The best stuff on Destructoid this week [9/6]

It’s like a backwards 69 hehehehehe

What are you going to cook this weekend? I’ve been on point. Parmigiana di pollo, arroz y salsa verde para tacos, carne asada tacos, guacamole, pesto, roasted chicken and bell pepper, burgers. Going to do up some more fresh pesto this weekend because I don’t want the pine nuts to go south ($20 for a bag!)

You should cook something, too.

Lot of post-PAX previews and general clean up this week, along with a follow up piece of ace investigative reporting. 

Here’s last week’s post. Let’s begin anew.

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

ORIGINAL CONTENT

That expensive, gold Monster Hunter statue? Doesn’t have a lil dick! – Steven Hansen

Last month, we brought you an investigative, penetrative look at this $29,000 gold Monster Hunter statue. Particularly, “does it…does it have a lil dick?” we asked.

It wasn’t immediately clear. All the photos provided by Capcom were from the same angle, so it was impossible to attribute it definitively to forced perspective. Comparisons to other, non-gold Otomo Airou were not one-to-one, design-wise, so that plan didn’t work. Similarly, the images were not a high enough resolution to zoom in and check for penile spines, a defining characteristic of cat cock. 

PAX Prime 2014: Robots and cosplayers and Dtoiders – Andy Dixon

There it is, ladies and gentlemen: your PAX Prime 2014 Dtoid group photo! It wasn’t as big of a showing this year — thanks a lot, PAX-tickets-that-sell-out-in-42-seconds — but it sure was a pretty one. I know I say this every year, but damn; Dtoiders are sexy.

In the gallery below you’ll find various pics of cosplayers, Dtoid meetups, and Mr Destructoid on the show floor. Thanks to everyone who made this PAX so wonderful, and to all the awesome Dtoiders I hugged: I hope to see you again next year!

Review: Starbucks’ Donkey Kong Frappuccino – Brett Makedonski

PAX is full of weird pandering shit designed to appeal to the almost 100,000 gaming fans that come out for the convention. Any company would be remiss to pass up the opportunity to make some easy extra cash by selling products that show-goers buy based on reference rather than actual appeal. Imagine our delight when we found a sign at Starbucks imploring us to get a Donkey Kong Frappuccino.

Hamza, Jordan, and I all took the plunge on the DK monstrosity. Yep, we had to buy it just because of the name. Dammit, these shitty marketing tactics actually work. No regard for price or ingredients, one by one, we all did the DK Frap.

Here are Destructoid’s top ten games from PAX Prime 2014 – Staff

PAX is always a wonderful show because of the way that it melds the presence of both the industry’s largest games and the smallest developers. Into giant triple-A titles? Yup, PAX has plenty of that for you to get your hands on. Indie or experimental stuff more your speed? Fret not, there are tons of hidden gems at every turn to keep you constantly busy.

Unsurprisingly, we found some amazing stuff from both categories. In no particular order, these were Destructoid’s top ten games from PAX Prime 2014.

PREVIEWS

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is a mature new take on the series – Kyle MacGregor

In a brief hands-off demonstration, Tabata walked me through just how violent the game could be, casting fire spells, which incinerated enemies and left behind blackened ashy corpses.The physical attacks were no less brutal than those of the magic variety, resulting in blood-soaked wounds and stained weaponry. 

Tabata voiced a desire to steer clear of whittling away hit points so Type-0 could “evoke the true nature of battle.”

Super Meat Boy Forever is harder than the original – Kyle MacGregor

Team Meat’s new project Super Meat Boy Forever made its first appearance today at PAX Prime in Seattle — and it makes the original game look like a cakewalk by comparison.

The newly revealed title is an auto-run platformer in the vein of Bit.Trip Runner following our eponymous hero journey through obstacle courses laden with deadly traps. Players will need to navigate treacherous gaps and elaborate configurations of saw blades in hopes of reuniting with Meat Boy’s beloved Bandage Girl.

Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging – Steven Hansen

Costume Quest, like every Double Fine game, is charming. It’s a fresh-feeling, low stakes take on the JRPG genre, more Earthbound than Final Fantasy. Though, as Chad put it in his review, it’s “RPG Lite,” accessible for all ages.  

Double Fine doesn’t want to sacrifice that, but does want to make Costume Quest 2‘s combat a bit more engaging. I was engaged with Paper Mario (or Final Fantasy VIII) style timed button presses that help your attacks do a bit more damage. Similarly, a well timed tap on defense will reduce the damage you take. This engagement, though, make things a bit easier so long as you can hit those button presses. 

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker shows off the pros and cons of the GamePad – Brett Makedonski

Anyone who has played Super Mario 3D World knows what to expect from Nintendo’s upcomingCaptain Toad: Treasure Tracker. That’s because Captain Toad made an appearance periodically in his own levels throughout 3D World to lend a slower, more methodical style to the cat-suited platforming that mostly defined the game.

Nintendo realized that it may have a hit on its hands with the Captain, and thus Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was born — a game comprised solely of those bits where the protagonist hunts his way through puzzling levels for coins and gems. 

The Behemoth’s Game 4 is the strangest SRPG I’ve ever played – Jordan Devore

No, the next game from The Behemoth isn’t a sequel to Castle Crashers. I mean, yeah, that’d be nice to have one day, but I’m loving how the studio is continuing to try new things. And its next project, the to-be-properly-named “Game 4,” is most certainly a New Thing for the team.

It’s a turn-based strategy role-playing game with the style and humor we’ve come to expect from The Behemoth. So, pretty freaking great. Will Stamper even returns from BattleBlock Theater to narrate again. What begins as a typical fantasy adventure with swords and shields quickly morphs into a tale of robots, vampires, and anthropomorphic cupcakes. Knights getting extracted via space shuttle? Yeah, something’s not quite right here.

I took a field trip to play Civilization: Beyond Earth’s first 100 turns – Steven Hansen

Civilization: Beyond Earth isn’t just a missed opportunity for transmedia synergy by way of the family Smith’s After Earth. It’s a game about space. About space colonization, specifically, because the Earth is a goner (wonder how that happened). 

Because of this space theme, we were brought out on an elementary school field trip to the Chabot Space & Science Center up in the bourgeois hills of Oakland (you know, where it’s not “scary”). We were given a brief tour of the facility and taught some things (I can’t make a high grade telescope by stitching together Ikea mirrors), thanks in part to the presence of actual scienceman Dr. Stephen Kane.

I didn’t think Dreadnought’s hulking ships could be as fun as they are – Brett Makedonski

A very specific connotation pops into your mind when you think about spaceship fighters. Your brain’s flooded with thoughts of dogfighting ships zooming around, barrel rolling, and flipping end-over-end to fire unceasing space lasers at equally nimble opponents. That’s not whatDreadnought is; not even close, in fact.

Dreadnought — which is currently only slated for PC — is a thinker’s game, a title for those more adept at thinking two steps ahead rather than those that rely on their twitchy fingers. It’s a chess match in space — a chess match that trades in kings and queens for lumbering, massive ships that actually feel like they have weight to them.

Never Alone may have stolen the show at PAX – Brett Makedonski

As an effort to educate, Never Alone has extra content that should prove entertaining. By reaching certain points throughout the game, video clips are unlocked that explain a little chunk of Inupiat culture. One that I watched was a one-minute video about what these Alaska Natives believe the Northern Lights are. In the same vein as Valiant Hearts, these bits are available for those who want to delve deeper, but are never forced on the player.

Never Alone may have been born from the Inupiat’s desire to share with their own youth, but the effects are going to be much more far-reaching than that. People all around the world are going to learn about the Inupiats through a medium that they love, but doesn’t necessarily have a history for doing this kind of good. Upper One Games wants to change that. The studio has plans to keep developing titles about underrepresented cultures in a series of what it calls “world games.” Here’s to hoping it follows through because its first effort is shaping up phenomenally.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell was inspired by Disney movies – Jordan Devore

The creative director made it clear that “It’s not a parody of Disney at all, but it echoes some of those themes.” There aren’t any talking animal buddies here, but Gat does have a talking gun who wants to help him become the ultimate killing machine.

Basically, Gat Out of Hell is what a fairy tale would look like in the Saints Row universe.

“It’s a whimsical, weird fucking game.”

Geometry Wars 3 may look different, but it feels right – Jordan Devore

There was some initial skepticism when it came to Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and its so-called “3D action.” For starters, it’s been several years since the last games entered our lives to rekindle old leaderboard feuds. There was also confusion surrounding developer Lucid Games who, as it turns out, is made up of former Bizarre Creations staff.

Even if I hadn’t known that fact going in, I like to think I would’ve picked up on it instinctively during a hands-on session at PAX Prime. Despite a few significant changes such as the shift from a flat playing field to planet-like 3D stages, Dimensions unmistakably feels like Geometry Wars.

Mighty No. 9 feels great, but the core concepts take some getting used to – Chris Carter

The boss, Mighty No. 5, was one of the best parts. It was fun to just unload burst fire on him and occasionally dash to destabilize his lifebar, as it felt like your standard cannon counted more for something. His pattern is very predictable (like a classic Robot Master), but his ultimate move (which effectively closed off half the arena periodically) was interesting, and his overall design was memorable.

Mighty No. 9 didn’t blow me away as a Mega Man fan, but even at this early stage I’m impressed by the layers of technical gameplay it provides. I think it’s shaping up to be a pretty promising platformer, and just like Azure Striker Gunvolt, it does enough differently to make its own mark on the genre, without simply cloning Capcom’s methods at every step.

Opening a treasure chest as Ganondorf felt wrong – Jordan Devore

 I may not have made it to the actual boss of the free-play stage I was on, much to my disappointment, but I was able to confirm that my anticipation of Hyrule Warriors is justified. The fact that it’s out in Japan already is only making the wait for September 26 feel that much longer.

This is Dynasty Warriors but with characters I can actually comprehend. At long last, I’ve found an Omega Force game I can get into.

I have a feeling Massive Chalice is going to be great – Steven Hansen

Your goal in Massive Chalice is to make it through 350 years of encroaching Cadence. Your characters will die, eventually. Lineage and generations become key, like Fire Emblem: Awakening was mixed with XCOM, but stretched out. You can advance the chronology in large chunks between significant events (or battles) in the same way you’d run a few days on the world clock in XCOM‘s mission control.

There are a lot of systems at play. You appoint Regents in ten or so kingdoms on the map to stymie Cadence spread and then you give them a partner to continue the bloodline. This detracts from your pool of warriors, however, as Regents can’t fight.

I swam around as a snake and then I don’t know what happened in Bayonetta 2 – Brett Makedonski

Did you know Bayonetta can transform into a fucking panther? Maybe I would’ve if I played the original, but seriously — a goddamn panther. Needless to say, the next couple minutes were blocked off for panther dashing. That line of people behind me? I didn’t care so much about them; they probably got lots of panther time in the first game. 

Once that novelty wore off, I continued with the demo and things got significantly more convoluted. Combat? Yeah, I had no idea what I was doing. I eventually fell into a rhythm with the dodge button, and felt semi-competent despite the fact that I probably wasn’t. I managed to rack up gold statuses on a few sections. That euphoria vanished immediately when the Nintendo representative told me that there are two rankings above gold. So, it’s kind of a really fancy C-plus.

Now I know why Devolver picked up A Fistful of Gun – Brett Makedonski

It takes a certain kind of appeal for Devolver Digital to add a title to its stable of games. While the indie-friendly publisher doesn’t necessarily have an underlying style that unite all of its games, there is a common theme. They’re all uniquely awesome in some way. A Fistful of Gun is the newcomer to Devolver, but it falls right in line as one might expect.

A Fistful of Gun is a top-down western arcade shooter that’s all about execution, but maybe moreso about how you’ll arrive at that execution. In predictable fashion, there are a bunch of bad guys on the screen, and you’re tasked with shooting all of them. One hit kills them, one hit kills you. Where this game thrives is in the choice that it gives the player.

Bullet-hell and rhythm fans will both like Harmonix’s new game – Brett Makedonski

Music has always been at the heart of what Harmonix does. From Rock Band to Dance Central to the extremely experimental Chroma, the studio’s made sure that whatever the player’s doing, they’ll nod their head and tap their foot while doing it. Even when branching out as far as it is with its new project A City Sleeps, Harmonix never strays from its roots, and the game feels remarkably better off for it.

A City Sleeps is a game that Harmonix is dedicating only a fraction of its resources to. The team, comprised of only five people, was the group that was working on Chroma until the studio decided to indefinitely put it on the backburner. Not sure exactly how to mold something as ambitious as the musical first-person shooter, the team segued to something more manageable — a twin-stick shoot-’em-up for PC.

HOTTEST, SLIMIEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Persona 5 is coming to PS4, gets first trailer – Steven Hansen

Atlus’ YouTube has our first look at Persona 5, which appears to have a ruffled brown haired boy protagonist and subways. Not a lot to get excited about aside from the fact that Persona 5 is exciting inherently.

Though there was an announcement of a PS4 version of the previously PS3-restricted title. Makes sense. 

Bandai Namco developing a Pokémon fighting game – Kyle MacGregor

The Pokémon Company just announced Pokkén Tournament, a fighting game developed by Bandai Namco and the Tekken team.

The announcement came via livestream, with The Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara and Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada revealing the title is coming first to Japanese arcades sometime next year.

The ‘New Nintendo 3DS’ is a new 3DS iteration from Nintendo – Chris Carter

Nintendo has revealed yet another 3DS unit — the “New Nintendo 3DS.” It’ll feature bigger screens, colored face buttons, a second stick (a tiny nub called the “C-stick,” modeled after the GameCube), faster download speeds, a better browser, extra shoulder buttons, and amiibo functionality (NFC). The Nintendo Direct showed off the second stick with Monster Hunter, with the player manipulating the camera with the right nub.

 

Ciao, amiche.

Steven Hansen