I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle
Month: May 2014
Battlefield: Hardline Revealed in Battlelog Update
Update: Yep, Battlefield: Hardline is real.
Battlelog, DICE’s browser-based interface that they’ve been forcing on the gaming public since Battlefield 3, received an update this morning. Instead of the assignments for the upcoming expansion pack Dragon’s Teeth, an entierly different kind of surprised was included.
While digging through the source code of Battlelog, denizen of the Internet Koen Vlaswinkel found a whole bunch of information about Battlefield: Hardline, including weapons, vehicles, classes, gamemodes and who’s developing it. From the images Battlefield: Hardline looks like it will be SWAT vs Thieves on a variety of urban maps with gamemodes such as Heist and Blood Money, giving it a very Payday feel. Continue reading Battlefield: Hardline Revealed in Battlelog Update
Get Your Watch Dogs Review Score Round-Up
Ubisoft’s long awaited open-world hackathon Watch Dogs is finally upon us. The embargo lifted late last night and a torrent of reviews flooded in from all over the Internet. It seems that Watch Dogs is getting fairly positive scores across the board, mostly being criticized for some funky driving mechanics and for not really being that unique of an open-world game outside of the hacking abilities.
Here are some review scores from some other websites you may have heard of:
- IGN 8.4
- Polygon 8/10
- Giant Bomb 3/5
- Eurogamer 7/10
I’ve got Watch Dogs sitting on my PC right now but InFamous: Second Son is currently taking up most of my gaming bandwidth (along with Battlefield 4 and some Company of Heroes 2) but I expect to get to it soon. I hear there’s an interesting glitch right now where taking to the river will cause you to lose your police pursuit as the Chicago PD of Watch Dogs doesn’t have a maritime presence.
Has anyone here played Watch Dogs? What are your initial impressions?
Even the Odds With a Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay Trailer
We you perhaps hoping for a little gameplay footage from the upcoming current-gen only Batman: Arkham Knight today? Well, you’re in luck because we have exactly that for you. “Evening the Odds” shows off a bit of everything from Knight, including the Batmobile, gliding, and transitioning from the Batmobile to gliding. It all looks pretty great, too. Have a watch:
Batman: Arkham Knight is a very pretty looking game, no doubt helped along by the fact that it isn’t cross-gen. What did you guys think of this short glimpse of Arkham Knight gameplay?
The GamerSushi Show, Ep 91: You Sunk My Battleship!
Hey. We’re back.
It’s a regular-ass regular show with all of the GamerSushi dudes in attendance. This is the first time in a number of podcasts that Eddy has joined us, but he’s been a busy dude so we should all forgive him.
Anthony also regales us with tales of his honeymoon and then we discuss what happens to the hair on your head when you get older. It goes south. The hair, not the conversation.
For actual video game news, we talk about Microsoft dropping a $399 Kinect-less Xbox One on us, then we try to remember if you go to the Citadel in Mass Effect 2, and we wrap it all up with E3 predictions.
Listen, rate and hopefully we’ll be back next week. See ya!
0:00 – 8:49 Intro
8:50 – 29:59 Microsoft shipping a Kinect-less Xbox One
30:00 – 51:54 E3 Predictions
51:55 – 54:36 Outro
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Halo 5: Guardians Announced, Hitting Fall 2015
In what is probably the least exciting Halo game announcement of all time, Bonnie Ross, General Manager of 343 Industries, took over the Xbox Wire to reveal Halo 5: Guardians which will be coming to the Xbox One in the Fall of 2015.
Continuing the story of Master Chief from where we left him in Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians is being built with a completely new engine and will deliver a 60 frame-per-second performance, a first for the series. A Halo TV series is also teased to be released in a similar time-frame to Halo 5: Guardians.
The Spartan on the top of the box art will apparently be a new character according to series Executive Producer Josh Holmes on Twitter.
Microsoft is certainly getting a lot out of the way for E3. Typically a Halo reveal is a big to-do and Bonnie Ross promises that more will be revealed at E3 this year, but I can’t help but feel a little deflated that a game series that once commanded attention is now relegated to blog post unveilings.
Source – Xbox Wire
Far Cry 4 Coming November 18 2014, Takes Place in the Himalayas
Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Not getting a sequel to 2012’s stellar hit Far Cry 3. In a surprise leak/announcement today, Ubisoft officially unveiled Far Cry 4 which will be coming to the (deep breath here) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 18, 2014.
Not much is currently known about Far Cry 4, other than that it takes place in a fictional region of the Himalayas called Kyrat and you’ll be fighting the reign of a self-appointed king. You can feast your peepers on the box art for Far Cry 4 by clicking the previous words. Looks more like a Pink King than a Yellow King to me, but maybe we’ll go to Carcosa in Far Cry 5.
Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games of the last generation and if Ubisoft can turn around some of the less appealing aspects of that game (nonsensical “white savior” story and a rather bland second half) then we’ve got a huge hit on our hands. If the logical progression from flamethrower dubstep is elephant-riding RPG madness, then consider me sold.
Who’s on board for a little more Far Cry when it hits every consoles except the poor Wii U this November?
Source – UbiBlog
Microsoft Shipping a $399 Xbox One Without Kinect in June
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s new head of all things Xbox, posted an update on the Xbox Wire about changes coming to the Xbox One in June, including a new $399 price point without a Kinect in the box and access to popular video apps like Netflix without requiring an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
This is another case of Microsoft backtracking on the Xbox One, which started out with a mandatory Kinect, an always-online Internet connection and aggressive DRM. With this most recent update, just about a year after its announcement, the Xbox One no longer requires any of these things. It’s a win for consumers, certainly, but not for Microsoft’s previous vision for the console.
The most curious aspect of this for me is that this makes the Xbox One cheaper in Canada than the PlayStation 4, which saw a $50 price bump earlier this year. The $399 Xbox One without Kinect will be available on June 9.
What do you guys think about this news? Does this new $399 Xbox One without a Kinect make the console more appealing to you?
Source – Xbox Wire
Having Some Dumb Fun with Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2
About a month ago I got gifted a copy of Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 on Steam and I didn’t bother playing it until this past weekend. I didn’t expect much from it, but I was surprised at how fun it ended up being.
If you’ve played Call of Duty’s zombie mode, then the set-up will sound very familiar: four WW2-era soldiers battle the Nazi zombie horde while searching for a way to end the onslaught. The difference here is that Sniper Elite is very much focused on long-range combat, so you’ll mostly be pulling sick headshots on a lot of shambling zombies. Unlike CoD’s version, the zombies (for the most part) in NZA2 are the slow, shuffling variety so you always have a fighting chance. There are a few “super” zombies like the machine gun guy or the summoner, but as you progress the zombies don’t get faster and more resilient, which I greatly appreciated.
Nazi Zombie Army 2 is by no means perfect, as I found that actually controlling your character was fairly sloppy and the cover system was basically useless. What NZA2 does well, however, is giving you slow-motion shots of your bullets destroying undead Nazi skulls and in the end, isn’t that all we really want?
A friend and I played this for a couple of hours on Saturday and I had a blast. The fact that it was free definitely helped, but it was much better than I expected and it got me interested in the Sniper Elite franchise in general (which has a three-quel coming out, wouldn’t you know it). Has anyone played any of the Sniper Elite series? What do you think of it?
GamerSushi Extra Bytes Ep 02: Bruce Banter
It’s the long awaited return of Extra Bytes, the off-topic version of the classic GamerSushi Show.
Hot on the heels of the release of Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Solider, Jeff, Nick and myself talk about the hot new thing in Hollywood, which is movie studios trying to tie all of their comic book (or other) properties together to make interconnected universes and start rolling in the dough like Marvel.
We base a lot of our talk on io9’s Which Studio’s Attempt To Copy Marvel’s Movie Universe Is Most Doomed? but we throw in our own thoughts on the above two movies, the Batman/Superman film and FOX’s X-Men franchise. We keep the spoilers pretty light, so you can listen without fear.
Listen, rate and comment below: what do you think of all of the attempts to make “mega-franchises”? Which ones will succeed and which ones will fail?
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Valiant Hearts Trailer Brings 2D Adventure to World War One
Built on the same UbiArt engine as the recently released Child of Light, Valiant Hearts is an upcoming 2D adventure game by Ubisoft Montpellier where you control four different characters and their faithful dog through several puzzles set during the first World War.
World War One is not a setting that gets explored a lot in video games, but Valiant Hearts looks like it will use that dark time in history to tell some pretty heart-breaking stories about love and sacrifice. Take a look at the trailer below:
How does this look to you guys? Are you on board? Did you try Child of Light? Valiant Heart releases on June 25 via the PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE and various PC digital distribution platforms.
Nintendo’s Financial Slump and Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Announcement
Today is a strange day to be a Nintendo stalwart and a Pokemon fan. Nintendo’s fiscal year ended on March 31, 2014 and the company is not looking good right now. Due to lower than expected sales numbers on both the Wii U and the 3DS, Nintendo has fallen below their projected income for the last fiscal year, and that’s even after taking into account the fact that they lowered their projections back in January of this year. With Nintendo once again skipping E3 and maintaining that they will not be showing off new hardware, one has to wonder what they plan on doing to right the ship.
Of course, if things are looking down a little Pokemon can always give you a nice bump. This morning, Nintendo announced Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, updated versions of the classic Game Boy Advanced titles that released in 2003. Promising an “epic new story” in a “dramatic new world”, both games will be hitting the 3DS/2DS this November. Long-time series fans will recall that the original Ruby and Sapphire games took place in Hoenn, but speculation about the potential Mega Legendaries on the game’s cover art has pointed to the fact that this game might be in a new location.
What do you guys think about this news? Sad for Nintendo? Excited for more Pokemon? Sound off!
Source – GoNintendo, Nintendo, Eurogamer, Pokemon.com
A Kotaku Reader Asks: Who is Samus Aran?
Of all of the characters in Nintendo’s stable of properties, there are none as intriguing as Samus Aran, the power-armor wearing space-faring bounty hunter from the Metroid series.
After 25 years it seems that not even the company that created her has a firm grasp on who they want Samus to be. She’s either a tough, no-nonsense ass-kicker or the person we saw in Other M. Kotaku reader InvadingDuck wrote up a decent sized essay on the history to the character and her portrayal from game to game and it’s definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the series or the character of Samus.
Personally the Samus that always stuck with me was the one from Metroid Prime. As InvadingDuck mentions in his article, you can read Space Pirate data entries on Samus where she’s depicted as a nightmare-figure of sorts, a nearly mythological entity that can rip through their outposts almost unscathed. True, this version of Samus didn’t have much personality but it was certainly more palatable than the way Other M handled her.
So what do you guys think about InvadingDuck’s post? Who is Samus Aran to you?
Source – Kotaku
Bungie’s Destiny Will Cost Activision $500 Million
According to a story published by Reuters, Bungie’s upcoming sci-fi shooter RPG thing Destiny could wind up costing Activision Blizzard $500 million in development and promotional costs when all is said and done.
The next game out Bungie in their post-Halo days is no doubt a big deal, but I don’t think anyone’s leaning on its potential success quite as hard as Activision. With Call of Duty: Ghosts’ weak showing last year, Activision is no doubt hungry for their next hit shooter. $500 million could wind up making Destiny the most expensive video game in history, which is a significant gamble for a company that often seems like it likes to play it safe.
$500 million is quite an insane number to be spending on development and marketing, but a lot of that is going towards the development of Destiny’s next-gen engine (which is in-house, a tradition for Bungie) and a lot of back end infrastructure costs. I don’t know about you guys, but with $500 million behind it, Destiny’s servers better not crap out on launch day.
What do you guys think? Is Destiny worth this price tag? Are you going to pick up the game on September 9, and for what platform?
Source – Reuters
Taking a Swing at Mario Golf: World Tour
It’s been a good ten years since we last saw a Mario Golf game, but longtime Nintendo sports collaborators Camelot are at it again with Mario Golf: World Tour, a 3DS title that came out on May 2.
The Mario Golf games have either been strictly arcade-like or had some light RPG aspects and World Tour seems to straddle both of these disciplines. Playing as your Mii in the “Castle Club” mode, you use the tried-and-true power bar to control your shots and for each course you complete (whether it’s a practice round or a tournament), you unlock a new piece of stat-altering gear in the pro shop which you can put on your golfer. Continue reading Taking a Swing at Mario Golf: World Tour
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer Will Topple Your Expectations like a House of Cards
Originally the plan was for the newest Call of Duty game, made by Modern Warfare 3 collaborator Sledgehammer Games, to be revealed this coming Sunday, but you know how the Internet works. The official trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is out now and it features Kevin Spacey (who is a Southern accent away from portraying Frank Underwood), drones, exoskeletons, hover bikes and much much more. If you thought Black Ops 2 was futuristic, wait until you get a load of this:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare certainly looks nice, but there are also a lot of signs that point to it being on an upgraded version of the same old engine (I swear, I’ve watched the same running animation for the soldiers in slow-mo since 2007). What do you guys think of this reveal? Back on the Call of Duty hype-train? Can Advanced Warfare pick up after the post-Ghosts slump? According to the trailer, the release date for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is November 4, 2014. No consoles were specifically listed, except for the Xbox One version which provided the footage for the trailer.
The Hardcore Tactics of Insurgency
It just occured to me that I’ve been playing Insurgency for the past few months but never made a post about it, which is a shame because this is a damn fine shooter.
Insurgency is a “realistic” team-based first-person-shooter based on an old Half Life mod. You play as either Security or the Insurgents in several gameplay modes but the kicker here is that the game is pretty unforgiving if you’re used to kill feeds, regenerating health or hit markers because it doesn’t have any of that.
The UI in Insurgency is minimal to the point of being non-existent, but for some reason that wasn’t a real barrier for me and actually makes Insurgency one of the most thrilling mutliplayer shooters I’ve ever tried. Because enemies aren’t called out for you, you have to move carefully around the environment, using the lean ability to peek around corners because one or two good shots will end you. So far my favorite weapons are the single-shot designated marksmen rifles, but I’ve been just as effective with the assault rifles or even pistols. Continue reading The Hardcore Tactics of Insurgency