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What’s in Your Box: Put a Hat on it

/ Nov 11th, 2017 No Comments

WWE 2K18

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 Kalvin’s Box

As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I’m wondering where the time is going. It seems like yesterday it was nearly 100 degrees here in Portland. Now it’s heavy rain (no David Cage) and 40 degree mornings.

That means I’m going out less and my box is getting a lot of love. This week WWE 2K18 and Super Mario Odyssey have been in my box.

Part-time Jobber

WWE 2K18 continues to vex me. My rise to WWE superstardom has been slow, largely due to its gameplay. While I’ve gotten better at countering, it still feels like a bad system. The seeming inability to break a series of moves by an opponent without countering successfully feels broken, especially since most opponents have way more counter ability than you do.
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The story got slightly better as you exit NXT. After being called up to the RAW main roster, you get the harsh realities of the business. Sure you were the NXT champion, and a big deal there, but this is Monday Night Raw! You’re not that important.

WWE 2K18

It is hard to Job to the Big Show when he keeps botching spots.

Your first couple of matches, Triple H asks you to take the loss from the monsters: Mark Henry and the Big Show. Jobbing isn’t fun, but you’re a good company man so you do it. Even when you are going to lose you can still put on a good match.

The last straw comes when Trips asks you to Job to Braun Strowman to make him look strong in the company’s push for him. Worse of all, you’re getting fired after the match, so you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

WWE 2K18

Triple H can even make you an announcer!

Except you get an opportunity to come to Smackdown Live! All you gotta do is beat the Monster Among Men. Piece of cake.

The MyPlayer story mode in WWE 2K18 has a lot of cool ideas. Once out of NXT it gives you a better idea of how the WWE works and the idea of being forced to job within a “sports simulation” game is fascinating.

The writing is real stiff, but that’s accurate to any written material for the actual shows. What kills it is the gameplay still. There seems to be a lot of practice needed to get good, but it’s hard to care when the combat isn’t that fun in general.

2017: A Mushroom Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey has absolutely blown me away. That is not for nothing either since I have become bored with Mario games in the last decade basically. For every unique twist, Nintendo tried to shove a Super Mario Bros. 3 reimagining down our throats.

In the need to move systems Nintendo diluted Mario’s bringing power. Until now, Super Mario Odyssey is undeniable. It is such an imaginative game and simply fun from word go until the climatic ending (even though that isn’t the end).

Super Mario Odyssey

The capture ability is unique and opens up a ton of new possibilities for gameplay.

What makes Super Mario Odyssey such a unique Mario game is the capture ability. Without it, this would be another Mario 3D platformer, which would be fine, but predictable, safe and ultimately boring. Thanks to Mario’s ability to possess a wide variety of creatures and objects within the vast expanse of the game worlds, the game becomes so much more.

The capture ability opens up a lot of cool puzzle solving, combat, and maneuvering abilities that make the game so compelling. Like being able to capture a Hammer Bro. and use his hammers (or rather skillets) to break special kinds of stones in the Luncheon Kingdom to open up a path to a number of additional Power Moons.

Super Mario Odyssey

It is so good to smack this S.O.B. right in the face.

At every kingdom in the game’s expansive journey you can utilize the capture ability to find new ways of playing a Mario game. The best is when the capture ability factors heavily in a boss battle like in the Sand Kingdom when you have to possess a floating hand to smack a good one across a stone statue’s face.

Even if the capture ability didn’t exist, there is still a ton of whimsy and charm to Super Mario Odyssey. Each of the game’s 14 worlds is colorful and bursting with personality. From the drab Cap Kingdom to the Luncheon Kingdom, there is a creative and expansive playground to explore.

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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