Remembering the Half Life 2 Heist

HL2 Source Code

If you recall, one of the most famous gaming heists of all time occurred back in October of 2003, when a lone hacker cracked into Valve’s servers and lifted all of Half Life 2’s source code in its entirety. Even in the days before sensationalist gaming blogs, this was a monstrously huge deal, and the news of it swept over the gaming community like a tsunami.

Several months later, German student Axel Gembe was arrested by police officers in order to keep the hacker from being picked up by the FBI in America, under a presumed trip to visit Valve for a job interview. That’s the part of the story you might not be aware of. Eurogamer recently did an interview with Gembe, who has set his life on a different path since all of that craziness went down. It’s one of the cooler gaming articles I’ve ever read, especially looking back on all that’s happened since then with Valve and its meteoric rise in the industry.

Anyway, give it a read if you think it’s something that would catch your fancy. Do you guys remember when this went down? What did you think of the article? What do you think of Gembe’s remorse and the changes he’s made in his life?

Source – Eurogamer

Games Media Fail: GTA V Not Confirmed

GTA V Fraud

I’ve long been hard on video game “journalism”, especially when it comes to getting news and scoops about games from voice actors and people not directly involved with the development of the game, but I’ve kept my silence. Until now. You may have heard on numerous sites on the Internet (but not this one) that news of Grand Theft Auto V had leaked. How did this get out? Someone checked the IMDB profile of Declan Mulvey and saw he was credited as being in Grand Theft Auto V.

And what did many sites do? They ran with it, many of them even bothering to contact Rockstar or Take-Two for confirmation, forgetting that real journalists get confirmation BEFORE running a story, not after. And lo and behold, it turns out that it was a typo, as Eurogamer so helpfully points out. It was meant to read Grand Theft Auto IV, not V.

Do things like this bother you? They seriously get under my skin. All this running around, checking out domain registers, talking to voice actors and then walking back stories is starting to get old. It makes the whole games media look juvenile. Am I being too harsh here? Or is this just the state of the Internet these days? Go!

Source – EuroGamer

Review: Bulletstorm

bulletstorm review

While some may say that the age of the “silent protagonist” in video games is over, there are a few times where I wish that we could return to the days of yore, where our controlled hero just got on with the job and didn’t have a smart-ass remark for everything. Bulletstorm is one of those times. Everyone in this game suffers from a severe form of tourettes crossed with verbal diarrhea. The story in your game doesn’t have to be amazing to please me, but at least make it so I don’t want to jam a power drill through my skull every time I have to listen to one of the characters wax philosophic about dicks.

For a little history, Bulletstorm is a First-Person-Shooter collaboration between Epic Games and People Can Fly where the object of the game is to kill enemies in creative ways to rack up Skillshots. Taking advantage of the Unreal 3 engine, and going out of its way to distance itself from every other FPS on the market, Bulletstorm hopes to carve out a niche with its unique take on FPS mechanics. How well does it fare in that regard?
Continue reading Review: Bulletstorm

GamerSushi Asks: Sound Off!


At GamerSushi we do our best to scour the Webz for the things that we think you guys would like to talk about. Over the years, we feel like we’ve gathered a decent taste for everyone’s interests (Valve). When we can’t locate anything worthwhile, we try to pull from the issues we ourselves face in the games we play. Typically, this means we select all of the topics and put them up for your perusal.

Tonight, I wanted to try something different. I thought I’d ask what you guys want to talk about. Since we don’t have a forum proper (and plan on keeping things that way), you guys don’t always get to sound off on what you’ve been thinking about from a gaming perspective. Heaven knows that between all of the trailers (such as Skyrim or Dead Island) and new releases over the last few weeks, there’s certainly a lot to discuss.

So, have at it. What have you guys been thinking about in terms of games? Thoughts on the industry or things you’re playing? We’ll see how deep this rabbit hole goes. Go!

inFAMOUS 2 Duality Trailer Tears It Up

It’s been a week for excellent trailers, it seems. While Skryim is definitely the best of the bunch, I do have a soft spot in my cold, jaded gamer heart for inFAMOUS 2’s Duality trailer, which shows off some more gameplay along with the two warring sides of Cole’s psyche. This time around, the good and evil parts of Cole are personified Kuo and Nix, who will tempt Cole into assisting them to further their own goals. Check out the trailer embedded below:

I’m very much looking forward to inFAMOUS 2, which has been confirmed for a June 7 release. The original was one of my favorite games of 2009, so I can’t wait to see how developers Sucker Punch have juiced up the sequel. What about you guys, excited about inFAMOUS 2?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 20: Hype Machines

Welcome to Episode 20 of the podcast, this time with bigger explosions, more sadness and lots of terrible burns. Mitch is absent for part of this cast, although Jeff is back. But worry not, for the fellowship will be re-united tonight when we record Episode 21 of the podcast, complete with drinking games.

In this podcast, we tackle a number of gaming issues, including the ridiculously good Dead Island trailer (and all they have to live up to), replaying classic video games and ten year console cycles. Nick also hits us with a mathematically stimulating game of percentages which has us battle about Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Video Games at the Smithsonian, and Bungie’s Space MMO. We also chat about Mega Ran’s Black Materia, the FFVII hip hop tribute which is seriously incredible stuff. I may post about it separately later, but for real, check it out if you love either hip hop or the FFVII soundtrack.

So, without further ado, here’s the podcast. Listen. Rate. Enjoy.

Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 20: Hype Machines

Epic Games Talks Gears of War 3 Beta and Release Date

gears of war 3 beta details and release date

At an Xbox 360 press event today, Epic Games revealed a bit more about Gears of War 3, including the upcoming Beta and some additional details on the game’s September 20 release. VG247 has a really good interview with Gears’ art director Chris Perna about the new look for Marcus and friends, the environments, and the recently unveiled cover art for Gears of War 3.

As Gears of War 3 is the end chapter for the current trilogy, the characters are being redesigned to display the wear and tear of the fifteen year war against the Locust, the main enemy of the game. The armor is a worn down, the weapons are ragged and filthy, and the characters faces are tired and grubby. Gears of War 3 will retain the same predominantly brown look endemic to the series, but the levels are going to be a bit more varied this time around as opposed to the city and cavern based backdrops of the first two games.

It’s not just the protagonists that are getting a make-over for Gears 3, but the Locust as well. As Gears of War 2 saw the destruction of the Locust capital city (spoilers), the former alien conquerors are eking out an existence much like the human population of Sera, the planet Gears of War is set on. The Locust are beaten and broken, living in the wasteland and bearing a superficial resemblance to the Sand People of Star Wars (a comparison drawn by Chris Perna). The Lambent, the new enemy that are the bane of humans and Locust alike, are a bit more extraterrestrial in their origin; they’re very different from the Locust, who are more or less humanoid in their appearance. Chris Perna once again makes a reference to sci-fi pop culture by saying the Lambent are more inspired by H.R. Giger’s Alien designs than Conan the Barbarian, which served as the original inspiration for the Locust.

There’s not much more detail about Gears 3 gameplay or story wise that we didn’t already know about, but a bit more information was dropped about the Beta. Hit the jump to see how to get in, and what rewards you get for playing it. Continue reading Epic Games Talks Gears of War 3 Beta and Release Date

Skyrim Official Gameplay Trailer Released

I don’t know about you guys but Skyrim has me excited. As some people around here anticipate some of the upcoming titles like Battlefield 3 you may notice some of us even talking about PC upgrades already, 8 months before the titles are set for release. Skyrim now has its official trailer released with in game footage. You can find the video embedded below or check it out at The Elder Scrolls website.

Wow. All I can think about is everything I see in there that has been talked about by the developers. From the stunning new graphics and world to the death moves and dynamic new gameplay. The trailer shows off enough for me to already be impressed with the look and feel of the game.

So after seeing the official trailer for the game, are any of you more stoked about Skyrim? With a taste of the gameplay are you planning on console or PC?

Source – The Elder Scrolls Official Site

Art Reveals Truth: Do Games Reveal Truth?


Oh, no. Not this debate again. Yes, I’m afraid so. To quote The Dude, “New shit has come to light, man.”

But not on purpose. Video games were the farthest thing from my mind as I was reading an interview on with David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “Treme”. Simon used to be a journalist, but has moved on to television. His shows are known for their realistix slang, authenticity and frankly, being better than 90% of the stuff out there. He was asked, if he loves realism so much, why doesn’t he make documentaries. This was his response:

We know more about human pride, purpose, and obsession from Moby-Dick than from any contemporaneous account of the Nantucket whaler that was actually struck and sunk by a whale in the nineteenth-century incident on which Melville based his book. And we know how much of an affront the Spanish Civil War was to the human spirit when we stare at Picasso’s Guernica than when we read a more deliberate, fact-based account. I am not comparing anything I’ve done to any of the above; please, please do not presume that because I cite someone else’s art, I claim anything similar for anything I’ve done. But I cite the above because it makes the answer to your question obvious: Picasso said art is the lie that allows us to see the truth. That is it exactly.

Which stopped me in my tracks. We do, as a people, learn more about humanity from fiction than we do history books, which are devoid of emotion, but full of facts. Fiction may skimp on facts, but there is a soul there that highlights the best and worst of the world.

So my question is…what truth do video games allow us to see? What insights have you gleaned from playing games? I’m not talking about learning what a FAMAS is or even being more curious about Objectivism from playing Bioshock and looking it up on Wikipedia, but more of glimpses into the human condition and lessons of life that are readily apparent in other mediums. Answering this question will go a long way towards settling the debate on whether games are art or not.

Source –

Battlefield 3 Gameplay Trailer Looks Oh So Good

Without a doubt, 2011 is going to be a crazy year. If you’ve been hanging around this site long enough, you’ll know that we hit on certain beats over and over again, so the over-the-top gaming goodness of this year is something you’ll hear us bring up a few more times. Speaking of over-the-top, a new trailer for Battlefield 3 dropped today featuring some in game footage, and needless to say, it did a Strike at Karkand…in my pants. This is not pre-rendered, folks, this is all running on the Frostbite 2 engine (on a crazy rig, probably) and it’s amazing.

It really sucks that I’m going to have to upgrade my PC to Windows 7 to play this (I’ve been running XP since it came out), but it just might be worth it. I’ve already put down my hard-earned monies on the pre-order to get the Back to Karkand expansion for free. What about you guys? Down for some Battlefield 3? What system are you getting it on?

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

Dragon Age 2

You thought you had a break, didn’t you? In your naivete, you thought that maybe, just maybe, there was going to be a brief lull for you to catch up on all of your games, before all of the big releases of 2011 rained down on us like manna from heaven. Sadly, you’re mistaken. You see, time has this way of sneaking past you – yes, it’s already almost March.

Between Dead Space 2, the Dragon Age 2 demo, the release of Bulletstorm, Killzone 3 and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, we gamers have our plates more than full. Sadly (or joyfully, depending on how you look at it), it’s only going to get crazier from here on out.

In terms of what I’m playing, I’ve been splitting my time between a small bit of Dead Space 2 (yes, I screamed like a girl), Little Big Planet 2 and my first ever playthrough of Final Fantasy VI Advance. I also tried my hand at the Dragon Age 2 demo today, and I have to say that I’m already in love with how they’ve revamped the combat. It feels slightly more hack-n-slash without losing that DA:O flavor that I loved. The art style is very nice in motion as well, so hopefully that will alleviate some concerns in that department. I’m not sure just yet how I feel about the conversation system, which has a little less moral gray than I would like, but I suppose I’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.

Needless to say, I’ve been infected with the Dragon Age flavor all over again and can’t wait for March 8th to get here. So what about you guys? What are you playing? Did any of you try out the demo? Go!

Top Six: Anthony’s All-Time Favorite Games

I am now 30 years old, the alleged average age of video game players. I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember, dating back to the Atari, arcade games at the mall, the NES all the way to the PS3. I’ve seen a lot in my time. I’ve played a lot. Some only once. Some more times than I would care to admit. My loyalties have shifted from Nintendo to Sony to my current state as a free agent gamer who tries to avoid fanboy wars. I play games because I love them. And the following is a list of the games I love the most.

This isn’t meant to be a greatest of all time list or most influential list or anything silly like that. These are my favorite games, the ones that I want to play over and over again, even at the expense of playing the newest games on the market. Simply put, these are the games that constantly call out to me, like Jacob Marley to Scrooge: “Play me again, Anthony! Play me again!”

Enjoy your glimpse into my gaming soul: Continue reading Top Six: Anthony’s All-Time Favorite Games

Today’s Awesome: Gabe Newell Chats with High Schoolers

Count me jealous. Last week, Gabe Newell, Darth Valve himself, did a teleconference with Tippecanoe Valley High School’s sports and entertainment marketing class. I’m not sure how this class got so lucky as to get 40 minutes of the CEO’s time, but they get schooled in some great lessons about digital marketing and online experimentation.

This is seriously some fascinating stuff. There are a few generic questions like “what’s your favorite video game”, etc., but eventually Newell digs into the nitty gritty, talking specifically about TF2’s marketplace as well as his background at Microsoft. It’s crazy to think that this guy now runs a company worth something between 2 to 4 billion dollars. For real, give this a watch.

25 Years of The Legend of Zelda

legend of zelda 25 years

Twenty five years ago today, Nintendo introduced us to Link, a green-suited, sword-wielding adventurer in the land of Hyrule. Debuting on the Nintendo Entertainment System, The Legend of Zelda focused on exploration and freedom as opposed to constraining players to a linear progression like other games on the system. As with all of Shigeru Miyamoto’s creations, Zelda was inspired by aspects of his personal life, in this case his boyhood spent traversing caves and forests.

Over the past twenty-five years, players have guided Link on quests to rescue the titular Princess of the series, restore order to Hyrule, travel through time, even stop the moon from obliterating the world. The breadth of experiences available in the catalog of Zelda games is unparalled, and it’s easy to see why Link and Zelda are cherished characters in the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Since Link and Zelda have been a part of our gaming lives for so long, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share what we love most about The Legend of Zelda. What were your favorite games, and what aspect did you like most about the series? We all know that my favorite title is Majora’s Mask, but I’d have to say that the music is something I consistently enjoy about Zelda. Whether it’s the stirring notes of the Overworld Theme, the somber tones of the Song of Storms or the upbeat tempo of Gerudo Valley, the songs in Zelda have always stuck with me and are some of my favorite soundtracks in gaming.

What about you guys? Go ahead and share your Zelda recollections!

Image by Serbis

Video Games And Bicycles: The Target of Society’s Ire (Among Other Things)

video games are evil

As fans of video games, we’re certainly familiar with the bizarre claims thrown at our hobby by the ill informed. Whether it’s the fact that violent video games cause people to go on killing sprees, or the unavoidable truth that games like Bulletstorm and Mass Effect will lead to rape (something we touched on during the most recent episode of The GamerSushi Show), video games are the current scapegoat for our world’s problems.

It wasn’t always this way, though. Before Fox News accused Commander Shepard of violating aliens, people pointed their mass hysteria elsewhere. In a recent article by the good folks at GamePro, things like the bycicle, Dungeons & Dragons and even the bikini were pointed to as instrumental in the demonizing of the young folk and the cause of the world’s problems.

GamePro basically put together this article to demonstrate that we’ve always been willing to shift our blame onto the current hot trend and make that the reason our civilization is going down the crapper. As time has gone on, though, our previous trouble-makers have become social norms, or at least acceptable. Dungeons & Dragons doesn’t lead to satanic cults, and who doesn’t like a good bicycle ride? Even though comic books and music are still sometimes blamed for crazy people doing crazy things (just ask Marilyn Manson), we’ve come to understand that sometimes people are just weird, no matter what their taste in entertainment is.

What do you guys think of GamePro’s expose? Will video games come through their time in the fire? What new trend will take over as the lead cause of the impending armageddon? I’m guessing either The Jersey Shore or Justin Bieber. Hit me!

Source- GamePro

Sony Committed to 10 Year Console Cycle

Playstation 4Something that we’ve discussed on GamerSushi quite a bit for the last year or so is the collective desire to keep the “next generation” talk as far away from this generation as possible. As much as I love the thought of upgraded games, I like the idea of enjoying the current generation even more, especially because I feel like this generation is only recently hitting its stride. Every year around E3, I dread that one of the big three is going to be the first to drop a new console on us, and I watch the press conferences with fear and trembling.

However, it seems that Sony won’t be doing that to us any time soon. In a recent interview, Sony Computer Entertainment big wig Kaz Hirai again stated Sony’s intentions to see that the PS3 has a long and healthy life. Here are some quotes for your enjoyment:

“As regards home consoles, the PS3 was put into business in 2006, and it has a 10 year life cycle… This means that we aren’t even at the halfway point. There are certainly many more desirable first and third party titles coming out. As we announce and implement new initiatives on an annual basis, I still believe in the importance of improving the software and feature set of the PS3. I think the value of the PS3 will continue to rise. Because of this, a near-future PS4 or next-generation home console is not something that we are even debating now. That is to say, we are still concentrating fully upon the PS3.”

Even though the dude could be lying through his Ridge-Racer-loving-teeth, this brings me some comfort. The idea of just enjoying our consoles until 2015 or so is a pleasant one, at least for me.

So what do you guys think? Are you happy that we’re far away from a PS4, XBox (Insert Number) and Nintendo (Virtual Reality Machine)?

Source – Eurogamer

Minecraft: The Last Minecart Gets Real

Minecraft mania swept the Internet a few months ago, and we went right along with it. We posted every cool video about the Enterprise or a mine cart interstate, so I understand if you’re a bit Minecraft weary. This video that I’m posting, though, is a different sort of Minecraft fan-film. Instead of showing off a crazy mega structure in-game, two dudes took the setting of Minecraft and turned it into an ass-kicking throw down.

I think this is pretty awesome, and the panoramic shot at the beginning showing off a Minecraft like terrain really sold it for me. So, did you guys like the video?

Rumor: Bungie’s Next Game is “Destiny”, a Sci-Fi MMO

Bungie Destiny

The rumor mill gets cranking once again about Bungie’s next game, which is certainly shaping up as very “MMO-like”. After Bungie writer Joseph Staten made a few cryptic comments about the nature of Bungie’s upcoming title at GDC Online, Kotaku comes along with an anonymous source who alleges that the Halo-creating studio is cooking up a sci-fi MMO for Activision codenamed “Destiny” or “Tiger”.

The unnamed ex-employee, who claims to have been laid off from Bungie at the behest of Activision along with 30 other workers (an allegation which Bungie quickly debunked), said that “Destiny” will be “WoW in space”, and will have “unique online connectivity and matchmaking technology”. This game is apparently a whole different type of enchilada as it runs on a new engine and doesn’t appear to be linked to previous Bungie intellectual properties in any way.

Seeing how all the rumors are stacking up, and given that Bungie protested just the layoff claim and not the MMO, it seems to me that the signs are pointing very specifically in one direction. What do you guys think about this whole to-do? Is Bungie actually working on a sci-fi MMO, or is this just some random troll out blowing smoke? What do you think Bungie’s next game is? Go!

Source – Kotaku,

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 19: Axed

We have to be setting some kind of record for ourselves now with multiple weeks of podcasting in a row. Why someone hasn’t given us an achievement or a multiplier score for these consecutive releases is still a puzzle to me, but that’s another strike against life in the ongoing debate of life vs. video games. You hear that, life? Get your act together.

Episode 19 of the podcast is yet another one without our kindly old Web master Jeff James, and I think the podcast shines because of it. OK, not really, that was kind of mean. Anyway, this podcast had a number of technical issues which I doubt you’ll notice thanks to Nick’s editing, but it’s just another symptom of trying to do a podcast with people that live all over the continental U.S. and beyond.

While there wasn’t much actual news for us to dive into, we still covered a healthy array of topics, including video game soundtracks, Dead Space 2’s hardcore mode, Mass Effect 3’s new composer, Magicka and more. Nick also drops in with a game of Either/Or that produces some humorous conversation. Go Beard!

Anyway, check out the podcast. Listen. Rate. Enjoy. We all know how this goes. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 19: Axed

Guinness Names Gaming’s Top 50 Video Game Characters

Super Mario 3

The Guinness Book of World Records recently released their 2011 Gamer’s Edition, and with it came a list that I thought you guys might find interesting. You see, the kind folks at the Guinness Book of World Records asked for video game fans to participate in a bit of a survey. Over 13,000 gamers voted for what they consider to be the greatest video game characters of all time, and now the results are in for the top 50.

Here’s a tip: Mario was number one, if you couldn’t tell from the image posted above. As much as I wanted to be surprised by the characters that rounded out the top 10, lists like this typically turn out the same. People really love their Nintendo staples, I suppose. And silent protagonists.

Hit the jump to catch the full list of names and games!

Continue reading Guinness Names Gaming’s Top 50 Video Game Characters