The PAX Files: Day 3

Third and final day of the show. I can’t think of a snappy intro, so just click to read more of my PAX adventures.

SouthPeak Games

Neat thing about SouthPeak is one of their main offices is near where I live. They had a couple of racing games on hand at PAX. One was Nail’d, which let you drive four wheelers on super long off-road tracks. Nail’d had a huge sense of speed; it makes me wonder if 4×4’s can really go that fast. Expect lots of air time and crazy crashes. Next, SBK X uses the Superbike motorcycle racing license for a racing sim game. But like the newest Forza racer, there’s also a quick race arcade mode that lets casual and arcade racing fans jump into the action. It even has the same handy green line that shows you the best places to drive on the track, and turns yellow and red to let you know when to brake.

The other two games SouthPeak showed were Two Worlds 2 and Battle vs. Chess. Two Worlds 2 should please fans of Fable and other adventure fantasy quest games, with lots of equippable and customizable weapons and spells. And some pretty slick graphics, too. Battle vs. Chess mixes action with strategic chess gameplay, and should end up being a pretty creative title. All these games should be out in the next couple of months.


Out of all the companies I met with at PAX, I think Capcom was one of my favorites because they had a wide variety of games that I was interested in. Plus, my whole family likes Capcom games. Heck, even my mom knows what a Servebot is! Capcom also had a store at PAX where you could buy Capcom related goodies. I bought a few Servebot things there.

I think my favorite Capcom game at PAX was Okamiden. It’s a DS sequel to Okami, which was my Game of the Year for 2006. The sequel has the same art style as the original, and even though not as much happens on the smaller screen, it still looks just as good as the original did on the PS2 and Wii. You play as a puppy version of Amaterasu from the first game, and Susano’s son rides on your back. He can smack smaller enemies for you, and you can draw lines with the stylus to tell the kid where to go. Just as in the first game, you can draw symbols to affect the environment. A line can slash things in two, and drawing a circle can bring things back to life or make the sun come out in the sky. Thanks to the DS touch screen, drawing is even easier than before. Battles with enemies are also similar to the first game; I even used a slash attack on one with the stylus and drew a circle around another monster to make its clamshell open up! They even gave out Okamiden stickers and silly bands at PAX. I really can’t wait for this when it comes out in October!

Another neat DS game was Ghost Trick. It kind of reminds me of a cross between Phoenix Wright and The Incredible Machine. You play as a ghost and must solve a crime. But in order to do this, you must possess objects on screen to make things happen and get from point A to point B. Drag your ghost soul with the stylus to possess nearby objects, but you have a limited reach. On certain items you can possess, you can also perform a ‘ghost trick’ to make that object move or do something else. For instance, if you possess a briefcase, you can make it unfold, which may let you reach another item to take over. Surprisingly, brother Jeff really enjoyed this game and was disappointed to find out it doesn’t have a specific release date yet. So hopefully it’ll come out sooner rather than later, and have more than one save file, too!

Speaking of Jeff, one of his favorite Xbox games was Dead Rising, so he was happy to sample a bit of the sequel at PAX. I guess I’m going to need to get that game for him, too! We also played a round of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I was a little sad that the Okami dog wasn’t playable in this demo, but oh well. The graphics really have a comic book style look to them. I picked Chun-Li, Felicia, and a lady named Trish on my team (I don’t know what game Trish is from, though), and Jeff picked Wolverine, Deadpool, and somebody else that I can’t remember. It played a lot like Marvel vs. Capcom 2, so I think fans of the series will be pleased with the sequel. Other games Capcom showed at PAX were Bionic Command Rearmed 2, Sengoku Basara, and Mega Man Universe. I can’t wait to learn more about that last game!


One of Jeff’s favorite online PC games is Guild Wars. He even likes it better than World of Warcraft. So I wanted to make sure and set up a meeting with NCSoft so he could check out the sequel. By looking at the huge booth and crowds around, Guild Wars 2 was definitely one of the biggest games at PAX.

Just as the first game, the sequel will have no monthly fees after you buy the initial game. I think that’s what Jeff likes the best. Right away you can tell the graphics are vastly improved. Each of the races you can play as will have more skill sets, spells, and abilities. And each race will have their own way of healing, so you won’t have to depend on another if you need to heal yourself.

Only bad thing about Guild Wars 2 is that it still doesn’t have a release date yet. It’ll be released when they’re done with it. But the good thing is that it’ll probably be a very polished online gaming experience once it is out. At PAX we got free Guild Wars 2 t-shirts (the green one was especially cool), and there was even a Guild Wars 2 truck that drove around all over the place in Seattle.

LEGO Universe

My last official meeting at PAX was with LEGO Universe. It’s a new online PC game that’s like a mix of World of Warcraft and LittleBig Planet. You make your own LEGO character and send it off on WoW styled quests. But you have your own space in the LEGO Universe that you can use how you see fit, and can build it up with LEGO sets and blocks you unlock in the game. That part is a lot like LittleBig Planet. The makers of the game are doing everything they can to make LEGO Universe a kid-safe online game, too. Everything from chats to LEGO creations will be moderated. It certainly looks like an online game that’s more my speed.

Another online game from the same PAX booth was a collectable card game based on the Marvel Super Hero Squad series. They gave out cards and taught you how to play the game. I love the chibi look of the heroes, too!

The Leftovers

In between meetings at PAX, I did a bunch of other stuff and took a bunch of pictures, too. So here’s the rest of what I did.

Big Sandwich (love the name) is making an upcoming PSN title called Horde. You play as a dragon and can compete or co-operate with three other players to collect treasure, terrorize villages, defeat knights, and kidnap princesses. It’s viewed from an overhead perspective and looks pretty interesting. And who wouldn’t love to play as a dragon anyway!

Another small studio, Halfbrick, had an upcoming Xbox LIVE game that I’m definitely going to keep my eye on. It’s called Raskulls, and I’m glad I played it at PAX because otherwise, I wouldn’t know that it’s basically a competitive multiplayer version of Mr. Driller. And I LOVE Mr. Driller games!

Sony and Microsoft were showing off their motion controlled games at PAX with Move and Kinect. I didn’t really have any interest in those games, and the lines to play them were really long, so I didn’t take notice of them much. Sony did have a special section set up for LittleBig Planet 2, which I’m mildly interested in and brother Jeff can’t wait for.

A lot of people at PAX (except me), were really excited for the upcoming Halo Reach. So here’s a picture of a statue they had set up there.

I was hoping to set up a meeting with WB Interactive to check out Super Scribblenauts, but they never got back with me on a time to meet. Oh well, their loss. They also had a new Mortal Kombat game and a new Lord of the Rings title. I think that’s where this horse guy is from.

Bethseda was showing their new Fallout game set in Las Vegas. I’m not really into Fallout, but their PAX booth had this cool dinosaur so I took a picture of it.

Ubisoft had a lot of booth space, but it seemed the only game they really featured at PAX was Just Dance 2.

I wish I could’ve spent more time at Hudson Soft’s booth as it looked like they had a lot of neat games. I played a bit of Bonk: Brink of Extinction. While I didn’t like the new art style, the core Bonk gameplay remained intact. And two players could play at the same time, too! Other neat Hudson games include Deca Sports 3, a new Kinect Deca Sports game, Bomberman Battlefest, a new Beyblade game for the kids, and Lost in Shadow.

At PAX, some gamers even dress up as their favorite video game character. Normally I don’t take pictures of cosplayers, but as a diehard Phoenix Wright fan, I just had to take a picture of this guy. He had so much gel in his hair, though, that it was kind of gross. It would be kind of fun to dress as a video game character for one of these shows, but I think I’m getting too old for that. Maybe next year, Jeff and I can dress as Sam & Max! Ha ha! Just joking!

During the show, a chalk artist was drawing a Metroid: Other M picture on the ground. On the afternoon of the third day, he finally finished it! Even though it had a lot of black space, the artist said it was harder to do than the chalk drawing of Bioshock he did last year because of all the vibrant colors. He signed a Metroid poster for me, though, so that was cool.

And that’s all I did at PAX this year! I’d like to take the time to thank the head guy at GamerDad, Andrew Bub. If it wasn’t for him, I might not be able to go to PAX or write reviews like I do now. I’d also like to thank the PR professionals and game developers who I talked with at PAX. They were all so friendly and helpful and nice and super cool! Playing new games at PAX is great, but working with all the wonderful PR folks and game makers is ever better! And finally and most importantly, I’d like to thank my family for coming with me to PAX and supporting me.

If you have any questions about PAX, post them in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them! Later!

Click here to read about my first day at PAX

And click here for the second day.

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