April 14 – April 20

PAX East is over, and I walk away, as usual, remembering all the good things that I liked when I was much more actively involved in games and games journalism. Largely, it's about the people. The passion of the developers. The enthusiasm of the gamer community. The patient and almost always friendly enforcers. My good friends from all corners, and new friends met on both of the panels I was on. And, of course, the Gamers With Jobs community who I simply could not say enough nice things about. If I met you this weekend (for the first, second or possibly third time) thank you honestly so very much for coming to say hello to me and being a part of making this place what it's become.

My favorite moment of the convention didn't happen in the show floor, on a panel or in some conference room meeting with developers. It happened in the AFK room, sponsored by TakeThis.org, and was a wonderful coincidence of random happenstance that would have been likely in only a few other places in the world. Two people, who otherwise would probably never be in the same room, happened to meet and the result was wonderful to watch. I may write about it at some point, but seeing a person with talent connect with exactly the right person who needed exactly that talent made me happy for days.

In this post-PAX week, there are several games worth giving a nod. The PC sees the release of Paradox's War of the Vikings, building off the success of the bloody multiplayer action of War of the Roses, and the stand-alone expansion of the highly underrated but poorly named Wargame: AirLand Battle (no, I didn't forget a space between Air and Land) from Focus Interactive comes as a must-buy for me. The expansion, titled much more simply Wargame: Red Dragon, is really the first game in a long time that harkens back for me to one of my old favorites, Close Combat.

Additionally, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, hits the PS4, and I'm willing to bet that Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars for the Vita is one of those things that some of you people will insist is the best thing on the list and I should be shamed for never having heard of it. You know who you are!

I, however, am giving the nod for game of the week to Trials Fusion. One of the few game series that revel in difficult, "trial"-and-error gameplay that I still adore. It hits this week on the PS4, Xbox One and 360.

PC
- Wargame: Red Dragon (download - $40)
- War of the Vikings (download - $25)
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (download)
- Secrets of Rætikon (download)
- Moebius: Empire Rising (download - $30)
- Eterium (download)
- Agarest: Generations of War Zero (download - $20)
- Life Goes On (download)
- Uprising44: The Silent Shadows (download)

PS4
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Trials Fusion
- Pure Chess (download - $8)
- Backgammon Blitz (download)

Xbox One
- Trials Fusion

Xbox 360
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
- Trials Fusion

PS3
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
- Backgammon Blitz (download)
- Ethan: Meteor Hunter (download)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (download)

Wii U
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (download - $5)
- F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (download - $7)
- Golden Sun (download - $8)

Vita
- Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
- Backgammon Blitz (download)
- Ethan: Meteor Hunter (download)

3DS
- Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (download - $5)

Comments

I may write about it at some point, but seeing a person with talent connect with exactly the right person who needed exactly that talent made me happy for days.

Please do because I have no clue what you're talking about.

No, Conception's pretty icky, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find its defenders.

War of the Vikings sounds pretty awesome; doubt I'll pick it up this week, but it's a definite wishlister.

Aaaaand nothing for me, thankfully

Tanglebones wrote:

No, Conception's pretty icky, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find its defenders.

Based on what I played (and enjoyed) of the demo, I think it may very well fall under the heading of, "It's okay to like problematic things, but don't try to defend the parts that are problematic". I'm really curious to see how it all gets presented in the full game.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

No, Conception's pretty icky, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find its defenders.

Based on what I played (and enjoyed) of the demo, I think it may very well fall under the heading of, "It's okay to like problematic things, but don't try to defend the parts that are problematic". I'm really curious to see how it all gets presented in the full game.

Fair enough

Just might have to boot up the 360 and snag Trials...

Conception 2... I might get it to see what the fuss is about when it drops to $15-20, but it's certainly not worth $40 just to see how sleazy it is.

But FF14 for PS4, and Ethan: Meteor Hunter for Vita. Those I'm getting right away.

If they release the second Golden Sun game for the Wii U, I might just be able to give my GBA away as that's the only GBA game I have left.

Conception II is also a 3DS game? Does it have a demo on the eShop? I have absolutely no clue what it is except Tanglebones doesn't sound like a fan and Clocky had interesting things to say about it, and that has me rather intrigued.

ccesarano wrote:

Conception II is also a 3DS game? Does it have a demo on the eShop?

Yes, and yes.

ccesarano wrote:

I have absolutely no clue what it is except Tanglebones doesn't sound like a fan and Clocky had interesting things to say about it, and that has me rather intrigued.

It's a turn-based, dungeon-crawling JRPG modeled after/inspired by the Persona series that casts you in the role of a male student at a school for magically gifted high schoolers. You build relationships with a cast of female characters and create "Star Children" together who you take with you into combat in randomly generated labyrinths. The stronger your bond with the female characters, the stronger your Star Children are.

It essentially takes the social link aspect of the Persona games and more directly emphasizes the dating sim aspect. Your goal is to woo all the girls to make the best Star Children you can. The game has caught a fair amount of justified flak for that wink-wink sexual content and for using Japanese character archetypes that are generally considered pretty sexist.

At the same time, the combat model is really interesting, and there are women who have defended the female characters as being balanced an portrayed in an interesting way. In other words, it's kicking up a lot of the same conversation as a lot of other otaku games.

I played the demo, and it's definitely fan servicey, but it didn't strike me as sleazy in the same way as, say, Record of Agarest War. It was also a lot of fun to play with some really engaging and interesting ideas. I'd put it in the same category as games like Sakura Wars: problematic, for sure, and definitely open to some valuable and accurate feminist critique, but not necessarily bad games.

I'm interested in trying it out for myself to see just how it's all presented and where it all goes.

I'll probably give the demo a download, then. In fact, I've been meaning to grab one of the Etrian Odyssey demos that you folks keep praising so much, too. Should provide a nice break if my characters constantly dying in Fire Emblem drives me crazy enough.

Tanglebones wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

No, Conception's pretty icky, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find its defenders.

Based on what I played (and enjoyed) of the demo, I think it may very well fall under the heading of, "It's okay to like problematic things, but don't try to defend the parts that are problematic". I'm really curious to see how it all gets presented in the full game.

Fair enough

The funny thing is that I came really close to forcing Sean to choose Conception II for the Pick of the Week. Except then common sense intervened and I realized I probably didn't want to be remembered as "that guy who forced Sean to write about Conception II". However, I did confirm with Certis I had the right to change my mind if he wouldn't agree to saying something nice about Bravely Default.

Also, I think forcing Sean to write about something of questionable taste would dilute the impact of the horrors we reserve for Julian each year.

Trials for the XBO. Woo hoo!!

Man, it's been a while since I made a day-one purchase, and I was all excited to dive right into Trials Evolution, only to find out it launches on 4/16 not 4/15 :/

Keithustus wrote:

Heads up that Chaos Reborn is close to the end of its Kickstarter period and still needs a bit of cash. Its creator, Julian Gallop (X-COM) was on the show a few weeks back to talk about it. Apparently anyone(?) can try out a web prototype here.

Looks like it made it now, with 29 hours left!

Heads up that Chaos Reborn is close to the end of its Kickstarter period and still needs a bit of cash. Its creator, Julian Gallop (X-COM) was on the show a few weeks back to talk about it. Apparently anyone(?) can try out a web prototype here.

Edit: it hit 100%!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows looks to be not terrible.