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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
But beyond that, my most beloved thing at the moment is still tried and true single player gaming.
One on the unquestioned traditions for gamers is preordering. No one asks if you preordered something but where you preordered it. What bonuses did you get, etc… Amazon, GameStop, Best Buy and even Steam will routinely shower gamers with gifts in order to secure those advance sales. Some of the bonuses, like early access to a shotgun, are dumb extras that aren’t worth the effort. Others, like a free copy of a related game, are enough to make you question your own intelligence if you DON’T preorder the game.
But after the disappointment of Assassin’s Creed 3 and the still-ongoing disaster that is SimCity, my question to you is this: why do you preorder? What drives you to spend money before you can use the item that you bought? Is it the aforementioned bonuses? Is it simply a habit now, ingrained in our buying rituals so much that we don’t even question why we are forking over money before we can confirm the game is actually worth it?
With the recent success of BioShock Infinite, it may be time to revisit the “favorite video game sidekick” topic. Sure, no character will ever beat Mass Effect’s Garrus Vakarian for me (he’s like space-Batman except he shoots people), but the usefulness of Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite may catapult her to the top of many lists.
She finds ammo, health and Salts for you, doesn’t get in the way during combat and her ability to open tears can be handy in a pinch. While shepherding Elizabeth through Columbia is essentially an extended escort quest, the benefits of having her around makes you wonder who’s guiding who. Add that to the fact that she’s an interesting, well-rounded character and you have yourself a strong case.
Of course, there’s always the old stand-by Alyx Vance, but as the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind” and it’s been a long while since we’ve seen her. So, what do you guys say? Who’s your favorite video game sidekick?
When I tend to think back on my favorite games, I tend to reminisce on particular moments rather than the experience as a whole. Sure, the experience as a whole is worth replaying as well, but usually there is one bit that I have focused on above all others, one instant where everything came together and burned itself into my brain forever.
Recently, Bioshock Infinite has held several of those moments for me. I won’t venture into spoiler territory here, but I will say that besides the ending, a moment that stood out to me was in the basement of a broken down bar, where Booker DeWiit picks up a guitar and plays Let the Circle Be Unbroken while Elizabeth sings. It’s one of those things that catapulted straight to the lead of my favorite gaming memories, and I remember being breathless in the moment itself.
There are plenty of others to choose from. Climbing that ladder in MGS3. Talking to your party members for the final time in Mass Effect 3. The ride into Mexico in Red Dead Redemption. I’m sure we’ve asked this question before, but it’s always a good time to stop and update. What are some of your recent favorite video game moments?
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!
There are two types of franchises in video games: the ones like Final Fantasy, where each game is a completely separate world with new characters and new experiences and the ones like Mass Effect where there is a continuing narrative that flows from game to game. These two aren’t the only franchises that are like this of course, but they are two of my favorite and I think they best represent the example I am trying to make. So I wanted to ask the GamerSushi Universe which type you prefer.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. With Final Fantasy’s template, you know every time that you are getting something radically different from the previous game. Sure, certain themes and elements will be the same, but it’s kind of exciting to get immersed (or annoyed) by a whole new world with new characters to fall in love (or hate) with. Not to mention new gameplay ideas and mechanics that seem revolutionary compared to the previous entry. Far Cry 3 is a great example of this. There is a downside to this, though: as we saw with Final Fantasy VII, sometimes the game is so popular that deviating from that story will only irritate its legion of fans. Final Fantasy VIII is all but forgotten by Square Enix these days. It was only years later that they thought to capitalize of FF VII’s success, but by then it was too late.
You’ve been there before. It starts out as a trickle. A game that wasn’t even a blip on your radar, or maybe one that you had never even heard of before, suddenly shows up. Maybe it’s in the form of a review, or positive buzz from gaming sites. Soon, the trickle gains some steam as overwhelming praise starts to sound from corners of the web. Then a friend plays it and loves it. Then multiple friends play it and sing its praises. And before you know it, love of this game has become an avalanche, ready to knock you from your footing of carefully budgeted gaming purchases.
This is my story right now with the Tomb Raider reboot, especially after our most recent podcast (which will be up on Sunday), and Jeff’s stellar Tomb Raider review. Whenever this happens, I tend to panic. I start checking the game’s price on different outlets. I find myself stopping at Redbox stations to see if the game is available for rent. I wonder what I might stop playing in favor of it. The really silly thing about doing this with Tomb Raider is that I’ve already got an impressive backlog, and I’m in the middle of a Ni No Kuni playthrough. As a scholar once said, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Has this happened to you guys recently? Do you try to avoid the avalanche when a new game comes out that you weren’t expecting to be great? Do you just give in, or wait? What games have done this to you? Go!
Welcome, Sushians, to the first Would You Rather of 2013! Actually, this is the first Would You Rather since Spring of 2012, which is a little insane to think about. How were you guys getting your fix of Sophie’s Choice style questions about video games without us? How?!
While you’re reeling over the awesomeness of finally getting a new Would You Rather, you should peruse some of these questions and write your own answers. These questions are inspired by some of the issues we’ve seen in games recently, from Sim City’s DRM to Tomb Raider’s updates and Gears of War Judgment’s lack of a horde mode. Feel free to make your answers as lengthy as you want. You’ll get extra points if you insult one of the other GS writers, too.
With the release of Dead Space 3′s new DLC Awakened, DLC has been on my mind these days. Publishers use it as a way to increase profits due to lower sales and higher budgets. But there here are more than a few gamers who think all DLC is evil and should have been in the game in the first place. Such a view is ignorant of the realities of game development, as there is a period where a game is finished, but before it has been shipped that allows developers to come up with ideas for DLC. Yes, even Day 1 DLC.
One of the main purposes of DLC is to keep gamers from trading in their games the moment they are done with them. Which doesn’t make sense to me because it’s not like you can get another sale out of that person. But you can get them to buy DLC, which leads me to an idea I had: why not make DLC standalone? By that, I mean don’t force the players to actually own the disc to play DLC. Infamous did this with the Festival of Blood DLC and it was a blast to play. I know I would love to play the upcoming Dishonored DLC, but I already traded that game in. I don’t know if it is cost-prohibitive to do such a thing, but you could even charge more if the disc is not detected. Say $9.99 if you have the game and $12.99 if you don’t. That seems fair and not entirely evil, right?
So that’s my question to you, Sushians: would you prefer if DLC were standalone? Would that make you more likely to buy it? Would you try games that you normally wouldn’t if you could have a taste for a lower cost? Let’s hear it!
So you guys might have heard about this game called Sim City that came out this week. Apparently lots of people are playing it, and everything that EA has done with the launch has been so brilliant that people are throwing parades for it, both in their game’s city streets and in real life. It’s being heralded as the way to do a launch right, and a bastion of hope for how to do an “always online” DRM.
OK, none of that is true. At all. In fact, lots of people can’t even play the game yet.
In what might have been a worse launch disaster than Diablo III, Sim City points to a somewhat grim future for “always online” single player games on the PC. The game’s servers have been so overloaded that people are having trouble playing, saving cities, seeing their friends and more. In fact, EA is having to turn off features that supposedly made “always online” necessary in the first place, just to help people connect.
It seems like everywhere I turn, people are talking about the importance of story and emotion in video games. I know that I get sucked into that, too, partially because some of the most meaningful games that I’ve played have had some stellar stories. Games like The Walking Dead, Uncharted 2, a number of Final Fantasies and more have stuck with me longer than most.
The other day, Anthony, Jeff and I were talking about stories in games, and how it’s funny that gamers will excuse even the most absurd stories in favor of excellent gameplay. Far Cry 3, for instance, had a ridiculous premise and a story which made little sense, but I never really cared because the setting and the game itself were so much fun. Likewise, I can’t say I’ve ever been completely invested in the stories of games like Gears of War or even most of the Halo titles. Even Ni No Kuni, a game that I adore at the moment, has a pretty so-so story.
There are so many outlets to get games these days. Amazon, digital and all the various retail stores that are still left standing. Although the number of places to purchase games is shrinking, there are still plenty of options, all with different sales, bonuses, trade-in credits and promotions to lure your hard earned dollars to their specific business. So rather than wonder any longer, I thought I would ask you guys: where do you buy your games?
It’s a simple question, but an important one. And it can vary, depending on what game you are buying and what platform. If buying on the PC, we all will likely say Steam, but what console games and other times when physical media is the only way to go? Personally, I am all about Amazon. Their trade-in deals are better than GameStop’s and their prices are usually more inexpensive as well. Not to mention that supply is rarely an issue. If I go into GameStop or Best Buy, they are going to have Call of Duty, but what if I am looking for something a tad more obscure? Amazon fixes that issue for me.
It’s almost here and the excitement surrounding it is palpable: on Wednesday, February 20th at 3PM PST/ 6PM EST, Sony will unveil “The Future of Playstation” and the masses are teeming with anticipation. Although I was initially expecting this press conference to be a huge letdown by having it turn out to be a new model of the PS Vita or something regarding Playstation Plus, all signs seemingly point to the PS4.
For today’s GamerSushi Asks Friday, we’re going to take a look at the long, hard farewell. I feel like there’s a “that’s what she said” in there somewhere.
After finishing Far Cry 3 recently, something happened to me that I’ve really only experienced a few times in gaming. After the main game was completed, the pirates were vanquished from the island, outposts liberated, animals hunted and huge portions of secret items located, I realized there was nothing left for me to do in the game. Because of said pirate vanquishment, I couldn’t even run around and kill a few bad guys. I was done with the game, almost completely.
And when it came time to sign off, I found myself coming up with excuses to hop around the world a little longer. I was kind of sad to say goodbye. This has happened before, and will hopefully happen again.
Like a lot of you guys, I’ve played many, many video games throughout my life, but no matter how many more I play or how much time has passed since playing certain games, there will always be aspects I can remember once I get my hands on a controller.
Recently I was watching my girlfriend play through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D when she got to Jabu Jabu’s Belly and got stumped at some point. Having played Ocarina of Time quite a bit I thought I could tell her how to get passed the puzzle, but unless I am holding the game in my hands, I can’t remember. If I’m playing the game, then I have no problem. The same thing happened recently when I was feeling a little nostalgic and put in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: I could recall where every SKATE letter was and where all the secret tapes were, and I had no problem chaining together massive combos.
I guess it’s kind of like riding a bike in that you brain just never forgets when something is ingrained into your memory like that. Do you guys have any games where no matter how many years it’s been since you last played, you can pick up the controller and instantly be a pro at it?
Sweet, merciful heavens. Has it really been almost a year since our last Pop Quiz? My, how time flies. In my defense, the last Pop Quiz arrived about a week before my daughter did, so it’s interesting to note how little humans tend to disrupt things like, you know, writing features for a gaming site.
So, since it’s been a year since our last getting-to-know-you game, we wanted to ask some questions about the upcoming year, last year, and where your head is at as a gamer for the time being. While 2012 was certainly an interesting and fun year for gamers, 2013 looks to be no slouch, either. Already we’ve had Ni No Kuni and Devil May Cry making waves, and Dead Space 3 is just around the corner next week. Seems like we have a good opportunity here for some questions.
If you haven’t joined us for a Pop Quiz before, it’s simple. Just answer with as much or as little of an explanation as you like, and nobody will judge you. Too much. OK, scratch that, I’m always judging.