GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

Assassins Creed 2It’s the New Year’s Edition of What Are You Playing, so let’s get to it.

I know that many of you dudes are probably cackling like mad and experiencing all the new gaming loot you got over the holidays, so I’m curious to see what the responses have been here. I know that Anthony has been playing the junk out of Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, which I’m sure is true for others as well.

As for me, I’ve been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed 2 and just loving it. While the first hour or so of the game starts off terribly awkward and almost clunky, the rest of it has been a blast. The game really opens up once you get your villa, and I can’t wait to see what else lies in store for Ezio and the Assassins. It’s one of those things where I’m getting more hooked to the game the more I play it, which doesn’t happen very often.

What about you guys? What are you playing? Go!

2010 Gaming Resolutions

Every year, New Year’s Resolutions are the big thing to do once January rolls around. People make fake promises to themselves in order to build their self esteem and generally and make them feel better. In general, they hope this mental self flagellation results in them being able to sleep better at night, if in fact it causes any betterment at all in their daily lives.

I’ve only had a very minimal experience with these self imposed restrictions or boundaries, but only this year were they actually a positive thing for my health. However, I wondered what it would be like to pen up a few resolutions that related to video games. Here’s what I came up with:
Continue reading 2010 Gaming Resolutions

Capcom Remains Dour On Western Collaboration

bionic commando
Capcom, why do your employees have to be such downers? First Mega Man and Dead Rising series creator Keiji Inafune says that he believes that Japanese game development is on a serious decline, and now company president Haruhiro Tsujimoto has gone on record saying that Capcom has some trouble working with Western studios. The full quote goes like this:

“Our experience with Bionic Commando has demonstrated the difficulty of outsourcing the development of new title to overseas companies”, he said. “Nevertheless, we cannot develop a sufficient number of titles without using the resources of these companies. This is why we plan to continue using these alliances.”

Mr. Tsujimoto elaborates further, saying that the joint developments between his studio and Western based companies will continue for sequels while Capcom works on new titles. Part of the problem may stem from the fact that having two completely different styles of game development trying to mesh in one game may not work as well as one would hope, but what do you guys think? Is Capcom a little gun-shy after the failure of Bionic Commando, and what does this mean for up-coming titles like Dead Rising 2, which is being developed by Vancouver, Canada based Blue Castle Games?

Source: Kotaku

Assassin’s Creed: Initiation

TheDuoGroup makes really sweet videos. In fact, they make some of my favorite video game videos that I can remember. Just recently, they posted this awesome Assassin’s Creed video with all original art work and motion graphics, telling the story of Altair losing his ring finger and getting his assassin’s blade before the events of the first game. They do a remarkable job with it, and once again I am impressed with their work.

Right now, I’m loving Assassin’s Creed 2 so this is pretty cool to see. What do you guys think?


Are Demos Evil?

Resident Evil 5 DemoI feel like we’ve got a pretty good thing going on here at GamerSushi. In many ways, I’d like to feel like the discussion that goes on here is perhaps ahead of the curve on some gaming issues in comparison to other sites. I think this is especially true when topics we’ve debated about here start to appear in more mainstream outlines.

Take the subject of demos, for instance. CVG has posted an opinion piece stating that demos are evil, and no good really comes of them. The writer raises some good points which we’ve covered here, but I thought it would be good to revisit them. I think the main problem with demos is that they don’t often showcase the things about a game you really need to get a grasp of it.

Most games operate on a curve that teaches you about the game the farther you get into it, so the first few minutes is most often ideal. However, the first 10-15 minutes aren’t always the sexiest parts of the game, so developers don’t often do that, giving you weird glimpses into what they’ve made (see Resident Evil 5’s demo). I’m curious to see how the new PSN features that allow you to experience the first hour of a game operate, and how they work against game demos.

What do you guys think about game demos? Are they evil?

Source- CVG

Gaming Christmas Carols

odst santa
We’re really getting into the holiday spirit here at GamerSushi, but there’s always been one thing that we’ve found to be deficient in this most favorite of seasons: uber-leet carols! Sure, we all know the classics, like Frosty the Snowman or Silent Night, but are they really relevant anymore?

Well, fear not, as we’ve taking the liberty of updating some old dusty songs into something new and modern! The only things they’re missing are motion controls and HD graphics!
Continue reading Gaming Christmas Carols

GamerSushi Demands: Post Your Lootz!

Well, it’s Christmas time, and naturally that means one thing: epic loot! For many gamers, this is the time of year that we can’t stand waiting for, because we know that Christmas Day will reap a bountiful harvest of the things we’ve been dying to play for the last year or even longer.

So far, I haven’t been able to do any present opening, so I’m not sure of what gaming things might be waiting for me, if any. If I get some money/gift cards, I’ll be very tempted to buy Left 4 Dead 2, which I keep hearing is even better than the first one. If nothing else, I’m going to be saving up money for Mass Effect 2 (January), Splinter Cell (February), Final Fantasy XIII (March) and Heavy Rain. This week I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed 2 and while it starts off pretty terribly, it’s getting better fast.

So, what kind of loot did you guys get? Feel free to post about it, gaming or otherwise. Go!

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is Looking Hot

I never really played the first Battlefield: Bad Company game, but I hear it had some really cool features, and its multiplayer showed a ton of promise. Well judging from the preview of Bad Company 2 below, it looks like they’re taking what they learned from the first game and making a kick-ass follow-up. The multiplayer demo is looking all kinds of hot, so I’m actually excited about it. Maybe I’ll have to pick the first one up over the holidays on the cheap…

Who else is excited about this game? Go!

Replay Value Menu: Have It Your Way

You just beat the final boss and are watching the end credits, wondering if you skip them will you miss anything important, like a hidden cut-scene or Easter egg. The credits finally finish and you bask in the glory of another completed video game experience. Now what? Do you start another game from your backlog or do you play something you have already finished? Or do you restart the game you just completed and try to find all the things you missed the first time around?

One of the things I always look for when purchasing a game is replay value. But what is replay value? To some people, it’s something as obvious as a New Game+ feature, where you can play the game again with your character already leveled up, which allows easier exploration, but makes the battles a cakewalk. This is especially handy when games like Chrono Trigger have many different endings.

Speaking of endings, does the drive to see all of them make you replay a game again and again? Or do you create saves at different points in the game, so you don’t have to replay everything in order to make the different decision and reach the new ending? Or do you just jump on Youtube and watch the endings online, laughing at the fools who did all the grunt work while you reap the rewards?

Some people I have spoken to on message boards claim that harder difficulty levels equal more replay value, but I really disagree with this. Playing the game again but with (usually) cheaper AI does not constitute a good time for me. I am going to attempt this with Bioshock as an experiment, but I don’t have high hopes. And even if I do enjoy myself, I don’t think this is something that works with every game.

What about Trophies or Achievements? I know for many this causes more replays than they would normally go through, but I can’t get behind it. During the course of a game, I may take the time to do a few things in order to get some more Trophies, but once I am done, I am DONE. I may come back to the game later and get a few new Trophies during a replay, but I don’t really go out of my way too often to get them. I know some people think it’s like getting a high score, but it’s not. People who have the most money to play the most games will get the most Trophies/Achievements, which takes all the fun out of it for me. Some people play games just to get the easy ones and boost their Level/Gamerscore. Not impressed.

For me, replay value stems from a game that was such a joy to play that, given enough time has passed, I will want to play again. There are games I was sure I would want to play again, but once I started them, I just did not have the drive to do it. What makes you replay a game? Are there any factors I have left out that appeal to you when deciding if you want to play a game again?

Today’s WTF: Microsoft Wants You to Exercise?

avatarYou know how in Wii Fit when you start an account it takes a measurement of your body weight and tries to apply it correctly to your Mii? More often that not it just ends up making you look like a pudgy roll of dough instead of the ripped stud you know you are. Well, it looks like Microsoft may be angling at getting in on some of that hot self-loathing action as 1up recently found that the software giant has filed a patent titled “Avatar Individualized by Physical Characteristic”.

How exactly is Microsoft going to get your waist size, though? According to the patent, information about your body’s various metrics will be obtained via a “third party health data collection repository”, which is described in the document as a “health care smart-card.”

It gets better, though. If you opt into this digital boot camp, you can limit yourself on the amount of time your able to spend playing your console, or get access to more time by having the smart-card recognize that you’re losing weight. I’m all for bettering oneself, but there’s more efficient ways to do it than having a video game console yell at you or limit your time on it. If you really want to improve yourself, you take actual real steps like dieting and exercising. I really do hope this is entirely optional, because if Wii Fit has taught me anything, it’s that body sensors really cannot give an accurate depiction of a person. What do you guys think? Is this just one more WTF move from the sometimes perplexing New X-Box Experience? Is Microsoft barking up the wrong tree?

Source: 1up

Sony Testing the Waters for a Premium PSN Subscription

There’s always been three certainties so far this generation in regards to online console services: Microsoft’s costs money, Sony’s is free and the Wii’s connectivity is balls. While the Sony Defense Force is always quick to point out how readily Microsoft is willing to try and nickle and dime its subscriber base, it looks like the PlayStation 3 might be setting up its own monetary-based service.

A recent survey lays out several different plans all with varying levels of privileges and content. There are some pretty decent perks included with the subscription options such as cross-game voice chat, loyalty rewards and access to the first hour of a full PlatyStation 3 game instead of a fifteen minute demo.

Judging by the survey it appears that PSN users are still going to get access to the basic offerings, and this is just an option for those who want a $69.99 garnish on their gaming experience. Take a look at the survey and tell us what you think. Would you pay for premium Sony content or stick with the basic package? Remember that this is just a feeler put out by Sony, so all these things are subject to change.

Source: Kotaku

Splinter Cell: Conviction’s Co-Op Trailer is Sneaky

The way I see it, one of the finest co-op campaigns in gaming is the one from Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory where you play as two Third Echelon ninjas assisting franchise protagonist Sam Fisher in an alternate look at the story line. Conviction, the newest game in Ubisoft’s stealth action series, is going to feature a different take on the co-op mode that was presented in Chaos Theory. Whereas the campaign in CT ran parallel to the main story, this time around it serves as a prequel to the plot, probably giving us an explanation as to what has been going on in the Splinter Cell universe before the beginning of Conviction. Take a look:

How do you guys feel about it? Are you down for some co-op stealth shenanigans when the game drops in February?

Franchise Fanboy Wars

Things are pretty messy out there in the video game realm. Gamers fighting against gamers, flames flying around the tubes left and right. People claiming superiority over one another because of a purchasing decision. What have we become?

I suppose it was only a matter of time before it came to this. Sure, everyone’s got their favorite system of choice, be it PC, XBox 360, PS3 or the Wii… But what about the franchises? To help feed the fanboy flames, I thought I’d throw some of our most beloved characters and stories together, to see who came out on top after a brutal battle to the death. It’s the franchise fanboy wars!
Continue reading Franchise Fanboy Wars

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Trailer Blows My Mind

I never played the original Kane & Lynch, so I can’t really comment on its quality (or lack thereof). One thing I do know, though, is that the trailer for the second game is amazing. I realize that it has no game play and it’s more than 99% likely that this is not in-engine, but you know what? I don’t really care.

I’m not sure why, but I love this trailer. My advice to IO is that they should just make this a movie. What do you guys think? Interested, or were you burned by the first game? Perhaps you’re getting sick of the number two in your titles? Oh, the video also contains some bad language, so exercise discretion if you’re into that sort of thing.

Introducing: GamerSushi Reviews Page

premiereWell, aren’t we fancy? We just keep adding these features, don’t we? Soon, you’ll all revolt, longing to go back to the “GamerSushi that was”…

But until then, enjoy the brand spanking new GamerSushi Reviews page, which compiles all of our reviews in an easy-to-browse manner. This should hopefully be helpful in the future as we continue to add more games. Much thanks to JJ, who really killed it with putting the layout together.

In terms of more functionality and updating, we’ve got more stuff we’re working on for the near future with GamerSushi. Any other features you would love to see on this site? What do you think of the review page? Go!

Mythbusters Meets Modern Warfare 2

Oh, Modern Warfare 2. When will we stop posting about you? I’m not sure, but I do know that there is a nifty new video that combines the Discovery show Mythbusters and Modern Warfare 2, resulting in some awesome tricks that I had no idea existed. To be honest, I’ve never experienced anything remotely like this in matchmaking, so I’m curious how they came up with this stuff.

I believe I’ve posted before about a similar series done with Halo 3, which was created by the same dudes. Glad to see they’re still working together! Also, the bouncing throwing knives were incredible. You’ll see what I mean.


GamerSushi Asks: Repeated Playthroughs

dragon-age-dlcThese days, I just don’t get a lot of time to replay games all that often. I’m so busy that as soon as I finish a game, I go right past it and move on to the next. I very rarely take the time, even when I’m in the midst of playing it, to stop and enjoy what’s going on with the experience.

Back when I was younger, this was of course very different. I would play through games again and again like my life depended on it. It didn’t matter if I had beaten it a million times, I would load it up repeatedly just to see how quick I could beat it, or to explore every last nook and cranny. This was definitely the case with Starfox, Mario 64 and Metal Gear Solid. While I haven’t done this in years, Dragon Age: Origins has reversed this trend.

I keep finding myself wanting to go back and replay big parts of the story with a new character to see how things might be different. I’ve already gone through nearly every origin story, and I’m tempted to take a new city elf female character to some pretty major plot points. In my mind, it takes a special kind of game to have that effect on me in a time when I’m kind of swamped personally.

So what about you guys? What games do you play over and over again? What game has made you do this the most?

Tons of Premiers at Spike’s VGAs

Spike’s Video Game Awards were last night, and for the most part I think the accolades handed out were fairly accurate. Besides doling out some weird monkey statues, the VGAs also played host to a smattering of game announcements from the obvious (Halo: REACH), to the puzzling (Green Day: Rockband), and finally to the completely mind-blowing. If you missed the first few minutes of the awards show like I did, you may have missed this trailer. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so take a gander.

What did you guys think of the awards show, and, more specifically, what did you think of the premiers and the winners? Hit the jump for a couple more trailers.
Continue reading Tons of Premiers at Spike’s VGAs

Transformers Trailer is More Than Meets the Eye

I’ll be honest here, I loves me some Transformers. Although I am of the opinion that Revenge of the Fallen is the cinematic equivalent of water-boarding, there’s just no denying that watching twenty-foot machines that turn into jets and cars beat the lug nuts out of each other gets my motor running.

We’ve seen the Transformers battle it out on the silver screen and on television, but I’ve always wanted a good Transformers game. There have been some decent titles in the past, but nothing that has really grabbed me. The upcoming Transformers: War for Cybertron game by Bad Moon Studios, the development house behind the Bourne Identity games, may just do the trick.

What do you guys think of the trailer? Sure it’s computer-generated as opposed to actual game-play, but it’s got me hopeful. All I need is Soundwave messing up Autobots and I’ll be happy.

GamerSushi Asks: What Should Anthony Play First?

As some of you may know from comments I have left, I am anxiously awaiting Christmas Day for the 3 games I asked my fiancée to get me for Christmas: Uncharted 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Christmas is my traditional time of year for getting a bunch of games and I am very much looking forward to playing them all.

But which should I play first? I plan to play a little bit of each one that day, to whet my appetite and see what I feel like playing, but I wanted to get the opinion of my adoring public. Should I jump right into Dragon Age and potentially be there for a month or two? Or Modern Warfare 2, where the danger lies in getting sucked into the online component and not playing anything else for months on end, as happened with the Call of Duty 4. Or should I play Uncharted 2 since that one is the shortest game and then Eddy and I can do co-op together and give him a reason to put his PS3 back online?

Decisions, decisions…you make the call: GO!