For those that don’t know, PAX opens at 10 am for general registration. The doors are open to media personnel at 9 am, giving us an hour to scope out new titles before the masses start to swarm. Swarm they do, so this hour is pretty important, to check out big titles before PR representatives become lost in a sea of bodies.
So what did we check out with our precious first hour?
What more can you ask for than walking through the doors, turning a corner, and coming face to face with the team of Sunset Overdrive? We were a part of the first group to play this game at the show, and let me tell you it did not disappoint. In what was essentially a cooperative, horde mode, point defense set up, eight of us worked together to fend off waves of increasingly bizarre monsters. With several different weapons at our disposal, grinding and wall running was very smooth. It almost felt like Jet Set Radio with guns (definitely a good thing).
One of the best features was the inclusion of traps. Being able to throw down a mechanized set of spinning blades to lock down a corridor was extremely helpful when all that grinding and wall running rarely left you stationary enough to guard a specific location. This game is all about running around at a frantic pace and gunning down anything that moves.
My only qualm was that it was a little hard to keep track of my ammo during all the madness that was going on. My guns would simply stop working, which wasn’t a huge problem because I’d just switch to another. I never ran out of ammo entirely (so that seems to be balanced well) and even though I didn’t know exactly what all the weapons did, whenever I pulled the trigger, whatever I was pointing at would explode in various fashions. That’s good enough for me.
Super Smash Bros Wii U
You know that Nintendo is going to get swarmed. It’s just a fact of life. We felt it was important to get our hands on this title early, to make sure we got our time with all the new fighters and stages.
I’ve got to say, Smash Bros is Smash Bros. I think we all know what to expect from the series, and there weren’t a great number of surprises. Par for the course is how I’d describe it. I did appreciate, though, that Nintendo was showing off the compatibility with the Game Cube controller, which is one of my favorites all time. It’s good to see that they recognize when they’ve got a great thing, and tie it back into their future projects.
The demo they had didn’t have all the announced fighters, but we did get to play as Greninja, Megaman, Mike Jones and The Wii Fit Trainer. Of that cast, I’ve got to say that The Wii Fit Trainer was my favorite. Greninja might be the best of those, mechanically, but Wii Fit Trainer was simply more fun. Her Yoga pose fighting style was hysterical and she was all around good fun. 10/10 will main.
Now here was a familiar face. I don’t know how many of our readers are old enough to have grown up with Gauntlet in the arcades, but I certainly have fond memories. Once again taking control of familiar faces (Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard and Elf), we jumped into what looks to be a rock solid multiplayer co-op experience.
I personally assumed the role of Merlin, the Wizard, and worked with three other members of the press to sling spells at what appeared to be zombies (or skeletons, or something equally nefarious). A PC exclusive at the moment, we played with Logitech controllers in what is dual stick shooter style gameplay.
I’m not sure about the other fighters, but Merlin was a blast. Using the X, Y, and B button combinations (X,X or X,Y or X,B… you understand) to set up a combination of approximately Nine different spells allowed for great versatility no matter what the scenario. Explode groups of enemies at a time? Freeze oncoming undead? Channel a magical beam onto a single opponent? There are spells for that. Merlin allowed me to play in a number of different ways and I look forward to getting my hands on this more and trying to master not only using a single spell, but fluidly switching between them.
And that’s where we are so far for PAX Prime 2014. Blizzard is here this year,with Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of the Storm. Bandai Namco is here with Lords of the Fallen… We’ve got Bloodborne, Borderlands, and Far Cry 4.
What I’m saying is, you have a lot to look forward to.