After a little break from the Drunk Cast, we’re back with a normal-ass normal episode of the podcast. Nick joins us once again and we bring back Anthony’s famous GAME TIME clip for the second time in recent memory.
In a little change from casts past, we talk about something other than the video game industry. We dip into a little conversation leading off of Blood Dragon about TV shows, and it’s a pretty good conversation. We’re very well-rounded nerds.
So yeah, listen up, rate up and enjoy…up. Catch you next time!
0:00 – 5:06 Intro
5:07 – 18:34 EA and Star Wars
18:35 – 23:33 Microsoft Ditches Points
23:34 – 46:16 Blood Dragon (NOPE j/k we talk about TV)
46:17 – 53:44 Fire Emblem: Awakening
53:45 – 1:00:59 Star Command and Kickstarter
1:01:00 – 1:02:06 GAME TIME (Percentages)
1:02:07 – 1:05:03 Chance we’ll see a price at the Next Xbox reveal
1:05:04 – 1:07:11 Chance that half the presser is dedicated to Kinect
1:07:12 – 1:09:36 Chance we’ll see some new cool thing involving Kinect
1:09:37 – 1:12:25 Chance we’ll see a Halo teaser/trailer
1:12:26 – 1:16:34 Chance there’s a good launch title
1:16:35 – 1:21:07 Chance the Wii U will have a system seller by this Fall
1:21:08 – 1:23:27 Outro
After a long wait, the Kickstater-backed iOS title Star Command finally came out today. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, Star Command is sort of a combination of Game Dev Story and FTL where you take control of a spaceship and its crew. There’s permanent crew death as well, so, much like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, prepare to get crushed when your little sprite crewmen die by getting sucked out of the airlock. Here’s the release trailer to get your interest piqued:
Hit the jump to read about the announcement plans for the next-gen Xbox.
Sonic games past the Genesis era have always had one problem: you never just play as Sonic, running through an obstacle course. Sonic Generations fixed this issue by giving us old and new Sonic to play around with, but for every other game your Sonic fix is wedged in between digging for Emeralds, piloting a mech, or fishing.
Sonic Dash for the iOS distills Sonic down to its basic gameplay tenets and by getting rid of all that other junk that’s built up over the years, it manages to be simple and most importantly, fun. In the game, Sonic runs forward while you dodge roadblocks and baddies by swiping the screen. Collecting rings fills up your boost meter which you can use to run even faster, breaking through everything in your path. Rings are then banked and can be used to buy upgrades. The game is over when you slam into something or fall off the course.
As the levels go on, the things in your way come quicker and thicker, meaning you have to be fast with your fingers if you want to succeed. Adimittedly, some of the environments are pretty stale and the game does have microtransactions, but for $1.99 you can have a few hours of good old fashioned Sonic fun.
I recommend Sonic Dash highly, so check it out if you’re so inclined.
I just installed Letterpress on my phone (that game is a lot of fun, by the way) but I’ve already stumbled across another title that’s taking me away from everything else. This game is called Hundreds, and it’s on iOS, brought to us by the makers of Canabalt and Wurdle. The premise of the game is simple: in any given level, you have to use the available circles to reach the number one hundred by expanding them with your fingers. Seems simple right? Maybe not, as there are a few tricks thrown at you along the way. Check out this video of the game, which will hopefully give you some insight into why its so addicting.
Hundreds also has a great ambient soundtrack and the random messages and text errors remind me a lot of the Animus interface from the first Assassin’s Creed. My only gripe about Hundreds is that the iPhone might be too small to play it on, what with your fingers obscuring most of the screen. My advice is to try it on the iPad, which is what I’m doing. Has anyone else played Hundreds? Are you going to check it out?
Yes, I’m doing a post about Angry Birds, but it’s also about Star Wars so deal with it. In the latest addition to the never ending line-up of Angry Birds titles, Angry Birds Star Wars mixes the iOS classic with that galaxy far, far away, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s actually kind of fun.
The basic premise of Angry Birds Star Wars is that you play through some Star Wars themed levels like Tatooine and Hoth, flinging your birds at the Imperial pigs’ emplacements. The twist is that every bird has a Star Wars influenced power, from Obi-Wan’s Force push to Luke’s lightsaber swing. The levels are cleverly crafted to take full advantage of this fact, and swinging your saber to perfectly reflect a stream of blaster bolts back into the Stromtrooper-helmeted pigs and win the level is very satisfying.
There are also space levels where you need to account for the gravity wells projected around asteroids. The gravity effect is different for every bit of space junk, so sometimes you need to send your bird through a loop-de-loop course before you can take out any pigs.
Despite its Angry Birds wrapping (which I don’t mind, I just know people like to hate it because it’s popular), Angry Birds Star Wars is a fresh new take on the formula, and, in a sad twist of fate, the best Star Wars game to be released in 2012. Considering it was up against Kinect Star Wars, that wasn’t too much of a challenge, but if you’ve been temped to try this game out, go for it. Even if you’re burnt out on Angry Birds, it does enough new things to more than justify its price tag.
Has anyone else played Angry Birds Star Wars? What did you think?
We said it was going to be kind of dead around here, and boy, we weren’t kidding. I can’t really speak for the other dudes, but summer is kind of the time where real life takes precedent over other things, so sorry about that. When the weather turns grey and people retreat back into their homes, that’s around when gaming news picks up again.
That said, it’s not like there’s nothing to talk about, as my iOS devices have been getting a fair bit of use recently with some newly discovered games I’ve been playing: Pocket Planes and Hero Academy.
Pocket Planes is made by NimbleBit, who struck it big with their tower management sim game Tiny Tower. Those rascals are back at it, but this time you’re trying to turn a fledgling airline into a global powerhouse. You start off with small planes in one region and eventually expand your operation to be global, gathering bigger and bigger planes and opening new airports. It functions on the same “hurry up and wait” mechanic that Tiny Tower did, where you have to just let the game sit while your planes travel from point to point, but you can use Bux to speed them along their way. It lacks the same inherently addictive quality that Tiny Tower had, but hearing the little “ding” notification whenever one of your planes arrives is a Pavlov’s bell that’s hard to ignore. You have the ability to join a flight crew to earn aircraft parts and Bux, and there’s a minimal amount of jobs you need to complete for each challenge to be elegible for the reward. It’s a great way to get a little boost if you can participate and helps make Pocket Planes feel less isolated than Tiny Tower did.
I am the resident Final Fantasy fanboy here at the GamerSushi offices and while I enjoy the newer, fancier entries in the series, I always look back more fondly on the games from the good old days, when 2D was the standard and people were okay with random battles. Those days seemed like they had gone the way of the dodo, never to return.
But Square Enix, in a rare attempt to please its fans rather than disappoint them in a way that seems to induce terrible fan-fic, has announced Final Fantasy Dimensions, for the iOS and Android. Bringing us back to SNES days, with Active Time Battle and yes, even random battles. Take a look at this small snippet of gameplay:
What do you think? Does the old girl still have her charm? Am I the only that is going to buy this? Comment, dear friends!
While I don’t think mobile gaming is certainly the end-all in terms of a handheld experience, I do have to say how much the right app can really take me back in terms of its creativity and design. To this point, some of my favorite experiences over the last couple of years haven’t come by way of a major console or the PC, but rather, my iPhone. Such is the case with Zombies, Run!, a new iPhone app that combines a running tool, audio adventure and town sim/zombie game all into one really smart package.
The gist of the app is simple: run away from zombies. And yes, I mean run in the literal sense. Zombies, Run! uses your GPS to track your pace/distance, interspersing an audio adventure of a zombie apocalypse in with your music library. The game puts you in the role of Runner 5, who’s trying to get supplies for Abel Township. The audio bits are meant to make you feel like you’re actually on these missions, which is a nice touch. On top of that, it uses your GPS to award you random supplies throughout your run such as bandages, ammo and more. Where this gets interesting is that the app will occasionally throw sudden zombie attacks at you, requiring you to move at a faster pace for one minute to outrun the horde. And once your run is finished, you use the supplies you gathered to level up your town and access new missions.
Even though the app is a bit expensive compared to other things in the iTunes app store (it comes in at $8 bucks), I’d definitely recommend it. The game is going to be organized into seasons, with season 1 coming in at 30 full audio sessions, each one taking about 20-30 minutes to complete. Which is a heck of a lot of entertainment, when you break it down. You can also play the game without listening to the sessions, continuing to collect supplies and such.
Anyway, I think if you love running, zombies, or both, you should check it out. It’s already helped my runs in the last week or so. What do you guys think of this idea? Are there other apps or games that have caught your attention with their creativity recently?
Welcome back to the GamerSushi Show, ladies and gents. Due to some scheduling and life stuff, we’ve gotten a tad behind on releases, so this episode was recorded a few weeks back – on Anthony’s birthday, no less. Because of that, Mr. Taylor skipped out to go celebrate getting a year closer to death, while the rest of us drank things and talked about video games.
The main topics we discussed were the Mass Effect 3 demo, fixing the Zelda franchise and great endings. Beyond that, we play a game of Buy/Sell about topics like Team Ninja, Apple gaming and more – all of which result in my inevitable and recurring victory, as always.
Thanks to Jeff’s sorcerous, seductive words, I picked up Puzzlejuice on the iTunes app store and have been playing the junk out of it for the past hour and a bit. It’s a combination of Tetris and a crossword puzzle paired together with great minimalist graphics. If you don’t think that sounds amazing, you can pack your bags and get the heck off my Internet.
To play Puzzlejuice you drag and orient blocks (a la Tetris) and when you get a certain amount of similar colored blocks together, you can tap on them and they transform into a random selection of letters which you have to scour for words (a la a crossword). The challenge is that you’re looking for these words while blocks fall from the sky and if they pile up too high, you lose. There are also a certain goals you have to meet, and words need to be above three letters (none of this “an” nonsense).
Puzzlejuice is the perfect iPhone game because it seems almost tailor made to be on the phone. It doesn’t try to shoe-horn in too much in the way of clumsy UI stuff and you can hop in for a quick round in one of its many modes, some with clever names like “European Extreme Mode”. It’s also very charming and has many winks towards nerd culture like naming the quit button “Rage Quit”.
There’s more iPhone gaming around here than usual, but with Infinity Blade II and Tiny Tower also dominating my time, and the fact that I got 100% of the achievements in Sonic Generations, I’m on my phone quite often. Has anyone else tried Puzzlejuice and if so what do you think of it? Are you tempted to give it a go?
I don’t know why Jeff gets the rap around here as the iOS game guy, I’m just as guilty as putting as much time into my iPhone as my PC or consoles. Maybe it’s because I play more than two or three of the major triple A titles every year, but I digress.
Recently I’ve become addicted to a game called Tiny Tower made by NimbleBit. It’s actually been out for quite a while but I didn’t check it out until recently. This is one of the benefits of iPhone gaming, in my opinion, there’s not really a rush to get to the newest titles quickly (there are exceptions like Sword and Sworcery and Infinity Blade). Mechanically the game is very similar to Game Dev Story, but instead of running a studio, you build and maintain an apartment/shopping center and stock it with stores for your little “bitizens” to work in. There’s actually very little game here after the opening few hours; aside from a bit of re-stocking every now and then and building new floors, the game is hands-off for most of the time.
So why am I so addicted to it? Part of it is that the game taps into the aspect of my personality that really loves sim titles. Even if Tiny Tower requires very little attention from me, I still like the feeling of running something and micro-managing different aspects of it if I can. Even though the stores you get are random (and fall into different categories like retail, service and food, to name a few) you still need to staff them with bitizens who are good at those types of job, and try to get them into their dream jobs if you can. Another reason I really like Tiny Tower is because the game works on a similar concept to the Achievement noise, as the it will constantly chime at you when it needs to be re-stocked or when something else happens. It’s the definition of Pavlov’s Bell, and I hate it and love it for that. It’s the perfect game to have on your phone because it requires little attention and even when you have it open it only has you doing menial tasks like moving the elevator between floors.
So much of my time is spent glued to my phone because of this game, even though I spend very little of that time actually doing something. Have you guys tried Tiny Tower? Is there a game that you’re addicted to for a stupid reason? Go!
SPIKE TV’s annual half-celebration half-”see I told you this is what them video games is like” Video Game Awards show airs tomorrow and in-between all of the trailers for upcoming games there’s a chance for developers and individual games to walk away with trophies.
2011 has been an exceptional year for games and the VGAs are chock full of titles that I’d be hard pressed to choose over one another. Some are obvious winners for me (like picking Battlefield 3 as the best multiplayer game over Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3), but a few I had a hard time deciding on. Do I really like Skyrim better than Batman? That may seem like an obvious choice at first, but then I start thinking about it and maybe I break out into sweat. Who’s to say?
Look at that, two weeks in a row. My, we are on something of a streak. In fact, you might even say that we are streaking. Just throwing that out there.
In this edition of the podcast, Jeff and Anthony acted like divas and stormed off the set, leaving myself, Nick and Mitch to discuss things all by our lonesome. We basically used this time to talk about all the things we can’t normally talk about with those two bozos around, which really means we spend a good chunk of time talking about StarCraft 2. It gets… fairly in depth at a couple of points, so hopefully you like that kind of thing. I know I do.
We also took the three-man opportunity to play a game we’ve never been able to play before on the podcast – a real-time edition of GameCop Versus LameCop, with each of us swapping roles as we see fit. I think the results are particularly entertaining, and hopefully you do, too. You will either love it or turn the podcast off and throw it from your window.
As I said in the podcast post, you should notice that there is more going on around here than there has been in the last few weeks. We were taking a break because of the post-E3 news drought, and because we just wanted to chill a bit. It’s funny, because for some reason, I took a break from gaming in general, save for the daily StarCraft 2 ladder match.
So, now that the gaming season is kicking back into high gear, I’ve been trying my hand at a few games lately. For one, I picked up Bastion, and have played just a bit of that lately. I’m really enjoying the presentation, and it helps that the gameplay is solid, too. On top of that, I’ve been knocking out some Civilization V, which I’m enjoying as well.
But for me, though, the crown jewel of my gaming life the last two days has been Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions on iPhone. For those unaware, this is the PSP remastered version of Final Fantasy Tactics, one of my favorite games of all time. The idea that it’s in my pocket whenever I want to play it is kind of incredible, and already I’m sucked right back into it. Seriously, if you have never played this and have an iPhone, get it.
We’ve taken a bit of time away from the podcast (and if you’ve noticed, the site in general) to recharge our batteries a bit before heading into the fall. The thing about video game news is that like anything else, it works in seasons of dry spells and deluges, and the month of July is a drought of anything worth talking about on the whole. This is mostly due to E3, since the games industry seems to save all its mojo for one special week, and then deals with the announcements for another couple of weeks after. And then the dread silence.
So, we decided that for the podcast, August through E3 will now be a “season” of the show. Which technically makes this season 2, I guess. Welcome! We’ve got a game of over/under for the first few games of the fall, some talk about Bastion, as well as some silliness about the Nintendo 3DS price drop.
Anyway, you’ll see more posts in general around these parts, including the continuation of the weekly podcast. I for one am ready for the Fall of epic gaming to be upon us. Here are the topics for this week’s prodigal podcast:
We’re back this week with Episode 24 of the podcast, which takes place entirely in real time. Sort of. We actually had a lot of technical difficulties with this one, but I think Nick did a great job of lessening the horrors that we faced.
Technical gremlins aside, this week we participate in the same tomfoolery that you’ve experienced from us every week, only this time we talk about Quantic Dream versus Rockstar, Square Enix’s fall into irrelevance, the most annoying fanboys in the world and Mass Effect 2′s Arrival DLC. After that, Nick drops a new game of Either/Or on us, and we hit up the PS3′s sales, Nintendo versus Angry Birds and the new trailers we got last week.
So, there you have it. Check it out. Rate it. Enjoy.
The video games industry is starting to remind me of the East Coast/West Coast hip hop wars of the 90s. First, Nintendo said that smartphone gaming was destroying the value of video games. Then they crapped all over “garage developers”. Now, the Angry Birds are firing back at the Big N for their arrogance.
“Of course, if I was trying to sell a $49 pieces of plastic to people then yes, I’d be worried too. But I think it’s a good sign that people are concerned – because from my point of view we’re doing something right.”
He goes on to say that the consoles aren’t the fastest growing market anymore and that “real” games can be made on smartphones, as well as consoles.
Now, I have no interest in smartphone gaming one iota and I personally think Angry Birds is an overrated game, back when I played something similar to it years ago, but I agree (to a point) with Vesterbacka. There is enough room for everyone in this industry, but it appears he is doing the same thing Nintendo is.
Nintendo is writing off smartphone gaming because they view it as a threat. Vesterbacka is doing the same thing with consoles because they aren’t the hot new thing out there anymore. Both can coexist in the same market, though. And Vesterbacka shouldn’t worry: Nintendo is pretty good at selling pieces of plastic.
What say you, GamerSushi nation? Is Nintendo right or are the Birds’ anger justified?
Now that I’m finished with Dragon Age 2, there seems to be a bit of a brief lull between Bioware’s not-quite-as-epic fantasy RPG and the sequel to Valve’s runaway hit, Portal 2, which releases on April 18th. As such, I now have some time to chip away at the always growing pile-o-games that awaits me at each and every turn.
The games I’m currently playing: Final Fantasy VI, Beyond Good and Evil HD, Infinity Blade and Demon’s Souls. I also plan on starting Torchlight on XBLA as well as Back to the Future on PC. I might even throw a bit of Lost Odyssey in there for good measure. The game I’m most curious about is Demon’s Souls, the uber challenging PS3 exclusive that I keep hearing horror stories about from Anthony. So far, it seems pretty interested, but I’m admittedly not very far into it.
So what about you guys? What are you playing at the moment? Has anyone else out there completed Dragon Age 2? Thoughts? Any Demon’s Souls advice for me? Go!
The funny thing about the banner image on the front page is that we thought about Photoshopping our faces on the characters of The Hangover, but then realized we could leave Nick’s the same. Think about it.
So how do we all hold up after a couple of weeks to reflect and regret our actions in the last podcast? Pretty good, actually. Episode 22 of the podcast is all about Dragon Age 2, Infinity Blade, Radiant Historia and other gaming goodness. Apparently we were focused on RPG’s when we did this. “Nice.”
After those initial topics, Nick drops a game of fill in the blank on us. As always, my exceptional vocabulary and clever word play propelled me ahead of my opponents and secured my victory. So be ready for that.
Alright, victory celebrations aside, here’s the podcast. Listen. Rate. Enjoy.
The original title for this article was “When Are You Addicted to a Game”, but then I would have admitted publicly that I’m a sucker jonesing for a gaming fix. At any rate, I was thinking about this subject today as Eddy passed around an email thread where he detailed his current problem with Infinity Blade: namely, does he buy the titular sword or purchase less powerful weapons to get some experience points for the immediate future. He’s also completed about twenty bloodlines in the game, meaning that he’s well and truly in the throws of an Infinity Blade obsession.
That’s not to say that I’m immune though. While I did have a lengthy infatuation with Infinity Blade, I’m currently eyeballs-deep in another Dragon Age 2 playthrough, this time as a female Rogue. I’m determined to see everything I didn’t find last time, so I’m searching ever nook and cranny and even taking advantage of the leveling glitch to make my progress a bit smoother. BioWare games do this a lot to me, where I’ll play for a little while then get hooked into the experience. Knights of the Old Republic and both Mass Effects have done this to me, and now Dragon Age 2 has as well. Something about their games are just irrestiable.
What about you guys? Have you had a similar experience with a game? Do you know when you’re enthralled with a game, when every waking moment is consumed with thoughts about it?