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Nintendo Switch Previews Pax East 2018 Previews

PAX EAST 2018 – Kaet Must Die Switch Version Hands-On

A hidden, dark, and creepy challenge that Switches expectations of what a puzzle game is.

Tucked into a small corner of PAX EAST was a small, non-decorated booth. Standing there was a young man, and a cosplayer dressed in a Gothic themed dress. It was clear the game that I would be demoing would be dark, twisted, and deadly. This is Kaet Must Die from Michigan-based Strength In Numbers. It seemed rather strange that a game such as this would be tucked inside of a corner booth, wedged between the wall, the Indie Megabooth, and Devolver Digital. However, this was a gaming convention, and I came here to play games. With a brief introduction, I sat down and began my demo. 

Kaet Must Die puts you in the role of a young woman named Kaet, who awakens in a filthy sewer, beneath an unknown city. It is apparent that somehow, she has slipped into an alternate reality, filled with evil and darkness. She has no means of self-defense and no navigation tools. To escape, she must secure magical skulls and place them within the shrine, located at the center of the level. The skulls are scattered throughout the sewer. With a multitude of threats lurking in the dimly lit corners, Kaet must be vigilant, observant, and stealthy in order to survive.

The Switch Factor

Kaet Must Die was played on a Nintendo Switch, a surprise considering the nature of the game. Overall, the game ran really well, but smooth gameplay and crisp visuals could not help me stave off death. I played the game with a complete open mind, with no prior knowledge of what I was supposed to do. I only knew that I had to navigate the sewer and locate an exit. Within moments, I turned a corner, a zombie grabbed me, and it was game over. From this point on, I knew that the game would be a trying tale of trial-and-error. I navigated further in the sewer, recovering at least one skull and voiding the zombies.

In Kaet Must Die, the zombies look more like mannequins, but with green eyes. Even getting remotely close to them is similar to setting off a landmine. I managed to secure one skull but realized there were multiple skulls I need to secure. As I attempted to navigate, robed trolls lurked in the shadows, moving around discreetly without a pattern. Eventually, they found me, and electrocuted Kaet, ending my efforts. Something inside still wanted to continue my trials, however.

Try, try again…

On my third try, I maintained more care, and was also given the hint of using glowing mushrooms to send distracting flares to the robed trolls. It worked, and allowed me to stay alive for a little longer. Throughout the sewer, garbage and dim light maintained an atmosphere of constant alert. I looked closely, securing another skull, but alas, I met my demise once again. A troll snuck up behind me and electrocuted me. Being that I died three times, I determined that my time with the demo was over.

Kaet Must Die feels like an acquired taste. I talked to one of the developers at the booth, and the game was touted as a painful practice of trial and error. Should players wish to complete Kaet Must Die, they will have to die a lot. I suppose that is part of the fun, if you like that sort of torture. During my play-through, there was no means of self-defense and no navigation tools. My mental deduction skills were put to the test right from the jump. With that being said,  learning where the skulls are and making it to the end of the level will take repeat game-play. On one hand, this is reminiscent of classic games, most particular the side-scrolling action-platformers of the 1990’s, like Mega Man. Of course, to beat those games, players had to fight, die, and repeat until they figured out how to beat the game. But Kaet must Die touts itself as one of the most hardcore horror puzzle games ever made. In the short time that I played. it was unique and different, and there are those that will probably enjoy the brutal difficulty and lack of guidance. However, for general game players, there may be better, more refined horror experiences elsewhere.

The Bitter End…

Kaet Must Die looks and feels like a game better suited for a twitch streamer. I can imagine an audience closely following a streamer and seeing just how far they’ll go in a competitive format. For video game players, Kaet Must Die is certainly playable but perhaps not very accessible. I would like to see some means of defense, as well as some form of guidance to the different skulls. It doesn’t have to hold your hand , but it doesn’t have to leave you completely naked to danger. The character sounds like an amazing super natural being. Perhaps a limited use of her pwoers will work to make the game more accessible. Kaet Must Die is a work-in-progress, and I am hopeful it can evolve into something better.

Kaet Must Die is currently on Steam and will come to Nintendo Switch in Q2 2018.

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Pax East 2018 PC Previews

Pax East 2018: Deathgarden Preview

Deathgarden is the newest game from Behaviour Interactive and is the spiritual successor to Death by Daylight. Following the same idea, Deathgarden has you assuming the role of one of five “runners” who’s goal is to try to activate 2 out of 3 totem poles to open the exits, while being actively hunted by a heavy armored “Hunter.” Once you activate a totem, your location is revealed to the Hunter who will come quickly and hard. Don’t worry though, the hunters are without ways to defend themselves.

The Hunted

Each Runner is armed with wrist arrows to stun and knock back the Hunter. Should you be downed by the Hunter, your team can rescue you and revive you, but you will most likely be sent to the blood post to think about what you have done. Once again, your team can rescue you from the “blood post,” but the Hunter can execute you removing you from the game. Once the “Hunter” has removed 3 people from the game, the round ends. Best 2 out of 3 rounds wins. The runners are playing in third person, while the Hunter is playing in first person. This whole experience creates a really fun “cat and mouse” type gameplay that I can see being fun for a long time.

Overall, although in early alpha, the game ran super smooth and without many hiccups. The Hunter did seem to be a little overpowered. Several times, I was downed and was instantly sent to the Blood Post only to have the hunter run straight over to me to execute me without my team having a chance to rescue me. When I explained this to the dev, they stated to me that the Blood Posts don’t become active until at least three people have been downed and even after a blood post is activated, there is a 15 second wait til a runner could be executed. Playing the game, it did not seem to be the case, but I also wasn’t counting the seconds or watching to see how many runners were downed before me. Which speaks well for the game and not me playing. I may have been a bad teammate, but the game was so intense that I was running for my life most of the time, enjoying myself while playing a game that normally would not have appealed to me. Deathgarden has opened my eyes to these types of games, giving me a reason to go back and try Death by Daylight.

Another Proven Gamer, Matt Murray, previewed the game from the Hunters Perspective. Here are his thoughts:

The Hunter

Hey everyone, Matt here. I previewed the Hunter role in Deathgarden opposite to Tricky’s experience with the runner. I’ve played quite a few asymmetrical multiplayer games but none have ever really nailed the formula. Jason was scary in Friday the 13th and the monsters in Evolve all were pretty cool but playing as the bad guy in these types of games often feels slightly limiting, underwhelming, and kind of clunky. I’ve always felt more like I was flailing and failing than some monster of total bad-assery. That is decidedly not the case in Deathgarden. I ended up playing two rounds, I won one and lost the other. The whole time I felt like I was walking imminent Death. I felt like the soldier from Doom that had been accidentally dropped into a bad teen slasher flick. They were a cabin full of kids expecting a machete wielding maniac. Unfortunately, for them, I was a shotgun duct taped to a cheetah.

Though I only pulled out the win in one of my two rounds I spent most of my time smiling like an idiot. Deathgarden, if nothing else, is incredibly fun to play. Bouncing between the three capture points I’d watch the runners scurry off like mice as I’d approach. Most times I would down at least one of them. I liked that I was able to see an outline when one or more of the runners was at a particular capture point. It made it easier to track who was where. I wasn’t entirely clear on how the Blood Posts worked. I know my win condition was to kill three of the runners, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to trigger the stands when I needed too. This was probably more due to how much info I had to take in prior to playing than poor instruction.

In my time with the game, even though I did feel extremely powerful, I never felt overpowered. The round I won was by the skin of my teeth and the round I lost wasn’t particularly close.  I really had a blast playing Deathgarden and can’t wait for it to make it to full release. I think they’ve hit the nerve of the genre that so many have missed.

 

The game is in early alpha with no release date. Platforms unknown at this time though we played on PC for this demo. Price point is also an unknown at this time.  One thing I was assured of, however, was Behaviour Interactive will  be staying far away from loot-boxes stating “We don’t want to go down the same path as EA”.

 

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Companies Conventions Nintendo Pax East 2018

ASTRO Gaming Partners with Nintendo

ASTRO Gaming has announced that they have partnered with Nintendo to release some Nintendo branded Speaker Tags and Headsets. The press release states the following”

“Nintendo captivates and inspires gamers with iconic franchises and perennial characters, capturing the imagination of players across all generations. Nintendo continues to push the boundaries of gaming with Nintendo Switch, which allows players to enjoy their gaming experience regardless of where they play,” said Cris “Soup” Lee, Head of Licensing & Partnerships, ASTRO Gaming. “ASTRO Gaming believes in delivering players unsurpassed audio fidelity with premium products that enhance immersive gaming experiences. ASTRO is delighted to team up with Nintendo to create innovative products that ignite nostalgia and passion for gaming, featuring beloved characters and franchises for fans to collect and enjoy.”

ASTRO Gaming kicks off the new partnership revealing three sets of exclusive speaker tags for A40 Headsets, featuring retro-classic takes on The Legend of ZeldaSuper Mario Bros.™ and Super Mario Bros. 3™.  Developed alongside Nintendo, the ASTRO Gaming A40 speaker tags feature official artwork to ensure an authentic representation of these classic franchises.  Fans can get an exclusive first look at the upcoming tag sets this week at PAX East in Boston, April 5-8 (ASTRO Booth #13055).

ASTRO Gaming speaker tags provide gamers with an opportunity to personalize their listening experience with magnetically interchangeable custom-made art designed for the studio’s entire series of award-winning ASTRO A40 Headsets. Additional details and availability of specific Nintendo-themed headsets, speaker tags and audio accessories from ASTRO Gaming will be announced at a later date.  For more information about ASTRO Gaming, please visit www.astrogaming.com.”

Take a look at the speaker tags below:

PG Thoughts: With all this controversy regarding Nintendo not playing well with 3rd party accessories, it is nice to see some more Nintendo branded 3rd party support. Now if only we didn’t need 3 wires, a phone, and a IT department to get it all working. But hey, we will look cool at least!

 

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Conventions Playstation 4 Previews

Just Shapes & Beats: Move to the Rythm

Sometimes, all it takes is one mechanic, done incredibly well to convince gamers that there may be something good is in the works. Just Shapes & Beats, a rhythm game in development by the three-man team at Berzerk Studio may be just that. The simplest of concepts, combined with challenging solo and co-op gameplay made for one of my favorite experiences on the PlayStation Experience floor.

Just Shapes & Beats is about, well shapes and beats. Players control a small shape (triangle, circle, etc.). The goal is to navigate their shape across levels that are set to various, instrumental music tracks. As the music of the level plays, the beat of the song will generate pink obstacles that players must avoid. Early in the level, these obstacles were as simple as rectangles flying across the screen. However, as the beat picked up, things quickly got out of control. A large circle, with smaller circles for arms quickly enveloped much of the screen. While swinging its arms around in a crazy fashion, it also released smaller pink circles in every direction, think an asteroid exploding in Asteroids. As the music and beat changed, so did the barriers that were thrown my way. In the one level I played, the funky electronic music threw all kinds of pink shapes my way that I had to contend with.

Along with basic movement, the only tool at my disposal was a quick dash. While dashing, my shape was invulnerable to the pink shapes. This allowed me to dash through pink objects, creating clever ways to escape difficult situations. However, even with the dash, there is an incredible level of challenge to the game. Early on, I was trying to simply to react to what I saw, and was getting hit early and often. Once I started to pay attention to the music, it allowed me to better anticipate when, and potentially where the pink shapes would come from. After playing solo for a bit, I was joined by another player for a co-op level (the game can be played with up to four players). In co-op, you have the ability to revive your teammates if they take too many hits from the pink shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Shapes & Beats isn’t going to blow anyone away with deep systems or storytelling. However, it was one of the most, if not challenging games that I experienced at PlayStation Experience. At this time, there is no release date for the game. According to the developers, they hope to have it out sometime in 2018. Click here to check out more from the game and check out the trailer below:

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Conventions

Soul Calibur Shown off at PSX.

Announced yesterday at the Game Awards we get another look at Soul Calibur 6 with some new gameplay.

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Conventions

Detroit: Become Human stage demo

Guillaume De Fondaumiere showed up to show off some of Detroit: Become Human. The crowd was used to help Guillaume make decisions in the game. Over the course of the demo we’re show just how many choices we can make in any given situation and just how those decisions can effect the outcome. Starting with Connor, the main character, walking into a hostage negotiation in an apartment. This is an extended demo of the trailer we’ve seen before.  Connor pokes around the apartment searching for evidence that will ultimately help him negotiate with the criminal outside. After sometime searching the apartment we’re greeted with the scene we’ve all come to know with the hostage taker on the roof and the demo ends with Connor calming the perp down using different responses. Some of the responses were unlocked because of how much evidence had been found in the apartment. Ultimately, when the time is right the crowd decides the time is right to shoot the criminal and save the girl and the demo ends.  No official release date was given but Detroit: Become Human is still expected in 2018.

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Conventions

Delving deeper into Dreams

Siobhan Reddy of Media Molecule gave us a bit of a better idea what to expect from Dreams. “You can create anything. You can create games you can create movies…..and the you can share it with the world.” The story mode of Dreams will span over there distinct settings all woven together by a single narrative. Siobhan continues”For us we’re so excited because the sky’s the limit” speaking about the depth of creativity in Dreams.

no specific date was given and Dreams is still slated to release sometime in 2018.

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Conventions

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wins Game of the Year

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has won Game of the Year at The 2017 Game Awards. The game applauded for its new take on open-world gameplay beat out Super Mario Odyssey, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Persona 5, and Horizon: Zero Dawn to win the prize. This is the first time a Nintendo game was won Game of the Year from The Game Awards. Check out the full list of winners that were revealed during the show below(in order of what was shown on stream):

  • Trending Gamer: Dr. DisRespect
  • Best Score/Music: Nier: Automata
  • Best Sports/Racing: Forza Motorsport 7
  • Best VR Game: Resident Evil 7
  • Best Narrative: What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Best Action Game: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Best Art Direction: Cuphead
  • Industry Icon: Carol Shaw
  • Best Role-Playing Game: Persona 5
  • Most Anticipated Game: Last of Us Part II
  • Best Handheld Game: Metroid: Samus Returns
  • Best Family Game: Super Mario Odyssey
  • Best Strategy Game: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Best Esports Team: Cloud9
  • Best Debut Indie Game: Cuphead
  • Best Esports Game: Overwatch
  • Best Ongoing Game: Overwatch
  • Best Esports Player: Faker (League of Legends)
  • Best Student Game: Level Squared
  • Games for Impact: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Best Performance: Melina Juergens (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice)
  • Best Fighting Game: Injustice 2
  • Best Game Direction: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Best Action-Adventure Game: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

 

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Conventions

GTFO Announced

GTFO, a new 4-player co-op game from the makers of Payday and Payday 2 was revealed at the Game Awards.

The trailer for the game set the tone as a horror survival shooter. Four players found themselves fighting off hordes of creatures. Various weapons, and what appeared to be different classes were shown off in the trailer.

GTFO is in development. No release date was announced for the game. However, the developers did say the game will likely be out in some form next year.

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Conventions

A Way Out Gets New Gameplay Footage

A Way Out, the upcoming co-op prison escape game being published by EA got a release date and new footage at the Game Awards.

For people that will want to play the game online, only one person will need a copy of the game.

New gameplay footage of the game was shown after the announcement of the release year. The new trailer introduces everyone to the two playable characters, Vincent and Leo along with new environments and story elements. One of the core focuses of this game continues to be the co-op element, as both players will be on the screen at the same time.

A Way Out will launch March 23, 2018.

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Conventions

Witchfire Announced at Game Awards

Witchfire, a new first-person shooter was announced at the Game Awards.

The trailer started with a first-person view, as the player went into a portal in a tree. Things started off calm, but then everything got kicked into high gear as the player picked up a gun and started fighting off hordes of enemies.

No release date was announced for Witchfire

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Conventions Nintendo Switch News Wii U News

Breath of the Wild DLC Pack #2 Announced

The second DLC pack for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Champions Ballad was revealed at the Game Awards.

The trailer started with the ending of the base game, before cutting to gameplay. Link watched four colored orbs take off to the sky. Four warriors known as champions were shown off, before new footage of Link taking on new enemies was revealed. Along with combat, new environments, shrines, and mechanics were shown.

Finally, the surprise announcement that the DLC is available tonight.

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Conventions

Into the Valley of the Gods Premiers Gameplay at Game Awards

Campo Santo, the creators of Firewatch have revealed their new game, Into the Valley of the Gods.

The trailer started with a black and white video of two people riding camels in the desert. The video follows these two, one appearing to be the playable one in first-person into a pyramid. Several gameplay mechanics, such as puzzle solving and exploration were shown off.

Into the Valley of the Gods is set for a 2019 release date.

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Conventions

FromSoftware Teases Next Game…Bloodborne 2?

FromSoftware revealed a short trailer for their next project, which looked very much like Bloodborne 2.

The trailer was just a short clip of a bone, which was either a mechanism or weapon of some kind. The trailer then cut to a black screen with the line “Shadwos Die Twice” before cutting to the FromSoftware logo. At this point, no other information has been revealed about the game.

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Conventions Playstation VR News

Accounting Plus Gets World Premier at The Game Awards

Accounting Plus has announced for PlayStation VR.

The trailer for the game was aggressive, violent, and all-over the place. It showed off a wide variety of environments and mechanics. Accounting Plus is set to release on December 19.

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Conventions

Vacation Simulator VR Coming in 2018

Vacation Simulator, a new VR game from OwlChemy Labs was announced at The Game Awards.

The trailer started with an underwater world as a hermit crab was lifted out of the water before showing off some of the various activities that players will be able to take part in. Vacation Simulator is set for a 2018 release date.

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Conventions

World War Z Kicks Off Game Awards as First Game Premier

World War Z, the video game kicked off The Game Awards 2017 as the first new game that was announced.

The trailer started with a desolate, post-apocalyptic world. Various characters talked about everything that was used to try and stop “them”. Hordes of zombies were then shown taking out resistance fighters, before cutting to a logo. No release date was announced for the game.

 

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Conventions

Kobolds and Catacombs Expansion Coming to Hearthstone

Hearthstone is always a major part of BlizzCon, and this year was no different. After recapping the new expansions, the final expansion, Kobolds and Catacombs was announced.

The expansion will be themed around dungeons, traps, loot, and caves. After the reveal of the expansion, the show turned into a “Choose Your Own Adventure”, as the audience as given choices such as going through a tunnel or door. This led to the reveal of the first Legendary Card, Marin the Fox. This card gives players the chance to open a chest and reveal a powerful card. Starting on Monday, players who log into the game will get Marin the Fox for free.

After meeting Marin the Fox, two new doors were presented to the players. A new card was revealed after going through a trap door, “Crushing Walls”, a hunter card was shown.

“Recruit” was announced as the new keyword for this expansion. It will give players the ability to pull a minion directly from their deck and into the battlefield.

Legendary weapons were also announced for all nine classes. More cards for all classes will be announced during BlizzCon.

Finally, a new single-player mode, “Dungeon Run” was announced. Players will go against bosses, earning new cards to build their deck with. The mode was described as a “Hearthstone Rogue-like” and will be free-to-play.

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Conventions

Hanzo and Alexstrasza Coming to Heroes of the Storm

As part of the BlizzCon 2017 Opening Ceremonies, it was announced that Overwatch’s Hanzo and Alexstrasza will be coming to Heroes of the Storm as a new, playable heroes.

Hanzo was revealed in a cinematic trailer for the game. The video showed Alexstrasza and Hanzo training before heading out into the larger world of heroes of the storm.

After the characters were revealed, a new gameplay trailer was also shown. Along with gameplay of Hanzo and Alexstrasza, the trailer showed changes and improvements coming to the game in 2018. Some of these updates announced were voice chat and performance-based matchmaking. More details on the changes will be revealed throughout BlizzCon.

 

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Conventions

StarCraft 2 Going Free to Play

After recapping some of the accomplishments of their games and going into some esports updates, Blizzard announced that Starcraft 2 will be going free to play starting on November 14.

The full campaign, Wings of Liberty will be available, along with the ranked ladder. If players already own Wings of Liberty, the first expansion Heat of the Swarm will be available as well.  There will also be free access to every co-op commander up to level 5.