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The x16ca Experience

Hold on to your butts, folks: it’s x16ca time! Microsoft went a little hard over the next batch of new titles on the horizon with their Toronto event last month. So much so that they took their wares to the Distillery District last week to show them off. From Gears of War 4 to Tekken 7, the X-Box team spared no expense to give Torontonians show-and-tell they, and some Halo cosplayers, will never forget. Then again, I forgot about the things I haven’t pushed with my thumbs, so I’ll keep going before even those become mute. It’s time for x16ca!

The x16ca Experience

Cuphead

Cuphead was definitely a standout game for me. Visually, MDHR was able to capture two of their influences: 80s Contra and ’30s Looney Toons, and spared no detail. This two player shooter-fest has ridiculous bosses, enemies, and phrases like “Wallop” – all animated with cell tactics that would probably get adopted from Mr. Disney himself. Everything was restricted from the digital and hand-made. Such an amazing touch for something this delicate.

 

cuphead

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV would have been the sacrificial lamb of the group at x16ca. With 10 years of development hell, graduations, and job losses, the title underwent several changes from its’ original setup. Square Enix only brought a representative to somewhat explain things to you that you were seeing for the first time. The stand by me cover was on point, and the new follow-up to Kingsclaive spared no expense telling you about it. The demo build had you on the road, trying to flag down cars for a ride. In the hour build, I saw feeding time, upgrades, and a new character tag-team thing. Not sure what that’s called, but at the same time: did I actually care? it’s too cool for that! Final Fantasy XV might be coming in with better teeth than its’ Episode Duscae ever could this November.

Final Fantasy XV mixes in battle modes. Noc's doing metal gear
Final Fantasy XV mixes in battle modes. Noc’s doing metal gear

Tekken 7

Namco’s first foray into Unreal Engine begins with Tekken 7, which was also present with a slew of warriors at the ready. You’re looking at some class acts from the main cast, including our special guest – Akuma. The Mishima Saga seems to be ending on a high note visually. The gameplay itself is pretty similar to what was brought from Tag Tournament 2. What’s probably new is the  super/rage property akin to what the team was nearly going for in Soul Calibur V. Personally, I was hoping for this to be omitted since the balance didn’t strike as well as Supers would in a native 2D environment. They did look decent enough to win over some competitive locals. January seems to be the time everyone will be able to get their hands on Tekken 7, also.

 

Notable Mentions:

The x16ca Experience

Notable mentions were Gears 4, Forza, and the game I wasn’t necessarily into – Warframe – which seemed to get upgrades by the weeks in order to improve the game overall. It didn’t win anything with me, but compared to the first build I touched, Warframe did strike a well-placed nerve. All in all, x16ca was quite an event to get fans riled up over their soon-to-haves in the next year.

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