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PAX East 2017

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Hey everyone,

So some of you are aware that I am/was at PAX East 2017 this weekend. So far it's been a blast. I will do a full run-down & review of the event. I even got to play a demo of Sonic Mania! Plus I met two very specific people that are involved with Sonic.

I should have the run-down by Monday night. I'll lock this topic until after the write-up. Soon as that's done I'll open it up for questions.

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With the dust settling and a few days to digest, PAX East 2017 was another great PAX. While I did feel that last year’s PAX had much more bigger, more known games in display; PAX ‘17 had some good games on display and some games to look forward to in the next year plus. This biggest attractions this year were Mass Effect: Andromeda & the recently released Nintendo Switch; both of which, sadly, I did not get the chance to see or play due to the long lines that were capped before I got the chance to jump in.


I thought about doing a day by day recap of what I saw and what I played, but I decided that I will just list the games with their corresponding Wikipedia pages and give my thoughts about said games. I can always elaborate more by answering questions anyone has. I will go in order of what I played and what I saw… with one exception at the end.


Nier: Automata. Nier: Automata is the sequel to the 2010 game Nier. Developed by PlatiumGames (Bayonetta) and published by Square Enix (Final Fantasy series); it combines role-playing elements with action-based combat and mixed genre gameplay similar to that of Nier. Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth in an unknown time after the events of Nier, the story revolves around a war between the remnants of humanity and the machine army of invaders from another world. You play as 2B, a female combat android apart of a series called YoRHa and 9S, a male YoRHa, and you fight said invaders in a proxy war as the rest of the humans are on the Moon. Nier: Automata was rather interesting and combat felt slick and on point. However, I didn't get a chance to see much of the story; which is a big thing for me. Overall from what I have played, which I felt wasn't enough time, I thought the game was good but I would need to see more gameplay and read up on it.


Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Developed by Square Enix (duh). Simply put, it's a HD remaster of the international release of Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System. The game is just exactly like it was back in 2006, with higher frame rate, improved graphics, and smoother game play. The addition of more job boards (11 more than the original 1) corresponding with a zodiac sign (make sense, right?), a New Game +/- option, and Trial mode add to an already great game. I enjoyed playing the game, though not as much as I remembered. However, I do blame it on Final Fantasy XV, on the accounts how drastically different the game is compared to XII.


Twitch Town Hall: A panel on some of the upcoming features on Twitch, they also announced features such as changing twitch names (as I did with mine), a new hub and the ability to buy games directly on Twitch, with some proceeds going directly to partnered streamers (thanks Amazon). Twitch also announced "TwitchPresents" in which they will stream certain show marathons, due to the success of Bob Ross and Julia Child streams, where you can watch with fellow Twitch users. The first one being Power Rangers, all 800+ episodes, back to back.


JackBox Party Pack 3: A party game where you can play with 2 to 8 people... with an audience able to join in and can influence the game. You play it on your smartphone with prompts/instructions on the main screen. I got to play Quiplash 2 with others and the audience joined in to vote on the outcomes. I came in second place. It's a very, very fun to play with a huge group of people. The responses and reactions in the crowd made it much more fun.


Console/PC Free-Play: Basically an area where you can play from a list of games as a way to relax and take a break from the rest of the convention. For the Console free play my 3 friends and I played the multiplayer to Modern Warfare 2 (in other words we just noob-tubed each other for a bit then got serious). For the PC Free play we played Dead by Daylight, where one player was a serial killer and the remaining players had to escape from said killer. I died as I got caught in a trap. The game is very suspenseful and gives you that "fight or flight" feeling in a way that makes the game feel even more intense. Afterwards I just played some Team Fortress 2 until time was up.


LawBreakers: A new team based game similar to the lines of Overwatch, you play as either the Law or the Breakers and try to capture one of 3 points to score one point, after all 3 points are captured they become locked for 30 seconds. It's class based with each character having a bit of personality. Now I know what you are thinking: "it's just another team based game." However, this one did feel different to me. It's more fast pace and much more intense. LawBreakers still in the Beta phase and  I got a card to play a closed Beta. I might try to play a bit more and see how it is. I felt the game was rather enjoyable and a good team game to play with friends.


Raid: World War 2. A co-op game in which you play as 4 criminals, one from the US, one from Britain, one from Germany, and one from Russia. After being freed by OSS/SOE operatives but unable to go home due to the fact they are criminals, the 4 decide to cause as much trouble for the Nazi's by stealing much Nazi Gold as they can. Each as their own role and their own specialties to complete the mission. I played as the Russian with a shotgun which was overpowered as I could long shot a few guys. With a lot of teamwork the game is extremely fun. The downside was that this game is in early alpha (which explains the shotgun long-shots) so there was a few noticeable bugs but a game to look out for. The developers said it should be out by the end of this year.


Gran Turismo Sport: The newest installment to the Gran Turismo series, focusing more on higher tier cars, touring cars, and race cars. While the career mode wasnt featured, I got to play a race on Nürburgring (James May's favorite place in the world) using the new C6 Corvette. The driving was crisp and fluid, trying to overtake 11 other drivers was a challenge, and the course felt close to the real thing. However there was no damage to the cars when making contact with other cars or after striking the wall(though, I think that's turned off) and sound seemed off with no music (again, maybe it's off due to the demo) but as a game as a whole, it still seems to behind Microsoft's Forza series.


Dauntless: A Dark Souls-esque game where you and 3 other 'Slayers' hunt down and face gigantic monsters to curb the monsters while collecting resources from them to improve the character's gear to face even tougher monsters. Upon release you can play single player and cooperatively. The game is developed by former Blizzard, Capcom, Riot and Bioware developers so despite it being a tiny studio, you could expect AAA quality if everything goes right. It's going to be released by the end of the year and will be free to play.


Conan Exiles: Based on the Conan world and lore, it's similar to games such as Rising World, Rust, The Long Dark, etc. I didn't get to play much of it.


Stories: The Path of Destinies. An action-role playing game with "choose your own adventure" story style game play, is an indy game that was released last year but this was the first I have heard of it. I got to play the first 30 minutes of the game and I found it to be fun. The characters were funny, dialogue was good, and some of the quips in the game are funny as well. It's something I plan on getting on soon.


And last but not least: Sonic Mania. Instead of a description, I will be posting a video in the next few days of my play through of Studiopolis zone. I got to talk with TailsChannel, who is a cool guy and we talked a bit about Sonic, and Aaron Webber himself about the game and I had a pleasant discussion about Sonic, the social media pages and a few other subjects. I found out he's a huge fan of SatAM and he was a subscriber to Archie Sonic for a long time. I told him about us and our mission statement and he seemed interested, likes what our site is about and wished us good fortune for our site. I have to say I have a lot more respect for Aaron Webber after talking with him (Aaron if you happen to read this by chance, I hope we can speak some time soon). Overall I like what I saw with Mania.


Overall I had a blast at PAX East and cant wait for next year's PAX (which I may have found about the date). The experience is always a fun one and I got to play some really good games. There's a few games I'm looking forward to now. I am bummed out that I could play anything on the Switch or go to the panel for Mass Effect Andromeda.

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