Raising The Bar: Games That Ruin All Others

Optimus PrimeDespite the better than expected reviews, there’s something about Transformers: War For Cybertron that just isn’t clicking for me. I enjoy transforming, especially into a jet and flying around the map, but it still isn’t enough. The weapons are decent, but weapon selection has never bothered me before or even been a major factor in the amount of fun I have, with the notable exception of the Ratchet and Clank series. So what gives? I should having a blast, but all I can muster up is one great big “Meh”.

Then it hits me like Megatron backhanding Starscream: I’ve played Uncharted 2. And Uncharted 2 was, to me, the definitive 3rd-person shooter, one that set such a high standard that few games can live up to it. It almost ruined the genre, really. This is not to say that other games, such as Gears of War, are not fantastic experiences themselves, as I enjoy that series also, but Uncharted 2 was able to grab me in a way that few games could. So playing an average 3rd-person shooter is likely to make me want to play Uncharted 2 more than anything else. Continue reading Raising The Bar: Games That Ruin All Others

GamerSushi Asks: Exceeding Expectations?

Left 4 Dead 2

Now that we’re right in the middle of the fall of gaming, it’s probably good for us to take a moment to talk about expectations for the games we’re wanting to play. I know a few people who get so worked up over what they want out of something, there’s absolutely no way it could hit the target they’ve set. Every new movie or game becomes a unicorn hunt, and we all know how hard it is to bring one of those things down unless we’ve got some kind of homing missile.

However, it’s always nice when a game you pick up goes beyond what you hoped and expected for it. A recent example for me would have to be Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which far out shined anything I could have anticipated for the title. In past years, other titles that did the same thing would include Beyond Good and Evil, Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 3, Final Fantasy IX (and XII), and Left 4 Dead 2. These were all games where I didn’t know what to expect when I played them, and then happened to pleasantly surprise me or blow me away.

What games in recent years have done the same for you? What games have disappointed you? What games left in the fall are you still looking forward to, and what do you think of the ones you’ve gotten to play? Go!

GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

We’re back with our three favorite enforcers, ready to weigh in on a few hot topics which have cropped up in the past couple of weeks: EA Louse, Gran Tourismo and Fallout: New Vegas’ less than perfect launch.

As always, these sorts of eyebrow-raising news stories are perfect fodder for the Cops. Here’s how they break down: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety. Keep reading to find out what they have to say on these issues:

Continue reading GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop

Diablo 3 Brings Demon Hunters and PvP Arenas to BlizzCon

In case you’re living under a rock or just don’t like awesome PC games, BlizzCon 2010 is happening right now in Anaheim, California, and there’s been a few new developments on the Diablo 3 front, which has been pretty silent since last BlizzCon. Today the fifth and final class, the Demon Hunter, was announced with the requisite kick-ass video. Looks like fans of the ranged DPS (damage per second) option will have their choice right here.

The other big announcement today was the introduction of dedicated Player versus Player Arenas for Diablo 3, which should help circumvent the “gank the new guy in town” stuff that keeps happening to me in Diablo 2. Despite these two devilish pieces of info, we still don’t have a release date for Diablo 3, but I’d say late 2011 is probably a safe bet. Anyone getting excited about Diablo 3? Who’s going to roll a Demon Hunter when the game drops?

Sonic Fan Remix is Just What the Fanboys Ordered

While I have not played the newly released Sonic the Hedgehog 4, I have heard that some sniping exists between two differing viewpoints on the game. Some complain that the game is too similar to the old school Sonic games from the Genesis days, while others complain that it doesn’t feel similar enough. In my mind, that probably means that Sega probably nailed it on the head, but that’s a topic for another time.

On the discussion board for today is an impressive demo of Sonic Fan Remix, a lovingly crafted HD remake of a few Sonic the Hedgehog levels. It might be hard to tell from the gameplay video, but this bad boy was conjured up by a development team of just two people. If you want, you can download that sweet thing and play it on your PC. Apparently it’s a bit CPU intensive, but you’ll have to judge that for yourselves. Or just watch.

Although some are a bit premature in claiming that it might be better than Sonic the Hedgehog 4, I’m going to say that it is certainly stunning for a fan made project, and begs the question, yet again – why didn’t these guys just make their own game? Have we not learned from Notch that there’s a killing to be made for small indie teams with great games?

So what do you guys think? How many of you have played Sonic the Hedgehog 4?

Source – Sonic Fan Remix

Valve Rewards Team Fortress 2 Community Contributors with Lots of Zeroes

Golden WrenchWow. This is one of those stories that just oozes awesome. It’s like our “Today’s WTF” topics, but in a totally different way.

If you are a lover of Team Fortress 2, then you’ll recall that Valve launched an in-game store for virtual items, Mann Co. Store. The coolest thing about this marketplace is that it allowed users to buy items for the game that they didn’t feel like earning over the course of time. So basically, the items could either be earned for free, or bought to skip all that grinding.

As part of the launch of this new business model, Valve participated in the Polycount item contest, where users competed to see whose items could make it into the game. Well, it turns out that the five winners not only got their items added to the game, but also to the Mann Co. Store, where other users could purchase them… and Valve gave the content creators a 25% revenue share.

It added up pretty quickly. Continue reading Valve Rewards Team Fortress 2 Community Contributors with Lots of Zeroes

Seven Minute Metal Gear Solid 3DS Demo is Still in a Dream

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is probably still one of my favorite video games ever, so the news that this classic will soon become portable on the Nintendo 3DS is enough to give me mind boners, to coin a term Eddy once used for the Dragon Age cinematic trailer. We’ve seen snippets of the Metal Gear Solid 3DS demo here and there since E3, but never in English, and certainly not for seven minutes. I’ve embedded the demo for Metal Gear Solid 3DS below for your viewing pleasure:

No word of a lie, that was incredible. I mean, it lacks the pop of the 3D, but you definitely get a sense that when we get this thing in our hands we’re going to be blown away. When the Snake Eater theme comes on at the end of the video, I kind of lost it. I mean, I am a huge fan of MGS3, so that’s my natural reaction, but how do you guys feel? Were you as riveted as I was? Are you waiting on a different 3DS title to grab you?

GamerSushi Asks: Favorite Castlevania Game?

Richter Belmont and Wolf

Now that some of the excitement has died down regarding Konami’s latest entry into the series, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I thought it would be a good time to look back at our memories of this gothic classic that has been with us since the early days of the NES. Besides, as Eddy bravely revealed in his review of Lords of Shadow, he is a newcomer to this series and this might give him a primer on where to go next.

Which is why this guide listing Castlevania’s Greatest Hits from GamePro is so handy! Personally, I was surprised at their selection for the top spot: Rondo of Blood. Now, I had always heard good things about it, but Symphony of the Night is widely considered to be one of the best games of all time, so Rondo of Blood must be pretty good, right? No idea myself, but I did run to my Virtual Console and download it, so maybe I will let you know the verdict on that soon.

So, what is your favorite Castlevania game? Which one did you play first? Has Lords of Shadow made you want to check out the series? Go!

Source: GamePro

Today’s WTF: Angry Minecraft Fans Shut Down Minecraft Because They Want More Minecraft

minecraft ddos attack

Don’t worry, GamerSushi faithful, today’s Minecraft post isn’t about some crazy contraption or a replica of a Star Destroyer (although that would be cool), but instead about a group of pissed-off protesters who are attempting to force the developer to update the game with a hack attack.

According to the blog of the head developer of Minecraft and newly minted owner of Mojang Specifications, Notch, the Minecraft servers starting having trouble last night because of a DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, attack. For those unfamiliar with the term, this basically amounts to occupying a specific resource for a long time so no one else can utilize at. As Notch himself put it, it’s kind of like paying for your groceries with small coins, then finding out you don’t have enough after you’ve counted all of them up very slowly.

Notch himself isn’t too sure why Minecraft is being targeted, but Kotaku dug up an apparent manifesto on 4chan, which is the Internet equivalent of Mos Eisley from Star Wars. According to the rant, a group of hackers banded together to force Notch to update Minecraft which, for a half-price Alpha, isn’t being improved upon fast enough in their eyes. Here’s the group’s alleged ransom letter: Continue reading Today’s WTF: Angry Minecraft Fans Shut Down Minecraft Because They Want More Minecraft

Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam Trailer Loves the Smell of Napalm in The Morning

Out of all the multiplayer-centric franchises out there, I’ve got to say that the Battlefield games are still my favorite so anything new on this series is bound to get me “stimulated”, if you’ll pardon the inside joke. Bad Company 2 is still hands-down the best multiplayer experience I’ve had this year (Reach is a close second), so needless to say that the upcoming Vietnam expansion is right up my rubble-strewn alley. Check out the new trailer, which gives us the price and a vague release date:

Four multiplayer maps for fifteen dollars? I’ve payed more for less, so I’m happy as a clam. What about you guys? Anyone going to be picking this up? I know that Bad Company 2 isn’t super popular on the Xbox anymore, but it’s still kicking on PC, which is where I’ll be hanging my hat. Let us know!

Review: Enslaved: Odyssey To The West

In this age of constant over-exposure and gameplay trailers years in advance (even if it they look fantastic) it’s refreshing to be pleasantly surprised by a game that comes out of nowhere without much fanfare.

Until I started hearing rumblings about how great the screenshots and trailers looked, Enslaved: Odyssey To The West wasn’t even on my radar. However, I made sure to download the demo as soon as it dropped, and I was quickly hooked by the gorgeous visuals and engaging combat.

I liked it enough that I used some trade-in credit at GameStop to pick up the full game when it came out, and here I am a few weeks later with a verdict. The short version is that I’d love to see more underdog titles like Enslaved come up from behind to provide a bit of entertainment between the garden-variety triple-A sequel/franchise/FPS releases. Read on to find out more.
Continue reading Review: Enslaved: Odyssey To The West

Apparently 80% of Gamers Don’t Mind 3D Glasses

3D glasses

To me, one of the most exciting prospects of the Nintendo 3DS is that it can provide the promised benefits of 3D gaming without having to sport some new 3D glasses while enjoying its retro titled goodness. I have never been one to criticize the idea of 3D gaming simply for what it is, but rather because the glasses are just something that I’m not interested in wearing every time I fire up a disc. But maybe I’m alone in that.

It seems that a new study from the U-Decide Initiative has found that as much as 80% of gamers don’t view 3D glasses as a barrier to enter into the next dimension of gaming, and wouldn’t mind donning 3D glasses in order to do so. The study also found that interest in 3D was indeed greater when glasses weren’t part of the equation, but even still, the numbers are different than what I would have suspected. Granted, all studies like this need to be handled with a grain of salt, but I still found the idea to be interesting, nonetheless.

So what do you guys think of this? Are 3D glasses a breaking point for you when it comes to 3D gaming? Or is it more about the price involved in purchasing a TV that can support it? Challenge my assumptions! Do it!

Source – Industry Gamers

Rovio Announces Angry Birds Halloween

As we mentioned on our last podcast, Angry Birds is selling like hotcakes for the iPhone and now Android. I guess that wasn’t enough for Rovio Mobile though, because on their blog today they announced a special Halloween edition of Angry Birds. It will be a standalone game with 45 spooky new levels. Unfortunately for Android users it will only be available on the iTunes App Store. Rovio says it should show up at midnight on October 21st, and will run you $0.99 for the standard version and $1.99 for the HD iPad version.

Trailer below:

[youtube width=”500″ height=”331″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWTgarcCWZc[/youtube]


THQ’s Danny Bilson to Publishers: Make New IPs

It’s always refreshing to see someone high up in the games industry look at things the way we do. While there are going to be some people who won’t feel the same, we bemoaned the lack of original games in a recent podcast (and many times before) because we’re getting a little tired of spending our money on the same thing every year.

At the recent opening of their Montreal studio, THQ’s Executive VP of Core Games Danny Bilson talked with IndustryGamers about a variety of things, one of them being the importance of new intellectual properties, or IPs. While most publishers seem to be content to push out a new title in a franchise every year with little experimentation because it’s safer, Bilson argues that this could be more harmful in the long run. See his reasoning after the jump: Continue reading THQ’s Danny Bilson to Publishers: Make New IPs

GamerSushi Asks: Launch Day Frustrations

fallout-new-vegas bugs

It’s happened to all of us. We get home from work or school, tear the shrink wrapping off the box or boot up Steam, only to discover that the video game gods have different plans for us. Whether it’s a RAIDed video card melting inside of an improperly ventilated Alienware PC or Games for Windows Live just decided to take a day off (or even the dreaded Red Ring of Death), there are many malignant forces at work attempting to prevent you from playing your game.

The last sort of launch day shenanigans I can remember happened with Fallout 3, which needed to go through Games for Windows Live and just didn’t like the fact that I kept trying to sign into my Gamer Profile. I eventually got it to work, but at the cost of a day’s worth of Fallout. Recently, I’ve heard that New Vegas is pretty unstable, and has been giving users some grief when they try to load it through Steam.

I didn’t have any problems with New Vegas personally (except for my weapon clipping through my body in third-person view), but I was wondering if you guys had any launch-day horror stories to tell. Did your computer blue screen, or were you just unable to play your game? Any Xbox owners experience the RRoD, which always seems to come out of the woodwork on the launch of big games. I’ve never heard of a PlayStation crapping out on a new game, but I’d love to hear about it. Tell us your harrowing tale in the comments!

Today’s WTF: Gran Turismo 5 Honcho Asks Players for Frame Rate Forgiveness

Gran Turismo 5

Oh, Kaz Yamauchi. I know it seems tough for you right now, with Polyphony Digital under the gun for the many Gran Turismo 5 delays. But soon, soon the game will be out (holiday season 2010, maybe?), it will be incredible as always, and all of this silliness will be behind you. Right? Maybe not.

Apparently, Gran Turismo 5 is having some frame rate issues these days. While the team at Polyphony Digital worked hard to ensure that the powerhouse racing simulator ran at a smooth 60 fps at 1080p, it doesn’t seem that this is always the case. And because of that, Yamauchi wants your forgiveness.

Check out the quote from Yamauchi himself, after the jump. Continue reading Today’s WTF: Gran Turismo 5 Honcho Asks Players for Frame Rate Forgiveness

Spooky Games To Play In The Dark

Resident Evil 4

The witching hour is almost upon us, ghouls. Halloween is just around the corner and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. All the girls dress up in their most revealing outfits and all the people like me try to think of the costume that will involve the least amount of money/work. But not everyone is into dressing up and I can respect that. Some nights are best spent indoors.

So if you are planning on hiding from the inevitable Lady Gaga barrage that we are likely in for on the 31st, there is hope for you. GamePro concocted The Gamer’s Horror Game Guide, a list which gives you plenty of spooky games to play, no matter what platform you have. Personally, Fear 2 and Bioshock are my creepiest games, although Resident Evil 4 did have some moments that left me pale. I’ve never played Silent Hill, but I’ve heard of it freaking people out.

What games do you play when you want to send chills up your spine? Has any game so unnerved you that you had to stop playing for a while? Are you going to play anything scary on Halloween? Boo!

Source: GamePro

What’s In a Game: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

majora's maskI’ve made no secret about my mad love for the Nintendo 64’s Majora’s Mask; I might even go as far to say that it is my favorite Zelda title. Why am I so infatuated with the game, though? The general consensus was that this Ocarina follow-up was OK, but it lacked the magic, the charm and the feel. I couldn’t disagree more, because Majora’s Mask was the darkest, most thematic and most engaging Zelda ever made.

Let’s start with the beginning of the game, where a child Link is riding Epona through a forest, searching for a lost friend. Right away the game established the creepy tone, with a small boy, albeit well equipped for a fight, riding through a dark misty forest. The fact that you play as young Link is meant to make you feel powerless in some respects, particularly more so as you progress through the opening chapters. Adult Link is a favorite of gamers, so right away Nintendo might have alienated some Ocarina of Time fans.
Continue reading What’s In a Game: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

Fallout New Vegas

It’s that time again, folks. The time where all of us check in and talk about the games we are playing. Or in my case, the games we wish we were playing. At the moment, I happen to be in the middle of a self-imposed ban of all things gaming until I finish a certain stupid novel I’m writing. But believe me, there are games I wish I could get my hands on.

For one, Fallout: New Vegas unfurls its Sin City makeover this week, and I’m kind of itching to see if Obsidian picks up the mantle from Bethesda in a meaningful way. While at first I was skeptical of the game, all of the material I’ve seen from it lately give me hope, so I’m anxious to get some playing time with it. In addition to that, I would like to play Dead Rising 2 and of course, Halo: Reach. Surprisingly, though, the game I’ve been dying to play most of all over the last few days? Final Fantasy VII. The music has been stuck in my head, and now I just want to relive the magic for some reason. Soon.

Anyway, go ahead and tease me with all of the great games you guys are playing that I’m not. Rub it in my face. Tell me how much fun it is. I won’t cry… much. What are you guys playing? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Favorite NES Game?

Nintendo Entertainment SystemAs we talked about in our awesome new podcast, this is the 25th Anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly referred to these days as the NES. This blocky console revived the video game industry, launched dozens of franchises that we still play today and generated enough gaming memories to last a lifetime.

Which is why this list of the Top 25 NES Games from 1up got me thinking. In the podcast, we talk about some of the more obscure games, but we shouldn’t ignore the popular ones either. After all, they are popular for a damn good reason: they’re awesome. Personally, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros 3, Dragon Warrior and The Legend of Zelda and Contra were my favorite NES games. Metroid was a bit much for me at that age, so it just misses the list.

What about you? What NES games were your favorites? Did the 1UP list put anything too high or too low? Hit me!

Source – 1UP