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What’s in Your Box: Ink My Wagon

/ Aug 12th, 2017 No Comments

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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 Greg’s Box

Boxi, oh my good and gentle boxi, we find ourselves here again discussing our boxes!

Marty-o Karty-o

In my box this week was a lot of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I played with friends and against posers from around the world in an effort to increase my online score.

While the online score is just tantamount to my E-ego, I like to have it higher up there to show I’m not fresh out of the gate. The online support is incredible for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with far and few instances of lag of any sort.

To anyone new to the game, just know that regional is typically far easier than international when selecting where you want to play your online matches.

My Oh Miitopia

On top of this I’ve also continued my Miitopia quest to destroy Kalvin (sorry bud) and save the land from his vile magic.

While my review is already up, there’s still a lot to be explored and flat-out I’m genuinely enjoying the game.


Truly Kalvin (who bears no likeness to anyone real) is my greatest nemesis.

The variety of classes is an absolute thrill and I’ve yet to see what end-game content is like personally, but I know it’s there.

Miitopia is not a quick game by any stretch, with a lot to do, plenty of optional exploration and as noted in the review a great sense of comedy.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

The heat is finally breaking here in Portland, which means I’ll still be inside playing video games because I’m a slave to it! This week my box has been largely occupied by Splatoon 2 again, but I did spend some time continuing my caravan journey in Pyre.

Inking My Way to the Moon

I don’t know what it is about Splatoon 2, but I can’t stop playing it. It has 100% replaced my Arms addiction, yet I felt I was better at ARMS. What makes the difference in Splatoon 2, I feel is there is such a dynamic range of modes to try out.

Even if I get tired of regular battle, I can try out Salmon Run if it is open (let us play whenever we dang want). At some point I’ll bore of regular battle and begin testing the waters of Ranked Battle in hopes of mastering its various modes. Hell if Ranked Battle got stale then providing I’m good enough, I could jump into League Battle to test my mettle there.

All of this is without mentioning the single-player mode, which I haven’t even scratched the surface of. The first area is a light tutorial giving new players and foggy vets a chance to re-familiarize themselves with the core gameplay concepts and learn some new strategies.

Splatoon 2

The SplatBrella is a cool, new weapon that adds a lot of variety to your strategies in Turf War.

While the level design is cool, the real treat is the first boss battle. Fighting a giant octarian tower with multiple faces popping out of industrial oven-esque armor is a surreal fight. It also isn’t easy. The strategy to beat it involves wall jumping using inks in multiple faces and rushing to the top to quickly attack a weak point.

Each successive attack on the weak point gets hard with fiercer animosity and more ink coming from the behemoth octarian. It feels good when you finally beat it. There is a triumphant feeling as you return to Marie as a battle tested Agent 4.

The Wagon Rolls On

Pyre feels familiar if you’ve ever played Supergiant’s other two games, but also feels wholly new. It is hard to put your hand on what the flavor is like because it shifts at just the right moment. Sometimes it feels like a point-and-click adventure game, but then it becomes this exhilarating mix of rugby, soccer, and basketball with a whole lot of mysticism and magic thrown in with competitors as varied as the world.

One of my favorite things about Pyre has been the slow introduction of new characters, which expand out the world and its history. None of this different races or characters feels shoe-horned in; everything arises organically from the game’s premise of participating in the Rites to gain one’s freedom.

Naturally as the Nightwings compete in the Rites they run into more and varied teams with diverse rosters who have grudges and axes to grind both with the Nightwings themselves and the Commonwealth. Every team has their own reason for wanting to be free whether it is to stop the Nightwings, reclaim lost glory, or finish a war they started before being sent to the Downside.


The pacing of Pyre is great with a good mix of story and gameplay.

The more characters you encounter the larger the scope of what the Downside is and how it relates to the Commonwealth becomes. A rich tapestry unfolds before you and gives you plenty of pieces to put together this complex history.

It never forgets the core journey of the Nightwings as those triumphs and failures continue to move forward, but it also doesn’t give you hours of frontloaded exposition to explain the context for their predicament.

Pyre is a rare game that lets the storytelling and world happen naturally as you get to play a game. Luckily the game is extremely fun.

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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