Articles in the Impressions Category

The Confusing Heists of Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine

13 Aug 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

monaco coop

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?

Lessons in Efficiency from Walking Dead: 400 Days

10 Jul 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Walking Dead 400 Days

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!

The Addictiveness of Animal Crossing: New Leaf

9 Jul 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

animal crossing new leaf

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?

Going Through the Motions with Blood Dragon

20 May 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Blood Dragon

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!

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: May 2013

3 May 2013 | Posted by | Comments Off

Fire Emblem Awakening

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.

What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!

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Company of Heroes 2 Beta Impressions

22 Apr 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

company of heroes 2 beta impressions

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.

You can get into the beta by liking the Company of Heroes 2 Facebook page, or by pre-ordering the game, and I think a little “Like” on Facebook is a small price to pay. Unlike the original game, which took place on the Western Front, CoH2 features clashes between the Red Army and the German Army on the fields and villages of Russia. Company of Heroes 2 now throws the seasons into the mix, playing on the infamous contributions of “General Winter” to the war.

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Not a Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

16 Apr 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

metal gear rising revengeance

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.

That kind of explains why there hasn’t, and will never be, an official GamerSushi review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, unless one of the other Editors wants to take a stab at it. While Revengeance has achieved some critical acclaim the consensus didn’t gel with my experience.

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The GamerSushi Power Rankings: April 2013

11 Apr 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

Tomb Raider

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.

So without further ado, here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games for the month of April. Tell us why we’re nuts, and what we’re doing wrong. We’re listening.

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The Beauty of Bioshock Infinite

1 Apr 2013 | Posted by | 10 Comments

Bioshock Infinite

Hooray, this post is actually legit.

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.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 66: A Terrible Mitchstake

31 Mar 2013 | Posted by | 7 Comments

gamersushi show ep 66 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

Battlefield 3: End Game is an Inauspicious Final DLC

18 Mar 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

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!

Pixel Count: Great Expectations

12 Mar 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

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!

Where do you get expectations for an upcoming game?

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a Cut Above

4 Mar 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

metal gear rising revengeance

Given that Kojima Productions couldn’t turn Metal Gear Rising into an actual game, I’m kind of surprised that Platinum Games (makers of Bayonetta) were able to take the basic premise of “Raiden slices stuff up” and make a pretty kick-ass title.

Taking place about four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden is back in his cyborg body, working for Maverick Enterprises. A surprise attack on a convoy he’s protecting leads to him adopting an even more powerful cyborg frame and vowing to get revengeance on those who wronged him (such as Jetstream Sam, and yes, that face is even better when you see it in-game).

Revengeance is a serious departure from the stealth-oriented gameplay of the MGS titles; when you hear the iconic Alert sound “!”, you know it’s time to leap into action, as opposed to running and hiding. Raiden can chop up foes with a light or heavy attack, and you can use the new Zan-Datsu mode to slice foes open and steal their spines, which allows you to heal yourself on the fly (more accurately it’s a container of repairing nano-paste as opposed to a spine, but that doesn’t sound as cool).

Admittedly, I’m having a lot more fun with Revenageance than I thought I would. These types of beat-em-ups aren’t usually my cup of tea, but Metal Gear Rising is so bonkers I can’t help but be drawn in. I did reach a pretty serious road-block last night with some enemies that run counter to the mechanics that you’ve been taught up to that point, but I’m eager to jump back in. Has anyone else played Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance? What do you think? Anyone going to pick it up?

Bringing Back Space Combat with Strike Suit Zero

28 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

strike suit zero

Welcome back to “What We’re Playing” Monday here on GamerSushi!

I grew up playing the old X-Wing game for the PC and it’s been sad for me to see that genre fall out of favor with gamers at large. True, that game was perhaps a little too complicated, but even simple space combat games have been few and far between the last couple of years.

Born Ready Games, with a Kickstarter backing, has decided to reboot the space combat genre and bring us Strike Suit Zero, a game for the PC that has not only spaceship dog-fighting but also lets you pilot a kick-ass mecha. Yes, you read that right: about an hour and a bit into the game, you get access to a Strike Suit, a prototype fighter that has the secondary function of transforming into a giant robot.

The controls for the game a pretty straightforward: as a fighter you get plasma cannons, a machine gun and a variety of missiles. Using the machine gun to strip the shields of enemy fighters and finishing them off with your plasma cannons keeps your fingers busy and doesn’t make you reliant on one weapon as the plasma guns tend to drain fast, especially when they’re linked. Once you get the Strike Suit, a simple tap of a button (or key, but I really recommend playing with a controller) turns your snubfighter into a death-dealing, missile spewing machine.

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Mass Effect 3: Omega is a Non-Essential Side-Story

14 Dec 2012 | Posted by | Comments Off

mass effect 3 omega review

As excellent as Mass Effect 2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker was, BioWare might have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to post-release DLC. While it would be unrealistic to expect that every piece of Mass Effect DLC would be up to the same standards, it kind of laid the implication that any quests given to the player outside of the main game would advance the story, or at least fill in some background information.

To BioWare’s credit, Mass Effect 3: Leviathan did dredge up a more fleshed-out history of the Reapers, but the newest effort for Mass Effect 3 DLC, Omega, doesn’t add anything new to the story, or change your perception of the established characters you’ll be interacting with.

Shepard is contacted by Aria T’Loak, the Pirate Queen of the space station Omega, to help her take her throne back from Cerberus, who threw her out before the main campaign of Mass Effect 3. Because of Aria’s dislike of your squadmates, you’re going in without any familiar faces from the Normandy. I’ve never bought into the character of Aria as much as BioWare seems to want me to, and being saddled with her for a couple hours just demonstrates how one dimensional she is. While the end of the Omega campaign has her softening a bit, for most of the time she grunts and threatens her way through dialogue sections, being so predictable that a new character, Nyreen the female turian, calls her on it. It doesn’t help that the voice actress behind Aria, Carrie-Anne Moss, sounds like she’s collecting a paycheck for most of her lines, only occasionally dipping into having any emotion besides bored anger.

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GamerSushi Asks: Biggest Recent Disappointment?

10 Dec 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

assassins creed 3

If you’ve listened to the most recent podcast, then you’ll know that Assassin’s Creed 3 left one of the worst tastes in my mouth in recent gaming history. Not only did the game fall short of previous titles — it was flat out bad, something I rarely even say about a game I played all the way through.

From the controls to the story to the overall bugginess of the title, Assassin’s Creed 3 was a failure on multiple levels, and I pretty much have no qualms about saying that. It was an active step back from the excellence of Brotherhood, and even the good-but-problematic Revelations. The one redeeming spot in the game’s 10 hours or so that I spent with it would have to be the naval battles, which were an absolute joy — even more so when you consider how frustrating everything around them happened to be.

But enough of my ranting about Assassin’s Creed 3. I think one of the reasons I was so thoroughly disgusted by the game, aside from it being kind of crappy, is because of the wasted potential. We were given a new setting, a new character, a chance for resolution with a number of story threads and an actual revolution (pardon the pun) in terms of setting, gameplay elements and the like. And it was all a mess. After Revelations came out last year, I was ready to be done with the AC franchise for awhile, but the promise of AC3 lured me back. I don’t know if I’ll make that mistake again, after seeing all the wasted potential that this game lived up to.

So what about you guys? What’s the biggest recent gaming disappointment you’ve experienced? What’s the biggest disappointment of 2012? What made the game disappointing? Go!

PlanetSide2 Offers Three-Way FPS Action for Free

29 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 5 Comments

planetside 2

One game that always had potential but hit too early was PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment’s sci-fi MMO shooter. When it originally came out, the computers of the time were barely able to keep up with the huge environments and massive firefights that the game had to offer.

Now that computing technology has become a lot better, Sony Online Entertainment is taking another crack with PlanetSide 2, this time making the MMOFPS free-to-play. Having the ability to fight as one of three factions over three giant continents with and abundance of vehicles and player classes may seem like a crazy amount of content to give away for free, but the game pulls it off without finding a way to beat you over the head with microtransactions.

Don’t get me wrong, those exist, but they’re mostly cosmetic. Upgrades to your character and your weapons are bought with Certification points which are earned by killing enemies and taking capture points. While the base level attachments are fairly cheap, higher-level purchases can run upwards of a hundred points which take a while to earn. Fortunately, basic modifications like small increases to your base health are not that cost prohibitive.

Each of PlanetSide 2′s three factions have their own theme and style to go with it, like the Vanu Sovereignty which is all purple body suits and lasers or the New Conglomerate which look and fight a lot like the Browncoats from Firefly. Straddling the line between them is the Terran Republic, so no matter you fighting style (or taste for clothing) you can find a faction that suits you.

The battles in PlanetSide 2 can range from small skirmishes to all out war between the three factions with dozens of players on each side. Tanks and air support mix it up with infantry and all the classes have their role to play.

The only downside of the game right now is the lag and the fact that the UI is extremely cluttered, which might be intimidating for some new players. Figuring out how to take down bases is also a little tricky, but watching the tutotrial videos will help clear that up.

I’m really enjoying my time with PlanetSide 2, and I recommend that you check it out. It’s free, so the only thing you’re wasting is hard drive space. Has anyone else played PlanetSide 2? What do you think of it?

Star Wars: The Old Republic is Free-to-Play Done Wrong

26 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 5 Comments

the old republic free to play

Despite The Old Republic failing to grab me during its initial launch (and the error I had with getting my purchased copy of the game to actually validate so I could play past the first month) I was willing to check out its new free-to-play option. Besides clogging up my computer’s drive with gigabytes of game files, I wasn’t wasting money on it, so I figured there was no harm.

While The Old Republic might not suck up your hard-earned dollars, it has no problem with begging for them anyways. Right from the outset, you’re bombarded with the many awesome features that paying customers get access to, including the different playable races for the classes. I understand that BioWare and EA have to make money somehow, but beating players over the head with it just seems wrong. Even the Legacy system, which I unlocked during my first month as a Bounty Hunter, was closed off to me unless I was willing to plonk down some cash.

That’s in addition to the really weird gating that The Old Republic places on its free users, such as being unable to hide your helmet, send in-game mail or use more than two tool bars. For an MMO structured so similarly to World of Warcraft, you will need to have at least four bars available for use once you’re past level 30.

You can buy all these option of course, but those cost Cartel Coins, TOR’s new in-game currency. The amount of Coins you get and if there’s a discount (or free Coins) depends on whether you’re a free user or a preferred customer, someone who had subscription time paid for up to two months before the game went free. Of course, if you had the Collector’s Edition, there are more Cartel Coins for you to use.

Blocking out such basic things for free users as helmet toggling (which is necessary because the armor design in TOR is laughable) and action bars means that this MMO will do everything you can to get you to pay a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a way to experience The Old Republic’s decent player stories, you can do that, but anything beyond there is for paying customers only.

Has anyone else gone back to TOR? Have you reactivated you subscription, and if so, why?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 56: Mendicant Podcast

18 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 9 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 56

We’re almost back on track with the podcasts as we return with the 56 episode of our illustrious gaming show. In the edition we see the return on Nick, who regales us with the tale of his journey to the International Beard Competition. Or, maybe we just talk about Halo 4, GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 3 like a bunch of nerds.

The podcast opens with some Grand Theft Auto 5 talk, including our misgivings about the three playable characters and the changes that Rockstar needs to make to the formula after 4. Halo 4 is, of course, a big topic, with Anthony and I declaring our love for the game with all of its playable modes. We close out the cast with a final dissection of Assassin’s Creed 3 where I expand on my review a little bit.

I don’t think you need to be told what to do at this point, being 56 shows deep, but I’ll remind you anyways because I’m nice: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, love the podcast. Wanna meet that podcast.

0:00 – 1:12 Intro
1:13 – 16:08 Grand Theft Auto 5
16:09 – 31:03 Halo 4
31:04 – 40:37 Assassin’s Creed 3
40:38 – 42:10 Dragon Quest 7 re-release
42:11 – 53:18 Outro

Stabbing Fools in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

24 Oct 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

chivlary-medieval-warfare

The medieval multiplayer genre has taken off the in the last couple of weeks for whatever reason, with both War of the Roses and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare hitting the PC. While both games take place in a Middle Age setting, War of the Roses is a third-person combat game and Chivalry is in first person built on the Unreal engine. For no particular reason, I decided to pick up Chivalry this past Monday and I’ve been playing it for a couple hours a night and having a ball.

Unlike War of the Roses, which takes place during the actual conflict of the same name, Chivalry takes place in a fictional setting featuring a war between the Agatha Knights (Blue) and the Mason Order (Red). Players can be one of four classes, archer, man-at-arms, vanguard and knight, and can battle it out in a few gametypes like team objective and free-for-all. Team objective is currently my favorite mode as it’s a lot like Team Fortress 2′s Payload mode or Rush from Battlefield. While encouraging teamplay, it also features a host of wickedly medieval objectives like killing a village full of peasants or pushing a corpse cart into the enemy castle’s water supply.

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