GamerSushi Asks: Survival Skills?


Since gaming news has once again ground to a halt in the wake of PAX, there hasn’t been much to talk about in the gaming sphere. Besides the usual talking points, of course: Skyrim is going to be awesome, is Nintendo ever going to fix the 3DS, etc.

We’ve talked about those things enough, so I thought I’d bring over a fun thread I saw on Reddit, featuring the ultra-hardcore Survival Game. Basically, you just pick which of these three equipment sets you’d like to start with if you were marooned on an island full of hostile dinosaurs a la Jurassic Park. It’s funny, because as much as I’ve played lots of survival games, none of those really asks you to survive in a realistic situation. Many video games don’t simulate that kind of thing very well, and even when they sort of do (like Minecraft), they don’t really require you to do everything the human actually needs to stay alive. Like eat, for instance.

Personally I’d take Option C, if only for the awesome survival book, since I’d be absolutely helpless on my own in the wilderness. It’s funny, because Option A seems the most “video game” to me, but is probably not all that practical. Unless you’re Turok, I guess. What about you guys? Which would you take? Go!

Source – Reddit

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Gameplay

A few weeks ago, Valve made the official announcement for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a long-awaited follow-up to Counter-Strike. At PAX this past weekend, Valve followed that up with a trailer and some good old-fashioned gameplay. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

It’s nice to watch a whole round or so of this game in motion, and I have to say I like what I see so far. I’m not sure how I feel about a few things like the Molotov cocktails or the T skins, but as of now it seems like a great expansion to the game we all know and love. For some reason, it was the sounds that really made me want to play it, more than the updated visuals.

So what do you guys think of this gameplay for CS: GO? Still needs improvement? Not sold? Throwing your wallet at the screen? Go!

Did You Catch the Action at MLG Raleigh?

mlg raleighGamerSushi weekend may have come and gone (and with it the knowledge that Canada will never has as good a fare as the Tex-Mex I had in Houston), but in addition to this meeting of the minds, and PAX, MLG Raleigh was also going down, right in the middle of Hurricane Irene.

Despite Mother Nature’s wrath bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard, the good folks at MLG sacked up and brought three straight days of gaming goodness featuring Halo: Reach, League of Legends, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and of course, the current GamerSushi game-crush StarCraft 2.

While I did miss most of the event, I did manage to catch some StarCraft 2 last night and today when I was waiting for my flight at the Seattle airport. The fact that I could watch a decent quality video on my phone was super cool to me, and it really speaks about the lengths that the folk at MLG are going to to get these games to the people. It was also kind of surprising to see Gears of War 3 at MLG, even though I know that Epic Games had been touting their product’s appearance at the show for a couple of weeks. Given how good the Beta was for Gears 3, the fact that it’s being used for competitive play makes me want the full version even more.

So what about you guys? Did you tune in to MLG Raleigh? Did you watch it on the streams or go to one of the BarCraft nights that happened this past weekend? Any thoughts on how big MLG is getting? If you don’t comment, you’re killing esports!

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing, GS Weekend Edition

Deus Ex Human Revolution

It’s GamerSushi weekend! For those of you that don’t know, the GamerSushi gang is getting together irl for the first time ever, here in hot and steamy Houston, Texas. For real. It’s hot here.

So far, we’ve watched some Aliens, played some Mortal Kombat, and have a barcade run to make later today. Also, all of us in the same place is going to make for a pretty entertaining podcast. As such, there won’t be much posting happening for the next couple of days, so I wanted to ask you guys what you’re playing.

Up until today, I’ve mostly been swamped in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is so far fantastic. It just feels like an old school PC game, and has a gorgeous atmosphere and great gameplay to boot. It’s got a lot of stuff I didn’t realize I was missing from games, and I love it for that.

So, what are you guys playing in honor of GamerSushi weekend? Go!

Random Encounters

Dragon Age II

When playing video games, all manner of thoughts usually pop into my head. Some are far too graphic to share here and are off-topic besides, but I’ve decided to post my thoughts in a quick-thought format about a variety of topics. Sometimes things don’t warrant a full post by themselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about them right? Continue reading Random Encounters

Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer is in the Pipe, Five by Five

So last year’s Aliens vs. Predator wasn’t as great as people were hoping it would be, but behind the scenes Gearbox Software (the folks responsible for Borderlands) were working on a different game related to one of those franchises. This game is Aliens: Colonial Marines and its making a comeback after disappearing off the grid for a few years.

Gearbox just put out a trailer for this game and it’s full of enough iconic sounds and images to get any Aliens fans’ blood pumping.

The trailer basically makes this game look like the Aliens title that we’ve always wanted and hopefully it has the chops to back it up. Nothing against Gearbox, but the last game they brought out of development hell wasn’t exactly a critical darling. If you throw in campaign co-op though, I’m willing to give it a shot. Do we have any Aliens fans in the audience, and what do you guys think of the trailer?

Deus Ex: Human Revolution: When Reviews Change Your Mind

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Sometimes you think you’ve got your fall completely planned out, with money and pre-orders organized in neat little rows and squared away just so. You tell yourself you know the games that are worth skipping, the ones that you’ll get after a price drop, and the ones that you’re getting on day one.

But then reviews change everything.

As many of you know, I’ve had my qualms about Deus Ex: Human Revolution for quite some time. In fact, I labeled it as a “Shun” in a recent feature. But today, a pile of glowing reviews dropped for the game in advance of its release tomorrow.

Apparently, Deus Ex is a contender for Game of the Year. It’s being hailed as the best action/stealth game to come out since Metal Gear Solid. It’s also being called a cool blend of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect. People are raving about the world, the story and the phenomenal gameplay. As such, all of the GamerSushi staff decided to purchase it today, including myself. And I can’t wait to play it tomorrow. I’m happy to have been proved wrong, but we’ll see if I agree with all the reviews.

So – who else is pumped about these great reviews? When have reviews changed your mind about a purchase before? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Teamwork Triumphs?

Starcraft 2

Last night, in the spirit of true camaraderie, Nick, Mitch and I teamed up for some 3 v 3 matches of StarCraft 2. Big surprise, right? If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ll know that these outings have increased in their frequency, and I’m starting to experience something while gaming that I haven’t in a long time – defining a good team strategy.

Basically, we hit a point in the game where we had to change what we were doing, and really zero in on a particular plan. Our new builds last night really opened up some new possibilities for us, and we were able to defend our platinum rank in 3 v 3 with gusto.

Weirdly enough, the last time I remember obsessing this much over strategy has been with previous Halo games. I did the same kind of tactical research for Halo Wars, and before that, lots of practice flag runs on Halo 2. The practice/teamwork dynamic is something that I don’t experience too often in games, so it’s always interesting when it strikes again.

What’s your last big experience with teamwork triumphs in a multiplayer game? What games in recent past have forced you and a team to really work together? Go!

Gamers Gonna Hate

gamers gonna hateThe problem with having gaming as a hobby and actively persuing that interest means that I often come face to face with the fact that gamers love to complain and do it often and loudly. I know that the most vocal of gamers are a small constituent, but when you’re active in the places that these people frequent, it sort of seems like there’s a wall of complaining and moaning that hits you like an incessant tidal wave.

Complaining about people complaining is like pissing in the wind, but if there’s any safe place to do it, I feel that it’s here on GamerSushi. While we may disagree on a lot of issues, there isn’t any one topic where everyone is overwhelmingly negative or against a certain thing. Honestly, it’s like a breath of fresh air compared to some of the places that I lurk and I’m always thankful that we’ve managed to carve out an island of stability amidst the turbulent waters of the Internet. Continue reading Gamers Gonna Hate

DICE Details Battlefield 3’s Co-Op Mode

battlefield 3 co op mode

Seeing as we’re not a professional gaming site (something I’m increasingly thankful for), we tend to over-indulge on posting about games that are of great interest to us collectively or individually. This was the case last year with Halo: Reach, so I thank you for your patience in that respect. That said, I’m going to be writing about Battlefield 3 constantly from now until release, and probably after, so you will learn to like it.

Following the excellent multiplayer trailer for Caspian Border earlier this week, DICE has detailed Battlefield’s co-op mode a bit more, shedding some light on their interpretation of a mode that the series has sorely lacked. Sure, Bad Company 2 had Onslaught mode, but that didn’t come out for PC.

Cross-platform feature griping aside, DICE has stated that Battlefield 3’s co-op mode will take place alongside the single-player campaign and will feature multiple branches of the military, allowing for lots of different types of gameplay. The mission that DICE showed at Gamescom, called Exfiltration, started with a stealthy segement where you and your partner are tasked with infiltration a building and nabbing an informant. The blog post teases a little surprise if you manage to pull this feat off without raising the alarm (this sort of brings Splinter-Cell’s co-op to mind, which is awesome).

Co-op in Battlefield 3 will also be quite the challenge according to the game’s producers, but those who persevere will be rewarded with guns and other items that they can take into multiplayer. These items are garnered through combined co-op scores with your partners, so hopefully we won’t see too many people crying about how imbalanced this is going to be for multiplayer.

Everything about Battlefield 3 just makes me more and more excited for the game. Outside of modding Battlefield 2 with an infinite horde mode, there hasn’t really been a way for PC players to do co-op gaming with this series, so I’m glad DICE is adding it in. Imagine if we get to do a co-op dogfight?

Source- Battlefield Blog

What’s Your Take on Free to Play Games?

Age of Empires Online

Free to play games are getting more and more common these days, but I’ve always been hesitant to check them out, mostly because if a game has the word “free” in it, my mind tends to lower my expectations significantly. I don’t know where this notion comes from, but I’ve been making an effort to try out the mass of free games that have flooded the market (except for TF2, I played that game for years before it became free).

To date I’ve tried the Battlefield game, APB Reloaded and Age of Empires Online, and a few buddies of mine have tried out the MMOs that have gone free like Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings Online. While the gameplay in these games are pretty good, I just can’t get into them, mostly because of their reliance on the microtransaction business model.

All of the games use it to varying degrees, but APB Reloaded and Battlefield are the two worst offenders in my mind, allowing players to purchase weapons for use in PvP combat. This might not make much of a difference in Battlefield, which is still and FPS and is mostly determined by skill, but APB is an MMO, so whoever has the best gear wins. Add that to the fact that the level system is so convoluted (I had to play for two days before I realized that I wasn’t even close to eligible to buy a weapon with in-game funds) and I got tired of the whole experience pretty fast. It was fun ripping around the city robbing store with friends, but the whole microtransaction aspect soured me on it.

I realize that this is just one example and most of the stuff you can buy with your money in other games are personal cosmetic things and the like, but I just can’t abide with the “whoever has the most money wins” method of play. I know some people don’t have an issue with this, but for me I can clearly identify which games are a shameless cash-grab.

Firefall is an upcoming free game that I’m greatly looking forward to though, mostly because the developers have stated that they want their game to be about skill, and the paid stuff will not affect PvP combat. To me, that’s the best way to go about these things. I’m wondering what you guys think about free to play games, though? Which ones have you played and did you enjoy them? What your take on microtransactions?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 34: To Be Fair

A new challenger arrives: Episode 34 of the podcast, in which we repeat the phrase, “To Be Fair” quite a bit, even though we are usually anything but fair in these raucous casts which we pod. Also, sorry for Anthony’s robot voice. These things happen over the tubes.

As per usual, we bounce around along various topics, including but not quite limited to Team Bondi, Valve, GameFly’s PC rentals and a throwback to Metroid Prime. After that, we launch into a game of Fill in the Blank, where we vocabitate about next gen consoles, The Old Republic’s expected sales numbers and Bethesda claiming the word Scrolls.

We recorded this guy the day before Counter-Strike: GO was announced, so sadly there’s none of that on there. But next week! Oh, next week there will be counters struck, you guys.

So, listen to it. Give it mad ratings. <3. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 34: To Be Fair

Notch Challenges Bethesda to a Quake-Off


Oh snap. Things are getting real over at Mojang.

A couple of weeks back, Bethesda hit Mojang up with a bit of a legal dispute, stating that their upcoming game Scrolls was going to confuse consumers about the much bigger Bethesda game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Sort of poor form on Bethesda’s part.

Anyway, to clear up this debacle, Notch has made a gentleman’s wager: if Bethesda can beat Mojang in a 3-v-3 Quake 3 match, then Notch will change the name of Scrolls to anything Bethesda wants. If Mojang wins, Bethesda drops the lawsuit.

Personally, I hope Bethesda jumps on this. It’s brilliant PR for them, whether or not they win or lose the match. On top of that, how entertaining would it be to see some sort of stream of this?

Source – The Word of Notch

WWE ’12 Is Stone Cold Stunning

In my misspent youth, I was a huge wrestling fan. To this day, I can name who held the WWE title starting with Bob Backlund all the way up to when Stone Cold Steve Austin won it. After that, it changed hands every other week and I couldn’t keep up anymore. I stopped watching in 2000, but have recently started again. So naturally, like any nerd, I’ve been wanting to play a wrestling video game.

Thankfully, THQ has been working on a brand new revamp of their WWE franchise, now called WWE ’12. Judging from the video below, which showcases a full match with commentary from the developers, it looks like it’s going to be pretty special. Barring horrible reviews, I am almost guaranteed to pick this one. So hit the video below and take a look at CM Punk (yay!) vs. John Cena (boo!).

[youtube width=”500″ height=”310″][/youtube]

What do you think? Anyone play the Raw vs. Smackdown games? Does this look like an improvement to you? Do you smell what THQ is cookin? Can I be anymore of a dork? GO!

Battlefield 3 Caspian Border Gameplay Trailer has Jets

Ever since the days of Battlefield 1942, brave players have been taking to the skies, trying to master the the obtuse controls of those flighty temptresses, airplanes. If you managed to take wing without some bad mannered teammate blowing you up on the ground, you’d be lucky to stay airborne for more than a few moments before an AA tower or a rocket launcher brought you down.

As frustrating as flying sometimes was, fans have been clamoring for the return of jets ever since Battlefield 2 and DICE is more than happy to oblige, showing off jets in action with a trailer for a vehicle-based multiplayer arena in Battlefield 3 called Caspian Border. Watch and drool, Battlefield fans.

So much of that makes me so happy. Caspian Border reminds me a lot of Battlefield 2’s open maps, so I managed to get a hit of nostalgia among all that Frostbite 2 new hotness. What do you guys think about this footage? Excited about the return of jets in Battlefield 3?

GamerSushi Asks: Better Originals?


Seeing as we’re stuck in kind of a gaming drought and I don’t have regular access to my PC to play me some sweet, sweet StarCraft 2, I’ve been replaying the original inFamous after I got it for free during the PlayStation Network’s Welcome Back program. Coming fresh off of the sequel, it’s given me appreciation for just how different inFamous was when it came out and reminded me about some of the things that the first game did that were awesome that Sucker Punch removed for the second game.

While I am glad that Sucker Punch changed the horrible side-mission structure, some of the powers and the main quest designs in the first game were pretty awesome. The ability to absorb energy while grinding and using your basic lightning bolt to redirect your rockets akin to a laser-guided missile have me really enjoying the game, even on hard difficulty.

While I still maintain that inFamous 2 is truly deserving of the grade that I gave it, the original still holds up even two years later (at least in the sense of gameplay, the graphics are still pretty rough). This got me thinking about the original games in franchises that have a better reputation than their sequels. Games like Knights of the Old Republic and Deus Ex are obvious, but I’d count Halo (which is better than three of its four successors) and Dead Rising among those. Dead Rising 2 was good, but the original sucked me in in a way that the sequel never did.

What about you guys? Any games that you like more than their sequels? If your thoughts go against popular opinions, I definitely want to hear about it.

Multiplayer Map Hall of Fame, Part Two

Last year, we did a feature highlighting some of our favorite multiplayer maps of all time, in which we singled out Halo’s Blood Gulch, Mario 64’s Block Fort and Left 4 Dead’s No Mercy, among others. All of you answered with some great suggestions, and I promised I would return with another edition (and beyond) honoring some of those mentioned.

So, here we are. Remember, these aren’t intended to be definitive lists, but rather, a way for us to reminisce on some great games and some great maps that we enjoyed in our time with them. If you have more suggestions for awesome maps that deserve to be in the Multiplayer Hall of Fame, by all means, post them in the comments and we can continue to induct new members. Continue reading Multiplayer Map Hall of Fame, Part Two

Why I Love Emergent Gameplay

starcraft 2 emergent gameplay

One of the best parts of gaming is finding new ways to make an old favorite fresh and new again. While it’s always easy to play the game that the developers packed into the box, it can sometimes be a rewarding challenge to make new types of games out of an existing framework.

The Halo series are full of some great examples, with things like Zombies, Grifball and many others besides, but this phenomenon is by no means limited to Halo (although the wealth of tools built into the game by Bungie do make it easy to invent your own ways of playing). For example, during a gaming session today, my friends and I cooked up a StarCraft 2-themed drinking game by adding in a bunch of handicaps (like only attacking someone who attacked you first, or not being able to upgrade your units) and game-long missions (using the dance command in everyones base or making someone rage quit). We then dolled out drinks based on whether or not you stuck to your handicaps and if you completed your mission or not. While StarCraft 2 is still a blast for us to play normally, we spent most of the afternoon and a good part of the night playing this game and having a great time.

Over the course of our games, we started talking about how making up your own game within a game is a very old tradition for gamers and can lead to either hours lost trying to make up new things or playing a game you haven’t thought about in months. I know this is kind of a random topic, but have any of you done something similar? Any custom-made gametypes that you want to share?

Valve Preparing New Counter-Strike for Q1 2012


If we posted every rumor that the videogame industry latched onto, this site would be one great slobbering mess. As it stands, we try to handle ourselves with poise amidst a whirlwind of easily debunked rumors, rampant speculation and URL hounding.

I’m ready to throw all of that out of the window for this rumor: Valve is set to release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the long-awaited sequel to their huge FPS franchise, in Q1 of 2012. In terms of credibility, it seems that Valve has recently been inviting major players in the eSports community to their studios to test the game out, and have been making posts around the Web about their experiences.

Some of the other rumors associated with the game as of now are revamps of Dust and Aztec, new weapons, an updated version of the Source engine, a focus on 5 v 5 play and individual and team rankings. Supposedly, a press release should arrive from Valve about the matter soon, but I couldn’t wait to go ahead and get this up.

Whew. I managed to get through that without letting off a major “squee” of excitement or four. Now it’s your turn. Thoughts about this rumor? Could Valve actually have been secretly preparing this game and plan to launch it in just a few short months? Go!

Update: This is now official: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will release on XBLA, PSN and Steam in early 2012. Woot!

Source – ESEA News and VG247

A Series of Letters About Deus Ex

Deus Ex

A couple of months ago, Anthony and I decided to exchange letters about playing Half-Life 2 for the first time. While I’ve been a bum and neglected to play through our last assigned level (but no worries, I’m resuming this weekend), others have been more active.

Our original inspiration for the feature happened to be a series of Final Fantasy 7 Letters exchanged between (my favorite games writer) Kirk Hamilton and cohort Leigh Alexander. They’ve decided to see if lightning can strike twice, and have tackled the task of writing out their experiences as they play through the original Deus Ex.

As someone that’s never played this celebrated game, it was definitely cool to read the experiences of two gamers, one who has played it and one who hasn’t, to get some perspective on just what it was about this game that was so special. In truth, the feature (coupled with many Sushi-ans devotion to it) makes me a bit curious to try it out.

Anyway, since so many of you love Deus Ex, I certainly thought you’d be interested in this series. Thoughts on the letters? And what was it about the original Deus Ex that has such a strong hold on you guys?

Source – Kotaku