By Vaughn Collins aka Big Papi
PAX West 2017 is finally upon us! I could not have been any more excited to finally check it out. I was lucky enough to grab tickets for a friend and myself after waiting what felt like an eternity in the virtual queue. Now I’m here in Seattle enjoying PAX West in all of its glory. It’s like a dream come true. So now I want to share with you my Day 1 out of the entire 4 days that I am here. I’ll try to condense it down to some main points because there is a ton of stuff going on.
From the start Pax West showed off their strong line game. They had lines coming from every which way in certain formations to ensure the maximum amount of people were safe and orderly to get in. My friend and I showed up at about 30 minutes before the doors opened and the line was insanely long. We got in about 10 minutes after the door opened. For a con that is phenomenal and insanely efficient. I couldn’t believe that we got in so quickly. Huge check mark in my book.
When we got in, my jaw hit the floor. The expo hall was massive. I could not believe how many booths there were all over the floor. Walking in I felt like this was my first con all over again. Companies like Devolver Studios, Nintendo, and Bandai Namco were all ther with bright and flashy signs. After walking around getting my bearings of what was there and not I noticed that there is a whole other section in the back. With even more booths like Sony, Microsoft, and the Mega Indie Booth. I literally exclaimed out loud “THERE’S MORE”! I was not prepared for all of these expo halls.
After some more exploring I came across a bunch of fun and interesting games with low wait times. I’ll just give my top 3 games that I thought really stood out.
Man Dandara absolutely blew me away. It is a game published by Raw Fury that has a unique take on platforming. You take control of a woman who bounces between white platforms at an angle as a means to transverse the ever winding maze-like levels. There will be various enemies blocking your progression so the only way to take them out is to perform a charge shot which could only be fired from a stationary position. Dandara was visually stunning with its pixel art and even the music of ambient tones felt just right. I am looking forward to Dandara’s release soon.
Break Arts II
I’m going to level with you. I was drawn to this game because I saw a giant robot dashing around a racetrack reminiscent of that anime IGPX. In this “cyber battle racing ” game developer by Playism and MercuryStudio you literally are trying to be the best racer out there. You auto accelerate while being able to decrease your speed by just holding down on the thumbstick. You have a main boost with the right trigger and a side boost with the left bumper so that you could increase your mobility to get the fastest lap. On top of that your right trigger shoots a weapon that will attack nearby enemies to clear the way for you. Also you can enter an override mode which gives you infinite boost and shots for a short period of time once your meter is full. Let me tell you. Break Arts II is a hard beast to control. I spent the majority of my time just on the side of the track trying to work out the various boosts. Regardless it was fun to play and I am looking forward to the Steam full release this winter of 2017.
Dragonball Fighter Z
*Takes a deep breath* THIS GSME WAS THE HYPEST GAME I HAVE PLAYED! I could not believe that Dragonball Fighter Z was playable at about 3 booths at Pax West! I immediately told my friend that we NEED to play it now. Man that game was everything I hoped it would be and better. The controls were surprisingly simple with just quarter circle forward being the majority of special moves. There is also just one button to press to do a flying rush down and two buttons to charge up your special meter. You also have your standard light, medium, and heavy punch with one button dedicated go throwing blasts. These simple controls are definently going to be easy to learn but hard to master which is going to let people of all ages pick up and play!
I played Dragonball Fighter Z 3 times at 3 separate booths picking 3 different teams each time. The graphics are insanely fluid and colorful along with the blaring rock music that Arc System is known for putting in Guilty Gear games really makes it stand out. Matches go by quickly as you pummel your opponent with flashy combos and special moves ripped straight out of the Dragonball Z show and manga. I was in love with Dragonball Fighter Z each time I picked up the controller. I am even more excited to play this game at release next year!
And there you have it. My little (not so quick) recap of Day 1 of Pax West! Stay tuned for more updates in the future!