Review: Dark Souls

Dark Souls 1

My character falls to his death and I don’t even move. I don’t scream, I don’t curse, I just sit and wait for the animation to complete so I can get back to what I was doing. I’m Anthony and I’m a veteran of Demon’s Souls and now Dark Souls.

As we all remember, I was a huge fan of Demon’s Souls, the intense and famously difficult action-RPG from From Software. The tough, but fair challenge, the amazing online experience…it all just clicked for me and for many other gamers as one of the best games of this generation. Now, with Dark Souls, From Software is back to give you nightmares all over again. Continue reading Review: Dark Souls

GamerSushi Asks: Resisting That Urge to Buy?

Forza 4

One thing that I’ve found hard to do this Fall is resist the temptation to buy a new game every week. So far I’ve failed spectacularly in this endeavor because I bought Spider-Man last week and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record this week, and I’m seriously tempted to pick up Forza 4 as well.

The desire to get Forza mostly stems from some of the screenshots I’ve seen of the Autovista mode which look stunningly photorealistic. I’m not even a real big “car guy”, but I can’t resist those screenshots. They call to me, saying “look at these cars Mitch. Aren’t they pretty? You should pay sixty dollars so you can look at them any time”.

So far I’ve stayed my hand and with Batman next week and then the November to end all Novembers coming I might be able to hold off. I’m wondering if you guys have had a similar problem this year? Any titles singing their siren’s songs to you? How do you resist buying something you really want but know you should save your cash for a different game?

Ten Minutes of Syndicate Gameplay Breach the Internet

EA and StarBreeze’s (the guys behind The Darkness) revival of Syndicate, a sci-fi RTS from the early 90s, was just announced last month with a release date of February 2012. Since the game is seemingly on the fast track to the shelves, the two companies have been hitting hard with the pre-release info and have just put out a new ten-minute gameplay trailer for the title. It shows off the game’s shooting and something called “breaching” which is the act of using the chip in your character’s head to hack electronic systems and manipulate them. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the trailer below:

Some people have been saying that Syndicate bears a close resemblance to the recent Deus Ex game, but other than some superficial stuff I don’t see it. Syndicate looks like it’s way more action-oriented than Deus Ex was, and it doesn’t appear that stealth will really be an option here. So, what did you guys think of the trailer?

Hyrule Total War’s Intro Cinematic Brings Zelda to the Battlefield

I’m kind of a sucker for awesome mods and sadly they’re kind of going out of vogue with the video game industry. While there is still the odd company that still has mod support in their games, these are few and far between. Even though active modders can’t really look forward to new releases and the possibilities there, they can go back to older games and create some really neat stuff. Take this video I found of a Total War conversion that puts Legend of Zelda skins on the various armies as an example. There’s a ton of attention to detail here, and it’s guaranteed to make you nerd out at least a little bit.

Pretty cool, right? I really hope that Nintendo lets this guy continue with the project because they’re notoriously harsh about the use of their IPs. What did you guys think of this mod? Pretty sweet? Would you try it out?

Mass Effect 3’s Galaxy at War Co-Op Missions

Mass Effect 3

Yikes. Yesterday, the Internet was absolutely exploding about the news that Mass Effect 3 has a multiplayer mode. Shocker of all shockers, the instant reaction to this was utter panic, as the Internet is an entirely sensible bunch and not prone to hyperbole.

As a result, Chris Priestly, Bioware’s Community Coordinator, stepped into the Bioware forums to deliver some clarification about just what the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer would look like. It turns out that the game will actually support 4 player co-op missions that are separate from the main campaign. This mode, called Galaxy at War, will put players in control of 4 squad mates (not including Shepard) who can be made up of a variety of powers and races.

The cool thing about Galaxy at War is that it sounds like the progress you make in these co-op missions will affect the single player, in the sense that you’re helping the overall war effort against the Reapers. Whereas in Mass Effect 2, you were grooming 12 people for a suicide mission, in Mass Effect 3, you’re getting the entire galaxy ready for an all-out war. The co-op missions can boost your overall Galactic Readiness level.

So, that’s just a few of the details for what actually sounds like a promising mode that doesn’t step on the toes of the Mass Effect universe. I think the big debate moving forward is going to be if this hurts single player in any way, or if this mode is even necessary for what’s already been a great experience. You can certainly read the rest of the FAQ for yourself here.

How do you guys feel about this? Are you freaking out? Excited? Upset? Ready to swear loyalty to Bioware forever? Go!

Source – Bioware Forums

Gaming Pop Quiz: Fall 2011 Edition

Somehow, these new editions of Pop Quiz keep sneaking up on us. It feels like it wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about the dog days of gaming summer, looking forward to the Fall like seagulls swarming around a family having a potato chip fight. I don’t really know what the deal is with that analogy, but I think it sort of works.

Anyway, it’s officially Fall now, and the releases are rolling in. We’ve had Gears of War 3, Dark Souls, the Battlefield 3 Beta and soon Arkham City, Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and then some. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, and one that I’m sure will produce a number of thought provoking responses from you all, our lovely Sushi-ans. This pop quiz is full of questions about the games we’ve already seen, candy and peril. Tread carefully.

As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go! Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz: Fall 2011 Edition

Today’s WTF: Early Versions of Classic Games

Ocarina of Time

While it can be maddening to wait for word on an anticipated game release, it’s probably a good thing that more developers don’t tip their hands too early. Very often in creative processes, the seeds of an original idea morph into something that the creators don’t quite anticipate, both for good and ill.

It seems the same is true with gaming. You see, Cracked has put out a hilarious (and somewhat frightening) list of 6 Baffling Early Prototypes of Your Favorite Video Games. Although you’ve no doubt heard some of the highlights of this list (Super Mario Bros 2 and Halo come to mind), there are others that are downright shocking. Ocarina of Time as an FPS? The original Super Mario involved a gun-slinging plumber? This is the stuff that rocks world views, my friends. And perhaps even socks.

Personally, while I can tend to be an information hound, I have to say that I’m glad that sometimes we don’t know every little detail of development as it’s going down. Think of all the fan overreactions we’d hear about on a daily basis if we saw extremely early iterations of games that more than likely changed over the development cycle.

What do you guys think of this list? Are you glad that developers hold back on what they have to show until closer to release? Or do you wish that they would show us sooner?

Source – Cracked

The Top 100 Trailers of All Time

GameTrailers decided to, fittingly, rank the 100 best trailers of all time and they just announced their pick for number one. They give a quick countdown of all their choices and there are a few really great picks in there that are a little low for my choice. There’s a bias towards this generation of consoles and trailers, but that’s understandable given that video game trails only really got good last generation. Here’s the number one pick:

What do you guys think of GT’s choice? Do you agree? What would you have chosen?

Spider-Man: Edge of Time and the Sophomore Slump

spider-man edge of time

As you guys know I bought Spider-Man: Edge of Time this past Tuesday, and I think I’ve played enough of it to get a firm grasp on whether or not it’s a good follow-up to Shattered Dimensions and if it’s worth your time and money. The short answer is no, and it makes me really worried for future Activision published sequels that aren’t Call of Duty.

The long answer is: instead of the four different Spider-Men from the last game, this time you play only as the basic Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. When I first heard about this I was a little disappointed but I figured that Beenox would find a way to vary up the fighting and puzzle sections enough between the two Spider-Men so it wouldn’t just feel like I was playing the same game with a palette swap. This unfortunately isn’t the case because all you do in Edge of Time is beat up dudes. A lot of dudes. The fighting in Shattered Dimensions was interesting because every Spider-Man had his own unique style but in this game both 2099 and Amazing are pretty much exactly the same except Amazing can hit people with giant web flails which are now inexplicably less effective than they were in Shattered Dimensions. The game also suffers from some pretty bad pacing issues as certain combat or free-fall sections can go on for entirely too long (free-fall also has the annoying habit of not giving enough time to recover after you slam into obstacles meaning that once you hit one thing you’re pretty much dead).

Edge of Time really feels thrown together as there’s not much inspiration in the combat encounters, the story, or the level design. The quantum reality-shifting aspects could be cool but it makes very little sense most of the time (the two Spideys even comment on how fast and loose the whole thing is) and kind of gets predictable very quickly. Hearing Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man 2099 is awesome for fans of the old 90s cartoon, but other than that there’s no real reason to play Edge of Time. Maybe that was obvious to you guys, but I liked Shattered Dimensions and I was hoping Beenox could keep up a decent level of quality. Given that Fall of Cybertron was just announced (another sequel that’s coming a year after the studio’s last title), I’m worried about how that’s going to turn out. Honestly, I’m worried about any Activision game that isn’t Call of Duty.

Do you guys have any sequels that were a huge disappointment, especially if they were sequels to games that weren’t universally loved? Go!

Sony’s Long Live Play Ad “Michael” Will Give You Chills

A week and a bit ago, Anthony posted a mysterious teaser for a Sony trailer which featured a lot of nods to their famous franchises. The full version of the ad had gone up, and it’s rather awesome. I’m not going to spoil it for you guys, so go ahead and watch it.

That was actually really, really cool, the “Super Smash Bros” of commercials, if you will. I bet Microsoft is kicking themselves for not thinking of this first (although their ads have never really focused on the games their system offers, they just assume those will sell). Not only did Sony manage to get pretty good ringers for their characters, they brought in the voice actors, too. There’s some really good attention to detail in this video, and if I was still holding out on a PS3, this would have convinced me. So what did you guys think of the ad? Did it knock your socks off?

What Are You Playing: Show Me Your Rage Edition

what are you playing

We might have to do a What Are You Playing every Tuesday from now until the end of the year because it’s about to go down, people. There’s maybe about a billion games coming every week for the next few months on this exact day, except for Skyrim, which hits on a Friday (also known as “Eff Your Weekend Plans, Here’s Skyrim” Day). Naturally, we’re curious about your gaming tastes as it helps us format the content for the site and it also lets us know that your care enough to respond. That said, let’s dig in.

Because I’m a crazy person, my purchase today will be Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Beenox’s sophomore attempt at this property. I enjoyed their last effort, Shattered Dimensions, so who knows, I might like this one too. Other than my guilty pleasure we have RAGE and Dark Souls, one of which I know Anthony is salivating ferociously over. I also picked up the Witcher 2 on Steam for 30 bucks and of course there’s the Battlefield 3 Beta and Gears of War 3 when I get a moment. Who ever said that gamers are lazy should really look at the 2011 release schedule. That’s a lot of gaming to get done with so little time!

So what’s on your docket? RAGE, Dark Souls, something else? Polishing off the backlog maybe?

GamerSushi Asks: Last LAN Experience?

Gears 3 Horde

If there’s something that I’ve really missed over the years in my life as a gamer, it would be the LAN experience. Whether it was with consoles or PCs, my friends and I would constantly get together for crazy nights of shooting, trash talking, Diablo-ing and Warcraft-ing. The spread of online gaming in the console realm has sort of put the LAN experience in the backseat, but it doesn’t make it any less fun.

I found this out firsthand this weekend as several of us got together the night before my brother’s wedding. To celebrate his last night of sweet, sweet freedom, we pulled several XBox 360s out with monitors and TVs and played Gear of War 3 until late in the evening. As fun as Horde mode can be online, it kicks up a notch when all of you are in the same room, freaking out at one another during the boss waves and screaming for your life. Good times.

The whole night was a great reminder of those times of old. Even though we play together constantly online, being in the same room was such an awesome experience, and one that I want to have again soon. In a lot of ways, the LAN extravaganza is so representative of what gaming can be in terms of community and creating stories together. There’s nothing quite like it.

So what about you guys? When’s the last time you had an awesome LAN experience? What games did you play? What games are on your wishlist for a fun LAN party? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Control Fails?

gaming control fails

I’ve gotten to the point now in my gaming career where I automatically assume I know everything there is to know about a game and its interface. With the standardization of most control set-ups, I’m usually correct but there are certain times where something about a game will mystify me to no end and force me to crack open the manual.

The last time I can clearly remember this happening was with Deus Ex: Human Revolution where it took me a good six hours before I realized that holding down the “Y” button on my 360 controller would open up the quick inventory and allow me to swap items lickety-split. Before that I had been doing the complicated dance of pausing, opening the menu and exchanging things from there. I felt that the lack of an expedited way to manipulate your cache was a pretty glaring omission from an otherwise excellent game, so you can imagine how red my face was when a casual perusal of the instructions told me that I was doing things the hard way.

Another game that came under some moderate fire recently for not spelling things out clearly enough was Bastion where people apparently didn’t know that you could re-do the challenges without exiting and going all the way back to the titular stronghold and picking them again. This was fairly obvious to me but a few people I follow on Twitter (non-GamerSushi folks, just so no one thinks I’m calling them out) seemed to run into this problem constantly.

While no one likes to admit that they’re not the best at something (gamers especially), I was wondering if you guys had any embarrassing stories of this nature to share. Was it something like my Deus Ex mishap, or the Bastion one? Go!

Poll: Most Anticipated October Release?

We’ve made it through September dear friends, but don’t get complacent: that was merely the first wave of the game industry’s onslaught this fall. Their effort to totally bankrupt us of time and money is just getting started as you will see below. The month of October brings a whole heap of gaming goodness, including some under-the-radar gems that I have my eye on.

Vote for which game you are most looking forward to and leave a comment as to why. If you chose Other, let us know what it is! For the record, Dark Souls and Arkham City are my must-haves of this month, with Aliens: Infestation right behind it. There are several that I want to play once they drop in price, though, so this month is actually kind of killer.


Which October Release Are You Most Looking Forward To?

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