Events Reviews

XSEED PAX East 2023 Showcase - Three Games To Play

Cuisineer was one of three games we checked out at the XSEED booth!

XSEED Games was one of the first stops made during our PAX East journey and it was a great start to the beginning of the weekend. We had the opportunity to play three games from their catalog, Trinity Trigger, Loop8: Summer of Gods, and lastly Cuisineer. Each game provided a unique experience with a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy, but there was one game that I developed a fondness for.

Beginning with Trinity Trigger, this was the first of the three games we’ve played and it’s a promising isometric action RPG. Developed by FuRyu, the team behind The Caligula Effect, Trinity Trigger captures the fast-paced gameplay that the developers are known for, but with a twist. 

Up to three players can enjoy co-op at the same time.

While the game can certainly be enjoyed for its single-player content, Trinity Trigger’s neat inclusion of local co-op provided a layer of gameplay that most games of this caliber miss. The demo build included three characters, an archer, a swordsman, and an ax-wielding soldier. Each character can be customized from their augments in their weapons and armor, changing the order of their attacks, and adding new skills altogether. Trinity Trigger’s gameplay is very “Diablo” esque and the local multiplayer reminded me of older titles from the early 2000s where everything was a dungeon crawler. 

Champions of Norrath and Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance were two of many games I recall playing as a kid with one of my friends whenever they would visit. Trinity Trigger’s co-op mode brought that same feeling out, although whoever is controlling Player 1 has the option to make changes for the other party members. This also adds a layer of communication when it comes to one person deciding which member deserves which augment or skill at any given time. Fans of classic local co-op RPGs won’t have to wait long when Trinity Trigger releases on April 25th on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC.

The local co-op feature for Trinity Trigger adds a different layer to the total experience.

Loop8: Summer of Gods may be the most ambitious of the three and possibly the entire expo. It’s an RPG but with elements of time travel as events repeat on a loop, hence the title. The setting is in rural Japan, with the art style and aesthetic similar to Japanese media during the 90s and 2000s. Games like Higurashi When They Cry are historical in capturing the balance between 1980s Japan and the supernatural. Loop8: Summer of Gods felt like a homage to those games with a bit of “Studio Ghibli” mixed in as well.

A core mechanic is the relationships the protagonist makes with others, but the relationships the characters make with each other as well. Every major boss fight is a demonized version of a character’s inner demon and depending on if certain conditions are met, certain bosses can be made easier or difficult. An example is a boss I was approaching who had an affinity for one of the members of my party. Because of this, the boss would be easier to fight as she wouldn’t want to fight someone who she likes. 

Loop8's complex system encourages players to be assertive toward their peers.

Likewise, if it’s a character someone hates, naturally the boss’s difficulty would increase over time as well. There’s also a time limit as the end of the world will take place in eight days, including a passing passage of time. Everything a player does advances time but the player can also “loop” a cycle should they run out, hence, Loop8: Summer of Gods. While there’s no official release date yet, players can look forward to solving the mysteries behind this historic Japanese village and its looming threat.

Cuisineer took personal honors as one of my personal favorites strictly for the cuteness and uniqueness it provides. A roguelite action dungeon crawler, Cuisineer is also half business simulator as you take over your parents’ restaurant after they decide to go on vacation. Without you. But it’s okay because you have help and a trusty spatula to gain ingredients to make succulent dishes. How are you going to get the ingredients? Beating them into submission of course. This includes the peppers which happen to breathe fire and swine that leave poison puddles that question their credibility.

A whole new meaning of "chicken for take out."

Everything in the game is based on food, including the health potions that are in the shape of boba tea. Doing side quests will unlock new recipes for the player. All of the maps are procedurally generated, which meant, like Dead Cells, it’s a matter of “trying as much as you can to reach the end of a section and into a boss.” Fans of games like Hades and Boyfriend Dungeon who also enjoy cute things will definitely need to be on the lookout for Cuisineer when it releases later this year.

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