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All Articles: PAX East 2015
We played a ton of Knight Squad at PAX East. Read our Hands-On Preview here.
Every year at PAX East, there’s always one game that attendees begin to whisper about as they’re chatting with strangers while waiting in one of the many lines. This year, that game was Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games. All weekend long, crowds were pushed towards their little booth to play their eight-player game that very closely resembles the love child of Gauntlet and Bomberman. This left the developers, including Lead Programmer Jean Simon Otis, completely exhausted, but also excited.
Both feelings were very present when we sat down to talk with Otis at the show. (more…)
Cramming eight people around the television set in my living room for a night of gaming seems like the worst idea of all time. For one, I’ve only got enough couch space for about four-and-a-half people, so an unlucky few would be regulated to the floor. I guess they could ask my beast of a dog to share her floor pillow, but she’s a drooler and a licker. That’s bad, though most of my sympathies would lie with the poor sucker who has to wedge himself in the fireplace. But you know what, having a full complement of players for Knight Squad might make it worth it. (more…)
This Summer, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the Strong Museum of Play will announce the first class of inductees for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Any game, past or present, arcade or console, casual or hardcore, is eligible to be enshrined within its soon-to-be hallowed halls, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame is currently accepting nominations on their website through March 31. Do you think your favorite game has what it takes to be considered Hallworthy? First, it has to meet the following criteria:
- Icon Status: The game is widely recognized and remembered.
- Longevity: The game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time.
- Geographical Reach: The game meets the above criteria across international boundaries.
- Influence: The game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. A game may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.
Earlier this month, we asked a few developers at the PAX East expo which games they would nominate for the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Here’s what they told us… (more…)
Back in the day, Sega used to run an advertising campaign that claimed “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t.” Aside from angering my inner nerd (I was an excellent speller in grade school), I could never actually figure out what Sega did that Nintendo didn’t. The same benefit of the doubt does not apply to the people who currently run Capcom. We know exactly what they aren’t doing, and that’s treating Mega Man, one of gaming’s most beloved characters, with the respect he deserves. There hasn’t been a new Mega Man game in nearly five years, and aside from an appearance in last year’s Super Smash Bros. For 3DS/Wii U (a Nintendo production), the character has been completely forgotten.
Enter Chris King, the programmer for Batterystaple Games. He saw the Mega Man-shaped hole in the market and decided to give the people what they wanted. His new game, 20XX, is a loving homage to Mega Man (more specifically, to the Mega Man X series) that adds in a lot of things that Capcom couldn’t do back in the 90s.
Let me paint you a picture of two different titles.
When I hear the title Echoes of Eridu, I’m reminded of the late 80s/early 90s and the, let’s say less enlightened, state of sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks. You know the ones. The women have hair teased out in every direction and, whether the setting of the story is outer space or the English countryside, they’re dressed in skintight spandex bodysuits. If we’re lucky, there might be a unicorn or a spaceship to spice up the scene.
Echoes of Eridu was never a sci-fi/fantasy story from my childhood years. It’s actually an in-progress video game that’s now known as 20XX.
20XX should also evoke feelings of the late 80s/early 90s, but for a slightly different reason. According to Capcom, every game in the Mega Man X franchise takes place in the year “20XX,” so any game that carries that title instantly makes me think of side-scrolling platformers, arm cannons, laser swords, robotic baddies, and spikes… so many spikes. Batterystaple Games’ 20XX delivers all of those things and much more. Changing the name of their in-progress platformer was just one of the many great decisions they’ve made so far. (more…)
Once again, The Behemoth built an elaborate demo station for their currently untitled turn-based strategy game, Game 4, at this year’s PAX East expo. In previous years, the developer has outfitted its arcade-like offerings in arcade cabinets, but the more tactical gameplay of Game 4 required something a bit more elaborate. So out went the arcade cabinets and in came a towering command module complete with a Y-shaped lever that set the action into motion. (more…)
Nintendo has announced the Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition compilation pack will be released for the 3DS on May 22. More than a simple match-3 game, both 3DS titles (which will available on a single game card) will expand on the formula of the franchise:
The newest game, Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, resembles a classic Super Mario Bros. game with a puzzling twist. Players drag and match colorful orbs to chain combos to battle opponents, level up and clear stages. But the action beyond that simple drag-and-match premise reveals much deeper game play. The game transports players to the Mushroom Kingdom, where they recruit Bowser’s baddies, like Goombas, Koopa Troopas and the Koopalings, along with much-loved characters like Toad and Yoshi to help fight more than 80 classic enemies across a variety of different worlds.
The second game, Puzzle & Dragons Z, which became a big hit in Japan and sold more than 1.5 million units in the first six months after launch, features similar drag-and-match game play with an even richer storyline. Players collect and battle a fantastic array of more than 250 Monsters, which can be hatched from Eggs that players gather from defeating enemies. Then, using collected Chips (from defeating enemies), players can evolve their Monsters to gain new Skills, a higher level cap and better stats on their quest to rebuild the world.
A demo version of Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will be added to the 3DS eShop in early May for those interested in trying it out early. But if you already played the puzzler at this month’s PAX East convention, you might see yourself in the new trailer Nintendo filmed on the show floor.
Most of the big publishers chose to skip the 2015 edition of PAX East and even those that did attend (like Nintendo and Microsoft) kept their most anticipated projects home. But that didn’t stop a wide variety of indie developers from setting up shop in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to wow the assembled masses. These developers set the tone for this year’s expo, which featured a heavy focus on games that attempted to reinterpret classic gameplay concepts for a new generation of players. And the crazy thing is that many of the developers hyping these games looked like they would have been in diapers the first time I fired up an SNES.
It was a welcome sight with the rest of the industry pivoting away from those types of games and towards a competition to see who can push the most polygons. So if you were a fan of gaming in the NES, Super NES, and Genesis days, this PAXpocalypse List is for you. Because these are the games we would have played over and over again if some horrible snow storm had trapped us inside the convention center beyond the last day of the expo. (more…)