single one has the words “Final,” “Fantasy,” “Dragon,” Quest,” “Kingdom,” or “Hearts” in its title. From April 11 through April 13, Square Enix will set up shop in Booth #548 with the following games:

Hitman Go - Hitman Go is a turn-based strategy game where you will strategically navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies, infiltrate well-guarded locations and take out your target on beautifully rendered diorama-style set pieces. You really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises distractions, sniper rifles and even 47’s iconic Silverballers. Developed by Square Enix Montreal, Hitman Go is set to arrive soon on mobile.

Murdered: Soul Suspect - A new take on the action/adventure genre, players take the role of Ronan O’Connor, a detective with a checkered past, whose life is brought to an untimely end by a brutal and relentless killer. Unable to move on and stuck in the limbo world of Dusk, he won’t find peace until he can bring his killer to justice from the afterlife. Set for release on June 3, Murdered: Soul Suspect will be available for PC, as well as current and next-gen consoles.

Nosgoth – Developed by Psyonix, Nosgoth is a unique team-based third person PvP title pitting a variety of brutal Human and Vampire characters in a fight for survival. The two races have very different play styles: Humans have an arsenal of devastating raged weaponry and lethal devices while Vampires specialize in visceral close-up melee attacks augmented by their inhuman abilities. Nosgoth is set in the dark fantasy world of the Legacy of Kain series and is currently in Closed Beta.

If you plan to attend PAX East and want to learn more about Nosgoth and Murdered: Soul Suspect, Square Enix will also host a pair of panels showcasing each game. The Murdered: Soul Suspect panel will take on Friday, April 11 at 6:00 PM while the Nosgoth panel, “Nosgoth: Vampire vs. Human Action,” will be held on Sunday, April 13 at 12:00 PM.

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Kickstart This! The Guinness Aftermath Edition

While most of Ireland went about their business as usual on March 17th, many parts of the world decided to paint themselves green and drink several pints of the black stuff to commemorate the man who drove the snakes from the Emerald Isle. It doesn’t matter that these people are not really Irish, that St. Patrick probably didn’t drive out the snakes (as there were no snakes to begin with), or that the saint’s real colour is blue. The true meaning of St. Paddy’s Day is less about the man and his legend, and more about the celebration and enjoyment of life.

So, with our Guinness hangovers having well and truly dissipated for another year, let us turn our attentions to the viper pit that is Kickstarter, plucking some worthy cobras and prize-winning pythons from the wriggling mess. Hot on the heels of Goat Simulator‘s launch comes a campaign for Bear Simulator. Next is pixel exploration adventure Spirit, followed by 2D point-and-click game Dead Synchronicity. Things get very serious in 2D interactive novel The Seed, before we enter the fantasy realm of Chaos Reborn. Last, but not least, is the beautiful and ambitious turn-based RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic.

Remember, a snake is for life, not just for St. Paddy’s Day. (more…)

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Ubisoft bringing Watch Dogs, The Crew, Child of Light, Trials Fusion, more to PAX East 2014

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Several big name publishers won’t be in attendance at this year’s PAX East convention, but you definitely shouldn’t count Ubisoft among their number. The French publishing powerhouse will have a massive booth featuring eight different games at this year’s show:

  • Watch Dogs - Con-goers will be able to view a before-seen demo of the game as well as participate in an “eye-opening Watch Dogs experience that lets fans see themselves through the lens of a hacker and get a look at how they could potentially be targeted.”
  • The Crew - Ubisoft’s upcoming driving game will be playable on the show floor as “players will be able to the own the road in a massive, open-world re-creation of the United States that is brimming with exciting challenges.”
  • Trials Fusion - Scheduled for release on April 16, attendees will get their first chance to play the first next-generation game in the Trials series. In addition to the hands-on demo, professional BMX riders will perform stunts in Ubisoft’s in-booth skate park.
  • Child of Light - Players will be able to take control of the game’s main character, Aurora, in a new hands-on demo: “Players will use an active turn-based fight system to uncover mythical dragons and other enchanting creatures, as well as explore the gorgeous watercolor-painted 2D environments in a poetic journey inspired by fairy tales.”

Ubisoft also plans to showcase a playable demo for an unannounced downloadable title as well as a trio of free-to-play titles: online shooter Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms, hack and slash The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, and collectible card game Might & Magic: Duel of Champions.

PAX East 2014 is less than three weeks away and it’ll be held in Boston, Massachusetts from April 11-13.

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