What’s in Your Box: Week of 1-2
Kalvin Martinez / Jan 2nd, 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 Kalvin’s Box
Welcome to the first What’s in Your Box of 2016, I hope everyone had an eventful New Year’s Eve. I spent it listening to awful Pitbull songs and starring at a picture of Dick Clark. It was a respectable way to ring in 2016. The last week of 2015 was mainly spent doing one thing and one thing only: playing The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.
Tri Force Heroes was one of the bigger surprises coming from Nintendo during E3 2015. The announcement of a new multiplayer Zelda game brought up many flashbacks to The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (and Four Swords) except this new multiplayer romp would cut the party down to three. When I played it at E3, I had one hell of a time. Watching a number of other three person teams try to tackle dungeons was sometimes agonizing because they didn’t understand the fundamental mechanics. It was kind of like, “Do u even Zelda, bro?”
However, when it came time for me and the random assemblage of two other people in line to tackle the first area’s boss dungeon, I realized the beauty and difficulty of the game. It is easy to count on yourself to do well. You know that using arrows to light an unlit brazier will open up the path, but what if the person whom picked up the bow doesn’t know that? What that first experience with Tri Force Heroes forced me to learn is success in these dungeons is all about communication. This is easy when the other two people are mere feet away from you and you can yell instructions at them. What happens when you only have a small selection of non-verbal commands to try and coordinate your actions?
Where Tri Force Heroes is most brilliant and most frustrating is when working with strangers online to complete dungeons. Online play is the cornerstone of Tri Force Heroes because it is not likely most people will be able to assemble three dedicated 3DS’ and players to go through the game’s vast selection of dungeons. Thus it’ll fall on many players to try their luck and play online with randos.
This can be a glorious experience, where three strangers work perfectly in sync with excellent synergy with everyone using their specific item correctly, toteming at the right time, and solving dungeon puzzles with great team work. Or it can be a hellish nightmare of a train wreck colliding with a meteor with team members not knowing how to work together or one Link constantly picking you up and not letting you go. It really just depends on your luck.
Tri Force Heroes only gives players a small selection of communication options. Four of which are positive or negative gestures, and four to communicate sometimes complicated actions for other players to perform. As a result, success is really dependent on other players being savvy and paying attention to who has what items and where those items are needed to continue on in a dungeon.
While communication is simplistic, there are some smart and cool innovations done with the Zelda gameplay formula. Much of it is related to the multiplayer team work aspect like picking up all three Links to totem and reach greater heights, but the different outfits you can unlock add a good deal of complexity to the proceedings.
The game can be played alone with you switching between dolls, but this only really works for certain dungeons that don’t require lots of coordinated actions. As nerve wracking as teaming up with strangers can be, it is really worthwhile when you succeed because you not only get loot (necessary for getting newer outfits) much easier, but there is a huge sense of accomplishment for succeeding by having two strangers work in sync with you and only a minimal way of communicating.
What’s in Greg’s Box
Let’s just get to it: Undertale is perfect. The gameplay and art style harken back to Earthbound and other RPG greats, while also having the twist of bullet-hell style combat. What really shines though is the story, characters and writing of Undertale. Players will find a tongue-in-cheek moral choice adventure that discusses the nature of the genre through 4th wall shattering quips via several characters who remember players actions from previous playthroughs. Anyone looking to pick-up the game should do so immediately, especially with a Steam sale going on until the morning of the 4th. I cannot stress enough how much I loved ripping into this game and discovering all its variables and secrets.
Once I thoroughly rifled through every nook and cranny of Undertale I found myself with a gigantic hole in my heart, which was promptly filled with Until Dawn. Another solid moral choice game, instead serving as a romp into the slasher film genre. Gamers that liked Heavy Rain will feel right at home as Until Dawn is exactly like an interactive film. Players can attempt to have the several protagonists uncover the mystery before dawn comes and they all wind up dead, or for a good laugh lead the stupid teens right into certain doom. Until Dawn has too many variables to count and each one works in conjunction with others to lead to one of several endings.
The year is now 2016 and gamers should treat themselves to a good moral choice game in honor of a new year, full of possibilities.
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tags: opinion , The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes , Undertale , until dawn , What's in Your Box