Several new challengers, actually. Now that the fall is rolling out like AutoBots, it’s safe to say that our Power Rankings chart is going to undergo quite a few transformations of its own, month-to-month. See what I did there? References!
This month sees several new contenders making a debut on the rankings, from mobile games to indie titles and to arguably the biggest blockbuster of the entire year in Grand Theft Auto V. Yes, this venture into Los Santos and San Andreas has stolen our hearts, making us forget all of the abuse that Rockstar dished out in Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re fickle beasts.
In the last few years, some of the most striking, emotional experiences I’ve had in games have come from stripped down, simple titles. Titles like Journey or Bastion, which give the player one simple goal, and execute the carrying out of that goal in a skillful, artful manner.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new title from Starbreeze Studios which does just that. The best way to describe Brothers is that it’s a single player co-op game, one in which you control two brothers simultaneously, with each analog stick on a controller, along with its triggers. While it sounds simple enough, trying to solve puzzles with two characters at the same time can be a decent enough challenge of your dexterity and brainpower.
I’m back from four days of video games, panels and D&D down in Seattle, the home of PAX Prime. My shoulders are sore, my eyes are aching because of expose to dim lighting and bright neon and I can’t feel my feet, but I had an awesome time checking out some unreleased games.
The Mario & Luigi series has long been heralded by the gaming world at large. Different from the brother’s other outings, the series is always praised for its humorous writing and interesting use of the established characters.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is the fourth installment of the series and the first on the 3DS. Boasting gorgeous artwork, a new location and the ability to explore Luigi’s dreams, will Dream Team keep you up all night playing or will it make you fall asleep? Continue reading The Loquaciousness of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
I hope the summer is treating you well. You know, with life stuff. We primarily talk about games here, but life is sort of crucial, too. I guess.
But enough with the srs business — it’s been awhile since we’ve properly talked about what games we’re playing, so right at the edge of summer seemed like as good of a time as any. For me, this is the time of year that I’m doing what I can to catch up on my backlog — and thanks to the latest Steam sale, that’s gotten just a bit bigger recently. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Summer Playlists?
I think that I’ve been pretty vocal in my condemnation of Assassin’s Creed 3 over the past year. I thought it was barren, janky, scatterbrained and didn’t fit the mold of what I’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game. In short, it left me wary of future installments in the franchise.
Since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was announced a few months ago, I’ve been rather lukewarm about it. Sure, it capitalizes on the best part of AC3, the naval battles, but being a successor to that game would it travel the same dark road? This new gameplay video narrated by game director Ashraf Ismail shows how closely Assassin’s Creed IV is hewing to the older games and what’s changed for the next adventure.
I’ve got to admit, Black Flag is looking pretty solid. The naval combat has had a tactical layer added on to it with the spyglass, and the return of free-form assassination contracts rubs me in all the right ways. So what do you guys think? Does Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag look like it has some promise, or are appearances deceiving?
I’ll be honest, when I heard that Telltale was releasing 400 Days, The Walking Dead’s first official DLC (excluding the episodes, of course), I may have squeed a little. OK, maybe a lot. Even though I was a little saddened that we were seeing the world through the eyes of a handful of new characters, I was still happy to be stepping back into Kirkman’s zombie-verse, as depicted by Telltale. And once I played it, I wasn’t disappointed.
For any of you that loved The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and pick up 400 Days. It’s a handful of stories of brand new characters, including a long-haired stoner, an escaped convict, a former drug addict, a young kid on the run and a big sister trying to soften a hard world for her younger sibling. And while the DLC might only be a few hours long, Telltale shows that they’re as efficient as ever in crafting memorable, fully realized characters in such a short span of time.
What amazed me most about 400 Days is just how invested I was in brand new characters, even though you really only spend about half an hour (or less) with each of them. It makes me wish that other studios would start taking notes about how to craft characters, how to introduce them to us right when their lives change, and how to make us identify with them right off the bat. At just $5, the game will easily return what you spend.
Have any of you played 400 Days yet? Thoughts? Go!
According to the letter, Broken Age got pretty large; so large in fact that internal predictions at Double Fine put the game’s release in July of 2014 with a significant amount of content being cut. Instead of releasing a smaller game at a later date than promised, Double Fine will be selling the first half of Broken Age through Steam Early Access in January of 2014 to fund the rest of the game.
Backers will still get their full game as promised; what the Steam Early Access will do is open the game up to people who didn’t back the game on Kickstarter and will hopefully create the revenue Double Fine needs to finish it off. Double Fine thought it would be improper to get money from an actual publisher or go back to Kickstarter.
So what do you guys think? If you’re a backer, what’s your take on this?
Hello, fine GamerSushi friends. In continuing with our summer schedule, today is “Did You See This”. Naturally, with another E3 come and gone, the industry is still buzzing and writing some fantastic pieces on the things they saw last week, so that’s where we’re headed — and more specifically, to Ryse.
For those that are unaware, Ryse is one of the games that was highlighted by Microsoft at the XBox One press event. Developed by Crytek, Ryse looks like God of War had a baby with Gladiator and Dynasty Warriors, offering historical-looking action and dozens of quick-time events.
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?
It seems to be the season of the 3DS here at GamerSushi as both Anthony and I are both enjoying Nintendo’s handheld. True, the 3DS did get off to a slow start, but the number of quality games for it are climbing steadily.
One such game is Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, the sequel to the ghost-catching GameCube launch title. Instead of having one mansion to clear, the taller Mario brother now has several homes to go through, each with the sort of hidden collectibles and Boos that you would expect. The new Poltergust 5000 is your tool for battling the ghosts, which functions a lot like the vacuum in the original Luigi’s Mansion (surprise, surprise). You stun ghosts with your flashlight and then proceed to suck them up, holding on for dear life as they try to escape. Unlike the first game, once you’ve got a ghost on the line they can’t break free by themselves; you have to be hit by another ghost or object to lose your grip.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon also has an awesome multiplayer component where you and three other ghost-busters can play either Hunter, Rush or Polterpup in ScareScraper. True, having to make story progress to unlock multiplayer is a bit annoying, but Hunter is a ton of fun. You have five minutes to clear a floor of ghosts, so you have to work both independently of each other to cover as much ground as possible, but also together so you can tackle larger groups of enemies. Despite the limited communication options (the D-pad has four pre-determined call-outs and that’s it), Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon manages to deliver in a big way when it comes to co-op.
Has anyone else played Dark Moon? What do you think?
Can you guys believe that it’s already May? That means it’s time for another bout of Power Rankings. At about half way through the year, I do have to say I’m surprised with the games on this month’s list, and what a surprise 2013 is shaping up to be in terms of variety and the titles available to us. Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are still kicking strong, but Blood Dragon is a surprise contender out of the blue. And that’s not even mentioning the two 3DS games that are making waves.
So here’s this month’s list of the hottest 10 games that the GamerSushi staff is playing at the moment. I’m actually really looking forward to the shake-ups that are bound to occur for June’s list, when games like Last of Us and Monaco show up in our backlogs.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, have less time, or because most multiplayer games are feeling pretty homogenous these days, but I’m barely able to dive into multiplayer matches any longer. What used to keep me up long into the morning hours before school or work just feels like a chore. Fighting guys that use the same cheap tactics, using the same abilities or progression trees that started in Modern Warfare — none of these things interest me any longer. Even Halo 4, a game whose multiplayer I loved, only had my attention for a few weeks. It seems like CS:GO is the only multiplayer game I can dive into a few times per month.
If other players must be involved, what I love these days is a good co-op/horde mode. It’s far better to kill with friends than it is to kill your friends (virtually speaking, lest I end up on an FBI watch list). I’ve had my eyes on Monaco for this very reason. Besides the fact that it’s a co-op heist game (which we talked about on a podcast a few months back), I just really want a game that allows me to yell at my friends.
Fun or Shun is making a surprise comeback! In this feature, GamerSushi editors take a look at an upcoming game and give their thoughts on whether or not it will be worth your time to play. We’ve also done this with Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This time, we’re giving Naughty Dog’s upcoming survival action adventure The Last of Us a litmus test. Continue reading The Last of Us: Fun or Shun?
As someone who likes to put on his imaginary pretend writer cap from time to time, I’m always interested in the subject of writing when it comes to video games. On the whole, the practice seems so different than what I’m used to that I find it fascinating. In a recent article on Polygon, author Austin Grossman talks about what video games taught him about writing — lessons that he took to pen the bestselling supervillain novel Soon I Will Be Invincible.
Grossman has some interesting things to say about the writing process for video games, which he witnessed firsthand when working on titles like System Shock, Deus Ex and most recently, Dishonored. The biggest lessons that video game writing taught were that stories don’t have to go in a straight line, nobody necessarily wants to read your prose and that people won’t respect what you do. One of my favorite bits:
You learn to be inventive. After all, players are using everything on the screen to form an idea of what they’re doing and why. You learn to sneak story in at the margins. Leave it lying in dusty corners and layered into other parts of the world, embedded into combat mechanics and level geometry and audio cues, or leave half-cues for players to fill in. To this day, I can’t tell a story straight through — Soon I Will Be Invincible and You zoom back and forth from the past and the present.
If you’re interested at all in how video game writing works, or if you just like reading smart things by good writers in general, I’d suggest checking it out.
Nintendo’s been hit with a bit of the Legend of Zelda bug as of late, it seems — and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. In addition to the HD Wind Waker remake due out this fall, Nintendo has also announced Link to the Past 2, releasing for the 3DS this year.
The sequel to the much loved SNES game debuted during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, introduced by the big Reggie himself. It takes place in the same world as Link to the Past, features some 3D dungeons and even allows link to become a wall drawing in order to solve some puzzles. While I never played Link to the Past (I didn’t own an SNES), I did watch a friend play quite a bit of it. I have no doubt that there are certain GamerSushi fans (and a few of its staff) that are freaking out about this news.
Another month, another update to the beloved, ever-changing GamerSushi Power Rankings. If you’ll remember, March had us loving games like Ni No Kuni, FarCry3 and Dead Space 3 above all others. Well, things have changed quite a bit in April. You see, some of the year’s best games and biggest surprises have all come out one after the other, which leaves us quite a few new contenders. And some of those contenders will probably linger for a while to come.
Hey look, a post that’s not about Bioshock Infinite… for now. I actually finished Ken Levine’s masterpiece (and yes, that word is appropriate for Infinite) this weekend, and the game certainly lives up to the hype in terms of what a sheer breathtaking experience it is — even if it’s sometimes lacking in the gameplay department.
One thing that I found disappointing about the game, for all its wonders, was the fact that the game was almost completely on rails. Mighty fine rails, mind you, but still, I’m the kind of guy that likes a hub, or a home base of sorts, where I’m free to weigh my options and pursue them at my leisure.
Welp, time for another Bioshock Infinite post. I’m sure you guys are getting sick of these by now, but I suppose you’ll have to suffer through our praises of this game for just a little longer.
As I already noted on Monday, Bioshock is a gorgeous game. The worldbuilding and the design of Columbia are enough to take your breath away for the first few hours, and everything begs to be explored. But what happens after that? You get sucked into the story, and soon you’re rocketing along faster than skyrails.
Every now and then, I find myself trying to slow everything down, though. Not in a bad way, like the game is moving too quickly. But more in a way that I want to appreciate everything instead of tackling it at a breakneck speed. Certain story games prompt me to blast through them and enjoy the ride no matter where it takes me, but with Infinite I find that I’m trying to pull back just long enough to remember the experience and make it matter more.
So my question for you guys is: when is the last time a game did this for you? Do you try to take your time with games, or just push through them as quickly as possible on your first playthrough? Do you pace yourself? Go!