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What’s In Your Box: Week of 3/7

/ Mar 7th, 2015 No Comments

The Order: 1886

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

March brings a number of things with it. Warmer weather (if you’re not on the beast coast), daylight savings time (can we stop with this already?), and an excuse to wear green and to get alcohol poisoning in a somewhat ethnically insensitive holiday. It also marks the beginning of spring, which means it is prime game time before the summah lull. Before things heat up too much though, I finished up Far Cry 4 and played The Order: 1886.

Far Cry 4 got finished earlier this week. The battle with Yuma was easily the highlight of the entire game. It was such a well-crafted, fun, and heady experience. The mix of the Shangri-La imagery with the modern Kyrat was inspired. The game did a great job with characterization with the principle players, which made the missions where you have to take out the four head honchos meaningful and satisfying. Far Cry 4 is a wonderful experience, and well worth playing if you haven’t yet.

The Order: 1886 is one of the most polarizing games since Destiny. Most people view it with the same venom as someone whom slept with their significant other while they were in the other room watching House of Cards. While the game isn’t nearly as bad as that, the criticisms of the game aren’t entirely without merit, however.

The Order 1886

That facial hair doe.

At the core, the game is uninspired. That isn’t to say it isn’t enjoyable at time, or that it isn’t a technical marvel. The Order is stupidly beautiful without a doubt. The fabric movement, environments, and character models all look fantastic. Even the cinematic presentation is cool. The problem is that the game doesn’t do a whole lot with all this gorgeous set dressing. You find stuff throughout the game, but it doesn’t really add to the world, which is a shame because the world itself is pretty interesting. If it weren’t for the trophies, you could skip every item in the game and be none the worse for it.
The Order 1886

You’re going to hid behind a lot of things.

The gameplay is fine; it is standard third-person cover based gun fighting with some neat flair added. The Blacklight mode is fun, and the thermite and arc gun are a good time. The only problem is that whenever you get the cool weaponry, it is taken away pretty immediately, which makes it the Lucille Bluth technique. Even with those guns, for a game with Tesla as a tertiary character, there isn’t anything too crazy.

There is a ton of down time where you don’t touch the controller or only press a button. Oh and those quick time events are a bummer because the last time they worked in gameplay was God of War III back in 2010. At the least there is a few bright spots, mainly in the Chapter 9 and 11 missions, which are longer and give the game some room to breathe. So yeah, it is technically proficient, but wildly uninspired.

What’s in Greg’s Box

Luigi’s Mansion remains as one of my favorite games to replay, and the sequel is growing on me pretty quickly. Sadly life happens and I got side-tracked from Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, but I’m back in the saddle and looking to tame this beast. The game boasts a lot of new enemies, improved combat mechanics, and a wider variety of locals. While the dynamics have lost some of their flow, since the game is split into chapter-type levels. In spite of this, the gameplay still holds up.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Luigi is a voyeur.

All-in-all Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a must-buy for any 3DS owner, especially with the “level-up” system where money is turned into upgrades. The variety of strategies for taking down different ghosts is also quite a lot of fun. The new features of the Poltergust 5000 in the sequel make the game far more of an exploratory adventure, versus the straight-forward fights of the original Luigi’s Mansion.
The Book of Unwritten Tales

Dude, so meta…

I’m also pretty deep into The Book of Unwritten Tales. Having just come off reviewing the sequel, I took a break to come back and play the original. Both games are hilarious romps through the fantasy genre. They each offer a lot of great jokes and fairly straightforward and challenging point-and-click puzzles. The great problem of point-and-click adventures is always finding a balance between making puzzles too complicated and too easy, but The Book of Unwritten Tales walks that line beautifully.

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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