The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes
I played this with two other guys. The goal of the demo was to figure out how to get through the puzzles and fight the boss. Strangely, it worked and, all things considered, it was kind of fun. I doubt I'd want to do the whole thing with three people, but at least trying it was ok. I did like the different costumes Link can get and wear, and they each have a specialty, for better or worse. I picked the samurai one because it looked cool, but was no extra help in our dungeon. The dungeon we did required bombs and arrows, and it wasn't too hard to figure out what to do. Actually doing it, on the other hand, wasn't quite as smooth. Trying to get the order right of who picks up who with strangers can be a challenge. Communication and listening are key for this game. Oh, and patience, too.
Who doesn't love Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? (If you don't, just skip to the next one) I do, so when I happened upon Chasm in the Indie Megabooth, I stopped and checked it out. It is a 16-bit side scrolling action adventure/ metroidvania. The guy at the booth explained that there are a few different map types, and that it is set once the opening cut scene starts. So the map isn't random, but there are a few variations to give some replay value. The game was pretty fun, but a bit clunky in movement and attacking. It, like many other games, isn't very forgiving. It's all well and good, since I do like the genre, so I will try my best to play the game when it releases next year.
Final Fantasy Explorers
When first shown, the game seemed like the Final Fantasy version of Monster Hunter. While that is somewhat true, the game resembles the previous Square Enix release Lord of Arcana. Combat was easy to understand, but I did have to be careful. I wasn't treating it like a Monster Hunter game, and did die to the boss. It was fun though. At the start there were multiple jobs to choose from, so I choose the monk, one of my favorites. I do want to try the finished game later this year (or next, whenever it comes out). My only complaint was that the C-stick didn't operate the camera. Hopefully it is a menu option or defaults to that in the full release. To operate the camera, it was like Phantasy Star Online, where a button will center it. No touch screen d-pad or anything, and I don't recall if the actual d-pad did it (which would be uncomfortable anyway).
When Cuphead was first unveiled, I really liked the look of it. Once they later showed gameplay, I knew I had to try it. And... well, both of those held up. The look of the game is very much like the old 1930s animation and it works. The demo at PAX had only a tutorial that showed the controls and boss fights, so I tried three of them.
The first was in a plane against a giant bird. It was very much like a shmup, a genre I enjoy, but it's not quite as smooth. It's workable, but not quite as good as a dedicated shmup system. Almost beat that boss, but didn't. Second was against a giant potato and then a giant carrot, which I did manage to win. Third was against a pirate on a boat that would attack with shots, a hanging chest and a shark/octopus from different parts of the screen. That one I didn't win.
It was a pretty fun game, although very unforgiving. Enemy shots were small, and your graphic not so much, so dodging was, well... dodgy. You only get three hearts, so three hits and you are out. No continuing in the demo, as it just put you on the map/menu and you had to do it again. Two player might be fun, so I'm still looking forward to trying the full game when it releases.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
First off, I didn't play Xenoblade Chronicles X, since they were only having gameplay demonstrations with a dude I used to work near (there is 0% chance he remembers me, though). Anyway, I watched several of the demos and went to the panel about the art, where they showed off the special edition coming this winter.
They showed off getting quests, skills and even mid-air battles in the mechs, which I didn't know was a thing in the game. The guy also ran around various parts of the map, enemies and talked about weather effects. Xenoblade Chronicles X looks like it has a ton of content and I am looking forward to it.
The special edition also got me excited. The lithograph is ok, and the art book looks really nice (and big!), but the USB drive is what I really like. It looks like a zohar! It also has 10 tracks of the soundtrack on there. Sure, it could, and should, have the whole thing on it, but I'll just get the other tracks through some other means. I'm glad it was still able to be pre-ordered when I got home, since I couldn't do it while at the show.