PAX East 2014 was my fourth PAX but my first time going as Media. As always, PAX East was a great experience! Every year PAX East is held in Boston, so I enjoy being able to see another part of the East Coast while checking out all the video games.
This year I got to see many different video games, the most notable of which included This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios, Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2 from 505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment, and Framed from Loveshack Entertainment. All of these games were very different from one another but brought a lot to the table to create an enjoyable experience. This War of Mine allows you to gain insight into the struggle of a war torn country from a very individual level of trying to survive day to day. Sniper Elite 3 brought a new and fun entry into shooters with absolutely amazing and awe-worthy graphics. Defense Grid 2 was an amazingly fun tower defense game that doesn’t fail to keep you on your toes. Framed was a very unique entry with a puzzle style journey through a mystery. I plan to get all of these games the minute they’re available and I highly recommend each and every one of them.
Of course, there was far more to see during PAX East as the expanse of the show floor and panels is ginormous! 2014 was definitely the year of the indie games for PAX East. The presence of AAA games seemed to be a bit light and I was quite worried when I saw the schedule, but PAX East did not disappoint.
An organization I would definitely like to highlight is Operation Supply Drop. As an Army brat (my parents served in the Army for a long time) and having a lot of friends in the military, it definitely makes me happy to see an organization that makes it their mission to help out the troops. Operation Supply Drop does just that and more. I met with Captain Stephen Machuga of the US Army and Charity Founder. Captain Machuga, as well as everyone at OSD’s booth exhuded passion and enthusiasm about their mission to bring “video games to soldiers in combat zones and military hospitals.” Being in a combat zone, in military hospitals, and other areas where soldiers serve can be extremely stressful so OSD does their best to make “fun where there is none!” There was never a dull moment at the booth while there or passing and I’ve seen so much enthusiasm from the gaming community to help their cause. It’ll be very interesting to see how OSD expands and grows further to be such a great presence for our troops. For more information about their cause and how to help out, check out their website at www.OperationSupplyDrop.org, their Twitter @OpSupplyDrop, and their Facebook page at Facebook.com/OperationSupplyDrop.
I also got to check out numerous booths on the show floor which is always exciting. GUNNAR Optiks never disappoints with their selection of gaming eyewear. I even snagged myself a pair from their Intercept line in Ink (purple). I always get a pair of GUNNARs every time I go to PAX East and absolutely love them. Whether I’m gaming or staring at a computer screen, GUNNARs help reduce the strain in my eyes. I’ve also found that their line of sunglasses are absolutely wonderful and are far better than all of the other sunglasses that I own.
As always, PAX East was a great experience and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance. It’s worth the fun and craziness and the video game culture galore! Everyone is excited and happy to be there with so many things to do with such a short amount of time!
Although I may not attend next year, you may be able to catch me at PAX South and PAX Prime next year. I, also, plan to be at Otakon this summer and Baltimore Comic Con this fall.
Did you go? What did you think of PAX East? Is there anything from my experience at PAX East that you’d like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LadyLoveMonster!
As everyone has already said it’s hard to believe and year has gone by, but with no complaints E3 media day is back! Per usual Sony followed Microsoft and this year both knew the focus would have to be bringing next gen gaming hype to their respective console. Here’s Sony’s Press Conference in it’s entirety if you missed it courtesy of IGN.
Without going too deep into each title here are the high notes from the presser and leading off the conference was this new Destiny Trailer.
The big announcement for Destiny was that starting this Thursday there will be Alpha access for the game and the Beta will begin July 17th. Also announced was a Destiny PS4 bundle including a new “Glacier white” PS4, Destiny and a 30 day trial of PS+. The white PS4 will be released along with the game on Sep. 9 and has the same specs and the others so other than a color change nothing new is being added.
Next Andrew House introduced the new gameplay trailer for the The Order 1886.
If you don’t know The Order was introduced last year at E3 and is a game about a group of knights protecting the world from monsters like the one you saw above.
Also shown was a new indie game called Entwined. Entwined is brought to you by Pixel Opus, a combination of recent graduates from Carnegie Mellon and San Jose State university.
Entwined, according to the speaker, is a game about “two souls in love.” Throughout the game you’re guiding these souls through sequences and upon clearing levels will have them come together to create a dragon. It’s a cute little game that’s out now in the Playstation store for $9.99.
Infamous Second Son made a repeat appearance this year, but its big announcement was the standalone DLC coming in August featuring “Fetch.” Alongside it was the announcement and premiere of Little Big Planet 3.
One of the biggest reveals was Bloodborne. You might remember a the game being called Project Beast and is Hidetaka Miyazaki’s, director of the first two souls games, new title. If you’re a souls fanboy like me you probably can’t wait for this game to come out.
Far Cry 4 came out with a gameplay trailer as well, but the most interesting part was the drop-in co-op at the end of the trailer.
Far Cry 4’s co-op is called guns for hire and the best part is you don’t have to own the game to play it. If you have a friend that wants to play with you and he doesn’t own it or you’re the one wanting to join you just drop in and play like you’ve always had it. You also get all the experience from that session as well.
The coolest game of the show was a game called No Man’s Sky by indie studio Hello Games.
I don’t even know what to do in the game, but every time I see the trailer I just get extremely excited. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get ruined by the impending hype train that is E3 reveals and expectations.
If you haven’t seen the press conference you really should give it a look. It’s full of cool and interesting things coming to the system in the coming months. Last of Us is getting a remastered release, Ratchet and Clank the movie was premiered, GTA V is coming to next gen and you can upload your PS3 or Xbox 360 save data. It’s going to be a great, guys.
More towards the end of conference Sony took a backseat from games to introduce some of the new hardware coming out like Playstation Tv and project Morpheus.
Playstation Tv allows you to play a huge library of Playstation games with just the device and a Dualshock 3 controller. As for Mopheus more and more developers are starting to play around with it and the PS4 camera giving their VR headset a pretty bright outlook.
Rounding out the evening were two trailers for the upcoming Batman game, Batman Arkham Knight, and a new trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Overall I really enjoyed Sony’s press conference. While the PS4 still isn’t a must have these games should be more than enough to help you make your decision regardless of whichever console you choose.
June looks like it will be our first slow month of 2014, and I’m sure our wallets will thank us. Never fear though, each console has at least one awesome game releasing this month. So, if you’re not busy with Watch Dogs at the moment, check out this month’s new releases.
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360)
1001 Spikes (PS4, Vita, PC)
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Invasion DLC (Xbox One, 360)
Hyper Dimension Neptunia PP (PS3)
Murdered: Soul Suspect (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita)
PlayStation Vita Pets (Vita)
War Thunder (PS4)
Worms Battlegrounds (PS4)
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Tomodachi Life (3DS)
Enemy Front (PC)
EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One)
Pushmo World (Wii U)
Divinity: Original Sin (PC)
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita)
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Vita)
GRID Autosport – June 24 (PS3, 360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PC)
The Swapper (PS4, PS3, Vita)
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS)
Valiant Hearts (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Sniper Elite 3
Sniper Elite 3 (PC)
My picks for the month are WildStar, Sniper Elite 3, and Murdered: Soul Suspect. What will you be picking up this month?
Zen Pinball 2 from Zen studios is known for their beautifully themed play tables. These pinball tables span from Plant vs Zombies up to expansive sets based off some of Marvel universe classic characters like the Avengers and Doctor Strange. Now Zen Studios have shot into a galaxy far far away…
To our enjoyment Star Wars: Heroes Within Includes a set of four tables that are available on PSN for PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Steam, iOS, Google Play and the tablet from Kindle, Fire TV also available on Mac App Store, I had the pleasure to review the PlayStation 4 version.
Let’s begin with the first of the sets of course, Star Wars:A New Hope The scene is set in the epic storyline with sound bites littering your speakers from this iconic classic flick. You will notice animatronic characters placed in the front of the table from the movie too in the upper left corner on the play tables you will see the LED screen showcasing off their dot matrix monochrome video of scenes from the film & high scores rankings, Score multipliers & Obi Wan’s wisdom filled quotes will harken you back to the the days of yesteryear when this movie originally released amongst other things. The game table centerpiece is decked out with the infamous Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker & Obi Wan beautifully painted onto the virtual table. Lining the outside of the tables you will find hints of this movies characters and settings like the animatronic foes the Tusken Raiders & their sand dunes on one side then the Temple of the Jungle moon of Yavin 4. The action really occurs where the platform changes six ways all because of the game tables missions, objectives that are only accessed by certain trigger activation like hitting a panel several times to spell out a word, name or phrase. I was able to access several but, two of them I will reveal to you readers the rest I’m afraid you must find out yourself. I will start with scene 6 one in which you enable a multiball challenge and if you can get one of those steel balls into the platform that opens up to resemble the galley run into the Death Star. You can enter and destroy the Death Star via paddling the ball into its treacherous crevices. The second scene I will share with you all is scene 4 where you have to uncover Princess Leia’s location in the prison just like in the movie. In the game several spots will have to be uncovered on the play field to find her afterwards you will reveal the trash compactor minefield to shut it down your steel ball is your only hope.
Star Wars: Droids This play table’s theme is following the story of Star Wars two most famous robots journey, this mainly wide open play table is set inside the busy sand crawler, R2-D2 & C-3P0 are present providing dry-witty quips along with the bells & whistles we are familiar with. While this play table is one of the more open displays this amazes me with all the dizzying rails and ramps crisscrossing the table. The ramps of this table are pushed deep back into the back of the set yet, they all are steep & highly curved making the ascent onto these conveyor belt ramps very tasking, slight mastery will be needed for this portion of the table. The missions for this table are located in center behind 3 yellow panels that will be unlocked after you successfully hit them with your pinball several times later these panels will drop below the surface of the table then allowing you to gain access to tables missions. First of the missions will have you salvage C-3P0’s body parts after an accident caused by the curiosity of the golden droid. The mission is straightforward just like Princess Leia’s prison mission except you just have to recover the exploded body parts scattered around the entire table. If you fail to obtain all the body parts the Head, Torso, Arms & Legs of C-3P0 by losing the ball R2-D2 will finish the job for you while your score gets tallied up as you move on. There are a set of five missions and the following is mission 5 where you are put to the task to immobilize the sand crawler you attempt this feat by unlocking these scrap metal looking balls that you aim towards the middle of the ramp where you initially unlocked your missions for this specific pay table. Playing this one is a delight from the openness of the center to the crazy rails, so far this is my favorite, I love also how the physical pinball machine is the sand crawler dredging through the sand dunes on the outside of play table.
Star Wars: Han Solo This nicely designed table is set inside the Millenium Falcon this busy table is by far out of the Heroes Within pack the most difficult of them all, definitely a table to be reckoned with. Filled to the brim with activity from the faithful sidekick Chewbacca & Han Solo in his captains chair done up in their pleasant animatronic form, while a roulette of bad guys surrounding the bar table at Mos Esly’s cantina in the back of the machine are seething at the opportunity to score that bounty on your head. The centerpiece is comprised of two objects; The Millennium Falcon & the dark sides Mother ship of destruction The Death Star. There is an abundance of buttons to trigger and ramps to ascend and rails along with flippers tucked into hard to see corners this suicide run of pinball machines will make you a master of the virtual pinball culture scene for sure. Lined within the nook and crannies of the game table you can flick your ball into a unsuspecting spot only to reveal an electric bumper raise from the surface of the table to garner you added points. From the flurry of fast moving, multi ball challenges to hard to reach jackpot panels & quick shot ramp opportunities located in the back of the table this game table provides feats of skill damn near impossible for a pinball novice such as myself,lol. This by far is the most challenging & the most rewarding of all tables with hard to reach objectives/missions available around the borderline of the table are so hard to find & get to, I applaud the ones who takes this challenge head on and reaches for the hidden treasures this table makes you work every second for. I love the mini games play table provides one in which I encountered was one where the game zoomed into another screen scene only to show up into an asteroid field in outer space, you take the helm of the Millennium Falcon being chased by TIE fighters from the evil empire. The objective is to lure your foes into the massive floating space boulders for of course big points at the end if you get through this mission alive. Each time I play this eye-dizzying table filled with gadgets and action I bump into another activity involving the Millennium Falcon lifting up out of its place, rotating and revealing another parlor game tapping into the gambling spirit of Han Solo. This Han Solo table will challenge you until your eyeballs are drier than the Mojave desert and your fingers are cramped up like Redd Foxx in Sanford and son (I think I might be too old, lol) regardless of your physical strain that might occur, if you can master and uncover all of its secrets you will be known as the pinball Jedi of the universe or just receive a self high five.
Last but definitely not least is Masters of the force, designed to be harmonically balanced between the two sides of the force. On the left red representing death and destruction and on the right you have blue harkening the spirit of justice and peace. Beautifully set up with a set of masters of all signifying the constant struggle, rebirth for universal balance Masters of the force is one of the best to look at tables in my opinion. When first glancing at this play table it doesn’t seem as if it is filled with all the bell and the whistles like our previous affair like Han Solo’s table. Though as you delve deeper into this bad boy you will reveal the mysteries of the two sides. On the dark side you will find floating pyramids that can magnetize and spin your pinball into a frenzy in midair propelling it across the table. Now on the light side, target the Holocron and you will activate one of a few different activities one in which will have you gain access to a crazy puzzles that will have you target your ball into multiple target switches tucked into pocket holes some hidden by sharp corners or strategically positioned curved pathways. All of this of course is all for those beautiful, beautiful points, I honestly couldn’t tell you because out of countless attempts (actually 7) I couldn’t activate all switches inside of this puzzles. Now back to the dark side you will find yourself uncovering many secret passageways to gain entry to so that you can push your ball into unknown spaces, As you set your eyes on the path ahead many revelations will be brought before you. The main attraction of this play table is located front and center, controlled by the Force-meter the legendary fights of classic saga will play right in front of your eyes in two ways. First, you will notice cut-outs of members of Jedis of both dark and light sides sliding left to right attacking one another while you attempt to hit them with your ball while trying to pop off some points while they’re in the thick of it. Second, you will see a full motion video display at first you will notice a still shot of a scene or character from the films watch while this come alive right smack dab in the front of the table directly above the paddles this display is visualizing what the cut out characters or playing out. Zen Studios set out to create a perfectly balanced play table in design they succeeded by giving us a beauty to look at with footage of the epic story on a nice sized screen while having live cut out action dance about the play table centerpiece. We are given plenty to discover and much to stand in awe over Masters of the force is a shout out to great pinball artistry of long, long ago.
All in all while not being a virtual pinball enthusiast I must say that Zen Studios like before with games like Castle Storm (Here’s my past review on it) has opened my eyes to new, fun ways to play classic genres. I now am a fan of the Zen pinball 2 franchise and look forward to all future play tables yet to be released.
Sine Mora is a game developed by Hungarian and Japanese game developers Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. They have been well received and have been made available on PC, many consoles including the OUYA, as well as receiving mobile game releases. I can’t speak on the merit of the mobile adaptations of the game because I played the game on PC, so consider this a review of how the game plays on PC and consoles.
The game itself is a horizontal shooter where the gameplay involves controlling airplanes through a barrage of projectiles while attacking your opponents. In terms of bullet hell it isn’t as hellish as some other games I’ve played but challenging nonetheless. The challenge largely comes from the bosses, whom can be frustrating if your weapons aren’t leveled up enough. The game doesn’t involve skills as much as it involves strategy due to two factors: capsules and special attacks. Different capsules have different effect, which can save your life when dodging especially difficult bullet patterns or a barrage. Special attacks depend on the character you’re playing. Special attacks tremendously help when you’re trying to finish off bosses when used wisely. The game can be played either in story or arcade mode, with only arcade mode having the most difficult settings, hard and insane.
I would highly recommend this game if it wasn’t for the life system and the game’s pace. You’re “alive” (your plane doesn’t randomly blow up) as long as your timer doesn’t run out. This would be perfect if the game was more rapid, or the landscape progressed along with the player, but no. The screen drags along to an almost unbearable snail pace. Your time gauge only get replenished if you get the appropriate powerups and kill enemies. This is extremely inconvenient when you’re in the hard or expert mode with less time in a part of the game with barely any enemies. In story mode they were obviously designed as exercises in control with cramped spaces and few enemies in the way, but they’re needless and frustrating when you’re praying the next giant slug comes out so you can replenish your time gauge seconds away from instant death when you haven’t even been hit by one thing! Even the great capsules you can’t use in story mode don’t make up for this major flaw.
Even in story mode this was frustrating.
Not only does it make it inconvenient to play in arcade mode, but the game itself feels dragged out when playing in story mode. The cut scenes even have a fast forward option if you don’t want to spend 5 minutes looking at footage of planes flying. Hell even when you play the game there are “cut scenes” with the plane flying by itself, but there are no different camera angles, transitions, or anything else that would prohibit the player from flying normally or continuing to play.
When you’re buying this game consider you’re only getting it for the story mode. The story itself is pretty good, although a bit confusing with anthro animals and planets and races and whatnot. This however did not keep me from enjoying the characters whom had good dialogue and made me more interested in the story. When story mode is finished you unlock an encyclopedia with all the info on the world of Sine Mora, which I’m halfway through and found pretty well done. A lot of thought went into this game; if it weren’t for its fatal flaws it would’ve been another memorable shooter, and what a shame. This is definitely a game made with love, considering how much planing went into a story where you only see the characters on the side of a dialogue box.
I love Durak, she’s a badass!
Sine Mora is a good game, but you should only expect to kill a few hours with it since it has low replay value. Try it if you want to but, just don’t pay full price for it.
May is yet another month to empty out your wallets – probably the biggest month for major titles. If you’re a Nintendo fan, be prepared to work some overtime. Not only is Mario Golf coming out in a couple days, but you’ve got Mario Kart 8 at the end of the month, too! There’s really something for everyone. You’ve got Bound By Flame next week for people who are into RPGs. There’s also major titles like Wolfenstein: New Order and Watch Dogs, finally getting released. You can also see that Sony is still churning out exclusives for the PlayStation 3.
My top picks for this month are Bound By Flame, Watch Dogs, and Mario Kart 8. What are you picking up this month?
Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)
Borderlands 2 (Vita)
God of War Collection (Vita)
MLB 14 The Show (PS4)
Stick it to the Man (PS4, Wii U)
Peggle 2 (360)
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (PC)
Bound By Flame (PS4, PS3, 360, PC)
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition (PC)
Minecraft (PS3 – Retail)
Drakengard 3 (PS3)
Mugen Souls Z (PS3)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Always Sometimes Monsters (PC)
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II (PC)
Tropico 5 (PC)
Mind Zero (Vita)
Watch Dogs (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Sly Cooper Collection (Vita)
This week marks the beginning of the PlayStation Store’s Golden Week Sale. This is a sale of up to 50% off of games that have been developed in Japan. Why Japan? Golden Week is a tradition in Japan where four major holidays occur during the span of seven days. This can be seen in a lot of school themed anime where students get the week off or go on vacation.
If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can also get an additional discount on these games, giving you up to %75 off. If you plan on buying a lot of the games, you might want to consider paying for a month of PlayStation Plus, which would make your purchase cheaper in the end.
This is a really awesome sale and I’ve spent about $42 on it already. So far I’ve bought Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Devil May Cry HD Collection, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, and Soul Calibur V. There are a lot more games to choose from, including PlayStation Vita games. Hurry up, because the sale ends May 5th!
When I was first asked to play Conception II I haven’t played an RPG in quite sometime. Going into this game I didn’t expect an extremely fantastic title or anything remotely interesting…mainly because I didn’t know anything about the title or series for that matter. Then I realized that the more of it I play the more intrigued I became. Then the experience became a little more jaded. While the game wasn’t bad it became slightly repetitive and more so cumbersome than anything.
The game takes place in the World of Aterra where they worship the Star God where they prosper through the power of Star Energy. You are known as God’s Gift who trains at an academy for disciples which is a special group of people who are summoned to fight against monsters who come from Dusk Circles. As God’s Gift you and a collective of females perform a ritual for the church known as Classmating to generate Star Children. Why is this important? The Star Children assist you in combat along with you and a female partner and they all have a particular class and several set of set of skills.
I’ve never been so confused and befuddled with confusion quite like I have been while playing the game. I’m not so much confused into the depth of the world as I am with why some of these things are especially necessary. For a lack of better words, classmating is essentially having sex to produce children who can fight. It is blatantly obvious considering the underlying tone of everyone and the way each girl presents themselves before and after it occurs. Doing it just makes you feel slightly more dirty. Even more so when you are forced into doing classMANting which while really funny is in a way kind of perverse.
Engaging enemies is where the game gets even more unique. Once you encounter an enemy inside one of the games many labyrinth’s you are forced to choose between normal JRPG actions such as attack, skill and defense. The most interesting aspect is the combat system in which you choose the side to attack your foe. Every enemy has a weak side and the choice of each side benefits you during combat. My only main concern with the battle system is that you are given the option to guard and yet it does nothing. It states that you will take less damage but you still take just as much as if you weren’t defending. I have also noticed that for a JRPG it’s pretty easy. I have played much easier games but I never really felt as if I there was too much going on and the difficulty made matters worse.
Graphically the game is rather impressive as it features fully animated anime style cut scenes and moves at a silky smooth 60 FPS. The in game engine isn’t bad as it looks more like an above average PlayStation 2 title with a few more bells and whistles. The thing I was more impressed with was the music and the character design. These two things were probably my main drive for playing this game as I was more intrigued just to see what the next monster would look like. To be quite honest the designers seem to draw heavily from the Persona series as the music and monsters seem as if they came straight from that source.
Overall the game is like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” as it doesn’t do anything overall really impressive nor does it do anything really bad. Although it’s themes may not be quite suitable for everyone it’s still interesting enough with it cool soundtrack and character design. The game may not be for everyone but I do feel as if it worth a play through for anyone who is itching for a new RPG to play for their Vita. It hits the mark at being just right.
With just a few days into April, it looks like we have another time consuming, wallet draining month of video games ahead of us.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
Mercenary Kings (PS4)
MLB 14 The Show (PS3, Vita)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, Vita)
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Devastation DLC (Xbox One, 360)
Awesomenauts Asssemble! (PS4)
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac)
Daylight (PS4, PC)
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)
Lego The Hobbit (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC)
Strike Suit Zero (Xbox One, PS4)
Trials Frontier (iOS)
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (3DS, Vita)
Moebius: Empire Rising (PC)
War of the Vikings (PC)
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PS3, 360)
Trials Fusion (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC
Dark Souls II (PC)
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)
Child of Light (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)
Personally, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. I’m a little on the fence about buying it on launch day, but I will probably buy it by the end of the month. I was involved in the last four beta weekends, and I liked what I saw. What are you most excited about this month? Let us know in the comments below!