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What’s in Your Box: Cheer to Greg

/ Sep 30th, 2017 No Comments

SNES Classic

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

The SNES Mini Classic Edition came out this week. Sadly, I couldn’t get a pre-order on one, but snagged it through good old fashioned waiting in line. Two hours wait and out in less than two minutes made it a relatively painless experience. Aside from being super sleepy, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Nintendo did learn its lessons from the NES Mini Classic Edition. The main concern with the SNES Classic had to be latency issues, which more so than any hardware design made the system hard to enjoy.

However, after testing out the games that required more precision like Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Mega Man X, there doesn’t seem to be much latency if any at all.

The SNES Mini Classic Edition has a lot of positives, and fixed a lot of the NES Classic’s issues, but at a heftier price tag it is not such an easy buy.

One major issue remains the length of the cords. Even with my relatively short tv to couch living room set up, I had to stretch the HDMI/power adapter all the way out and just reached me sitting on my couch.

It feels like it is best suited for a bedroom TV or office set-up, which is a shame. Or you could of course sit in your tummy in front of your TV like the child you wished you still were.
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At $79.99 it is pricey, but the game selection is really strong. Even if bought piece meal the cartridges are expensive and Virtual Console versions on various systems would cost more than the cost of the system itself for less of the games.

If you didn’t manage to track one down this week, I wouldn’t worry too much. The stock was vastly improved over the NES Classic launch, and should see more regular and larger re-stocks through the holiday season.

Flaws aside, it finally gives me an opportunity to be the SNES Kid I never was growing up.

Farewell, Old Friend

As Greg will tell you, this is his final contribution to “What’s in Your Box?” He is pursuing new opportunities, and I wish him all the best. Greg is a rare sort who’s never been shy about what he likes: goofy googly eyed platformers and Paper Mario. When much of life and video games is about posturing or positioning, Greg has never tried to be something he isn’t.

It is both his enthusiasm, speed, and particular point-of-view that made him such a delight to work with. I’m sad to see my friend go, but happy that he has been my partner in telling what we’ve been playing week in and week out.

Hopefully, you got good insight on games maybe you hadn’t given a look just or didn’t have time for, but made the time like us.

What’s in Greg’s Box

Hello my friends, my enemies, my fellow gamers.

With sad news I must announce this as my final contribution to Kalvin’s wonderful series: “What’s in Your Box?”

You’ll still see a few preview articles going up under my name (finishing up my PAX West 2017 coverage) but this is the end of days for me at Gaming Illustrated as I move onto new opportunities.

I’d like to take this moment to say thanks to everyone at Gaming Illustrated, Kalvin especially who got me this gig in the first place, as it’s been nothing but a blast and pleasure.

Sad times aside, let’s move onto some great games that have been in my box this week and a slight look at what you can dream on me playing in the future.

Cuphead Is All We Have Left

While Cuphead only came out yesterday, this game lived up to every single bit of hype it built. Not many games can be considered truly perfect but I’ll be damned if Cuphead doesn’t come as close as you possibly can.

There are a few load issues and the lack of online co-op/leaderboards from the start is disheartening, but these minor slights are dwarfed by everything Cuphead offers.


Cuphead is damn near perfect.

First and foremost is the atmosphere, a loving tribute to cartoons come and gone and a world that is teeming with personality.

The icing for all this is gameplay, which is simple to learn yet brutally challenging to master. Every single boss and stage is an endurance test of reflexes and strategy, memorizing patterns and besting surprises through sheer determination.

If you own an Xbox One, or Windows 10 PC, Cuphead is a must-have.

My Own Gang of Beasts

If you’re a PC master emperor like me, consider Gang Beasts. Despite still being in an Early Access state on Steam the online multiplayer is fully there and out of control.

My hopes are that stability is improved, private matches no longer require a minimum of four players and team matches get added.

Gang Beasts

Gang Beasts is a rollicking fun time with rag doll physics.

Other than that; Gang Beasts is fast, fun and funny. The combat is hysterical as it relies on ragdoll physics and awkward groping punches as players attempt to toss one another off a variety of maps.

It’s always a gamble with a Steam Early Access title but Gang Beasts proved to be in a stable-enough condition to be worth trying now.

Looking Ahead

So what has me excited as I go forward? Next week I’ll be sinking my teeth in A Hat in Time, which I previewed at PAX West 2017, a truly amazing up-and-coming platformer.

A Hat in Time

Greg loves what he loves, and hopefully you’ll all love A Hat in Time too.

After that I got Destiny 2 for PC, and can only hope my patience shall be rewarded with an amazing experience, but it may be cut short as Super Mario Odyssey drops the same week.

Sadly that does it for my year. Sure there’s a few other titles sprinkled about, such as Call of Duty: WWII, but those are what has me most excited. I’ll keep my eyes tuned for Switch release dates on various ports such as Stardew Valley and Hollow Knight, and keep praying to the dark video game gods that Sea of Thieves is the MMO I always needed.

Until we all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money


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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