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E3 2014 Impressions: Blockbusters, Indies, and Games from Poland

DA Inquisition

E3 2014 was all about the games for the major platform holders and publishers. However, as good as the blockbuster games for PC and home consoles looked, the show floor was also overflowing with inspiring indie games from all over the world. I spent three days wandering the crowded expo floor and attending demonstrations. Below is a breakdown of some of the most interesting games I had the opportunity to play or see demoed.

Things I saw at the Boston Festival of Indie Games

Candlelight Screenshot

A while back I took a quick swing up to MIT to check out the Boston Festival of Indie Games, which was a neat little show I really enjoyed visiting. Of course, as an indie show it had its fair share of games that needed tons of work or were just hopeless, but I got my hands on several really neat games, too.

PAX Prime 2013 Report: Wrap-up

PAX Prime 2013 Logo

So, PAX Prime 2013 is now over—and man, what a terrible, sh*t-tastic way to end it. Although it wasn't my favorite PAX, there were definitely some high points like seeing people whom I would otherwise never run into, and getting the chance to play games that I had been looking forward to. Some good times there, for sure. However, things really ended on a sour note once I got home.

PAX Prime 2013 Report: Day Three

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Dual Destinies Screenshot

Today was day three of PAX 2013, and although I did see some good things, my sense of the show overall is that the industry is holding its breath a bit. With the impending release of both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, it seems pretty clear that a big chunk of people are still trying to figure things out—while the indie scene was fantastic and the PC side was strong as well, there wasn't a lot on consoles that impressed me this year. It makes perfect sense, but I left the show floor with a vague "is this it?" feeling.

PAX Prime 2013 Report: Day Two

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Screenshot

Today was the second day of PAX Prime 2013, and I'm a little sad to report that it's been a bit disappointing.

PAX Prime 2013 Report: Day One

Dying Light Screenshot

Between the exhibitors, the play areas, the panels and everything else that happens, PAX 2013 takes up the entire building, and another one across the street. PAX 2012 had approximately 70,000 attendees, and although I haven't heard any first-day attendance figures yet, today's floor felt incredibly crowded and tight—even more so than last time. In fact, it was jam-packed to the point that it was often physically impossible to get through the halls and see the things I wanted to see.

Seattle Retro Gaming Expo 2013

Seattle Retro Gaming Expo 2013

On July 13th and 14th, the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo was held at the Northwest Rooms on the grounds of the Seattle Center. Although I've attended the Portland gathering before, this was my first time checking out the scene in my own backyard, and it was a great time.

Coin Opera 2: Poetry in video game form (or vice versa?)

Coin Opera 2: Fulminare's Revenge Image

Video games struggle with transposition. There have been some great games made out of films, but the statement seldom holds the other way round. There are some novelizations based around the more successful sagas, but these rarely reach out to an audience beyond the original fans. Other than that, few books are written which communicate with the gaming world.

Sparky's Games of PAX East 2013

Guacamelee Screenshot

I typically go to a lot of panels at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, but this year relatively few of the offerings interested me (and some of the interesting ones were on simultaneously). So, I spent a lot of time on the show floor. The only major publisher I really visited was Ubisoft, where I learned that Might & Magic X will be coming this year and has a huge, wasteful UI. I spent most of the rest of my time in the Indie Megabooth and environs, both because this is a more efficient use of time and you're more likely to actually see the games and talk to somebody interesting there.

King of Chinatown Review

King of Chinatown Image

King of Chinatown follows professional Street Fighter IV player Justin Wong as he competes both worldwide and in his local Chinatown arcade. In about an hour, the film features Justin and his then-manager Isaiah Triforce Johnson (his actual legal name) attempting to make Justin the best Street Fighter IV player in the world. At the same time, they try elevating Triforce's fighting guild "Empire Arcadia" to the next level.

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