PAX East 2017: Some Games I Really Liked
I had a really fun time at PAX East this past weekend! I spend all day Friday and Sunday playing lots of stuff, mostly Indies but a couple bigger name games. I didn't play anything Saturday since I was wearing Blue Eyes and couldn't fit in the Expo Hall, but the lines were super long anyway so I don't think I missed much!
I think this PAX marks the most games I played during any PAX, mostly because I was wearing really comfy costumes two of three days and could basically play anything. So, I wanted to make a quick blog post on the games I really really loved playing and think you should pick up! I am not a game reviewer, so apologies if this isn't very helpful for you guys, but hopefully I do an okay job explaining things I liked and disliked about the games! The list isn't in any particular order, it's just a mish-mosh of good games!
Klang is a rhythm-based platformer with DDR kind of elements, where you battle enemies and get through levels to the beat of the electro background music. Let me preface by saying I am god-awful at platformers, so I find this game really challenging, but I'm pretty good at rhythm games so the battle elements come pretty easily to me. The game has two difficulties, and I'm playing on the harder one, so I'm finding this game challenging but not unfair, which is really enjoyable to me.
I love the aesthetics of this game, its very colorful without being jarring or distracting from the gameplay. Some of the cutscenes and scenarios remind me of the music battle scenes in the Scott Pilgrim movie, if you liked those I think you'll like these too! The music in this game is amazing, especially if you like electronic music, and I highly recommend getting the soundtrack bundle on Steam.
Overall, I'm really really enjoying the game! I have not beaten it yet, as I'm trash at platformers and taking my time, but it's a fantastic experience!
YIIK (Pronounced Y2K, which I already love) is an RPG I sat down and played for about 20 minutes on the show floor. This one's probably my favorite demo I played overall, as someone who loves RPGs, I really enjoyed just about everything about the game. First off, the dialogue is cheesy and silly but totally self-aware.
You play as Alex, a recent college grad from the liberal-arts major, who switches between being in the story and narrating it. He talks like a writer, really, and it's a really enjoyable experience to listen to him both react to the events around him in real time and try to play it all off whilst narrating. The game has really good voice acting, at least from the few characters I interacted with. So far it looks like at least all the main characters are almost fully voice acted.
The aesthetics of the game are probably my favorite part! It harkens back to a retro, 90s kind of RPG style while still looking really smooth and modern. The battle system is also really fun, it's a turn-based style with mini-games that determine if you hit, how hard you hit, and if you dodge enemy attacks. Basically, rather than RNG or dice rolls determining how you do in the battle, you determine it by doing well in the mini games. Think of systems similar to Stick of Truth, if you liked that system you will likely enjoy this system.
I'm super excited to play YIIK on my own, if the demo is any indication I think I'll love this full game. Highly recommend putting this one on your radar.
Kismet is more of an interactive experience than a game, and it's certainly not for everyone, but I really liked the concept and aesthetics of this game so I wanted to talk about it a little. Basically, it's a VR game in which you visit a fortune teller and she can read the stars or Tarot cards. There is also a board game you can play with her, but I wasn't able to play it on the floor since it takes a little bit.
I thought it was a really cool experience, I really liked the aesthetics and voice acting, so if you're into fortune telling check this one out.
She Remembered Caterpillars is a puzzle game that revolves around colors! This game is absolutely adorable with a somewhat dark theme to it told in little snippets between each level. I played the first eight levels for the PAX demo, and had a really good time with it. I'm pretty good at puzzle games, but the last two levels of the demo took me a bit to figure out, so if they keep getting more and more difficult over the 40 total levels I think the game will be a good challenge. If you're a fan of puzzle games I highly recommend this one! The demo is on Steam for you to test out before you buy, so there's no excuse to not at least try it!
Katana Zero is another game I'm super super excited to buy the second it comes out. If you enjoyed Hotline Miami at all, you'll probably really like this game! It's a side-scroller game with one-shot kills where you're expected to die a lot to learn the levels and get through them perfectly. The music is really good, I love the aesthetic, and the controls are suuuuuuper smooth. I got a chance to play a good amount of it on Friday, and got through a couple levels. The game is challenging and punishing, but every time you die you feel like it's your fault, not the game's, which is really important. Overall, one of my favorite games I played at PAX, and I wish it was coming out sooner!
Battle Chef Brigade is the other Adult Swim game that really caught my eye. As someone who loves match-three games, this one was really fun and interesting. Aesthetically, the game is very anime, so if you're weeb trash like me you'll probably enjoy it. The game controls really well, and while the story isn't anything new it adds enough elements, like the hunting for food, to make it enjoyable. Unfortunately, they were having audio issues while we played the demo so I don't know much about any voice acting, but it didn't seem like there was any from what we could gather. But if you're a fan of smooth combat and match-three games, you'll likely enjoy this one when it releases.
Any of you who follow me on Twitter, or really any social media, know I'm obsessed with anything Supergiant Games makes. They made Transistor, my favorite game, so we all knew I'd like Pyre. I've also talked about how much I love the demo I played at last year's PAX East, so I'm going to focus on the multiplayer rounds I played this year. Just like the story demo I played last year, the mechanics were super responsive and smooth, and I love the game despite not being a huge sports game fan. There's plenty of strategy and ability management to keep me entertained, and the scenario is far enough from a real-world sports game that I find it super engaging. Of course, as with anything Supergiant makes, the game is gorgeous, the music and sounds are wonderful, and the controls are on-point. Pyre has been on my Steam wishlist since last year, and playing the multiplayer did nothing but confirm that I'm so so excited for the game.
Also, I won all 3 multiplayer games I played, so that makes me even happier.
Metronimicon was a really fun demo to play, and I think you'll really enjoy the game if you like DDR and rhythm games. Personally, I'm not sure how much I'll play of it just because I'm not a fan of using a controller, and I rarely play couch co-op style games, but the concept of the game was really awesome, and the game itself was challenging and fun. The character management system was really cool, and a brilliant idea, and kept me interested during the rounds I played. Although it may not be the game for me, I still had a good time playing it, and if it seems like its style is up your alley, I recommend picking it up.
As someone who played the first Divinity game a little bit, I already knew I'd probably enjoy the second one. But it was really fun to play with more than two people for the demo! The character creation is really in-depth and fun, and I really enjoyed it. If you played the first Divinity and enjoyed the combat, the RPG elements, and the dialogue, you'll likely enjoy the second one. Especially if you have two or three friends to play with!
There were plenty of other games I played on the show floor but these are some of the ones I either enjoyed the most or think were the coolest! If you played any of these games let me know what you thought of them, or tell me if you think I missed a game you really really enjoyed!