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Talk turns technical with Masquerada: Songs and Shadows' Ian Gregory  photo
Talk turns technical with Masquerada: Songs and Shadows' Ian Gregory
by Rob Morrow

While at PAX East, I was fortunate enough to schedule a chat with the co-founder and creative director of Singapore-based Witching Hour Studios, Ian Gregory, to talk about the studio's beautiful upcoming "pause-for-tactics" 2.5D isometric RPG Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, planned for release on PC, Mac, and consoles (TBD) sometime in early 2016.

The game takes place in a Venetian-inspired fantasy city called Ombre, and as it happens, is the only place in the game's world where magic exists. However, discovering and donning rare masks are the key to learning and harnessing that magical power. Gregory describes the mask's function in the game as that of "batteries," storing built-up magical energy to be released in the form of the different classes' skills and abilities.

Players follow the story of Inspettore Cicero Gavar as he returns from exile to solve a kidnapping that, as the game's description states, will  "shake up the foundations of the city." Cicero, your starting character in the game, is a Maestro, a hybrid class that draws from the skills of all three main character classes.

The three main classes available in the game are the Sicario, who fills the role of an assassin; the Pavisierre, the tank in the group; and lastly, the Dirge, a bard-like character who can cast both summons and buffs. Each class will have access to eight to ten different abilities, all of which possess their own skill trees.

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RIVE was my favorite twin-stick shooter at PAX East photo
RIVE was my favorite twin-stick shooter at PAX East
by Rob Morrow

When I learned that Netherlands-based Two Tribes Studios (Toki ToriToki Tori 2) was bringing its snazzy metal-wrecking, robot-hacking, twin-stick shooter RIVE to PAX East this year, I jumped at the chance to set up an appointment to see the current state of the game.

I finally caught up Two Tribes co-founder Collin van Ginkel at the RIVE booth where he sat me down for a little hands-on with the game. I'd had some time playing an earlier version that was released last fall before leaving for the show, but what was on display at PAX East this year had obviously seen some major improvements.

For starters, the demo on hand had my previously ground-based, spider-like vehicle transformed into a nimble spacecraft, dodging and blasting its way through an asteroid belt on route to the facility to where the rest of the demo takes place. The addition of side-scrolling flying sections was a pleasant surprise and I hope that in the final version, there's even more of them.

The touchy but precise movement controls while flying were a little tricky to get used to, but by the time I had passed (collided with) a few asteroids I had full control of my ship, chewing through all that was in my path and easily outmaneuvering the spinning, laser-firing turrets that appear towards the end of the section.

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8:30 AM on 03.17.2015

Game News Haikus: PAX East Edition

Last week's video was a little late thanks to PAX East, and I said I'd make it up to you. This week, instead of seven haikus we have ten, and for good reason. In this series, we normally take a look at the stories that gathe...

Darren Nakamura



It's easy to zone out in the open ocean of Windward photo
It's easy to zone out in the open ocean of Windward
by Darren Nakamura

The PAX East expo floor is one of the least peaceful places to play a game. There are sweaty crowds, children who haven't learned to use their inside voices, and booths blasting dance music and/or eSports commentary. And yet, at the back of the floor sat Tasharen Entertainment's booth, where I was able to don some headphones, relax, and lose myself in the high seas of Windward.

Before I knew it, half an hour had passed, a line was forming behind me, and I felt like I had hardly scratched the surface of the genre-blending ship game. I needed more time with it to get a really good feel for it. I started up the Early Access build the other day and the time melted away. I managed to get six hours of play in that same day.

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3:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Anti-dads, claymores, and hotdogs in Dad by the Sword

While at PAX East, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kepa just before the show floor closed on the first day. He and I were both frazzled, but that didn't stop him from smiling and refusing to take my bait to say that his g...

Jed Whitaker

2:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Wander by Wander lets you wander in Wander while wondering why you're a tree

At PAX East, I spent a majority of my time playing indie games but the one that really stood out is Wander, a non-combat exploration MMO about discovering the story of the world around you. The booth was an outlier...

Jed Whitaker

1:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Viking Squad beats enemies to death with fish

Four vikings worshiping different gods fight their way through procedurally generated environments with various weapons including a fish; no, it isn't your family reunion but the upcoming beat-'em-up Viking Squad. Marvel at ...

Jed Whitaker





12:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Put your one true love back together in A.N.N.E

As someone who never got into non-linear Castlevania games and had never finished a Metroid, I've recently been really turned on by metroidvania games. Aroused, even. A.N.N.E takes the genre a step further and mixe...

Jed Whitaker



Gigantic made me gigantic in the pants photo
Gigantic made me gigantic in the pants
by Jed Whitaker

At PAX East this year I walked past many of the larger booths and gave them little attention, as I am typically more interested in indie games. I got invited to a press-only demo for Gigantic -- a game I only knew of by seeing the signs for the booth on the show floor -- by fellow Destructoid editor Rob Morrow, so I went to see what it was all about. I'm glad I got to get hands-on time with the game, otherwise I wouldn't know just how fantastic Gigantic is.

When I first laid eyes on Gigantic it was breathtaking. The colorful graphics pop off the screen and are reminiscent of something you'd expect to see from Pixar or DreamWorks. The characters are all unique and really stand out from the equally colorful environments. The animation of character movements are all really fluid, especially for the game only being in alpha.

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1:00 PM on 03.15.2015

Did a clown who farts in a Porta Potty win PAX East?

Last week on Sup Holmes, I ranted to David Fox about how his game Zak McKracken is the greatest point and click adventure about subversion of corporate power structures, empathy,  and opening your eyes to the world...

Jonathan Holmes

12:00 PM on 03.15.2015

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD features school girls Vs. dragons on ice

Our full review of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is coming up tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is some off-screen footage of the game to get you thinking. As a lapsed fan of the series (the last main series Final Fantasy game I...

Jonathan Holmes



Samus asks Nintendo for a new game photo
Samus asks Nintendo for a new game
by Jonathan Holmes

Nintendo is famous for frustrating some of their diehard fans. The irony is, those fans are only frustrated because Nintendo is doing a lot of things right. It may not let us buy a lot of their products, and it often takes its time with releasing the games we want, but the fact that we want those products and games in the first place speaks to Nintendo's skill at maintaining its relevance.

More than anything though, it's Nintendo's poker face that seems to bother people the most. It sometimes seems unaware of what fans want, but is that just an act, or is it just unwilling to tip its hand when pressed to tell us what it's up to?

Having spent the entirety of PAX East in the midst of an identity crisis, Samus finally broke down and demanded that Nintendo show some emotion. Does it love her anymore? Is it ever going to give her a starring role again? These are not easy questions to answer. The man fielding those questions on Nintendo's behalf was none other than Kit Ellis, co-host of The Nintendo Minute and Metroid superfan. While it's tough to top the signing of a Purple Pikmin, I think Kit did an equally excellent job in managing this bizarre encounter. Thanks again, Kit.

Without meaning to, Maddy "Samus" Myers and I ended up turning this What Samus Wants PAX East 2015 coverage into a full on spin-off of Samus and Sagat, complete with a three-act narrative. If you watch it from the beginning to end, the story is sort of reminiscent of Zoolander. That's pretty cool I guess.

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Here are Destructoid's Top 10 games from PAX East 2015 photo
Here are Destructoid's Top 10 games from PAX East 2015
by Kyle MacGregor

PAX East ended several days ago, but its memory lingers on -- as does the sickness it bestowed on a handful of us poor Destructoid staffers. Much like how Jesus died for our sins, we risked our health for you, dear readers. So why not go ahead and read about some of our favorite things we saw at that plague-ridden show. Go on, now. Also, send us some drugs. We're dying here.

Here are our 10 favorite games, unranked. Make sure to check the full impressions for the games that interest you. Just click on their titles below!

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Just Shapes & Beats is bullet hell without the shooter photo
Just Shapes & Beats is bullet hell without the shooter
by Kyle MacGregor

"Congratulations, you just survived the tutorial," Just Shapes & Beats coder Mike Ducarme teased the small crowd clustered around Berzerk Studio's PAX East booth. A quartet of us had just run the gauntlet, bobbing and weaving our way through an imposing cannonade of pink missile fire.

We barely managed to scratch out a victory -- and that was only the tutorial? Glancing around the throng, there was a clear sense bewilderment and excitement among us. We wanted to see more.

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Magnetic: Cage Closed let me fling myself around with physics photo
Magnetic: Cage Closed let me fling myself around with physics
by Darren Nakamura

"It's not a gravity gun; it's a magnet." Guru Games, developer of Magnetic: Cage Closed, stressed this to me at PAX East. It works like a real magnet, with fields radiating out in all directions, rather than affecting only a forward-facing space.

In practice, it functions similarly in a lot of cases. Attract to pull objects closer, repel to push them further. It's a bit of an oversimplification, but the magnet gun is central to solving the puzzles found in Cage Closed. However, puzzles aren't all the title has going for it; Magnetic also features more action-oriented sections, branching pathways, and a focus on player choice.

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Dropsy challenges perceptions of beauty, proves that love really can conquer all photo
Dropsy challenges perceptions of beauty, proves that love really can conquer all
by Rob Morrow

One of the highlights of my time at PAX East was sitting down and chatting with Dropsy’s creator, Jay Tholen. Jay’s a quiet, thoughtful man with what seems to be unlimited creative energy at his disposal. His sometimes offbeat, but unquestionably engaging creative force shines through in his surreal point-and-click “hugventure” Dropsy. At first glance, the Devolver-published game may seem as though it could be reduced to a psychedelic walking simulator built to shock or surprise the player, offering no real substance beyond that.

For some players that will surely suffice, and they’ll be very happy playing that game. That’s part of the sly brilliance Tholen’s weaving into Dropsy, in that it can be enjoyed, or perhaps more accurately said, interpreted, on many different levels.

In some ways it functions like a mirror – the observer, or in this case, the player, unconsciously injects something of themselves into the experience, ultimately shaping their perception of what the game is really about. Which is quite refreshing in that the game doesn't lead you by the nose, telling you what to think; it offers plenty of room for your own interpretations.

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