Assassin’s Creed II DLC Trailer Stabs Some Dudes

I bring good news for my fellow Assassin’s Creed II fans as it appears that the second bit of downloadable content is going to be dropping tomorrow. Sure, it is on short notice, but I can’t complain about the prospect of playing some more Assassin’s Creed. This is the last of the announced digital extras for AC2, and, while I haven’t tried out the first bit of DLC (Battle for Forli), I’m looking forward to picking both of them up tomorrow and giving them a go. Check out the trailer for the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC:

It’s available on both X-Box LIVE and the PlayStation Network and will be included in the PC release of Assassin’s Creed II in March. Who else is downloading this, and did you play the first DLC? If so, what did you think?

Leaked Off-Screen Footage of Sonic 4 Revels in Nostalgia

Man, people holding preview events behind closed doors need to implement tighter security, because the guy with the camera built into his hat keeps getting through. In the grand tradition of alpha gameplay getting leaked, I now present some off-screen footage of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1.

So, despite the shakiness, I think it gives us a good indication of where Sonic 4 is headed and that is the series’ salad days of 1994, specifically. I’m still not a fan of his running animation, but if things keep moving in this direction, I’ll pick it up for sure. How about you guys?

God of War III Trailer Tries Too Hard

OK, another gaming confession here: I’ve never played a God of War game. Honestly, I’ve just never seen the appeal, but I have heard that the series is supposed to be pretty good. The next game in the franchise is set to hit in about a month, and the world premier of the associated trailer just dropped on GTTV. Check it out:

One thing that this trailer really accentuates is the massive scale that Santa Monica Studios is trying to achieve. I mean, you fight a giant horse-spider on top of a living mountain. It definitely looks really good, but I get the sense that the marketing team is trying to over-emphasize the God of War series’ reputation for being over the top and brutal. What do you guys think? Are you going to be buying, renting, or passing altogether?

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Trailer Begins the Sonic Cycle

Back in September I posted a teaser video for Sega’s next Sonic game, tentatively titled “Project Needlemouse”. Now, after a few months of waiting, Sega has finally dropped an actual trailer for the game that unintentionally reminds us how long it’s been since we’ve had a true Sonic title. The trailer is a progression of Sonic’s sprites from 1992 to 1994 and then it jumps to 2010 and shows off the new 3D Sonic. Right then and there, becomes clear just how much Sega is betting on nostalgia to sell this game. Take a look at the trailer and never forget.

All bitterness aside, who’s thinking about getting this game? I mean, it is a return to form for the blue bomber, and the split second you see of the game is enough to make the ten-year old me leap for joy. To be fair, a lot of things do that because I have maturity issues. Anyways, sound off! Who’s getting this, and for PSN or 360? And did you notice the little room for an icon with a lock on it? What could that be?

Rumor: Final Fantasy XIV Coming to the XBox 360?

Final Fantasy 14We’ve known for quite some time that Final Fantasy XIII was going to be gracing Microsoft’s gaming console with its JRPG presence in 2010. In fact, just recently we’ve found out how many stinking discs the game is going to occupy when it finally releases for the 360. That’s three discs for those of you keeping score at home. Yes, more than Mass Effect 2. Gasp! Outrage!

Anyway, while we’ve known what the deal was going to be with Final Fantasy XIII, speculation still swirled around the next title in the long-standing series from Square-Enix. Final Fantasy XIV was a big announcement unleashed by Sony at E3 2009, along with the apparent promise of exclusivity. However, a recent LinkedIn profile from a Square-Enix employee suggests that the in-production MMO is going to see a simultaneous release of sorts on the XBox 360 as well. No, that has not been announced, but last year the RPG maker’s executives hinted that talks just might be in the works. While this seems like a genuine confirmation that the speculation is true, it could just be an honest mistake from an employee.

Honestly, this isn’t altogether too surprising, seeing as how many Japanese developers are doing everything they can to garner more of a Western audience, which means opening up to the XBox 360’s predominantly Western core. So what do you guys think about this? Excited? Reserved? Indifferent?

Source- 1UP and Siliconera

GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2009

Well, we’re a bit late on this, but that’s because we were waiting to make sure we had all sampled enough of these games to confidently vote on what we felt were the best 10 games of 2009. This kind of list needs next to no introduction, but suffice it to say that 2009 was one incredible year for our hobby. What once seemed barren and unimpressive became, honestly, one of the best years I can remember, and probably was the best year for the whole generation to date in a lot of ways. We saw new IPs, old ones re-vamped, and got some of the same awesomeness from franchises we already loved.

For the list, we put this together by having the GS staff (myself, Nick, Jeff, Anthony and Mitch) vote on our top 10 games, and then associated a point system with each to determine which games came out on top. So, without further ado, scroll down for the GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2009!


GamerSushi Top 10
Continue reading GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2009

AvP Trailer Proves That Survival is the New Deathmatch

I’m sure that most of us played Goldeneye 007 for the N64 back in our heyday and the majority of that time was spent slotting our friends in the Deathmatch mode. In almost every subsequent game, developers have tried to shoe-horn in a competitive match whether the title needed it or not, mostly based on the popularity of 007’s multiplayer. With the success of games like Left 4 Dead and Gears of War’s Horde Mode, it seems that four-player co-op survival against overwhelming odds is the new mode du jour. The thing is, with the Aliens versus Predator setting, it really, really works. Huddling in a corner with three buddies while the motion tracker makes its incessant beeping showing the xenomorph hordes getting closer and closer…should make for some entertaining games, to say the least. Take a look:

Most of us are still the in throes of Mass Effect 2 addiction, but who thinks that this game might derail them from that most epic of sci-fi RPGs? I think this and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are strong contenders in that regard. Tell us your thoughts!

GamerSushi Asks: Achievements Hurting The Experience?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m an achievement whore. I get the biggest kick out of earning new rewards, trophies, unlockables, points, you name it. I’m not really sure what bone in my brown body makes me this way, but some primal and awful thing is triggered in my core when I see that “achievement unlocked” bumper accompanied with that sweet melodious noise. While I’m not as into trophies on the PS3, the principle is the same and I love accomplishing these goals.

However, lately I’ve been noticing the way developers are handling the doling out of these rewards, and it’s been a curious study. While early games of this generation were heavy on rewarding players with achievements based on a certain kind of behavior (be it in a solo or multiplayer setting), I’m noticing a new trend. Take Mass Effect 2, for example. The first game rewarded players for reaching certain good/evil (paragon and renegade, to be more precise) levels, while the sequel does not. Honestly, I’m finding that this makes for a better experience the second time around, as I’m not feeling like I have to always lean in one direction to be sure I don’t miss out on the achievement.

Likewise, multiplayer games are dropping the focus on weapon-based achievements (with the occasional ludicrous exception), and are leaning more towards gameplay and gametype exploits. I think one of the worst offenders of this early on was Gears of War, which offered achievements based on what weapons you killed with. This lead to irritating matches with people doing nothing but using one kind of weapon like the torque bow or the pistol, and lead to lots of grumbling when players couldn’t find the weapon they wanted. This is different than say, Left 4 Dead 2’s achievements which rewards playing as a team (spitting on somebody that is being smoked, etc).

So what about you guys? Do you find that this kind of design lends itself to better gameplay styles? Do you even care? Or am I just that much of an achievement nut?

Fake Dragon Age DLC Trailer is Hilarious

One thing that makes PC gaming great: the ability to infuse new life into a gaming via the modding community. In what I hope to be the first of many Dragon Age: Origins releases, a new DLC trailer is available that showcases some hilarious tweaks made to the game and how it’s played.

Not only is this a look into what is available to modders, it also showcases some of the machinima tools available to users. I really can’t wait to see more of what people come up with. I’d have to say my favorite portion is the Morrigan slapping, as well as mastering “the taint”. Do watch this. Now.


Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition: Jill Valentine Trailer

You all know of my great devotion to Resident Evil 5 as one of the best games of 2009. It’s seriously one of the only titles this generation that has made me want to play it over and over, even after beating it multiple times.

That’s why I’m pumped about the release of RE5 gold edition, with extra chapters that will also be available via DLC. Both the gold edition and DLC chapters come out on March 9th. There’s a new trailer out that kind of rules. Will anybody else pick up either of these?

Review: Army of Two: The 40th Day

There was something fun at a very base level about the original Army of Two, and I’m not just talking about the whole “frat boys killing for cash” milieu it presented. While the game’s setting and characters managed to offend a whole bunch of people, it was still enjoyable to sit down with a friend and fist-bump your way through the game’s summer popcorn flick story line. Add in a fairly in-depth if somewhat excessive (gold plated guns?) armament-upgrade system and you had a decent co-op shooter that got lost in 2008 thanks to poor critical reception and negative word of mouth.

Now, nearly two years later, EA Montreal once again attempts to thrust us into the brahsome world of international guns for hire Elliot Salem and Tyson Rios as they fight their way out of a man-made disaster in Shanghai, China. Why you’re in Shanghai isn’t exactly clear, but there are plenty of greenbacks to be made and our men are all over it. Continue reading Review: Army of Two: The 40th Day

What Happens in the New Just Cause 2 Trailer? It’s Up to You

One of the most alluring aspects of Eidos and Square Enix’s London Studio’s upcoming Just Cause 2 is that it allows you to carry out your missions in any manner you see fit. Do you execute an air strike or sneak in all ninja-like? The choice is totally yours as emphasized by this new branching video. Take a look and get ready for the most interactive trailer you’ve seen so far.

How do you guys feel about this game? It is launching at the tail end of a very packed Q1, but there’s definitely going to be room on my shelf for this game. How about you?

NPD Numbers for December 2009 Offer Strange Stories

Mario NPDEvery month, it’s a big deal when the NPD group numbers are released. It allows industry bigwigs and fanboys alike to flex a little, flashing their bling-peens off to anybody who is willing to listen or give a damn. Obviously, the most interesting month of them all happens to be December, which usually shows what the deal was for the holiday season, gaming’s biggest cash haul. So what did this year’s December numbers tell us?

A few interesting things:

  • People love Mario. The Italian plumber’s new adventure easily outsold Modern Warfare 2 when stacked against individual PS3 and XBox 360 console sales, and nearly outdid the two combined. 2.8 million copies of Mario were sold last month. In fact, 7 of the top 10 software sales were Nintendo titles. Yikes.
  • Modern Warfare 2 is still top dog. The game didn’t do as well as Mario in December, but for the year has made about $1 billion big ones. That is insane.
  • PS3 exclusives haven’t yet found that killer sales title. The PS3’s biggest sellers this holiday season and on its platform as a whole are 3rd party titles such as Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin’s Creed 2 over games like Uncharted 2 and Demon’s Soul. Uncharted 2 has just barely broken 1 million copies sold (whereas the other 2 have done over 2 million each on the PS3), which I find interesting. Metal Gear Solid 4 has already been outsold by Halo 3: ODST. This isn’t an indictment on the system or its games at all, but on its install base: why in the world aren’t more of them buying these exclusives?
  • PS3 is climbing the ranks. Despite weaker first party sales, the PS3 had a great holiday season, seeing MS move into 3rd place for the time period. It’s about time, Sony. Let’s keep it going strong.

So, that’s the story of the December NPD numbers. What do you guys think about those? Anything particularly surprising that stands out?

Source- VG247

New Transformers: War For Cybertron Trailer Gets My Hopes Up

I initially fought the urge to post this trailer without thinking, but a viewing of this wonderful piece of gaming hype has affirmed that I should never doubt my gut feelings. While the video is pre-rendered, it does give some indication that the final product will feature Gears of War-style cover mechanics and it has Peter Cullen voicing Optimus Prime, so what else do you want? I defy you to watch this trailer and not get excited about the game. Is the era of good licensed titles finally upon us? While we’ll have to wait until June 22 to find out, all signs are pointing to yes.


Final Fantasy XIII International Trailer is a Music Video

There’s not really any other way to say it. The new Final Fantasy XIII International trailer is a music video, set to some pretty cheesy music, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome in my mind.

The new video showcases tons of footage, some seen and some new, of cut scenes, battles and general action that really make me want this game something awful. The official release is on March 9, 2010, and it can’t come soon enough as far as my money’s concerned.

Who else is picking this game up?

Today’s WTF: Naughty Bear Trailer

Being an avid gamer, I’ve seen lots of trailers. Some of these trailers are good and really get me excited about a game. Some of them don’t do so great a job at showcasing what the game is about and hence don’t grab my attention. Then there’s trailers like the new Naughty Bear trailer, from Artificial Mind and Movement.

I’m not really sure what to say about this one, so I’ll just let you watch it. But count me interested in what comes next, that’s for sure.

GamerSushi Review: Demon’s Souls

I want those souls.

This thought runs through my head over and over as I eat my dinner, barely focusing on the food before me. My thoughts are filled with the bloodstain chock-full of souls I left splattered in the middle of the Boletarian Castle, surrounded by demon warriors just waiting for me return for them.

I need those souls back.

Demon’s Souls is the new action-RPG from Atlus and it is not for the faint of heart. If Halo ever frustrated you with the Library, then you are not ready for Demon’s Souls. This game makes the Library look like World 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. The concept of the game is that you are a warrior who decides to try to lift the darkness from the world by defeating the evil demon lords who rule it. Or something like that. The story, though well-written and voice-acted, is barely there. It’s simply an excuse to throw you into hell and watch you claw your way out.

The game is played in a 3rd-person perspective and at the start you create a character and choose one of several classes to start with, but fear not: you are not constricted in anyway by what class you choose. You can start off as a mage and never learn another magic spell if you desire and become a powerful melee warrior. The choice is up to you. The classes merely determine how your initial stat points are distributed. It’s up to you how you want to distribute them, one point at a time.

Which leads to how you improve your character. Now, let me preface this by saying that you don’t have to level up a single time. You can literally play the entire game with the stats you start with, from start to finish, and defeat the final boss as such. God help whoever does that, because I expect you will be doing about 1 HP of damage to said boss per attack, so I hope you don’t have to go to the bathroom because you can’t pause Demon’s Souls. Ever. At all. Just warning you..

Now, when you defeat an enemy you gain souls. Some enemies give you as little as 8 souls, some as much as 2000. It just varies on the strength of the foe you have vanquished. Souls are used as both experience and currency. Want to level up your character’s HP? Get some souls. Want to buy a better sword or upgrade it? Get some souls. Need arrows or healing items? (And you will) Get some souls. Magic spell in the shop caught your eye? You guessed it…souls. The fun part is that the amount you need to raise your attributes increases every time you do so don’t expect to grind your stats and simply overpower the game because you will likely go insane first.

When the game starts, you find yourself in a brief tutorial area, which ends with you getting pwned by a giant boss. Your souls goes to the Nexus, which is the hub of the game. Here you level up, buy weapons and spells and pick which area you want to go to next. There are 5 worlds, each one having a few sections in them and once you defeat the first area, you are free to explore as you wish. I recommend doing so, as some great items can be found in different areas if you look hard enough. When in soul form, your health is cut in half, although a ring you find near the start brings this up by 25%. As a bonus, you do more damage in soul form, which is fine because you will spend most of the game in soul form. In order to get your body back, you must defeat the area’s boss or use a rare item. Generally, beating the boss is the best option.

When going through a level, in soul or in body form, when you die (Notice I said WHEN, not IF) you will return to the Nexus with all of your equipment and items, but you lose your souls. So if you had about 3000 souls and didn’t return to the Nexus to spend them, they are gone. Unless…you manage to fight your way back to the place you died and touch the bloodstain you left. If you can do so, you get your souls back. If you die on the way, those souls are gone forever. Now, since enemies respawn every time you return to the Nexus, you can always fight more demons, but you run the risk of doing what I did the other night, which is play for an hour and a half only to lose all my souls and have nothing to show for my wasted time. Being overconfident and not focusing on the battle at hand has led to many a lost batch of souls.

So why does such a game, which reeks of repetition, which I revile, appeal to me so much? Namely, thanks to the combat, which is so spot on, that when I die, I know it was MY fault. I mistimed a parry or didn’t watch my stamina bar close enough. There are NO cheap deaths here. The enemies all have distinct patterns and it is a matter if simply being observant and quick. When you see an opening, don’t hesitate or you will regret it. I got more of a rush playing Demon’s Souls than any game since the original God of War. When you slice through katana-wielding lizardmen like a hot knife through butter, you know it was complete skill that won the day for you and that feeling is addictive.

Demon’s Souls also boasts the most unique online system I have ever seen. As you play, you sometimes see blue specters running around. Those are other people playing the game right at that moment, at that spot. You are always connected to the servers, unless you sign out of PSN, but I would not play any other way. There are also messages, short and tweet-like, that players can leave for one another. Some give hints such as, “There is a treasure up ahead” or “The next enemy is weak against fire”. Such messages can be a life-saver, as one instructed me not to bother with a shield, which was sage advice because if I had tried to block the ensuing attack with my shield, I would have died. And if messages are helpful, you can give them a thumbs-up, which heals the person who left the message, wherever they are. This can be a great boon when you are in trouble and suddenly you are notified that someone liked your message and your health fills. It creates a great sense of community, of us against this harsh game world, and it truly adds a layer of awesome to the whole thing.

If you are having trouble and are in body form, you can drop a blue stone and pull someone in the same level who is in soul form into your game and suddenly, Demon’s Souls is a co-op game! Together you can defeat the boss of the area and then the soul form player returns to his game. The soul form player must also drop a similar stone, so don’t worry that you may get pulled out against your will. But there is a more sinister aspect of this: another player can invade your game if in soul form and attempt to kill you! If they do, they get their body back. Imagine the terror of seeing a message that states, “Black Phantom Starkiller81 has invaded your realm!” and knowing that there is another human being walking around your level, waiting for you to be hip-deep in demons before plunging a knife in your back. Talk about survival horror! Dead Space and Resident Evil can’t compete with that kind of tension.

One thing I want to mention that adds to the difficulty is the fact that you can’t manually save the game. Demon’s Souls auto-saves almost constantly, so if you think you are going to simply reload your last save and recover your souls, you got another thing coming.

The graphics and music are also very well done and coupled with the tight controls that never fail you make for a game like no other I have ever played. Except for the extreme difficulty of the game, there is not one bad thing I can say about it. Demon’s Souls is one game that no hardcore player can afford to miss out on. You will curse and gnash your teeth, but you will dive right back in again and again until the last demon is slain. For Christmas this year, I received Demon’s Souls, Dragon Age: Origins, Uncharted 2 and Modern Warfare 2 and I have been playing a little bit of each waiting for one of them to really hook me. It has finally happened because for the last 4 days, I have been on a straight Demon’s Souls bender and there is no end in sight. I can’t recommend this game enough, one of the best of the year.

GamerSushi Score:


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Top Six: Gaming’s Worst Unlocks

We’ve all worked our butt off for something that turned out to so not be worth it in the end. Shoveling the driveway, being nice to your parents, school, these are all things that have no tangible benefit in the long run. Nothing is more notorious for this than video games though. Whether you’re scampering across rooftops or desperately trying to get 100% on a game you don’t really like, gaming unlocks can be the biggest time-sink. Our list of the six worst offenders are below (Oh, and potential spoilers):

#1: Auditore Cape, Assassin’s Creed IIauditorecape

While the first Assassin’s Creed will go down in infamy for the multitude of useless collectible flags scattered across the Holy Land, Assassin’s Creed II deserves this spot for a different reason. The 100 feathers that you can collect along your Renaissance adventure seem like they’re actually leading somewhere, especially when you reach the half-way mark and you get the second best weapon in the game, the Condottiero hammer.

After hours of searching for the damnable leavings of the eagles, you return to your villa and deposit them in the box for the last time to receive…a hug. Then, your mother presents you with the cape and thanks you for not forgetting her. Ding, achievement unlocked, and we have a sweet piece of cloth to show for it. What does the cape do, though? Does it prevent fall damage, or something useful along those lines? No, it does the exact opposite of every other cape you earned for doing nothing. It makes you instantly notorious in every city in the game except for your villa. Thanks, Mom, so glad that all those archer’s families will wonder where their father went because he interfered with my search.
Continue reading Top Six: Gaming’s Worst Unlocks

Final Fantasy 13: The Last Traditional FF Game?

Final Fantasy 13Have you ever tried to tell a non-gamer that you are playing Final Fantasy (insert random number here), only to have them reply with the stupid joke “guess the other ones weren’t so final”? Because that has happened to me more times than I can count, honestly. Well, it looks like that dumb remark might actually find its punchline with Final Fantasy XIII, in a sense.

Square Enix head dude Yoichi Wada said in an interview today that Final Fantasy XIII could mark the end of an era, and that whether or not the franchise will continue its current format “remains to be seen.” Apparently, the team might move on to bigger and better things, including “next generation” play styles to hit a new audience. I’m not entirely certain what that means, but I’ve got a couple of guesses: namely that “a new audience” is not-so-subtle code for “Westerners”, and the new “play styles” they mention could involve motion controls or FPS/action games.

I’m not suggesting an FF FPS, but that Square might move into a genre they think is more suitable to broadening their core buyers. Regardless of what it entails, I do have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I love JRPG’s and their emphasis on grand stories and gorgeous art. On the other hand, the formula is stale (though FF does it best) and might need a shot in the arm.

What do you guys make of this news?

Source- Shacknews

Army of Two Multiplayer Trailer Brings the Co-Op

Army of Two: The 40th Day (or Total Fistbump Destruction, as it is also known) is set to be released on January 12 and fulfill our need for bromantic private miliatry company action. While the original co-op shooter fell a little short of its goal to build a competent “you and a buddy against the world” experience, the sequel seems on track to match up to the promises of the original, something that seems to be a deepening trend in the games industry.

The multiplayer for AoT: TFD has the same flavor to it as several two-man teams of colorfully dressed mercenaries battle it out over various objectives. I’m interested to see how the game makes use of the small teams and how the fire-fights will play out because, more likely than not, you’re going to be facing off against two friends who know how to work together instead of a bunch of random people from matchmaking. I’m definitely giving this game a shot when it comes out, so who’s with me? Is Army of Two on your Q1 purchase list, or are there other games that are getting your money?