Sunday, 25 January 2015

Best of PAX South 2015

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So, for the first time ever, the Penny Arcade Expo has made its way down south into San Antonio, Texas, and while there hasn't been too much news from it, there's still a couple of big announcements and a couple of small games that have caught my eye.

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There were a couple of tidbits concerning the Borderlands series at PAX: first up, Borderlands 3 was teased, but in no way confirmed, at Gearbox's Q&A panel on Friday, telling fans to wait until today, when the Inside Gearbox panel kicks off at 10:30 AM CST (4:30 PM GMT) for more news. PAX are streaming that panel on Twitch, so make sure to check it out. Gearbox also said in the panel that, if enough people buy the Borderlands: Handsome Collection (A compendium of Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel, plus both of their DLCs) on PS4 and Xbox One, then they may consider bringing the first Borderlands to those consoles too.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
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After Reddit user grainn found a trademark for Guild of Wars 2: Heart of Thorns last week, fans were anxious to see if developer ArenaNet's PAX South conference would announce the game's first DLC: spoilers, it did. Heart of Thorns won't increase the level cap, however, instead introducing a new Mastery system, which allows players to upgrade their skills and professions without making their armor and weapons obsolete. There are new weapons, traits and skills, plus a new profession, the Revenant, a new area, called the Maguuma Jungle, and a new PVP mode, Stronghold, which tasks players with either defending or  attacking said stronghold.

Rustbucket Rumble
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Now onto the smaller games: Rustbucket Rumble was unveiled at PAX South and is now on Steam Greenlight, and from watching the trailer, I can tell that it looks like a hella lotta fun. You control robots fighting over scrap in 2D battles that'll be great for local co-op, There are different robots to choose from, each with their own weapons and skills (So a bit like Metal Warriors) and the aim of the game is to kill as many enemy robots as possible and recycle their scrap to create a Giant Robot, then protect that robot so it can destroy the enemy base. It has a nice, vivid art style, and looks like one to watch.

Super Galaxy Sqaudron
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This kickstarted indie game may have been in the public eye for a while, but PAX has brought it into my consciousness. This game may seem like another danmaku homage, but really, as the developers say, it's designed for human beings. Sure, you can turn up the difficulty to hardcore, but the difficulty curve should be smooth enjoy to make this game enjoyable. It has a nice, retro art style, looks like a good tribute to a usually niche genre, and, best of all, a percentage of the game's sales go to Child's Play, an organization that introduces ill and foster children to video games.

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