Check out what Wired Productions brought to Pax with them this year!
Over the course of my Pax East, I was able to stop the Wired Productions booth and see what they brought with them to the show this year. There was one game in particular that I really had my heart set on seeing and I was able to get one hands on another one and those were Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn and Grip. Shaq Fu was the game I really wanted to play test from the moment I heard a second Shaq Fu game was releasing and Grip was an extra-added bonus.
The booth tour begin with Grip and the best comparison I can give Grip is a F-zero type game that feels slightly faster than F-Zero did and then throw some real world off road racing on top of that. Other than that it felt like a routine racing game, if that racing game was set in the future. The vehicles you were driving were able to drive on all terrains and all over the tunnels, top to bottom.
It was a little tough to stay on the road and keep your vehicle going the right direction/facing the right direction but that should come with some practice. There were other modes other than routine races such as battle mode, which is fun but felt a little buggy, and another racing mode where the faster you go, the better your score. The battle mode was really fun because it played like the Mario Kart Battle mode where you would drive around, collecting power-ups to attack your enemies with, while dodging their attacks.
The reason why I felt it was a little buggy was because I was jumping through walls half the time I would drive off a surface and try to drive up the adjacent wall. I don’t know the reason and never knew when it was going to happen. The racing aspect and being able to drive on the ceiling and all over the place is a fun idea, it just will take some getting used to in the long run.
Next up on the tour was a date with Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn. This game will bring you back to the days of the beat-em-up and that felt like the trend of Pax this year. The first Shaq Fu got practically everything wrong and now this Shaq Fu appears to know what’s going on in terms of development. I’ll start with the few minor negatives I have because it’s all-positive from here on out. The variety of enemy in the demo didn’t change that much and the fear of repetition could creep in quickly but I didn’t feel it during the demo.
The controls could have been a little tighter as well since during a boss fight, I wasn’t able to complete it because the roll mechanic wasn’t functioning properly. The writing has some witty jokes like Shaq being the Big Cactus and that’s one of his power ups and he says “Now I’m a Cactus, who’s programming this game?” or the knocks on Hollywood being superficial.
One of my favorite visual jokes comes when you see the Icy Hot ads all over the billboards during gameplay and that’s something I didn’t expect to see. You’ll need to string combos together to take down all the enemies coming towards Shaq but you’ll be able to, right? It’s also good to know that there are cut scenes and voice acting in the game and Shaq is doing his voice but does he do is own stunts?