GamerSushi Asks: Star Wars?

Star Wars

Since I’m positive the majority of you are somewhere near the same level of nerdiness as myself, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you all are happily aware that today was Star Wars Day. I thought there was some deeper meaning behind it besides the “May the Fourth be with you” pun, but a Wikipedia search tells me that I am dead wrong about that.

All the same, though, happy Star Wars Day! My love for Star Wars is something I can barely even put into words, because it’s such a huge part of my childhood and my desire to tell awesome stories with fun characters for a living. To me, Star Wars represents the best part of the magic only a good story can conjure, with tales of good and evil, joy and woe, sacrifice and spaceships. It’s such a hard thing to describe all the ways it helped shape me when I was little, and the way its universe continues to do so today.

Anthony sent this around in an e-mail today, and I thought I would post it here, too. Think of it as a Star Wars survey of sorts. Who says all we have to do is talk about video games? Hit the jump to check it out. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Star Wars?

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

The Great Funk of 2011


The piercing sound of gunfire in Black Ops doesn’t move me. The clang of steel in Dragon Age: Origins can’t wake me. Even Glados and her homicidal puzzles fail to shake me from my electronic ennui.

I’m in a gaming funk.

It happens, from time to time, usually in the summer months, when the Florida sun shines down from what seems like an inch from my head, pelting me with a heat that is as oppressive as a batarian slaver. It happened a lot in college, when I didn’t always have the money to get the games I wanted, but the miasma sets in sometimes even now.

I know the cure. I just have to find it: the right game at the right time. That perfect synergy of carefully identifying my mood and calculating what the proper game is to propell me forward and upward, to eliminate the listless that has so gripped me. Continue reading The Great Funk of 2011

GamerSushi Asks: Can You Attach a Number to Art?


Ouch. Someone might be sore from a few reviews.

While this post is not going to be another in the inexorably long discussion of whether or not games are art, it does apply to the discussion about how we view art in general. You see, THQ EVP Danny Bilson recently shared some thoughts with IGN about Homefront’s review scores. When asked what he thought of them, Bilson had this to say:

If we were universally panned, I would say “Yeah I guess it didn’t work.” I think the idea of 50 reviews that are so radically spread says that we made a game that has a point of view and that you might even argue is controversial…

Do I prefer that it’s controversial? No, I’d prefer if everybody in the world loved it. But there are 20+ reviews that are over 80, there are some haters, and there are some mid-range ones. Do I read them all to see what we can do better next time and have every review be 100? Of course, our goal is always that. What I will say pretty clearly is the game is not a “71.” You can’t apply math to art.

I haven’t played Homefront, so I’m not going to comment on whether or not Homefront is in fact art, or not. However, this does bring an issue up about how video games are reviewed and scored. Do you guys think that in an artistic medium, it’s alright to attach hard numbers to these games? I mean, Shadow of the Colossus has a 91 attached to it on Metacritic, which to me just seems silly for something that I actually do consider art.

So what do you guys think? Go!

Source – IGN

GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Paraphernalia?

play arts kai halo reach

Recently, I’ve become a little obsessed with Play Arts Kai’s line of Halo: Reach action figures, having bought Emile and scouring the city for the past month for Jun and Noble 6, the other two available figures in the current series. While I haven’t really been that into gaming doodads, purchasing the Orange Knight from Castle Crashers during my trip to PAX Prime and picking up the Halo: Reach Legendary Edition has kind of kindled my interest in collecting various pieces of memorabilia.

My geography has once again put me at a disadvantage as Square Enix only accepts American credit cards, but I’ve tracked down a few distributors and I’m planning on getting the whole set. It’s interesting because before this I thought that buying statues related to gaming was taking my hobby a bit to far, but some of the things you can get are pretty freaking sweet.

Do any of you share my current fixation? Do you have any figures currently, or are you planning on getting some? What’s the farthest you’ve gone to acquire something like this?

Behind the Scenes of Video Game Journalism

Video games writer

A dream that I’ve had for most of my life has been to get paid to either 1) write for a video game company or 2) write about video games. It combines two of the great loves of my life, which should be obvious from the career choices and their similarities. As such, I always find it fascinating to see behind the curtain a little bit for either career.

In this case, the peek happens to be the life of a video games journalist. Over at Kill Screen, writer Joseph Bernstein recently put up a piece titled Intern Affairs: Behind Closed Doors, which happens to be a series about the time he spent as an intern at GamesRadar. This particular entry covers the world of previews and handshakes between developers and journalists, and it’s actually kind of fascinating to see how the sausage is made, so to speak.

Bernstein basically shows the way previews are handled in some cases, and the gang mentality that occurs because of that as developers try to win you over. In the end, Bernstein even posts the preview he wrote as the result of this encounter, which happened to be for the game MX vs. ATV: Untamed for the Wii. I don’t think it necessarily exposes anything shady or surprising, I just find it interesting.

So what do you guys think after reading this? Does it jade you a little to what goes on behind the scenes at some video game sites? Go!

Source – Kill Screen, Image Source – PlatformNation

How to Write a Video Game Review

The wide world of video game reviews is a tricky business, one that we here at GamerSushi have not figured out. Clearly, we are doing something wrong when it comes to how we handle the beloved AAA franchises upon release, because we aren’t making buttloads of money and getting free video games. Perhaps it’s because we don’t give everything the standard 9.0 that seems to come along with being labeled a credible outlet. We will not name names, though.

Anyway, we thought we’d create a list of helpful tips for how to write a video game review, the industry way. And before you ask- yes, this post is for the lulz, as they say in some Eastern European countries.

So here it is. How to write a video game review: Continue reading How to Write a Video Game Review

Evolution of the Digital Man

Doom ManSaw this while browsing Maximum PC the other day. It’s a quick look at some essential games with 3D characters from the last 19 years (gosh I feel old now) The focus is on a picture system starting with Wolfenstein 3D from 1992 moving up to todays big hitter of Crysis 2. It’s a cool history of how 3D characters have changed over the years, giving you a good look at the evolution of character graphics.

33 Key Stages in the Evolution of (Virtual) Mankind

Just wanted to share this with the community. What do you guys think of this change over time? Any thoughts or complaints on how designs have changed?

Source – Maximum PC

Get Existential With The Fantastic Mr. StarFox

I’m sure we’re a couple days behind everyone else on this, but forgive us, as real life was calling (OK, Dragon Age 2). I’ve never been a fan of Wes Andersen’s work, but I do think that the subject matter of his films are ripe for parody. If you’ve seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox, or just have an appreciation for random StarFox quotes, you’ll love this.

Game Dev Story and Addictive Gaming

Game Dev Story

One of the things about portable gaming that always kept me at arms length was its long term accessibility. It’s cool to be able to play something on the DS or iPhone for a few minutes here and there, but I never imagined that I would sit down for a few hours straight in order to play something. Recently, that notion has been challenged by 999, which I’ve posted about a couple of times. However, another addictive game ruined my life this week in the form of Game Dev Story for the iPhone.

If you’re unaware, Game Dev Story is like playing Roller Coaster Tycoon, but with a video game development studio. You create games, hire staff, manage advertising and try pump up your sales and profits. You learn new genres, get bigger offices and can even make your own console eventually. The goal is to run the company for 20 years, and make great games in the process. It’s quirky, fun, easy to play and as I said before, crazy addictive. So far, my biggest hits have been a card game called Cardville as well as my RPG titled Loot World.

I downloaded the game on Monday and have been playing it several hours each day since. I never thought I would be that into an iPhone game, but it seriously has me itching to play more all the time, made worse by the fact that I physically can grab my phone and play whenever I want.

Have any of you heard of this game or played it? What’s the most addictive game you’ve played recently?

Why I’m Disenchanted with Gaming Sites

John MarstonIn some deep corner of my mind, I’ve got a couple of dream jobs, things I would like to do at some point in my life and that would not crush my soul daily. The ultimate dream job for me would be an author, preferably science fiction or fantasy. Seriously, I could write cheesy fantasy books for a meager wage and be a happy man. That’s more of a long term goal, though.

A slightly more realistic (but still far-fetched) and more short-term dream of mine would be to work for a gaming site, one with some actual financial clout behind it, instead of just a handful of dudes that made about zero dollars producing some Web shows for two years. But while many portray the Intertubes as a wild west where cowboys can get famous and make a name for themselves, there are just as many no-name bandits running around as well, trying to eek out some kind of online existence.
Continue reading Why I’m Disenchanted with Gaming Sites

Cypress Hill Singer Sues Rockstar Because They Stole His Image for San Andreas

san andreas lawsuitI guess some lawsuits belong under the “better late than never” category, at least according to Cypress Hill backup singer Michael “Shagg” Washington who is just getting around to taking Rockstar Games to court for allegedly stealing his image for 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Mr. Washington, who says he only recently found out about the game’s existence this past July thanks to his nephew, bases his lawsuit on the claim that Rockstar interviewed him on various topics relating to his youth such as gang life and riding bicycles with said gang (yes, really). Mr. Washington was told, after he was “allowed” to leave, that if Rockstar decided to use his likeness in the game, he would be notified and compensated.

Somehow the nearly six year old game managed to escape Mr. Washinton’s notice despite the fact that he recalls being questioned by Rockstar for thematic elements used in San Andreas. Furthermore, he believes that the character CJ is entierly based on him, and he’s looking to be reimbursed to the tune of twenty-five percent of the games total sales-approximately two hundred and fifty million dollars.

This isn’t exactly life-changing news, but I thought it was humorous enough to share with you guys. What is with the recent trend of celebrities suing video games years after they come out for frivolous reasons? Probably because they’re running out of money and video games look ripe for the picking. If you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Source – IGN

Rooster Teeth Plays Horse With Halo: Reach

Rooster Teeth is back once again, this time showing us the amazing versatility of Halo: Reach. Forge mode, for those of you unfamiliar with the game, is a level editor of sorts, allowing you to tweak weapon layouts and add pieces of geometry to maps. While you can’t change the base layout of the level, you can add little additions to it, like ramps off of cliffs and floating platforms in the middle of nowhere. This functionality forms the basis of the video that RT put together, which combines Halo: Reach’s malleability with the old fashioned game Horse.

The hosts say it a couple of times in the video, but this just shows the amazing versatility of a game that ostensibly shipped as just a First-Person-Shooter. The fact that you can put away your guns and play home-made games of your own devising within minutes speaks volumes for Bungie’s design.

Gaming’s Most Bizarre Endings

Solidus Snake

There’s nothing more satisfying than beating a video game that you’ve been sinking a lot of time into. For me, watching the resolution of all of those hours of gameplay is pure bliss, especially if it comes on the heels of some long dungeon grinding or a particularly epic boss fight to tie off the whole experience. I love that feeling of setting the controller, and then kicking back to see what kind of ending I earned. You know, unless that ending sucks.

Sadly, this has happened more times than ought to, and I think the most recent examples of this for me would be Alan Wake. My wife even looked over at me after it was finished and asked if I was mad, following that question up with “I would be if I just played that crap.” Usually, when I’m slapped in the face with a bad ending, I just kind of stare at my TV in shock rather than anger. I don’t know, maybe I hope there’s a secret ending hidden somewhere.

It seems that I’m not the only one who’s experienced bad endings though, seeing as how UGO put together a list of the 11 Weirdest Game Endings of all time. Here’s a hint: MGS2 is number 1, because of that weird Solidus Snake business. Definitely worth the read, and you’ll be able to laugh at it alot, unless of course you played those games and were burned by them.

What game endings have left you dissatisfied with the outcome? Any games that were particularly weird? Go!

Source – UGO

GamerSushi Asks: Strategy Guides

video game strategy guides

I just got back from my local GameStop after picking up a copy of today’s hot new release, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. As I was presenting my receipt to the clerk, he asked if I would like to purchase a strategy guide (for 20% off, no less). I was prepared to offer him a snarky reply, but since the guy is just doing his job, I resorted to a simple “no thanks”.

The reply I had prepared was “who needs guides when I have the Internet?”. Honestly, I haven’t purchased a strategy guide since Halo 2. Yes, I know, a guide for an FPS. I bought it because I was at my first midnight release and wanted to get as many pieces of memorabilia as possible. That, and for the tips and tricks for dominating online.

That was four years ago, and even before that I was looking stuff up online. While strategy guides used to be the go-to solution for those tricky puzzles and hidden collectibles, it’s just easier to boot up GameFaqs and do a quick search. How about you guys? When’s the last time you used a printed guide? Are you too hardcore for that? Let us know!

Super Mario Gets His Own Street in Spain

super mario bros

It’s taken a while, but Nintendo’s famous turtle-stomping plumber is finally getting his due. Although Lara Croft already beat Mario to the punch in this regard, the iconic video game character is finding a way to one-up her by having the inaugural road of a new suburb in Spain named in his honor as opposed to re-naming an existing road.

Avenida de Super Mario Bros was just christened in Zaragoza in Northern Spain this past weekend, marking the first in a series of streets named after famous video game franchises and characters. Expected to follow after Mario are roads named after Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders and The Legend of Zelda, to name a few.

Arcosur, the housing zone inside the Zaragoza suburb (confusing, no?), is a project aimed at first time home buyers. The video game themed names came from an online poll where the future residents could pick the names of their streets. Besides having awesome road names, Arcosur residents hope that the media attention this is garnering will push the Spanish government to finish the project by June of 2012, its current projected completion date.

This isn’t really a huge story news wise, but I thought it was a pretty cool one to share. Most of the home owners in this neighborhood are around 20-35, so I’m not really surprised that they snuck a few video game references in there. Just for fun, what franchises would you name a street after?

Source and image – CNN

GamerSushi Asks: Launch Day Frustrations

fallout-new-vegas bugs

It’s happened to all of us. We get home from work or school, tear the shrink wrapping off the box or boot up Steam, only to discover that the video game gods have different plans for us. Whether it’s a RAIDed video card melting inside of an improperly ventilated Alienware PC or Games for Windows Live just decided to take a day off (or even the dreaded Red Ring of Death), there are many malignant forces at work attempting to prevent you from playing your game.

The last sort of launch day shenanigans I can remember happened with Fallout 3, which needed to go through Games for Windows Live and just didn’t like the fact that I kept trying to sign into my Gamer Profile. I eventually got it to work, but at the cost of a day’s worth of Fallout. Recently, I’ve heard that New Vegas is pretty unstable, and has been giving users some grief when they try to load it through Steam.

I didn’t have any problems with New Vegas personally (except for my weapon clipping through my body in third-person view), but I was wondering if you guys had any launch-day horror stories to tell. Did your computer blue screen, or were you just unable to play your game? Any Xbox owners experience the RRoD, which always seems to come out of the woodwork on the launch of big games. I’ve never heard of a PlayStation crapping out on a new game, but I’d love to hear about it. Tell us your harrowing tale in the comments!

GamerSushi Asks: Console Regret?

ConsolesAh, the path not taken. Going down that line of thought can lead one into dizzying paths of despair and eventually, inevitably, to alcoholism. But sometimes, just sometimes, it can be fun. Hopefully, this will be the one of those times. I got to thinking the other day about my video game history and all the consoles I’ve owned. I have no real regrets about anything I bought, although perhaps getting an Xbox during its heyday would have been a smart move, but that was more of a monetary decision than anything else.

Which leads me to our question: are there any consoles out there that you wish you had bought? Perhaps something that, looking back through the clear lens of the present, you know now that you should have experienced? On the other hand, are there any consoles you bought that you regret? Any Virtual Boy owners out there? Commence weeping!

GamerSushi Asks: Things You Hate in Gaming?

Fetch Quest

I don’t generally consider myself a picky gamer, but when something taps into one of my pet peeves, I obsess about it until I go into a fit of epileptic nerd shakes. This list includes some of the following: mess-up-once-and-you’re-done-gameplay, artificially lengthening a game through menial tasks such as fetch quests, not being able to pause or skip long cut scenes, and one of my all time favorites, terrible friendly AI. OK, it’s not actually my favorite. It’s called facetiousism and I just made it up.

On the topic of things that suck in games, GamesRadar has entered the conversation with a hilarious feature titled Things I’m Sick of Games Making Me Do. I totally agree with nearly everything on the list (except climbing, which I can never get enough of), and the last one actually packed quite a lulz-punch, if you know what that means.

So what things do you guys hate in gaming? Go!

Source – GamesRadar

GamerSushi Asks: What Does Your Game Handle Mean?

AnonymousLast night it came up in an unnamed co-operative game (although I’m sure you could guess its identity) that the people in the party weren’t all aware of the origin of each other’s gamertags. As goofy as it sounds, you can actually learn quite a bit about people and the way they think when you dissect their gamer handles. It tells a bit of a story that perhaps you didn’t know. As anonymous as the gamer handle is meant to be, it’s funny how it can connect you in that way once you know the meaning behind the selection.

For me, Pwnocchio is pretty much the handle I use for everything. It mostly comes from my love of obnoxious puns, plus I used to like shouting “I’m a real boy” in a high-pitched voice whenever I would connect to games. That was several years back, though. And of course, I’m more sophisticated-like these days.

So that being said, what about you guys? What are your normal gamer handles, and what do they mean? In addition, what about your GamerSushi account? Is it the same as those? Go!