Penny Arcade Expo 2009 Quick impressions and meaningless awards!

As I sit here recovering from what has now become a horrendous case of con SARS I sit down to write what will be the first of many bits of previews and impressions from the awesomeness that was….


And there was a lot to cover.  And thus we must begin with the best and the worst stuff from the floor of PAX ’09.

BEST Artistic design : The Saboteur.


Simply stunning to look at.  Some graphical glitches as it still isn’t a final build but the game is simply stunning with the stark black and white film look of occupied areas and the vibrant color of the areas that have been freed.  Simply a beautiful game and after some hands on time it went from my “eh, it could be good” pile to being a must-buy.

BEST Cover Mechanic : The Saboteur


Once again the game wins.  Simply a brilliant use of a sticky cover system.  Yu run up to something you get into cover.  But you can also freely move out of that cover fluidly.  It’s the first time I’ve seen a sticky cover system that not only works but works well.  It feels intuitive and doesn’t feel sticky at all.  Run up to something that looks like it can provide cover and BAM!  you are in cover.  Move to a corner peek out shoot or keep moving and you pop right back out of cover and can move straight to the next or wherever you want to.

BEST Bugnuts crazy action : Bayonetta


This is what Devil May Cry wishes it could be.  That is pretty much all I need to say.  The game is stunning.  Simply stunning.  It looks great but plays ever better.  It’s funny.  It will probably be sold on the titillation factor but the exquisite gameplay will make you hornier than the main characters *ahem* assets ever will.

BEST Swag No More Heroes 2


Seriously.  No one went crazier than Ubisoft when it came to doing cool things.  From adding keyboard catness to the PAX Splinter Cel trailer to this piece of pure unadulterated genius.  A roll of No More Heroes toilet paper.  That is just plain awesome and the PERFECT way to promote a game with such a ‘shitty’ save system.  Pun very much intended thank you very much.

Best XBLArcade Game – Scrap Metal


I love off road and this.  This is a modern off-road with a massively overhauled physics system and very interesting track design.  It plays like it should.  It’s totally off-road.  And that is awesome.  Not to mention fun as all hell.

BEST Wii title – Muramasa : The Demon Blade


I just want to put up a picture of me with my jaw on the floor.  Because that is what this game is.  Mind bogglingly beautiful.  Go buy it….NOW!

BEST DS Title – Miles Edgeworth : Ace Attorney Investigations


I love these games.  and this one looks to be another home run.  With more classic adventure game tropes built in.

BEST 360 Title – Borderlands


When this comes out.  You must buy it.  I am loving what I’ve seen and after playing it.  Am loving it even more.

BEST PS3 title – Fairytale Fights


Someone took the ridiculous train to crazy town.  It’s nasty, it’s brutal, and it’s downright hilarious.  This was a lot of fun and it surprised me a lot more than any other PS3 title at the show as it wasn’t what I was expecting.

BEST PC Title – Dungeon Fighter Online


Seriously.  an MMO Beat ’em up?  This could go very wrong but it seems to be going very right.  Was very fun and caught me off-guard.  Can’t wait for beta testing phase now.

BEST Overall game – Borderlands


Yep.  It was close with saboteur but this totally wins the day.  Simply stunning.

Best Upcoming Game with no set release time – SHANK!


Seriously.  I’m going to have more on this coming up but this game was simply stunning to both look at and play.  Running on a mystery box it has no platform release as yet but it was easily the most entertaining thing at the show.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a full retail release of this bad boy.

BEST gameplay demonstration of unplayable on the floor games – Ron Gilbert’s DeathSpank


It was the Secret of Monkey Island combined with Diablo and I loved every hilarious and beautifully animated second of it.  Even if it was just watching a guy play.

WORST Next Gen Game – Dante’s Inferno


Yay.  Just what we need.  A God of War clone.  with no real redeeming qualities.  This game is going to have to see a marked improvement for me to even thing about buying it.  It’s wasn’t terrible per-se.  It just wasn’t any good.  It was blah.

Worst Portable Game – Scribblenauts


This was the easiest pick for me to make.  Not only did they repeatedly kick me off the game within a minute of the first 2 times I started playing (I finally got some actual playtime on sunday)  So a more respected person with a media badge could sit down, the game plays absolutely horrendously.  The UI is extremely unintuitive and the control is a complete mess.  Easily the most disappointing game of the show.  Simply a gimmick game that will probably get really old after a half hour or so.  Extremely disappointing as I was totally pumped to play this and now can’t help but advise people not to buy it.  Really it’s actually more fun to watch the vids of the game than to actually play it.

Worst in Show – See above

More from the world of Geek Syndicate


  1. Marion /

    I can’t wait for the Miles Edgeworth game!
    He was always my favourite character in the Ace Attorney games and hopefully hobo!Phoenix will pop up too 🙂

    I guess perhaps i’ll just be illegal and download Scribblenauts if it’s not so great. Then i can get my half hour gimmick time without having to buy it 🙂

  2. Filatov /

    You have no idea, look the reviews of Dante’s Inferno, it’s a good game.

  3. Knight VK /

    Uh… Sorry Marion.
    No Phoenix or Maya of any kind in AAI.
    They don’t even say Nick’s name. Waaaah!
    It’s the best Ace Attorney game yet, though!!!

    • Marion /

      @Knight VK well there was that background sprite of them in a boat! But it was a disappointing lack all the same.
      Loved the game anyway though, i’m really pissed that they’re not going to be localising AAI2 🙁

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