The Worst Part About PAX Being Over? I’m Never Going to Finish My StreetPass Puzzles

Streetpass PlazaLet’s be honest: the best part about any video game expo/convention is StreetPassing. There are moments where we’ll connect with our favorite Internet personalities. We’ll occasionally get lucky enough to see a Mii with gold pants and proceed to geek out over being that close to a Nintendo employee. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about the puzzle pieces for me.

I was giddy with excitement as I boarded the flight to Boston and checked how many puzzle pieces I needed to complete my collection. “Only about 100 or so,” I said aloud. “Not bad. I should probably…wait, what’s this update thing?”

“Oh, it’s updating with new puzzles,” a friend told me.

A rage was building inside me. “… more puzzles?”

“Yep, and I think they’ll add more this weekend too.” They did.

While I did manage to put a nice dent into the puzzles I do have, there are three others I don’t have access to. I won’t be able to come close to filling them until the next convention, which won’t be until at least this summer.

I have feelings about this. Why aren’t more people traveling around Cincinnati with their handhelds?

Streetpass

Evolve Is the Best Game of PAX East and the Sequel Left 4 Dead Deserves

Evolve Left 4 DeadDeveloper Turtle Rock Studios achieved near perfection with Left 4 Dead. Sadly, the continued support we expected from a Valve product never really came. The publisher instead focused on Left 4 Dead 2, a sequel that I personally felt paled in comparison to the original. Thankfully, Turtle Rock did not go gentle into that good night. They’re back for more with Evolve, easily the best AAA game at PAX East 2014.

Amidst the sea of ho-hum blockbusters and outstanding indies, Evolve found a way to capture the pure essence of the “disproportional” multiplayer in the original Left 4 Dead and further press the issue with the heavily touted “4 vs. 1″ mechanic. While it appears that we’ve lost the identities of the human characters, their comradery is more important than ever. The days of battling against hordes of brainless zombies are over. The odds may seem stacked in their favor, but Evolve‘s monster is no pushover. Plus, there’s no one to hinder the monster’s team because there’s no one on said team. Take that, people who never cooperate!

Evolve monsterThe result is exhilarating. During my hands-on time, I played as the monster, hoping to become the ultimate dream crusher. Despite being seemingly overpowered, I knew I wasn’t invincible, so I played it cool and ventured off to attack various NPCs so I could level up and gain new skills.

This wasn’t the easiest task in the world, though. I had to be sure my whereabouts weren’t being broadcast to the human team. In addition, it’s not always beneficial to attack certain NPCs, as the amount of time spent in battle isn’t always worth the minimal experience points they offer. It creates a risk-reward structure: do I sprint towards that pack of tasty animals even though I may alert other players to my presence? Where do I hide for the ten seconds it takes to evolve and level-up? When is the right time to engage? What’s to stop the human team from turtling around my end-game objective?

Sadly, the answer to that last question currently appears to be nothing; I saw several turtle strategies that were all extremely successful. Still, Evolve is something that should speak to any fan of Left 4 Dead. While Valve’s sequel was enjoyable, it was missing something. That beautiful hook the original had got lost with too many new features. Evolve doesn’t appear to have that watered down feeling. It feels fresh.

No, Half-Life 3 Will Not Run on the Frostbite Engine

Frostbite Half-LifeDon’t believe much of anything you see on the Internet today, seeing as it’s April Fool’s Day. While some jokes, such as Google Maps doubling as a Pokémon game, are absolutely fantastic, others are not.

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The One-Sentence Review: Titanfall

The Xbox One has its killer app.

Ironically, so does the PC; Titanfall is available on both platforms. Sorry, Xbox 360 owners, but you’re still gonna have to wait.

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The One-Sentence Review: Threes

Threes, the mobile sensation that quietly took over iOS users, is now available to own on Android.

While everyone and their mother was talking about Flappy Bird, I sat quietly, stewing in jealousy over friends who were posting their Threes scores on Twitter. I didn’t want to tap a bird and see it fly across the screen; I wanted to play the number-oriented puzzle game. I wanted to use my mind until I pass out and dream that I’m still playing.

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Almost Two Weeks Without an Xbox One Console Is Like Torture Right Now

Jake Gets XbonedI shouldn’t complain too much. Not having an Xbox One has allowed me to go through my Xbox 360 backlog. It’s allowed me to enjoy South Park: The Stick of Truth. It’s allowed me to find wonderful games on Steam. I’ve absolutely enjoyed turning on a console without using the following setup: Turn on the TV to my Wii U HDMI port, turn on the Wii U, ensure that the TV recognizes the Wii U, then switch to the Xbox One HDMI port, and turn on the Xbox One console. I really need a new TV.

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It Really Stinks That The Elder Scrolls Online Beta Events Only Happen on Weekends

It Really Stinks That The Elder Scrolls Online Beta Events Only Happen on WeekendsI was looking forward to spending more time in Tamriel last weekend. I received a last minute change of plans, however, and re-routed my vacation to South Park, Colorado. Since the Elder Scrolls Online beta only took place during the weekend, I missed it completely.

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Bravely Default’s Opening Cinematic is Really Weird

Bravely Default's Opening Cinematic is Straight out of WeirdBravely Default has finally been released here in North America. I was ready to experience what Square Enix’s JRPG has to offer, so I quickly opened the game, booted it up in my 3DS and was greeted by … a fairy. I think it was a fairy, anyway. I was busy scratching my head until I was told by this fairy that she hopes I stay until the very end. [Read more...]

The One-Sentence Preview: SimCity Offline

Maxis has done the “impossible”: officially made SimCity playable offline.

The controversial requirement tempered expectations of the game when it released in early 2013. Enthusiasm turned to frustration as players were greeted with server downtime, technical errors, and hosts of other issues. Many fans went back to SimCity 4 instead of sticking it out with the new kid in the franchise. EA and Maxis are trying to make amends with the community. First came the continual updates, fixing various game issues such as persistent traffic problems. Now comes the addition of an offline mode. Will it be enough to make gamers care about SimCity again?

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Watch Dogs is Delayed, Making This Ad Silly

Ubisoft has delayed Watch Dogs until Spring of 2014.

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