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What’s in Your Box: Comparative Nightmares

/ May 13th, 2017 No Comments

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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

Hey hey boxers welcome to another What’s In Your Box?

This week has been invested mostly into Little Nightmares on Xbox One. Fans of Inside and Limbo will find a lot of similarities in Little Nightmares despite being made by different teams.

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares is really creepy.

Little Nightmares features themes of childhood trauma/terror as well as the loss of innocence. An eerie aesthetic permeates the entire adventure and the art style is absolutely breath taking.

I cannot stress enough how good this game is and what a delight it is to be terrified by it.

When not crying myself to sleep I spend most of my time in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. There was a lot of speculation that Nintendo might be ending Mario Kart in favor of a “Nintendo Kart” considering that they’ve added non-Mario characters to the roster.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Head-to-head local play is the only thing that sustains me.

So far that rumor could still hold true as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is essentially a complete version of Mario Kart 8, albeit with graphical improvements and an entirely revamped battle mode.

Anyone with a Nintendo Switch that doesn’t own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is robbing themselves of one of it’s best titles since Breath of the Wild, if for no other reason than the portability.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Persona is one of my favorite series. It absolutely hooked me when I played Persona 4 Golden. I had already been familiar with the Shin Megami Tensei series because I loved Nocturne on PS2, so I was already partially sold. The combat and demon fusion combined with the deep social sim made it a series hard not to love. It also meant I was amped for more of the series.

Needless to say, Persona 5 was one of my most anticipated games (along with Final Fantasy XV and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). Since I started playing Persona 5 I have had a hard time staying away or putting it down. Outside of life and a vacation to visit family, I have been playing it non-stop. Check out my review for my complete thoughts. Every time I feel like I have a handle on the game it zags on me.

A few months ago I talked about Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. It was startling because it felt so much like a Persona game. I figure it might be interesting to re-examine Tokyo Mirage Sessions in light of Persona 5.


Tokyo Mirage Sessions reminded me a lot of the Persona series when I was playing it and scratched the itch I had for the series. It basically played like a Persona game on the Wii U. Playing Persona 5 put into perspective how much of those a stronger incorporation of those elements would have put Tokyo Mirage Sessions over.

Persona 5

Persona 5 is a perfect balance of social sim and deep, accessible combat, which makes other JRPGs pale in comparison.

The core gameplay has a lot of similarities given the Shin Megami Tensei mechanics centering both with its rich weakness system. However, Tokyo Mirage Sessions adds some wrinkles with the Fire Emblem rock-paper-scissors advantage system to it, and the Session system. While it is a cool riff on the system, Persona 5’s 1 More weakness mechanic, Persona fusion, and confidant bonus moves are nearly perfect. Tokyo Mirage Sessions feel more a labor to grind when exploring dungeons because of it.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions story took a long time to hook you. The idol setting made it feel like an actual JRPG version of the Persona 4: Dance All Night theme and visual style. The main issue is the characters aren’t supremely compelling from the jump and the game’s character moments didn’t have the same pay off a Persona game does. The minor loyalty/confidant system in place helps to build a connection. However, since everything centers around the idol and entertainment business these moments feel slightly hollow.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE has a cool riff on the Shin Megami Tensei system, but Sessions are no 1 More.

None of this is to say that Tokyo Mirage Sessions is bad. It is a lot of fun, but after playing Persona 5 its short comings are more apparent. It feels like Atlus stopped short of greatness, but still delivered a worthy entry in the late Wii U’s library.

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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