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What’s in Your Box: Batman’s Odd Walk

/ Nov 26th, 2016 No Comments

Batman: A Telltale Series

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Greg’s Box

Time again we dive into some boxes, this week I’ve been neck-deep in Pokémon. So much Pokémon.

With Ditto finally being added to Pokémon GO, of course I had to partake. Sadly Ditto is a shape shifter and typically takes the form of low-level common Pokémon such as Pidgey. What this means for players is that grinding “junk” Pokémon is the only way to find Ditto.

A lot of changes have made Pokémon GO more appealing, but sadly many have just come too late. I still enjoy the game greatly, as it is fun to play before work and on breaks, but the hype has definitely left and the Pokémon GO balloon is now somewhat deflated. Here’s hoping for trading/battling and gen 2 to revitalize it for the masses!

Pokemon Moon

Totem Pokemon are a neat addition, but regular Pokemon being able to call for help is nonsense.

Now onto more pressing matters: Pokémon Sun.

I picked up the dual pack, gave my sister first dibs and then dived right into the one she didn’t take. Honestly I haven’t had this much fun with a Pokémon game since the original. The series has had ups and downs, and maybe it’s just leftover mania from Pokémon GO and the 20th anniversary, but Pokémon Sun/Moon are near perfect.

I love the locale, the focus on islander traditions and mentalities, and the new Pokémon are a scream too. I immediately caught a Diglett and now solely look forward to Dugtrio with its glorious locks. The only thing I hate is the “call for help” feature that wild Pokémon have, which tends to just extend battles pointlessly.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful. While we already gave thanks to the video games we were truly thankful for this year, I am always generally thankful for video games and the joy they bring me. The holiday week has been hectic for me, but I still found some time to get down and dirty with some video games. This week I finally started Batman: The Telltale Series after grabbing the retail disc for cheap and still plugging away at Pokémon Sun.

Bruce Wayne’s Off-Putting Walk

While I love Telltale’s brand of adventure games, I have fell off the train hard around the Game of Throne series. Yet the idea of a Telltale Batman series caught my attention. Sure, there have been plenty of Batman stories between many different mediums and many iconic ones. It is hard to break new ground with the Dark Knight. Even in video games, it is difficult to step out Rocksteady’s Arkham series of games.

Still if there is a developer up to the challenge of find a new angle on the subject, it is Telltale. The first episode sets up a clear dichotomy between Bruce Wayne and Batman, and what one can achieve over the other. This is important because the major emphasis for the game is choosing between accomplishing things as Bruce Wayne or Batman and what results can stem forth from either one.

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 3 - New World Order

Lieutenant Gordon is shaky about trusting Batman, but still he rigged up a way to call him for help.

Since the series is establishing Telltale’s Batman universe, it is a pseudo-origin story. That means it deals with Gordon as Lieutenant before becoming a commissioner, Harvey Dent before becoming Two Face, the first meeting between Batman and Cat Woman, and a heavy dose of Carmine Falcone. While origin stories are usually boring since the characters are so in the zeitgeist, it works here because the series is reinventing some of the character relationships and gives a good blank universe slate.

A blank slate is important because the story deals heavily with Bruce Wayne’s parents and their lives before their tragic passing. While the angle has been done before, it still is highly effective here. Much of this is a result of the Telltale formula allowing you to deals with the heady story beats as Bruce Wayne. So you get a great feeling of what it would be like to watch your world crumble. There are some story turns that totally threw me for a loop in how to respond to them.

Batman: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Children of Arkham

Telltale’s Penguin is a great interpretation of the character.

The series also makes Oswald Cobblepot a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne and his family a disgraced pillarof Gotham. This dovetails with the past of the Waynes, the current election between Hill and Dent, and the closing of Arkham. It all ties together in a delightful way to revel the true big bad of the story, the Children of Arkham.

The gameplay itself takes the concepts of Heavy Rain and makes them more palatable. It isn’t perfect, but it helps break up the story a bit. Most importantly, the series feels like what Gotham should be. It keeps you at the edge of your seat and definitely worth checking out.

Here Comes the Sun

It has been slow going in Pokémon Sun, honestly. I am not going hard at it, mainly playing it with my girlfriend at night. Sadly, I only just got to the second island. Still there is something pretty inviting and refreshing about the game.

Having played Pokémon games for years, this feels like a great new start. Alola is a charmingly warm place to explore.

Pokemon Sun

Tail surfer Raichu is your new king.

The new set up for the story helps to make the game not feel like the same old grind just with new Pokémon. Exploring the four Alola islands and completing the trials is a great way to differentiate the game from its predecessors. Plus the kahunas are cool ways to replace the traditional gym structure. It adds to the lore and depth of the islands.

Z-Moves are pretty cool. Like Mega Evolution it adds a special umph to battles. The neat thing about Z-Moves and their Z-Crystals are tied to completing trials on the islands. So it helps reinforce battle progression with island progression.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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