Have you ever visited the Grand Piazza in Lion’s Arch, gazed up at the Lion’s Court, and thought to yourself, “I wish there was a little corner in Tyria that could take me back to a simpler time”? Well, if so, you’re in luck! We were given the supreme opportunity to preview the Super Adventure Box last week, and now we're going to give you all an idea of what can you expect. It's sure to make quite a few of you squirm with nostalgic feels.
Below you'll find an overview of our adventures, as well as a list of rewards, and several tips and tricks. If you have any further questions about content you're about to read, just let us know by posting!
“It started out as a fun side project idea,” laughed Colin Johanson, Game Director at ArenaNet. <em>“Originally, we were going to have a laugh with a fake 8-bit update, but the more the team worked on it the more we realized we had something really cool on our hands. We figured; the gaming community are really going to love this, let’s expand on the concept of the Living World in GW2 and make it for real.”
For the entire month of April, you and your friends can step into a whole new world. By now, those of you who frequent the lovely Rata Sum will have noticed a giant blue box stationed near the city's Magustan Waypoint. From there you'll want to speak with Moto - the visionary and mastermind behind the project. Aside from being the gatekeeper, Moto sells a wide variety of items in exchange for baubles and bauble bubbles; the new coin-like currency found all across the Adventure Box (we'll go over their acquisition later on). Once you've had your fill of window-shopping, you'll be allowed to enter the box. Make sure to grab a Super Coin from the vending machine at the gate to proceed!
(What's that, you say? A backpack cover that you haven't seen yet? Well, now you have!)
A Whole New World
Load up your Aladdin soundtrack, because you're about to enter a whole new world. From the revamped UI right down to the ridiculously catchy chip-tune music tracks, everything has been remixed into an 8-bit style. Upon first glance, some of you might think this is a glorified jumping puzzle. Never fear! While this has a few jumping puzzle elements, consider this a Jumping Adventure. As you progress through the simulation, you'll encounter classic video game moments combined with jumping puzzle scenarios. Now, I know I have friends who would rather floss the toes of Tequatl all day long than even set foot near a jumping puzzle. If any of you are in a similar situation, there is an easy mode that bypasses those tricky situations (see happy cloud in lobby area). However, my advice is to stick near a friend and play follow the leader. This isn't the Mad King's Clock Tower we're talking about here. Give it a few tries and before you know it you'll be up to your belly in baubles.
Those baubles won't acquire themselves, though. In order to build up this new currency, you'll need to hack, slash, poke and smash your way through the world. The most common color bauble is blue, and can be found just about anywhere you can imagine. However, if you explore a bit deeper you just might find some other colors, which in turn are worth significantly more. Initially, your character is limited to carrying 250 baubles, but expansion to a higher limit is a possibility in later worlds.
As mentioned earlier, baubles are your ticket to several new rewards both inside the realm of Super Adventure Box and in Tyria. The former is spent inside the several merchant shops set up throughout the world on trinkets and tools that will make your travels much more convenient. For example, the shovel can be purchased from Tom Nook the store's shopkeeper for 100 baubles. Once purchased, the shovel skill will become permanently unlocked on your character's skill bar, even if you leave and come back later. You'll be able to easily regain your investment by locating the several hidden dig spots; some more inconspicuous than others.
While trekking across this 8-bit paradise, those of who are particularly nostalgic of this style and era of gaming will find the developers feel exactly the same way. Outside the change in scenery and chip-tune goodness, one of the most noticeable changes is the lack of a mini-map. Aside from the occasional finger point, you'll have to rely solely on remembering what you've done and where you've done it. You'll be presented with several backtracking opportunities throughout the instance to reach 100% completion just like the good ol' days of Zelda and Metroid on the NES.
Enemies and Obstacles
Moto is one asura who recognizes the importance of good combat training. Armed with your trusty wooden stick, you'll encounter several different types of classic enemies. In the beginning, you'll have a few mild sparring sessions with your neighborhood monkeys and turtles, but as you progress further these enemies will evolve in ways that will test even the fiercest dragon slayer. Turtles will be flipped, alligators smacked, and crazy monkey samurais will be out for blood. There's even a spider pit - or as I like to call it, NOPE.
Aside from the 8-bit Nopes, you'll often find yourself hopping through swamps and treetops to reach the end of the level. In traditional jumping puzzle fashion, players will progress by jumping across logs, rocks, bridges and other pieces of landscape. Luckily, fall damage has been turned off, so leave your broken armor woes at the door and take some risks. Checkpoints have also been implemented sporadically throughout to allow for a bit more forgiveness and leniency. Don't get me wrong though. One wrong jump can have you on the ground again, or in some cases something worse.
It's important to know exactly how both enemies and platforming obstacles work. While it may seem like a particular creature has beaten you in every way imaginable, step back and analyze what you're facing. Just like the everything outside of the Box in Tyria, every enemy can be beaten, and there's no jumping puzzle that cannot be solved. Part of the fun will be figuring all of this out alone, so we won't give away all of the dev's secret tricks (yet)!
Along with the rewards you can purchase from Moto, there will be a few items that you can get from the gem store, as well. You'll be able to purchase a new set of mini-pets, a Super Adventure Box o' Fun, and a flashy PvP finisher.
Tips and Tricks
- Partying up with friends is encouraged, but not required. You can solo this if you want.
- Kill the rabbits. Go on! They're real friendly.
- Be on the lookout for mini-jumping puzzles inside the Adventure Box.
- Don't be stingy. Baubles are everywhere.
- Buy the bauble wallet upgrade. Any baubles you collect beyond your limit will vanish into thin air (likely into the greedy wallet of Zomorros).
- It is possible to acquire more than three health hearts.
- If you're in it for the baubles, don't leave keys behind! Keys can be used as offensive weapon so you won't be left defenseless are you carry it.
I'm just going to say it now: you're going to love Super Adventure Box. And not just because it's a kick-back to old school video games, but because it's really fun. ArenaNet, you have really outdone yourselves with this one. I can't wait to see what types of events you guys think up next.
For more information, you can check out the official event page and ArenaNet's own SAB FAQ.