Worst Gaming Marketing Moments


Yikes. PSN is still down, you say? Well it looks like Sony’s Kaz Hirai is apologizing for that as I write this post.

You’ll hear more on my thoughts about the whole PSN hack-n-crash on this week’s podcast, but for now, I will go as far as to say that this is a nightmare for Sony in terms of PR. The sad thing about it, from their point of view, is that this seems to come right on the heels of some recent efforts to get back in gamer’s good graces over the last year or so.

Anywho, with all of this bad PR and marketing business, I thought this list of the Top 10 Embarrassingly Bad Moments in Video Game Marketing was certainly relevant these days. It was posted about a month ago, but I think it’s found a bit of new life in wake of the PSN fiasco. It’s got some goodies on there, especially the time when Peter Moore tattooed release dates on his arm, as well as some of the old Atari Jaguar ads. Good memories, there.

So what do you guys think? What are some other terrible bits of video game marketing and PR? I’d say that “Riiiiidge Racer!” and the 360 RRoD probably round out the top of the list, but that’s just me. Go!

Source – Calm Down Tom

Eight Video Game Urban Legends to Keep You Up at Night

super mario galaxy 2 urban legends

Just like anything else, video game have become a source for urban legends, creepy little anecdotes that get passed around to keep the nerdy and guillible up at night. The comedy wizards over at Cracked have cooked up a list of eight video game urban legends that just happen to be true.

Now, I don’t know about the GLaDOS one, as that picture of her interpreted as a bound woman is just a piece of art made by a fan, but the rest of them seem pretty plausible to me. That Mario Galaxy 2 one is especially disturbing. What are those aliens doing up there?

So what do you guys think of these urban legends? Are they for real, or just a bunch of people looking at video games a little to hard? Honestly, can these even be urban legends since all of these things are purposefully put into these games by the developers, essentially making them unnerving Easter eggs? Hit us up with your thoughts!

Source – Cracked

Relic Talks Being an OG Space Marine in Warhammer 40K

I know that we’ve sort of reached the point around here where developer diaries are kind of passe with everyone and their Nintendogs talking about how their game is the awesomest. That said, I do kind of have a soft spot for Relic and their skills in bringing the tabletop strategy game Warhammer 40K to PCs with their Dawn of War series. Now that they have that genre nailed down, they’re taking a stab at third-person action by dropping you into the boots of a Space Marine. Take a look at this new trailer which details what it’s like to be a Space Marine, and what you’re doing to stop the enemies of the Imperium.

I have to say, the game has a very Dawn of War feel, and given that that series has been getting progressively more about controlling a small selection of characters rather than a giant army, this seems like a natural step. The action looks brutal, the Space Marines look stoic and the Orks are ripe for the killing. What more could you ask for from a Warhammer 40k game?

Gamestradamus Predicts: E3 2011

Every now and then, we like to pay a little visit to our good friend, Gamestradamus, the Gaming Fortune Teller. Last year, we asked him his predictions about the Nintendo 3DS, which turned out to be largely true, minus a few small quibbles. Gamestradamus is different than the rest of us lowly gamers in that he is gifted with the ability to see into the great beyond, the ever-future, the swirling blender of time – and he can tell us bits of what he knows.

As the E3 fervor is getting ready to build into complete mania over the next few weeks, we thought we’d pay Gamestradamus a visit to glean his secrets before the rumors broke. What we found was shocking, titillating (tee hee) and worth reporting about here at GamerSushi. Beware, gents. Spoilers. Continue reading Gamestradamus Predicts: E3 2011

What Can Sony Do to Regain Your Trust?


By now, we’ve all heard about the massive data breach of the Playstation Network by a hacker of unknown origin. If this is somehow breaking news to you, IGN has a nice summation of the entire saga here. As someone who has a credit card linked to my PSN account, not to mention my undying desire to play Portal 2 co-op, I am pretty steamed. (Get it?)

Sony and the hacker both share a lot of blame and I don’t think Sony kept it secret for a week that our information was stolen, but the fact remains: Sony has lost the trust of its consumer base. Granted, there will be fanboys who defend them to the last breath, but those people don’t count. Also, one benefit from this fiasco: it makes it real easy to spot the fanboys.

So what will it take for Sony to win back your trust? Free loot? Cross-game chat? Paying for credit protection for 2 years, as some have suggested? Personally, I want all of the above and maybe a little more. I am disgusted by this whole thing and I want more than a silly email and some vague mutterings about checking my statement.

What say you? Has Sony lost you forever? Speak now or forever hold your PSN anger!

Source: IGN

Poll: What’s Your Current Game of the Year?

Seeing as how we’re almost five months into the glorious year of 2011, and given that we’ve already seen a slew of quality releases, I thought I’d conduct an informal poll (TWSS) and find out what your current Game of the Year is.

While we do have a few luminary titles coming at us in a few weeks, the recent release of Portal 2 gave us undoubtedly one of this year’s critical juggernauts. Gaming is for all types though, so maybe you liked something else? Let us know which game you’re rooting for in this handy-dandy poll we cooked up. Chances are, you’ll like a game with the number “2” in it. Just a guess.

For anyone wondering why I picked these games, I basically selected big ticket titles over a score of 87 on Metacritic. If you’d like me to add something else, please let me know in the comments!

What's Your Current Game of the Year for 2011?

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GamerSushi Asks: PC Specs?

Unreal 3 Samaritan

I’ve done this a couple of times before, but since I just upgraded my PC last week, I figured it was time to do so again. You know, just because.

The PC upgrade comes courtesy of Nick, who priced out a few of these parts for me. I gave him a $500 limit (before the OS and HDD) and he came through pretty well, I think. The result is a new PC that isn’t the fastest thing out there by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a far sight better than the 6 year old machine I’ve been using, without breaking the bank. I doubt I’d be able to run the Unreal 3 Samaritan demo on it in a couple of years, but still.

Here’s what’s under the hood, minus the power supply:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
GPU: Radeon HD6850 1GB
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Quad-Core with 3.2GHz 4000MHz
MEM: 4 GB DDR3 1333 MHz

It scored a 3300 on the 3D Mark 11 demo, which is about standard. Like I said, nothing special, but not bad for coming in under $500 bucks. So far, I’m really happy with everything, and I really can’t wait to start digging into some more PC games in the months to come. I’ve already got Shogun 2 on the docket as well as Magicka, and as soon as PSN gets back online I’m going to link my Steam account and play through Portal 2 on it as well. Also on the menu: Starcraft 2 and Civilization V. And Battlefield 3, whenever it drops.

Any other recommendations for me that are strictly PC fares? What are your PC specs? Go!

Is Valve Done with Single Player Games?

Half Life 2 Episode 2

Interesting. I’m not sure if you guys have heard about Geoff Keighley’s The Final Hours of Portal 2 app for the iPad, but it sounds like a fascinating look into the development of Portal 2, particularly the last few weeks before it was done. Keighley was given a staggering amount of access to Valve, much like when he covered the Final Hours of Half-Life 2, and I’ve heard the results are phenomenal.

On top of being a remarkable piece of journalism, it seems that Keighley reports on a few choice remarks from Gabe Newell himself, particularly about the future of Valve when it comes to single player gaming. Apparently, Here’s what Keighley had to say:

“Portal 2 will probably be Valve’s last game with an isolated single-player experience… What this all means is something Newell is still trying to figure out.”

Apparently, he heard this from Newell during his time at Valve. Considering Valve’s track record seems to be skewing towards more multiplayer and co-op focused games, it doesn’t surprise me that much. However, it does make me curious about what the future could hold for a title like Half-Life 2: Episode 3…

So what do you guys think about this quote and about its implications? Is it just the gaming press getting out of hand? Or could you see there being something to this idea? It should be noted that Valve allowed Keighley to publish whatever he wanted with no limitations as soon as Portal 2 was done, so it’s very likely that he did in fact hear this straight from Gabe’s mouth.


Source – Kotaku

The Great Funk of 2011


The piercing sound of gunfire in Black Ops doesn’t move me. The clang of steel in Dragon Age: Origins can’t wake me. Even Glados and her homicidal puzzles fail to shake me from my electronic ennui.

I’m in a gaming funk.

It happens, from time to time, usually in the summer months, when the Florida sun shines down from what seems like an inch from my head, pelting me with a heat that is as oppressive as a batarian slaver. It happened a lot in college, when I didn’t always have the money to get the games I wanted, but the miasma sets in sometimes even now.

I know the cure. I just have to find it: the right game at the right time. That perfect synergy of carefully identifying my mood and calculating what the proper game is to propell me forward and upward, to eliminate the listless that has so gripped me. Continue reading The Great Funk of 2011

What Are You Playing: Easter Edition

mincraft 1.5 weather

Happy Easter, everyone, hope you got your fill of chocolate and/or religious significance this weekend. As a godless heathen (aka, non-denominational well-wisher), I’ve been using this time off to play a few games like Minecraft, Portal 2 and the Gears of War 3 Beta. I might sound like a broken record on a couple of those, but what they hey, it’s not like anything is coming out until L.A. Noire hits.

Every since the 1.5 update of Minecraft, I’ve been getting back into that game in a big way. I’ve been playing cooperatively with my buddy and it’s been going rather well, except for the two occasions where he lured a Creeper into my tower and demolished my ground floor. Oh, and there was that instance where he built a giant pyramid but forgot to stock the inside with torches, so all the monsters spawned inside the darkened interior and we had to flood it with lava to kill them all. Good times. The weather effects are also pretty neat, and I’ve witnessed a couple of decent thunderstorms. Even though you spend most of your time underground, coming up to a different atmosphere is a nice change of pace.

What have you guys been up to these past few days? Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, or polishing off the backlog? I’ve told you what I’ve been up to, what you got?

GamerSushi Asks: What Genres Do You Suck At?

sucking at marvel vs capcom 3

How’s your holiday weekend going, GamerSushi-ites? Me, I’ve been tucking into the Gears of War 3 beta again after doing a marathon Portal 2 session where I polished off the whole game, both single and co-op. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to do a “What Are You Playing” sometime this weekend, so we’ll table that discussion for later. Segueing from that, I am planning on checking out Mortal Kombat soon, which frightens me mostly because fighting games are one of the genres that I totally suck at.

To be totally honest, in a multiplayer standpoint, I’m really only good at first person shooters. Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 gameplay, I’ll admit that my Kill/Death ratio is pretty terrible, with one often outpacing the other (guess which one). The same thing goes for real time strategy games, where I can maybe hold my own in a campaign or a comp stomp scenario, but once I get out into the wild, everything just goes right down the tubes.

All that pales in comparison to how badly I perform at fighting games like Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Tekken and the like. I’ll maybe win the odd round, but more often than not I’m getting Hadoukened back to last week.

It’s rare that anyone admits that they’re bad at games, but we’re all friends here, so go ahead and let us know what genres you aren’t that great with. Fighting, racing, shooting? Drop them comment bombs, yo.

The Joy of Rediscovering Games

Halo: Combat Evolved PC Version

I was combing through one of the boxes I had been dragging around with me in my various moves in the past year and was pleasantly surprised when I found my copy of Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC. I have Halo for the Xbox, true, but this version of it is a little more rare, almost to the point of mythical status. I put that sucker in my laptop and found out that I can run it, so I’ve been playing through that the last couple of days and having a blast.

Previously, a similar thing happened when I found a GameBoy Color and a copy of Pokemon Red which rekindled my Pokemon obsession, so I was wondering if anything similar has happened to you guys. I know that in the day and age of digital distribution, where publishers pimp out older games to prey on our nostalgia, finding older games is easier than it has been, but happening upon a treasured game from your youth and the proper system to play it on is nothing short of a miracle.

So what about you? Have you stumbled onto a game that you thought was lost? What was it? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Would You Play an MMO Shooter?


Ever since the wild success of WoW, MMOs have been the apple of every major publisher’s eye. They all want one, they’re all desperate to have one, but it turns out that making lightning strike twice is a bit trickier than anyone could have imagined. Note the sarcasm, there.

However, Paul Wedgewood, CEO of Splash Damage (currently working on the awesome-looking FPS Brink), feels that there is a large portion of the market untapped when it comes to MMOs. Specifically, he’s wondering why there aren’t any major MMO FPS games.

“You know, for a long time it hasn’t been technically feasible because you need super low latency connections for good shooter combat and that’s generally incompatible with 1000 people being on a server at the same time… But there are enough solutions around now so that it’s reasonably feasible. I know that there are some teams on the periphery working on ideas for this.”

So what do you guys think? I know we’ve got some WoW players here and more than our fair share of FPS gamers. Would you guys play an FPS MMO? Are we at the point where you think a good one is plausible? What do you think would make you take a peek? And is anyone excited about Brink? Go!

Source – CVG

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 26: Nintendo Power

Another week, another podcast. This week’s cast covers the big happenings from last week: namely, the rumors of Nintendo’s new console, as well as the massive-but-actually-less-massive-than-everyone-first-though Portal 2 ARG. We actually kick things off a little differently in this episode, starting first with the game of percentages.

After all of that riveting discussion (and my consequent victory), we dive into a lengthy conversation about our video game level bucket lists, and the levels we think everyone should play before they keel over. I’m curious to see if you guys like the format of the game first, or if you like it the way it’s been. Let us know!

No podcast will be out next week, since it’s a holiday weekend and all. Which saddens me, as it means we’ll have to wait that much longer before giving our Portal 2 impressions.

So, listen. Then rate. And of course, enjoy. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 26: Nintendo Power

The Making of AC: Brotherhood’s Multiplayer

AC: Brotherhood Multiplayer

As much as I still love a good old-fashioned bout of death match and the ever-exciting game of capture the flag, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode was something fresh and new to sink my teeth into. It took the normal humdrum affair of online play and flipped everything on its head. You weren’t a super assassin out killing other super assassins – you were being hunted and could only defend yourself long enough to run away, rather than engage. You couldn’t just run through a match killing everyone in sight – you gained points for the more methodical, well-placed kills. All of these things enthralled me as I played, and I hope to see more out of it in the franchise in the future.

It’s because of my love for this multiplayer mode that I was excited to see a feature about it up on CVG about how AC: Brotherhood’s multiplayer was made. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was the team behind Splinter Cell’s fantastic multiplayer mode, the beloved Spies versus Mercs game mode that was so spellbinding at the time of its release.

If you’re banking on being a game designer of some kind in the future, I’d highly suggest reading this. I love their breakdown of the design process and just how the mode progressed over the course of several years (yes, years).

So what are your thoughts? What other types of multiplayer modes do you wish we’d see more of? Personally, I’d love to see better variations of CTF, or perhaps something more along the lines of a super-powered Juggernaught mode that we find in Halo. Go!

Source – CVG

Alleged Console Port Causes Portal 2 Backlash

Portal 2 hug

File this under “This is why we can’t have nice things”. Apparently, the Alternate Reality Game that Eddy posted about earlier, along with DLC already available on the day of the game’s launch and rumors of the game being a console port has prompted some raging Metacritic users to emancipate Portal 2 from any true Metacritic User Rating by lowering it’s score. Currently, the game sits at a 6.9, which is far lower than expected from such a hotly anticipated game.

So what exactly is the cause? As 1UP is reporting, the disappointment that the aforementioned ARG was a ploy to get people to buy/play Steam games, along with the alleged short length of the game (I guess they aren’t counting the co-op in this) and the -WAIT FOR IT- “obvious console port clues” was just too much for these monsters to bear. A cursory scan of the comments reveals much hatred for Valve, the likes of which not seen since the days of Left 4 Dead 2.

Just for fun, here’s a quick sampling of some of the comments:
Continue reading Alleged Console Port Causes Portal 2 Backlash

How I Ruined RPGs with the Internet

Gamers come in all sorts of different flavors, and I’m not just talking about casual and hardcore. There are some who don’t play single player, some who only play single player, and then there are the kinds that give game designers of any type nightmares. I think I’m probably in the last category, specifically when it comes to Western RPGs. Given that games in those genres these days have branching stories, multiple conversation outcomes and more hidden bonuses than you can shake a stick it, it tends to drive OCD completionists with a lot of time on their hands (e.g. me) crazy.

That’s when I turn to the most forbidden of texts, the horrible tome know as the “FAQ”. Deep within the dark recesses of the Internet, I find my brethren, people who restart dungeons because they missed one chest after defeating whatever horrible creature inhabits that cave. These are the people who don’t play RPGs for the story or the characters or the experience, but rather to accrue every possible trinket and stat bonus the game has to offer. We can leave no stone unturned, no party companion un-romanced, and we do so by exploiting the game to its maximum. Not through exploration or discovery though, but by distilling it down to the most bare bones, no frills, maximum return type of experience. This is how I’ve come to destroy any Western RPG I’ve played.
Continue reading How I Ruined RPGs with the Internet

The Puzzling Anger of Online Gamers (And Gears of War 3 Beta Impressions, Too)

gears of war 3 beta impressions

Portal 2 is out today as we’re all very, very aware, but there was another release this week that’s been overshadowed a bit by Valve’s behemoth: the Gears of War 3 Beta. I know that we’ve been talking about it a lot here on the site, and thanks to my Epic Edition of Bulletstorm, I got to hop in and try out the multiplayer flavor of Gears of War 3.

So far, I’m really impressed with the Beta. There are, thankfully, few glitches and I can actually get into matches, which is a big improvement over Gears of War 2. The progression from cover based shooting to close in melee combat feels natural, and it’s a real thrill to run your chainsaw through someone’s back when they aren’t expecting it. I’m finding the sawed-off shotgun a little over-powered, but that’s probably because I keep running into it like a moron.

Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 Beta, I ran into the angriest gamer I’ve come across in a long time last night. As I’m usually in a party with whomever I’m playing online with, I don’t get to hear the braying of the masses, but last night I put on my headphones and listened to the fury this man had to offer.

He got mad at me for reviving him, got mad at people for not reviving him, was pissed off that he ran into places with no backup, and made one player quit when he wouldn’t stop telling him that he was worse than a bot. I get that it’s a little frustrating when you’re stuck on a team with a bunch of ineffective players, but I could never fathom getting that angry about a match that’s ten minutes at most.

I wish I had recorded this guy’s outbursts, because they were seriously hilarious. I think that abrasive gamers have passed beyond offensive and into hilarious because we’re so used to the weirdness of the Internet as a whole. Have you guys ever ran across a gamer so angry that it stuck with you? Is anyone playing the Gears of War 3 Beta, and what do you think of it?

GamerSushi Asks: Portal 2 Roll Call?

Portal 2

Gentlemen and gentleladies, the day is upon us. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The game that we’ve been thinking about for the last two years. SOCOM 4. Wait, nevermind. Mortal Kombat 9, maybe?

Oh. Right. Portal 2. That one. Yeah, I guess that’s on shelves now too, eh?

Kidding aside, I have just returned home with my copy of Portal 2 on the PS3, which, as we all know, comes with a handy dandy Steam key to unlock it on the PC as well. This coincides perfectly with the new PC I’m building this weekend. Right now, the plan is to play the Portal 2 singleplayer component on the PS3, and then switch over to co-op on my new PC once I’m done, since I prefer the headset to the PS3 headset by leaps and bounds. Also, it’s going to be very pretty, I’m sure.

So, I figure it was time for a roll call. Portal 2 is out now on multiple platforms. Do you have it? What platform did you purchase it for? Want to play some co-op? Let’s have some fun.

Gaming Press Gets Firsthand Look at Skyrim

Skyrim Dragon

Skyrim, oh Skyrim. Why you got to look so fantastic?

It seems that the gaming press got an awesome firsthand look at one of this year’s most anticipated releases, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, over the weekend. Multiple outlets are talking about how awesome the game looked in motion, how impressive the new engine was, and the overall improvement of the game’s interface and even NPC interactions. Let it be known that I hate these people for getting to see this game so early.

My favorite preview of the lot would have to be the write-up that Joystiq did. Inside, you’ll find information about how alive the towns looked with NPC activity and the way that combat works (each hand is mapped to a different trigger). However, I think the most curious part of the previews would have to be the description of the dragon attack, which Bethesda swears is completely unscripted.

From the VG247 preview:

Howard made a point by saying that the game’s dragon fights are real-time.

“The dragons, I promise you, are unscripted. I don’t know what he’s going to do, I don’t know where he’s going to go. They are our big boss fights,” he says.

OK, so imagine the cougar from Red Dead Redemption… except it’s a mother effing dragon. Yeah.

Anyway, these previews got me even more jazzed up to get a taste of Skyrim this fall. What are your thoughts?

Source – Joystiq and VG247