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Sebastion Mauldin

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Day 4 PaxEast Impressions and The Day Four MVP

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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 and my day three impressions. Here I’m going to do the same thing and give you my Day 4 PaxEast Impressions and The Day four MVP. The slate of games that I played on Day 4 were vastly different then the first three days.

So Lets get to it.

Backpack Hero

First off I want to talk about a roguelike with a unique concept. If you’ve been listening to The Single Player Experience podcast then you’d that I get hooked on roguelike games. They are my jam and might be my favorite genre of games right now. A new entry in the genre is the game, Backpack Hero.

Backpack Hero is a twist on your standard deck-building roguelike! It isn’t just about what you carry, but how you organize items within your bag! Their placement has huge effects on their power! I really like this concept. It feels fresh and I’m the type of person that likes to organize my gear and this game rewards me for it.

So I played a bit of the game and it sort of reminds me of a turn-based version of Moonlighter. Just like that game, you go out and explore the dungeons and bring resources back to upgrade your town. The game is currently in early access but looks to have a release date window around May of 2023.

Backpack Hero Preview - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
Backpack Hero Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

Crit Rate

Crit Rate by Eon Gaming also brought the heat with their new software. Basically, it’s a video game recommendation system based on the type of gamer that you are. Here is how it works. When you signup they ask you a series of questions, then they take your answers and place you in a house system that is like the gamer’s version of Hogwarts from Harry Potter.

Here are the 5 houses Vantagist, Curionaut, Ascendiary, Galabander, and Bravadier. I’ll give you a brief description of each house.

Crit Rate Preview - Image 1
Crit Rate Preview – Image 1

The Crit–Rate Gamer Houses:

Vantagist – These gamers are usually lone wolves, but beware if you encounter them in a competitive setting–they’re here to win. High scores in Strategy and Difficulty.

Curionaut – The Curionaut is here for the thrill of adventure. They love to build, explore, discover, and immerse themselves in the story of a game. High scores in Experimentation and Slow–Paced gameplay.

Ascendiary – No stone left unturned, no achievement unclaimed, the Ascendiary won’t settle for anything less than 100%. Their dedication to specific games is often rewarded with a level of knowledge and skill that few can rival. High scores in For Glory and Solo gameplay.

Galabander – They thrive when playing with others and have no problem with pausing a solo journey to embark on a social one. High scores in For Fun and Multiplayer.

Bravadier – To the Bravadier, challenging others is typically top of mind, especially if there’s a match to be won. High scores in For Glory and Fast–Paced gameplay.

I took the test and ended up in the Curionaut house. I feel like this house accurately describes me as a gamer. The current top game recommendations that for my house are God of War Ragnarok, Resident Evil 4, Hi-Fi Rush, and Octopath Traveler 2. Besides Resident Evil 4, which I haven’t tried yet, these games are right up my alley. Go check out their site, take the quiz, and see what house you are in.

Here is a Link to the Crit Rate Quiz:

Crit Rate Preview - - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
Crit Rate Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

My Friendly Neighborhood

So it’s safe to say that a lot of games that I played at PAXEAST caught me off-guard. Most of them because they were impressive games that I didn’t know about, but one game that I played caught me off guard in a different manner. It’s a game called My Friendly Neighborhood.

In this game, you play as the repairman, Gordon who has been sent to figure out why scary things have been happening on the set of a puppet show, Our Friendly Neighborhood. So as you may or may not know I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to all things horror. Despite this personal hurdle, I found myself having a great time playing this game.

My Friendly Neighborhood plays like Far Cry, but instead of hunting down wild animals, you are being hunted by Sesame Street-like puppets. The game balances out the cuteness of the puppets and the suspenseful horror vibe very well. On the set, you solve puzzles all the while you use the weapons around you to keep the puppets at bay. While this game won’t be for everyone I got to give it kudos for making this chicken look forward to a horror game.

My Friendly Neighborhood Preview - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
My Friendly Neighborhood Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

Slay the Princess

Now let’s pivot and talk about the game that blew me away on Day 4. It’s a title that probably won’t impress with its gameplay, but immensely with its storytelling. If you’ve been listening to The Single Player Experience podcast for a while then you know that I’m a sucker for a good narrative and this game didn’t disappoint. The game I’m referring to is none other than Slay the Princess.

Slay the Princess is a game by the talented studio Black Tabby Games. This indie is a choice-driven psychological horror visual novel/dating sim with dramatic branching, light RPG elements, and hand-penciled art. Honestly and thankfully I’m my case, this game didn’t feel like a scary horror experience.

With a game so rooted in its narrative I won’t go into much detail about the story and spoil it. However, here’s my pitch on the game. It’s an indie that feels like a well-crafted Groundhog day style storybook. The voice acting is superb and the story sucks you in and won’t let you go. The game is tied to your choices in a way where everything you do matters. Slay the Princess is a game that you absolutely need to check out, but be warned it will get you hooked.

Slay The Princess Preview - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
Slay The Princess Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly

Next, I want to switch gears to one of the few sequels that I played at PaxEast and that’s Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. If you’ve played the first game then be aware that based on what I played that you are getting more of the same game that you know and love.

For those of you, who haven’t played this series, let me give you the rundown. These games are basically interactive conversations that you have as you brew and serve drinks to your customers. It’s like a Lofi chill version of Persona, in the sense that you are just running a coffee shop and you have deep meaningful conversations with people. If you’re looking for a good chill and relaxed game filled with characters that you can bond and connect with then this game is one that you should check out.

Coffee Talk Episode 2 Hibiscus & Butterfly Preview - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
Coffee Talk Episode 2 Hibiscus & Butterfly Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

Alterium Shift

There has been a wave of 2.5 D JRPGs and RPGs lately and after PaxEast this upcoming one has my attention. That game is none other than Alterium Shift. Here is the game’s description: Embark on a journey through the living world of Alteria and experience its dynamic quests, unique turn-based combat, and choice-driven storylines. With three branching narratives and unforgettable characters, Alterium Shift is a retro-inspired JRPG that offers a new adventure with every playthrough.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game. It felt like a combination of Octopath Traveler, Final Fantasy 1 and 2, and Golden Sun. I love the 2.5 D Artsyle that we’ve been seeing in games and Alterium Shift is not different in that regard. The turn-based gameplay feels like it’s fast-paced and well-thought-out. The music was solid and the three protagonists that you can choose from give the game immense replayability. This feels like the perfect handheld-type RPG to lose 100 hours to.

Alterium Shift Preview - (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) - Image 1
Alterium Shift Preview – (Day 4 PaxEast Impressions) – Image 1

Overall Day 4 impressions and the Day 4 MVP:

So there you have it, the final day (Day4) at PaxEast video game recommendations. 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. The final day of PaxEast was also a solid variety of games, but with a bit of an emphasis on horror games and games with a narrative focus.

While all of them are games I’m looking forward to playing my MVP of the Day goes to Slay the Princess. This point-and-click narrative game is gripping in a way that reminds me of the phenomenal storytelling in Taletales the Walking Dead season 1. While it’s not that same style of game, gameplay-wise it does have a similar magic when it comes to the game’s engrossing narrative. Go check out this game’s demo:

Slay the Princess is the game that other media members were talking about in the media room. It had a buzz to it. I walked away from my demo of the game salivating for more and wondering what happens next in the story. So that’s it for my Day 4 impression of PaxEast. I played some dope games that were a nice way to cap off PaxEast as a whole. Honestly the event itself was amazing and I’m definitely recommend that you check it out next year.

Stay tuned for more video game impressions and reviews right here on the and on the Single Player Experience Podcast.

Until next time stay safe, keep gaming and I’ll see you next time peace. 

Day 4 PaxEast Impressions
Sebastion Mauldin