EA at PAX East 2018 Part 3

After an insane party thrown by Acer on Friday night, the Everything Action crew soldiered on with the half way point of PAX East 2018. Slightly hung over, we ventured into Saturday morning of PAX East, where the sights and sounds of even more games gave us the second wind we needed. We faced a even bigger crowd on Saturday, so getting our hands on to try these games that day was fun battle between our recovering heads, blocked lines and newbie gamers.

DeathGarden: DeathGarden is the next project from Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive. It is a competitive online game where players can either choose a stealthy but lightly armed Runners or the slow moving, heavily armed and armored Hunters. Players are dropped into the hunting grounds known as The Garden, where the two character classes fight it out. Runners have to capture locations and unlock the exit point to escape the garden, while the hunters are trying to track down and kill the Runners before they can escape. Both classes offer multiple skills and load outs, mixing up each hunt to suit play styles and teamwork. Runners have few offensive skills, but stronger options in defensive. Hunters by default have better weapons and armor, but can change their set ups to be a silent killer or a tank with two legs.

We only played as the Runners for the demo, they seemed incredibly agile and reminded us of how the later Jedi Knight games felt as you ran and flipped your way through the levels. Being really nimble helps to escape the pursuit of the hunters, but sometimes you have to hide in bushes and behind dark walls to avoid being spotted in the first place. Take too much damage as a Runner and you’ll become an easier mark for the hunter to capture you and bring you to an execution station. Teammates can choose to help you escape from capture, or abandon you and head towards the objectives. DeathGarden might take a few matches to really get the hang of how the different mechanics play out but there’s potential for interesting match-up between the Hunter and Runner players. We played a really early build of the game, so DeathGarden has not shown off all of it’s true strength just yet. You can head over to their site and sign up for the closed Alpha if you want an early chance to get in on the action.

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn: One of the most infamous games in gaming history, Shaq Fu has been reimagined as a old school side scrolling beat’em up. Saber Interactive, Mad Dog and Wired Productions have teamed up to bring a kung fu fighting Shaquille O’Neal back to the video game world. In Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, a baby Shaq is adopted by a martial arts master YeYe and trained in the mystical arts of fighting. When a demon warlord returns to the earth realm, Shaq has to defend his village and travel the globe to take down demons who have been in hiding as celebrities, brainwashing the masses and waiting for their time to strike.

ICY HOT!

Unlike the original fighting game, this new Shaq Fu is a big departure in both the story and game play. The new gameplay controls feel pretty great and are like old school beat em ups like TMNT, Final Fight, Streets of Rage, etc. Shaq has a bunch of cool, powerful moves at his disposal to unleash and there are combos to unlock with points earned from completing stages and weapons to pick up in the heat of battle. The game has a wacky sense of humor and tons of in-jokes to Shaq’s basketball, acting and endorsement career (your health gets regenerated by Icy Hot for example) and the man himself provided one-liners and a new rap for the game.  Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn will be coming this June 5th to PS4, Switch, Xbox One and PC.

Fox N Forests: Coming from Bonus Level Entertainment, Fox N Forests is an awesome looking and playing throwback to the SNES era of gaming, with inspirations from games like Actraiser 2 and Super Ghouls N Ghosts as you take Rick the Fox through the world battling evil.  Rick has a magical crossbow that gives him a ton of different shot types, but it also lets him flip between different seasons on the fly. By changing the seasons, this allows the player to access unaccessible areas and aid in solving puzzles. Aside from platforming selections, there are levels that have side scrolling shooting mechanics that change up the game play and also require rapidly flipping between seasons to avoid obstacles and hazards.  This game is a fan letter to the glory days of classic 16 bit games. The pixel artwork and the music look and sound exactly like classic SNES games. Fox N Forests is coming out soon on Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Yuppie Psycho: Coming from Baroque Decay, the team behind the pixel art horror/fantasy game The Count Lucanor, their new game Yuppie Psycho is a horror pixel art game where Brian Pasternack has the worst first day in corporate history.  The player controls Brian as he receives a letter with a seemingly unbelievable job offer that will greatly increase his social standing in the society at a massive corporation. But everything quickly get disturbing and out of control when he uncovers employees exhibiting bizarre behavior and bodies killed in horrific ways.

The player will lead Brian through a never ending string of strange events to understand his new position and the horrible consequences of working a corporate job that seems too good to be true. Yuppie Psycho‘s writing is dark and humorous, and if you played The Count Lucanor,  you know Baroque Decay has an amazing art style that makes their pixel art horrific and disturbing in the best way possible.  We’re definitely super interested in diving deeper into this weird world when the game hits Steam later this year.

Super Meat Boy Forever: Back for more fun and frustration, Team Meat is working on Super Meat Boy Forever, the follow up to the amazing indie game Super Meat Boy. In the sequel, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl have an offspring named Nugget, and Dr. Fetus has returned and captured the baby for revenge. It’s up to Meat Boy and Bandage Girl to venture off into the land and get back their baby. The Super Meat Boy games are heavily inspired by classic platform games, the original had some pretty brutal level designs that required precise jumping and timing in order to complete them. Super Meat Boy Forever introduces a different gameplay element as Meat Boy is similar to an endless runner. Players will have to control when to jump, slide and now punch thrust their way in the level, replacing the precise platforming movements with quick thinking action responses. It’s a change from the original design, but for those who are worried about the difficulty, it’s still a pretty tough game.

We spoke to the dev team about the new style of game, they said they “didn’t want to make a clone of the same game”. It’s an understandable statement as since the original game’s release in 2010, there have been countless copies of the same game. The game has some scaling difficulty that grades performance and alters levels to make it easier for players who have having a hard time and increases the obstacles if the player is breezing by the levels. Super Meat Boy Forever will be released later this year for the Switch, PS4, XBO, PC, iOS, and Android.

SCUM: SCUM is a entry into the FPS survival genre by Gamepires, Croteam and Devolver Digital. You play as a prisoner on a futuristic island prison that has been turned into a reality show/bloodsport, where the prisoners need to gather weapons and food and survive both the environment and their fellow prisoners and also zombies. Because zombies make everything harder and better. The game is going for realis with how the weapons feel and maintaining a character’s energy levels. Players have multiple states for health, stamina, hunger, and bodily fluids. Performing certain activities through out the game will affect a character’s progression. You can gorge and become a big fat guy and be slower but able to carry more or eat carefully, stay thin and be faster but more vulnerable.

Players can start their characters from a wide range of different starter sets and can alter their character’s levels from their gameplay. At Pax East we played a team vs team mode called Cargo Capture, a game mode where two teams fight to secure a cargo drop and hold it for a set amount of time. There will be many events players can participate in during the game, and each victory or lost grants some loot. Gathering gear and maintaining the character’s health makes this game stand out a bit in the Battle Royal style games that have been developed. For gamers looking for their next  PUBG and Rust or Ark, SCUM might be something to keep an eye on.

Blazing Chrome: Developed by Joymasher and published by The Arcade Crew, Blazing Chrome is an action packed throwback to side scrolling shooters inspired by Contra Hard Corps, but aims for more action, if that is even possible. You play as either female commando Mavra or the mohawked robot Doyle and battle the robotic armies taking over the Earth.  The game nails it’s Contra roots and it looks and plays like it’s straight out 1995 and features Hard Corps‘ system of being able to gather and use multiple weapons via slots you can switch between at will. Although if you die, you lose the weapon you were currently had.

There’s also nods to another great shooter series, Metal Slug, as you can find and use different vehicles and mech suits in the levels to gain tons of firepower. Blazing Chrome‘s action is fast paced and tough but with a fair difficulty. Each death feels like you could’ve avoid it and each bullet fired seems like it will save the day. The game’s score and sound effects are nicely matched with the classic visuals, keep everything feeling authentic to feeling like it’s being played on a SNES or Genesis.  Blazing Chrome will be released this year for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

 

Day 2 was a whirlwind of people, games and really long lines to get food. Saturdays at PAX East are an all out endurance run to be caffeinated, alert and good enough at games to not look bad when talking to developers. It’s a fun experience to be part of the large crowd that gather and see the crazy number of eager gamers checking out the newest titles. Zach and Chris had a blast kicking demon butt as Shaq, and ending the day with some old fashioned run and gun action in Blazing Chrome. There is just one part left in the Pax East 2018 recap, and it goes out with a bang.

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