Although I was only there for one day, I believe I can safely say that the Indie section once again was the most interesting area of the gathering. It's great to see both new and returning developers bring their ideas and games out for others, and most of them are willing to discuss their games with people in full detail. Anyway, I thought I'd share a few thoughts from my time at PAX. Let's get on with it!
[u]Hyper Light Drifter[/u]:
Definitely my game of show; (I played it after my Radio D interview with Nanashi, hence the shovel-knight mention as GOS.) This game was so much fun to play that my brother and I did the co-op, AND I waited in line for the single player demo. The combat is fast, tough, and creative as you can set up a few quick button shortcuts for various weapons that allow you to play in different ways. The dash really helps keeps the pacing interesting, and dodging is a crucial skill that needs to be mastered. Single player is more like an old-school zelda game mixed with segments that allow for rampant combat. Badass.
Game is damn fun. Definitely a Megaman / Castlevania / Metroid NES feeling game. It takes all the best concepts of those old games we loved, and adds a bunch of modern touches. The 3DS version was alright, but I think PC will be the best option as having a nice monitor and sound system really brings out the character of the game. Boss battles are a ton of fun, and there are a bunch of secondary weapons (think Up+B Castlevania style), that add a lot of variety to the game. Dat Jake Kaufman soundtrack too.
[u]Gods Will Be Watching[/u]:
I had not heard of this game before PAX, but I'm glad I stopped by to check out this demo. Based on moral and ethical decisions, this game was designed to pull your heartstrings and make you regret your choices. Whether you're trying to survive on a barren planet, or dealing with ~20 days of torture, GWBW will force you to make tough decisions that inherently fuck over others. As far as I understand it, there is absolutely no way in any of the six scenarios where you can cleanly come away with a "win". You'll be sacrificing both resources and companions to make it out alive. Most importantly, you become invested in what you choose.
[u]Hotline Miami 2[/u]:
Being a HUGE fan of the first game, I had very high expectations for the sequel. For the most part, I was very satisfied with what I had played. It has the same gritty feel and challenging gameplay that allowed you to take some pride in being a homicidal maniac. Masks are instead actual new characters with various abilities, rather than simply new skins that grant minor tweaks to the game. The variety of characters in the demo was enough to warrant multiple play-through if time had allowed it, and the demo dude insisted that there would be many more characters as well. The soundtrack is still a large part of the atmosphere, and even in the crowded PAX booth I was really getting into it.
[u]A Hat in Time[/u]:
Platformers are not games I usually resonate with, but the art style and charm this game has really got me interested in it. The open-world environment and mechanics had me thinking back to my early days of Super Mario 64. Experiencing a large colorful world as a cute little girl was something I had not done previously, and the level design and innate humor within the game itself made the demo really enjoyable. The controls were super-tight, and the environments were designed to be taken on in any way that you wanted. If platformers are your thing, or if you are looking for a great game to enjoy with a friend or son / daughter, I'd highly recommend looking into this piece.
That's it for now. I figured I'd write up something quick on some of the games I really liked at PAX. It was great meeting fellow dtoiders, and I hope that more people take the time to experience and support the indie gaming scene. Thanks for reading!