Anthony Gets Upgraded

Lemme Upgrade Ya

Well, I finally made the plunge into the PC gaming world, courtesy of my PC Guru: Nick the Beard. I am quite happy with the performance of my machine, which Nick priced out for me and built himself in a rather impressive amount of time. I have him a budget of $600, which also paid for shipping from California to Florida and I think I got quite the bargain. Of course, everything you see below might as well be written in Klingon because I don’t understand a damn bit of it. But I know you guys would be interested to see what I am working with so check it out below:

Intel 3.1GHz Core i3-2100 CPU
BioStar H61MGC Mobo
Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB GPU
G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1333 RAM
Samsung 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I am already playing Counterstrike: GO and might jump into Diablo 3 sometime in the future. I might also pick up DayZ when it becomes a stand-alone game. I am going to take my time and probably stick to PC exclusives, but it’s nice to have the option to play something on the PC if I so desire. Also, totally getting SimCity in 2013. So add me on Steam: Edgewalker.

What other PC games should I have on my radar, either past, present or future? And let’s see your PC specs…CS…GO!

GamerSushi Asks: Late to the Party?

Counterstrike GO

I’m usually late to things. Not just physically late, although I am always chronically 5 minutes behind schedule at any given time. And no, moving my clocks early won’t work because I KNOW that I set it earlier, because I can do math and calculate the real time quite easily. It’s a gift.

No, I mean I am usually late when it comes to other things, like music, TV and video games. I didn’t start liking Radiohead until 2005. I didn’t watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad until a few months ago. And as for games…well, my first time playing Halo was in 2007. I didn’t play Gears of War until over a year after Gears of War 2 had been released. Same with Mass Effect. Some of this is easily explained: I didn’t have a 360 until then, so of course I wasn’t going to play those games. Now that I have a gaming PC, I am about to play Counterstrike for the first time. I will give you a moment to recover after that bombshell.

But what about the other games I let fall by the wayside, like Metal Gear Solid or Ico and Shadow of the Colossus? Why did these seminal games escape my grasp? No real reason, other than that I was likely busy playing something else, but even coming to the games well after the initial hype had subsided, I still found most of them to be terrific games. I’m just now getting through all the Metal Gear Solid games and even some Jak and Sly Cooper games I missed out on. I don’t mind being behind the times every now and then, but what about you? Are there games you “discovered” years later? Why did you miss out on them in the first place? Let’s hear it!

CS: GO and Source Filmmaker Make a Beautiful Match

Yikes. Been a bit quiet around here at GamerSushi, what with everyone busily working on their backlogs and preparing for the fall blitz. One bright spot in a not-so-surprisingly dim summer of gaming is the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which just graced monitors and TVs around the world this past week. It’s the first game I’ve played in a month or so regularly, and I find myself itching to jump into it almost every night. It feels like a great mix between Source and 1.6… and just feels like Counter-Strike again, which is hard to quantify, but easy to recognize once you experience it. And this is a good thing.

Even cooler? Valve’s treatment of CS: GO with Source Filmmaker. For any of you Leet World fans, you can imagine that this kind of caused some collective jaw-dropping with that particular gang. Lots of jaw-dropping indeed.

So, who out there has CS: GO? Drop your Steam name in the comments and let’s have some fun.

GamerSushi Asks: What are You Playing?

transformers fall of cybertron

Holy crap guys, has this been a strange month or what? Things are usually pretty dead in August (there have been some exceptions) but this year takes the cake. We’ve seen Darksiders 2 and Sleeping Dogs drop last week, and today we’re getting Transformers: Fall of Cybertron and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

You can probably guess which release the GamerSushi crew is excited for, but what about you guys? I’ve heard that both Darksiders 2 and Sleeping Dogs are quite good, and surprisingly so in Sleeping Dogs’ case, seeing as how it’s a resurrected version of True Crime: Hong Kong. The melee mechanics are supposed to be brutal and a pretty good imitation of the fist-fighting in the Batman games. You can even beat a guy to death with a fish, so that’s nice.

I was originally looking forward to Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, but I recently found out that the campaign co-op was removed, so I think I’ll be passing on it. I don’t know why that would be taken out, other than that the level design wasn’t made with two players in mind. That said, the first game didn’t seem to be made that way either, so I don’t know what happened there.

Enough about me though, what are you guys getting up to? Are you playing any of these new games, or digging in to your backlog?

Trailer Trash: Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Trailer Trash

And we’re back, this time to do some trashing on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. We talk about Old Snake, Call of Duty canon, Crisis on Infinite Earths and all kinds of other nerdy things. Like we do. Continue reading Trailer Trash: Call of Duty Black Ops 2

GamerSushi Asks: Thoughts on Day 1 DLC?


When the current generation of gaming started, I think we all had a set of expectations. We expected to see new forms of gameplay. We expected bigger games, bigger stories, grander ideas. We all hoped for stunning HD graphics, beautiful renderings of worlds we could barely imagine. I don’t think any of us anticipated Day 1 DLC.

A hotly contested topic in the world of gaming, Day 1 DLC has had more than its share of negative association. Developers have used this in all kinds of ways, ranging from the downright cruel to the sometimes puzzling. Opinions about this practice seem to fall all over the map, even here at GamerSushi. However, Bioware recently addressed the idea of Day 1 DLC at GDC.

Here’s a quote from Fernando Melo, director of online development at BioWare:

“Contrary to what you might hear on the internet, fans do want more content. They tend to say, ‘I want it now.’ The problem with day one content and the challenge around it is that the right answer for now is different for every player. There is no single right time, there is no single now. It’s subjective, and it’s unique to every player.”

The idea is that players want their content when they want it. Some want it the day the game is released, and others won’t want it until they’ve finished or are about to finish the game. Seeing as how most players don’t finish video games (a shocking 42% of players finished Mass Effect 3, which practically warrants its own post), this is a good incentive to keep players coming back for more.

Personally, Day 1 DLC only bothers me in certain instances. For the most part, I know that Day 1 DLC tends to be what developers do when they have shipped a disc, and then would like to include even more content that they can work on between the game going gold and the release date. It’s when developers include this content on the disc that I’m really annoyed.

What about you guys? How do you feel about Day 1 DLC? Go!

Source – IGN

The Varied Reviews of Papo & Yo

papo & yo reviews

One game I’ve had my eye on for a while is Papo & Yo, Minority Media’s tale about a young boy and his adventure with a gigantic, poisonous frog-addicted monster. The premise behind the game is that it’s an analogy for Vander Caballero’s (the lead designer) experience growing up with an alchoholic father, something that appeals to me greatly.

Given the praise heaped on the game before release, I was a little surprised that the the reviews for Papo & Yo are coming in all over the map. While the game’s story is being praised, the mechanics are being lambasted as “simple” and there are a lot of reviews complaining about the poor technical state of the game, with glitches and crashes abound. Here’s a round up of some of those reviews:

I think that sort of gives you a glimpse at just how varied people are in their thoughts about Papo & Yo. Even if the scores are all over the map, I’m still going to give this game a try. You might even go as far to say that the lower scores are prompting me more than the high ones.

What about you guys? Surprised about Papo & Yo’s reception? Did you think it would get a higher aggregate score because of the pre-release praise? Will you play it?

TF2’s Mann vs Machine Gets Off to a Rocky Start

mann vs machine

Valve’s crazy new addition to Team Fortress 2, the co-op mode Mann vs. Machine, launched last night, and if you had a similar experience to me, you spent most of the evening waiting in a queue for a community server because you’re too cheap to buy a Tour of Duty ticket.

If this is the first you’re hearing of Mann vs. Machine, here’s a quick rundown: you team up with five friends and fight robots. Even if you haven’t played Team Fortress proper in years, the prospect of co-op in that game is probably enough to entice you to come back (I know it worked for me). The problem last night was that, given that the mode just launched, the demand for community run servers far outpaced the supply.

To play in the official Mann Up mode and get access to the Valve servers, you need to buy a Tour of Duty ticket. When Mann vs. Machine launched last night, there were a whole bunch of Valve servers waiting for paying customers. The co-op is still free-to-play, but it has to be on community run servers, of which there were a ridiculously low number; somewhere in the neighborhood of hundreds as compared to the thousands of official servers. If you’re still confused about how Mann Up works in conjunction with Mann vs. Machine, Icrontic has a great flowchart explaining how the whole thing works.

I would have loved to play MvM last night, but the fact that you can’t even host a private server to get a game going (at least not yet, without console commands) kind of killed my enthusiasm. Well, that and the waiting an hour in queue for a community server without success. Once more unofficial servers start popping online, this hiccup will go away, but unless you’re willing to spend money to play on the Valve servers, expect Mann vs. Machine to be a less than stable experience for the first few days.

Did anyone actually manage to play this last night? If you did, what are you thoughts?

Planetary Annihilation is Real Time Strategy on a Solar Scale

Someone in the comments will probably point out how many times I’ve spoken ill of Kickstarter, but before you do that, let me take a moment to talk about Planetary Annihilation, a new Real Time Strategy game from the minds behind Supreme Commander.

There’s a trailer/pitch video for you to watch, but to be honest, the trailer part of it alone might sell you. Games like Supreme Commander are a rare breed, especially as the sequel was streamlined into a generic RTS. The original game was a massive battle between a bunch of different races on a huge scale, and Planetary Annihilation blows that out of the water. If turning asteroids into weapons of mass destruction sounds good to you, give the trailer a watch.

All I have to say is: yes, please. The art style and the mechanics really speak to me, and unlike a lot of recent Kickstarters, the folks at Uber Entertainment actually have some concept video to go with their pitch to let you know that they’ve already started working on it. What do you guys think of Planetary Annihilation? Does this look like something you could get behind?

Source – Planetary Annihilation

Film Crit Hulk Smashes the Ending of Mass Effect 3

mass effect 3 ending

Just when you thought we left this debate behind, we drag it back kicking and screaming for one more go.

In what may go down as one of the most divisive topics in video game history, the ending of Mass Effect 3 has earned equal amounts ire and praise, and the Extended Cut DLC only served to add more fuel to that fire. Some people claimed it salvaged the tarnished legacy of the series, while others said that it all the EC did was spell out what was implied anyways.

We’ve given our thoughts on the ending, but this recent breakdown by Film Crit Hulk over at Badass Digest is too good not to pass along. If you’re still harboring ill-will about the ending of ME3, be warned: by the end of his article you might be more than a little upset.

I guess that because the author is behind a character he feels free to say what many of us held back for politness, or fear of the consequences, or whatever, but Film Crit Hulk says everything I’ve been thinking about the ME3 ending since March. I especially loved his tear-down of the video he imbedded, and his reasoning that Mass Effect 3 didn’t fail as a story, but rather didn’t deliver the indulgence we expect out of video games.

So what do you guys think of Film Crit Hulk’s rant? Does he make points that you agree with? Disagree? Is caps lock really cruise control for cool? Go!

Source – Badass Digest

My Metal Gear Solid 2 Experience: Sons of WTF

Having returned to Shadow Moses (for the first time) some months back, I decided to take advantage of the summer lull and jump into Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and all that entails. Now, MGS 2 was the first MGS game I played, way back when it was a Greatest Hits for the PS2. I had heard so much hype before the game’s release and then so much disappointment afterwards that I simply had to see what the big hairy deal was. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid 2 Experience: Sons of WTF

Moral Dilemmas in Walking Dead Episode 2

Even though I haven’t had much gaming time as of late, one of the games that’s really impressed me in the last couple of months has been the Walking Dead. Telltale’s point-and-click take on the zombie apocalypse is not only fun and thought-provoking, it’s also tense as hell and fraught with difficult choices.

One of the greatest aspects of the game is that it thrusts the main character, Lee, into some ridiculous situations that have actual ramifications on character interaction and the way the story progresses. Who do you save? Who do you let die? Do you steal? Do you spare your enemies? These are the kinds of things that survivors are forced to choose, and it isn’t always easy.

Interestingly enough, Telltale has released a brand new video detailing these choices in the form of the Walking Dead Episode 2 Stats Trailer. It’s cool to get a glimpse at just what other players have chosen to do (or not do) in this zombie-infested game.

Naturally, spoilers follow if you watch the video. Who’s played Eps 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead? What choices did you make? Go!

BioShock Infinite, The Last Guardian and the Perils of Sensationalizing

BioShock Infinite multiplayer cut

Yesterday was kind of a strange day for the video game journalism industry at large, as two odd pieces of news hit about a couple of anticipated games: BioShock Infinite and The Last Guardian. One garnered an almost “they sky is falling” type of reaction, and the other was met with a sort of apathy. Let’s look at them, shall we?

First up, BioShock Infinite hit a rough patch yesterday after two key staff members left the project and multiplayer got the axe. Art director Nate Wells and director of product development Tim Gerritsen recently left the project, news which was only compounded by the whole multiplayer fiasco. BioShock Infinite was delayed earlier this year to 2013, and its absence from major trade shows did not go unnoticed.

This was enough cause for alarm that almost every single news outlet declared this the “end times” for Infinite, leaving Ken Levine and Irrational to do a serious amount of damage control. The game is still on track for its February 2013 target and Rod Fergusson, formerly of Gears of War studio Epic Games, was brought on to take Infinite into the home stretch. While this string of events is unfortunate, I doubt tht it’s the major disaster that it was made out to be.

On the other hand we have The Last Guardian, the next game from Team Ico which we haven’t seen in what feels like a couple of years. Sony let the trademark filing for The Last Guardian slip which news sites were quick to brush off as “nothing major”. It’s a sort of odd contrast where one unfortunate event can spur paragraphs the of woe that will betide us, while the trademark expiry of a vaporware game is no big deal. Sony has said that The Last Guardian is still in development, so take from that what you will.

What do you guys think of these two bits of news? Thoughts on BioShock Infinite’s multiplayer trouble? Does the trademark issue for The Last Guardian herald anything? What about the sensationalizing that happened around Infinite while Last Guardian got the brush-off?

Source – Kotaku and Kotaku

After Aperture: Chell’s Life Beyond Portal 2

And here we go, more good stuff out of Source Filmmaker. Created by my bud Zachariah Scott, After Aperture is just what it sounds like, a short piece about Chell after she escapes the infamous lab that specializes in portal science.

The description of the video on YouTube notes a few limitations encountered during its making. For one, Chell’s model doesn’t have a ton of facial animation possibilities, seeing as how the player is never meant to see her directly. So that certainly presents a challenge in terms of shot selection. Despite that, it’s definitely a nice piece, although it is just a bit of a preamble to another project that Zachariah is working on, one that I think will outclass it by far. Enjoy!

Thoughts? Got any other awesome stuff you guys have seen in SFM yet? Go!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Multiplayer Looks Kind of Fun

If broshooters are your thing, you can’t really get much more bang for you buck than Call of Duty. Even with a new title releasing every year, there’s enough ranking and unlocking packed into the games to keep you busy for a while.

While the Call of Duty series has been waning in the eyes of the gaming public for while (to those of us “in the know”, at any rate), I’ve always appreciated Treyarch’s willingness to stick their necks out and deviate from the formula set up by Infinity Ward. Things like zombies, crazy Cold War conspiracies and now trips to the future are all helping to keep the series somewhat fresh while Modern Warfare approaches stagnation. The new multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 shows you how you’ll be fighting in the future of 2025. If you thought that Call of Duty needed more ridiculous kill-streak rewards, then you’re in for a treat.

Walking tanks and helicopter drones and suicidal UAVs, oh my! The only thing missing from this trailer is the crazy customization that Treyarch packed into the original Black Ops, but I’m sure all of that will be revealed in another trailer closer to the release date.

So, what do you think? Does the multiplayer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 do it for you? Is it worth going black to the future?

Day Z Makes the Jump to Standalone Game

day z standalone

Day Z, the mod scene’s recent obsession, is now wearing the big boy pants: that’s right, Day Z will be a standalone game developed by Bohemia Interactive and headed up by Dean “Rocket” Hall.

The new Day Z will follow the Minecraft route where people can purchase an Alpha that will be continuously and quickly iterated upon. Day Z the mod will exist alongside the full title, and will continue to be improved upon as well. There isn’t much more information availible at this time, but the new Day Z has its own website, so check there for updates.

It’s kind of crazy to think that almost three months after our interview with Dean Hall, when his mod was just gaining steam, Day Z is fast on its way to becoming a fully-fledged game. Not that being a mod was a knock against it, but I think Bohemia is moving in the right direction by turning it into a Minecraft-style title with a community Alpha. This allows the game to retain the same feel while at the same time moving it out of the mod scene (and of course, generating new income).

As always though, we’d love to get your thoughts on this development. Is Day Z becoming a standalone game good news for the players? Should it have stayed a mod indefinitely? Could this be a move by Bohemia to get out ahead of the recently announced The War Z, or has this been in the cards for a while?

Source – Day Z Dev Blog, Day Z Game

Diablo 3 Player Earns Big Bucks in Auction House

Gold D3

Sometimes you play a video game and manage to earn $10,000. Oh wait, I guess that never happens, unless you happen to be Diablo 3 player WishboneTheDog, who’s done just that since the release of the real money auction house to Blizzard’s newest dungeon crawler.

How did WishboneTheDog manage to do this? Why, by studying the economy of the game’s marketplace and treating it sort of like the stock market, apparently. Of course, that’s an oversimplification of a process I can’t even begin to comprehend (I’m bad at math), but we’ll just pretend like that’s all it was.

If you’re actually interested in hearing more about the specifics of how this player pulled off such a lucrative feat in one of the year’s biggest games, check out his Reddit AMA, where he details his process, his transactions and his thoughts on video game economies. It’s wild to hear that things like this are happening every day in the games we play — heck, even Valve hired themselves an economist to deal with Team Fortress 2.

What do you guys think about this? Cool? Too nerdy? What do you think about the potential for a video game economy that can actually support multiple players financially? Go!

Source – PCGamesN

Review: Journey

Journey Review

Thatgamecompany has a history of making games that bend the rules of what we traditionally associate with games, and their last PlayStation exclusive, Journey is no exception.

For the uninitiated, Journey is a two-ish hour adventure that features a unique twist on co-op: you can see you partner, and he can see you, but you can’t talk to each other, or even send PSN messages. All you can do is do little chirps at one another. Sounds strange right? It might sound even stranger that this foundation makes for one of the most emotionally resonant experiences in modern gaming. Let’s get to it. Continue reading Review: Journey

Assassin’s Creed 3 Drops the Hammer with the AnvilNext Trailer

No fooling, guys, this game just needs to come out. While you shouldn’t take my word on anything Assassin’s Creed related, given that I am a one-man Assassin’s Creed hype machine, you can’t deny that Assassin’s Creed 3 looks like an awesome leap up from 2. And when you consider how much 2 improved over the original, I expect that my mind will be blown, a phrase I don’t toss around lightly.

Ubisoft just put out a trailer for the new engine powering Assassin’s Creed 3, AnvilNext, and it looks hot. Seriously, check it out.

I do like that the music swell early in the trailer is accompanied by shots of people doing menial tasks. Regardless, I’m still high on the hype for this game and I can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on it in October. What do you guys think? Does Assassin’s Creed 3 continue to impress? How do you think AnvilNext will translate on the PC version?

Mass Effect 3 Goes Deep with Leviathan Single-Player DLC

mass effect 3 leviathan dlc

We’ve gotten a hefty share of free (and excellent) multiplayer DLC for Mass Effect 3, but outside of the Extended Cut, the single-player add-ons have been a little lacking. There have been rumors floating around for a while about single-player DLC and at EA’s Summer Showcase, BioWare officially announced the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3.

Taking place during the mid-game, Leviathan features Shepard and crew hunting for an ancient construct that is said to be a Reaper killer. Obviously Shepard and co. would like to have that in their back pocket, so you get to take the Normandy on a Lair of the Shadow Broker-sized adventure to recover Leviathan and use it in the war against the Reapers.

The DLC will add in new areas on the Citadel and a couple new weapons, the AT-12 Raider Shotgun and the M-55 Argus Assault Rifle (both of which were previously only available as pre-order bonuses). Leviathan has no firm release date other than “summer”, but when it drops it will be 10 dollars, or 800 Microsoft FunBux.

Despite the misgivings about Mass Effect 3’s endgame, the combat is engaging enough that I wouldn’t mind embarking on a new aventure with my bro Garrus. BioWare is said to be tuning Leviathan to address concerns that Mass Effect 3’s combat was too easy, so we’ll see whether or not I bring my Insanity Shepard into the fray. What about you guys? Are you going to take the Plunge when Mass Effect 3’s Leviathan DLC drops later this summer?

Source – BioWare Blog