After two jam packed days at PAX East 2017, we wrapped things up on Sunday by just checking out the floor with no appointments and then getting out of the area before we were trapped by snow storm Stella. We also saw a ton of unscheduled games during Press Hour on Day 1, squeezed in some time on Saturday between interviews, and did one last round of the showfloor on Sunday.
Coming to PS4 from the team that brought us Resogun, Nex Machina is an awesome arcade, top down shooter that has the legendary Eugene Jarvis on board as a creative consultant. Similar to Jarvis’ masterpieces Robotron and Smash TV, Nex Machina is a twin stick shooter where you are taking on waves of robotic enemies, gaining powerful weapons and saving helpless humans and it has lots of awesome voxel effects, so the enemies and parts of the environment exploded into 3D pixels when destroyed and it also has an absolutely awsome synthwave soundtrack to drive the action. It should be out sometime this year.
The funkiest aliens in the galaxy are back thanks to Adult Swim Games with a new game based on the original Genesis co-op classic featuring all-new, HD graphics but the same gameplay as you control the titular duo as they try to find parts to their crashed spaceship and get home. You comb the various levels dodging bizarre enemies, participating in mini-games and collecting and opening presents and you can split off from your partner to search different areas via split screen. I’m not sure how newcomers to the game are going to respond to the kind of esoteric gameplay style but if you’ve played and loved the original, this seems like a fantastic update and it’s still just as funky fresh as it was in the 90s.
Crossing Souls seems like basically what would happen if you crossed something like Earthbound or Chrono Trigger with Stranger Things, as it’s an action adventure set in the 80’s where you control a group of friends investigating a weird occurrence in their small town. Each kid has their own skills and weapons and you can switch between them at any time to solve puzzles or navigate obstacles and the writing and overall vibe are just great with lots of references and homages to classic 80’s games and properties. Their booth at PAX also really jumped out at us because they basically recreated an 80’s living room full of board games and VHS tapes. Devolver is publishing it and it should be out sometime this Spring.
Speaking of Devolver, they have an incredibly bad ass shooter on the way called Ruiner that we got to check out. You play as a vigilante in a cyberpunk future city in the year 2091 on a mission to rescue your brother from an evil corporation. The game features brutal but awsome gunfights and you constantly have to pick up weapons from fallen enemies as your guns run out of ammo quickly taking out the gangs of enemies coming at you and your character has some cool warping abilities as well that lets you dash around the rooms. It has a great gritty, cyberpunk look and a soundtrack featuring “Khoven, DJ Alina, and famed anime composer Susumu Hirasawa” It should hopefully be out sometime this year on PC.
The Metronomicon is an interesting combination of turn based combat and rhythm based gaming. The game has players control a team of adventurers as they take on an array of creatures in a series of fights that combines turn based, tactical RPG with rhythm games like DDR or Guitar Hero. The players must input the correct set of arrow directions to attack or defend in combat, swap strategically swap between characters and rack up combo moves for super abilities. The concept takes a takes a few seconds to figure out and the music has some of the best nerdy tunes to get you entertained while building up the combo meters. The game is designed for both single player and multiplayer, with multiple players taking control of one of the four characters during combat. The game has been out on PC since September 2016, and is heading for consoles soon in early 2017.
Symmetry is an upcoming survival thriller game being published by IMGN.PRO that tasks you with keeping the crew of an intergalactic expedition alive after they crash land on an alien world. You have to figure out what tasks take priority and make sure the crew has enough food and energy to survive and you’ll find mysterious structures that seem like a similar crew to yours was already on this planet. Things can get dark quickly, like deciding if you need to eat dead crew members for food, and it should be out sometime this year.
Rain World has the player take control of a slugcat, a creature that exists in the distant future where humanity over industrialized and strange inhabitants now roam in the new ecosystem. The slugcat you control was recently separated from it’s pack and must venture through a labyrinth of forests, sewers and factors to find it’s way back. The slugcat has to replenish it’s hunger levels as it travels across the planes and must avoid traps and other predator animals looking for their next meal. Developer VideoCult creates a visually stunning plathformer that has a more serious tone than the normal comedy heavy material Adult Swim Games is usually known to publish. This game is set to be released 3.28.17 for PS4 and a TBA for PC.
A tribute to 90’s platformers, Starry Knight Hallie is indie game that gives the player control of a powerful karate fighting knight (named Hallie). The story is still a work in progress, and the demo we tried was a decent tech demo that had us control Hallie and run around a few stages, kicking monsters in the face with some sweet moves and collecting stars. It’s a blend of Sonic, Kirby, and a little bit of Ninja Gaiden, using a very fast paced character to dish out punishment one punch or kick at a time. The game is still in early development and will be releasing more information all year long.
Huntdown is a throwback to classic 80’s and 90’s arcade games like Robocop or anything else made by Data East where you are fighting through hordes of criminals to take down their leaders to collect massive bounties. It has awesome, gritty pixel art and it’s smooth and fast paced but also pretty brutally hard, which is in line with the classics it’s paying homage to. You can grab a ton of different weapons in the levels. The game is also co-op and is coming to every current system, including the Switch, sometime later this year.
My Memory of Us is a adventure stealth game that has the player control two children (A Boy and A Girl) who must rely on each other’s strengths and abilities to navigate a war torn city. An evil King has declared war on a city that has citizens separated and herded into relocation camps, families broken apart and lives ruined. Trapped in a city filled with an army of robot soldiers, two children try to outsmart and sneak out of the city while helping captive citizens along the way. My Memory of Us has the player control two characters at once, a boy that is good at sneaking around lightly and can get into small places, and a girl who can runner faster and is skilled with a sling shot. Together, the player has them solve puzzles, trick robots and travel across ruined streets, crumbling buildings and sky trains to find a way out of the city. We sat with one of the artist of Jugglar Games to discuss many of the inspirations behind the development of the game, and the real world connections the story is based on. My Memory of Us is a modern way of expressing the real struggles of the development teams families during World War 2, the meaning of the game is about overcoming great challenges and surviving to find hope in the world. The game is in early development and we played a later planned stage that combines stealth timing and quick thinking puzzle solving by passing through doors and tricking robot guards. The game is planned to be released for PC on a later unannounced date.