The Sandbox: July 27th 2013

Kentucky Route Zero

It’s time for another edition of The Sandbox, the weekly feature in which the GamerNode team members reveal what we’ve been playing over the past few days and what we’ve got on our plates for the weekend. This week we made RPGs, drove down unusual roads, and played poker with some colorful videogame personalities.

Mike Deas

Tomb Raider killed my 60G PS3 last weekend, but luckily Sony was having a sale on 320GB refurbished units so I snatched one up. After getting over the devastation, I dabbled in The Witcher on my Mac and while I really enjoyed the story and combat mechanics, I think the difficulty/potion-making might get the best of me before I finish the game. After picking it up during the Steam Summer Sale, I’ve poured 20+ hours into RPG Maker VX Ace, which has been some of the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. There’s a steep learning curve, but after a few tutorials (of which there are plenty) it’s become an incredibly rewarding experience. If you can afford the $80 price tag (got it for $20 during the sale) it’s really an amazing program.

Eddie Inzauto

I’ve actually been revisiting the year 2008, or perhaps 2277, depending on your perspective. The Capital Wasteland is an unwelcoming place, but the post-apocalyptic western that is Fallout 3 is perhaps a perfect video game, and I’m loving every re-tread second of it, soon to dip my toes into the content I never reached the first time around. Did seeing Mad Max at E3 inspire me? I don’t know, but if I could only have two games for the rest of my life, I think one would be a Bethesda Fallout game and the other would be a Bethesda Elder Scrolls game. They just speak to my gamer sensibilities SO much. <3

Rogue Legacy

Anthony LaBella

Early in the week I beat Kentucky Route Zero after purchasing it on sale on Steam (not during THE Steam sale, though I did buy plenty of games over those two weeks). The episodic adventure game has only two acts so far, both of which are quite a short. And the actual game portion of Kentucky Route Zero is pretty bare-bones. Despite that I could not get enough of the game’s strange and unusual atmosphere that calls on surrealistic influences. The whole time I played the game I got a big David Lynch vibe, which is always good in my book. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the acts that should all be released by the end of the year.

The rest of my week was spent playing Rogue Legacy, perhaps the most addicting game of 2013. It’s an action/platformer with roguelike elements, but every time the player dies they can spend their money on numerous upgrades and/or equipment. This creates a sense of progression and persistence that keeps me playing more than most other roguelike games. Oh, and there are a bunch of random classes, hilarious traits like dyslexia or nearsightedness… the list goes on and on in terms of crazy but effective ideas. I already beat the game and started new game+, though that mode is a lot harder. I think I may come back to my second playthrough later in the year.

Dark Souls

Aled Morgan

After buying 12 games in the financial slaughterhouse that was the Steam Summer Sale, I’ve spent most of my time playing none of those games. I’ll get around to them though. All of them. I swear it.

The exception, of course, was Dark Souls, which I picked up for a svelte fifteen quid, including the DLC. Of course, owning the thing on PC now, I just had to start a fresh playthrough and stream myself combat rolling off a belfry roof instead of jabbing sentient gargoyles like I should have been.

Oh, also Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in which I’ve sent dozens of letters to the locals (my locals, I am Mayor after all) demanding they all pay tribute by way of cabin furniture.


Mike Murphy

My gaming time this week has been split between the Forgotten Realms and the Inventory.

In grinding my way to a review for Neverwinter, I’ve been forging my great weapon fighter through the districts of the city to quell all issues that reside within it. I’ve toppled the bandits who stole the crown, pushed back the Orc assault, and am on the verge of stopping a rogue wizard from bringing beasts from another plane in to wreak havoc on the populace. Soon I should be able to use my warg mount; and there will be much rejoicing.

I’ve also been working on getting my Texas Hold ‘Em fix in Poker Night 2, for which I blame sir Aled Morgan for informing me of it being on 50 percent off on the final days of the Steam Summer Sale. The dialogue is certainly what makes this one of the most entertaining poker games I’ve ever played. The witty banter between Brock Sampson, Claptrap, Ash Williams, and Sam, with wonderful insults and quips thrown by dealer GlaDOS, keep me laughing through every game. It’s all the more reason why I’m glad these virtual opponents can’t see my poker face, because with this level of comedy I don’t have one.


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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