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What’s in Your Box: The Road

/ Jun 11th, 2016 No Comments


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

Yooka-Laylee is all I dream about. It is all I am and can ever be. I lay awake at night wondering what Dr. Puzz will turn me into and how I will assault Capital B’s fortress of evil. I need to learn new moves and save the pagies.


Suffice it to say, Greg has problems.

Naturally, I spent this week playing Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge! A lesser known Gameboy Advance title, Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge takes place in-between Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. The reason I’m replaying this is simply for freshness.

I managed to replay Banjo-Kazooie over the course of a couple days and while it still holds up, the honest truth is that it will never be fresh again. Banjo-Kazooie remains enjoyable and relevant through great writing, stylized graphics and smooth gameplay. What it will not do is surprise you. At a certain point you’ll have it memorized, like any other well-loved title. Freshness and replayability are not one in the same, a game is only fresh once, but it can be replayed forever, the question is whether you want to or not.

Getting back to Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge. It is worth a try if you’ve never experienced it, or if you simply cannot wait until Yooka-Laylee and need to just fill that craving with something that is more than likely still fresh. My bones yearn for July and that sweet, sweet Toybox demo. Until then I remain a mere dream.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Each one of us here at Gaming Illustrated is preparing for E3 in our own ways. Most of us are getting ready to travel to LA for the Big Show, firming up all the final details, and steeling ourselves for the onslaught of announcements to come. Greg obviously is being a human dumpster and praying to the platformer gods for more news on goofy new characters and collectibles. Myself, I’ve been blown away by the Pr-E3 announcements thus far. It bodes well for the pressers on Monday that so much news has come out ahead of it. Some of it has been disappointing like the 2017 delays, but announcements like Watch Dogs 2 and Injustice 2 means we’ll have some bigger bombshells to come (or maybe we won’t). Outside of the Pr-E3 hype, Overwatch has still been heavy in my box.

A Couple of Bros

Over the past two weeks I’ve said a lot about Overwatch in these Boxes. Everything remains accurate. Learning a bunch of characters and being proficient with them is paramount to your success and helping round out your team. Even though I’ve put hours into several different characters to become good with them, I still experiment every now and again to see if I can get better or more familiar with lesser used characters. The Sniper class still is my Achilles’ heel. I can’t fight my desire to capture or stay on the point, which might be a trust issue with my team. The problem compounds with my lack of precision and inability to know what makes a good sniper’s nest. Maybe one day I’ll be good at sniping. One day.


Mei will always be bae.

Going along with the idea of trying out new characters and mastering them is the Weekly Brawl mode, which are weird and experimental matches. Every week the Weekly Brawl mode has new rules that change the dynamics of the game in fun ways. The inaugural Weekly Brawl was super arcade-y with double health, faster ability recharge, and quicker ultimate gain. This was where mastering a character shone because with every player super charged, you needed to know how best to utilize your character’s abilities and the upgrade to best defend yourself and work toward the objective. Obviously my play was to choose Mei and spam the **** out of here abilities to ride the objective for the majority of the match and straight to victory.

Maybe the Weekly Brawls will be the time you finally learn how to play Junkrat right.

Last week’s Brawl was Super Shimada Bros. It forced both teams to choose from only Hanzo or Genji. If you wanted an opportunity to learn either Shimada then that was a good opportunity. For my part, I didn’t spend much time trying it out because a few matches of all Genji and Hanzo made for a pretty hohum experience.

Even with wonky rules team work is still king in the Weekly Brawl.

This week’s Weekly Brawl, however is where the practice of being proficient with a lot of characters come in super handy. Matches this week in the Brawl has every player spawning as a random hero without the ability to change. It serves as a great way to learn new characters without too much consequence since everyone is handicapped similarly. Even if you die, you respawn randomly resulting in a lot of opportunities to get good quick with characters to avoid losing the match. It is a chaotic experience, but results in quality learning time.

Until Competitive Play comes to Overwatch, the Weekly Brawls are a good way to throw some variety into the experience and a cool way to try out wildly different types of matches.

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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