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Gaming Age at PAX East 2019 – Part 2


It would be strange to have an article labeled as part 1 without a part 2. However PAX East proved to be packed with so many interesting games that one article couldn’t do them justice. Here are some more titles caught our eye at the show.

Bloodroots

According to Wikipedia, Jackie Chan has been featured in 8 video games, yet none of the titles have captured the environmental, prop based fighting which he is know for. Bloodroots comes the closest to capturing the frantic fighting style which propelled Chan to stardom. Despite my association to the Chinese actor, the devs also mentioned the title takes inspiration from the Leo DiCaprio film, The Revenant. It tells the tale of Mr. Wolf who is out to seek vengeance on the people who has has wronged him.

Thankfully he won’t have to do it with his fists alone (he can’t but it just won’t rack up a very high score). The game features over 200 weapons, 75 of which will feature special attacks. Intricately designed levels which can be completed within a single combo, dedicated players will be honing their skills to find the perfect run. The title is due for a Summer 2019 release on the PC, PS4 and Switch

Messenger: Picnic Panic DLC

August of 2018 saw a slew of metroidvania titles come out on various platforms. The one which I finished to completion was the one released by Sabotage Studio. The Messenger was a challenging title which pushed my platforming skills to the test. So once I destroyed the last power seal I figured I was done with the title. However the devs had other plans, The Messenger: Picnic Panic is a free DLC (although it’s technically a title update) which will have to taking the role of the Messenger once again.

This DLC is only available after you have completed the base game and sees you traveling to an alternate universe where you have to rescue some characters which you met in your original journey. Picnic Panic features a new tropical Island map, reworked enemies and brand new bosses. The demo available on the floor features a sequence which evokes memories of Battletoad’s jetbike levels (although it is a lot more forgiving). The game also features a new set of collectibles when completed will grant you a new power which can be taken back to the main game. Those ready to spend some time shards to Quarble will only have to wait til June when this DLC is released.

Dead End Job

One part early 90’s Nickelodeon cartoon art design, a sprinkle of Smash TV,  a dab of Zombies at my Neighbors, and a dollop of Luigi’s Mansion, give it a good stir and the concoction you’ll have is Ant Workshop’s latest effort, Dead End Job. Taking control of Hector Plasm you have 30 days to make enough money to rescue your mentor from the land of dead. Armed with your plasma blaster and ghost vacuum, take on over 30 unique ghost enemies and make that green!

During your assignments you can gain promotions that will provide perks which will make your job easier. If those perks don’t make the game easier, enlist a friend who can act as a decoy. Time won’t stop whether you are successful or not in your job, so take any advantage you can get. Dead End Job will release on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and the Switch by the end of April 2019.

Sayanora Wild Hearts

I recently learned from the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer that if you somehow incorporate Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune in your marketing materials I will automatically pay attention. So much so that I found myself transfixed at publisher Annapurna’s booth watching the intro to one of their upcoming releases Sayonara Wild Hearts (To the point, that the person I spoke with about the game remarked how often they saw me hanging around the booth). Developed by Swedish developer Simogo, Sayonara Wild Hearts is described as a Pop Album Video Game.

The setup of the story involves restoring harmony to the universe by defeating the entities who help hide it away a long time ago. The demo had you obtaining your powers and taking on the Dancing Devils. Levels have you collecting hearts and other various items strewn on an automatically scrolling track, when you are confronting the Dancing Devils, you would generally perform a series of timed button press. The original music was extremely catchy so much that I was willing to put on the headphones which were provided at the booth. When Sayanora Wild Hearts comes out in the second half of 2019 I will probably break tradition and invest in a set of headphones for my Switch.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

First off I would like to declare that I kickstarted this title when it was first announced in 2015. During this time other kickstarted titles from recognizable developers either floundered and went unfunded or came out and completely underwhelmed. This kickstarter also saw it’s share of disappointments such as the cancellation of the Vita and Wii U versions, but also some pleasant surprises such as a the release of a prequel title in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.

The demo which was present at PAX featured a new area dubbed “The Tower of Twin Dragons”. It is the first time that one of the kickstarter perks was shown publicly. The Poltergeist enemies feature portraits of those who backed the game at the $1500 level. Since I lasted played a backer demo in 2016, I took my time to check out what has changed with the title. I found a wide variety of weapons which included spears, whips, and even firearms. I also noticed that the save had a large amount of ingredients and materials which would imply some sort of cooking and crafting mechanic. Enemies in the tower fit a lot of the archetypes established in the Castlevania games such as medusa like enemies which provided quite the hindrance as I made my way up to the tower. I was also able to play around with the crystal system can be compared to the system found in the GBA title Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. This system allowed you to equip crystals which contain the essence of your enemies, and the crystals can be upgrade and strengthened as the number of crystals you possess increases. Customizing it would allow you to build the Miriam you want to play as. The demo ends with a boss encounter of you guessed it…twin dragons, while it was tough I found that healing items were actually effective in keeping me alive during my run. All and all the title is coming together nicely and I’m definitely looking forward to the finished product. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is schedule for a Summer 2019 release.

Indivisible

You would think that Lab Zero would follow up their highly technically and widely ported fighting game Skullgirls with another fighting game, but instead they opted for an action RPG which invoked memories of Valkyrie Profile. Successfully funded on Indiegogo (Disclaimer, I unfortunately did not participate on this one), the game takes place in a fantasy Asian setting where you control Ajna who was living a simple life in the countryside until her village was destroyed by marauding warlords. Although her home was destroy, Ajna discovers a latent talent within herself, She has the ability to absorb the essence of other people into her and summon them to battle. With these “incarnates” by her side, she seeks to bring those who was responsible for her village’s destruction to justice.

The demo that was available on the show floor takes place in an enemy fortress. Ajna along with 3 of her incarnates traverse through this sterile and gilded structure, fighting soldiers who patrol the grounds. There are no random encounters, and if you are proficient enough you can get the jump on the enemies by attacking them with your ax. Once in combat, you have the choice of 3 attack types, and some of them possess different properties. Ajna for example has the ability to break the enemy’s guard, allowing them to take damage. There is also a bar which fills during combat, that can be used to defend against enemy attacks, or can be emptied to do a stronger special attack. During the course of the demo I encountered a robotic sentry which prevented my progress because it would knock my party  back with a beam attack. Only after taking alternate path, and recruiting a new incarnate who enables you to perform range attacks was I able to progress. So besides platforming, making sure you have the right incarnates will be need to make your way through this world. The incarnates revealed so far all look like such a unique and motley crew, I look forward to seeing the rest (around 20 from what I was told) that Ajna will meeting in her venture when the title releases sometime in 2019

Dangerous Driving

When Criterion Games’ Burnout Paradise was first released, players lamented that the series jumped onto the open world craze leaving it’s arcade roots behind. When the original founders of Criterion Games left and formed Three Fields Entertainment, many were hoping they would revisit the Burnout games of the past. After releasing several titles, including one which acted as a successor the Burnout’s crash mode, gamers are finally getting what they want with Dangerous Driving.

Developed by a seven person team in a scant seven months, Dangerous Driving will feature 9 racing modes on 30 courses across 7 locations. The UI of game is a throwback to the pre-Paradise games. You can earn medals based on your performance in the courses. Although there is no soundtrack, the game features Spotify integration so you can customize your own soundtrack. As of writing the title is out, and as a bonus to buyers of the physical version, the disc version includes a code for Danger Zone 2 aka the Crash mode successor, which makes the physical version possibly the preferred version to buy.

The Forgotten City

Growing up surely we’ve all been punished for someone else’s wrongdoing and in The Forgotten City you stumble upon an lost settlement which houses 26 inhabitants which live in fear of city’s Golden Rule. “The many shall suffer for the sins of the one”. Once the rule has been broken, all the inhabitants will be petrified into gold statues. Luckily for you, if you make it back to a magical portal, you can go back in time and try your luck at finding out who is dooming the inhabitants of this city and possibly find a way out. During your quest to break the time loop, you can learn the various inhabitants and their schedules, help them with their problems.

This game is a remake of an award winning mod that was for a certain WRPG which featured characters that took “an arrows to the knee”. After being downloaded over 1.7 million times, the creator of the mod Nick Pearce decided to leave his lucrative job in the legal industry to pursuit game development full time. The standalone version will be using the unreal engine and they game has already accrued several accolades. This version will also include combat mechanics, an all-new orchestral score, professional voice acting, and motion capture animations. Solve this time loop murder mystery when The Forgotten City comes out sometime in 2019.

With that ends another annual trip to Boston. I look forward to playing the final release of all the titles covered in these 2 write ups. While I was not able to write about every titles I saw here are some that should definitely be on everyone’s radar.

Colt Canyon – https://colt-canyon.com/
Demon’s Tilt – https://www.demonstilt.com/
Dungeon Munchies – http://majaja.tw
Emily is Away <3  – http://emilyisaway.com/
Hamsterdam – http://www.hamsterdamgame.com

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Nintendo Switch (Video Game)


Manufacturer:  505 Games
ESRB Rating:  Teen
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Genre:  action-game-genre

New From: $24.99 USD In Stock
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