My first stop was to meet Twisted Pixel, who was showing off their new game: LocoCycle. It was at last year’s PAX as well, but this was the first time it was playable. In the game, you play as a living robotic transformable motorcycle named I.R.I.S., who is what would happen if Kitt from Knight Rider and GlaDOS from Portal had a baby. The game is a road driving action title that’s kind of a mix of Spy Hunter and OutRun. Shoot enemy vans with your machine guns and use robotic melee attacks for up close combat. In typical Twisted Pixel fashion, the game has a ‘twisted’ sense of humor as well. For some reason, dragging alongside IRIS is a poor, hapless Spanish speaking man named Pablo, who provides much of the humor to the game as IRIS thinks she can understand him but really can’t. Pablo can help repair IRIS and both the motorcycle and Pablo can upgrade their skills. LocoCycle has some pretty high production values, too, especially in the audio department. The soundtrack is fully orchestrated and features celebrity voice actors. The voice of the bad guy motorcycle, for instance, is the liquid metal guy from Terminator 2! The game will be a downloadable launch title for the Xbox One, and is currently the only Xbox One game I would be interested in playing. Hopefully they will consider releasing it on the 360 later on, as it may be a while before I get an Xbox One. LocoCycle is really cool, but I need to have a few more games I would want to play before I go out and buy a new console!
Twisted Pixel had a really neat booth at PAX, with stations to play LocoCycle and their other downloadable titles on 360 as well. Not to mention a place to buy plush and other goodies based on all their crazy characters. They have a big enough cast that they could even make a kart racer if they wanted to. I also think it’s cool they are located in Austin, TX, which is where I went to college. Here’s a picture of their sign that was spinning above their booth area.
Speaking of new consoles, both Microsoft and Sony had huge booths next to each other to show off the Xbox One and the PS4. Most of the booths were closed off and there were huge crowds and long lines so I didn’t play anything there. But Sony had some games that did catch my eye slightly, including The Puppeteer and Tearaway. Here is someone dressed as the main character from Tearaway.
WB Interactive Entertainment also had a huge presence at PAX and were showing off lots of games, including Batman: Arkham Origins, an online game called Infinite Crisis, a new Lord of the Rings game, and a zombie title called Dying Light (they were giving out scary zombie masks). But the game they had there that I was most interested in playing was Scribblenauts: Unmasked. Just like before, play as Maxwell as you help your sister Lily and yourself get back to your own world using Maxwell’s magic notebook. Type in any object or adjective in your notebook and it’ll appear in the game for you to use to complete objectives and solve puzzles. But in Unmasked, you can also summon super heroes and villains from the DC Comics universe, including Superman, Batman, Robin, and hundreds of others. If you type in Batman, for instance, you’ll get to use various versions of the character and read up on each one. Kids will love to read and learn about their favorite heroes. The locations you’ll play in are also from DC universes, and include places like Gotham City. On the map, you can complete objectives and reset them to receive new ones, too. The game is a bit more action oriented as well, because Maxwell now has a separate and specific button for attacking. Scribblenauts: Unmasked comes out at the end of September, and hopefully I’ll get to review it here!
Capcom’s booth had a store where you could buy a bunch of cool merchandise based on their many properties. I picked up a couple of inflatable Mega Man arm cannons there, even. They also had a bunch of stations to play new and upcoming Capcom games, including the awesome DuckTales: Remastered, a new Monster Hunter game, and the upcoming latest in the Ace Attorney series: Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies. I wanted to play that one so bad, but the demo was 20 minutes, which made the line for it way too long to wait in. The neat thing was the place where you played the new game was set up to look like the courtroom from the series. Here’s a picture:
SEGA had a few games at their booth that I tried out as well. First was a remake of a Genesis classic: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. This one features updated graphics, sound, and gameplay, and should be out very soon. Hopefully I’ll get to review it. Speaking of reviews, SEGA also showed off a new music game for PS3 called Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, featuring the popular Vocaloid characters. I WILL be reviewing this one, so expect that next week. Here are a couple of young ladies at SEGA’s booth dressed as characters from the game.
Of course it wouldn’t be SEGA without a new Sonic game. Here they were showing off a demo of Sonic Lost World, which looks like a cross between Sonic Adventure and Mario Galaxy. It was weird that you had to press a button to run faster, though. But you can use powers from Sonic Colors in this one that use the Wii U touch screen controller to activate. A statue of Sonic was on hand to point guests in the right direction to play.
The neat thing was that the person in front of me in line to play was a little kid and his parents. The little kid couldn’t have been more than three years old! It was fun to watch him play. It took him a little while, but he got the hang of things and even finished the first level. Just further proof of what I say in every Sonic game I review: “Kids Love Sonic!” A costumed Sonic was also walking about ready to greet fans as well.
I don’t mean to sound like a biased fanboy, but Nintendo is pretty awesome. Their employees and PR folks at PAX were pretty awesome; too, as they squeezed me in for some play time on some games even though I didn’t schedule an appointment beforehand!
They had a double whammy at their 3DS Lounge they always have near the North Lobby escalators at the Convention Center, as they were showing off two new Zelda games. One was Wind Waker HD, a remake of the GameCube classic. If you picked up a scavenger hunt map and got it stamped at four locations in the Nintendo area, you could get a T-shirt that looks like Link’s lobster PJs that he wears at the beginning of the game! At one of the stations, you had to get your picture taken in the boat Link rides in the game. Here’s a picture of the King of Red Lions sailboat.
But the Zelda game I’m really looking forward to is A Link Between Worlds on 3DS. It’s a direct sequel to A Link to the Past, so for those of you who consider that your favorite Zelda title, you will LOVE this one, too! It’s nice to see a traditional, top down Zelda game with no touch screen only controls. I got to play a bit of the game and instantly recognized the overworld map. One of the game’s new gimmicks is that you can turn into a wall painting of yourself and walk on walls and squeeze into tight spots like the edges of windows. So now there are whole new ways of getting around the well-recognized Hyrule map.
Nintendo also showed some games that are already out, so I didn’t play them. I already have Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, but if you waited in line to play the demo, you could get an inflated ball with Luigis all over it. I wanted one of those, but I couldn’t think of a way to pack it up to bring it home! They also showed Pikmin 3, which I’m not too terribly interested in. But they had a display where you could get your picture taken with them.
I did try a bit of Pokemon X & Y. Aside from the 3-D battles, it doesn’t look like much has changed. I battled a Pikachu in the tall grass with the new fire fox starter (hasn’t there already been one of those?), and then I caught a rabbity Pokemon in some tall flowers. I did notice that in this one, you could walk diagonally now! Here are some inflatables of the three new X & Y starter Pokemon they had near the display.
I did try a couple of indie games Nintendo will publish at the back of their booth. One was Armillo, where you play as an intergalactic armadillo as you roll around planets saving critters from evil aliens. It looks like a mix of Mario Galaxy meets Marble Madness with some Pac-Man thrown in as well. It’ll be out on the Wii U eShop next year. I also checked out Shovel Knight, a Wii U downloadable game from ex-Way Forward employees. It’s a 2-D platformer with a retro look as you play as a knight who uses a shovel.
There were a bunch of other demos of games (probably the same ones from E3), that I didn’t get a chance to try out because the lines were too long. These included Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Bayonetta 2, and The Wonderful 101. That last game comes out on my birthday in a week! Hmmmm. Anyway, here’s a picture of someone dressed as the main character from that game.
And that’s all for Day 2! Tomorrow on Day 3 we’ll take a closer look at the indie game scene! Later! –Cary