PAX 2012 Sunday: Tactical Maneuvering

Hey All, we survived one day! Let's go for round 2. No videos this time, as I was frantically moving from one booth to the next, trying to maximize effectiveness.

Our Spawn-point today will be the Borderlands 2 booth. I didn't go and play, as we all know how Borderlands plays and they aren't changing that much according to a lot of people. Also it comes out in 2 weeks, so I didn't see too much of a point.

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It seems Pikapool approves of the game.
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And a few of my personal friends went as Nurse Joy and Brock.

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Anyway, enough of the atmosphere, we're here for the games. Objective A: Sony Booth. The Last of Us line was ridiculous, so I didn't get to go this year. Sorry guys. The Sony guys were as nice as Microsoft's, and they allowed me to take recordings. However I could not figure out how to play and record at the same time (as it was all standing booths), so you'll have put up with stills. First up, PlayStation Battle Royal: All Stars.

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The game actually plays as a mix between SSB and Soul Caliber. X, was horizontal, Y was vertical, B was Kick. I'm playing Raiden against 3 of my friends.

The odd thing about the game was how it counted points. Rather than SSB ring outs, the players seemed to have health, but the health bar wasn't exactly clear or had any indication on the screen. Because of this, I ended up comming in third.
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After this we leave to scope out the Nintendo booth, stopping by the Pink Gorilla Booth (purveyor of import's, figures, classics, ect.).
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The Nintendo booth here was a mild disappointment. The WII U was headlining, but the software didn't really appeal to our group. Pikmin 3 was there, but we all know how good that one's going to turn out right?

So fast forwards to the Rising booth. The playable demo showcased some of the basic stuff in the game and the mechanics seemed solid, though one of the fine slice control choice was a bit hard to get used too... and the demo made me worry about linearity and repetitiveness.

At this point, it nears 12:00 so let's take a lunch break.

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Now that second costume (and I'm pretty sure there was a guy inside that) is dedication. Fueled up, we move on to... Hawken! Surprise of the show, Hawken played well and was a blast to play mixing the tried and true MechWarrior designs and Armored Core-esque speed and flow. We were a little worred about repeditiveness again considering that there are only projectile weapons (and about 4 weapon groups), and map choices but we'll have to see.

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That's the group ahead, gearing up to spawn. After going out in a blaze of glory we decide to brave the lines of RE 6.
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I had major mixed feelings coming away from this game. The moving and shooting does not really have a profound affect on the horror as your aim seriously takes a hit. The major issue is that you DON'T FIND AMMO. It takes a lot of rounds to put zombies down, and with the lower accuracy for all weapons in all stances, I ran out of ammo in the first minute. Hopefully that when the game comes out, upgrades (and not idiotic AI, the AI buddy in the demo was sub-stellar) fixes this. Other than that, the cover system was a bit buggy, and there are a certain enemy type (the four legged dog/spitter creatures) that are near impossible to take on unscathed without a competent partner.

After emerging, and resting for a little bit from lines, I realized we had not played Sly Cooper! Let's do it!

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I'm no Sly veteran, but the game played solidly and had a very Prince of Persia-esque rewind every time you died. I'm sure sly fan's will be happy with this one. I did get lost a few times and I had a tough time making a few specific jumps, though I'm fairly sure that's just my rookie just peaking out.

Wandering the Sony booth, I sighted something really interesting.

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The game looks great on the Vita. Really great. I honestly prefer some of the simplicity in some of your actions in JSRF, but that's just me.

Speaking of HD remakes Sonic also looks pretty good in HD.

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Let's meander a little shall we? Skulls of the Shogun was a blast to play. I can't say one bad thing about the mechanics of the game itself. I felt the 1 minute it gives you in multiplayer to finish your turn isn't enough. My friend and I both had about 8-9 unit's on the field and we both ran out of time at least once. Cross-platform integration between Xbox and Win 8 tablets, makes me very fearful of my grades next quarter.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist was all about options. The demo that was show was all guns blazing, in my opinion, a stupid idea giving everyone a terribly wrong idea about the game. From what we gathered it's essentially convictions done right, as far as we discussed with the Devs. You can carry bodies around again. Knife is back, allowing you to cut canvas and stab things. Mark and Execute is still around, cementing my fears that it might be too easy, along with a new feature that allows you to do a sort of running fluid jog from cover to cover using mark and execute. According to the devs there is a lot of planning involved with that. There seems to be some moral choices in the cut scenes as we saw as Fisher had a choice of knocking someone out or killing him. Interigations are back, but are quicker and more streamlined in more of a mini-game fashion. I don't know what to think about this one.

Assassin's Creed 3 was interesting. The demo we watched was short, but it showed off unmarked quests, new ways of blending in groups, new moves, a new weapon (for me at least) a knife with a rope attached which you can use to drag the enemy. The player, up in a tree, used the enemy as a counterbalance as he quickly jumped off the tree securing a safe landing. Being able to escape through buildings. Enviorment sensitive assassinations. (the player pushed an enemy of the side of the boat as she sprinted towards them). there was a new health mechanic, though I didn't catch it properly, as I was too busy watching the screen. Some of the bayonet attacks you can do with rifles (one of which was really brutal).

Oh and you can dual wield one handed weapons.

Gears of War changed a lot. You're only allowed one primary, one pistol at a time, and the controls are set up closer to Call of Duty. Grenade is now left bumper seeing a lot more use. New weapon was a bolt action marksman rifle, with four rounds to the Longshot's 1; that dominated mid-long range combat (no scope though). The Lancer is VERY powerful, the Hammerburst is now only single shot with no iron sites (at all); you can no longer hold down the trigger. You no longer spawn with shotguns, they are now drops.

And that's it! I had a blast at PAX and I hope to go again next year (though probably not for all 4 days). The ones that most impressed of the show was definitely Skulls of the Shogun, Hawken, and.... Happy Wars.

That's right, I saved the biggest surprise as a parting gift for ya'll. Off to the side of the Halo booth was a small XBLA game that I got a glimpse of and was vaguely interesting in yesterday. I saw small sackboy like creatures running around what looked like a cartoony version of the Battlefield map Wake Island, with castles on each end. I came back in the last 15 minutes today just to figure out what the game was about. It turned out to be some of the most fun I've had all day. The game starts you out in your base with a choice of 3 classes. You then have to run a gauntlet to the other base building your command posts along the way while knocking down theirs. It play's a bit like a combo of Battlefield and DOTA; as you spawn from the towers you build. For such a simple game, it's so hard to describe (Multiplayer Trailer). For a bunch of friends just wanting to kill a bit of time, it's hard to recommend another game from this PAX. Supposedly the game is also Free to Play for the XBLA, which is a surprising combo.

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Thanks again for the support everyone! (Imgur gallery has some extra images, and yesterday's gallery was updated with the missing pictures. See yesterday's writeup now complete with videos)!