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PAX 2010: Niero is super-cool and Slam Bolt Scrappers

Posted by: Ryan

Instead of doing one huge PAX Cblog, I'm gonna try to write one smaller post every day for maybe an entire week,
if I can. And I didn't take many pictures, so bear with me.

One of the more unexpected things about PAX is that when you're there, you tend to brush sleeves with lots of people you wouldn't expect. For example, Noelani and I sat next to Capcom's Community Manager Seth Killian while playing a demo of Sonic 4 and we ran into Warren Spector at the Nintendo booth. (Warren Spector => starstruck Noelani) It's actually really fun to be able to run into these kind of video game higher-ups, just sort of randomly, and chat with them for a bit.

So I don't know why it came as a surprise to me, but when Niero sat on the couch next to us during the Saturday night meet-up, I didn't realize that he'd be such a cool guy. I've met the CEOs of my company and stuff, and so I expected that the founder of Destructoid would be a bit more high-strung, but that's not the case at all: Niero may be the most laid back person I've met on the entire Dtoid staff.

So he sat down with a few of us and we just chatted for a bit about things we saw on the floor and even some early Game of the Show talk. There was talk of Retro City Rampage and Dead Space 2, and I've got two games that I personally loved to death on the show floor, but you'll hear about those later. So then Niero asks us if we played this game: he didn't know the name of it, but he says it's kind of like a fighting game, but it's also kind of like Tetris, and you're building a tower, and his description is really making no sense at all. But he's really into it, and after asking, he tells me that it's on the show floor near some roller derby game.

Of course, this story would totally suck if I didn't actually go the next day and play the game he recommended, right?

Right. So the next day, I got my hands on this Tetris-fighting game, which I found out is actually named Slam Bolt Scrappers. And as you would expect, it's pretty weird to play at first, but it's not as complicated as you would initially think.

So monsters float up at the top, and if you beat one up, you get a colored Tetris piece. The point of the game is to get your colored Tetris pieces to line up in 2x2 or 3x3 squares, after which they become laser turrets and such that can destroy your opponent's Tetris-piece-made tower. The concept is amazing, and the game, while confusing at first, is a whole ton of fun once you've got the idea. It takes an extremely familiar mechanic (Tetris) and then twists it around so much that it's almost reminiscent of Power Stone or Smash Bros., which is a great, great thing.

Perhaps the only issue I had with the game was that players could go to the other side of the board and directly beat up their opponents, but when I did, I couldn't really tell who was winning or what combination of the two attack buttons I should be pressing to beat people up. I would just kind of fly near them, and mash a button and hope that they took more damage than me. But even then, there were occasionally some power-ups (including a shield), which encouraged you to go to the other side and annoy the hell out of your opponent, so there might be more to that mechanic than I initially gathered. And hey, dying isn't even a big deal anyway, since you come back really quickly if you ace a quick-time event.

I've never actually heard of Fire Hose Games before, and I might have missed this had Niero not recommended it, so consider this post as me passing on his recommendation: Slam Bolt Scrappers is damned awesome game that you should definitely keep an eye on.

Edit: Adding in a gameplay video!

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About LK4O4one of us since 1:47 PM on 05.07.2009

Hello there.

My name is Ryan and I work at a pretty prominent web company. I'm 24 years old, which makes me one of the youngest people at the company (out of over 100 people). I have half of a college degree, a full-time job, and now I've got a place to hang out and talk about awesome video games.

Feel free to talk to me! <3

== Currently Playing ==
FTL: Faster Than Light
Slitherlink by Nikoli

== Recently Finished ==
Thomas Was Alone
Fire Emblem: Awakening
FTL: Faster Than Light (Easy)
Hotline Miami
Little Inferno
Analogue: A Hate Story
Mark of the Ninja
Atom Zombie Smasher
Time Fcuk
Thirty Flights of Loving
Lone Survivor
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
Dynamite Jack
Slitherlink by Nikoli
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Ghost Trick
Mighty Switch Force
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords AE
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Mighty Flip Champs
Donkey Kong (Game Boy version)
Escapee GO!
Aura-Aura Climber
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Elite Beat Agents (Normal Difficulty)
Paper Mario
Sonic Colors (Wii version)
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
Mother 3 (Fan Translation)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Both Second Endings)
Portal (Steam version)
Cave Story (Wii version)
Spartan: Total Warrior (GameCube version)
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
Half-Life 2 (original Xbox version)
The Lost Vikings (Genesis version)
Pokemon HeartGold Version
Bangai-O Spirits (All 160+ Levels Cleared!)
Super Mario 64 DS
The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie
The World Ends With You
Ninja Gaiden Black (Normal Difficulty)
Chrono Trigger

== Systems I Own and Love ==
Sega Genesis
Sega Dreamcast
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo 3DS

== 3DS Friend Code ==
5241 1905 5146

== Wii System Code ==
4688 2108 9135 7828

== Tatsunoko vs Capcom ==
4297 4386 7686

== Monster Hunter Tri ==
Mii code:4688 2108 9135 7828
3DS Code:5241 1905 5146


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