Dead Island Resurfaces With the Best Trailer Ever

As a group, we gamers are prone to hyperbole. Games are either the best thing ever, or they totally suck. We either have our minds blown or relegate the offender to the bargain bin of history. I’m adding this little forward because, as much as the title of this post might seem like exaggeration, the new announcement trailer for Dead Island has left me breathless. Yes, it’s another zombie game, but screw that. Take a look at the trailer, and try to see if you can keep your head from exploding.

This game has been off the radar for a number of years, but the basic premise is that you’re a guy trapped on a tropical island surrounded by zombies. The game makes big use of localized damage, which means that zombies won’t get hacked apart a la Dead Rising; rather, you’ll have to specifically aim your blows to get decapitations and head-shots. Now that the game is back amongst the living, I can say I’m officially hyped. What say you?

NFL Bestows Mercy On EA


For those of you who don’t know, the billionaire owners of the NFL are engaged in a life or death struggle with the millionaire players of the NFL which will likely result in a lockout starting in March, which could cancel or delay the NFL season this fall. All of the various parasites who suckle at the NFL’s teat are pretty much out of luck, but EA is getting a break that few others will receive.

SportsBusinessDaily is reporting that the NFL has restructured its deal with EA, allowing EA to escape some of its obligations this year due to the pending lockout, but also adds another year of NFL exclusivity, much to the chagrin of gamers who want to see innovation and competition in the NFL video game market. While exact details of the deal are not being disclosed, we do know that NFL makes 30 to 40 million dollars a year from their Madden license, so it likely will reduce the amount that EA has to pay.

Should EA receive such a deal or should they tough it out like all the rest of the NFL’s partners? Do you think interest in Madden will be higher or lower next year? If there is no football to be played, I would think more people would buy Madden, if only to get SOMETHING that resembles the NFL on their TV. Ready? Set? Hike!

Source: SportsBusinessDaily

GamerSushi Asks: Classic Replays?

Final Fantasy 6

One of the frustrating things about loving gaming as much as we all do is that there’s no possible way to get through everything you want to play without becoming something of a loner or forsaking all social responsibilities. There are simply too many great games that deserve our attention, and we have to make sacrifices at times. I use the word sacrifice incredibly loosely here, because we are basically choosing between several awesome things.

A big check on my gaming “to-do” list over the last, I don’t know, decade has been to give Final Fantasy VI the playthrough it deserves. For years, I’ve been hearing that it’s considered the pinnacle of the series. Since I’ve been in the mood to play a classic RPG, what better thing to do than knock this towering colossus of gaming down from its judgmental perch and finally skin its hide.

In short, I have to say that I simply love this game. It’s got everything that I’ve been dying for in recent RPGs: memorable characters, turn based combat, a sweeping story, a fantastic world. It really is a testament to just how great the game is that eighteen years after its release, I can pick it up and enjoy it for hours on end. Considering you can grow a full fledged adult in that time, I’d say that’s impressive.

This got me thinking about the question of classic replays. What are the gaming classics that you recently played for the first time after neglecting them for years? What games are on your list that you’ve always wanted to try? Go!

Vote for the Art of Video Games Exhibit at the Smithsonian

Mario Art

If you haven’t heard, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is running a special exhibition next year, one that is relevant to our interests here at GamerSushi. The exhibition is called The Art of Video Games, and it will run March 16, 2012 through September 30, 2012. The idea behind the exhibit is that it will take people through 40 years of gaming and all of its wonderful evolutions throughout.

In order to narrow down the pool of the many games that the exhibition could showcase, the museum’s web site has a place for you to vote on the Art of Video Games. It’s divided into 5 separate eras that span the Atari up until the current generation. If you want to be a part of this awesome exhibition, head on over and vote. While the site is slow at the moment, if you’re patient you’ll eventually be able to do your thing.

As much as the “are games art” discussion is tired, I think this is incredible. Obviously, I don’t need something like this to validate a hobby of mine, I’m just excited to see a feature on video games at the Smithsonian of all places. Part of me wants to organize a vacation to Washington, D.C. just to see this next year.

Who else is excited about this? What games are you voting for? Go!

Source – Smithsonian American Art Museum

Get Defiant With Halo: Reach’s New Map Pack

It looks like we’re not done with Halo: Reach yet, as 343 Industries just dropped a trailer for the new multiplayer map pack, dubbed the “Defiant Map Pack”. Just like the Noble Map Pack, Defiant features three brand new multiplayer arenas, one specifically built for the Firefight gameplay mode, making this the first ever Firefight DLC. If you thought the Noble pack had some good looking maps, prepare to be amazed as one of the arenas features a Covenant carrier actually glassing the background as you play.

There’s no firm release date for Defiant yet, but the trailer does specify March 2011 as the intended target. What do you guys think of the new maps? Any thoughts on this announcement coming from 343 Industries and not Bungie?

Why Your Multiplayer Needs Soul

There are those certain types of games out there, the ones that have you discussing for days or weeks on end how you totally stomped your opponents, or some random happenstance that blew your mind. These are the games that get you back together with your friends on a nightly basis to trade blows and throw grenades, striving to be the best, to get the next unlock, or just compete for bragging rights.

Just by imagining these scenarios, you probably conjured up a list of your favorite experiences and the games they were connected to. Whether its the exact right combination of tight mechanics and engaging gameplay, or just the fact that you can destroy your environments in real time with your friends, there are multiplayer experiences out there that stick with us through different consoles and generations. Conversely, there are certain ones that, no matter how much they try to emulate the successful models, just can’t achieve that level of notoriety. This is a sort of nebulous aspect about multiplayer games, a “soul” for lack of a better term. Which games have it, and which games don’t?
Continue reading Why Your Multiplayer Needs Soul

GamerSushi Asks: Early Reviews?

Dragon Age 2

Waiting on reviews for an anticipated video game release is like nothing else. I find myself anxiously checking news sites, ready to hear if the hype has been worth it. This typically comes to fruition about a week before release, and then suddenly the floodgates (or media embargoes, if you will) lift and I can learn what the consensus is.

As you well know, one of the big releases of the Spring comes next month in the form of Dragon Age 2, and it seems that someone has already reviewed a copy of it. That’s right, PC Gamer’s got a Dragon Age 2 review in its next issue. While we don’t know what it scored yet, we do know that it has received the “Editor’s Choice” label, which I suppose is kind of like our S. For what it’s worth, PC Gamer’s Shogun 2 review receives the same thing, and that’s a game I’ve never heard mention of. The good news, however, is that PC Gamer calls Dragon Age 2 “darkier, sexier, better.” Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Early Reviews?

Rémi Gaillard Does Mario Kart IRL

If you’ve never heard of Rémi Gaillard, it’s time to educate yourself, fool. This guy is a French (and we all know that GamerSushi loves the French) improv artist who takes to the streets with various props and costumes and harasses people. While Mr. Gaillard has done the Mario Kart bit before, he once again hit the road in blue coveralls and a go-kart and the result is nothing short of hilarious. Go ahead and watch:

Don’t worry, no actual turtles were harmed in the making of this video, but I’m pretty sure that policeman had his feelings hurt. Hope you enjoyed this goofy little video on your Friday afternoon!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 18: The Jam of War

Here’s the podcast. You know the drill.

The podcast is all grown’s up this week now that we’re on episode 18, so it’s legal. Jeff had to skip out on this podcast because he hates us, or was busy, I don’t really remember which. We recorded this last week, so our topics reflect that. We chat about broken systems, gaming innovation, Killzone 3 and more. Check out the list of topics below. Nick also brings us a game of fill in the blank, where I curb stomp the competition the way I always do in these affairs.

Give it a listen and please rate the podcast on iTunes as well. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 18: The Jam of War

Orient Yourself With the New L.A. Noire Gameplay Trailer

L.A. Noire, the upcoming 1947 crime thriller, certainty looks nice, but people are naturally concerned about the lack of gameplay seen so far. Since the game is coming out on May 17 (May 20 in the EU), publishers Rockstar Games and developers Team Bondi decided to release a series of trailers depicting the gameplay of L.A. Noire. The brand-spanking new trailer, called ‘Orientation’, details the detective work, interrogations and shoot-outs you’ll be undertaking.

While the gameplay does bare some resemblance to GTAIV and Red Dead Redemption, the detective work and interrogations do look really, really fun, and are things we rarely do in gaming. While it’s the natural inclination of games to shoot for the starts but fall a bit short, watching faces for cues may not work as well as the trailer shows. I’ve been wrong before, though. Overall, I think L.A. Noire looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to try it out. What do you guys think? Are you excited now that you’ve seen some gameplay?

GamerSushi Asks: Favorite Game Soundtrack?

final fantasy vii

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of game music, mainly Square Enix games, naturally. I’ve shared my favorite moments in game music with you several times, but I’ve never asked you, dear reader, what game music moves you. The reason for my asking is Eddy and I have both been on a game soundtrack kick, but we didn’t realize the other was doing it also until yesterday.

Eddy has been uber-productive at work while listening to the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, no doubt rocking to One-Winged Angel and Jenova, if he has any sense. Meanwhile, across the country, I’ve been jamming with the Chrono Cross soundtrack, drifting away on memories of a game played 10 years ago. Which is why we think game soundtracks are so awesome to listen to. In a way, it allows you to replay and revisit those awesome moments in your head. Frankly, there’s nothing like it.

So, that being said, what game soundtracks do you like to listen to when you want to set a certain mood, such a nice stroll down memory lane or something to pump you up before a night out on the town? Are there any hidden gems we need to listen to? Speak now!

Getting Over the Level Hump

Gran Turismo 5

Trial Mountain. 52,000 credits. 4300 experience. Repeat.

That combination marked my last couple of days with Gran Turismo 5, as I tried desperately to get up to level 20 in order to open up the final batch of races, the Extreme Series. After toiling for quite some time to get to the desired level, the new set of races became available and I happily jumped in. Only to find that the race I really wanted to get to (which unlocks the Minolta Toyota Race Car, which would in turn allow me to complete several additional races) required me to climb yet another level. Needless to say, a great big “FFFFUUUU” was let out at this realization.

Situations like this are nothing new to me as a gamer. We’ve all spent time trying to get over the level hump. Or perhaps we’ve invested hours to get that one skill/perk we’ve had our eyes on since the beginning of the game. Regardless of the situation, it’s certainly familiar, and one that has inspired me to do bizarre things in the quest to level/skill up. This mostly happens on RPG’s, but I’ve done it on a few shooters as well, through the use of quirks or glitches (Halo: Reach’s target glitch, anyone?).

So what about you guys? What recent games have caused you to grind for that next level or skill? Do you have any strategies or tendencies that help you achieve your goals?

Review: LittleBigPlanet 2

In retrospect, it seems kind of strange to admit that I didn’t quite understand the attraction of LittleBigPlanet at first. I remember playing the demo shortly after I bought my PS3 Slim and coming away a bit underwhelmed. LBP definitely had a unique, quirky style, but at the time I think I just wrote it off as nothing more than Sony’s attempt at staking their own system-exclusive claim on the platformer landscape.

However, I am always on the lookout for a good deal, and a few months ago I was able to get my hands on a copy of the LittleBigPlanet Game of The Year edition for a whopping $2.50 thanks to a handy promo credit. With the full game in my hands, I was finally able to overcome my initial skepticism and give it a fair shake.

The story levels were certainly entertaining enough, but I was most impressed by the robust, sophisticated community levels on offer. Fully experiencing the community aspect of the game is what really made it click for me, and my anticipation for the sequel began growing exponentially soon thereafter. In a very short amount of time, LittleBigPlanet 2 turned into a day one purchase for me. I’ve played it almost non-stop since getting my hands on it, and I feel I can safely say that LittleBigPlanet 2 has secured its position in my mind as one of the best games of 2011.

Continue reading Review: LittleBigPlanet 2

Killzone 3 Developers Think Motion Controls Are The Future

killzone 3 move controls

Killzone 3, hitting the PlayStation 3 on February 22, is the first big triple-A title to feature motion controls utilizing Sony’s Move gadget. While Nintendo has tried in the past to put first person shooters on the Wii, the efforts (i.e The Conduit) have fallen kind of short in bringing about a sea change in the way we play our games. The developers of Killzone 3, Guerrilla Games, believes that analog sticks are the way of the past, and that their title marks the beginning of a new era in FPS games. Speaking with CVG regarding the Move controls for Killzone 3, principal programmer Tommy de Roos had this to say about the future of FPS games and what the enthusiast gamers think:

“I think they’re opening up to it,” he said. “At the beginning there was a lot of reluctance but I know that a few of them picked it up, they tried it and they were actually quite surprised at how well it worked and the extra dimension it gives you.”

While he did admit that turning around and aiming was kind of difficult, the precise aiming was winning more people over than turning them away.

The interview concludes with Mr. de Roos saying that motion controls, and not just the Move specifically, will be the tools of the future for FPS games. It seems that Guerrilla Games is of the opinion that we’ll all be waggling at ambiguously foreign adversaries in the future. People may say that the dual analog controller is here to stay, but if motion controls can give us mouse-like precision, could it be adopted wholesale? What do you guys think?

Source – CVG

Gaming: No Country for Funny Men

Portal 2

On top of being innovative and addictive from start to finish, one of the things that I loved about Portal was that it was devilishly clever to boot. This didn’t just stop at its gameplay, but carried over to its script, which was genuinely funny. As much as I can’t wait to see more of Aperture and its insane puzzles, one of the things that I’m dying for in Portal 2 is the sidesplitting humor that came from the writers at Valve.

Oddly enough, it’s not that often that we get to play funny games these days. That might sound strange, but it becomes more noticeable when you play games that actually make you laugh. Games like RDR: Undead Nightmare or Secret of Monkey Island. So why aren’t more games funny? One of the great legends of game comedy himself, Tim Schafer, has an idea.
Continue reading Gaming: No Country for Funny Men

2010’s Top Selling Games By Platform

Just Dance 2

The NPD’s new stance on not releasing sales data has caused all manner of consternation across the world, especially in message board threads where fanboys endlessly snipe at each other. But, even non-partisan minds have a curiosity about such things and thankfully, Gamasutra has managed to obtain some of the juicy details.

Breaking down the top ten games across each non-PC platform, we see that Just Dance 2 was the best-selling Wii game of the year and despite lukewarm reviews and a late entry, Epic Mickey managed to nab the 4th spot. Not as many Nintendo games as usual and some of the titles in the top 10 are likely unknown to most of us.

Hit the jump for the full lists!
Continue reading 2010’s Top Selling Games By Platform

Gaming Difficulty: When is it Just Right?

dead space 2 hardcore mode

As my unemployed status continues to persist, I’ve found myself undertaking gaming-related challenges that I wouldn’t typically do under normal circumstances. Recently, my sights have been set on Dead Space 2, and and the Hard Core mode achievement in particular.

What Hard Core mode consists of is a run through of the game with only three saves total and no checkpoints. If you die, it sets you back to you last save point, even if that particular save was about three hours of gameplay ago. Hard Core mode is mercilessly unforgiving, and even with my fantastic Necromorph slaying skills, there’s been more close calls than I care to admit.

As I am wont to do when subjecting my gaming muscles to a new challenge, I got to thinking about difficulty in games and what games do it right. Hard Core mode is an excellent example of this. Instead of just making every enemy kill you in one hit (or throw loads of grenades…Treyarch), the tension comes from the lack of a “safety net”, and the very real possibility of losing hours of progress. While this may sound like a pain in the ass, it’s actually quite engaging, and a great test of your skills. More games should do something like this, where the difficulty factor is not determined by cheap AI, but rather by taking away things we have come to rely on like check points or saves.

What do you guys think about this notion? Has anyone here tried Hard Core mode, and do you agree with me? What games would benefit from this kind of challenge? Hit me!

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?


It’s Super Bowl Sunday, so naturally that means it’s practically a holiday weekend here in the You Ess of Ay. Everyone gathers around the pigskin shrine to worship the gods of beer, brutality and testosterone. These gods require ritual sacrifices of meat and snack foods, apparently.

Regardless of your religious affiliation this weekend (go Steelers), one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that many video games have been played. As for me, I’ve been tearing through Gran Turismo 5 like a mad man in the past week, with some 999 on the side as well as Game Dev Story. Up next after I’m done with these games are Little Big Planet 2 and another game I’ve had my eye on: Magicka. If you’re unaware, Magicka is a Diablo style adventure game that you can purchase on Steam, where several players battle together to link magic spells and decimate droves of enemies. It sounds like a blast, and is getting a lot of praise.

So, what are you guys playing this weekend? Who do you have in the Super Bowl? And have you heard of Magicka? Go, go, go (Packers)!

It’s Real: Halo: Combat Evolved Remake Hitting November 2011

halo combat evolved remake 2011

Get your fanboy hats on, folks, because it looks like the rumored HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved that I posted about back in November is the real deal. Joystiq, citing an unamed source, has learned that the game that kick-started Bungie’s rise to power and revolutionized First Person Shooters on the console is getting remade in High Definition with new art assets.

We’re not just talking about a tuned up re-release, no sir. This game is using an entirely new engine (Joystiq claims that the engine behind Reach is not powering this remake, contrary to popular belief), and is being made by Saber Interactive. The game will support 1080p and 3D as well, if that’s your thing. Multiplayer is still being worked out, but the game is confirmed to have online co-op (the original shipped with split-screen two player co-op).

Furthermore, this remake is apparently one of two Halo games under the 343 Industries banner, so expect more news from the Halo front. For a release date, we’re looking at November 15, 2011, ten years after the original launch of Halo: Combat Evolved.

On an unofficial note, that makes me feel really old, because that will mean I was 14 when the original Halo came out. Are you guys excited about a Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake? Nervous? Nauseous? Go!

Source – Joystiq
Continue reading It’s Real: Halo: Combat Evolved Remake Hitting November 2011

Handing out the 2011 Game Awards Early

Batman Arkham City

If there is such a thing as gaming nirvana, then I think 2011 is approaching that status. Basically, 2011 is the nexus around which all other years revolve and aspire to. That’s putting it in dramatic terms to be sure, but more games keeping getting added to the list of greats that we’ll be playing by year’s end. Now we’ve got the NGP to look forward to, and even a few surprises like Saint’s Row 3. As we’ve said before, it’s exciting to watch it all unfold.

However, some people don’t want to wait, and have already started crowning their champions. GamesRadar recently released a Preemptive 2011 Game Awards list, and while I think it’s kind of ridiculous, it’s still fun to speculate. They’ve pegged Guild Wars 2 as the most addictive game of 2011, Skyrim as the best RPG, and Batman: Arkham City as game of the year. The possibility of Arkham City actually being better than Portal 2 seems like a long shot to me, but one that I’ll be happy about if it ends up being true.

So what do you guys think of their preemptive game awards? What do you think the winners are going to be in all of these categories by the time 2012 hits? Go!

Source – GamesRadar