There seems to be some gaming event called “the next generation” coming up pretty soon. I don’t know, maybe you guys have heard of it? Apparently these big machines are coming out and people are pretty excited.
However, before that strange phenomenon occurs, we peons are stuck in the current generation (or you’re perpetually next generation gaming on your PC), no doubt clamoring through our backlogs and keeping up with this year’s more modest fall deluge of video games.
Since I’m waiting to play Assassin’s Creed 4 on my soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4 and holding out on Steam sales for Batman: Arkham Origins and The Wolf Among Us, I’m currently playing the heck out of Grand Theft Auto Online and loving it. Even though the actual online design is borked to all hell, the actual races, once you get in them, are among some of the most fun I’ve had gaming online in recent memory. Anthony and I have been partaking in planes, boats, motorbikes and more over the last week, leveling up our respective gangsters and having a general ball.
So what are you guys playing right now? Has anyone else tried Grand Theft Auto Online? Who’s playing Arkham Origins? Details, folks!
Pokemon X and Y, the first of the series to be released on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, dropped a couple weeks ago and since then I’ve been playing the junk out of it. I’m currently at the sixth gym, so I feel like I’ve got a good handle on all the changes Game Freak has made.
For the first time in a long time this feels like an honest upgrade for the series, instead of just incremental tweaks. The new art is gorgeous, especially with the enhanced polygonal Pokemon models. Sure, performance suffers some times (the frame rate drop is most noticeable during battles), but leaving the sprite-based graphics of the previous games behind was a good move. The camera perspective changes can also be a little jarring at times.
Pokemon X and Y removed some of the grind from the series by giving you the EXP Share very early on and having it apply to your entire team instead of just two Pokemon. This is a great boon, because you no longer have to spend a lot of time making sure your team is around the same level; with an equipped EXP Share, it just happens automatically. I am finding that my team is somewhat over-levelled, but the Pokemon series was never too difficult to begin with. Besides, I’m always free to turn it off. Continue reading The Evolution of Pokemon X and Y
Last week the Battlefield 4 beta launched, featuring the map Siege of Shanghai with the modes Conquest and Domination. Being the outspoken Battlefield advocate that I am, I selflessly took it upon myself to dive headfirst into the beta and bring you a report from the dust-choked battleground of Shanghai.
I’m playing the beta on PC, and thankfully I haven’t been impeded by the weird technical errors that seems to have stymied some users. Battlefield 4 looks absolutely gorgeous on a decent rig as DICE has done away with most of their weird aesthetic choices from Battlefield 3 (like the super-nova sun and the blue tint). The war torn streets of Shanghai have a lot of interactive features as well, like the ability to close store shutters to keep enemies out or raise bollards to stop a tank from rolling across a bridge (at one point I was able to use a blinking metal detector to locate an enemy that had rounded the corner and escaped my line of sight).
You see, in the last couple of weeks I’ve developed a bit of an addiction. Every day at work, my mind is driven by thoughts of drugs, violence, theft, mayhem and destruction. At night my actions are guided by these impulses, and I disappear into the dark underbelly of my psyche to participate in grotesque fantasies, some of which leave people bloodied and battered.
The original Payday had a solid idea at its core – co-op heists with bad-ass masks – but the execution was kind of lacking. It felt a lot like Left 4 Dead with its waves of cops, but instead of progressing through a level, you were left standing in one spot waiting for a drill to open a safe, or something.
Payday 2 actually took some steps to improve this, but unfortunately the developers shot themselves in the foot with Update 11. While the game has since been patched to fix some of the things that went wrong with Update 11, the game took a step back that will be difficult to recover from. Continue reading Payday 2 and the Perils of Over-Patching
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.
This last week saw the release of Saint’s Row IV, the sequel to the irreverent, goofy, completely ridiculous sandbox crime series that lets you blow up just about anything in just about anyway possible. As if the games weren’t already insane enough, this version of the series has added in superpowers with which to visit havoc upon the citizens of Steelport, in addition to its new alien overlords.
While the first few missions of SR4 took me a bit of getting used to (the game makes you waddle through quite a bit of set-up in order to get to the first open world gameplay), once it unleashes you in the digital, Matrix-style Steelport, where you’re constantly testing the world’s parameters— things kick up quite a few notches. I’m already in love with the power glitches, a gameplay element quite similar to Crackdown’s agility orbs, which beckon you to jump to new heights to get stronger and faster. We’ll see how the rest of the game unfolds.
So what about the rest of you? Who else picked up Saint’s Row IV this last week? What are your thoughts on the game so far? What’s your character like? And did you choose the Nolan North voice? Sound off, Sushians!
There’s something sad about looking forward to playing a game with friends only to have that hope crushed in front of your very eyes. Such was the case last Friday when four of the GamerSushi crew sat down in front of our PCs to play Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine, the recently-released top-down heist game by Pocketwatch Games.
After navigating through the game’s menu, which included having to disable Big Picture so Jeff could actually invite us to the game, we attempted to play Monaco for about a half an hour before giving it up. Between the small levels that aren’t really built for more than one person, the vague goals and the confusing visuals, we were rather disappointed with our experience.
I suppose that it can be said that we didn’t give the game a fair shake, but to be honest I have no interest in going back to it. I’m sure Monaco appeals to a certain person, but that just isn’t me.
Has anyone else played Monaco? What did you think of it?
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!
Very few games compel me to play them every day. Sure, there are times when I’m obsessed with a game for a few days, but rarely do I log on every day consecutively for weeks at a time.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is one such game. This is my first experience with Nintendo’s long-running life-simuilator, and it’s got me hooked. For Animal Crossing veterans, some of the experience will be familiar: you collect fruit, seashells and various flora and fauna in your attempt to accrue enough bells to stay out of debt with Tom Nook.
The kicker this time around is that you’re the mayor, and as such you can build public works and enact ordinances to change how your town functions. I typically play Animal Crossing on the bus to work at 8:00 am, but the shops don’t open until 9. With the “early riser” ordinance, I can force the shops to open at 8. The only downside is they close a little earlier, but it’s better than having to wait until lunch to sell my pockets full of goodies.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf isn’t typically the sort of game I play. It’s cutesy and there’s no combat, but it’s deep, addictive and a heck of a lot of fun. Because the game keeps track of the clock (a long-running feature of Animal Crossing) this is a title you can play for years on end if you want. In terms of value for your money, there’s few games that can offer that.
Who else is playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf? What did you name your town? Does anyone want to come visit Assville?
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!
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.
It’s crazy to think that Relic’s World War 2 RTS sequel Company of Heroes 2 was supposed to be out already; indeed, it was to be released day and date with StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Thankfully for gamers (and not so much for employees) THQ went under so Relic was not forced to meet their earlier deadline and their new masters at SEGA pushed the release date back until late June. This is good, because while the game is a ton of fun, it isn’t ready yet.
One thing that is nice about GamerSushi is that we’re not compelled to review each and every game that comes out. Sure, we do review a large chunk of the big-name releases each year, but there isn’t that pressure to get our written thoughts up on day one.
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.
You guys should prepare yourselves, because I’m guessing a lot of our upcoming posts for the next couple of weeks will have to do with Bioshock Infinite in one way or another. Not only is it just a hot commodity right now in terms of gaming news, but the thing is just really damn good.
While we’ve already talked about its design and storytelling on the most recent podcast, one thing that’s stuck out to me as I traverse through Infinite’s floating Americana utopia of Columbia is just how gorgeous of a place it is. Bioshock Infinite might be one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. I don’t mean that from a graphical fidelity standpoint, but more in terms of the game’s design. Continue reading The Beauty of Bioshock Infinite
There was a shocking amount of things to talk about this week on The GamerSushi Show, with what might be the most high-profile game release of the year hitting this week. BioShock Infinite takes up a good chunk of the cast, along with the latest entry in Gears of War series (which is actually pretty fun).
For news, we break down the trailers that came out this week at GDC and the fact that Square Enix’s CEO stepped down. It’s a righteous cast, and we hope you enjoy! You know what to do: listen, rate and we’ll see you next time!
0:00 – 3:51 Intro
3:52 – 18:12 BioShock Infinite
18:13 – 24:59 Gears of War: Judgement
25:00 – 30:56 Counter-Strike: GO and Mass Effect on PC
30:57 – 40:44 Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada Steps Down
40:45 – 53:36 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
53:37 – 1:01:41 Battlefield 4
1:01:42 – 1:04:47 Outro
As the announcement of Battlefield 4 draws every closer (seriously, they just teased the reveal trailer on Twitter), the last piece of DLC for Battlefield 3, End Game, has hit. With dirtbikes, Capture the Flag, and Air Superiority, End Game is throwing a lot at the wall. Does it all stick? Luckily for you, I’ve made a video summarizing my thoughts on End Game. Give it a watch, will you?
It’s not exactly the best way to close out Battlefield 3, but it’s not awful, either. As a final piece of DLC we could have gotten much worse. Unlike Armored Kill, I could see the maps from End Game easily slotting in alongside the Aftermath, Karkand, and vanilla maps. Has anyone else been playing End Game on PC? Any YouTube experts want to give me some constructive criticism? Go!
Between Sim City, and the new announcement of Assassin’s Creed 4, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way gamers set and manage their own expectations when it comes to new games.
The disappointment for Sim City comes from knowing that a ridiculously good game might be lying beneath the surface of some extremely frustrating mechanical issues. From the servers not working (I was put into a 20 minute queue last night in the middle of a session) to the ancient-feeling social interactions, and some of the really odd rules of gameplay (too-small cities and some unhelpfully helpful Sim guides), I’m disappointed because Sim City might be a masterpiece completely stepping on its own feet.
With Assassin’s Creed 3, I felt a little lured into a game that was ultimately a total bomb. From carefully selected vertical slices of gameplay for hands-on previews to unbelievably cleverly edited trailers, Assassin’s Creed 3 looked set to put the series back to what it was with Brotherhood, while simultaneously striking out in a bold, new direction. What we got instead was a total mess, and it made me evaluate the way I take in my gaming news, which I’m already pretty strict about to begin with. Needless to say, I won’t be excited about AC4 anytime soon.
So I figured for today’s poll I’d ask you guys where you derive most of your expectations for upcoming games. Hit up the poll, and then the comments!