August 31, 2004

Geek News: PAX Roundup

For those of you in the know, I attended the Penny-Arcade Exposition last weekend, in Bellevue, Washington. While there were a few problems with the structure of the convention (too many people in too small a space, there were over 1500 people pre-registered and double that showed up to pay at the door, next year they're planning on taking up the entire convention center), it was fun to go and see the new stuff Microsoft had brought out to showcase for the Xbox.

The games I saw were Mechassault 2: Lone Wolf, FORZA Motorsport, Splinter Cell 3, Conker: Live & Reloaded, Fable and Jade Empire. Mechassault 2 gets rid of most of the problems of the first game, the repetition. With a large variety of tanks and planes, in addition to the standard 'mechs, as well as the ability to run around as a lone individual on a battlefield with 'mechs stomping all about you, it is a very fun game, one that will surely take up a good chunk of Xbox Live time.

FORZA is definitely for those who have wanted a Gran Turismo clone on the Xbox, with massive customization, GT style cars and tracks, and online play and trading. Splinter Cell 3 looks like Splinter Cell, so if you're not sick of the single player (which you shouldn't be, because it's fantastic) it would be worth picking up. Especially because you can play co-op through the game, although I'm not sure if co-op is available over Live. Conker: Live & Reloaded reminds me of the chaos of the original Mechassault, just with fluffy animals knocking the stuffing out of one another with tanks, machine guns, and who knows what else. I didn't get a chance to play Fable, but if early reviews are any indication, it's a good game, but visually, I just can't help but feel that the graphics should be better than they are. Jade Empire will bring real-time fighting to an RPG that is steeped in Chinese folklore and mythology. Plus it's made by Bioware, and like Pixar, they have never made a dud.

I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Season One of Red vs. Blue, which was followed by a Q&A with the creators. These guys are dedicated, it usually takes over 50 hours of work for a 15 minute episode. Check them out if you haven't yet, but a warning for sensitive ears, there's a lot of profanity. Not that I care, but you might.

Any questions, comments complaints, please post, and I'm sure I'll get back to them.

1 comment:

MosBen said...

Grand Turismo and all games like it are teh sucks. Winning those games are like jobs in and of themselves. As a kid I was willing to fail over and over in search of perfect playing, but these days if a game punishes you for not being a real life race car driver then I hate it.

The thing I've heard about Fable is that it's not terribly long. Supposedly, however, there are so many options that it's worth replaying several times.

Finally, the year looks really good for those of us with Xbox Live. Finally there will be some games I can win at, unlike Crimson Skies and Pandora Tomorrow, at which I suck terribly.