Javi’s PAX Impressions: Day 1

I am at the Penny Arcade Expo, joining my fellow gamers as we get our hands on the hottest titles in the industry. But since it’s only the first day of the show I decided to spend today getting my bearings on the convention. I walked the floor and got a good look at what games were there so that tomorrow I can dive in head first and try to play ’em all. Of course that doesn’t mean I played nothing today. In fact…

Age of Empires Online:
When Ensemble Studios went under after releasing Halo Wars I was sure that the beloved AoE series as we know it was done for. Apparently I was wrong. Dead wrong. Because in the 10-15 minutes that I spent with the game I felt like I had stepped into a time machine and was playing Age of Empires 2 all over again. Everything about the game felt very familiar, but updated to today’s standards. The biggest change and probably the most controversial is that they are taking a franchise that has so strongly rooted itself in the RTS genre, and then building a fully featured MMO around it. If you listen to the show you know that I can’t stand MMOs, or PC gaming in general. But you can bet your ass that when Age of Mythology Online hits store shelves, I’ll be right there on day 1 to pick it up.

Okami Den:
As a sequel to one of the most celebrated games of last gen Okami Den has a lot to live up to. Then again….it’s on the DS so maybe not. Surprisingly the demo they had on display at PAX showed me just how much of the PS2/Wii title they could port to the little handheld. Within minutes I was taken aback by the fact that I was platforming, fighting, and using the celestial brush just as easily as on consoles. The game is easy on the eyes too, especially since the cell-shaded look of the original translates effortlessly to the weaker system. I can’t say that the adventure will be anything to write about, but the mechanics, graphics, and gameplay are all in place for a great sequel to Clover Studios’ swan song. After playing Okami Den I couldn’t help thinking about how Nintendo has taken the easy route with their DS Zelda titles. Phantom Hourglass should’ve been a real 3D Zelda.

NBA Jam:
Remember playing games like NFL Blitz and NBA Jam day endlessly as a kid? Remember how much fun they were? Guess what. They still are! That’s really all there is to say. It’s the same game…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. BOOM SHAKALAKA!!!!!

This concludes my first day at PAX 2010. Make sure to come back tomorrow to see how it all went down. If you’ve got a game at the show that you’d like me to cover don’t be afraid to leave a comment!


For more from Javi, check out the Game Over podcast @ g-ovah.com !  Proudly distributed by Vagary.TV


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Author: Ryan Kenward View all posts by
Ryan is the Founder of Vagary.TV - he currently works in a free lance capacity and as an advisor. He formerly hosted the Game Seers Podcast, was the first Editor-in-Chief and is generally, a badass.