Kubo and the Two Strings

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
A couple weeks ago we went to see Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest work from Laika studios. It was our treat for our kiddo's birthdays but really a treat for all of us. Already fans of their work on Coraline and The Box Trolls, we had heard great things about Kubo and the Two Strings but hadn't managed to get out and see it. Being so late in it's theater run, the closest showing was almost a two hour drive, but we made it anyway. After seeing the movie, I would make the drive a thousand more times if it meant being able to see such a beautiful film again and again.

Clustertruck is Chaotic, Addictive and Very Replayable

Thursday, September 22, 2016

TinyBuild Games has always leaned a bit toward the eccentric. Their retinue of games from No Time to Explain to The Final Station spans numerous genres and playstyles. They seem to be able to create compelling gameplay from out of nowhere. Despite how much I have enjoyed some of their more "contemplative" titles, I've always held a special place in my heart for the kind of fast paced, quick-reacting gameplay. When I first saw Clutertruck at PAX last month, I had to give it a go.

PAX West 2016: Objects in Space

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I grew up with games like Privateer and Tachyon: The Fringe. I've never felt like my game library was quite as complete as when I had some large space game to lose myself it. I had expected to add No Man's Sky to that list, but after the disappointment I suffered at the hands of that game and the lengthy silence from its developers, I've had to move on. I made an appointment at PAX West to meet with some of the developers of Objects in Space, a game I had read about from a Ploygon article back in April. I understood it to be a space sandbox with a really interesting control setup, but when Leigh, part of the team at Flat Earth Games, told me that Objects in Space was like Privateer in many respects, I got really excited.

Overwatch is Taking Over my Game Time

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I was so sure I wouldn't like Overwatch. I was disappointed that it didn't have a campaign mode and that the story they set up was largely just filler and had no impact on how the game is played. Then I picked up a copy, and I'll be damned if I didn't change my tune right quick. I'm no expert, and I've not even reached a rank where I can play competitive matches, but I'm all in for Overwatch at this point. Here's why.

PAX West: Obduction

Monday, September 12, 2016

Myst is one of those games that you don't really forget. Back when Cyan's first big adventure was released, no one had really seen anything like it before. The strange vistas, bizarre puzzles and eccentric characters were enthralling, and I remember thinking that this was as good as graphics were ever going to get. Times have changed, but Cyan is still around and they've recently produced a new game in the vein of Myst, an expansive puzzle adventure story called Obduction and I got a chance to go hands on with it in VR at PAX West.

Trekkin, Yo!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I always knew I'd be part of a starship crew. I didn't think I'd get the opportunity so soon, but last weekend at the PAX formerly known as Prime I got my hands on Star Trek Bridge Crew. While I didn't get to play with my preferred crew (Ssalarn, Wesley and Steve) I still had a great time and am really excited to pick up the full game whenever we finally snag a VR headset.

Who would have thought that I wasn't the only Trekkie drooling over the opportunity to play?! The line formed early, and my first couple attempts to get to the game met with failure. But like a stubborn Starfleet cadet, I kept coming back until I managed a spot before they capped the line.

Pathfinder: Ultimate Intrigue

Saturday, September 10, 2016

So, Ultimate Intrigue took a while for me to come to a complete opinion on. 

The Vigilante class introduced in this book is, in my opinion, easily the best non-spellcasting class Paizo has ever created. It breaks up its social options and combat options in such a way that you have a great character able to participate in all areas of the game without having to choose whether you want to be competent in combat or in the myriad other facets of the game like exploration, social encounters, etc. It has deep and well-designed talents that allow you to pick any of a variety of different ways to participate in combat, with or without weapons, and numerous tools for allowing players to influence the story with safe houses, contacts, and more. 

PAX West: Earthlight Demo

Friday, September 9, 2016

This was the year of VR demos at PAX West (née PAX Prime) for us here at Somnam. Among the most notable was the Earthlight demo by Melbourne, Australia based developers Opaque Media.

Your odds of becoming a US Astronaut are better today than they ever have been since the "The Mercury Seven" were first selected in 1959. Even so, the hurdles are incredible and only a total of 536 people (as of 2013) worldwide have been to space. It's rare experience available to a select few, but Opaque Media has managed to bring part of that experience to a much wider audience.

PAX West 2016: Thoughts on Battlefield 1

Thursday, September 8, 2016

We spent most of our time at PAX West playing indie games, but I did sneak away to play a bit of Battlefield 1. I first got hooked on the Battlefield series with Bad Company and stayed on through Battlefield 3, but I lost track of the series after that. On top of the demo that I played at PAX, I also spent some time on my PC with the open beta this week. I have a few thoughts on the mechanics of the game as well as the look and feel of the action.

PAX 2016: Of Fallen Gods and Game Designers

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

  There are certain things I look forward to each year when PAX rolls around. The presence of friends from out of town, getting to see and demo new games, but more than anything else, I look forward to getting to chat with the people who make the games I love to play.
I had one such experience when I swung by the Monte Cook Games booth at PAX Prime this year to discover that one of my favorite game designers and long time industry veteran Sean K. Reynolds was manning the booth. I'd like to say I did a pretty good job of suppressing the fanboy in me and had serious, intelligent conversations about the various projects Sean and Monte Cook Games were working on, but if I'm being totally honest I was there for like 4 hours and at least some portion of that probably had to involve me sitting there staring in awe while Sean helped an actual customer. It's true what they say, you should never meet your heroes, though in this instance that phrase doesn't imply a failure on Sean's fault, but more mine for being a little too impressed and a little too burned out from the day and a half of PAX activities I already had under my belt.

Riverbond - PAX Rising Demo

In our current gaming world couch co-op has started to fade into the background. There is less and less opportunity for raucous games shared with friends in the same room. Riverbond, the third title by Toronto based developer Cocucumber, is a breath of fresh air in this co-op light gaming scene.

PAX West 2016 VR Favorites

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PAX West 2016 is over! This year's show was full of surprises. Bungie returned to the Expo floor after a long absence, Mainstay AAA studios like EA and 2K skipped the Seattle show entirely, and the indie and VR scenes really took over the show. We were fortunate to see a lot of VR games over the fours days in Seattle. Here are a few of my favorites

PAX West: I Couldn't Get Away from Final Fantasy XV

Monday, September 5, 2016

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a fan of Final Fantasy. I have heard a lot about FFXV in the past few months, but at PAX West, I encountered way more FFXV than I thought possible. Square Enix went all out marketing the game during the con; so much so that I literally could not escape it. Luckily, I was able to snag some hand on time among the many other attendees hypnotized be the relentless media onslaught.

PAX West is go!

Friday, September 2, 2016

We are all four of us here at PAX. I write this from the ferry as we make our way to the city. I will be sending updates on Twitter throughout the day and will add a summary of each day to this post. Here we go!