GamerSushi Power Rankings: October 2013

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A new challenger arrives!

Several new challengers, actually. Now that the fall is rolling out like AutoBots, it’s safe to say that our Power Rankings chart is going to undergo quite a few transformations of its own, month-to-month. See what I did there? References!

This month sees several new contenders making a debut on the rankings, from mobile games to indie titles and to arguably the biggest blockbuster of the entire year in Grand Theft Auto V. Yes, this venture into Los Santos and San Andreas has stolen our hearts, making us forget all of the abuse that Rockstar dished out in Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re fickle beasts.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 games we’ve been playing over the last month. What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing? Go! Continue reading GamerSushi Power Rankings: October 2013

Pixel Count: Free EA Game?

Well, now that EA has finally revealed the more-meager-than-most-would-like-list of games that are available as a free download to compensate for any hardships caused by the unmitigated disaster that is Simcity, it’s time to find out from our dear readers what game they are going to choose! I know some people were expecting more from this, such as perhaps choosing any EA game on origin, but come on: it’s EA. We’re lucky they haven’t convinced our banks to double-charge us for Simcity. The list is below:

What Free Origin Game Would You Choose?

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Continue reading Pixel Count: Free EA Game?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 59: Rude Cast

gamersushi show ep 59

The GamerSushi Show is back for your listening pleasure two weeks in a row! Crazy, right? Unfortunately neither myself or Nick could make the cast this week, but that doesn’t mean that Eddy, Anthony and Jeff didn’t have enough to talk about on their own.

After going over a couple of 2012’s late entries, the guys talk about the upcoming games of 2013 and whether or not we’ll actually see the next gen this year (signs point to yes). There’s much more nerdery in the podcast proper, so what are you waiting for? Listen, rate, comment. You know the drill.

0:00 – 2:06 Intro
2:07 – 10:28 Hotline Miami
10:29 – 16:10 GamerSushi Schedule
16:17 – 21:46 Far Cry 3
21:47 – 27:55 GS Staff Personal Top 10 of 2012
27:56 – 31:50 Ni No Kuni
31:51 – 36:26 2013 and the Next Gen
36:27 – 48:58 The Games of 2013, January to May
48:59 – 52:21 Outro

Hundreds is the New Battery-Drainer for iOS

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?

After Aperture: Chell’s Life Beyond Portal 2

And here we go, more good stuff out of Source Filmmaker. Created by my bud Zachariah Scott, After Aperture is just what it sounds like, a short piece about Chell after she escapes the infamous lab that specializes in portal science.

The description of the video on YouTube notes a few limitations encountered during its making. For one, Chell’s model doesn’t have a ton of facial animation possibilities, seeing as how the player is never meant to see her directly. So that certainly presents a challenge in terms of shot selection. Despite that, it’s definitely a nice piece, although it is just a bit of a preamble to another project that Zachariah is working on, one that I think will outclass it by far. Enjoy!

Thoughts? Got any other awesome stuff you guys have seen in SFM yet? Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 34: To Be Fair

A new challenger arrives: Episode 34 of the podcast, in which we repeat the phrase, “To Be Fair” quite a bit, even though we are usually anything but fair in these raucous casts which we pod. Also, sorry for Anthony’s robot voice. These things happen over the tubes.

As per usual, we bounce around along various topics, including but not quite limited to Team Bondi, Valve, GameFly’s PC rentals and a throwback to Metroid Prime. After that, we launch into a game of Fill in the Blank, where we vocabitate about next gen consoles, The Old Republic’s expected sales numbers and Bethesda claiming the word Scrolls.

We recorded this guy the day before Counter-Strike: GO was announced, so sadly there’s none of that on there. But next week! Oh, next week there will be counters struck, you guys.

So, listen to it. Give it mad ratings. <3. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 34: To Be Fair

Portal 2 is a Veritable Gold Mine of Crazy Easter Eggs

portal 2 easter eggs

I’m going to forgo my traditional jokes about Portal 2 and instead go right into the meat of this thing because it’s just too damn cool. We all know that Valve are a tricksy bunch, so the fact that Portal 2 has some crazy Easter Eggs shouldn’t surprise you; what should surprise you is how nuanced and intricate all of these are. Games Radar put together a list of 30 Portal 2 Easter Eggs that you may or may not have known about. It should be fairly obvious, but there are spoilers abound in this list.

Some of these secrets I already knew about thanks to the game’s achievements, but a few were new to me, and they’re really indicative of how much Valve wants to reward the diligent player. It’s true that you can play the game and enjoy it without searching for Rat Man’s dens or finding a secret berth, but all of these things really add a nice layer of complexity to what many people probably brushed off as a “puzzle game”.

While most of the fun with Easter Eggs is finding them yourself, sometimes it’s just as interesting to read the collected info all in one place. Have you guys found any of the Easter Eggs, and which ones were they? Are you going to go hunting for some more of them? What’s the craziest Easter Egg (Valve-related or not) that you’ve found in a game? Go! Feel free to get spoilery in the comments if you want to, but be warned if you have not beaten Portal 2.

Source – Games Radar

Today’s Awesome: Portal 2 in Halo: Reach

So Portal 2 is awesome, and all you guys love it. Well, I don’t like it (as much), and all of the other GamerSushi editors are pretty sure the reason is because Portal 2 is not a “bro” game (e.g. Call of Duty, Halo, Gears). Well, thankfully, some kind soul has cooked up an amazing Forge World creation that puts the reality-bending mechanic of Portal in the dudetacular world of Halo: Reach.

Pretty wicked, no? I was surprised that the Halo: Reach teleporters actually transfer momentum as you travel through them, so hats off to the creator x 7revorBlack x. What do you guys think of this odd mash-up?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 27: The Portal One

Well, it was only inevitable that when we all finished Portal 2, the next podcast would be mostly dominated by that discussion. So, Episode 27 is the fruition of that idea. In it, we chat for a very long time about Portal 2, and then we move on to other big topics from the last couple of weeks, including Nintendo’s Project Cafe and the crazy huge hack of PSN.

After all of that tomfoolery, we jump into an exciting game of Fill in the Blank that was extremely well-played by myself. Trust me, you’ll want to hold onto your butts from my amazing vocabulaciousness. Anyway, be careful of the Portal 2 section, which makes up the first half hour, because the discussion comes complete with single player spoilers. If you’re not wanting to hear those, feel free to skip about 30 minutes ahead, as indicated by the time chart below.

What are you waiting for? Listen, rate and enjoy, yo. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 27: The Portal One

Eight Video Game Urban Legends to Keep You Up at Night

super mario galaxy 2 urban legends

Just like anything else, video game have become a source for urban legends, creepy little anecdotes that get passed around to keep the nerdy and guillible up at night. The comedy wizards over at Cracked have cooked up a list of eight video game urban legends that just happen to be true.

Now, I don’t know about the GLaDOS one, as that picture of her interpreted as a bound woman is just a piece of art made by a fan, but the rest of them seem pretty plausible to me. That Mario Galaxy 2 one is especially disturbing. What are those aliens doing up there?

So what do you guys think of these urban legends? Are they for real, or just a bunch of people looking at video games a little to hard? Honestly, can these even be urban legends since all of these things are purposefully put into these games by the developers, essentially making them unnerving Easter eggs? Hit us up with your thoughts!

Source – Cracked

What Are You Playing: Easter Edition

mincraft 1.5 weather

Happy Easter, everyone, hope you got your fill of chocolate and/or religious significance this weekend. As a godless heathen (aka, non-denominational well-wisher), I’ve been using this time off to play a few games like Minecraft, Portal 2 and the Gears of War 3 Beta. I might sound like a broken record on a couple of those, but what they hey, it’s not like anything is coming out until L.A. Noire hits.

Every since the 1.5 update of Minecraft, I’ve been getting back into that game in a big way. I’ve been playing cooperatively with my buddy and it’s been going rather well, except for the two occasions where he lured a Creeper into my tower and demolished my ground floor. Oh, and there was that instance where he built a giant pyramid but forgot to stock the inside with torches, so all the monsters spawned inside the darkened interior and we had to flood it with lava to kill them all. Good times. The weather effects are also pretty neat, and I’ve witnessed a couple of decent thunderstorms. Even though you spend most of your time underground, coming up to a different atmosphere is a nice change of pace.

What have you guys been up to these past few days? Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, or polishing off the backlog? I’ve told you what I’ve been up to, what you got?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 26: Nintendo Power

Another week, another podcast. This week’s cast covers the big happenings from last week: namely, the rumors of Nintendo’s new console, as well as the massive-but-actually-less-massive-than-everyone-first-though Portal 2 ARG. We actually kick things off a little differently in this episode, starting first with the game of percentages.

After all of that riveting discussion (and my consequent victory), we dive into a lengthy conversation about our video game level bucket lists, and the levels we think everyone should play before they keel over. I’m curious to see if you guys like the format of the game first, or if you like it the way it’s been. Let us know!

No podcast will be out next week, since it’s a holiday weekend and all. Which saddens me, as it means we’ll have to wait that much longer before giving our Portal 2 impressions.

So, listen. Then rate. And of course, enjoy. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 26: Nintendo Power

Alleged Console Port Causes Portal 2 Backlash

Portal 2 hug

File this under “This is why we can’t have nice things”. Apparently, the Alternate Reality Game that Eddy posted about earlier, along with DLC already available on the day of the game’s launch and rumors of the game being a console port has prompted some raging Metacritic users to emancipate Portal 2 from any true Metacritic User Rating by lowering it’s score. Currently, the game sits at a 6.9, which is far lower than expected from such a hotly anticipated game.

So what exactly is the cause? As 1UP is reporting, the disappointment that the aforementioned ARG was a ploy to get people to buy/play Steam games, along with the alleged short length of the game (I guess they aren’t counting the co-op in this) and the -WAIT FOR IT- “obvious console port clues” was just too much for these monsters to bear. A cursory scan of the comments reveals much hatred for Valve, the likes of which not seen since the days of Left 4 Dead 2.

Just for fun, here’s a quick sampling of some of the comments:
Continue reading Alleged Console Port Causes Portal 2 Backlash

GamerSushi Asks: Portal 2 Roll Call?

Portal 2

Gentlemen and gentleladies, the day is upon us. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The game that we’ve been thinking about for the last two years. SOCOM 4. Wait, nevermind. Mortal Kombat 9, maybe?

Oh. Right. Portal 2. That one. Yeah, I guess that’s on shelves now too, eh?

Kidding aside, I have just returned home with my copy of Portal 2 on the PS3, which, as we all know, comes with a handy dandy Steam key to unlock it on the PC as well. This coincides perfectly with the new PC I’m building this weekend. Right now, the plan is to play the Portal 2 singleplayer component on the PS3, and then switch over to co-op on my new PC once I’m done, since I prefer the headset to the PS3 headset by leaps and bounds. Also, it’s going to be very pretty, I’m sure.

So, I figure it was time for a roll call. Portal 2 is out now on multiple platforms. Do you have it? What platform did you purchase it for? Want to play some co-op? Let’s have some fun.

Valve’s Impressive Portal 2 PotatoFools ARG

Portal 2 ARG

Wow. I’ve seen some impressive Alternative Reality Games before (namely, ILoveBees by Bungie leading up to Halo 2), but Valve’s new endeavor, PotatoFools, has certainly taken the cake… no pun intended.

If you’re unaware, Valve launched the Potato Sack pack of indie games on April 1st. It includes 13 games, features a few Portal 2 themed levels for those games and even some Portal 2 content for Team Fortress 2. However, a few users started noticing something weird about the updates for each of the indie games. A little bit of digging turned up a lofty and epic ARG straight from Valve.

I can’t even begin to describe how everything has gone down, so you should check out the PotatoFools ARG thread over on the Steam Forums for the full break down of all the events since April 1st. Needless to say, it’s absurdly impressive. We’re talking cross game clues, passwords, messages from Gabe Newell himself, anonymous e-mails from employees, a special clue hidden on the side of a building in the Netherlands, a surveillance camera watching the forum user that found the clue, secret frames referencing top ARG players in the newest Portal 2 trailers… and that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface.

The point of all of this? Nobody really knows, although speculation right now is that it’s pointing towards an early release of Portal 2 on Steam for this Friday. Who knows if that’s the case, though.

The funny thing is, I happen to be pals with Matt “LordNed” Hoffman, one of the main driving forces behind collecting information for the ARG (you’ll see him referenced in the thread quite a bit). I asked him what the current status is, and he had this to report:

Several ARG administrators are gone. A couple are acting strange, giving cryptic hints that translate about to “Please help she’s killing me”, a POTATO logo was updated to show a figure inside a portal. A whiteboard states that two people are dead, GLADOS took over the wiki and has control over it.

Yikes. So what do you guys think of all this craziness? Has anyone been following it?

Source – Portal 2 ARG thread on the Steam Forums

Gaming: No Country for Funny Men

Portal 2

On top of being innovative and addictive from start to finish, one of the things that I loved about Portal was that it was devilishly clever to boot. This didn’t just stop at its gameplay, but carried over to its script, which was genuinely funny. As much as I can’t wait to see more of Aperture and its insane puzzles, one of the things that I’m dying for in Portal 2 is the sidesplitting humor that came from the writers at Valve.

Oddly enough, it’s not that often that we get to play funny games these days. That might sound strange, but it becomes more noticeable when you play games that actually make you laugh. Games like RDR: Undead Nightmare or Secret of Monkey Island. So why aren’t more games funny? One of the great legends of game comedy himself, Tim Schafer, has an idea.
Continue reading Gaming: No Country for Funny Men

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 16: Sweet 16

For some reason, all of you crazies keep coming back to listen to our podcasts. And for some reason, we keep getting together on Skype to record them without killing one another. Basically, everybody wins.

We celebrate the sixteenth edition of the GamerSushi Show by waxing not-so-philosophically about a variety of topics. These include our manly Valve love, the Nintendo 3DS, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and then some. Nick also drops in with another one of his games, Percentages, and I think there are some hilarious results that come out of that conversation. I may have broken the podcast a couple of more times in this episode, for which you’ll have to forgive me. Lord knows I’m having a hard enough time forgiving myself (not really).

Anyway, check it out, and be sure to rate the podcast on iTunes. Many thanks to those of you who already have done so. You’re our favorites. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 16: Sweet 16

Portal 2 Has User Created Levels on All Platforms

Portal 2

The good news just keeps on rolling in from our good friends at Valve. As a console gamer, one of the things I envy PC gamers is the mods they get to play with. Well, Valve has a nice surprise in store for us because Portal 2 will, according to Chet Faliszek, have user levels available to play on all platforms. However, the actual tools to create the mods will be exclusive to the PC, which makes perfect sense.

Personally, this is pretty exciting news and hopefully the first step in a new gaming paradigm, where PC, 360 and PS3 gamers all can benefit from the creativity of their fellow gamers. I’m amazed by what I see people do on something like LittleBigPlanet and the chance to have some insane puzzles in Portal 2 from the addled minds of the masses makes me tingle in all the right spots.

What say you? Are you glad that Valve is pushing the industry in this direction? Would you want to see the mod tools brought over to the consoles in the future? Comments, plz!

Source: NowGamer

Should Games Have More Irreversible Consequences?

Half Life 2

I am a notorious reset-er when it comes to facing the repercussions of my actions in games. This is most prevalent in sports titles, where I reload a save if I think I’m going to lose an important game in my season. This trait of mine also rears its nasty head in RPGs that require big, game-altering choices. While I don’t always reset the game, I’m prone to create several save files, all of which happen at big points in the story, so I can revisit them if I don’t like the outcome. I think I reloaded the Landsmeet in Dragon Age 3 or 4 times, just to choose the one I liked best.

One game where I tried to avoid this sickly habit was Heavy Rain. As the story featured several main characters, you could actually die right in the middle of the game and have the narrative continue, just from someone else’s eyes. Knowing that you could lose somebody you cared about at any moment made some of the mind-bending quick time events that much more intense. As a result, the experience of Heavy Rain was a long-lasting and fondly remembered one for me.

A recent article over at PopMatters about Irreversible Consequences in gaming really got me wondering if this is something that developers should try to achieve more often. Continue reading Should Games Have More Irreversible Consequences?

Valve Confirms Cross Platform Support for Playstation 3 and PC Versions of Portal 2

Portal 2 PS3

This is the kind of news I’ve been waiting for. Since the announcement of Steam Cloud for the PS3 version of Portal 2, we’ve been speculating at length about what that could mean for PS3 users who purchase Valve’s next game in April. Would it mean a version of the game that covered PC and PS3? Would it mean cross platform support?

In a way, it means both. Valve has confirmed today that gamers that purchase the PS3 version of Portal 2 will not only get access to it on Sony’s everything machine – they will also receive a free copy to download through Steam on PC/Mac. This also means that both versions will support cross platform play between the two, as well as cross platform chat.

Here’s what Valve head cheese Gabe Newell has to say about it:

We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product… Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases.

I’ve been hoping for something like this from Valve for a long time, and I certainly would have enjoyed having this for Left 4 Dead back in the day. To me, it makes no sense to have to buy multiple versions of a game, especially when movie studios are packaging Blu-ray, DVD and digital copies of products together. As this doesn’t seem to include the 360 edition, this pretty much cements which version of the game I’m buying – PS3.

Source – VG247