The Wii U got some flack, and rightly so, for launching last year without any games. Well, it had Zombie U and some third-party cross-overs, but what I really mean is that it didn’t have a recognizable Nintendo title outside of New Super Mario Bros. U.
Flash forward a year later and the Wii U has a game that is not only a potential system seller but a game of the year contender as well. Super Mario 3D Worlds, a console-sized semi-sequel of the excellent Super Mario 3D Land available on the 3DS, brings four-player co-op to a 3D Mario game.
While a year is a long time to wait for a 3D Mario title, Super Mario 3D Worlds absolutely nails it in every aspect. The game looks gorgeous in a way that New Super Mario Bros. U never managed to, despite also being a high-definition game. From sun-dappled beaches to lava-ensconced castles, Worlds is one gorgeous game. Although the Wii U might be a little behind the Xbox One and PS4 in terms of horsepower, you wouldn’t know it looking at this game. The level design is clever as well, with this game boasting some of the most memorable Mario levels. My personal favorites are a Mario Kart-inspired course or a level that opens up into a huge savannah.
Now that the Xbox One is finally out in the wild, I thought I would ask what all of you GamerSushi peeps will be up to this weekend.
Are you playing a shiny new Xbox One, or are you perhaps gaming with a PlayStation 4? Personally I’ll be checking out Super Mario 3D Worlds and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds this weekend, both of which have been getting sterling reviews.
I also tucked into some Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag last night and I’m already enjoying it much more than AC3. While I can kind of tell that Edward will end up being a character that is ultimately fairly forgettable, the world and the sheer amount of piratey things to do really speaks to me.
Hello, Sushians. I’m writing you guys from the future. Or rather, from the next generation.
Having received my PlayStation 4 last weekend, I’ve been enjoying my fill of it over the last several days. I’ll write something a bit more extensive at some point in the near future, but right off the bat I’ll have to say that I love the machine, and am incredibly impressed with how it does everything promised. It’s quiet, it’s easy, and it just works.
Gushing about the PlayStation 4 aside, however, one of the games I purchased, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has given me some food for thought. While I’m loving this game much more than I did its predecessor, the let-us-not-speak-of-it Assassin’s Creed III, I can’t help but wonder if game tutorials have gotten too ridiculous.
Between gimmicky Wii shovelware, Red Rings of Death and large price points tainted by giant crab battles, this generation started with something akin to a whimper—and that’s being generous. But as the years went on, we were not only treated to one of the longest generations of console gaming, but also the most fruitful. We saw games take great strides in scope and imagination. With dozens of new IPs that hold great promise, some of the most fantastic sequels ever made and new approaches to storytelling, it’s safe to say that gamers are in a better situation now than they were back in 2005, when the Xbox 360 first debuted.
On the even of a new generation, we thought we’d take a look back at this last generation—and perhaps one of the greatest we’ve ever had. Over the course of several weeks, the GamerSushi staff voted on the best experiences of this generation, getting in heated debates, pitting games against each other in vicious battles and nearly ending several friendships. Below are the results.
Thees are our top 20 games of this generation. Enjoy, dudes.
As you may or may not know, I recently bit the bullet and purchased a Legend of Zelda themed Wii U because after Nintendo’s showing at E3 this past year, things are finally looking up for the system. Super Mario 3D Worlds is shaping up to be a must-own title, what with it bringing four-player co-op to the a 3D Mario title. Nintendo is going pretty crazy adding new things to the game and they released a trailer today detailing 10 new things you can see in Super Mario 3D World.
The game drops on November 22 and you can bet I’ll be picking it up. Any fellow Wii U owners looking to get it? Does this gameplay video entice anyone? Let us know!
You know, the one that we’re all going to disappear into while we’re busy playing games. The first harbinger of doom comes in the form of one Grand Theft Auto V, which somehow is only a few days away. I’m not really sure how that happened, but I’m not complaining about it. After that, we’ll have games like Watch Dogs, Batman: Arkham Origins, AC IV, Battlefield 4 and then some.
But before all that, what are you guys playing right now? To prepare myself for battle at the moment, I’ve been diving into Saint’s Row IV, trying to finish it in a mad dash just in time for GTA V. I’m also trying to wrap up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and hope to knock out Call of Juarez: Gunslinger sometime in the near future as well… but my eyes are often bigger than my stomach when it comes to gaming.
So what about you guys? What are you playing while you await the inevitable fall madness? Go!
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.
But the more striking thing is how much the game conveys with no dialogue whatsoever, just gameplay.
The Mario & Luigi series has long been heralded by the gaming world at large. Different from the brother’s other outings, the series is always praised for its humorous writing and interesting use of the established characters.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is the fourth installment of the series and the first on the 3DS. Boasting gorgeous artwork, a new location and the ability to explore Luigi’s dreams, will Dream Team keep you up all night playing or will it make you fall asleep?
Indie game maker, head of Polytron and creator of the charming platformer Fez Phil Fish is known around the Internets as kind of a hot head, and there’s no better way to get juicy quotes out of these kinds of folks than poking them with a proverbial stick.
Unfortunately for gamers, this latest attempt at provoking Phil Fish backfired, leading to the abrupt cancellation of Fez 2. Marcus Beer, also known as “Annoyed Gamer”, during a section of Game Trailer’s Invisible Walls went on a rant about Phil Fish and fellow indie game developer Johnathan Blow, calling them several rude things and basically trashing their reputation as independent developers. This resulted in Beer and Fish having a nasty back and forth on Twitter with the end result of Fish announcing the sudden cancellation of Fez 2 and his departure from the games industry.
Video game timelines are funny things. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the annual release titles — the familiars of our hobby, such as Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Mario and the like — and on the other side of the spectrum you have the folks that release games when they’re good and ready — the Valves and Square Enixes of the world. Today’s post concerns the first group.
With the recent quality dip of franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, the underwhelming “next gen” (but still the same old) gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts and the staleness of other titles like Mario or Madden, it seems like there are quite a few annual releases in need of a good old fashioned sabbatical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these franchises. Far from it. I just think that perhaps an extended break might give developers a chance to come back to the table with fresh eyes and maybe a few gameplay or art tweaks that might reinvigorate things again.
Take Madden, for instance. I’m a dude that loves watching just about any random NFL game I can find on TV, but you almost couldn’t pay me to play a Madden game. Here’s the game of football — a rough-hitting, edge-of-your-seat, strategy-on-the-fly sport played by athletic gods — and EA manages to make a game that feels boring. Contrast that with something as historic as Mario or Zelda, two imaginative franchises that don’t quite excite the way they used to (unless they go retro or reboot one of the older, better games in some way), and it starts to feel like maybe it’s time for these guys to rest just a little while.
So without further ado, here’s today’s Pixel Count. Get your votes on and tell us what you think in the comments! It doesn’t even have to be a yearly release — just a franchise that you think might benefit with some rethinking.
I’m not entirely sure how to feel about Sonic the Hedgehog anymore. While SEGA has made some decent efforts in the past to revitalize their old mascot’s image, for every step they take forward it seems like they take two back. Sonic Colors was good, but it was only on the Wii, so a lot of people didn’t play it. Sonic Generations was, by and large, a really fun Sonic game, but every couple of levels the developers seemed to forget what kind of Sonic game they were making and shoved in some clumsy platforming sections. That said, the new Wii U and 3DS exclusive Sonic game Lost Worlds looks like Sonic Team has been bitten by the Mario Galaxy bug, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Watch the trailer below!
Besides the Galaxy influence, I’m detecting some Sonic Extreme in there as well, which is good news for people who waited for that game back in the mid ’90s only to have it cancelled. So what do you guys think of Sonic: Lost World? Are you on board?
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!
It’s the last day of April and with it comes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which is the likely winner of this month’s poll. Before that, let’s look at last’s month poll real fast to see who won: Injustice! The DC Comic fighting game won the hearts and minds of our readers in a somewhat anemic month. Did anyone play Injustice? I tried the demo and found it to be about what I expected, which is a lot like the last Mortal Kombat. Not like that is a bad thing, but I already got my fill of that a few years back.
Fun or Shun is making a surprise comeback! In this feature, GamerSushi editors take a look at an upcoming game and give their thoughts on whether or not it will be worth your time to play. We’ve also done this with Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This time, we’re giving Naughty Dog’s upcoming survival action adventure The Last of Us a litmus test.
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.
Hey look, a post that’s not about Bioshock Infinite… for now. I actually finished Ken Levine’s masterpiece (and yes, that word is appropriate for Infinite) this weekend, and the game certainly lives up to the hype in terms of what a sheer breathtaking experience it is — even if it’s sometimes lacking in the gameplay department.
One thing that I found disappointing about the game, for all its wonders, was the fact that the game was almost completely on rails. Mighty fine rails, mind you, but still, I’m the kind of guy that likes a hub, or a home base of sorts, where I’m free to weigh my options and pursue them at my leisure.
One of the next big releases on the gaming calendar happens to be the release of The Last of Us in May. Developed by Naughty Dog, this game is set to be a new IP for the PlayStation 3, just in time for the end of this console cycle.
The release of the newest Red Band trailer for The Last of Us shows off even more of the story and the world than ever before. In this trailer we see more than just Joel and Ellie, we see communities, other survivors, some of the infected and different locales as well. Early trailers just showed off bits of the overgrown city, so it’s cool to see that the game opens up in a bigger way, with what looks to be a crosscountry trip of sorts.
What do you guys think of the new trailer? While I’m not completely sold on the actual game yet, I do have to say that Naughty Dog’s storytelling abilities are almost unmatched in the industry at the moment, so I’m excited to see what kind of journey they have in store for us. Some of the thematic stuff looks like what the Walking Dead show tries to tackle but constantly fails. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
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!
Tomb Raider’s 2013 reboot from Crystal Dynamics comes with a lot of expectations up front. Lara Croft and Tomb Raider have been a huge part of gaming and pop culture since the first game was released in 1996. The original series spans a total of nine(!) games including the Anniversary remake, all of which stick to a fairly standard formula: rich, buxom Croft runs around underdressed in ancient tombs, shooting things and solving puzzles.
That formula combined with total media saturation in the late 90s and early ‘aughts meant that Tomb Raider slowly but surely slid into the realm of disappointing sales and irrelevance. If any game franchise was due for a complete overhaul, Tomb Raider is it. Gritty reboots are fashionable these days, but does that mean you should give Tomb Raider the time of day?
Today at Penny Arcade Report, Ben Kuchera interviews Rhianna Pratchett, writer of the Tomb Raider reboot (and daughter of British national treasure Terry Pratchett). In the first part of the interview, they discuss the controversy surrounding the game’s PR blunders as well as Pratchett’s personal history with the Tomb Raider franchise and her approach to rebooting the game.
I especially liked her response to a question about how the reveal that she was the head writer affected perception of the game’s content:
It’s not fine because I’m a woman. It’s fine because we approached it with the right creative sentiments. It was an honest scene for those characters and that moment. It wasn’t done for titillation. It wasn’t prolonged. It was uncomfortable because it should be uncomfortable.
I played through the first two hours of Tomb Raider last night, including the controversial moment that caused so much furor, and I can attest to the fact that in context the scene isn’t at all played for titillation. The game is definitely intense and occasionally brutal – the first time Lara died, I cringed – but it’s all done in service to some of the best game writing and pacing I’ve experienced in a very long time. My heart was pounding for most of those first two hours, and it wasn’t because I was trying to “protect a woman”.
How about you? Did anyone else pick up Tomb Raider? Have you played through the controversial part of the game?