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Gamebox 2.0: Grim Typing Edition

By Zach


We’re gearing up for PAX East at the end of the month where we’ll hopefully be able to check out a ton of awesome games but in the meantime, here’s what we’ve gotten a chance to check out recently.

Epistory: There have been very few games that make typing actually fun and Epistory might be the best (still love you Typing of the Dead!).  You play as a young girl and her magical fox, who are journeying across a fantastical land trying to bring back life to areas where a mysterious darkness has spread.  You directly control your fox but for clearing obstacles, opening doors and fighting enemies, you have to type the words that appear on screen.  You don’t have to be a master typist as there’s no penalty for missed letters but you do have be pretty quick when dealing with the hordes of enemies that appear.  You’ll gain magical abilities that unlock new areas and you can upgrade your fox’s speed and magic.  The game also feels like a more chill Bastion, as the land forms around you in a similar manner and there’s a constant narrator describing the events that are occurring around you.  Get it on Steam now: http://store.steampowered.com/app/398850/

The Walking Dead: Michonne Ep. 2 “Give No Shelter”: The second episode of the Michonne mini-series from Telltale is out and, while it’s still extremely short, there’s more of the tense situations and quick time action that you expect from the series.  Picking up where Ep. 1 left off,  Michonne, her ship’s captain Pete and their new ally Sam have to escape from a town created by boats run by the psychotic Randall and his slightly more reasonable sister Norma.  This episode feature a lot more looking around and picking an angle of attack or what route to take and there’s some tense sequences including an improvised surgery and an interrogation.  It also adds more pieces to the ongoing drama of Michonne suffering from hallucinations about what happened to her daughters.  It only took me about an hour to beat this episode, which is kind of disappointing, but the story and voice acting is still top notch.

Grim Fandango Remastered: Speaking of adventure games, I finally got around to playing one of the undisputed classics of the genre, Grim Fandango, as the Remastered edition by Double Fine was a PS Plus game a month or two ago.  The game completely lives up to it’s reputation as the writing and voice acting is excellent and hilarious and the world of the Mexican Land of the Dead makes it stand out still to this day.  The game looks great in remastered HD and I’m about halfway through as of writing this.  It’s a great bridge between more modern adventure games and the more esoteric games of the heydey.  You don’t have to put a pulley in a rubber chicken and how you use the items you collect makes logical sense in pretty much every case.  If you’ve had this sitting on your PS4 or PC and haven’t played it, definitely check it out.

Marble MountainAvailable for the recent VR devices as well as just normal on PC, Marble Mountain is like an a spiritual update to Marble Madness, as you guide a marble through increasingly more difficult mazes and levels.  If you are looking for a deep story or depth, you won’t find it here but you will find simple but addictive gameplay as you guide your marble through gears, down roller coaster like rails and up and down ramps.  It has Monkey Ball style control and momentum but Marble Mountain requires a bit more finesse instead of the flat out speed of many of the Monkey Ball maps.

Catlateral Damage: If you’ve ever wanted to play a cat who’s kind of a dick, Catlateral Damage is here to fulfill that strange wish.  It reminds me a lot of Katamari Damacy as you have a certain time limit to knock down a certain amount of items of the shelves and walls of your owner’s house, like books, pictures, plates and more.  You play the game in first person from the perspective of your feline avatar and can swipe and poke items as well as just bump into them and you can gain power ups to help your cat jump higher and move faster.  It’s not quite up my alley but if you like the stranger side of gaming, like Katamari, it might be worth checking out on PS4 and PC.

Star Wars Battlefront: Toys R Us recently had a pretty solid deal where you could get 2 games for $70, so I finally picked up Star Wars Battlefront along with The Nathan Drake Collection.  I know a lot of people dinged it for feeling a bit lacking, especially in solo gameplay modes, but jumping into multiplayer, it was a blast and I like the fact that the level of entry is slightly lower than say, jumping into a Call of Duty months in.  I feel like I held my own and the maps are incredible, both visually and structurally.  I do think that vehicles and heroes being power ups is a little strange but I guess it keeps it from being total chaos, like how CoD turns into anarchy as various perks pop off.  I don’t know if I’m invested enough yet to get the pricey season pass but it seems like it will be a great game to jump into for an hour or two a few times a week.

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