To be honest, I go to PAX to do more than play games. But, I will detail those adventures in another article. Here, I’ll talk about the few games I played during PAX Prime 2013.
From Supergiant Games, the same people behind Bastion. Like Bastion, Transistor has that isometric camera along with the voiceover narration, and on the surface, plays the same way. But the main character, Red, doesn’t move the same was The Kid did back in Bastion. She didn’t have a roll in the demo, and her overall movement speed is slower. But, the game’s solution is to have Red freeze combat so she can plot out her attacks, resume combat, and she executes the plan. Although one could play this as they would play Bastion due to Red’s abilities being able to be used at-will, but I found it more fun to use the pause mechanic. Planning out how to attack a group of enemies was a good change of pace as compared to Bastion.
Supergiant was running their demo off PCs, but let us play it with PS4 controllers. The game didn’t require the PS4 controller’s touch pad at all. It mapped Red’s attacks on the face buttons and the pause was mapped to a trigger. (Sidenote: PS4 controller feels great.)
The game looks fantastic from both an artistic and technical perspective. The sci-fi city of Cloudbank looks sharp and I’m excited to see what else that city has in store. The demo never had any problems. The frame rate was solid, which allowed for the game to look as good as it does.
Hotline Miami 2 – Wrong Number
I never finished the first one. I’m making my way through it now, but after playing Hotline Miami 2, I’m more motivated to do so. It still features the same fast-paced gameplay and a funky soundtrack, but it’s all darker. I normally play with a gamepad, but I had to use the mouse & keyboard, which does work well, but there were a couple of instances when I died, I blamed the keyboard. Not the game’s fault, I was really blaming myself. Which I do a lot in the first one. So far, so good. I’ll be paying attention to this sequel.
Both Hotline Miami 2 and Foul Play were in the Indie Megabooth this year. A mere few feet away from each other, and completely different tones. Foul Play is set during the Victorian era and you play as Baron Dashforth in a play. It’s a 2D side-scrolling brawler where instead of having to worry about your health, you worry about the audience. You must keep the audience entertained while you are on stage. String together long combos, not getting hit, and other bombastic things will keep the audience engaged.
A small thing that sold this game for me was when you have to advance to the next part of the level, a spotlight appears on the stage for you go stand while the actors say their lines. A small touch that I thought was great to see.
Best part about Foul Play, it’s out on Steam right now!
Formerly known as Audiosurf Air, the sequel to Audiosurf. You still can play your music library in this, collecting colored cubes for points. But, the major change is that you play as a person on a surfboard, and when the song you are playing goes into a faster tempo, they create these waves where you can lift off and do tricks in the air. I enjoyed the first one a lot, and the change to actually surf my music intrigues me.
If you were wondering, the song I played was Madonna’s Like A Virgin.
Since THQ is bankrupt and no longer a company, 2K Sports picked up the WWE license and is putting out WWE 2K14. Now, I didn’t plan on actually playing this, but there was a free demo station open when I saw it, so I climbed through the ropes and started playing it. Yeah, they had a ring set up around their demo stations. I think there was a line, but I couldn’t help but walk through those ropes.
I haven’t played any of the recent THQ-published WWE games, so it’s hard for me to compare 2K14 to those, but I did feel like the controls worked pretty well. Once I figured out how to grapple and whatnot, it was fairly easy for me to beat the other guy. There wasn’t any HUD elements, so no health bar or meters to speak of since they are going for the WWE on TV presentation. It was accurate to what they show on TV, including various cuts to different cameras depending on the action in the ring. I do like 2K Sports, so I’m hopeful that they can bring a much needed freshness to the series.
Also, no I didn’t meet the Ultimate Warrior. I didn’t care enough.