GamerSushi Asks: Summer Movies?

Super 8

There’s not a lot of gaming news going on this week – but who says we have to talk about games all the time?

In the past, one of the (many) things I always loved about summer was going to the movies. These days, my grumpy old penny pincher tends to come out when it comes to seeing blockbusters on the silver screen, but this year seems to have more movies worth seeing than the last few years combined. While I missed both Thor and X-Men: First Class (both of which I’ve heard great things about), I did happen to see Pirates 4 a few weeks back as well as Super 8 this past weekend. The latter of those two really impressed me.

While it’s by no means a perfect movie, Super 8 is a rarity among adventure movies in this day and age for one simple reason – it’s got a lot of heart. Helmed by Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams, it reminds me of all those old school classics like The Goonies, E.T., Jaws and a bit of Jurassic Park thrown in for good measure. It’s seriously a ton of fun, but also delivered with great care.

Over the next few months, I hope to see the final Harry Potter film as well as Captain America. So what about you guys, what movies are you looking forward to this summer? Did anyone happen to see Super 8? Go!

What do You Want From Sony and Microsoft’s Next Gen Systems?

xbox 720 rumor

Hot on the heels of Nintendo’s Wii U announcement at E3 2011, is reporting that a “high-ranking industry source” at Crytek has leaked the news that Microsoft will announce their Xbox 360 successor next year at E3.

Whether or not the source can be trusted (every rumor comes from a “high-ranking person” these days) we can’t deny that Sony and Microsoft are finally turning their eyes towards the future, perhaps even more so now that Nintendo beat them to the punch. Speculating on whether or not this is a real leak is probably a waste of time; it’s more likely than not that this is just an attempt to get some hits. What’s more fun and productive is guessing what Microsoft and Sony’s next gen consoles will be like.

The Xbox 720 and the PlayStation 4 (or whatever they end up calling them) will no doubt feature beefed up graphical capabilities, but how far will they go? The article sates that Microsoft will include DirectX 11 in the new system, which seems pretty reasonable to me, considering how far along technologically we’ve come since the Xbox 360’s launch. What about Sony, though? What problems from this generation do you want them to fix? Sound off!

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Battlefield 3 and the DLC Backlash (Updated)

battlefield 3 physical warfare pack boycottAs I’m sure you’re well aware, given my constant posting of anything slightly related to this game over the past few months, Battlefield 3 is coming out later this year setting its sights on taking the FPS crown away from Call of Duty. As is the norm with games these days, a bit of pre-order DLC was offered in the form of the Back to Karkand expansion pack which gives early purchasers access to the map pack on day one, whereas late adopters will have to wait and buy it at a later date.

While this did cause some outcry, the Back to Karkand controversy pales in comparison to the furor that has cropped up around the Physical Warfare Pack. This add-on is only availble in the UK through GAME and Gamestation stores and features items that will not be obtainable in the retail game. Naturally, fans of the game are quite incensed and a boycott has already been arranged on Reddit, calling for EA and DICE to remove this pre-order incentive from the game.
Continue reading Battlefield 3 and the DLC Backlash (Updated)

The Half-Life 2 Files, Part 1: Summer in the City

G-ManNote: This series is a correspondence between fellow writer Anthony Taylor and myself about one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, Half-Life 2. There have been enough volumes of html created about this Valve classic to fill Gabe Newell’s swimming pool, but one fact remains: neither of us have ever played it from start to finish.

When it comes to video games, admitting that you neglected to play through a monumental title like Half-Life 2 (or even the first Half-Life, in my case) is something akin to being branded with a pixelated Lambda symbol, forever marking you with the burnt orange of shame. However, for me it’s a bit more odd than for others. Many of you on GamerSushi know that I spent quite a bit of time in the past making videos in the Source engine which required me to edit Half-Life 2 maps, arrange Portal turrets and facepose lengthy monologues of the G-Man model. As such, I’ve acquainted myself with the lore of Valve’s celebrated sci-fi shooter series, but have never donned that H-VAC suit myself. I’ve always wanted to, however, but time always seemed to slip away from me. Recently, after talking about games we haven’t played, Anthony brought up Half-Life 2 and suggested we both tackle it. Inspired by the brilliant FFVII Letters, we thought we would document the process as we did it.

It’s for this reason that Anthony and I decided we would undergo a playthrough of Half-Life 2 together, and see what happens when we look back on a game that still manages to cast its shadow on gaming storytellers and worldbuilders, even 7 years later. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the result. Continue reading The Half-Life 2 Files, Part 1: Summer in the City

Are We Seeing Too Many Shooters?

ghost recon future soldier

One of the weird trends that I noticed during E3 2011 was the overall disdain for the mass amount of shooters that were on display. It didn’t really crop up until UbiSoft’s press conference, but once Ghost Recon and FarCry 3 came on the stage I noticed that most gaming journalists on Twitter started adopting a “oh, great, another shooter” attitude.

Sure, a lot of games these days do involve guns, but it’s been like that for the past few years and it seems odd that this is the year that people start ranting about it, especially considering that the quality of the shooters were pretty decent. I suppose that if you spend everyday writing previews and reviews and whatever else on shooter games it gets a little stale after a while, but consumers play them just as much if not more. The difference there is that game journalists have a venue for their output where people get to read that stuff.

In light of that, I thought I’d open up a little discussion for you guys to sound off on this topic: are we seeing too many shooters these days? I know that we’ve touched on a similar issue before, but this is the year that sort of seemed to tip things over the edge. What do you think? Are we inundated with too many shooters? Why do you think that is this the most prevalent style of game? Sound off!

GamerSushi Asks: What Was Your Game of Show for E3 2011?

battlefield 3 e3 2011 game of show

This is kind of a tricky GamerSushi Asks, what with all the quality showings from many publishers and developers, but I feel that we can get an interesting discussion going around this one. Now that E3 2011 is behind us, we can gaze back fondly at the at the games and scoff at the terrible press conferences and Mr. Caffeine.

Since we’ve seen everything that the industry’s biggest trade show had to offer, we’re going to open this up and ask you guys what your Game of Show was for E3 2011. There’s so many strong contenders from the shooters to the RPGs and the sandbox/adventure games that it might be hard to choose just one.

So what are you leaning towards? Personally, I’m thinking Battlefield 3 with Skyrim, Saint’s Row: The Third and Gears of War 3 coming in close behind. It was really hard to choose, but the tank video impressed the hell out of me and the multiplayer sounds super tight with lots of new improvements. I also know that at least one of you lucky devils made the trek out to L.A., so maybe there’s something we all missed that we should pay more attention to going forward? Hit me up in the comments, son!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 31: E3 2011 Edition

The most epic week of the gaming year has passed us by, and there’s certainly enough news to keep everyone buzzing for the rest of 2011. That’s why we fast tracked this week’s podcast, in order to get it out the day after E3 ended. The result is a super-sized podcast that’s fit for one of Skyrim’s mammoth-herding giants.

In it, you’ll hear our thoughts on everything from the ridiculously confusing Wii U announcements to fighting dragons, buildings forts and rips in space-time. After all of that, we embark on a hilarious rendition of Grades, where we evaluate each of the “Big 3” conferences in turn.

Alright, you know what comes next, fools. Listen + Rate + Enjoy. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 31: E3 2011 Edition

Star Wars: The Old Republic Has an Amazing Opening Cinematic

I know that I’ve been quite vocal in my condemnation of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s hype train and its constant parade of pre-rendered trailers and no solid release date. After three consecutive E3s of all show and no tell, I was starting to get a little ticked off at the constant stringing along that TOR is pulling. Of course, being a gamer, I am a fickle creature and the recently released opening cinematic for The Old Republic is nothing short of mind-blowing. It’s seriously everything I love about Star Wars, condensed into six minutes.

I’m looking forward to watching this video again when I boot up the game, whenever that is. Lucas Licensing should just contract Blur to make a Star Wars movie with BioWare as the writing staff, because every trailer they’ve made have been better than the games they’ve been associated with (case in point: Force Unleashed 2). What do you guys think of the opening cinematic for The Old Republic? Was this sick, or what?

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim E3 Gameplay Demo

I’m not really going to preface this video with too many words, other than these: this Skyrim gameplay demonstration from GameTrailers TV sort of blew my mind when I watched it. You all know that we do our best to stay away from hyperbole on this site (although sometimes we fail at this), but there were pieces of this video that surpassed my imagination for what a video game could accomplish. While the visuals are nothing to scoff at and the combat looks like it’s seen a decent upgrade, it’s the unscripted dragon encounters that left me in awe.

Go ahead, drool over it, and check back in when you’re done.


Nintendo E3 2011 Presser Breakdown

nintendoNintendo came late to the party this year, holding their press conference this morning as opposed to following tradition and doing it on Monday. With rumors abound about Project Cafe and lots of buzz around the 3DS, Nintendo was poised this year to once again steal the E3 crown. Did they succeed?

Details about their presser are after the jump!
Continue reading Nintendo E3 2011 Presser Breakdown

Sony’s E3 2011 Briefing Round-Up

playstationMicrosoft’s E3 press conference came and went and it was quite the Kinect fest. With Nintendo making an apperance tomorrow, Sony was primed to steal the show on the first day of E3. Let’s break down their presser and see if they made Microsoft look like a bunch of chumps.

Details are after the jump!
Continue reading Sony’s E3 2011 Briefing Round-Up

Battlefield 3 Campaign Gameplay Brings the Thunder

I’m of the opinion that EA really brought the heardcore games at their press conference today whether you’re a fan of sports, shooters or sci-fi RPGs. Sure, the foot-based gameplay in Need for Speed: The Run looked a little wonky, but Mass Effect 3 is shaping up nicely and Battlefield 3 is coming hard, aiming its sights square at Modern Warfare 3. After MW3’s showing at the Xbox briefing, DICE showed off a campaign demo called ‘Thunder Run’.

Those are some of the best looking explosions I’ve seen in a game. From top to bottom this game is looking really tight, and I can’t wait. What do you guys think of ‘Thunder Run’? Does this look like a serious Modern Warfare 3 competitor?

Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference Highlights

x360Microsoft’s big shindig just went down, and it was kind of crazy. Despite the early leaks, they still manage to pull off a few tricks and bring a lot of Kinect.

Hit the jump to see the round-up!
Continue reading Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference Highlights

Workshop: Building the Perfect Shooter

Counter-StrikeI think it’s safe to say that the preferred gametype among the GamerSushi faithful would have to be that of the shooter. Whether we’re talking about some old school favorites like Counter-Strike or Goldeneye, or jumping to the present to wax philosophically about games like Brink and Crysis 2, we’ve all got our opinions. Best of all, everyone here is reasonably well-mannered and articulate enough to share their thoughts without everything turning into an all out flame fest. It’s one of the many reasons we love you guys.

Well, I figured that we all spend enough time talking about our favorite shooters that it would make for a fun (and informative) exercise for all of us to construct what we’d consider the perfect shooter. To really think about the kinds of features we would love to see, the kinds of maps we would like to play, and the way we would like to take down our foes. Great games have done any number of things over the years to capture our hearts and minds – so let’s put all of those to the test and put them against one another, grudge-match style. Continue reading Workshop: Building the Perfect Shooter

GamerSushi Asks: The Pre-E3 Check-In?

MGS 3Alright, gents. E3 is finally here. And as we’ve discussed most recently, the hype machine is going to be in full effect. As much as it can be a bit grating, it’s still a fine week to be a gamer, and one of my favorite of the year.

I wanted to get a pre-E3 post up, just to let you know some of the things going on during the week. Even though we’re not at E3 (sigh), we’re still probably going to do a fair bit of updating around these parts. During the Sony press conference you can expect a liveblog of the events, so come here if you want to comment and enjoy some fun minute-by-minute updating of the opening press event. We’ll also be posting some recaps of the Nintendo/Microsoft press conferences once they’ve happened. In addition, there will probably be a daily recap post to discuss the cool news that didn’t make individual posts.

Personally, I’m most interested to see Project Cafe from Nintendo’s press event on June 7th. Rumors are swirling like crazy still, but it seems fairly certain from reports that it’s going to sport a touch screen controller. Other rumors speculate that the system itself will be portable, and could feature a screen as well… which is interesting, to say the least. Other cool confirmed stuff includes the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, which is going to include Metal Gear Solid 2, 3 and Peace Walker. Konami is also going to release Zone of Enders 1 and 2 in HD – and all of these are going to see both PSN and XBLA releases. Pretty cool, huh?

The tricky thing about E3 is that there’s going to be way too much stuff to post about. And as we’re not really a gaming news site and more of a gaming conversation site, I think it’d be cool for you guys to let us know what games you’re most excited to talk about. As updates/trailers, news and such come flying in, we can be sure to post about those games so all of us can come back here and wag our tails about them a bit. Yes, in this analogy we have somehow become dogs.

So yeah, tell us what you’d most like to discuss once the news goes up, and we’ll do our best to placate you gents and gals.

Uncharted 3 Co-Op Trailer Takes the Fight to New Heights

It goes without saying that Uncharted 3 is one of this year’s most anticipated titles, but I’m going to say it like a dork anyway because that’s what I do, and it makes for a decent introductory sentence. While Naughty Dog has dutifully shown us glimpses of both single player and multiplayer, one aspect of Uncharted 3 that has been fairly under wraps has been the co-op aspect.

Luckily for all of us slobbering Drake fans, they released some brand new footage for co-op on Spike TV last night, in the form of this entertaining Uncharted 3 co-op trailer. I’ll let you watch it for yourselves, but I will say this: vertical shootouts. Yup.

So, thoughts? Can’t this game just come out already?

Do Games get Announced too Early?

the old republic announced too early

I know this is a topic we’ve talked about on the podcast some, but you guys always seem reluctant to leave your thoughts on those. Perhaps it is because we are such cunning linguists and our arguments tear yours to shreds. Yeah, that’s what I’m going with.

In case you somehow forgot with all the incessant reminders on all of the gaming websites and Twitter and yes, even here, E3 2011 is next week and we’ll be seeing a few new games and a couple that we’ve been hearing about for what seems like forever. While Metal Gear Solid: Rising and The Last Guardian probably won’t be making an appearance, Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Tomb Raider reboot (just confirmed for a fall 2012 release) will be there, and we’ve been hearing about those games for a while. Star Wars: The Old Republic is particularly guilty in this regard, showing up to two consecutive E3s with only a fancy trailer. I’d hesitate to say that anything BioWare is a one-trick pony, but it’s certainly starting to look that way.

I hate to sound like I’m ragging on BioWare, who are obviously working very hard on their MMO, but if this game had been announced maybe two years ago as opposed to four, I wouldn’t have the same “hype fatigue” I’m experiencing now. I’m also apparently hurting for a Star Wars MMO, so there’s that too.

So what about you guys? What games have been announced a little too early for your taste? Any games at E3 2011 that you just want to stop hearing about? How far in advance of their release should games be announced?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 30: The Whites Are Coming

Just like we did with the Portal 2 podcast a few weeks back, we thought we’d have ourselves a spoiler-slathered episode all about L.A. Noire for this week. Basically, we talk about the game up until the end of homicide without worry of monitoring ourselves, and the result is some in-depth discussion about Team Bondi’s achievements and how we feel about the game itself.

After that, Nick brings us a game of percentages, where we rate the chances of purchasing Modern Warfare 3, the eventual production and release of the infamous Uncharted movie and the removal of DRM from more PC games. We also dip a bit into some absurd trailer-mongering, which I think you guys will get a kick out of. Or at the very least, we got a kick out of it. As long as someone is entertained, right?

Here we go, gents and ladies. Listen up. Rate. Chuckle. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 30: The Whites Are Coming

Poll: Most Anticipated June Release

Apparently, I was so distraught over the PSN being down (PSN-sane…get it?) that I didn’t do one of these for May, so I apologize and am back to make amends for June. We are fully into the summer now and thankfully, it’s not the drought that it once was. In my day, summers were when you replayed the games you got for Christmas, not buy new blockbusters and play them.

So even though I am still swamping through my own backlog and thankfully making progress, I think Infamous 2 is the game I most have my canny eye on. I loved the first game and from everything I have read about the sequel, it’s shaping up to take the franchise to greater heights. Also, I hate Duke Nuke ‘Em. But there are way too many great games coming out this month! It’s kind of insane.

What say you? Vote below!

Most Anticipated June Release

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E3: Stripping out the Hype


One thing that can be a bit unnerving about the way the gaming media conducts itself is when it inadvertently (or purposefully, in some cases) acts as the extended reach of the PR team for a given publisher. In the attempt at being completely objective and unbiased, sometimes it’s easy for the marketing speak to climb into posts or previews of upcoming games, precisely because it’s the only information that’s being made available to the gaming media at the time that it’s covered. You don’t want to make any assumptions, so you go with the answers you’ve been given – which have been carefully constructed by some marketing copywriters.

Like I said, I haven’t been in this position myself, but that’s always seemed to be the struggle from an outside point of view. However, games writer Dennis Scimeca has been in that position, and writes about it over on his blog in a post titled Don’t Look at the Game Behind the Curtain. It’s actually a really interesting look at the trial-and-error process of a games journalist and how he handles different previews from E3. He mainly singles out both Brink and Homefront, two games that turned out to be, by many accounts, mediocre, but received a substantial amount of hype through cleverly designed preview events and trailers.

Personally, I would love to see the kind of “stripped” version of games reporting that he talks about here. Speaking from the experience of walking around on the PAX floor, it’s easy to let the smoke and mirrors cloud the real game that’s being shown. E3, as awesome as it is from a news perspective, has kind of become this huge circus that all the publishers and journalists are playing to. That being said, I still want to go to there.

What do you guys think of this kind of hype? Would you rather see more of it stripped out of games coverage? Or do you like getting whipped up into a fervor and judging for yourself what pulls its own weight? Does E3 excite you or irritate you for this exact reason?

Punching Snakes