PaxEast is like the gift that keeps on giving. So for those who don’t know, PaxEast is a gaming convention in Boston Massachusetts. It features a variety of games from the recently released and also upcoming gems to keep your eyes on. You can go around playing the demos for the different games to get a feel for them and hopefully find something to look forward to. Many I had no idea even existed. Recently I wrote about the games that impressed me on my first day of Pax and I gave my Day one MVP. I did the same with my second day. Here I’m going to do the same thing and give you my Day 3 PaxEast Impressions and The Day Three MVP. The slate of games that I played on Day 3 were vastly different then the first two days.
So Lets get to it.
Another dope game that I got to check out was Strayed Lights from Embers Studio. Strayed Lights is a action adventure game with really an eye-catching vibrant 3D artstyle. In this game you switch between a light side and a dark side both of which has their own pros and cons and their own attacks that they can block and parry.
Speaking of parrying, if you are a fan of that gameplay mechanic then you’re going to love this game. While you still can attack with simple strikes, the quickest way to wear down your opponents and build up your special attacks is through parrying.
The combination of the fluid combat and the gorgeous atmospheric artstyle of the game sold me. Strayed Lights was one of the most beautiful games that I played at PaxEast and I can’t wait to play more.
In a day full of games that spoke to me personally, perhaps none more so that WrestleQuest. I’ve been a pro wrestling fan since I could walk. As a wee young lad, I would climb to the back of the couch (aka my Grandmother’s living room version of the top rope) and jump to hit my uncle with a frogsplash. While my 31 year old ass is way too big to do that anymore, I’ve still be an avid fan of pro wrestling, both in real life and with video games.
The latest game to superkick its way onto my anticipation games list is Wrestlequest. This an RPG that’s pay homage to the history of the Wrestling. The game features turn-based gameplay that is fun and has a real pick up and play factor to it. The matches are quick and feel different than any wrestling game that I’ve played previously. The brief tutorials are executed well, explaining all the nuances of the gameplay without feeling like a slog. The map consists of different locations that you can walk up to explore. All of them that I experienced were extremely detailed and pro wrestling themed. I especially enjoyed seeing the statues of legendary pro wrestlers from the past such as the Macho Man Randy Savage and the Jake the Snake.
WrestleQuest is a game that I know is going to be dangerous for me because it feels like it was created with the intention of me being hopelessly addicted to it. I can’t wait until it drops so that I can continue laying the Smackdown on all that stands in my way.
Over the years I’ve played hundreds of matches in Fight Night. Since the 2011 the release of the last major boxing game, Fight Night Champion I’ve left tons of fallen boxers on the mat. Each one of these fallen just another victim due largely in part to the skills that I’ve built up over the last decade. Over the years, I began to lose hope that there wasn’t going to be another high quality boxing game again.
Then I began to hear whispers of Undisputed. A project developed by Steel City Interactive that emphasizes boxing techniques and true-to physics fights. I’ll be honest leading up to PaxEast I stayed away from it because I wanted my first impression of the game to be the finished product. I wanted to see the game at its fullest potential. That all changed when I got the opportunity to play the game at PaxEast against the game’s Community Manager, Will and I loved what I played.
Undisputed feels like the next evolution of Boxing games with more realistic punching angles, footwork and feints. The game has more than 50 licensed fighters so far and the ones that I’ve encountered thus far feel authentic. So I lost against Will and I walked away hungry for revenge yet, I was satisfied that the decade long drought of high quality boxing games was about to be over.
One of the rare games that I played at PaxEast that was already released was Infernax. It was a game that I didn’t know much about going into my appointment with Berzerk Studio. However, after playing Co-op with the team for about 45 minutes it’s a game that I was over the moon to hear is currently on Xbox Gamepass.
So Infernax is a 2D Metroidvania developed by Berzerk Studio. The game feels like Zelda 2 mix with Castlevania 2. It plays well as a single player game, which matters a lot to me of course, and you can also play it as a coop experience.
The gameplay while a bit on the tough side is fun. If you are into NES games and that type of art style the you’re going to dig this game. From what I played of Infernax, the storytelling was good, the gameplay was better, and it left me wanting to play it more. This is one that you should check out on gamepass for sure.
The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story:
So I’ve never been a League of Legends gamer. I’ve heard great things about the game from people whose opinions that I trust, and I heard that it’s a high quality experience. All that said, it just wasn’t the type of game that appeals to me as a single player focused gamer. I did watch the League of Legends show, Arcane and was blown away by it, but that is the extent of my fandom with the IP. So my expectations leading up to my interview and demo about the new League of Legends spinoff was that this I would see a high quality game that most likely wouldn’t be for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What I wasn’t aware of going into a PaxEast meeting about the project was that the developers of the game were Digital Sun, the geniuses behind the game, Moonlighter. Here is a little fact about me…I adore Moonlighter. Moonlighter feature pixel graphics are detailed and stunning, the gameplay is rewarding and addicting, and it has an infectious charm to it.
Mageseeker Gameplay Impressions:
Then they said some magically words that made this game go from one that I knew that I would never touch to one that skyrocketed up my list of anticipated games. They said that this game is a single player action RPG. To say that I was intrigued would have been an understatement.
Then I played the game and time flew by. What was probably a 30 minutes felt like five. The MageSeeker felt like a 2D God of War, mixed with Hades and of course Moonlighter. The action was fast and fluid. The environments were different, but still had that detailed pixel art style that I loved in their previous game. I experience a nice slew of different enemies, and special moves that felt well thought out and designed. As I walked away, I found myself deep in thought reflecting about myself. I’m now looking forward to both the next season of Arcane and now The Mageseeker: A League of Legends Story. It seems as though I might be becoming a League of Legends fan.
Goodbye Volcano High:
So I got hands-on with a game that is the last holdout of all the games that we saw from the first Playstation Showcase of the Ps5 era. That game is Goodbye Volcano High. For those of you who don’t know what this game let me break it down for you. It’s a visual novel with a ton of different mini-games. For instance, during my demo, the main character was playing the guitar and that starts a guitar hero-style rhythm mini-game.
Goodbye Volcano High’s gameplay gave me a vibes of Life is Strange. The dialogue which has been a focus of critique recently with games like Forspoken and Atomic Heart might be an issue for some. I like what I experienced of it, because it felt genuine and modern. Overall when I left the game after my demo I felt optimistic about it. While it doesn’t feel like a game of the year contender, it does feel like it will have a story that is going to stick with you.
Overall Day 3 impressions and the Day 3 MVP:
My first day was filled with a lot of tactics games and RPGs. My Second was filled with a nice variety of game as was my third day of PaxEast. It was a nice mix of games from genres like Metroidvania, Sports, turn-based, Point and click, and RPGs, etc.
While all of them are games I’m looking forward to playing my MVP of the Day goes to Undisputed. I can’t wait to play more of this game. I loved how detailed it is for boxing fans like myself. It controls differently than Fight Night Champion, and it feels like the game understands the sweet science that is boxing. I can already tell that I’m going to be playing Undisputed for years to come.
So that’s it for my Day 3 impression of PaxEast. It was a good time and it made me look forward to a solid mix of games.
Stay tuned for more PaxEast Impressions right here and on the Single Player Experience Podcast.
Until next time stay safe, keep gaming and I’ll see you next time peace.