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PAX East 2011 Roundup

Hunted: The Demon's Forge Screenshot

I attended PAX East, checking out upcoming games and meeting great people. That last one was a bit more difficult thanks to the enormous size of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), but that size made panels much easier to get into and allowed for an expanded and much nicer exposition floor. In case you weren't there, here are some impressions.

Cozy Fire Review

Not for Kindling

Cozy Fire Screenshot

HIGH Look at those realistic flames! And all the different kinds of wood to burn!

LOW You can't stack the fire to insane proportions—no raging bonfires allowed.

WTF This is the Wii's second fireplace simulator. Is this actually a thing?

Lost in Shadow Review

Weightless

Lost in Shadow Screenshot

HIGH The beginning of the housing area, when playing as a shadow is well-realized.

LOW Tedious, repetitive levels—and far, far too many of them.

WTF Did the devs really think this much switch-flipping was good gameplay?

Lost in Shadow, Ghost Trick and Being Human

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Screenshot

Being the immense Phoenix Wright fan that I am, I had high hopes that Shu Takumi's new work would be of a similar quality, and I was not disappointed. While the concept of playing a ghost that can possess inanimate objects has been done before (anyone remember Geist on the GameCube?) it's never been done as well or as stylishly as it is here.

Lost in shadow

Lost in Shadow Screenshot

I started up Lost in Shadow, a recently released art-house platformer on the Wii. (And wow, I can't remember the last time I turned the thing on.) Early impressions are good. The aesthetic and art design is appealing, although there is no question that the quality of the game shares more than a little in common with Fumito Ueda's ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since I'm a huge fan of both of those titles, but the similarity in tone and vibe is a bit eyebrow-raising.

Activision drops Guitar Hero franchise

Guitar Hero 5: Warriors of Rock Screenshot

Remember RedOctane? I sure do. It went from making game controllers (and renting games!) to releasing an $80 peripheral with a game called Guitar Hero. I thought it was nuts for doing this. But almost six years later it looks like one of the greatest videogame risks and success stories (after the Nintendo Wii).

Cosplay: Imp Midna from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Imp Midna Cosplay

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was not a favorite game of mine—I played it for a few hours and put it down never to pick it up again—but I did always like the character Midna. Others have apparently played the game as well and become quite fond of Midna. They have gone so far enough as to create a Midna costume. As with such things, some are more successful than others, but no matter where you go, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better example of Midna cosplay than Kagomechann's.

Annie Leung sets Guitar Hero Guinness World Record

Annie Leung sets Guitar Hero Guinness world record

As I am not a big follower of Guitar Hero record-breaking, Annie Leung, has flown below the radar despite the apparent abundance of photo shoots and public appearances documented all over the Internet. This UC Berkeley graduate—who claims to practice four to six hours at a time before a competition—has reached the top of her... sport(?) and set the official Guinness World Record for female Guitar Hero players.

Video: Mario prankstar, Rémi Gaillard, returns for more kart racing

Rémi Gaillard's dedication to authenticity continues to impress. Too bad by standers and The Law don't share his passion.

Disney Epic Mickey: Silence is leaden

Disney Epic Mickey Screenshot

A few days after the Christmas snowfall in Alabama, while we waited for the lasagna to finish cooking, we popped a copy of Disney Epic Mickey into the Wii and I played a bit of it. I got past the first, easy battle and entered the hallway, where a cutscene began. My mother, who mostly plays Snood, wanted to know why Mickey wasn't speaking. "He's always talked," she noted, and for almost anyone alive that's true. Mickey started talking in 1929, just a year after his famous appearance in the sound-synched Steamboat Willie. Sound has been a famous part of Mickey's history, so it's alienating, especially to non-gamers, to run into an essentially silent version of the Mouse in Epic Mickey.

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