In about a week, Seattle will play host to PAX West 2018, and gamer-kind will descend upon the city like a swarm of socially-awkward locusts. SEGA has done us the honor of producing a full timetable, with details on each of the titles we can expect to see at the convention. Yeah, I know, it’s the least you’d expect from a publisher. But with a particularly impressive line-up of fan favorites, Japanese IPs, and panel sessions, SEGA is one to watch this time around.
Let’s get cracking.
Ahh, Sonic. One of gaming’s most recognizable characters, recently confined to the annals of history by average games. Team Sonic Racing could be the headline act this year: it’s the first entry since Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and it’s looking quietly confident. The game groups racers into teams, to allow for some co-operative, competitive racing; PAX West attendees will be able to try out the four available teams on the newly-unveiled Ice Mountain track.
Then there’s Total War. Creative Assembly is back to their core franchise after spin-off title Thrones of Britannia; the latest entry, Three Kingdoms, is already causing a bit of a stir. Set during the period of Chinese history from which it gets its name, Three Kingdoms is classic Total War turn-based strategy. It’s already turned heads at Gamescom, and PAX East attendees can play a condensed campaign mission that includes fighting off a night-time raid.
SEGA is promising no less than four new Japanese titles this year. Our first stop is Valkyria Chronicles 4, the latest entry into the tactical RPG series that brings new classes, new ways to play, and tank warfare that puts Battlefield to shame.
Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is a seriously gory action/fighting game from Ryu ga Gotoku Studio (the guys who brought you Yakuza). The E3 reveal let loose on the blood and guts, showing off some intense fighting moves and even more intense one-liners as the protagonist redefines the phrase ‘fists of steel.’ Fist of the North Star is back at PAX, and visitors will be able to try a demo on the show floor.
Then there’s Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. Both are rhythm games and spin-offs from the core Persona franchise; using remixed tracks from the original soundtrack, the games revisit familiar Persona locations and characters. You’ll be using a six-button system to keep the pace.
Speaking of the Megami Tensei franchise: the final game on this list is Shin Megami Tensei Liberation Dx2, a post-apocalyptic RPG that has already released to critical acclaim in Japan. It’s AR-augmented, demon summoning, smartphone gaming the likes of which us simple Westerners have never seen, and it’ll also be available to demo on the show floor at PAX.
SEGA Panels at PAX
SEGA are hosting a panel entitled “A SEGA Perspective: Bringing Japanese Games to the West.” Led by director of localisation Sam Mulle, the talk will cover the complexities of translating Japanese titles for Western audiences, in a literal and metaphorical sense. Also speaking will be associate localisation producer Andrew Davis and EU PR Manager Sarah Wellock. Quite the crowd, covering an interesting and often disregarded topic. In my opinion. Which does count.
You can actually watch this panel from home, using the following Twitch page: twitch.tv/pax3
All seven of these games, plus the panel sessions, will be running throughout the show, at booth 2513 (wherever that is). If you’re going to Seattle next week, you lucky bugger, but also: this has been your complete run-down of everything you can expect from SEGA this year. Don’t miss out. Or do. It’s totally your call.