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What’s In Your Box?: Week of 1/31

/ Jan 31st, 2015 No Comments

Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

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

Since the last edition of “What’s in Your Box?,” I’ve been on vacation down in Texas. It was a fun trip with most of my time spent in Austin eating giant novelty food, but I did manage to sojourn down to PAX South in San Antonio for a few days. PAX South was real cool, despite its fledgling status and relative smallness. You could cross the show floor in like seven minutes.

It was nice to enjoy a leisurely and “supes chill” convention for a change. Whether PAX South catches on or not remains to be seen, but it was fascinating to see how these things start off. It will be great to see when everyone figures how to incorporate this into the event scheduling (and the new consoles swing more into gear). Given the smaller expo hall, there was much less video games on display (with notable absences). However, that didn’t dampen the vibe of the floor, everyone was extremely jazzed to be there and there were plenty of cool games to check out.

Hotline Miami 2

The same difficult and maddening mayhem.

Devolver Digital once again has a solid line-up of games coming out this year. Hotline Miami 2 is the same Hotline with some minor tweaks, but who doesn’t want more Hotline Miami? Broforce is still chaotic as ever, but Free Lives keeps adding and iterating on it. Once it is finally finished, it will be a hell of a game to play with some brews and bros.

Versus Evil has a promising line-up this year with some games you will definitely need to play this year, but more on that later. The smaller nature of PAX South allowed me to find a few surprises like Klaus, Light Fall, and Gunsport. Gunsport has the potential to be the next big eSport and will likely supplant League of Legends as the sport of the future. It is Wind Jammers with guns.


The next big eSport is Gunsport.

Traveling means there is nothing to do except put some time into them handhelds doe. My 3DS and Vita were my main source of gaming over the week. Most of the time was spent catching up on some review stuff like finally digging into Ace Attorney Trilogy on 3DS, and Grim Fandango on Vita.

However, I did manage to put in some time to trying out Persona 3 Portable and Front Mission 3. It is cool to see how much more like Persona 4 the PSP version of Persona 3 is, which helps improve an already great game. It’s too bad it will require so much additional grinding!

PlayStation wasn’t my main console in that generation; the N64 took that prize, so I missed some of the classics. Thankfully, a majority of them are available on the PlayStation Network and playable on the Vita. Missing out on Front Mission 3 is regrettable because it is such a cool game with excellent style and gameplay.

Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

Grab your top hat and goggle, and hope aboard the airship.

On the more recent side of things, Nintendo released a Code Name S.T.E.A.M. demo that lets you play through a lengthy portion of the game. Intelligent Systems knows strategy/tactical RPGs and this is no different. It is a mix between Fire Emblem and X-Com, but with a steam punk aesthetic. While most steam punk is overbearing and obnoxious, it works in this fascinating take on Americana folklore heroes. Controlling the camera on the 3DS XL is awkward, and it’ll be obvious that playing it on the New Nintendo 3DS XL will be preferable. If you enjoy the genre or Fire Emblem/Advance Wars then you’ll want to pick up Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

What’s in Greg’s Box

So recently I’ve been playing a lot of Payday 2 (for the PC of course) and just having the time of my life. My love of the PC version is no secret. Solid leveling up with a respect system that actually rewards loyalty makes Payday 2 worth coming back to again and again. I finally hit level 100 and respect, which gave me; increased experience and all skills cost less for my second play-through. Payday 2 is what Left 4 Dead 3 should strive to be. If that ever happens of course.

The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town!

A love as old as time.

The team based strategy is nothing short of phenomenal as while specific jobs do work best with certain classes, all variations can serve their part. Multiple technical allow for multiple sentry turrets, while a ghost and enforcer can easily pair up to have the ghost defend from the shadows while the enforcer rips through doors like putty. Sadly Payday 2 is just a multiplayer experience, jobs can be done with bots but single-player will never live up to its multiplayer counterpart.

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

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