What’s in Your Box: Week of 8-1
Kalvin Martinez / Aug 1st, 2015 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
As the weeks go tick away, my move is impending. Striping down your life into boxes is always a weird experience. Not only do you realize all you’ve accumulated, but you get a grasp on how easily a life can be packed up like nothing. A smattering of boxes indicates you existed in a place for a period of time. It’s bizarre. There is the other major issue of time getting stretched thin. Between packing, winding down life duties, and saying farewell to all your family and friends, the time to play games for funsies is next to nothing.
Sadly, this week’s box has mainly involved playing review games. Since the games have been out for a little bit or are coming out (and I’m free to talk about), I’d give a little bit of my impressions before a full review this week. I’ve been splitting my time between Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight, N++, and Guild of Dungeoneering.
Do You Want to Build a Dungeon?
Prior to E3, we ran a preview on Guild of Dungeoneering. The game left a huge impression on me when I played the pre-release build. I was absolutely addicted to the preview build to the point I upgraded my guild to the levels available in the build and got to some high level dungeon missions. For no reason other than timing and other reviews, I haven’t gotten around to playing it until now.
The retail build has some marked changes including a much prettier and sleeker UI in many aspects. A story is included about the formation and running of the guild, which is delightful. Nothing about the engaging and clever gameplay has changed. You still build dungeons as you see fit. Missions involve leveling up your guild member as you place rooms, monsters, and loot in order to accomplish the specific goals of the mission.
It has a challenging rougelite-like approach meaning every mission you play is different not only in guild member progression, but in how the dungeon looks. Guild of Dungeoneering released a few weeks ago on July 14 on Steam, you really should pick it up and get lost in it.
A Love that Builds
My relationship with the Etrian Odyssey series has become much more involved over time. I originally reviewed Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl a year ago. This was my first interaction with the series, while I enjoyed my time with the game, it didn’t bowl me over. The cartography gameplay certainly charmed me and I was hoping to check out more of it down the line.
Eventually Persona Q came out and won me over completely to the style of first-person dungeon exploring and map making needed for the series. The Persona/Shin Megami Tensei combat helped make battles more engaging. Most recently, I reviewed Etrian Mystery Dungeon, which was another mash-up of the Etrian Odyssey series with the rougelike Mystery Dungeon presentation. These two games made me a fan of the series without reservation.
Any reservations or qualms I had with Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl was squelched with Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight. Everything I loved about the map making, exploration based gameplay is here, but augmented with a much tighter and engaging story. It immediately draws you into the world and its characters to help propel you through multiple labyrinths.
How to Break Controllers
This is a recurring theme with certain types of games, but the disclaimer that a game is punishingly difficult doesn’t happen without good reason. N++ is one of those games. Living up to its lineage, N++ puts gamers to task immediately. The intro world levels are meant to teach as much as they are meant to punish. Learning the ninja’s specific behaviors in terms of physics is a sharp curve. More than that trying to figure how best to game the traps and pitfalls in the game takes a while.
There were moments playing through some levels that I wanted to destroy both my controller and my PlayStation 4. The level design isn’t sadistic though because you can succeed as long as you’re not easily discouraged. Many levels that hung me up were bested by persistence and experimenting. N++ is an atypical tough as nails platformer. It demands finesse, precision, and timing, but the physics in the game encourage experimentation.
N++ has a tremendous amount of content that’ll challenge you at every turn. It’ll force you to change your thinking of platformers. It can be exceedingly difficult, but the charge you get after completing a particularly difficult level or world makes it worth it.
tags: Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight , Guild of Dungeoneering , N++ , opinion