The Best Indie Games Of PAX West 2017

about X hours ago from
The Best Indie Games Of PAX West 2017

Through the years, the Penny Arcade Expo (or PAX) has become synonymous with fantastic games from some of the most talented independent developers in the industry. Seattle's PAX West is no different. Each year, from Nintendo's Nindies event, to Microsoft's ID@Xbox open house, to the Indie Megabooth on the showfloor, PAX West gives players an amazing opportunity to see the next big indie hits before everyone else. The Game Informer crew is on the ground at PAX West 2017 checking out as many indie titles as we can over the course of the show. These are the best indie titles we encountered while at the show. Check back over the course of the weekend, as we'll be updating this list with new entries each day.

Games are listed alphabetically.

Battle Chef BrigadeDeveloper: Trinket Studios
Release: Holiday
Platform: PS4, Switch, PC

Funny To A Point – Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Review

about X hours ago from
Funny To A Point – Half-Life 2: Episode 3 Review

Half-Life fans have been begging/cursing Valve for the next chapter in Gordon Freeman's adventure for a decade, and now it's finally out in the wild. While it's fair to say that the late-night release took everyone by surprise, I immediately recognized and resigned myself to the solemn duty that lay before me: to play through and critique the final chapter of gaming's most legendary series.

Reviewing Half-Life 2: Episode 3 is not a task I take lightly, and to be honest, I'm a little shocked by the reaction of virtually every other games journalist out there. I mean, it's only been a week since Episode 3 came out, and it seems like everyone else has moved on already! Even worse, not a single outlet has reviewed it yet. What's up with that?! I assume it's because other outlets are doing their due diligence, and either still playing or processing this amazing journey before posting their reviews, to which I say, "been there, done that!"

Everything We Know About The Switch Version Of NBA 2K18

about X hours ago from
Everything We Know About The Switch Version Of NBA 2K18

Nintendo fans who are sports owners have had it rough for more than a decade. Throughout the Wii and Wii U era, game options were extremely limited. Occasionally EA Sports and 2K Sports would throw users a bone, but the games were often half-baked, lacking the interesting features or control fidelity that PlayStation and Xbox owners were enjoying. With NBA 2K18, Visual Concepts hopes to deliver a basketball experience for the Nintendo Switch on par with the other versions of the game. 

We played the Switch version of NBA 2K18 at an event in New York, and came away impressed with the package so far. Here's what we found out:

This Is A Fully Featured GameEA may be struggling to deliver a FIFA experience for Switch in line with the other versions, but Visual Concepts has accepted that challenge and delivered. The Switch version of NBA 2K18 has all the major modes coming to the other consoles. Whether you want to build a franchise in MyGM, create an online franchise with friends in MyLeague, become the next NBA superstar in MyCareer, construct a team via the card collecting MyTeam, flex your skills in MyPark or ProAM, all these modes are included in the game. The only feature being left out for the Switch version is custom logo creation for ProAm teams.

Here's A Look At Shovel Knight's Order Of No Quarter Amiibo Three-Pack

about X hours ago from
Here's A Look At Shovel Knight's Order Of No Quarter Amiibo Three-Pack

Almost two years ago to the day, Yacht Club games unveiled its plans for a Shovel Knight Amiibo. This year at PAX, a new line of Shovel Knight Amiibos were revealed immortalizing the playable (or soon to be playable) Order of No Quarter Knights. The three-pack of Amiibos features Specter Knight, Plague Knight, and King Knight.

Brian Shea got a chance to see them in person while at the show and took a few pictures of the new figures.

Here's a closer look at King Knight who will be starring in his own campaign very soon with the King of Cards.

See Why There’s More To The FFXV/AC Crossover Than You Think

about X hours ago from
See Why There’s More To The FFXV/AC Crossover Than You Think

Last week, Square Enix and Ubisoft surprised the gaming world by unveiling a collaboration that would have the Final Fantasy and Assassin's Creed series paying homage to each other. The first phase of this collaboration is a free DLC event for Final Fantasy XV called the Assassin's Festival, so we downloaded it to see how well these juggernaut franchises meld.

After spending about 30 minutes with the new content, we were surprised and impressed by its scope. Yes, the premise is a little silly, but it seems that the FFXV team was fully committed to its execution regardless. Join me, Kyle Hilliard, and Leo Vader as we explore the festival and apply our dubious assassin skills to new situations.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Super Replay – Pokémon Snap Episode 4

about X hours ago from
Super Replay – Pokémon Snap Episode 4

After the marathon that was Shenmue II, Andrew Reiner and I decided it was time to play something that didn't require quite so much long-term commitment. We wanted something that felt closer to a walk in the park, or a leisurely ride through a park, which is how we landed on Pokémon Snap. The Nintendo 64 favorite offered Pokémon fans their first look at their favorite creatures in 3D and, for our purposes, doesn't tell an elongated story about revenge.

Despite our intentions to play something a little less intense, we still want to make sure we get a photo of every Pokémon in the game. We will also be passing the sticks in order to foster some competition. At the end of every episode we will make sure to check and see who took the best photo.

Enjoy the episodes, and leave comments! We plan on reading them out loud during the episodes just like we did with our last few two-person Super Replays.

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (August 31, 2017)

about X hours ago from
Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (August 31, 2017)

It's time for Blog Herding! We had a smaller collection of blogs, but some great ones, as usual. Enjoy!

Community Blogs For August 24 – August 30:

Top Ten Masks In Video Games I just could not resist featuring McNutty891's list of top gaming masks. I've never really thought about masks in games too much, but there are actually some really cool ones. It seems like, according to the blog, most video game masks are just downright unsettling.

The Virtual Life –Trying To Survive A Little Red Lie

about X hours ago from
The Virtual Life –Trying To Survive A Little Red Lie

Little Red Lie is the latest release from Will O'Neill, who created Actual Sunlight, a narrative-driven experience that dealt with themes of suicide and isolation. Little Red Lie, which follows two characters as they navigate the mundane yet terrifying labyrinth of daily life in Toronto, is in much the same vein as Actual Sunlight but focuses on the weight that modern economics has on a person's mental and emotional state, relationships, and humanity. I played through Little Red Lie and found myself disheartened by the story and its bleak world, but captivated by the strength of its storytelling and brutal, unflinching gaze into despair. 

I talked with O'Neil about his creative process, philosophies, and the merit of games as political art.

Javy Gwaltney: Both Little Red Lie and Actual Sunlight are despairing games with a bleak perspective on people trying to make it through modern life. Actual Sunlight deals with depression while Little Red Lie turns its gaze on the viciousness of capitalism. These games don't seem to allow for much hope. What informs these games and their brutality?

Activision’s CEO Talks Call Of Duty, Crash, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

about X hours ago from
Activision’s CEO Talks Call Of Duty, Crash, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

We weren't the only people visiting Sledgehammer Games last month. While we were at the studio to get a look at Call of Duty: WWII for our cover story, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg was there to check on the game's progress. He was gracious enough to set aside some time to talk with us about Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, and even PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in a lengthy conversation.

Game Informer – We just wanted to ask the obvious question: Why World War II again? How long has it been in the company’s mind? What was the decision like to choose which studio to kind of tackle this throwback?

We Turned XCOM 2 Into Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

about X hours ago from
We Turned XCOM 2 Into Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Don't have the time or money to play both Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and XCOM 2: War of the Chosen? We figured out a way to combine them.

It starts with using XCOM 2's character creator and making indistinguishable versions of the cast of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. That is also where it ends. Leo Vader and I make the abominations characters and then invite Jeff Marchiafava and Ben Reeves (who reviewed Kingdom Battle and War of the Chosen, respectively) to take their new soldiers into the alien war.

(Please visit the site to view this media)