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PAX East is without a doubt my favorite part of the year as a gamer, technology enthusiast, and all around lover of digital art of every form.

This year I went with eight of my closest friends and met up with some old ones too. We traversed the floor in hopes of finding that perfect new piece of content that would sweep us off our feet and get us incredibly excited for the coming year in the gaming industry.

For me personally, those titles were as follows in order of excitement level from greatest to least.

Masquerada

My personal favorite, show stealer, excitement inducer game of pax was a game called Masquerada.

The title is being produced out of Singapore by a developer known as Witching Hour Studios. The young man representing the game at pax was enthusiastic about his creation and rightly so!

This game was absolute bliss on the eyes and enthralling in its craftsmanship and sound mechanics. Pastel blues and purples come to mind as i recall exploring the beautiful world within the game isometric setting. The spell work in the game also filled the screen with wonderful hues of fire red and cool icy blues.

My ears were treated to an extensive fully voiced dialogue between Cicero the protagonist and his faithful companion. The developer also mentioned one key name that I got extraordinarily excited for… Jennifer freaking Hale! I was so pumped for she is one of the industries greats known for her work in Mass Effect as fem shep.   

My hands got to experience a wonderfully familiar combat system that is very diabloesque. This fit the game perfectly. The attacks were slower and well paced. The player could feel each strike and the panic to get away from a telegraphed heavy attack from the enemy.

All of these factors combined with the promise of an enthralling and adventurous investigation left me begging for more. I absolutely cannot wait for this game to launch later this summer.

Mirage

Mirage is a title developed by the greatest melee combat studio out there, torn banner studios. These guys represented their name well with a great addition to the multi-player melee combat scene. Mirage blends melee bliss with battlemage glory damn near perfectly.

The visuals in this game were stellar and this build was only an alpha stage rendition of a brilliant world. The images you think of when you imagine torn banner studios are very real and very brutal. However, this time around they have gone with a more colorful and creative visual experience. The games artistic design perfectly matches the fantasy world they are creating. This is a great step outside of the norm for the studio and a refreshing experience for the player. 

The combat… oooo boy the combat. The sheer amount of stuff happening in the fight was enough to make the player feel totally emersed in the world they were waging war in without being so overwhelming that they could not comprehend what was actually happening… something that the battleborn creators could definitely take note of. Every parry and every landed blow felt visceral and  authentic. Every spell cast was finely crafted and believable within the world you were placed in.

Tooth and Tail

This is my third place and last but certainly not least. Tooth and tail breathes life back into the split screen gaming life. My wife and I duked it out for around 10 minutes over land. Windmills and the lives of our rats. This game to me blended the best of booth worlds of starcraft and majesty while bringing a fast paced and heavy hitting living room experience. The art style reminded me of age of empires meets redwall. This was very unexpected but quite refreshing all at once. I felt like i was stepping back into the good old days sitting in front of the living room television enjoying a round of split screen combat on the N64. I definitely cannot wait for this title to hit steam later this year.

Those were my top three PAX EAST 2016 titles this year but there were certainly more to behold. What were your favorites if you watched pax online or attended in person?

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Photo credit to Daniel Wilkinson

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