I’m a dog person. Always have been with two exceptions. One was the dog that followed me home as I was delivering papers, growling and barking at me the whole way. The other was a dog that lived behind the house I grew up in. He was a gorgeous German Shepherd, but he was also an old police dog that seemed to relish scaring the living bejesus out of anyone that passed through the alley by his fence.
What does that have to do with this weeks crop of games? Well, if you are asking that question then you need to keep reading! Don’t worry, it’s a short list this week so it won’t take you long.
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, WiiU, Xbox 360,Xbox One
This week belongs to Watch Dogs. You have waited an extended period of time to play as a thug, hacker, information freedom fighter. Snowden, if he grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. I know you are excited. I can almost taste your anticipation, but I going to wait on the verdict. Watch Dogs looks cool, but I can’t help making some comparisons to Batman...just without all the bat gadgets and likely Bat’s sticky “no kill” policy. Out for revenge for family? Check! Set in Chicago, aka Gotham? Check! Has access to the city’s infrastructure and can manipulate to his will? Check! Watch Dogs is intriguing and I can’t wait to see what the reviews are like.
Mario Kart 8
Release Date: May 30th, 2014
Mario Kart 8. I hate that blue shell: pure unadulterated hate. We have all been there. In first place and racing towards the finish line when you hear the warning. You hope beyond all hope that you can make it across the line in time. Head down, thumb on the gas and repeating a phrase like “please” or “come on” over and over and over. Then you see it, flying over your head right before it hits. The resulting explosion knocks you and your kart ass over teakettle while you watch 3,4,5 or more karts cross the line that looks to be within arms reach. Shit! You recover and sheepishly cross the finish line while the other characters seemingly mock your failure. I bet it was Yoshi. That dino always has a smug look on his face. Play again? Damn straight! How can Mario Kart be so frustrating and fun at the same time?
Final Fantasy III
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Released in 1990 and now retooled, optimized and better than ever! It may have taken 24 years but Final Fantasy III is releasing on on Steam for the PC. No emulators needed! There is something to be said for stories in the FF series. Especially the early ones. I was never a fan, but I had friends who were and who still have a soft spot in their heart for those games. This release is for them.
Word on the street is we might see Iittle Dew release on the WiiU this week and the creepy Slender: The Arrival may find its way to the Xbox 360. There are also a few releases for the Vita, such as Monster Monpiece, The Sly Collection, and Mind Zero. Those of you with Vita’s may be interested.
The good news for gamers for this week’s new releases? There’s six new games! For those 2o2p stat geeks, that’s three and two times as many new releases from the last two weeks respectively. The bad news? Only a third of this week’s new releases are on next gen consoles. Someday soon we hope to see a shift towards the next gen consoles; I’m sad to say it’s not this week. What we do have, however, is a trio of RPG’s for your role playing pleasure, an enhanced PC release for Suda 51 fans, a next gen shooter that’s not named Titanfall or COD, and a survival horror game for those of you who prefer a little “scare” in your games.
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Do you aspire to be Daenerys Targaryen and pummel your enemies with the fiery breath of your very own dragon? If your answer is yes, then Drakengard 3 is for you! The third game in the Drakengard series puts you in the role of Zero who, together with her dragon Mikhail, seeks to kill her five sisters-rulers of the world’s regions-and the subject of Zero’s ire.
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Originally released in August 2013 for both PS3 and Xbox 360, Suda 51’s Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition is a brand spanking new PC edition that features a new mode-aptly named Nightmare mode. Players can only defeat enemies in Nightmare mode using one of three attacks: Adrenaline Bursts, Dodge Bursts and Headshots.. As Mondo Zappa, executioner extraordinaire, you travel the world dispensing of its evil with either Mondo’s sword or his cybernetic left arm that seamlessly converts into various tools of death and destruction. Fans of Suda 51 games will be happy to know the game does not feature, in any way, a completely clear and concise plot.
Mugen Souls Z
Release Date: May 20, 2014
The second game in the Mugen Souls series puts you in the role of Syrma. After Chou Chou’s powers, the protagonist in Mugen Souls, are stolen by a malfunctioning coffin and she shrinks. Syrma, who somehow now owns Chou Chou, and must then travel her galaxy absorbing “Ultimate Gods” in order to restore Chou Chou’s powers. Confused yet? Well, what did you expect, it is a Japanese RPG after all.
Release Date: May 22, 2014
The Forest, an open world survival horror game, pits you against a nocturnal tribe of cannibals after your plane crashes and strands you on the island. To survive you must learn to create shelter and collect supplies to create weapons and other tools needed to ensure your survival. The Forest will also feature compatibility with Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Platforms: PS4, PC
Transistor, Supergiant Games’ follow up to Bastion, places you in the role of Red, a famous singer from the city of Cloudbank. The Process,a robotic force controlled by the Camerata, attack Red with the Transistor, a massive greatsword. After nearly being killed with the Transistor, Red finds it buried in the chest of a dead man. Taking the Transistor as her own Red, soon finds the Camerata will stop at nothing to recover it.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Wolfenstein: The New Order, the ninth installment in the Wolfenstein series, is a single player only FPS. After the Nazis defeat the Allies in WW2, BJ Blazkowicz embarks on an extremely difficult counter offensive against the dreaded Third Reich. Traveling throughout Europe, BJ must take down numerous Nazi strongholds, gain control of the Nazi super weapons and break the stranglehold the Nazis have on the world. Gamers who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order receive access to the Doom beta as an added bonus!
Another week of slim pickings for new releases.Some day there will be something I can dust off the PS4 for! So on to this week's picks.
Bound By Flame
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360
So, technically this came out last week but, Sarcasmo must have been slacking and it’s slim pickings for this week so I’ll include it. Bound By Flame is an RPG that puts you in the “role of a victim of a demonic influence where you'll have to choose between the evil powers you'll be offered or rejecting them in favor of developing heroic talents.” So basically its a Darkness RPG with less Mike Patton? I think I’ll skip this one.
Super Time Force
Release Date: May 14, 2014
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One
This title from Capybara started out at a game jam with the theme of “what just happened?” Think Contra with time travel. It is a side scrolling shooter that allows players to go back in time to restart their game runs. Looks sufficiently old school and has dinosaurs, so I’ll probably pick it up at some point.
Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
While I enjoyed the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, I’m kinda zombied out and haven’t picked this one up yet. Episode 3 of the 5 will be available this week. I didn’t want any spoilers, so I haven’t actually even watched the trailer. #journalism
Yesterday, Harmonix gave Amplitude fans something extra to celebrate on Cinco De Mayo. They announced a Kickstarter campaign to give their 2003 PS title Amplitude a next gen HD “reboot” for Playstation 3 and 4.
Amplitude was the sequel to the studio’s first console title, Frequency. Both were rhythm action games published by Sony. The games were known for their trippy visuals, cool soundtracks, and brutal difficulty.
Harmonix has wanted to revive this title for a long time but could never be sure it was commercially viable. Thus, going the Kickstarter route, the die hard fans of the franchise complaining about its lack of existence can literally put their money where their mouth is. Speaking of loud fans, I wonder how much money they would have made if Harmonix had tried that with a Kickstarter for Muse DLC? That should totally be a stretch goal. Get on that HMX community team!
The Kickstarter runs May 5th through 23rd.
Things are about to heat up, amigo. We have some very exciting games, like Watchdogs and a new Wolfenstein, on the verge of release. Anything that releases this week is going to look like shit in comparison. Xboxers can sit back and take it easy because only Sony gamers are getting the newness this time. This week Kratos declares war on the PS Vita and baseball gets a late start on the PS4.
God of War Collection
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Platform: PS Vita
Wouldn’t it be great if you could take Kratos and stick him in your back pocket so you could play with him whenever you felt like it. Well now you can because, starting May 6, you can get the first two God of War games on one disc for the Vita. It’s the same awesome Kratos that you know and love, only smaller and battery powered. HD gaming in the palm of your hand, it truly is a wondrous time we live in.
MLB 14: The Show
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Pop quiz, hotshot. If you’re itching to show off the graphical power and technological prowess of your brand new console, what do you do? I’ll tell you what Sony does: they make a baseball game. This year’s version of The Show features Miguel Cabrera on the cover if you live in the US, and Brett Lawrie if you live in Canada...nobody else in the world gives a shit about baseball so they don’t get a special cover. This game has already been released on other platforms and gathering good scores hovering around 80%.
What was an icon in the heady days of PC gaming among games like Quake, Myst, and the Ultima series is finally coming back to todays’ PC gaming.
Chris Roberts, the man who brought us Wing Commander, is stepping with us into the universe of Star Citizen. After a 2 decade long hiatus we are welcome to the game he’s always been wanting to make, he just had to wait on the technology to get here. This game is not being produced by a publisher but by crowdfunding, which is basically us. His level of communication to his pledgers is unheard of. There are 2 video updates weekly, then usually some lore updates at least once a week. Additionally, there are forums where you can ask the devs questions about various aspects of the game and they are usually quite responsive to the public.
Chris Roberts wants to build the best damn space sim ever. I wish I could make that period bigger just to emphasize how he feels about it. Judging from what the public sees so far we tend to agree with him, considering to date he’s gotten $42 million dollars in crowdfunding to back him in building this game. He means to make an AAA game without any publisher funding whatsoever, and after his issues with Microsoft and EA I can’t say I blame him.
Star Citizen will be a space flight simulator but with a bit more put into it; put in a dash of FPS’ and a gameplay economy model and throw it in a sandbox that will continually grow. New star systems will be created and wait to be found by us, giving us the right to name it and become part of the Galactapedia lore that comes with the universe. We can also choose to keep our mouths shut and try to keep it as our own private source for mining raw materials or shipping lanes without threat from piracy. The universe is going to be what you choose to make it: you can be a merchant, a pirate, or build an economy in a star system that provides supply and demand for it and other local star systems. Players can use the system wide internet database to find others with bounties on their heads or cargo that can be hauled around for profit. No venture is devoid of risk here, and your life will eventually be firmly on the line, be it from pirate, Vandull or void of space.
There is no leveling, you bring what skills you have to this game. If you want to help a buddy fly a capital ship, like the one below called the Idris, you could man the turrets or keep the engines online in a combat instance.
You could also help out by using one of the Hornets nestled inside of it to shoot down the opposition!
Ship sizes and crew complement (either PC or NPC) vary from ship to ship. But understand that when you’re out in the verse’ people can disable your ship in combat enough to come alongside you and board your ship. Allowing you and your friends to take the supplies or in turn fighting to keep them.
Did I say this was a sandbox game? I’m sorry, I misspoke, it’s pretty much going to be Gobi Desert when it comes to explorability. They’re stating there will be 100+ start systems to explore on game launch. Some taking quite some time to go from one end of the other to map out. Some of the jump points (travel between systems) will be different. Some can’t fit larger ships, some aren’t stable. Some systems may have multiple stations for you to explore and gather wealth, others may have thousands of asteroids containing who knows what kind of material for you to mine.
You can hire NPC’s to assist you in your missions, fly cover in other ships, man turrets or stations in your larger ships. Better yet invite your friends to do the same!
At the time of writing this there are less than 350 alpha slots remaining. The dogfighting module was revealed at PAX East a couple days ago. So I urge you, if you’re so interested, to get in now before the alpha slots are gone. Getting into the Alpha will cost you a bit more: $5 to be exact, in addition to your pledge ship cost.
Otherwise, if you’d rather just stick around for the release of the game, it’ll cost you the price of most games nowadays ($60) for the single player Squadron 42. The online persistent universe will come for free along with it.
Before the Alpha slots are gone the minimum package you can pledge for is this one at $40 range.
Outside of that they go up in price depending on the ship you’d like to buy.
If you’d like to continue with a group of 2old2play members, then I am also part of an organization (or clan if you will) called Fulcrum Cargo and Consulting. We’d be happy to have you join us! You can do a search on the org page:
And search by using our name, or come direct to our page at:
Hope to see you in the verse’!!!
Rejoice, gamers, for that magical time of the year is upon us once again! Yes, that wondrous six weeks before E3 affectionately known as The Shits. No publisher in his right mind is going to release jack shit between Pax East and E3, and the new releases are dribbling down one or two at a time. The industry likes to shoot its wad in early spring then and lay low so they have something to show at the convention in Cali. We only have one new release this week, but it is a bona fide AAA badass from the code magicians at Ubisoft Montreal.
Child of Light
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Child of Light is a visually stunning puzzle/platformer that features RPG elements and turn-based combat. The game is set in Austria, in the year 1895. Princess Aurora has gotten sick and awoken in a fantasy world with a firefly companion. In the real world she may have been a sick little girl, but here she is Princess Asskicker: she can fly, she can fight, and she doesn’t need a guy to come and save her. The game is mostly a platformer with some light puzzle elements thrown in. Aurora levels up like an RPG, complete with skill trees and crafting. The combat, however, is old school turn-based goodness. If you have a friend and a spare controller, that friend can then control the firefly, Igniculus, who may not necessarily be a great help in combat, but he does have a secret or two up his sleeve. Do fireflies have sleeves? Whatever...Child of Light is already getting some good scores and may be the best shot you have at gaming nirvana until Watchdogs hits the shelves. Gamers can take Aurora and her pet firefly for a spin, on every platform known to man, starting April 30.
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Nintendo 3DS, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android
The video game tie-in to the new Spiderman movie is available on multiple platforms. Expect some web-slinging, wall crawling, and Spidey smart-assery. Oh yeah, expect Carnage as well. This one is out now on several consoles and mobile devices.
The Indie MEGABOOTH seems to get bigger and bigger every year at PAX East. This year the Indie Mini Booth alone had almost 30 games. I spent most of my floor time there since the lines aren’t as insane as for the AAA studios and you can actually get your hands on some games.
I also tend to like indies a lot more since they’re still making point and click adventures or experimenting with other cool story driven games. I started out my early access press hour there and was able to get some hands on quiet time with several games.
Fire Hose Games
My first stop was Boston based Fire Hose Games who were showing off their in-beta Facebook game, Let’s Quip, as well as the first indie game from their accelerator program Catlateral Damage. I’m already in the beta for Let’s Quip. It's the first Facebook game I’ve played more than once. There’s a press quote for their launch! The game pits you against friends or random players in word battles where you have to explain why your word is better than your opponent’s. Friends and other players then vote on which answer they like the best and if you win your match you get coins and bragging rights. You can sign up for the beta here.
Catlateral Damage is a “First Person Cat Simulator” with the goal of knocking as many of your owner’s possessions around as possible. Sounds pretty realistic to me!
Surprise Attack Games
Vertiginous Golf, developed by Surprise Attack Games, was inside the Indie MEGABOOTH at the Indie Mini Booth. Aptly titled this was definitely a vertigo inducing golf experience, especially with Oculus Rift support. The booth was staffed by developers in steampunk garb and kilts (the male version of booth babes?) and they also had some nice steam-punked out Xbox controllers for hands on play.
I tried with both the traditional Xbox controlled version and again with the Oculus Rift head set. Oculus literally added another dimension to the game play and made it a whole lot more interesting. I have been somewhat anti 3D gaming but I have to admit it was fun. I was terrible at the game but it was still awesome to wander around the environment and watch your shots in an immersive 3D experience.
Rocket 5 Studios
The husband and wife team at Rocket Five had my personal game of show with The Phantom PI Mission Apparition demoing in their booth. Its a puzzle adventure game where you play as a private investigator wandering through a haunted mansion. The way the levels were set up reminded me a bit of Double Fine’s The Cave as far as perspective and having to double back once you found objects.
The art was great and while there was no actual dialog there were notes and goal cards you come across as you play. I actually picked up a really neat pack of physical versions of the collectible cards with clever info and awesome art from “Rocket 5’s artists friends from across North America.” Can’t wait to get my hands on the game!
I didn’t actually see Vlambeer on the floor but I attended a panel their Chief Executive of Business and Development Rami Ismail was part of and he was a freakin’ riot so I checked them out when I made it home. Their most popular title to date Ridiculus Fishing gained extra attention when it was cloned before they could port it for iOS. They seem to create lots of addicting old skool games and they’ve done in a title in the Serious Sam franchise.
Dejobaan was at PAX showing off their released titles as well as an intriguing upcoming one Elegy for a Dead World. Being a sucker for story-based games, I am super psyched for this one. The twist here is instead of playing a story, you are actually writing one. You explore dead planets and write to keep them alive. From the game’s site:
They sent a poet.
The scientists, historians, and statesmen never arrived.
Three worlds, each home to a long-dead civilization.
You must be the speaker for these ancient peoples.
Write whatever you are moved to by their landscapes.
Write to share the joys and sorrows buried in their rubble.
Write what you can imagine of their origins, existence, and fates.
Your word is all that keeps these worlds from being forgotten.
Combining my love of video games, dystopian literature, and writing its like they stole this from my brain! I’m not sure if this is a shut up and take my money moment or if I should ask them for royalties...
Another Massachusetts studio, Proletariat Games may finally make this the year I throw some mobile gaming into the mix. Their first title World Zombination is due out for iOS, Android, Mac and PC in 2014. They had a playable build that looked pretty good when I got to check them out on the floor. In this free to play game you have the choice of choosing your faction and fighting with the humans or zombies.
There’s a world map where you can chose cities to fight your battles in tower defense (or destruction) style game play. The map uses real time data from other players also in the game to determine which faction has control of a particular city. I chose to play for the zombies and ended up in a city attacking to take control of hospitals from the humans. You can unlock cards to add different character abilities to your zombie or human hordes.
One of my favorite PAX moments this year was seeing a cosplayer dressed as Michonne from The Walking Dead playing the game. I hope she got one of the zombie selfies they were creating for people who used #WZSelfie on twitter during PAX.
Brace Yourself Games
I feel like if you weren’t from Boston in the Mega Booth this year you were probably from Canada eh. America’s hat seems to have both east and west coast indie presences. Vancouver based Brace Yourself Games was showing off Crypt of the Necrodancer. This is a “hard core dugeon crawling (roguelike) rhythm game.” Had I not seen it hands on my first reaction that would have been wait what?! It looks pretty cool and bonus points for getting to dust off your old DDR pad! The game will even let you add your own MP3s while playing. Its due out on Steam in 2014.
-- Erin "ErinAS" Seiden
Pinball had a surprisingly large presence in at the Penny Arcade East Expo this year both in pure and video game forms. Here’s a quick flip through what was on the floor.
The Pinball Arcade
New to PAX East (or perhaps I somehow missed them in previous years) was The Pinball Arcade, showing off some of their virtual tables for their PC, console, and mobile OSes. They had actual the actual physical tables for Ripley’s Believe it or Not and Harley Davidson available for players to get some hands on silver ball time before checking out their virtual cousins. A bunch of playable virtual tables were running on Xbox and Android in their booth.
I checked out Attack from Mars on Xbox and was impressed with the graphics and speed. I also really liked the aspect ratio which is always tough to get right in a pinball simulation. Not sure if it helped that I was standing up playing instead of sitting on my couch. Luckily I will get to find out for sure soon as they were offered codes to anyone that signed up at PAX for four tables on the OS of their choice. I am looking forward to checking out Tales of the Arabian Knights, Theater of Magic, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and Black Hole on Steam on my new Windows 8 tablet. They have a bunch of other table packs available for purchase the I’m looking forward to checking out.
ACAM Classic Arcade Room
The American Classic Arcade was back with an old skool arcade setup on level 1 of of the Expo hall. A bunch of classic arcade machines take the short trip down from their museum home in New Hampshire (hosted at Fun Spot) for PAX East each year. Maybe one day the infamous Donkey Kong cabinet where Steve Wiebe “defeated” absent Billy Mitchell in the documentary King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters will make the trip! They had all sorts of classic arcade titles as well as 3 electro mechanical pins all available on free play. The pins available were a 1979 Gottlieb Solar Ride, 1979 Williams Flash, and a 1973 Williams Fun Fest. Take a look at everything ACAM brought to 2013 PAX East in the video below.
Playin’ Pinball with Lord Karnage Panel
There was even a whole panel devoted to pinball on Sunday morning titled Playin’ Pinball with Lord Karnage. I didn’t actually make it to this one as it was the same time as another panel I was covering but being on top of the New England pinball leagues I'm familiar with World Pinball Champion Bowen Kerins and PAPA TV ( the pinball industry’s destination for competitive pinball coverage, expo seminars, product reviews & more) so I’m sure it was an interesting one. Hopefully it was popular and I can make it next year! Here’s the overview from the PAX Guide.
Playing pinball is more than flipping, flailing, and watching the ball go down the middle. Reigning world champion Bowen Kerins will help you play better. Joining him are the two Marks: Mark Steinman, “King of Pinball”, creator of PAPA TV, and Mark Bussler, “Lord Karnage”, creator of Classic Game Room. We’ll play the games and give out prizes while talking about CGR’s series of gaming videos and PAPA TV’s live broadcasting of pinball tournaments.
Bowen Kerins [World Champion, Professional & Amateur Pinball Association], Mark Steinman [Director, Professional & Amateur Pinball Association], Mark Bussler [Intergalactic Space Arcade Manager, Classic Game Room]
Rollers of the Realm
An awesome title in the Indie Mini Booth was Rollers of the Realm. Phantom Compass is an indie game studio that’s worked on titles for other companies in the past. Their first endeavor into making their own games has already won a bunch of awards from at shows ranging from GDC to SXSW. The gameplay combines pinball and RPG mechanics which sounds strange but worked well and was a lot of fun. Tables are laid out in sections like levels you have defeat. A story complete with cut scenes unfolds as you progress through levels. Different classes of characters are available to choose which will affect ball mechanics giving them unique sizes and weights. I’m looking forward to playing when its available later this year. The title has already been greenlit on Steam.
-- Erin "ErinAS" Seiden
I attended PAX East for 2old2play last weekend. And while I work on writing up some of the great stuff I saw, take a quick look at what the Penny Arcade Expo had to offer. This is about the one time of year I still use an actual camera!
Sneaking down the back way to the Expo Floor.
Only at PAX can you literally check your head!
Apparently the head chef at the Westin studied up on gamer grub.
In case you were having March Madness bracket withdrawl, the Omegathon has you covered.
Keep your eye out for Bonus Sodas coming to Xbox One soon!
The Monster was a lot less scary than the 3+ hour lines to actually see any of the stuff in their booth…
A shark, a monkey, and whatever that pink thing is walk into a bar...
Sit here and try our game while you admit you bring your touch device in the can to thousands
of people walking by on the expo floor!
Extreme Gaming Oatmeal was a popular swag bag item. Mmm oatmeal and 27 new cards for Cards Against Humanity.
PAX also features live music. Friday night’s headliner Anamanaguchi.
Its not PAX without panels. This shot is from Wordscapin’-How the Hell Do You Balance a Word Game?
And of course there’s a balloon version of the umm well we’ll call him a robot juicer for those
of you not familiar with Penny Arcade.
-- Erin "ErinAS" Seiden