April Fools: Natal Delayed Indefinitely: “Just Not Working”, Says Lead Developer

Project NatalIn news that could change the future of gaming forever, Natal lead developer Alex Kipman has announced that Microsoft’s Project Natal is on “indefinite hold” due to problems inherent in the system’s design.

Kipman was quoted as saying,

“The issues we are currently experiencing with Natal go far beyond the normal bugs and glitches when creating new technology such as this. If Natal were to be released without extensive reworking, it would make the hardware failures experienced by the XBox 360 look like child’s play. We’re talking Toyota-like catastrophe unless we go back to the drawing board.”

When pressed for a potential new release date, Kipman could only speculate, but did confirm that Natal won’t hit store shelves until at least 2011.

Whatever the problems are with Natal, you can be sure that Sony and Nintendo are thanking the gaming gods for this unfortunate mishap, but kudos to Microsoft for being so upfront about the whole mess. Does this change your view of Natal? Are you more or less likely to get one? Or will you just go ahead and get a Playstation Move?

Link: CNN.com

Cross-Contaminated Media: Spider-Man

spider-manI may be a bit biased here, but I think that Spider-Man is the most enduring pop culture icon of the last hundred years. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 for the Amazing Fantasy series of comic books, the old web-head has spawned a media empire spanning years of comic books, TV series, action figures, movies, and, yes, video games. While most of the media properties associated with the wall-crawler have been largely successful, Spider-Man’s video games have had a chequered past. He’s been appearing on our television screens since 1978, but what Spider-Man games have swung to glorious heights, and which ones have gone splat on the sidewalk?
Continue reading Cross-Contaminated Media: Spider-Man

Metroid Other M Trailer Dishes Some Gameplay

I have never been in love with Metroid, but I know that there are many out there that are. I was not a huge fan of the Metroid Prime games, particularly the last Wii outing. However, the announcement last year that Team Ninja would be handling Metroid Other M got me excited for the franchise in a new way, especially considering the mix of the Prime style with what looked to be an old school platforming in some ways.

Up until now, we haven’t really gotten to see much in the way of gameplay, especially how these two will phase together on the fly, except in some small bits. Enter the new Other M trailer, chock full of gameplay goodness. What do you guys think?


GameCrush: Giving Play Dates a New Meaning

GameCrush facepalmWe all know how it goes. Lonely nights at home eating cheese puffs. Drinking our Halo Mountain Dew. Thinking about the next Dungeons and Dragons night while we putter away at World of Warcraft or Modern Warfare 2. Wishing that we had a lovely lady to talk to. Actually, I’m not too familiar with that, but I know some sad dudes are. They could probably use GameCrush, a new service that allows gamers to pay girls to play video games with them.

Honestly, I would like to say that I’m surprised that a service like this exists, but really I’m not. In fact, I wish I’d thought of it first because I’m sure they will find an audience for it. Whatever pays the bills, right?

Basically, you pay GameCrush $6.60 every ten minutes to have a girl play on either XBox Live or flash based Web browser games. Apparently, the options range from “flirty” to “dirty”. Yikes. Anyway, I’d link you over to their actual site, but it seems that GameCrush itself is currently getting slammed (pun kind of intended) with traffic right now, so instead you can check out the press release. I hope for your sake that it is for purely lol-cational reasons.

Source- PressLift

Today’s WTF: Breach Gameplay for XBL Arcade

Today’s WTF is actually a good one. Maybe your reaction to this Breach gameplay video will be the same as mine: “Wait, this is a 15 dollar XBox Live Arcade game?”

Cover. Destructible environments. Pretty impressive graphics (though this video is taken off screen). Coming in June/July for only 1200 Microsoft points. There’s not really much else to say, except that this might be a day one purchase for me, and the very thing that holds me over with Bad Company 2 while I wait for Halo: Reach. I have to say that they’ve won me over with just one video, which is funny considering I haven’t even heard of this until now.

Who else wants this?


GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

We might sound like a broken record around here, but this first half of this year has been an absolute treasure trove for our hobby. We’ve already had several Game of the Year candidates land on our consoles already, and we’re not even in April yet! Even though we’ve got Splinter Cell: Conviction and Red Dead Redemption on approach, we’re getting ever closer to the dreaded Summer Drought where our consoles remain cold and dark and we’re forced to venture outside in search of amusement.

Before that happens, we have a few more weeks of glorious gaming! Seeing as how we’re inundated with more excellent games than we know what to do with, I thought I’d initiate our little monthly quiz and find out what you’re playing.

Since I know you’re dying to find out what I’m spending my time on, I’ll deign to answer your queries. This time, anyways. I’m currently doing a heck of a lot of PC gaming, mostly on Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This game continues to be fantastic, and I just can’t get enough of it. I’m also smiting the forces of Chaos in Dawn of War II, and that’s a pretty good time, especially in the co-op campaign. On the console, I’m just about done my fourth Mass Effect 2 playthrough, this time with a Shepard carried over from the original. I also got my mits on a PlayStation 3, so I’m looking forward to firing up some of 2010’s big PS titles. Oh, and I’m playing Pokemon HeartGold, but don’t tell anyone.

What about you guys? What have you got on the go, and what are you looking forward to? Anything that we haven’t talked about on GamerSushi that you think we should be checking out?

How the Big 3 are Still Pushing Games Forward

Innovating in video games is a double-edged sword, one capable of killing your enemies, but also likely to swing back and take your own head off. When publishers try something new, sometimes it pays off (Portal, WarioWare, LittleBigPlanet) and other times it bites them on the ass and stems the flow of creativity (Mirror’s Edge, GTA: Chinatown Wars).

But even in these…wait for it…dire economic times, the Big 3 are still trying to innovate and find new ways to entertain and get some of that cash money everybody’s always clamoring about. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have all brought great ideas to the forefront this generation and with Move, Natal, 3-D gaming and whatever the hell that Wii Vitality Sensor is, they continue to forge new ground.
Continue reading How the Big 3 are Still Pushing Games Forward

Vote on the Multiplayer Shooter Grudge Match

Given how much I’ve been absorbed into Battlefield: Bad Company 2 lately, I’ve had some time to do some thinking. Namely, I’m reminiscing on all the great multiplayer shooters of days gone by, thinking fondly back to the amount of time I’ve invested into each one. There were highs, lows and rage quits galore, sure, but a truly great multiplayer shooter is a dime a dozen. They’re not always easy to come by.

So, it got me thinking: what was my favorite multiplayer shooter of all time? What one game or franchise, when stacked up against all the others, provided what I felt to be the long-last memories that only a special game can bring. That’s why I decided to create this nifty poll.

What is the best multiplayer shooter franchise of all time?

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Eventually, Counter-Strike won the match for me. As fun as everything else is, I just can’t get away from all the time I sank into CS for all those years. Even now, I find myself tempted to play it, even after all the time I spent using it to make Leet World. So, you should vote and tell us what your favorite multiplayer shooter of all time is. Go!

GamerSushi Asks: More Likely?

Zoltar- BigSo it seems that everybody’s favorite features here are the ones where we all get to share a little more about our gaming preferences. Personally, I’m a big fan of the discussions that happen in these threads, and it’s one of my favorite parts about writing and participating here- seeing what you dudes think and being able to bounce stuff back and forth.

As such, we’ve come up with a new questionnaire of sorts: More Likely. Here, I ask all of us to put on our best fortune telling caps, and divine the future like some kind of Gamestradamus. We will make our predictions and only time will tell who the real winners are in this game. The way this works is simple: just answer which of these things you think is more likely. Feel free to go into as little or as much detail as to the reasons for your answer.

So without further ceremony, allow me to get the ball rolling…
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: More Likely?

Hydro Thunder Trailer Fills Me With Joy

I think that developers have finally cracked the magic code that protects the part of my brain that controls impulse buying: HD-remakes of games that I loved in my youth. First Sonic the Hedgehog gets his own downloadable nostalgia-inducing title, and now my favorite boat-racing game, Hydro Thunder, is getting an X-Box Live Arcade release. The game is being rebuilt to take advantage of current generation technologies, and the developers are adding all sorts of goodies like wave physics and all that jazz. Have a look at the trailer:

I remember sinking hours into the arcade version of this game, and even more into the Nintendo 64 version. There might be too many good Arcade titles coming out this year, but I’m going to make an effort to put this one on the list! Is anyone else going to pick it up?

Brevity is Not the Soul of Wit for MGS Peace Walker Trailer

Oh, Hideo Kojima and your crazy gameplay conventions. More than any other gaming franchise in the history of our hobby, Metal Gear Solid has been equal parts awesome and puzzling. Where else can you be sneaking through an enemy base like a bad-ass at one moment and the then staring at a Playboy to regain your…ahem…”Stamina” the next? Besides being completley out to lunch, Metal Gear games are also famous for their propensity to drag on and on, and this new trailer for the upcoming PSP game Peace Walker is no exception. Clocking in at eight minutes, it shows three Snakes on a mission to take out a helicopter and tie some dudes to balloons. Go ahead and watch:

As easy as it is to make fun of Metal Gear, there’s no denying that this game looks solid. Heck, it even makes me want to buy a PSP even though all my handheld love is currently going into Pokemon Gold. What do you guys think about this trailer? I’m still trying to work out why this game isn’t a full fledged PS3 title, but it looks like it might just work. Sound off!

Modern Warfare 2 DLC Trailer is Stimulating

As we are all well aware, Infinity Ward is still giving us a map pack for their immensely popular online shooter on March 30 despite their current trouble with parent company Activision. Featuring five maps, two of them remakes of the popular Call of Duty 4 maps, Crash and Overgrown, this add-on will cost an astounding fifteen dollars. Take a look at the newly released trailer for the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package:

How do you guys feel about this? I’ve moved on to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and I don’t think I’ll go back to Modern Warfare 2. The game was really addictive for a while, but the land-slide of bugs and glitches killed my enthusiasm. Who here is still playing this game, and are you going to pick up this up?

Just Cause 2 Brings Madness and Mayhem

I never got to play the original Just Cause, but I remember playing its demo nearly non-stop for several days straight. I loved the free-falling so much, it reminded me of the flying in Super Mario 64. However, when reviews started releasing, it became clear that the game had little much to offer in terms of variety and lasting appeal.

Now that the sequel is out, I’m curious about the franchise again. This new Madness and Mayhem Montage certainly bolsters the idea that this could actually be a pretty fun game. Has anyone here played it?

GamerSushi Asks: Arcade Memories

With the release of the Game Room on Xbox Live, it occurred to me that many of the younglings on Xbox Live have no idea what an arcade even is. I spent many a day of my youth in the dimly lit, sometimes smoke-filled gaming meccas and I wasted many a quarter.

Those were the days of Star Wars Arcade, Nintendo Play Choice 10, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Asteroids. I never played Dragon’s Lair, but I watched the cinematic that would play automatically dozens of times, longing for one more quarter. Apparently, I didn’t miss much, but I wanted to know: do you guys have any arcade memories you are fond? Do you have any at all?

My favorite was pumping quarters into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game with my friends on my birthday and finally defeating the evil Shredder. It was literally a jump up and down, hug each other moment.

So…what’s your epic win? GO!

Nintendo Reveals New 3D-Enabled DS Handheld

I don’t suppose you remember a few weeks back when Eddy posted a sweet video of a Nintendo DS doing some really neat 3D tricks? Seems that idea isn’t so far fetched after all, as Nintendo just announced that they are developing an updated version of the venerable DS handheld device called the 3DS. As you might glean from its moniker, this new portable system is capable of 3D gaming without the use of a pair of funky glasses.

Furthermore, this new DS is capable of backwards compatibility with all current DS and DSi titles.We can look forward to seeing this device in Japan before March of next year, with a North American release to follow shortly thereafter. No firm date has been announced, but 1up postulates that we will see the 3DS hit Japan late this year with a NA follow up in the spring of 2011. Next week also sees the release of the DSi XL which has a much larger screen than previous versions of the DS.

What do you guys think about this announcement? I think we’ve seen more DS iterations released in our life-time than we have Call of Duty games. How do you think this new development will play out for Nintendo? Should they be worried about flooding the market? Would you even pick one up? Fire away!

Source: 1up

Gaming Pop Quiz, Spring 2010 Edition

Ah, Spring is rolling on in, bringing with it a wave of warmth, pollen and a fresh batch of new games. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I was still trying to catch up on new games at this time of the year. Not that I’m complaining or anything. Anyway, in honor of the bountiful harvest of gaming goodness, we’ve brought a new pop quiz!

Here’s how it works: We’ve come up with 7 different questions about your gaming history. As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Obviously, some of these things you might not remember, but answer to the best of your ability. Go!
Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz, Spring 2010 Edition

GamerSushi Asks: Are Games Pissing You Off?

One thing I’ve been noticing a lot recently is that it takes fewer and fewer annoyances to make me give up a game in frustration. In my youth, I used to be able to look past repeated cheap deaths or terrible voice acting, but now that I’m older and my time has become increasingly more valuable I’m throwing aside games that rub me the wrong way very quickly.

A couple examples of this have come from two demos I’ve played recently: Splinter Cell: Conviction and Just Cause 2. While they both have the makings of two very fun titles, there are certain aspects of both that make me doubt whether or not I even want to bother with them. I’m going to sound a little petty here, but just hear me out. For Splinter Cell: Conviction, I was having a decent time tagging guys and doing silent take-downs, even if I did find the actions a little repetitious after a while. Once I got detected by the guards, that’s when I started to get agitated. While they’re searching for you, the various henchmen populating the level will spout phrases like: “Target lost, requesting update!”, or, “Continuing search for the target!” over and over until you put several bullets through their skulls. While this may not be enough to set most people off, having to listen to a dozen automatons bark their dialogue while waving their flashlights around really did the game in for me.
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Are Games Pissing You Off?

Halo Reach’s Matchmaking System Puts You in Your Place

halo reach
When you think of Halo, I bet the first though that comes to mind is the multiplayer. While the Halo games have always had a good campaign mode (personal interpretation, here), it’s the online chaos that have drawn people to the games, and Bungie’s up-coming Halo: Reach looks to improve on what has come before. In a recent sit-down with Shacknews, Bungie Studios gave an in-depth look at the ranking system for the sci-fi FPS.

A lot of changes have been made under the hood for Reach, and the plan is to make it more accessible than Halo 3’s system was. While the friend’s list in Halo 3 was obtuse at best, Reach’s new friends interface, called Active Roster, is being made to fix some of the problems inherit with the previous model. It’s omnipresent throughout all of Reach’s menus, and it provides you with real-time updates on all of your friends and what they’re currently doing in Reach. Part of the overhaul is the “queue” option, where you can wait to join your friends automatically once they leave their current game, instead of having to do the complicated rigmarole of repeated invites and lobby joining.
Continue reading Halo Reach’s Matchmaking System Puts You in Your Place

Crackdown 2: Rocket Tag

Many of you know of my great love for the game Crackdown. I credit the sandbox/platformer hybrid with my obsession for achievement hunting, and also name it as one of my best of this generation with no shame. It was a game unlike any other I had played before, and made you feel like a super soldier in the midst of a gorgeously realized open world.

While I have my doubts about the sequel, I’m still holding onto hope and looking forward to its release. The primary draw for me would have to be the four player co-op, which just seems like it’s going to be a screaming good time. It seems there’s a new Crackdown 2: Rocket Tag promotional video out, highlighting what was good sport in the first game: shooting the crap out of each other with rockets.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the game completely, so I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this newest trailer.

Are Games Emotionally Engaging?

Mass Effect 2One phrase that we have been hearing a lot lately from the videogame industry is the idea of making our current gaming stories more engaging in terms of emotion. Doing something like this seems to be one of the last great barriers in the minds of game makers, considering what the technology of their platforms can do.

Specifically, Bioware is the company speaking about this most of all. In a recent interview with Kotaku, company manager Ray Muzyka shared Bioware’s vision statement. Namely, to “create, deliver and evolve the most emotionally engaging gaming experiences in the world”. The article goes on to talk about character development and progression, and how Bioware aims to create these feelings in all of their franchises.

The problem with this? As good as Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins were, I don’t know if I ever felt “emotionally engaged” at any point of the stories. Sure, there were characters I was crazy attached to, and moments that took my breath away or dropped my jaw- many of those, in fact. But I wouldn’t say that there was any point that hit me like moments of Final Fantasy VII, IX, X, or Shadow of the Colossus, and those are all from previous generations. To me, it’s odd that developers are still trying to hit this, but to me it comes down to the writing.

So what about you guys? Do you find that games are emotionally engaging enough? What games have you played that have done that for you?

Source- Kotaku