Guild Wars 2 Goes Retro with the Super Adventure Box

Guild Wars 2's newest content is entertaining and adorable--and probably not what you were expecting.

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Guild Wars 2 has always focused on jumping and hopping about far more than the average online role-playing game. But with the its newest content update, the Super Adventure Box, the game finally takes a final leap into the realm of 3D platforming--but perhaps not quite in the way you may have expected. For within this box of fantastical but finite wonder, you find not a typical Tyrian landscape, but a level seemingly ripped from an old-school platformer.

Of course, this old-fashioned platformer is played in three dimensions, and stars you and your party’s fully-modeled characters. A haughty Asuran named Moto introduces you to the virtual-world-within-a-virtual-world contained within his marvelous Adventure Box, and once inside, you can’t help but momentarily gawk at the fully formed pixelated world within. The jagged grass textures, blocky character models, and adorable chiptune music recall Super Mario World or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It’s no surprise, then, when the evil Lord Vanquish arrives, and steals away the peaceful princess from the picnic to which she invited you. But the road to her rescue is not paved with typical MMOG combat. No--you will do most of your damage with an extra-special pointy stick granted just for the occasion.

You use that stick to beat up on dog-faced bees, breakdancing spiders, and other block-headed foes that threaten your journey. Bunnies, too, supply some surprising danger: should you slay enough, a tornado made up entirely of rabbits rises from the ground and spins after you, leaving clouds of pixelated dust in its wake. (And yes, it’s as adorably frightening as it sounds.) Combat isn’t the Super Adventure Box’s focus, however; the majority of this three-level trek consists of platforming--platforming across bouncy mushrooms, winding branches, and snapping alligators (which require a swift blow with your pointy stick to keep them in line).

Like the rest of Guild Wars 2, the Super Adventure Box requires you to leap onto ledges so narrow they wouldn’t seem to be platforms at all, but if you give such ledges your complete trust, you shouldn’t find most of the jumping to be a hassle. Yet some of the level design will test your hand-eye coordination. Sinking lily pads and hungry venus flytraps ensure that you time your leaps properly and avoid the poisonous miasma that flows at the bottom of the final level. Your rewards for navigating through such treacherous paths are the box’s final bosses, which aren’t that challenging, but require that you pay attention to their tells, lest you die and be forced to use a continue coin or respawn at the level’s beginning.

If you aren’t into Guild Wars 2’s platforming, that’s fine: just play on Infantile mode, which bridges gaps with rainbows and smiling baby clouds, creating lots of bright smiles on your face, and little of the frustration that could arise from jumping. Sadly, playing on Infantile also means fewer rewards during your journey. Most everything you do nets you baubles, which you can spend in the box’s little shops on items like keys (open up treasure chests!), torches (burn dangerous foliage!), shovels (dig in random spots, and you might find something cool!), and the like. But you can also turn those baubles in for bauble bubbles (get it?), which you can cash in with Moto to receive solid-holographic weapon skins to show off in Guild Wars 2’s ever-excellent player-versus-player combat.

The Super Adventure Box will be available, free of charge, all through April, and it’s just as charming as can be. The chirpy hoots of monkeys, the pixelated interface elements, and the way you can pick up a shopkeeper’s table and use it to bash snakes wearing sailor hats--they're just too alluring to ignore. Guild Wars 2’s latest content may not be what you thought you wanted, but once you experience it, you just may change your chiptune.

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Discussion

62 comments
highlanderjimd
highlanderjimd

"Guild Wars 2’s ever-excellent player-versus-player combat." this is when i know you are trolling. the PVP is apalling.

vadagar1
vadagar1

strangley I want this to be true  : /


DAMN U MINECARFTTTTT

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

Played it, guild Run , wanted all achivments from single run (got 80 % achivments) took 3 hours,  feels great, + 1 to this patch, they made it fun , great , flawless. 

+1 Arena Net.

carolino
carolino

unfortunately its breaking immersion to me.


I would rather see this kind of efforts used in the main theme of the game.

on the positive side, this kind of stuff its free , original and once per month.



ADO300
ADO300

i hope they will keep this forever =D looks great!

PatioPwn
PatioPwn

Is this awesome?

[ ] Yes.

[ ] Yes.

SamehH99
SamehH99

Best part is? No extra charge.

S0ulReav3r
S0ulReav3r

look at the date it was posted....fools :D

dmblum1799
dmblum1799

I have GW2 and will get this obviously, but I'm not a platforming guy. Still, very creative of them.

commanderxp90
commanderxp90

Damn! I should buy Guild Wars 2. That video makes me drool on it!

BlazeODU
BlazeODU

Wait a minute... these guys are in a medieval fantasy world... and they STILL REACHED VIRTUAL REALITY BEFORE WE DID?!?!

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

this is a lot of fun, very reminescent of zelda and mario 64, and full of references from all sorts of games, from final fight to castlevania (though you'll find a lot of zelda references, mostly). there's even a nod to street fighter 2 that i won't spoil.


and kevin, while the first two bosses are pretty easy, the final one can prove to be quite challenging, even with a group. it reminded me a lot of a particular boss from okami, so after a while figuring out its patterns, defeating it wasn't as hard (getting to that part, however...)

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

Take away everything that is crap wars 2, add some cute 8bit characters, and this game would be golden.  SO tired of all the crap that gets shat out of these wanna-be, who used-to-be decent game companies that are not just blah.  Such a shame the gaming industry is heading towards the second major game crash of it's existance.  All hail good indie dev games, beats the crap out of any AAA title of today.

Barrakas21
Barrakas21

niceeee .

as always arena net are  the greatest

Stebsis
Stebsis

Looks really neat. Haven't played GW2 in a long time but now I'm definitely going back.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

I love stuff like this. When companies go above and beyond for things like this. This is not some video or fake website they went to a lot of trouble for this and it is awesome.

I would seriously play an entire game that was like this!! so awesome.

JRLennis
JRLennis

I appreciate the unrivaled charm of this game within a game, but after playing through a few levels you come to realize how much time you've wasted standing in front of the gate to the next level - hoping that your less-skilled platforming companions can arrive before you grow old.  (Everyone must get to the gate to advance.)  Unlike waiting for a meta-event to start, there is no real reward waiting for the players who tough it out in this way.

That said, the experience, on balance, is pretty darn fun.  The jumping mechanics are solid, and aside from the occasional unintended dodge, you'll rarely make any accidental missteps.  I especially like the chaos that ensues in the main game when you open a treasure chest full of the pixelated baddies and watch them attack everything and send them flying.  You'll come to respect those darned monkeys in a hurry, at least if you rely on melee.  Fighting them in "The Box" is quite challenging with only a pointy stick for a weapon.

If this event is intended as something of an April Fool's joke, it's one of the best I've ever seen.  Kudos to ArenaNet for this wildly original idea in a retro guise.

jayjay444
jayjay444

lol this looks mental, I could see my self having quite a lot of fun with this. 

justinka777
justinka777

i wish i could play the whole game like this!

Roger_Smith
Roger_Smith

I swear the water looks like it's from Mega Man Legends. Or am I mega mad?

njs72
njs72

WOW and Age of Conan  are the only MMOS worth playing if you want PVP.  Guild Wars PVP is balanced but boring as hell.

surferosh
surferosh

@Assimilat0r   it was brilliant man.. i did the same thing yesterday with a few guildies..  best fun i EVER had in an MMO... i normally stay away from dungeon raids and the occasionally dabble in bounties.. but this update gets my vote any day !

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@carolino I get that point of view for sure, but it feels like, say, Halloween celebrations or Christmas celebrations in MMOs: real-world functions mirrored in game with a bit of loose storytelling to make it fit somehow into the universe. Having played MMOs for so long, I must be so used to this kind of thing that I barely notice. 

surferosh
surferosh

@S0ulReav3r  it is for real mate.. i can post screenshots if you want..

you should give it a try if you play GW2.. damn good fun  !

SamehH99
SamehH99

@S0ulReav3r Yes on April 1st, but it is in game lol I played it it's going to last a month.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

@BlazeODU well technically speaking, one of the races has reached the industrial revolution, one of the races (the ones that came up with the VR thing) works on magitech, so it hardly counts, and humans are on 18th century kind of age, with access to rifles and pistols, but still not industrialized.

or something like that.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@BrunoBRS Maybe I got lucky? I actually found all the platforming in the 3rd level to be much more challenging than the boss! (Then again, I don't think I am as enamored of Guild Wars 2's platforming as ArenaNet themselves are.)

Slagar
Slagar

@xeoneex66Dear Sir, I thought I would write a message to inform you that this reader found your message to be incoherent. I recommend toning down the anger with a few breaths. Then see if you can say something other people can understand. Have a smiley day! :-)

anne_1230
anne_1230

@JRLennis I've read that there's a way to help the people behind - that there's a mushroom at like 45 degree angle near checkpoints and if you hit it it drops a helper item at your behind teammates. Haven't tried it but may be helpful.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

@Kevin-V @BrunoBRS me and my party had some trouble early on against it, but then again, most of us weren't bringing any potions. the third level has some tricky level design, yes, especially if you want to reach some of the secret spots, but the frog king was a nice challenge.


i'm hoping more bosses from the "real" guild wars 2 have mechanics that are more puzzle-like in nature, rather than what we have now. those fights are always fun and rewarding, and allow for some nice change of pace, both in design and in terms of fighting.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@Slagar @xeoneex66 Oh you made my a day hahaha. PS that's april fools.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@xSagez @xeoneex66 Hit a nerve did I?  You a crap wars2 fanboi?  Or you one of the many 10 year olds that is like a mindless zombie that will eat anything and play any game just cause you are told to?

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@Kevin-V I actually decided to play one of each race, even the ones I was originally uninterested in, just to get a bit of everything and to get a nice sense of how each of them relate to one another in a bigger, grander world. 

I think it was a good idea, because the one race that interested me the least, the Norns, actually ended up being one of the most interesting to play as.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@BlazeODU @Kevin-V I don't think I have ever played a human in an RPG that gave me a choice to be something different. They're just so--ordinary!

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@ALI4451 No, whats nonsense is your lack of coherent english.  I couldn't understand ANYTHING of what you said other than you are apparently 5 years old, couldn't eat ice cream or something and April Fools is April Fools or something... learn to speak english before talking to me again.

ALI4451
ALI4451

@xeoneex66 how it connect to April fools so much nonsense you are talking with full of anger like 5 yrs old kid  banned from eating ice cream and when so many ppl try to make you to understand this topic is not a ice cream you are crying for ... then you type PS that's April fools   ... how in earth this have to do anything with April fools.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@xeoneex66 Firstly I wasn't talking about Sages reply when I was mentioning an opinion. Rather, I was reflecting on the way you responded by saying "Oh did I hit a nerve with you as well?  Are you a fanboi?" By saying this, you presume that your comment is striking a nerve with people who like the game and then go onto label such people as fanboys. You have no respect for the possible opinion of others, you just label them and insult them.

Secondly, I never disputed your right to call the game whatever you liked. In fact, I even defended it, so I'm not sure why you're going off on a tangent there. My only concern was with the way you responded to others and labelled them. You say I'm ruining the game industry, yet all I've done is calmly state my observations on your behavior without resorting to insults or derogatory behavior, while you on the other hand can only lower yourself to name calling and trying to make me out to be the bad guy for some reason that eludes all sense of logic. Your behavior, I'm afraid, is the kind that is ruining this industry. Your sense of entitlement and your crude retaliation to every game you don't like and towards the people who do actually like it, creates nothing but strife and infighting. You offer no constructive criticism, just flaming that does no-one any good.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@xeoneex66 Your replies are very immature. If I were you, I'd address that problem before you start calling others little children. 

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion and if you think a game is crap, good for you. However, others are entitled to their opinions as well and if they think a game is good, that doesn't mean they are fanboys. It just means they have an opinion that differs to yours (surprise).

Shawn45
Shawn45

@xeoneex66 Funny you called him a 10 year old, but you're the one calling a game "Crap Wars 2". Very creative. Did it take you all day to come up with that?