We got through day one of PAX Prime and we survived. That’s really saying something because for its latest show, the team really went all out delivering to gamers.
Once again, the show floor was loaded up with both big name publishers like Microsoft, Sony and Capcom, and also the “little guys” in development, including 24 Caret Games (who recently released Retro/Grade for PlayStation Network). Several fan favorites also made the return this year, including Rooster Teeth (the producers behind Red Vs. Blue), The Behemoth (who once again had Battleblock Theater in tow, still no release date) and Mega 64 (crazy as always – and yes, we bought a Hat shirt).
We started our day checking out the PlayStation booth, which was loaded with gaming goodness. PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale was up and running, on both Vita and PS3, and with two new characters revealed – Nariko from Heavenly Sword and Sir Dan from Medievil. After going a few rounds and taking a t-shirt for our victory, we headed over to the Vita section of the booth, where we got to play Retro City Rampage, Zen Pinball 2, Sine Mora and a number of other quality games coming for the handheld. God of War: Ascension was also on hand, and we made a killing in multiplayer while chatting with the game’s director, Todd Papy, off and on. Finally, we stopped by The Last of Us, and though it was the same presentation we previously saw at E3 (check out our hands-on report for the full scoop), we still got an excellent t-shirt and print for doing so. You can head over to Sony’s booth to check out these games throughout the weekend.
From there, Microsoft had multiplayer shenanigans galore, including Halo 4 and the new free-for-all mode in Gears of War Judgment. (Check out our impressions for more details!) They also brought some cool Xbox Live Arcade and Kinect titles for people to try. They didn’t quite have an extensive showcase like Sony, but their games impressed nevertheless.
Nintendo was also on the show floor, with the new Wii U system intriguing attendees, featuring such games as New Super Mario Bros. U and Pikmin 3. The 3DS XL also made a prompt appearance, though it was mostly for older games in the booth. (To be fair, though, Nintendo does have a gaming lounge on the second floor that features their new releases, like Paper Mario: Sticker Star.) Their booth was even smaller than Microsoft’s, but still suitable.
We then wandered around the indie game section, which was much bigger than the sixth floor cramming it got last year. Several developers were on hand, showing off their projects. We’ll have a full report on the highlights of the indie game invasion shortly following the show.
Capcom didn’t disappoint, once again bringing back several of their upcoming releases, including DMC: Devil May Cry, Lost Planet 3 (complete with cool glow sticks) and Marvel vs. Capcom Origins. Remember Me, their latest project, was only there in video form, but fans enjoyed seeing the trailer anyway.
2K Games came out in full force with two of their bigger releases for the fall, the forthcoming Borderlands 2 and X-COM: Enemy Unknown. Though there was no sign of either NBA 2K13 or, more disappointingly, Bioshock Infinite, fans were thrilled by what they had to offer. We’ll have an updated hands-on with Borderlands 2 in the weeks ahead, leading to its September 18th release.
Sega was another company that brought their games out in full force. Not only did they offer blockbusters like Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed and the new Aliens: Colonial Marines Escape mode (we’ll have impressions up soon!), they also brought new digital releases like NiGHTS Into Dreams HD and Sonic Adventure 2 HD. The Cave also looks quite intriguing, an original side-scrolling adventure that’s quite beautiful. We’ll have full previews in the weeks ahead.
To round off our day, we had a chance to talk to Warren Spector, the mastermind behind the forthcoming Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, which will be arriving this November. He showed off the new Frontierland stage, where there was a high level of interaction with paint and thinner, mostly with enemies. We’ll have impressions of this new stage for you soon. But it was a real pleasure chatting with him about all things, including game design and what dynamics Epic Mickey will use to make the sequel even better than the first.
Following the closure of the halls, it was party time, and several outlets had big things going. Machinima teamed up with the makers of the free-to-play Hawken (our hands-on just went up, by the way) at a local club, and it was a great deal of fun – even with the wub wub music. Destructoid also threw a community bash to celebrate the return of Rise of the Triad, with special customary drinks in a comfortable bar setting. And the Frag Dolls didn’t disappoint with their bash, as not only did they provide dancing and drinks, but also the chance to get a photo in a special Assassin’s Creed III setting. And yes, we held the tomahawks. Very awesome.
And that’s a wrap for day one. We’re already elbow deep in day two and will have a full report for you soon!