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Pax West: Day 3 Recap

By: Scarlette

Just a little late on the recap because I had a travel day, but day three of Pax was packed with amazing game demos and interviews!

I headed over to Rising Star game booth for a lengthy line up for excellent games.

Played two rounds of Conga Master. Frankly, this was a game that I wasn’t too keen on trying, but Im glad I did. What an excellent multiplayer game! The objective is simple, players are conga leaders, they are pitted against each other in a room of people, and you have to try and get as many people dancing in your conga line. Each conga leader has stats to help the players either attract more dancers, or maneuver more easily on the floor, etc, the and random power ups drop on the floor that players can gather to gain an edge. My first round I was pretty terrible at the game, I had one one dancing in my conga line because I was trying to get a handle on the controls. Still kinda struggled in my second round but towards the end there, I was able to conga around the room and gather the most dancers for a under-dog style win! Conga Master is loads of fun and was definitely a crowd pleaser at Pax–its alot more fun played in a group.

Up next was 88 Heroes. I was kinda shaky on this game too, because looking at it, it seemed like a fairly basic platformer. I wasn’t sure what it could offer me that I hadn’t played before. However, 88 Heroes did manage to surprise me with it’s premise and it’s humor. Basically, the main antagonist, plans on blowing up the world in a short amount of time. All of Earth’s prominent heroes are not interested, thinking the threat is a joke. So it left to the bottom of the barrel heroes to save the world. A new level is generated for your to platform your way through, and each time you enter  new level you are give na new hero, out of the 88, to play. Each hero has their own unique (sometimes useless) powers and disabilities, that they player has to work around while trying to clear the level as quickly as they can. Its a great game, and if you’re a speed run type of gamer 88 Heroes will definitely keep you on your toes. I wasn’t very good at it myself, because the game required quite a bit of quick thinking and racing against the clock always makes me anxious! But it was fun for the demo that I played.

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Conga on the right, 88 heroes on the left

Across the way I didn’t get to play the Brutal demo–but I could tell you that it looked like a lot of fun and everyone else who was playing the demo seemed to be having a good time and provided positive feedback. Brutal pays homage to the old school computer dungeon crawlers, by utilizing designs from that period of gaming…Basically, # dungeons. It’sa dungeon crawling game, with single or co-op options.

My favorite game from this booth was Earth’s Dawn. Originally, I gravitated towards this game because I loved the art style– Im a huge Vanillaware fan (Odin Sphere is one of my favorite games)–and Earth’s Dawn really reminds me of that style, but with a touch of grit to give it a distinctive style of it’s own. Earth’s Dawn game play is a classic side scroller brawler, so you get to unless wicked combos on a levels of enemies. The art in Earth’s Dawn in the first highlight of the game, but the controls and the game play are seamless and smooth. Any brawler or side scroll gamers will be able to pick up Earth’s Dawn and get right into the action, but will notice combat nuisances–using different moves and weapons to break through certain enemies defense, an execution move, and dashes to link up crazy combos. Earth’s Dawn also boasts an impressive crafting and skill system. During my demo I took some time to go through and craft items (crafting items are dropped by those enemies you’re slicing and dicing)- the crafting system allows for nifty item effects and bonuses. When  got done crafting my item, I had a fire/ice gun that tracked enemies. It was amazingly OP and so much fun. But what I can really see loosing many hours to in Earth’s Dawn is the skill tree. Oh. My. God. The skill tree in this game is MASSIVE and in depth. You can unlock so many skills and blend them together (its like skill crafting is the best way to describe it) in order to create something entirely new. I spent some extra time on Earth’s Dawn, and cleared a few extra levels because I was having such a good time with it. Keep your eye out for Earth’s Dawn!

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Brutal on the right, Earth’s Dawn on the left.

Shortly after I moved over to play one of the most talked about games at Pax; Osiris: New Dawn. I dont have any screen caps or photos to share because there is an embargo date, but I need you geeks to know that Osiris is….everything a space survival game should be. And I dont even ENJOY these type of games, it’s not usually something I would play in my free time, but Osiris: New Dawn certainly made me want to pick it up and play it. Essentially the game is about humans who are now out colonizing new planets and you crash land on your planet and need to build a habitat to survive and thrive. If you’ve seen or read the Martian, the survival aspect of Osiris: New Dawn is heavily inspired by it…right down to the potatoes. Surviving isn’t the only thing to do in Osiris, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore your new plant, gather and build, and grow a settlement. Osiris also allows gamers to play together on the same planet, can you band together to create a settlement–but be weary, not all players on your planet are friendly – Osiris has a PVP element! There are two primary factions in the game, and you may find other friendly faction players to create settlement with, there might possibly be other players on the planet looking to raid your homes. Osiris draws on many elements of game play, its this highly entertaining blend of survival, farming, building, combat and PVP. When a game tries to encompass this many play types, it can get lost in itself very easily, but Osiris manages to execute all of these styles wonderfully to make make a very fulfilling gaming experience. The attention to detail in Osiris is also something that I need to make particular mention of. The dev team took special care in creating an immersive world, ensuring that every detail feels real to your experience. Right down to the how a dirt mound looks like, changing weather patterns, or how your character stands as he is holding certain weapons. Osiris pays close attention to everything, ensuring that players really do feel like they are out on a space exploration and survival mission. An excellent game and shouldn’t be missed!

After wrapping up with Osiris I went to visit with Runic Games and their booth was constantly PACKED with people wanting to play their demos! I didnt get the chance to play Hob, but I can assure you that the line was always capped and was definitely a crowd favorite.

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However, I did get to play Gigantic.

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And the line for Gigantic is long and capped. Hob was a crowd favorite, definitely, but Gigantic seemed to be the more popular of the two games….and I can understand why. After my demo, I was sorely tempted to get in line again and replay a match. We have a a quick interview with Carter, one of the game devs for Gigantic, explaining what the game is and what makes it so unique. You can give the interview a listen: here. I loved Gigantic. Its this fast paced, highly addictive, and fun moba like game. My team lost their match, but I was itching for a win. MOBA players are familiar with that feeling, and will be sure to love Gigantic as well. It’s ton of fun, offering multiple map objectives, pvp, and unique characters with play styles to match every type of gamer. An excellent way to wrap up our last day at Pax.

Next year we will definitely stay for all four days. There is just so much to do, so much to play! Overall, I had a wonderful time at Pax and hope that you geeks did too!

Check out our gallery below for some great photos while we are Pax for our final day!

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