The Frustrated Gamer

dragon-ageOver the weekend, I did something I tend to do whenever I am slapped in the mouth with a good RPG: I played the junk out of it. The culprit this time around was Dragon Age: Origins, and I seriously jumped in to the thing completely, putting about 20 hours or more in within just a few days. This typically happens with Bioware games. Funny how that works out.

Anyway, last night I stay up particularly late because I sense that at 60 hours of play time, I’m nearing the game’s end. So, I make my preparations, I tackle the awesome final battle, and I get to the best part of any RPG- the last boss, which in this case, is a rather sweet demon/dragon. I battled long and hard, and ultimately, smote my foe. At this point, I kick back, and I get ready for the ending of the game (of which there are 4 possible).

About a minute into it, suddenly, my game freezes. Just like that. Right in the middle of the load screen. At this point, I’m annoyed and tired, but I decide that it’s not that big of a deal. So, I reload the final boss fight, which takes a few minutes, and prepare to do battle again. Now, this boss fight is no walk in the park. It takes about 10-15 minutes. Well, halfway through the second attempt, my game freezes again. I threw the controller down in frustration and went to bed.

So now, I’m tired and have not finished Dragon Age. The worst of both worlds. When’s the last time you guys felt this kind of frustration when gaming? Go!

Square Enix Looks to the Future

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Well, here’s a new one for you. When people talk about the death of gaming platforms the PC usually comes up, but Square Enix is turning that notion on its ear. In a recent interview with MCV, Square Enix grand poobah Yoichi Wada said that the company believes there’s going to be dramatic change in the industry that will shift attention away from physical media and onto download and sever based content.

Mr. Wada went on to elaborate that “In ten years’ time a lot of what we call ‘console games’ won’t exist,” and that Microsoft and Sony are already ramping up for the big change and third-parties should follow suit if they want to stay in the game.

The reasoning behind his statement is that the games market is changing from a hardware-based model to a network one, where “any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played”. Mr. Wada said that Square Enix is ready for the change, and they’re already stepping up production on their social and browser based games.

While we are seeing movement in this direction with things like OnLive and the success of browser-based MMOs, I don’t think that consoles in the traditional sense are going anywhere. Besides, I think that Square should finish up with their current disc-based project before they move on to figuring out how to exploit the digital market. Wouldn’t want them to get tuckered out. What do you guys think? Is there any truth to Square’s claims, or is this just going to be a dead end for the company?

Source: MCV

Holiday Gaming Memories

holidaysHappy Turkey Day, fools!

One of the most interesting things about holidays is the traditions that we and our families adopt, and the memories that form with them. For me, every Thanksgiving is a get-together with the family, along with some board games such as Risk or Apples to Apples. We also throw the football around a little. We’ve been repeating this for quite some time, and I enjoy it for the most part, especially the way we’ve all grown and changed over time. It really makes for some fond memories.

While gorging myself on food today, kind of wishing I was home finishing Dragon Age: Origins or jumping in on the second season of 1 Vs 100, it made me think about some of my favorite memories and traditions from my gaming background.
Continue reading Holiday Gaming Memories

Mass Effect 2 Roster Expands With An Old Friend

Today is Thanksgiving down in the USA, a holiday where we all take the time to reflect on things we’re grateful for by shoving our faces full of flightless fowl and pumpkin pie. Of course, me being Canadian, today is just a regular day (besides the fact that I’m home sick), but that doesn’t mean I can’t be appreciative. One thing I’m thankful for is that it’s only two short months until Mass Effect 2 comes out and officially kills my social life. Seriously, this game is still looking quite good, and the “Empire Strikes Back” feel BioWare is striving for has really gotten my motor running. In this new video for the upcoming sci-fi RPG, we’re re-introduced to Tali, the soft-spoken quarian crew member from the first game. It looks like there’s some political unrest among the nomadic race, and Commander Shepard’s right in the middle of it.

So, what’s your opinion on Mass Effect 2 so far? Is it going to be a sure-fire purchase for 2010, or are there other games that are vying for your attention? Just for fun, what game-related stuff were you most thankful for in 2009? Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!

Posthumous Mercenaries Video Becomes Real Game

When Pandemic Studios closed a while back, some information accompanied the closure regarding the future of Pandemic’s intellectual properties, including the open-world destruct-a-thon Mercenaries. The official press release stated that these brands would live on under EA, and it looks like they’re making good on their promise. A video leaked this morning of some gameplay for Mercenaries. Inc, a “multi-player sandbox title” that had apparently been in development for some time. This video is a couple months old, mind you, but it shows classic Mercenaries action, just with a multi-player twist.

The game was announced officially in the wake of the video via Pandemic’s official forum. How does it look to you guys? Admittedly the last Mercenaries game wasn’t that great, but it did shine in co-op. If they could just remove that damn tether, I still have enough good will left for this series to give it a go.

Review: Left 4 Dead 2

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Many people joke about something called “Valve Time”, an imperceptible chronological measurement visible only to the revered developers themselves. Games of all sorts, even episodic content, seem to take forever to be released, but they are always of the highest quality. The original Left 4 Dead was also subject to the whims of Valve’s crazed machinations; it suffered delay after delay before finally being released to a heap of praise. Now, after only a year, the beloved zombie-killing co-op extravaganza has gotten a sequel. With such a short turn-around time between the original, is a year enough time for Valve to work their magic?
Continue reading Review: Left 4 Dead 2

DeLorean in Crysis = Awesome

Crysis was an underappreciated gem, in my opinion, and one of the most endearing facets of this game was that it was fairly easy to mod. During my time with Crytek’s military sci-fi shooter, I saw some pretty neat stuff, but nothing that could combine my love of video gaming with one of my favorite movies. Today, I finally get my wish. Check out the following video which features a DeLorean in Crysis. Does it travel through time? Maybe. You’ll have to find out.

1.21 Gigawatts?!

Top 50 Worst Video Game Voiceovers

Not sure how many of you guys have seen/heard these, but I thought I’d post them here because they rule. Over the years, we’ve heard our share of pretty horrendous video game voice acting. Well, how about checking them out when they’re all compiled together, nice and friendly like?

Yup, it’s the 50 Worst Video Game Voiceovers of all time, and they kind of slay me with karate chops made of humor. Interestingly enough, many of them are from the Playstation, but that makes since, seeing as how it was the first console where voiceover became the norm. I think my favorite is number 5. “I like girls. But now- it’s about justice.”

The Twitter Initiative

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Good news, everyone! Thanks to a temporal rift that caused a fluctuation in the space time continuum, I’m happy to announce that GamerSushi now has a Twitter account. You can follow GamerSushi on Twitter by clicking on the link contained within this sentence.

Also, because this is as good a time to remind you guys as any, those of you wishing to have a little Avatar pop up in your posts instead of that blank picture need to go to Gravatar and sign up for an account. Just remember to use the same email for that service as you did for this website, and everything should be hunky-dory.

What are you still doing here? Go follow us!

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

thanksgivingThe holidays are coming up. The games are coming out. And here we are, with all these new toys to play with. What’s more important, though, is that some of us are going to have lots of time on our hands to play them next week, due to the wonderful thing known as Thanksgiving break.

Right now, I’ve been pouring my whole life into Dragon Age: Origins. It’s a very deep RPG with some great writing, a fascinating world, cool characters and a fun story. I have to say, I’m starting to hit the near obsessive point with it, wanting to play it all hours of the night and during the day. I don’t know if it’s that it’s such a wonderful game so much as I’ve been needing an RPG fix for a long time, and this has just what I’ve desired. We’ll see how I feel when I’m done.

I’m also playing Modern Warfare 2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and I’m hoping to be knocking out some Assassin’s Creed II or Left 4 Dead 2 next week. What about you guys? What will you be playing during Thanksgiving week?

Top Six: Super Mario Games

With the release of New Super Mario Bros Wii for the…uh…Wii, I decided to list my favorite Mario games. Now, this list only covers the traditional platforming Mario games. No Mario Kart (sorry, Eddy), no RPG and no Tennis. I looked at all 13 (including Game Boy games) and this is the list I came up with. It was much harder than I thought, mainly due to much consternation over innovation, originality and replay value. I have already steeled myself for a fan boy beating.
Continue reading Top Six: Super Mario Games

Nintendo Teases Zelda Reveal in 2010

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Not to be lewd, but I imagine the current relationship between enthusiast gamers and Nintendo to be comparable to a young man and some sort of harlot. She keeps giving you tantalizing glimpses of her ankle while all the while promising that more is coming.

To continue with this tortured analogy, the “ankle” here is the concept art that Miyamoto was parading around at E3 ’09 depicting Link and some sort of ethereal being that looked vaguely like the Master Sword. In a recent interview with UK’s Official Nintendo Magazine, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma says he hopes to show something “surprising” at E3 ’10, thus completing the promise of “more”.

Nintendo proved recently with Super Mario Bros. Wii that it still knows how to make titles for its old-school fans, and with Metroid: Other M on the horizon I think we can take this as a sign that Ninty is finally starting to show appreciation for the “hardcore”. Though the company is often criticized for its constant rehash of the same tired franchises, there’s no doubt that gamers everywhere still clamor for these titles. The question is, how much longer will we get strung along before we see some actual gameplay? What’s your opinion, though? Are you pumped for a new Zelda, and what do you expect from it?

Source: Kotaku

Getting in Shape, Gamer Style!

It’s a well known fact that gamers are a slovenly folk; so much so that we’d rather watch fit, athletic people run around on a screen than do these things ourselves. Well, I’ve got a brand new program that will whip you into shape post-haste simply by copying these classic gaming moves and turning them into exercises:
Continue reading Getting in Shape, Gamer Style!

Today’s WTF: Amazing MW2 Knife Throw

One of the things I’m enjoying about Modern Warfare 2 is the final kill cam, which shows everyone the way the last dude in the match got owned. While I’ve seen my fair share over the last week, none of them come even close to being as awesome as this video. You need to see this to believe it.

Pandemic Studios Shutting Down

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Even though two (hopefully) awesome games are getting released today, not all things are smiles and sunshine in the game industry. Pandemic Studios, notable for the Mercenaries, Star Wars: Battlefront and Full Spectrum Warrior series, has shut their doors today, folding core staff into EA’s Los Angeles Studio and letting go over 200 people.

It’s a real shame that this developer is being disbanded even though its original IPs are going to live on under a full EA brand. Because Pandemic released several average, some would say disappointing, games over the past few years, this isn’t really that big of a surprise. Perhaps the biggest blow to the studio was the cancellation of the Dark Knight game, which was apparently such a mess that it wouldn’t even be released close to the DVD premier of the movie.

The last title to come from the developer will be The Saboteur, a 1940s underground resistance game. With the closure of the studio, I thought it would be appropriate to have a remembrance of sorts. Share your thoughts on your favorite Pandemic games, or postulate on what this means for other smaller studios that are under the umbrella of an EA or an Activision.

Personally, my favorite game from Pandemic is the original Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. That game was really ahead of its time when it came out, and I played the hell out of it. What about you guys?

Source: Kotaku

Who’s Getting Left 4 Dead 2 or Assassin’s Creed 2?

l4d2Though they might have been slightly overshadowed by the walking titan we know as Modern Warfare 2, two rather large games are making their presence known this week. One of them is a title that has had some silly controversy around it, and another is a sequel to a less than stellar but promising original IP that might turn into something more. I’m speaking of Left 4 Dead 2 and Assassin’s Creed 2, of course.

While I’m not one of the boycotters for L4D2, I still don’t have much desire to pick it up at all. I kind of burned myself out on the zombie slaying with the first game, so I’m having trouble mustering up enough gumption to go out and buy the thing. And while I was one of the few who enjoyed Assassin’s Creed, the sequel doesn’t intrigue me all that much, though I’ll probably give it a rental.

So what about you guys? Who out there is getting either of these games?

GamerSushi Asks: On Reviews?

grade-sheetOne of the things we strive for here at GamerSushi is to include you guys and keep this as democratic as possible (within reason of course) in order to make this an awesome community. As you all know, one of the things we do here is review games, most often the bigger titles that are hitting the market.

So, in regards to our reviews, I have a few questions. The first one: what do you guys think of our rubric? While it used to please us, lately we’ve been having some issues with it. For instance, a few months back, I gave Resident Evil 5 an A instead of an A+ simply because by our rubric, it wasn’t “one of the greatest games of all time”. However, looking back, I still desperately want to give it an A+, rubric be damned.

That’s just one small example out of the many, but I think something about our rubric is what’s making most of our game scores fall in the B+ to A range. I’d like to fix this however possible, and we’re open to suggestions from you guys. I’m convinced that letter grades are the best thing to do, but I’m ready to hear out other thoughts.

Second question: what do you guys think of us going back and permanently adjusting review scores? I know that in some communities, the site gets vilified for changing scores, but personally, I think that more sites ought to go back and re-evaluate games months after the fact. Off the top of my head, I think that I scored Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead and Metal Gear Solid 4 all far too high, and would like to change them.

So, tell us your thoughts on those. We’re gearing up for some changes around here (hence the less frequent posts over the last few weeks), so there will be more of these kinds of questions coming. Go!

Review: Modern Warfare 2

mw2Ok, I won’t write a cheesy intro paragraph about Modern Warfare 2. You know what this game is. I won’t even make a statement about how you have to have been hiding under a rock to not know. I think it’s safe to say that we’re all familiar with this game, its controversies, and some of its more publicized info leading up to the epic launch this week. This is without a doubt the biggest title to drop this year. So, with all of the hype, how did it stack up?

Continue reading Review: Modern Warfare 2

New Super Marios Bros. Trick Video

This game just came out, and there’s already a pretty sweet video showing three players carting Luigi across the level while the lazy ingrate does nothing. Check out the video and prepare to be astounded, bedazzled and other-wise stupefied.

Apparently there’s all sorts of fun to be had with this title, so I’m going to have to dust my Wii off and give it a go. Anyone else pick this up, or is thinking of picking it up?

Final Fantasy XIII Drops in March

Has hell frozen over? Are pigs flying? Are Republicans and Democrats holding hands in the streets? The only reason I ask is because Final Fantasy XIII (and no the number on the end doesn’t represent the development cycle) finally has itself a good and proper release date. Imagine that! The game drops on March 9th, 2010 in the US and Europe.

Is anyone else pumped about this? Which console will you buy the game for? Playstation 3 here. Sticking to my roots. Also, check out the new trailer for the game, which rules.