The Nintendo 3DS has had some great games in the past few months with one of the most notable being Fire Emblem Awakening. Having a love-affair with strategy games and being a Fire Emblem virgin, I was anxious to delve into the game and see what all the fuss was about.
The story of Fire Emblem is a bit of a mixed bag. It starts off in an interesting, if cliched fashion: your custom avatar wakes up in a field with amnesia. Now, I know what you’re thinking but stick with me, the story gets better. Having been found by Chrom, the prince of the kingdom of Ylissia, and his companions, you help them in defending the countryside from marauders, eventually joining them in the greater struggles that await. These struggles range from demonic Risen to all manner of political intrigue and attemped coups. Chrom’s sister rules the kingdom and he enforces her rule, but there are neighboring nations that have nefarious plans of their own, all of which give you a reason to do what you do best: fight some battles and kick some ass. The story encompasses everything from bandits to time travel to world-ending dragons, so there should be something in here that appeals to everyone. Continue reading Review: Fire Emblem Awakening
Video game timelines are funny things. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the annual release titles — the familiars of our hobby, such as Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Mario and the like — and on the other side of the spectrum you have the folks that release games when they’re good and ready — the Valves and Square Enixes of the world. Today’s post concerns the first group.
With the recent quality dip of franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, the underwhelming “next gen” (but still the same old) gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts and the staleness of other titles like Mario or Madden, it seems like there are quite a few annual releases in need of a good old fashioned sabbatical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these franchises. Far from it. I just think that perhaps an extended break might give developers a chance to come back to the table with fresh eyes and maybe a few gameplay or art tweaks that might reinvigorate things again.
Take Madden, for instance. I’m a dude that loves watching just about any random NFL game I can find on TV, but you almost couldn’t pay me to play a Madden game. Here’s the game of football — a rough-hitting, edge-of-your-seat, strategy-on-the-fly sport played by athletic gods — and EA manages to make a game that feels boring. Contrast that with something as historic as Mario or Zelda, two imaginative franchises that don’t quite excite the way they used to (unless they go retro or reboot one of the older, better games in some way), and it starts to feel like maybe it’s time for these guys to rest just a little while.
So without further ado, here’s today’s Pixel Count. Get your votes on and tell us what you think in the comments! It doesn’t even have to be a yearly release — just a franchise that you think might benefit with some rethinking.
I’m not entirely sure how to feel about Sonic the Hedgehog anymore. While SEGA has made some decent efforts in the past to revitalize their old mascot’s image, for every step they take forward it seems like they take two back. Sonic Colors was good, but it was only on the Wii, so a lot of people didn’t play it. Sonic Generations was, by and large, a really fun Sonic game, but every couple of levels the developers seemed to forget what kind of Sonic game they were making and shoved in some clumsy platforming sections. That said, the new Wii U and 3DS exclusive Sonic game Lost Worlds looks like Sonic Team has been bitten by the Mario Galaxy bug, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Watch the trailer below!
Besides the Galaxy influence, I’m detecting some Sonic Extreme in there as well, which is good news for people who waited for that game back in the mid ’90s only to have it cancelled. So what do you guys think of Sonic: Lost World? Are you on board?
Hola friends, bro-mans, Sushians — and welcome to GamerSushi, summer style. If you are up to date on the latest podcast (and if you’re not, then why aren’t you, because we talk about XBox One and it is fantastic) then you know that Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer for us here at Sushi land, and we take that thing pretty seriously. It helps us to take a slight break while game news trickles to a crawl just after E3, and gives us a chance to recharge a bit and continue doing this thing year after year. For real, we’d probably have hit each other with hammers and blown up the site if we didn’t get a chance to do this, and then what podcast would you listen to?
With the summer schedule we’ll be posting 3 times per week instead of the normal 5-7. That means you’ll still get plenty of gaming content and commentary, just not at the normal frequency. You’ll find the schedule below. Continue reading GamerSushi: Summer Schedule
If there’s any constant in this universe, it’s the fact that a new Nintendo console will get a Mario Kart game. True, Mario Kart 7 did release in 2011 and the Wii U hasn’t even had one teased yet, but I’m enjoying the 3DS version and I hope that a few of the new innovations that get carried over to the inevitable Wii U title.
Mario Kart 7 added a glider and submarine option to every kart so occasionally, if the race calls for it, you’ll either be high up in the sky or driving around underwater. It’s a neat way to break up the pace of a race, even if some of the gliding/submerged sections do feel a little gratuitous. Additionally, while a lot of the courses function on the tried and true 3-lap circle course, Mario Kart 7 introduces continuous courses where you don’t see the same section of the race twice. It’s a great new way to shake up the racing in the seventh iteration of this long running series.
Unfortunately the Download-Play is a little lacking; people using that functionlaity only get to play as Shy Guy and can’t upgrade their karts with the new coin system, and they only hear the same music on every track. That said, Mario Kart 7 proves that this old warhorse still has a few tricks up its sleeve and is a worthwhile addition to any 3DS owner’s lineup.
Has anyone else played Mario Kart 7? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to see some of these changes when Mario Kart Wii U comes out? Go!
It might come as no surprise that the majority of this week’s cast is dedicated to the Xbox One reveal. We talk about our thoughts on the device, everything from the announcement itself to whether or not people actually need a console that can do all this stuff when they already have three or four more gadgets that can do the same thing.
After we wax philosophical about the Xbox One, we make a couple E3 predictions and those are always fun. In case you missed it during the cast proper, this will be our last cast for a couple of weeks until E3, which is when we’ll do our “Season Finale” E3 wrap-up.
You know what to do. Listen, rate, all that good stuff. See you after E3!
0:00 – 8:20 Intro
8:21 – 46:21 Xbox One
46:22 – 1:05:55 E3 Predictions
1:05:56 – 1:06:59 Outro
Now that both Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles have been revealed, there’s been much hemming and hawing here at GamerSushi over what would make us buy one of the new devices. Sure, there are neat features between each one, like the Xbox One’s three operating systems so you can “alt+tab” your console now, or the PlayStation 4’s streaming services, but there’s nothing that’s really made one console stand out over the other.
That said, there might be something announced at E3 that would completely change my mind about one of the new consoles that would make it a “must have” for me. I’m not talking about games, because I already have a PC (although InFamous might sway me), and let’s face it, both of these consoles will have games at some point. No, I’m talking about something that makes you stand up and say “that is so awesome, I can’t believe nobody’s built that in yet”.
So, my question to you guys is: what’s the magic feature that would make you shell out your hard earned cash for either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4? This can be something that Microsoft and Sony have already said “no” to, like backwards compatibility, or things like that.
What this means is that Nintendo is using YouTube’s copyright algorithms to analyze videos and if there’s a certain percentage of Nintendo content in those then Nintendo monetizes them and receives that ad money. This cuts the video makers out of the ad revenue loop and any Let’s Plays will forward the money to Nintendo instead of the person(s) who made the video.
This has led to a bit of backlash from the YouTube Let’s Play community, with a lot of well-known personalities claiming that they won’t be playing Nintendo games on their channel anymore. A lot of smaller game developers have come out saying that Let’s Play videos are great forms of grass-roots advertisement, and a few companies have gone out of their way to give YouTube channels special permission to make money by playing their games and making videos of that.
What do you guys think? Is Nintendo right to claim the ad money from these videos? Are people correct in the backlash? Go!
We’re going to be hit hard with Xbox One news in the coming weeks so today I wanted to offer a momentary respite from that with something that fascinates us all: EVE Online.
EVE Online is the most interesting, intimidating, exciting and possibly most mundane game that most of us have never played. Many of us will never play it, but the awe-inspiring stories that are generated from the MMO are the stuff of legends. The tales of epic battles, years-long subterfuge and stunning betrayals have left us all stunned at one time or another. It’s kind of amazing that such amazing things are happening practically under our noses. The density of the game prevents many from playing it, but those who do find themselves part of a unique community. And the hallmark event of that community is Fanfest.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know all about the reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox 360. In the one-hour event at Microsoft’s Xbox Campus, the Xbox One was unveiled, showing the actual console (including a new Kinect and controller), multimedia features, Skype integration, sports, the internal workings of the device, and I think there were a couple games in there somewhere.
The Xbox One conference started off showing the console’s compatibility with your existing TV services as Yusuf Mehdi switched between live TV, the 2009 Star Trek movie and even opened a Skype call while he was doing this. The gestures and voice commands actually looked pretty slick, and I could see this being a huge reason to buy the Xbox One for some people. Continue reading Microsoft Reveals the Xbox One
We gripe quite a bit about the homogenization of games on GamerSushi. One of the most disappointing things about this past generation has been the way publishers and developers have shifted to providing game experiences that feel all too similar. We’ve been through the laundry list of complaints before: RPG mechanics married with Call of Duty style shooting, games that lead you down cut-scene filled tunnels, etc.
However, in the last year or two, we’ve finally had a bit of a break from the attack of the video game clones. With creative titles like XCOM, Monaco, Papers Please, Journey, Walking Dead, Hotline Miami and more, it seems like we’re slipping out of that mid-generation funk of tired, boring military games. And as time goes on, I feel like I keep seeing more reasons to be excited about upcoming games, as people are finally turning the corner. Don’t get me wrong, the shooter will always be popular — but we’re finally seeing more of the variety that the generation started with.
So, with that in mind, let’s have ourselves another edition of Pixel Count. This week, we’re talking about the game types we miss most, and that we hope to see more of in the near future. Start casting your votes and tell us why in the comments. Go!
I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t love Blood Dragon.
After being so excited about Far Cry 3’s far-out DLC with a cheesy sci-fi bent, it turns out I’m just not that into it. The atmosphere of the game, full of reds, purples and neon colors, actually makes it kind of hard to pull of Far Cry 3’s refined, excellent gameplay. You can’t see enemies very well, you’re so superpowered that stealth barely matters, and with all the colors you rarely have any idea of where enemy fire is coming from.
But more than anything it just makes me want more of the real game. I’m not sad that I purchased it — I think DLC like this should be made more often — it’s just not really floating my cyber-boat. I find that I’m having to force myself to play the game, even after bumping it down to Easy to make it pass more quickly.
With gaming, I tend to muscle through most of the time and finish titles, even if I’m not 100 percent feeling them. But sometimes, I run into a Blood Dragon, where I legitimately do not even want to play it anymore, but feel like I should. So my question for you guys is this: when do you decide to cut the cord on a game? And what’s the last game you decided to stop playing? Go!
After a little break from the Drunk Cast, we’re back with a normal-ass normal episode of the podcast. Nick joins us once again and we bring back Anthony’s famous GAME TIME clip for the second time in recent memory.
In a little change from casts past, we talk about something other than the video game industry. We dip into a conversation leading off of Blood Dragon about TV shows, and it’s a pretty good talk, all things considered. We’re very well-rounded nerds.
So yeah, listen up, rate up and enjoy…up. Catch you next time!
0:00 – 5:06 Intro
5:07 – 18:34 EA and Star Wars
18:35 – 23:33 Microsoft Ditches Points
23:34 – 46:16 Blood Dragon (NOPE j/k we talk about TV)
46:17 – 53:44 Fire Emblem: Awakening
53:45 – 1:00:59 Star Command and Kickstarter
1:01:00 – 1:02:06 GAME TIME (Percentages)
1:02:07 – 1:05:03 Chance we’ll see a price at the Next Xbox reveal
1:05:04 – 1:07:11 Chance that half the presser is dedicated to Kinect
1:07:12 – 1:09:36 Chance we’ll see some new cool thing involving Kinect
1:09:37 – 1:12:25 Chance we’ll see a Halo teaser/trailer
1:12:26 – 1:16:34 Chance there’s a good launch title
1:16:35 – 1:21:07 Chance the Wii U will have a system seller by this Fall
1:21:08 – 1:23:27 Outro
It’s no wonder why licensed games sell well: even as I was still sat in the theater watching Iron Man 3, I thought to myself, “Man, I really want to play a good Iron Man game!”
It’s fun to think about: what weapons and abilities you could use, whether the suit would take cosmetic damage or whether there is enough money in the world to get Robert Downey Jr to voice act in the game (spoiler: there isn’t). Not to mention what villains would appear, what the structure of the game would be, etc… There is a lot to juggle in something like this. I personally think an open-world game, like Infamous or Arkham City would be best. Just think of it like Far Cry 3 or Mercenaries: give me a big open world, lots of things to do and let me play. Maybe even throw in some War Machine for 2-player co-op goodness and it can’t miss! Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Who Should Make An Iron Man Game?
A couple of years back, we built the perfect shooter. The results were a lot of fun — in the comments, we put together all of our favorite features to describe the ideal shooting scenario, taking cues from things like Counter-Strike, Goldeneye and more. This time around, I thought we’d tackle a new genre.
I’ve long been intrigued by the MMO genre, but no game can ever put together enough of the right pieces to get me to take that leap into another realm. I’m not a big fan of grinding, paid subscriptions or disconnected point-and-click combat. I’d also love a story that morphs over time, in a way that makes me feel like my actions matter beyond just a stat or a new level number next to my name. I want big worlds, big universes, high stakes and easy accessibility. But maybe I’m just being nitpicky.
So for this feature, we’re going to dig into a variety of options, and discuss what we would love to see in the perfect MMO. Below are the categories and options I came up with. If you don’t like the options, feel free to add your own! Continue reading Workshop: Building the Perfect MMO
Last week’s revelation that EA had acquired the exclusive rights from Disney to develop new Star Wars games was only the first drop in what is likely to be a slow trickle as new information slowly comes to light. Today, our Bothan spies have returned with more news regarding EA’s intentions towards the fabled franchise.
As reported last week, Bioware, DICE and Visceral are the 3 EA studios being granted first crack at the galaxy far, far away. Of those 3 though, it appears DICE is the flyboy who gets to go into the garbage chute first. EA just opened DICE LA (no, my caps lock is not stuck) in, you guessed it, Los Angeles. The studio will be “a key cog” in its Star Wars plans and is located very close to Activision, with a clear purpose: Continue reading EA Opens Star Wars-Focused DICE LA Studio
For a game I haven’t even played yet, I’m a bit obsessed with Monaco. My backlog is preventing me from springing into a new game just yet, but soon I hope to be plunging the depths of Monaco’s heist-based, co-op driven goodness. With friends, of course.
One of the more fascinating things I’ve read about the game recently has to do with its community design. The creator of the game, Andy Schatz, faced an interesting challenge — how do you promote good behavior from your online community? While most online games do excel with a bit of proper teamwork, co-op based multiplayer always has a bit of a risk. Once players stop working together, the game breaks down. That’s why most games offer a bit of a chance for players to become a lone wolf, running and gunning as they see fit, with no care of what their team is doing. So how did Schatz address this issue in a way that few have accomplished before? Continue reading Monaco: Cutting Down the Trolls
We’ve talked at length about the mystical, nebulous “next generation” here quite a bit recently, and it only makes sense — new machines are dropping on us left and right, with the next XBox reveal to take place just one week from today. And while we’ve already spoken about what we think is most important in the next generation, I thought we’d revisit that topic in a more practical approach.
While I’ve been saying that I won’t partake in the next generation for some time, there are admittedly a few sticking points that could make me change my mind. I love the IPs that Microsoft has at its disposal. But I love the gamer-centric approach that Sony is taking with the PlayStation 4. As always, the right games at the right time can do wonders, but right now I still want to see what these machines cost, and what their long-term plans are. And then of course there’s the Wii U… which… yeah.
So let’s vote and talk about the next generation consoles in the comments. Go!
If you took a Diablo-style game, made it a free-to-play MMO and then skinned it with the Marvel Universe, what you’d end up with is Marvel Heroes, Gazillion Entertainment’s foray into the F2P market.
Marvel Heroes had an open Beta weekend on Steam these past few days, and despite a few problems with connecting to the game servers and some interesting bugs, I had a great time. The game allows you to pick one of the Avengers to start (the movie line-up, not the current comic book roster) and Gazillion kindly gives you a couple thousand credits of in-game currency to buy another hero or one of the many alternate costumes for sale.
I ended up picking Iron Man as my avatar and I found that the game has a nice difficulty progression to complement the array of cool powers that become available to you. Once my friends were able to connect we ended up romping around for a couple hours tackling quests that had us fighting a host of Marvel super-villains from the infamous (Doctor Octopus) to the obscure (Grim Reaper). The individual loot spawns fairly frequently and more often than not I was looking at an upgrade. In a new twist on selling trash to a vendor, you can give shop NPCs your unwanted gear instead of selling it, allowing them to “level up” and carry better gear. Continue reading Marvel Heroes is Surprisingly Fun
The above Ode to Garry’s Mod is a hilarious, silly and kind of moving tribute to one of the goofiest games in existence. Just watching it made me think of all the hours I’ve spent in the Source engine’s multiple iterations, from Garry’s Mod to Left4Dead and Counter-Strike. Without Garry’s Mod, we dudes at Smooth Few Films would have been unable to produce some of The Leet World’s stupider effects. It’s hard not to be grateful for that engine, and all the time I’ve spent exploring it for glitches, physics and lighting experiments.
So it got me thinking: what gaming experiences are you guys thankful for? From multiplayer to singleplayer, what experiences do you feel went beyond a hobby to something that actually played a big part in your life? Beyond Garry’s Mod, I’d have to say Mass Effect inspired my imagination more than almost any game in the last few years, and Halo gifted me with a way to stay in touch with all of my long distance friends.
What about you guys? What gaming experiences are you thankful for?