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Recent Articles: PAX Prime 2013
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was quietly available to play on the show floor at PAX Prime 2013. There wasn’t a crowd around it – I didn’t even have to make an appointment or wait in a line to try it. The people who were playing it were completely engrossed, but it was a – not surprisingly – small number. With the linearity of the first Final Fantasy XIII, many fans were put off of the “Fabula Nova Crystallis” series (comprised of Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XV, and Final Fantasy Agito). XIII-2 brought in a time travel element that changed a few things about how the first game worked, but not enough to reclaim fans. Lightning Returns, while it still continues to feel like a game in the XIII world, has taken some steps to make it stand out – and also has Lightning in it, which is a major added bonus. (more…)
Any fan of the hit indie game Bastion already knows the name Supergiant Games, and is probably already following their latest work of art, Transistor. In fact, Warp Zoned’s very own John Scalzo played Transistor at PAX East, and he had nothing but wonderful things to say about it. I played it at PAX Prime, after the game had been announced for the PlayStation 4, and I was ecstatic at the gameplay (and at getting my hands on a DualShock 4). I loved Transistor so much that I went straight home from Seattle and immediately began playing Bastion, from start to finish, over the course of three days. All it did was make me wish it was 2014 already so I could play the rest of Transistor. (more…)
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are the first “main series” Pokemon games to be rendered completely in 3D, which is something fans of the series have been waiting for since the 3DS system itself was announced. Because of this, there’s a lot of excitement about the new titles, and a lot of healthy skepticism. Pokemon Black and White (and Black 2 and White 2) didn’t really do a whole lot that was innovative, but it seems that X and Y are going places the series never has before. Nintendo has added in a lot of extra features – some obviously just there for the adorability factor – that are going to make players happy, especially players who want to interact more with their Pokemon. And I got all of that just from playing a seven-minute demo at PAX Prime 2013 – which was the first time Nintendo showed off the new game in America. (more…)
I finally got a chance to get back to PAX Prime this year after a two-year hiatus from what may always be my favorite gaming expo. And, unsurprisingly, the first thing I got to play on the show floor at PAX Prime was the new Headhunters Pack for Borderlands 2, T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest. This new series of smaller DLCs are heavily focused on boss fights, and that was immediately clear in what we got to play. We also got to spend some time with Josh Jeffcoat, the Game Designer on the Headhunters Pack. (more…)
During last weekend’s PAX Prime expo, we had a chance to talk with Josh Jeffcoat, a Game Designer on Borderlands 2 at Gearbox Software. In the course of the interview, Jeffcoat had a lot to say about the game’s upcoming trio of mini-DLCs and revealed that the company’s current plan is to release all three Headhunter Packs by the end of the year. Though pricing details for the three packs have yet to be announced, Jeffcoat confirmed they’ll be cheaper than previous expansions like “Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep” (which was priced at $9.99). The first pack, “T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest,” will be available in October.
Jeffcoat also told us that the developers at Gearbox would love to create more Headhunter Packs in 2014, if the first three sell well:
Basically, we’re just going to see how people like it. If they like these new smaller-scale campaigns, then we might try and keep doing more of them, because they’re much, much faster for us to make than the full-scale Tiny Tina DLC was.
Obviously, this isn’t confirmation of anything. But the complete range of downloadable content for Borderlands 2 has been so successful that I’m certain fans will flock to the first three Headhunter Packs as well. Oh, and we’ll have a hands-on preview of “T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest” for you next week.
When Microsoft first revealed the Xbox One, downloadable game sharing features were at the center of the discussion. The consoles’s much coveted “Family Sharing Plan” would have allowed Xbox One owners to share their game purchases with friends and family, regardless of where they lived. However, that feature was temporarily disabled when Microsoft had to remove the Xbox One’s online check-in system due to fan backlash. But that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about it.
Albert Penello, a Senior Director in Microsoft’s Xbox Division, recently spoke to GameSpot about the future of the feature. According to Penello, not only does Microsoft plan to bring back family sharing, but the consolemaker plans to allow trading of downloadable games as well:
“We were trying to implement the ability to trade [and] loan digital games with your friends which is something that no one else was doing. I believe, in retrospect that people have calmed down and gone back and actually looked at what we said, people are starting to understand, ‘Wow, they did want actually to allow me to loan and trade’ which other digital ecosystems don’t want to do. And so, yeah, I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the experience.”
“I get a lot of mails saying ‘god, please bring back the family sharing.’ We’d love to figure out how to bring that back. I still think it was a good idea. Maybe it was a little too soon for some people, but I still think there were a lot of good ideas in there. And we’ll bring it back when the time is right.”
I wonder which game will become the Stadium Events of the digital download world.
The PAXpocalypse List: The Best of PAX Prime 2013
This year’s PAX Prime was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. And even with four days, I still didn’t get a chance to play everything – or even see everything. Lines were long, crowds were huge, and once I got started in on a good game, I wanted to play it as much as I could. We were originally only going to award ten games, but by Monday, we couldn’t narrow it down, so we ended up adding in two more. Here is the PAXpocalypse List for PAX Prime 2013 – the twelve games we’d love to be stranded with if this little convention in Seattle was the end of the world. And they’re in alphabetical order… because that’s how it’s done when you can’t pick favorites. (more…)
The developers at Gearbox Software are just busy little bees aren’t they? In addition to even more downloadable content for Borderlands 2 (the “Ultimate Vault Hunters Upgrade Pack 2” will be available tomorrow and the “Headhunter Pack” drops in October), the company has confirmed they have two original games in the works for next-generation consoles.
One of those games is surely Furious 4, the developer’s Tarantino-esque World War II shooter. Originally announced as Brothers In Arms: Furious 4, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford confirmed (at last year’s PAX Prime, it turns out) that the game would drop any connection to the Brothers In Arms series and go it alone as a brand new franchise.
Pitchford wouldn’t say what’s in the hopper after Furious 4, but my guess is it’ll be funny. Only time will tell if it’s intentionally funny (Borderlands) or not (Duke Nukem Forever, Aliens: Colonial Marines).