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PAX Online Reviews

On 09/24/2020 at 11:17 PM by Cary Woodham

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Got another batch of game reviews I’ve recently written over at, including my coverage of the first ever PAX Online.  Yeah, don’t expect much.  But please read it anyway along with my other reviews, and maybe post a ‘like’ or comment or two.  I’d really appreciate it.  OK let’s begin!

PAX Online 2020

The Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short, is one of the largest video game conventions open to the public.  Unfortunately, the flagship show, PAX West in Seattle, had to be cancelled this year because of COVID.  So instead, they created PAX Online, which was all last week.  Virtual showgoers could watch videos of upcoming games, and even try demos of some of them on Steam and Xbox Live.  I got a virtual press pass to the event, so here’s an article about the show.

But first, I would like to apologize in advance if this article isn’t very good.  I’ve never written an article about an online show before (I doubt many people have), and usually whenever I do something for the first time, I’m pretty horrible at it.  Also when I go to a show like PAX or E3, I set aside time to take off of work so I can go to the show and write an article about it.  But since I didn’t know what to expect from this show, I didn’t take off of work, so I didn’t have as much time to check things out and write my article.  Plus I was pretty busy with other things during the show.  My birthday was smack dab in the middle of it, and one of my brothers is getting married at the end of the month, so I needed to make some preparations for that, too.  Also, since there’s no way I can cover everything in these shows, I only look at what I think is interesting for me and what might would go well with the theme of GamerDad.  And I didn’t play any demos because I don’t have an Xbox One, and I don’t have a Steam account either because I’m just not really a PC gamer.  I’ve got plenty of console games so I’ve never felt the need for Steam.  I guess PAX Online would be ideal for streamers and YouTubers, but I’m sorry, I just don’t have time for that right now.  I’d like to do that someday, but I’ve got a full time job and household duties so what I do at GamerDad already is all I have time for.  I guess I’m just too old fashioned and need to get with the times.

Finally, before I get started, I’ll say that while I guess it’s good they did a PAX Online (better than doing nothing I suppose), I really hope that when this COVID stuff gets better, we can go back to normal and have ACTUAL shows we can go to.  I really hate the term ‘new normal’ because NONE of the stuff we’re having to do right now because of COVID is normal.  I’m sorry, but it isn’t.  Shows like PAX and E3 are more than just game videos and demos, it’s about personal interaction with PR professionals and other gamers, and that’s what I enjoy the most.  So here’s hoping we can really go back to normal soon and go to real shows.  PAX Online isn’t a replacement, I hope.  OK, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the games at PAX Online!  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, these games listed should be coming to consoles at some point, that’s the main reason why I looked at them.

Minecraft Creeper Crunch Cereal

I know one person on Pixlbit in particular who will be really interested in this.  But yeah, Minecraft has its own cereal now.  Given the popularity of Minecraft, it’s not that surprising, though.  I purposely stay away from Minecraft because I don’t want to get addicted to it.  I’m bad enough with Animal Crossing.  Oh man, they should make an Animal Crossing cereal!  And a Mega Man cereal, and a Kirby cereal…

Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia: Arcade Edition (Book)

Udon Entertainment publishes a lot of artbooks and comics featuring Capcom characters, especially ones from the Street Fighter series.  I was lucky enough to get a review copy of one of their newest artbooks, the Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia: Arcade Edition!  It features information and artwork of every character in the series!  So let’s take a look at it!  Plus a surprise bonus!  In the comments section, tell me your favorite Street Fighter characters.  Can you guess mine?

Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (PS4)

Samurai Jack was one of Cartoon Network’s most unique, artful, and beloved action cartoons.  A heroic samurai from feudal Japan battles a shapeshifting demon named Aku.  But Aku sends the samurai into a time portal to the future where Aku reigns supreme.  The first person who sees the samurai in the future calls him “Jack,” so that’s the name he goes by here.  Now Samurai Jack must find a way back to the past so he can defeat Aku for good.  The cool thing about the cartoon is that it actually had an ending, although it took it long enough to get there.  Nearly two decades after the initial run, they added one last season on Adult Swim that was a bit darker and bloodier, but Jack FINALLY beat Aku!  This new video game takes place when Jack and his love interest Ashi are in the portal going to the past.  Aku has one final trick up his sleeve and grabs Jack and sends him to a place between time and space where he must fight familiar foes.  Flimsy story aside, it’s a great way for fans to relive their favorite scenes, enemies, and friends in this 3-D action game.  It reminds me of something you’d see on the PS2, and that’s a good thing.  They also got the original voice cast to do the dialogue, so that was cool, too.

Kandagawa Jet Girls (PS4)

In Kandagawa Jet Girls, you race futuristic water jet bikes around rivers in Tokyo.  Your drivers are two young anime ladies, one steers and the other shoots a water gun at other racers to slow them down.  Kind of reminds me of Mario Kart: Double Dash in a way.  Apparently this game is based on an anime cartoon as well.  Huh, I didn’t know that.  Learn something new every day.  If you can look past the fanservice, the racing part isn’t that bad.  I didn’t really like any of the characters, except for one who pulls out a giant rice ball and chomps on it all the time.  The game claims that she’s ‘fat’ but she’s really not, she just has some more meat on her bones.

Skimboard Hero (Mobile)

Another game to capture that last bit of summer.  But what is Skimboarding?  Yeah I didn’t know either until I played this game.  Who says games don’t teach you anything!  Anyway, Skimboarding is kind of like surfing except you use a smaller board and you ride the small wake waves near the shore.  And that’s what you do in this game, which is like a vertically scrolling endless…surfer?  Collect sand dollars, jump over ramps, perform tricks, and avoid obstacles.  The game also has neat retro graphics.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza (Switch)

Run your own pizza restaurant in Good Pizza, Great Pizza.  Take orders, cook the pizza, and make sure you earn a profit in this restaurant simulation cooking game.  You can tell the mobile game roots of this one, as progress is slow and such.  But I do like some of the posters you can decorate your restaurant with, as they make reference to Pac-Man, TMNT, and even Five Nights at Freddy’s!

Manifold Garden (Switch)

Manifold Garden is a first person perspective puzzle game that takes a lot of inspiration from M.C. Escher’s artwork.  You’ll solve basic block and switch puzzles, but the gimmick here is that you can change gravity so you can walk on walls and ceilings!  And don’t worry if you fall, the levels loop so you can land where you started, or somewhere else if need be.  It’s all right, but the goals and objectives aren’t very clear.

Ninjala (Switch)

There’s a special kind of bubblegum that gives kids ninja powers when they chew it.  Be one of those gum chewing ninja kids in Ninjala, a free-to-play online multiplayer battle game for Nintendo Switch.  You can really tell this game was inspired by Splatoon, what with the customizable kids in a brightly colored urban setting.  But the free-to-play gimmicks and in-game purchases kind of bogged the game down for me.  It’s a shame, too, because they really did a good job presenting this game at PAX and E3.

The Games of the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini Wrap Up

I know you all read my series on the Turbo Grafx-16 Mini last month, but in case you missed any of them or want to read them again, I put convenient links to all my articles on one page here.

And that’s all for now!  Thanks for reading my reviews and posting comments.  I really appreciate it.  Later!  --Cary



Matt Snee Staff Writer

09/25/2020 at 11:05 AM

Manifold Garden sounds like Monument Valley, which I really enjoyed. 

I know you're disappointed with 2020, but things will get better!

Cary Woodham

09/26/2020 at 03:59 PM

I've heard a lot about Monument Valley, but I've never played it.  Looks more 2-D in nature than Manifold Gardens, though.  Thanks for reading!


09/25/2020 at 09:32 PM

Alien Hominid Invasion sounds like it might be good. 

I might pick up a box of the Minecraft cereal if I see one, just for fun. 

Funny aside:in the game I'm playing now, Farm Together, the farmhands, when they feed the animals, make a sound that is nearly the same as the fuse lighting sound the Creepers make in Minecraft. I nearly jump out of my skin every time I hear it.  

Cary Woodham

09/26/2020 at 04:00 PM

Yeah there's some odd video game sounds that make me react, too.  Like SiniStar's voice.  That scared the poop out of me as a kid and it still gives me shivers.  Also, in Adventures of Lolo on the NES, these Medusa statues can turn you to stone if you pass by their line of sight, and that SHOOM sound they make when they do that always made me jump!  Thanks for reading!


09/27/2020 at 11:58 AM

I still think of Sinistar too. "Run run" They say one of kids most feared things is of being eaten. Sinistar eats your ship. 

Cary Woodham

09/29/2020 at 08:07 AM

SiniStar scared the hell out of me as a kid. I would purposely walk as far as I could around the arcade machine when I could.  And the arcade owners would ALWAYS crank up the volume of that machine!


09/29/2020 at 05:47 PM

I found Sinistar difficult. It was very fast. It was easy to bump into enemy bullets or ships and hard to catch those tiny bombs that popped out of the asteroids. 

Cary Woodham

09/30/2020 at 08:16 AM

Oh yeah, SiniStar is WAY hard.  I finally destroyed him once in one of the Midway collections.  I never did it as a kid because I was too scared to play it in the arcade!


09/29/2020 at 01:05 PM

From what I've seen skimboarding is crazy. As the water recedes the boarder would run, hop on their board on that little bit of water, go into more water and try and catch a small wave and then try and get back onto the beach. I would easily fall but its fun to watch. You sir have sold me on downloading this game.

That Street Fighter book looks amazing. Just the artwork alone is reason to buy it but there has to be a ton of info and little tidbids is a bonus.

Cary Woodham

09/30/2020 at 08:17 AM

Yeah that Street Fighter book made me want to buy other Udon books. Haven't yet, but I want to!

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