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What’s in Your Box: Week of 12-5

/ Dec 5th, 2015 No Comments

Transformers: Devastation

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

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and I love Banjo-Kazooie more than I can express. I’m taking my sweet time, as I usually do, with this favored child of my gaming library, but enough of that.

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm will keep your wallet happy and your fingers limber.

Heroes of the Storm is my current obsession, mostly due to the free-to-play end of the deal. Anyone looking for a solid MOBA need look no further. A rotating selection of characters to play keeps the game fresh and lively, while also keeping wallets full. Playing with a smorgasborg of the Blizzard universes is a lot of fun, especially watching Kerrigan wail on a Murloc while Jim Raynor attempts to kill Thrall. Also every single map has a different side-objective. The main objective is always to destroy the opposing forces keep, but how to go about doing that varies depending upon the level and what sort of powers and mercenaries can help turn the tide.

While characters can be purchased with real world money to be used even when out of rotation, daily quests and matches can be completed to earn coins towards the same end. I love this game to pieces and can’t stress enough how much of a must play this game is, especially with a big fat price tag of zero dollars.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Black Friday has come and gone, and those killer deals have insured my box will be full for quite a long time to come. I managed to snag some games I’ve been dying to sink my teeth into, but now the problem is when I’ll find the time to get around to them. This week my box has been filled with a sampler platter. I’ve been playing a little bit of everything. After finishing Yo-kai Watch, I decided to check out Level-5’s last 3DS jawn, Fantasy Life, I also got a few matches in Knight Squad, carried a big shovel in Shovel Knight, and rolled out in Transformers: Devastation.

Level-5 is one of my favorite developers having made some of my favorite RPGs. Yo-kai Watch reminded me why they are worthy of all my trust. I picked up Fantasy Life last year, but never got around to it. I remedied this mistake this week. There is a lot to like about the game, but the writing is the weakest part. Some of the characters are unbearable!

Slogging through the prologue though reveals some cool systems and gameplay. Fantasy Life is like a much more involved Animal Crossing. The large number of Life (classes) to choose from with many being less combat focused than your average RPG. Questing and exploring is hugely engrossing. It is easy to lose track of time fighting sheep and bandits and completing tasks to increase your bliss.

Knight Squad

Knight Squad has all the modes for crazy adventure!

Knight Squad is chaotic fun. The eight-player multiplayer madness is a sensory overload with different colored knights running around trying their best to kill each other. The game has a wealth of modes to check out, but the king of the hill style minigun match is insanely fun. Every knight is trying to out-do each other to get to the minigun in the middle of the stage, and control it because whomever wields the minigun rules. The minigun makes it supremely easy to tear through other nights like gossamer and rack up massive points. Fighting against the anointed knight involves using cover cleverly and a bit of luck to land a killing blow, but going for glory is rewarded by being the new king. Knight Squad’s online match making is a bit hit or miss at times, but if you can get into matches then you’re in for a whole mess of fun.

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight has some control issues, but still remains a beast of a game.

Another knight-based game that is dear to my heart is Shovel Knight. I played the hell out of it on the 3DS, but definitely felt a bit at odds with the controls in spots. I chalked it up to the 3DS’s general gumminess, which made the PS4/Vita port extremely exciting. Not only could I get both versions for the price of one, but transfer my save progress from each as I go between traveling and home. Playing through it again, I am noticing a marked improvement to controls, but some of the same platforming mushiness that I felt on the 3DS is still present. It doesn’t mar the experience, but it does highlight some of the difficulty is control based than retro inspired.

Transformers: Devastation

Transformers: Devastation manages to avoid the license curse, preliminary.

Even with the powerful Platinum Games pedigree behind it, I was worried about Transformers: Devastation. I was optimistic though because I am a dreamer, but I always have a healthy worry about licensed products even with good developers behind them. While I enjoyed Platinum Games’ The Legend of Korra, it clearly lacked some of the same brilliance and depth as their other products. There was a good chance that Transformers: Devastation would fall prey to the same limitations. Good news is the worry was for naught because the game is extremely fun. Each Autobot has its own fighting style that makes them unique from each other. The combat is fluid with its own unique quirks making it feel like you’re truly a lumbering vehicle turned giant robot.

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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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