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I’m Going To Gush About An Old Game, And You’re Going to Read It

I’m Going To Gush About An Old Game, And You’re Going to Read It published on

At least I hope so anyway… cough, cough.

 

 

 

 

I warn people sometimes about the dangers of getting me started on Armored Core. ┬áPossibly the hardest thing for me to not ramble on forever about is when someone actually gets interested in what I’m talking about and asks what game is the best to begin with- I mean in all honesty, most games I love to death are kind of niche, and I don’t want to turn someone off to the series on the whole by suggesting wrong. So that usually segues into a lengthy diatribe about which installment does what best, since AC (mostly) reboots itself with each numbered installment then follows it with direct sequels in the same timeline, so “Just start from the first one” isn’t the best advice.

Anyway, after digging out my collection to take a picture for a stupid Tumblr project, I got to looking at my copy of Nexus again, and even though the game itself isn’t my favorite, I love what they did with its release.

IMAG0042

In addition to the ‘real’ game, Nexus also includes a bonus disc containing remade classic missions from earlier games with more unlockable parts. And if that wasn’t enough, the bonus disc also offers alternate versions of missions, playing for the opposing force from the original, or in a harder setting.

The crazy thing is it seems to have been just thrown together “just because.” It doesn’t seem to be tied to an anniversary event or anything. It wasn’t the first game on the PS2 by a long shot, and it doesn’t advertise itself on the packaging as anything other than a chance to relive classic (mostly PS1 era) Armored Core-ness in their newly overhauled engine.

Wouldn’t it be great if more series could take a hint like this? Sure, we get HD Remaster collections sometimes, but┬áthat’s not exactly the same thing as being handed a bonus disc of pure fan service as thanks for picking up the new installment.

066-PAXcap

066-PAXcap published on

recovery

Well, made it to and from PAX East safe and sound thanks to a friend with a spare ticket and a pretty sweet room location. It was a good time. I’ve done cons before, but this was probably the biggest event I’ve visited. All in all, I kind of want to say more tabletop and card games caught my eye than actual video games, oddly. It didn’t really feel like a giant, bustling venue was the best place for me to really soak in anything I tried, and I couldn’t eavesdrop on the players in tabletop to see how fast they picked up the rules. (Usually if the guy running it has to stop someone and explain something past a certain amount of times, I start to doubt I would have much luck with my own copy and a handful of friends with increasingly precious time.)

I’d particularly like to shout out Zephyr, who brought a combining robot tactical card game to the show- the poor guys’ table blended in with the crowd and as of Friday, their domain had expired so *hopefully* I can find a legit way to point people at them. I got a business card, that help?

Of course there were plenty of regular old video games to catch my eye too. I played a few rounds of, and sucked horribly at Capsule <something, can’t find the business card.> They really nailed the graphical vibe of an early 90s Japanese retro game, but the actual game got kind of old fast with only 1v1 matches. It’s a little like Nidhogg, only your goal is to ride a moving platform to your opponent’s goal rather than swording your way on foot. VA11-HALL-A is a text heavy cyberpunk bartending simulator (which also feels pretty 80s, come to think of it.) Most of the other stuff I liked has probably already been pretty widely covered elsewhere, but Curses and Chaos was looking mighty fine in its faux arcade cabinet, and I actually had no idea wargaming.net‘s World of Tanks had blossomed into spinoff games for naval and air combat too. Guild Wars 2 had its Heart of Thorns demo prominently shown off, which I would be more excited about if I participated in WvW and our guild was active enough to make the most of the new strongholds being added. Splatoon looked cool. Can’t say much about Codename S.T.E.A.M., really- I went in expecting something close to Valkyria Chronicles and wound up finding the demo kind of like a janky version.

But, real talk here- I go to these shows to hang out with friends and shop for geek stuff without worrying about shipping. It’s a shame wargames are so expensive, I saw a lot of sweet miniature based games as well as vendors with terrain. There were a couple spots trying to offset the expense a bit, one producing characters on double sided transparencies in particular seemed like a great way to bring down the cost of character figures while not looking completely chintzy. (At a glance, I thought they were fantasy themed Shrinky Dinks.)

Got to meet up with some Talking Tyrants, too. Sounded like not many showed, so plans were hard to nail down, but I got in a little quality Power Stone time with them before everyone wound up doing their own things.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I actually typed all of this on the plane home partly because my 3DS ran out of juice and partly because I probably won’t have a hell of a lot of steam left when I get there. So, uh, if I do crash, would someone kindly fix the “made it safe and sound” part at the beginning and save me some posthumous embarassment?

Ungaaaah, what am I even gonna draw? Why didn’t I do it while I was at Logan waiting?
Ha, actually wound up screwing with the sketch app on my phone. It works a lot better for sloppy ‘painting’ than as a ‘sketch’ tool.

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