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What’s in Your Box: Week of 9-19

/ Sep 19th, 2015 No Comments

Super Time Force Ultra

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

Everything in my box recently has involved train rides. Daily commutes to and from destinations are excellent opportunities to play some games on the go. Whether by PS Vita or by fancy smart phone, games I’ve played some! This week’s mobile boxes have been split between Nova-111, Super Time Force Ultra, and Pokemon Shuffle. When I am at home and not watching Review with Forrest MacNeil, I am still grinding through Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.


My train commutes recently have been Vita heavy, and one of the games I’ve been playing right now has been Nova-111. While my feelings on the game as a whole are still a bit up in the air, it is hard to say it isn’t addictive. The turn-based approach to a puzzle game is certainly novel. Nova-111 has subtle tutorials, but outside of telling you how something functions they aren’t going to be the most helpful.


Nova-111 doesn’t shy away from testing your ability to solve problems.

The game throws you in the **** immediately hoping you figure out how deal with the various elements in the game by trial and error at times. The only issue of not understanding how deeply elements function in the game is when trying to earn higher marks at the end of the game. The lack of understanding certain elements results in poor performances. While Nova-111 is quite difficult and frustrating at times, it makes besting a level and a world very satisfying.

Reunited and It Feels Ultra

Super Time Force was a hell of a game on Xbox One when it released last year. Since its timed exclusive on Xbox consoles, it underwent an Ultra face-lift bringing new characters to the game and it to new platforms. The PS4 and PS Vita released this month free for PS Plus users, and it meant I had to give Super Time Force Ultra a spin on my daily commutes. Everything I loved about the original version is replicated perfectly on the Vita’s portable screen.

Super Time Force Ultra

Sir Galahad feels right at home with the other members of the Super Time Force.

It runs smoothly with all the same charm and depth except I can play it on a train or the terlet. The humor of the game holds up beautifully, while getting used to the time mechanics again took some time. Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to remember how challenging levels were and how satisfying it is to master using the time mechanic properly. Both the PS4 and PS Vita version include three PlayStation exclusive characters ranging from obvious to bizarre. However, using Galahad from The Order: 1886 fits perfectly with the motley crew of the Super Time Force, while Shuhei Yoshida will bring a smile to your face with his unique projectiles. Even if it wasn’t a PS Plus perk, I’d probably have picked up Super Time Force Ultra again at some point, the game is that ****ing good.

Finally It’s Playable

Pokemon Shuffle came out a while ago on Nintendo 3DS as a free-to-play game, and it was garbage. The game felt like a bootleg version of Pokemon Trozei without the depth or charm. Recently, Nintendo released it on smartphones, which admittedly is the proper platform for the type of game it is. What was an upsetting Bejeweled clone on 3DS works well on a smartphone with a sensitive and responsive touch screen. The long wait time between the free-to-play tokens is ameliorated by a smartphone’s ability to switch between apps with ease and quickness, whereas the 3DS took forever to switch between games. Easy notifications of heart replenishment and daily bonuses turn this middling puzzle game into an acceptable free-to-play phone game.

Nuclear Panic

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been on the back burner a bit as I handled some other review stuff, but it was difficult to practice the discipline that kept me away for so long. With responsibilities wrapping up, I am back at it. After playing The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, I felt like there wasn’t any way another game this year could top it. While I’m still not sure if MGSV will take the crown, with every mission I complete and more story I uncover, it is shaping up to surpass Geralt’s epic adventure.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

DD is the MVP of the game, honestly.

I’ve spoken on how sharper the writing and storytelling is in this final entry to the series. That remains the case the deeper you get into the game. Splitting the game up episodically through the game’s mission structure allows for a good balance between gameplay and longer story beats. There is also a smart mix of missions where stealth is a very appealing option and missions where out-right action, while not mandatory, is impossible without equipping a rocket launcher and causing mayhem.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

It is still deliciously weird.

The open-world aspect of the game never feels overwhelming and easy to take in, which is one of the game’s biggest strengths. You never succumb to the open-world fatigue that many similar games suffer from. MGSV is quite beautiful with a good deal of detail, and a frame rate that never really staggers even with tons of stuff happening on screen. Everything about the game makes it accessible to new players unfamiliar to the series, but has a ton of excitement for long time fans of Metal Gear Solid. Is it Game of the Year? It might be too early to call it, but it certainly might sneak up on the competition.

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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