The second annual PAX South has come to an end, but with it kickstarts another exciting year of Penny Arcade Expo’s around the world. What was once simply a small web comic has exploded into one of the most inclusive, important, and flat-out entertaining places to be for gamers of all shapes and sizes. If you don’t know how PAX works, it’s essentially 3 days of big developers, small indie developers and gamers from all over coming together to share their passion for gaming. It’s only the second year of PAX South in San Antonio, but it’s already growing into a permanent staple to the San Antonio gaming community. This year was noticeably larger than last, and it shows no signs of slowing down. My personal favorite aspect of PAX is getting surprised by upcoming indie games that you’ve never heard of before, but that you can’t wait to play again when they release. There were a number of these this year, and these are three of my favorites.
With Star Wars mania sweeping the globe yet again, what better time than now to revisit some of the best games from that galaxy far, far away. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan all my life, and a gamer since I can remember, so any melding of the two has my attention. If you’re unable to get a few friends together to have lightsaber fights in the front yard, then below are five great games (for various consoles, past and present) that you ought to get your hands on to scratch that itch. Some of them are fan favorites, and a few are a bit lesser known. Regardless, they are five Star Wars games that I’ve loved and had a ton of fun with, so I hope that you can too!
Whether it’s Neal Stephenson’s ‘Snow Crash,’ Ernie Cline’s nostalgic nerd adventure ‘Ready Player One’ or even ‘The Matrix,’ the concept of ‘virtual reality’ has been around for decades. A frequent tool for science-fiction works, as it was an idea too ahead of the technology of it’s time. Numerous efforts were made to market the idea in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but the technology to make it work was simply not there. That is, until recently. With the Oculus Rift, by ‘Oculus VR’ (as well as numerous competitors) virtual reality is making one final push into the public consciousness, and this time, it’s here to stay.
When was the last time that you went to pick up a brand new game, either at a midnight release or early that next day, and been totally fulfilled by it on day one? It used to be that you would go camp out with your friends at the local Gamestop for hours for the new Call of Duty, Halo, etc. and race home afterwards to play until damn-near dawn (usually on a school night, leading to an unplanned ‘sick day’). However, in the past few years, the excitement to pre-order and pick up a new game the day it’s released has waned dramatically, leading many people banning together to boycott pre-ordering new releases entirely. Why is this trend starting to resonate with gamers? Quite frankly, because a large number of games are simply not ‘finished’ by the time they are released.
It seems like every other day there’s a new early access title popping up on the Steam marketplace. Two of the earliest adopters of this trend are DayZ, and it’s direct competitor, H1Z1.
Let me just preface this little review by saying that I can get pretty emotional when watching movies, shows, etc. I basically just wept all the way through ‘Selma’ last year, for example. However, the number of games to bring me to the verge of tears is probably a single one (Fullbright’s amazing indie ‘Gone Home’ is all that comes to mind). Now, I can add Thatgamecompany’s Journey to the list.