GamerSushi Asks: Play it Again… for the First Time?

Final Fantasy 7 Midgar

We gamers are fools for nostalgia. There has to be some established connection between the parts of our brains that remember video games and the parts of our brains that process adolescent emotion, because it’s staggering how big of suckers we are for the games we played in our early years. There are some titles where just seeing a screenshot or hearing a few bars of music can instantly transport me back to the first time I played a game – that sense of wonder, that yearning for discovery.

Sadly, we can’t really get those first times back, short of some memory-erasing Men in Black contraption that makes everything old new again. But man, what if we could? Lately, I’ve been listening to the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack and thinking back to the summer I first played it. How my brother and I spent hours trading the controller back and forth, playing it through the day and late into the night, and how sucked in we were by the entire saga. I know it’s cliche, but sometimes I long to experience it all over again for the first time.

I feel the same with a few other titles such as Suikoden III or Knights of the Old Republic. And even though I’ve played all these games multiple times and loved each playthrough, there’s nothing quite so magical as that inaugural one, the one that creates and cements all those wonderful memories.

What about you guys? What games do you wish you could play again for the first time? Is there anything you would do differently in your playthrough? Go!

Beyond Good and Evil 2: What Do You Expect from Next Gen?

Beyond Good and Evil 2

For years, fans have been clamoring for a sequel to Michel Ancel’s cult classic, Beyond Good and Evil. Even though the game didn’t enjoy huge commercial success, it’s developed quite a following from those that experienced this sci-fi adventure set in a truly engrossing world. A couple of years back, Ubisoft teased those of us that have been dying for a follow-up with a short CGI trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, but since then, rumors of the game’s cancellation and subsequent re-start have been in wild circulation.

Where does this game actually stand? Last week, some new details popped up in a video interview with Michel Ancel, which was then translated at NeoGAF. Apparently, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still in active development — for next generation consoles. Since then, even more news has come to light, first in the form of leaked screenshots, but then in the form of a leaked environment video, showcasing some of the game’s settings. Continue reading Beyond Good and Evil 2: What Do You Expect from Next Gen?

Required Reading: Designing Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is heralded as one of the greatest games of last generation, if not one of the greatest games of all time. That piece of information is of course nothing new to anybody here, or anybody that has played games, for that matter, but it’s still something that is understated due to the emotional impact that it had on so many. Part of what really made Shadow of the Colossus shine was its superior art design, which went above and beyond what many expected out of the PS2 hardware. It just goes to show that great art trumps a massive amount of polygons, and continues to be a stunning example of atmosphere and design to this day.

In some newly translated interviews with the creators found in the official guidebook to Shadow of the Colossus, Team Ico boss Fumito Ueda and the game’s artists discuss the creation of SotC’s world and the ideas behind its design. Both of these articles give a fascinating look into the minds of a truly remarkable video game, and what drove the decisions they made in development. Of particular note is a section where they talk about how the artists and the environmental guys had to work together to create the Colossi arenas, since the way the Colossi functioned hinged so tightly on the arenas themselves.

Anyway, it’s hard to do the damn things any kind of justice, but I know that so many of you are interested in game design. I’ve got a new kind of respect for Ueda after reading both of them. And this is also making me want to put in the Team Ico HD Collection in the worst possible way. So yeah, what are you guys waiting for? Go!

Source – Siliconera and Siliconera

The GamerSushi Show, Episode 47: Getting the Band Back Together

Hello Sushians, it’s podcast time! Episode 47 is upon us as we inch ever closer to the big five-oh. It’s kind of crazy that we’ve managed to put out more than a few of these things, but such is our dedication. Who’s to say what exactly will happen in Episode 50, but drinks will be consumed.

Speaking of drinks being consumed, this episode is kind of an accidental drunk cast as Jeff and I imbibed a few beverages before and during the recording, as you will be able to tell. Nick also joined us for the first time in over a month and brought us a game of Buy or Sell! We also talk FEZ, Trials Evolution and get down and dirty with a few trailers. Listen. Rate. Live long and prosper.

Link dump:

Trials Evolution Limbo level.
Trials Evolution Inception level.
Trials Evolution intro music.
Video game rock medley.

0:00 – 2:43 intro
2:45 – 7:50 God of War trailer
7:51 – 13:04 Dishonored trailer
13:05- 24:15 FEZ and the Return of the Beard
24:16 -30:35 The Indie free pass
30:38- 42:40 Trials Evolution
42:43 – 48-28 Mass Effect 3 multiplayer
48:29 – 48:50 GAME TIME (Buy or Sell)
48:51 – 58:22 Will the Halo movie get made?
58:23 – 1:05:45 Do you want wearable computing?
1:06:11 – 1:13:15 Is Prey 2 delayed or canceled?
1:13:16 – 1:16:43 Outro

Review: Sonic Generations

Sonic

Let’s not be coy about it: the Sonic franchise has seen better days. What once stood as the speedy bastion of an entire console experience and a worthy rival to Nintendo’s Mario has limped along for many years, a hedgehog much past his prime. Over the years, Sega seems to have lost its way with the spiky blue wonder, unsure of how to transition him properly to 3D while still honoring the tried and true flavor from generations past.

With Sonic Generations, they tried their hand at something new — rather than try to reinvent both wheels, why not package both 2D and 3D Sonics together into one comprehensive experience? Continue reading Review: Sonic Generations

Video Games In Planet Form Will Make You Wistful

We gamers are a nostalgic lot. We love to be reminded of games from the past, even if that past is from a few months ago. Something about seeing our favorite games in a new way just triggers an ache, one we long to ease by dipping back into a world from our past.

Such emotions were what I felt when watching this cleverly animated video that shows the games we love in a new form: that of an ever shifting planet. Every few seconds, the planet morphs into a new setting, some of which are immediately obvious and others not so obvious. I won’t spoil it as part of the fun is trying to guess yourselves. Check out the video below and see how many you can identify!

9 Year Old Makes Cardboard Arcade, Happiness Ensues

This is just one of those things that tugs on the heartstrings. Caine is a 9 year old boy who loves arcades so much that he decided to build one himself in his father’s used auto parts store – out of cardboard boxes. Not only does Caine maintain and operate the “machines” himself, he actually devised a series of passes, tickets, rewards/prizes and even a security system to confirm that customers are legit.

Caine’s problem? He can’t get any visitors. So a bunch of people decide to give him one of the greatest days of his life in the way of a flash mob. The results are pretty heartwarming.

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Needless to say, the whole thing is absurdly adorable and harkens back to those days when we were kids, and our imaginations ran wild. It’s also pretty cool that, in a world where the arcade is fading away, there are still kids that are as addicted to them as I used to be back in the day. I spent far too many (or not enough, depending on your point of view) summer days and dollars at the pizza buffet behind my house, slamming my palms on driving games, the Simpsons arcade game and whatever shooters I could find.

What did you guys think of this? Favorite arcade memories? Go!