Lessons in Efficiency from Walking Dead: 400 Days

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

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

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

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! Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: May 2013

Company of Heroes 2 Beta Impressions

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. Continue reading Company of Heroes 2 Beta Impressions

Not a Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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. Continue reading Not a Review: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: April 2013

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. Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: April 2013