5 Awesome PSX Games We’re Stoked to Play

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Photos: Matt Brunk

The second annual PSX has come to an end. It was just as awesome as last year’s outing and twice the size of the inaugural event a year ago. For those unfamiliar, PSX is dedicated to the fans who have made PlayStation what it is today by throwing a private party filled with current and future titles for everyone to enjoy. For those of you that couldn’t attend the festivities, here’s a small handful of titles to look forward to in the coming months.


Alienation

Housemarque /Sony Computer Entertainment
Reviewed on: PS4 (Exclusive)
Street: 03.02

For those of you who have played and enjoyed the many hours of intense, palm-sweating action of Dead Nation, it’s spiritual successor, Alienation, is primed to blow your mind. Like its predecessor, it’s a top-down, twin-stick shooter that’s populated by just as many enemies, just as many environmental hazards and just as much edge-of-your-seat carnage. Aside from it’s unmistakable likeness to Dead Nation, Alienation expands upon what was already built and adds a lot of new ingredients to the already stellar formula. Instead of zombies, gathering money and increasing your damage multiplier on the battlefield, you’re fighting aliens, finding new weapons, equipment, gadgets and buffers that have various rarity levels that can be kept or scrapped for materials. Your arsenal is limited to three weapons and one piece of equipment at any given time, however, they can be switched up at any point, should the need arise. While every soldier has unique abilities assigned to them, they can be upgraded via the skills tree to better fit any kind of play style. Alienation is already everything you could want from a Housemarque game, and it’s not even done yet. Keep your eyes peeled for this title in the coming months. –Trey Sanders


Dead Star – Featured at PSX. Photo: Matt Brunk / unlifephotography.com
Dead Star – Featured at PSX.

Dead Star

Armature Studio
Reviewed on: PS4
Also on: PC
Street: early 2016

Dead Star is a procedurally generated, twin-stick strategy arcade shooter that features various 10-vs.-10 online battles between different gangs of convicts (or what I like to call “space pirates”) who have been banished to the edge of space next to a dying star. Under the watchful eye of the Guardian AI, these factions wage war against themselves to gather as many resources as possible to try to leave the dangerous sector of space. During our demo of Conquest, everyone was vying for control over various AI-controlled bases as well as the player-controlled locations. After filling up on resources, players take back what they’ve gathered to upgrade their bases, making them more impenetrable to enemy attacks. Most matches last between 15 to 20 minutes and require a lot of team cooperation. While the lone wolf route is possible, thanks in part to minute damage upgrades with every new level, a lot of the fleet works best as a unit. Everything you do on the battlefield grants you more experience that can be used to upgrade your ships’ weapons and aesthetic look, but it’s promised to not give any one player an unfair advantage over anyone else. –Trey Sanders


Gang Beasts

Boneloaf / Double Fine
Reviewed On: PS4
Also on: PC

Gang Beasts has been on Steam’s Early Access for a little over a year now, but Boneloaf and Double Fine have been hard at work to finish this one-of-a-kind, hilarious fighting game. At launch (the first quarter of 2016), the game will come with more stages to fight in, a cooperative campaign, online multiplayer and more. In comparison to the pre-alpha build, the game has seen a great amount of improvement. For instance, the characters now have clothing instead of being their naked and gelatinous selves. In addition to covering the characters up and adding more personality to them, they can now head-butt and kick their opponents instead of just punching and grabbing each other. The controls have been tightened up and are far more responsive, while maintaining their drunken movements. It was also nice to see that they’ve added a few new maps, as well as new sound effects and music in the year of its absence. Gang Beasts, even in the state it was in a year ago, was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing a video game. It’s exciting to see that it’s finally becoming a fully realized experience that will have endless reasons to keep playing. –Trey Sanders   


Metrico + – Featured at PSX. Photo: Matt Brunk / unlifephotography.com
Metrico + – Featured at PSX.

Metrico +

Digital Dreams
Reviewed on: PS4
Also on: Xbox One, PC

Metrico + is half remake and half a reimagining of Metrico, the PS Vita’s puzzle-platformer where the world is made up of mathematics, infographics and shapes. I can hear you saying, “Well, that doesn’t sound fun,” but you’d be wrong to assume that. Yes, the game is built on and presented with everything from graphs, charts, shapes and even percentages, but that’s part of its business-esque aesthetic and charm. At heart, every game you play uses mathematics to make everything work together as one, but the tiny team over at Digital Dreams has taken something unconventional for the world of video games and have crafted a charming, challenging and thoughtful puzzle game. Every step you take or jump you attempt is counted throughout each environment that forces the player to use their trial-and-error skills to get to the end of any puzzle. For the sake of time, I was shown a number of mechanics that will be introduced in later levels to make puzzles more challenging, more rewarding and more unique than Metrico did a year ago. Upon release, the six worlds of puzzles will be raised to eight, and there will be a new storyline and new mechanics, just to name a few major changes. –Trey Sanders


Viking Squad

Slick Entertainment
Reviewed on: PS4
Also on: PC

Viking Squad is immediately reminiscent of Castle Crashers from the Xbox 360, only this one isn’t as cute. Before you and your buddies can fight against the rule of Jarl, you must choose between four unique Vikings, all sporting their own unique weapons and abilities. Then it’s off to pillage their village, bash their heads in and stay between the lines in the process. Aptly dubbed as a “lane-based” brawler, Viking Squad aims to keep everything a little more organized as you hack away at your foes to avoid those “swing and miss” moments by keeping the players and the AI in specific lanes to avoid the frustrations of missing your target. They’ve stripped away the on-screen icon to cue heavy attacks by replacing it with a visual que and HUD icons to display its power and readiness; if filled all the way, feel free to unleash your super ability. As you make your way along any of the procedurally generated maps, you collect treasures, more powerful weapons, liberate fantastical gods, and find secret areas to conquer. The talented gentlemen at Slick Entertainment have something special for all of us in the next few months, and all of you should be ready to bring more glory to Valhalla. –Trey Sanders