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What’s in Your Box: Week of 9-5

/ Sep 5th, 2015 No Comments

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

Welcome once again to the magical boxes of Gaming Illustrated. My box this week has been containing a lot of Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection. Replaying two of my favorite games with all of the DLC has been an amazing treat. The graphical improvements from Xbox 360 to Xbox One alone are well worth the price, but having two amazing GOTY edition style games is just icing on the cake. Anyone who hasn’t already played these titles should do so immediately. The story, the gameplay and the sense of humor come together to create an amazing experience that will be well worth the time invested. If you’re wondering whether to play the original first, the answer is no. At this point just Wikipedia it.

Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection

A great value to satisfy your co-op needs!

While not engaging in the co-op schnanigens I’m engaging in other co-op schnanigens as I play Killing Floor 2. It recently got two new classes added as it slowly works its way towards full-release. A gritty wave hold out FPS, Killing Floor 2 is best played with multiple players. While going solo is an option, odds are players taking this route won’t survive long or find much fun. Having a diverse team of varying classes keeps the AI baddies on their toes and allows for strategic take-downs of the boss at the end. As noted this game is still in alpha-limbo, but is well worth picking up at this stage. It will run a little hot on older computers though, you have been warned.
The Killing Floor 2

You can play solo in The Killing Floor 2, but you probably won’t survive long.

As a last plug I’m in the middle of working on an article regarding Lord of the Bats, a game made possible by The Make-A-Wish Foundation and DigiPen Instutite of Technology. Mason recently finished up his wish with the foundation and his wish was to make his own video game. Lord of the Bats is well worth a look and is available for free from DigiPen’s website.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Playing video games again has been pretty exciting. This long Labor Day weekend will be full of video games. Getting situated after moving and figuring out a routine has opened up some more time to play games outside of review. Taking the train frequently allows for a good deal of time to play games on Vita and 3DS. This week I managed to get into Titan Souls and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

It is a travesty I have taken this long to give Titan Souls a spin. Thankfully a PlayStation sale meant I couldn’t sleep on it any longer, especially after having a great experience playing it at E3 2014 with the developer, Acidnerve. Everything that showed promise during that E3 build was sharpened up and improved for the final release.

During the demo, I played through the first four Titans and I was able to best them with persistence, nimble fingers, and a large number of expletives thrown around. When I started up the game again, I knew I’d have to face down these formidable opponents again, but given my prior experience, I thought it’d be a cake walk.

Titan Souls

Even the tutorial Titans will remind you how punishing the game is.

Battling through the tutorial/introduction Titans once again reminded me that Titan Souls is a punishing game. You cannot get complacent when trying to slay a Titan in the game. Even if you know the trick/strategy to killing a Titan, executing it is another story. If you forget to dodge or your aim isn’t true then you will be crushed to death with your bones and blood smeared across the floor.

Much of what battles in Titan Souls boils down to is knowing what to do to best a Titan, then hoping like hell you can survive long enough to find an opening and let loose an arrow into the Titan’s weak point. Often this’ll happen after multiple tries and the time it does, you’ll kill the Titan immediately. The difficulty results in an intense feeling of satisfaction, especially since the Titans only get more intricate, formidable, and deadly as you progress through the game.

Cross-buy and cross-save are the best things ever introduced to a system of consoles. Having more time to play on the go means I often will play more games during my train commute. Getting both the home console and portable version for one price is an unbeatable value. Plus, being able to tackle Titans waiting for my stop and then sync up the save to continue at home to continue playing is incredibly convenient. Owning a Vita is worthwhile for this fact alone.

One of the biggest games of the year came out this week, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. What may very well be the last Metal Gear Solid game (or true MGS game) has all the potential to be a great send off to the series. Ground Zeroes had hints of the changes made to the series, but The Phantom Pain illustrates how profound and compelling those changes are.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The infamous and trusty box returns in The Phantom Pain with some new tricks.

The open-world approach to gameplay allows for much more improvisation and creativity, especially if something goes wrong on a mission, whereas previous games kind of needed a checkpoint reset if you accidentally got spotted or killed someone. Even if prior Metal Gear games haven’t been your flavor, The Phantom Pain is definitely worth a look.

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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