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What’s in Your Box: Week of 10-17

/ Oct 17th, 2015 No Comments

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

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

Time and time again we look into boxes and oddly enough we find video games being played. It’s almost like this article is about that… Anyways, super eerie coincidences aside this month I really only got one thing on my plate: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. While I was never a huge fan of the original on the Gamecube, the new one blows me away and stifles any problems I had with the original. A cleaned up look is just icing on the cake to an improved quest line and faster travel around the game’s massive ocean.

The Wind Waker HD

If you haven’t ever given The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker a fair shot, now is the time.

With time slowly trickling away as I wait for the yet-to-be-named Wii U title it helps to re-experience other titles in the line-up. Wind Waker has one of the darker plot lines even though it leads with cartoonish graphics and a lot more silly banter. Many of the dungeons are far easier compared to other Zelda titles, but the world itself more than makes up for it. Nostalgia tells me I love titles like Ocarina of Time and Link’s Awakening more than Wind Waker, but the HD clean up more than makes a case for itself as a top-tier Zelda title. If you haven’t ever given it a fair shot, now is the time.
Final Exam

Final Exam is a hidden gem.

When I’m not breaking my wrist from talking about Wind Waker HD, I put in time with Final Exam on Steam. Final Exam is a cooperative beat em’ up title that has character progression, zombies and grenades; all the things a growing boy needs. It’s another hidden gem that we at Gaming Illustrated have discussed in the past and is well worth giving a whirl if for nothing other than the gameplay. The tongue-in-cheek humor of the story and characters also lends itself to the game’s favor.

What’s in Ben’s Box

It’s starting to get cold. It’s starting to get busy. Review season is getting underway as some of the biggest titles of the year crash at our doorsteps all vying for gamers’ attention. Halo or Call of Duty? Assassin’s Creed or Just Cause? Fallout 4 or life? This month saw the revival of two dormant franchises with Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live. The days of plastic instruments cluttering up our gaming spaces is back and Rock Band 4 has already settled well with most critics.

Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live aims to recapture the rhythm fever of the early 00’s.

In my box sits Guitar Hero Live, Activision and FreeStyle Games‘ gamble at putting the OG rhythm game back in a dominant position. As I click away at the new guitar it’s almost strange to be taken back to a time and a place where I rocked out with friends in college. But there’s new songs and new modes of play and a modern twist on being fed content. We’ll see how it holds up in the near future when music and features are added to the game over time.

One of my most wanted games of all time has been Super Meat Boy on a PlayStation console. It took forever but now thanks to PlayStation Plus I got a chance to play one of my favorite games for free. I can’t believe it took so long for whatever thing Team Meat and Microsoft had to dissipate but I’m glad it did. Despite the different music, the gameplay remains the same, nearly impossible death march. Every day I play sporadic bursts of Meat Boy and this weekend will be no different. I’ll just try not to be embarrassed by how many times I’ve suffered a stupid death.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Outside of making the tentative plans for Extra Life, my box this week has been more of the same. I’ve played more Tearaway: Unfolded and The Legend of Legacy. Review season is a bit of a bummer because while I get to play a ton of cool games, it also means the backlog of games grows. I’m looking forward to freeing up some time soon to play Mad Max and Dragon Quest Heroes, but I still got a bit on my plate to finish up.

The Legend of Legacy remains one of the most refreshing JRPGs in a long time. It doesn’t have the same engrossing characterization of a Persona game or the wonder of Ni no Kuni, but what it lacks in those departments it makes up for in terms of structure and gameplay. Similar to Bravely Default, The Legend of Legacy succeeds on its unique gameplay.

The non-traditional character progression forces players to interact with it outside the traditional JRPG grinding. Its non-linear structure also makes players to approach the game differently because nothing is forcing you to complete tasks or visit areas in any order, so the adventure becomes largely your own to choose how to complete it.

Tearaway: Unfolded in some ways far exceeds the Vita version, and in some ways it doesn’t quite have the same impact. While I was worried the game wouldn’t use the DualShock 4 as creatively as the original used the Vita, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Unfolded utilizes all the aspects of the DualShock 4 to create clever gameplay. Not only that, but centers the story around the controller in a unique way.

Tearaway: Unfolded

Tearaway: Unfolded still lets you ride a pig!

The story goes in some cool and interesting directions because of the ability to expand and build on the original. Yet the extended storyline while having some cool new areas and moments feels a bit bloated at times. It lacks the neatness of pacing the original had. Like the Vita version, there are still some wonky controller inputs in certain platforming spots that end up with atoi dying more than you can stand.

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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