PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square

After all the build up and fervour PAXAus 2019 has been and gone. It was a first visit for me, probably not the last, but my old bones are currently arguing against it. Having become something of a big hitter on the gaming calendar I was keen to see this year what all the fuss was about.

As an eclectic gathering of Gaming, Pop Culture and Cosplay it does the job well, and you can see from the eyes of the consumer that wanders the floors glassy eyed that they are getting all the shiny things they need. I enjoyed the relative tranquility of the table-top game area and retro section, it was a relief from the pressing crowds squeezing through the aisles.

The main event was loud, brash and exhausting, especially when I flew in for a single day with a maximum of six hours on the ground.

But, that’s me, at PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square.

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Frostpunk – Console Edition Review (Xbox One X)

The year is 1886 and thanks to massive volcanic eruptions the world is plunging into anther Ice Age.

Man scrambles and builds massive coal powered generators to try and create enough heat to establish areas where humans can continue to live in this harsh new world. But resources are scarce and plenty are needed to ensure people are fed and sheltered. In Frostpunk you need to decide on the priorities and whether it will be order or faith that will see you through.

It is good solid fun. Nothing more, nothing less.

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The Church in the Darkness, PS4 Review

This game finds its inspirations from these very 1970s type cults. The setting being that of the ‘Collective Justice Mission’ cult and its fanatical leaders Issac and Rebecca Walker.

They have moved their flock to South America to avoid the constant gaze of the FBI back in the USA. I played as Vic, an ex-cop tasked to go down to South America and bring home a brainwashed youngster, Alex.

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My Friend Pedro, Switch Review

My Friend Pedro has been coming for a while and every clip I’d seen surface on Social media from developer Deadtoast only got my appetite wetter. Mainly due to it being an ultra violent 2.5D cutout of a shooter with buckets of slow-motion-bulletime-matrix-backflip-shooting to boot.

Once upon a time Jon Woo and Chow Fun Fat brought their movie magic to games with Stranglehold, this is everything they did not achieve; Hi-Octane destruction with very forgiving systems to make it a fun ride.

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Falcon Age, PSVR Review

Since launch PSVR has been a platform full of experiences and a lot of them either off the wall or surprisingly original. Falcon Age probably sits in those two camps with a 20/80 split.

A brave new single player experience from Outerloop Games, a Seattle based Indie company with a pretty tight team roster. It shows in the way the game has been crafted, it is deep without being complex and does exactly what it needs to. Built from the ground up as a VR title the game is a sci-fi adventure in the shoes of Ara, a young girl imprisoned by some temperamental robots on a barren planet.

Pretty straightforward then, the first few game days get you into the control scheme nicely by running some prison day-to-day routines and forcing you to converse with one of your captors. Some of the humour, writing and art style here start to feel like a nod toward Portal and that’s okay.

It’s a setting that serves the purpose of the story, but feels light on structure, which isn’t that big a deal when you remember this is a game, in VR where you can fist-bump your Falcon before sending it off to rip up a rabbit.

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Byte Size – Objects in Space Review (PC)

Objects in Space from the self proclaimed smallest of the small game developers, Flat Earth Games, is so strangely familiar to me and any gamers who played through the 1990’s will no doubt feel pangs of good old retro revival.

The Good – Upgrades to not only your ship but also pretty much every subsystem, along with trading, bounties, exploration, and combat makes for a really full on experience. And because of the gameplay, I found Objects in Space to be quite relaxing to play.

The Bad – For me the biggest hurdle was the font used for communications. When dealing with traders and the likes I found myself having to give my eyes a rest after each paragraph or so.

The Overwhelming – As mentioned, there is a fair amount to take on in Objects in Space, you can just stay in safe systems and trade your way to riches or head out to the new worlds, a much more dangerous affair. Then you have upgrades, trade prices, navigation, repairs, the list is endless in the life of a solo space captain.

Closing Comments – As we say down here in New Zealand and Australia, bit of a Marmite game this one. You will either love it or hate it.

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