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What’s in Your Box: Rush to the Head

/ Apr 8th, 2017 No Comments

Gravity Rush 2

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

Friends, enemies, gamers… never has a boxer such as I played two games more different than during this week.

I spent part of my week reliving the glory that is PaRappa The Rapper Remastered on PS4, as it was recently re-released all HD and shiny.

The game is still as catchy as ever musically, the world is just as engaging and bizarre yet sadly some of the animations have aged poorly despite it being highly stylistic.

PaRappa The Rapper Remastered

Rolling in my Mom’s Spaghetti.

If you’ve never played PaRappa The Rapper I’d suggest giving it a spin on PS4, just for the sheer uniqueness of its gameplay. It’s mostly a giant quick-time event, but hitting buttons in-sync with the rhythm is a lot harder than it sounds.

Plus who can argue with catchy tunes?

When not rapping like a dope MC, I was collecting souls in Dark Souls 3. Recently the game went on sale via Steam and I politely tricked a friend into picking it up so we could playthrough together.


Sales are a perfect reason to die again.

Both of us have beaten the game before, but it never gets old experiencing it again. The game scales players to the host’s level, so as to make my high level character more in-line with his fresh noob self.

The sheer challenge of besting bosses is still just as enjoyable, despite knowing their tricks. I was able to pick up the Season Pass. It’s going to be fun to experiencing the extra content for the first time.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

April may as well be declared a global holiday to celebrate Persona 5. I have been knee deep into reviewing it. Honestly, my life is dedicated to upping my social links and destroying distorted Palaces.

That isn’t what I am going to talk about this week though. No, I want to talk about another Japanese game. While not on the same level as Persona 5, Gravity Rush 2 oozes with style and wildly ambitious.

Dazed and Shifted

Gravity Rush was the crown jewel of the PS Vita. There were better games, but none had the bold originality, style, and charm as Gravity Rush. The biggest injustice is the game didn’t get its due because the Vita did so poorly, so many people didn’t get an opportunity to play it.

Until the PS4 Remastered version that is. The updated controls and visuals gained a lot of new fans for Gravity Rush, which gave a good indication to how it’s sequel would shape up. I loved it as much as the original Vita version, and thought it played better on the whole. It made my anticipation for the sequel even higher.

Last we saw Kat, Syd, and Raven got sucked into a gravity storm and were torn far away from Hekseville. Kat and Syd ended up in Jirga Para Lhao working on the Banga mining settlement. Kat has been separated from her trusty cat, Dusty rendering her powerless.

Life in Banga is tough and everyone must pull their weight. Sadly, given Syd’s laziness it means Kat has to pull twice the weight and it is tough without her powers.

Luckily, it doesn’t take too long to regain her powers, but still that first hour is slow going. However once you get the ability to control gravity, the game kicks into high gear.

Gravity Rush 2

The class struggle in Jirga Para Lhao is real.

As part of Banga, Kat forms close relationships with its leader Lisa and her surrogate daughter, Cecie. Lisa comes under fire from the the shady middleman Vogo Sun and his lopsided deal and Kat must fix it.

The deeper she gets with Banga, the more she gets entangled with Banga and Jirga Para Lhao, she must resolve the terrible inequality and class divide propagated by a corrupt council and military. All while searching for her friend Raven.

Things only get trickier the deeper Kat gets involved, and the game doesn’t begin and end with Jirga Para Lhao. Gravity Rush 2 is split up into three parts that takes Kat back to Hekseville changed drastically since her, Syd and Raven have been gone and a place beyond the World Pillar. Revisiting old friends, changed locales, and solving new problems makes Hekseville feel brand new.

Combat gets an upgrade with the introduction of two new styles: Lunar and Jupiter. Lunar style makes Kat weightless with the ability to leap great distances and turns her kicks into homing missiles. The drawback to Lunar style is it is much weaker than the normal or Jupiter relying on speed to get off more kicks to compensate.

Jupiter style turns Kat into a lumbering tank able with each kick like a building hitting a milk jug. It is easily able to decimate an enemy’s weak spot with one shot, but the lack of agility makes it unsuited for taking out fast moving targets.

Both styles get new types of projectiles that can be huge tide changers in battle. As well each style has its own ultimate move perfect for taking out a huge number of enemies in one go.

The new styles help add variety and complexity to the combat. On top of that the addition of talismans and a deeper upgrade system make figuring out the nuances of combat delightful.

Gravity Rush 2

Peep my Jupiter style!

The controls aren’t too hard to get into if you’ve played Gravity Rush Remaster. They are basically the same. There still exists the frustration with the motion controls, which can turn a lot of people off.

Even though it isn’t a perfect solution turning the motion control sensitivity off will help make the controls tighter. Some camera issues still exist when using only the right stick to keep abreast of your environment in battle, but it is a worthwhile trade-off.

Gravity Rush 2 is an ambitious sequel. It is incredibly larger with more robust gameplay and a complex storyline. It builds upon the first game in significant ways with a new locale, more varied enemy types, two additional fighting styles, and better boss fights. Surprisingly the game is a rare sequel that answers all the lingering mysteries from the first game while delivering a satisfying conclusion.

If you’re a fan of Gravity Rush, you should definitely pick this up, especially with the free Raven DLC still to come. It is a hard jumping on point for newbies, so check out Gravity Rush Remaster before jumping into Gravity Rush 2.

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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