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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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Amplitude's multiplayer mode has been reworked for the better photo
Amplitude's multiplayer mode has been reworked for the better
by Darren Nakamura

I have some good memories of playing single player FreQuency years ago. However, the only memories I have of the multiplayer mode are of me playing against my friends in high school and crushing them, then going off to college and playing against a guy in my dorm and being crushed. Neither situation was particularly fun.

With Harmonix's new Kickstarter-funded Amplitude, the multiplayer is getting a nice upgrade. Instead of FreQuency's simple head-to-head score attack, it uses something closer to the system found in Amplitude (2003). From that starting point, the player count has increased from two to four, and a handful of other tweaks have been implemented, turning it into a party game I can imagine a group switching to after arms and voices are shot from playing too much Rock Band.

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5:00 PM on 03.12.2015

The Swindle perfectly balances roguelike mechanics with approachable gameplay

On my last day covering PAX East, I had the chance to sit down with the inimitable Dan Marshall from Size Five Games to have a look at his gorgeous, stealthy, steampunk-centric burglary simulator The Swindle. We’ve...

Rob Morrow







Ex-Nintendo exec tells Samus to 'consider going indie' photo
Ex-Nintendo exec tells Samus to 'consider going indie'
by Jonathan Holmes

Dan Adelman worked for Nintendo for many years, and was one of their unsung heroes for much of that time. While he has consistently voiced affection and respect for the company, he did end up resigning last year, in part because he felt like his role at Nintendo wasn't what it used to be. Now he's working on marketing and PR for a game called Axiom Verge, a game that Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime once said looked like Metroid

Samus Aran has worked for Nintendo for many years, and has been considered one of their most iconic characters for much of that time. While she has consistently garnered affection and respect from fans of the company, she hasn't had a game of her own since the year 2010. Many feel that her role at Nintendo isn't what it used to be. Now she's appearing in regular installments of the Smash Bros. series, but she'd much rather be in Axiom Verge, a game that Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime once said looked like Metroid.

If I didn't know better, I'd think that Dan Adelman was Samus Aran's secret identity. If putting on glasses and civilian clothes is all Superman needed to do to trick us into thinking he's Clark Kent, then why couldn't Samus do the same thing? If it weren't for this video, I may still believe that was the case. The similarities between these two "Nintendo characters" are hard to shake, though when it comes to the discussion of "going indie," their differences definitely start to show. 

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We Happy Few's bright exterior hides a dark secret photo
We Happy Few's bright exterior hides a dark secret
by Darren Nakamura

For a while, the general aesthetic in games was dark and grimy, with muted colors to convey dismal feelings. The more recent counterculture of color was welcomed, bringing happiness back to the medium. But a funny thing happens when colorful palettes are taken a step too far. Add too many big smiles, bright eyes, and soothing pastels, and the mood turns from joyful to creepy.

We Happy Few cashes in on this uncanny area past whimsy. Its world is so bright that it feels alien. Indeed, behind the vivid color of Compulsion's newest creation is a dark place. It may be pretty, but it is eerier than any run-down mansion on a stormy night.

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