Pax West Day 4: The Finale

Pax West Day 4: The Finale

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by Vaughn Collins aka Big Papi

 

Pax West has officially come to an end. It was my last hurrah to try to play some games that I might have missed out on.It was the dawn of the final day that I could make an attempt to try my luck at one of the bigger booths with the lines that wrapped around themselves multiple times. I got a late start to the day because I wanted to just have a relaxing time today and just have some fun. Afterall it was the last day of my first Pax West so it was time to make the most of it. Admittingly because of my late start I did not get to play that many new games as I played almost everything that I wanted to already and multiple times. Like I stated already, today was the playing the big games with the long lines. So here is my list for the top 3 games I played of day 4 of Pax West!

 

Windjammers

I did not see this game at all when passing through the Playstation booth. Windjammers was apparently a game that is going to be re-released along with other classic SNK/Neo Geo games in the near future. The main draw of the game is that you pick a character that represents a country such as the USA, Germany, or Spain and you duke it out in various arenas with frisbees. Yes, you are facing off against someone with a frisbee. It sounds kind of lame at first but the gameplay is actually pretty satisfying. You could wither throw or lob the frisbee once it is in your possession in various angles to try to score points to win a set. Win best of 3 sets and you have won the game. To make sure that you aren’t scored upon you could dash or dive to try to catch the frisbee and then retaliate. This could make matches go incredibly quick with rapid volleys back and forth trying slip up your opponent.

What is interesting about Windjammers is that each stadium has different variation of goals which offers two ways to score points. The easiest way is to either score within the yellow sections of the goal for 3 points or you could score within the smaller red sections of the goal for 5. If you throw your frisbee hard enough at your opponent you could knock them into the goal and score points based off of which section that they got knocked into. There are even some special moves that each character has. I only saw a few special moves such as one character that could throw the frisbee against the side of the wall and it slides rather quickly into the goal. Another makes the frisbee spin wildly in circles until it hits the goal while being on fire. These are activated if the frisbee is up in the air and you have enough time to charge with your throw.. I honestly was not expecting to have so much fun with the classic game of Windjammers. Might have to pick this one up in the future.

 

Sonic Forces

Hold on, you could put down your pitchforks and torches because I want you to hear me out. Yes, Sonic has had a very rough time in recent years in trying to make a comeback. I was truly skeptical with Sonic Forces every time I passed the booth every other day. On this final day I just decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot since the line was very low. The demo for Sonic Foices offered 4 levels. The first one I played was a traditional 3D Sonic level. You know the ones that they keep trying to push on everyone. This time around, it felt pretty good to control Sonic. The controls worked just alright and was pretty responsive for the most part. There was a sense of speed which is great but it also I was just happy that I was actually able to control Sonic at high speeds. The second mission that I chose was a classic Sonic level where it started off with the boss fight from Green Hill Zone. The Eggman one with the swinging ball only to have to it switch to this giant robot who threw stuff from the background to damage me. What was interesting about the classic Sonic stage was that it was the old school Sonic but the graphics from Sonic Generations. I was actually pretty impressed.

The 3rd and 4th missions were kind of weird to me. The third one was just playing as a preset custom character which had a rocket jump weapon, an electric whip, and a hammer. This custom character was super floaty and had no sense of speed so platforming did not matter in the slightest bit because I kept floating over a ledge I had the space for to my death. Straight up just gritted my teeth and bared through that weird platforming and mix of “speed” sections. Even the special weapons were not so interesting requiring certain pickups in the level to use. This leads into the 4th mission which was a team up with Sonic himself. All you do is just run at kind of a slow speed together and dashing through foes. At one point I was able to do a team up dash where all I did was press a button multiple times to charge it up and off I went destroying everything in my path with some cheesy rock music playing. On top of that the electric whip could also be used to collect rings like the light shoes from previous games so I was able to skip whole sections of the short level. Overall Sonic Forces has potential to be great but kind of falls a tad bit short in the performance department. They are just trying to do to much to make it “unique”. At the same time there is some potential in the regular Sonic section. I have high hopes though since Sonic Mania is so amazing.

 

Dauntless

Picture a Monster Hunter like game except for PC and easier way to communicate between other players and even form guilds. Yes the new Monster Hunter will be coming out in the near future but Dauntless seems to want to make the monster hunting in a more pure combat centric orientation. Yes you can still take the remains from various creatures you fell to create stronger armor and weapons. There is going to be a ton of customization options that will be released further down the road when the game is fully released. I got grouped up with 3 other people as we were preparing to select which beast we wanted to fell. The choices that were available was a mix between an owl and a bear or a T-Rex lizard thing. One woman that I was grouped with told us that there is a secret boss that we could fight for a pin. We picked one of four classes and set out to fell this armadillo combined with a lightning lizard creature.

Dauntless looks remarkably gorgeous and vibrant as you go out into the world to hunt your prey. Environments actually look like something could be living out there that needs to be hunted for survival. I just going not get over at how pretty the game was and how detailed each character class was as well. The animations of each attack was extremely fluid and I felt like each attack was really connecting. I picked the class with a giant hammer which also double as a shotgun with incendiary shells. It was a fun time communicating with my group to coordinate attacks to either deal the max amount of damage or immobilize the beast. What I did not notice is that the ship that you come in on has a certain amount of fuel which means that you have to hunt, kill, and loot within a timelimit. Once you reach the final minutes, the creature does more damage and you could no longer be revived if you fall in battle. This prompts a sense of urgency as my group tried to fell the beast before we ran out of time. Alas, we were not able to fell the beast but was able to get a beta code as our reward. Not going to lie, I really liked playing Dauntless. It actually made me interested in a monster hunter like game. I’m going to check out the closed beta  on PC to see how the game will shape up before release for sure!

 

And there you have it. That is the end of my Pax West experience. I got to play a ton of amazing games over the course of the 4 days that I was there. I got to meet a ton of fun people and then got a bunch of cool swag as well. Almost every game I played was something very special and you could tell the developers put a lot of heart into making it. I am looking forward to adding them all to my  games library for sure!

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