PAX South Day 2 Recap – More Indies and Average Coffee
My second day at PAX South 2019 has concluded and I was able to look at some smaller titles, as well as enjoy some of the most average coffee I have ever had.
My second day at PAX South has concluded and my feet really hurt. I thought about picking up one of those pay as you go scooters that are scattered all around downtown San Antonio. I don’t think the enforcers here at PAX would allow it though. Anyways, enough with me complaining and onto some awesome titles I got to look at today.
Descenders was one of the first games I got to take a look at this morning. It caught my eye because it wasn’t like many other racing titles you see today. In fact, I haven’t seen a BMX game in quite some time. Descenders has players racing downhill on BMX bikes while simultaneously trying to finish certain objectives given by the course. For example, one course might want you to land a big jump and stay in the air for over 4 seconds. Another might want you to pull off two or more backflips. Descenders had memories being rushed back into my head of the Dave Mirra games I used to play so much on my old PlayStation.
Descenders was one of the most fun games I have played at the show. The controls were extremely tight and pulling off big air jumps with perfect landings was satisfying as all hell. Barreling down straightaways while hitting little drifts to miss rock in the course gave me a rushing sensation.
The game is out now on Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview. If you loved the BMX games on PS2, I would highly recommend picking this one up.
Eagle Island not only had a delightfully-charming art style, but the game had a clever way of introducing a bit of a different way to attack enemies in a typical 2D action-platformer. In Eagle Island, you attack enemies by throwing an owl at them (yes it was an owl, not an eagle). There were different owls that you could pick up that had elemental powers such as a lightning strike or freeze ability. On top of that, every time you attacked something, your owl will come back and you will hang in the air for a second, giving the option to choose which direction to launch the bird.
From my short playtime with the game, I was sold. It is a procedurally-generated Metroidvania title, and I am all about that after learning more about the game with the devs I spoke too. They were by far some of the most enthusiastic and excited group of developers I have interacted with at the show, and I recommend everyone to pick this up when it releases in a few months.
Kung Fu Kickball
There are some games that make sense in your head, and then makes even more sense when you play it. Kung Fu Kickball is exactly what you think it is. Imagine something along the lines of #IDARB; however, this time you kick a ball and your opponents. Each team must kick the ball into the other team’s goal to score.
I played along with 3 other fellow PAX attendees and the play session was frantic, intense, and a whole lot of fun. After a couple of minutes with the game, I was able to get down the controls and pull off crazy shots from long distance and also some stellar defense, if I say so myself. If you are a fan of quick and fast party games, this one might be added to your list of go-to party games when the gang comes over.
One of the devs on Gestalt Vanguard described the game as a mix of a Metroidvania and Final Fantasy VI. I am sure many of you think this sounds heavenly, and it was. The game mixes up the detailed and in-depth labyrinths of a Metroid game while simultaneously combining in dialogue options and narrative.
The platforming and combat was what you would expect from a Castlevania or Metroid game. But what intrigued me more was the dialogue that was provided in my playtime. I have been hoping for a 2D platformer/action game since I completed Celeste last year, and I think Gestalt Vanguard could fill that void. However, that won’t be for quite some time since I was told that the game won’t until next year. It will still be on my list though.
Actually, it wasn’t too bad. Not great, but not as bad as you would expect from a PAX concession stand. However, it was not as good as my Chik-Fil-A coffee I had earlier in the morning. Plus, nothing could ever beat the worst coffee I have ever had at a local coffee shop in San Marcos, Texas during college. I still have nightmares every time I smell burnt coffee.
Zarvot released earlier last year, but they still have a booth here at PAX South. I popped in early this morning to see what all the fuss was about because I saw a swarm of PAX attendees yesterday around the booth. I sat down this morning and had a wonderful time in both the multiplayer and single player modes
In the game, each you play as a cube that can shoot lasers. Know that I think about this, I have to imagine a cube shooting lasers is probably the exact thing my parents think of when my parents think what a video game is. Anyways, the multiplayer mode puts 4 players up against each other in an arena and players must blast the others to smithereens. The multiplayer was a whole lot of fun, however, the single-player mode was just as fun, with an adorable narrative thrown in as well. Anytime there is dialogue with an inanemant object, I am a fan.
I am entering my last day of PAX tomorrow morning and I couldn’t be more excited. I never expected to see this many excited and passionate developers here. On top of that, the atmosphere supplied from the attendees is electric. Everyone in the exhibit hall is walking around with a big smile on their faces.
Everything from the video games to the cosplay makes PAX something all gaming fans shouldn’t miss out on. I do have to say one thing though: there are way too many Bowsettes here. C’mon everyone. The phase has ended. It’s time to move on!
PAX South 2019 is happening now in San Antonio, TX through Sunday, January 20. Stay tuned for our upcoming previews of the games that we got to play, and catch up with our Day 1 Recap where I got to play Days Gone and talked about bad pizza.