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Games to Get Excited About: August 2016

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Games to Get Excited About: August 2016

Welcome to August! Our scorching summer is wrapping up but there are still a few interesting titles coming our way. The fall rush of releases is just around the corner but here are a few promising games we’re looking forward to getting our hands on before the big name titles start releasing in September.

No Man’s Sky

no mans sky

It shouldn’t be any surprise to see this on our list, given that we previously wrote a spotlight about it. No Man’s Sky will be releasing August 9th on PS4 and August 12th on PC. The game promises a frankly ridiculous amount of space to explore along with an art style that is reminiscent of sci-fi art of the 60s and 70s. Think classic paperback covers come to life.

God Eater 2

god eater 2

The God Eater franchise belongs to the hunting action genre pioneered by the Monster Hunter Series. It trades the medieval fantasy setting of Monster Hunter for an anime-inspired post apocalypse and places a heavier emphasis on story than some of its peers in the genre. God Eater 2 continues the story of the first game and introduces new monsters, new customization options, and new ways to upgrade your gear. Don’t worry if you never got the chance to play the first game on the PSP. Buying the game for PS4 or PC will give you the updated remaster, God Eater Resurrection, for free so you can get caught up.

Abzû

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One of the best games to come to Sony’s PS3 was the meditative and surprising hit Journey. After that game was completed, a few members of its design team left that studio to form a new studio and begin work on what many are viewing as Journey‘s successor. Abzû puts players in the fins of a diver, exploring gorgeously rendered ocean environments and seeking answers to the game’s central mysteries. The game promises an extremely dynamic virtual eco-system and hopes are high that it will capture some of the magic and wonder of its predecessor.

Grow Up

grow up

Grow Home surprised many with its robust and intuitive climbing system. Given its success, it should come as no surprise that the game is getting a sequel. Grow Up is releasing for PC, PS4, and XBox One, so whatever you game on, you’ll be able to take on a whole new world of climbing challenges and colorful surprises.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

deus ex

If No Man’s Sky is the epitome of techno-optimism in science-fiction, then you could probably make the case that the Deus Ex series sits at the other end of spectrum as a representation of the idea that progress can never truly save us. Following the events of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mankind Divided continues to tell the story of cyborg Adam Jensen as he must attempt to navigate a murky future of conflicting loyalties and frightening advances in technology. Square Enix has promised to give fans of the series more of the action, stealth, and choice that they love, while also addressing criticism of the previous game such as lackluster story paths and poor boss fights.

This is just a taste of the games coming out this month. We’ll also be seeing the release of a new Madden game and Assetto Corso, if sports or racing are more your speed. As always, there are more Indie games releasing at any one time than we could ever hope to cover. Here’s hoping you have a great month and happy gaming!

Convention Impressions: Too Many Games 2016

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Date: June 24 – 26, 2016
Venue: Oaks Convention Center in Oaks, PA

Real Women of Gaming is getting on the convention beat! Our first Press Pass came from Too Many Games and it was a great convention for us to get our feet wet with.

What Kind of Convention is it?
As the name suggests, Too Many Games is a gaming convention. The Convention had 3 panel tracks and an event stage, but the majority of the space was given over to a large gaming room and an even larger marketplace. The arcade/gaming room had arcade machines and consoles running fighting games, racing games, and rhythm games for anyone to test their skills against their fellow con goers. There were also at least 30 machines running various versions of Nintendo’s beloved Super Smash Brothers for both free and tournament play. Rounding things out were a tabletop gaming area and a indie game showcase.

Too Many Games is definitely a small convention. The focus is on the games room and the marketplace. The convention did manage a respectable lineup of guests from the gaming youtube and podcast ‘verse including The Completionist and the Angry Video Game Rolfe, but don’t expect representation from major studios or established indie studios. Sorry, no autographs from Ken Levine or surprise game announcements from Double Fine.

The panel tracks covered a decent range of topics but didn’t offer anything you wouldn’t typically find at a small enthusiast convention. There were Guest FAQs, retrospectives, music and animation appreciation panels, and discussions about current topics. It was a full schedule but I’m guessing that the fairly sparsely attended panels were not the draw for most people at the con.

What was cool?
By far my favorite part was the Indie Games showcase. I got to spend time with at least twenty developers of both video and tabletop games, trying their games and talking to them about their projects. The items on offer ranged from rough prototypes to extremely polished and professional demos. Everyone I met was eager to show off their work and talk about what they wanted to accomplish, what their influences were, and what got them into game design in the first place. There were definitely a few creators there whose projects I will be following closely from now on and some of them may even be featured in future posts on this blog.

The marketplace had a heavy focus on retro video games and I saw a few rare finds on offer. If you’re a collector then you already know that events like these can be a goldmine or a bust depending on what the vendors have on offer. Board games also had decent representation and I was pleased to see a few items that I had been keeping an eye out for. There were also a few booths selling figures and other collectables and, of course, enough funny t-shirts to clothe an army.

I also liked the arcade more than I thought I would. I’ve never been a big fighting game fan, but there was enough variety that I could find plenty to keep me occupied. There were also a few Japanese rhythm game cabinets which were in high demand. Fortunately, I never had to wait too long for a turn at a cabinet and there was always someone ready to jump in and play a round with me. (I lost, a lot).

What was lame?
The venue itself is nothing to write home about. The Oaks Convention Center is essentially a big steel warehouse with concrete floors. Because the convention was divided between two large halls, one for the marketplace and indie showcase and one for the arcade and event stage, it could be awkward getting around. The bathroom lines could get pretty long (it is a con) and the food was overpriced and mediocre (again, con). That said, it’s not the worst place to hold a convention, but it’s not as interesting or cool a venue as some that I have been to.

Who is it for?
If you are all about buying and playing games, this is a great convention. There was a lot on offer to play and over 50 vendors in the marketplace, making the whole thing feel like a big swapmeet. If you are interested in indie games or talking about game making with the people who are doing it right now, then the Indie Showcase alone is worth getting a ticket. There were concerts and cosplay wrestling, so if those kinds of shows are your thing then that’s a decent reason to attend. Just expect to kill some time in the arcade and marketplace between shows you want to see.

If you are more interested in the cosplay scene, community meetups, or people watching, then Too Many Games is hard to recommend. The venue is bad for photography and there wasn’t a lot of cosplay around. Aside from smash tournaments and a pokemon event, there wasn’t a whole lot in the way of organized community meetups either.

Did you like it?
I definitely did. Too Many Games felt kind of like someone had taken the gameroom and dealers hall from a larger convention and turned them into their own thing. I’m used to attending conventions that are a little more scattershot in what they offer and it was cool attending a convention that had a strong focus on gaming. I also liked the fact that I could get to things that looked interesting without fighting through fifteen thousand other people to get to it. Sometimes small conventions can feel empty or like they needed to stretch their content but Too Many Games stayed engaging and entertaining for the whole time.