You may or may not have heard of Breath of Death VII, an XBox Live indie game release that has been making the Web rounds for the last few months. Created by Zeboyd Games, a two man development unit, BoDVII is an old school NES style RPG that will cost you only $1 to download and play. It’s chock full of references to old RPGs including Phantasy Star and also packs a nostalgic punch for anybody that has loved and played those great little top-down titles of old.
The duo of developers released some stats on the game the other day, revealing that it has surpassed the 30,000 purchases mark. They also do a rundown of the things that they think the game did well to set itself apart from the rest of the pack, and some advice for would-be fledgling game developers. I know that a few of you are interested in game making yourselves, so I thought it would be a helpful thing to read.
I actually have not heard about this game until today, but I’m planning on downloading it as soon as I get home. Not only has it received some rave reviews, but I just kind of want to support the guys. I mean, seriously, they are living the dream, doing what they love, and made a killing with just a few months of hard work. Kudos to them.
Has anyone heard of this, and do you have any interest in playing it? Go!
In our modern day of tubes, webs and whatever hamsters that ferret the packets of data across the Internet, online gaming has risen to a peak like never before. This is obvious to say in a sentence, but really, when you think about how different things were just 5 or 6 years ago, it’s actually staggering. For instance: Halo 2 was the first major online console FPS. That was released in 2004. YouTube was just a fledgling site then. You get the picture.
Anyway, in thinking about the way the gaming world has transformed as well as contemplating some old gaming favorites, I was struck by the notion of bringing the classics online. For me, it wasn’t until I started playing games online that I realized what a small fish I was in a huge pond in terms of skill. For every green shell I could connect at Mario Kart 64, there were probably millions that could run circles around me, and so forth. My skills in Goldeneye were only surpassed by my brother in our circle, but I wonder what kind of challenges he would have faced out there.
So, in continuing with that thought, what gaming classics and favorites would you choose to infuse with co-operative or competitive online play? Go!
If there’s anything that the HD console generation has brought us, it’s the tantalizing promise of HD remakes of some of our old favorites. Inspired by this new (and hopefully spreading) trend, GamesRadar put together a wish list of 13 Playstation 2 HD remakes. I have to say, just thinking about that kind of thing gets my engines going. As one of the best consoles we’ve had, the idea of seeing Jak and Daxter, Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid restored and remastered for HD would be more than a bit incredible.
Ideally, we could spread that around a little bit to older developers and consoles, but that’s a bit more of a stretch than upgrading things from the PS2, no doubt. I’d love an HD Super Mario 64 (if Nintendo could get in on the HD game), as well as Link to the Past and some of the older Final Fantasy games. What would be on your wishlist for an HD remake? Go!
Several months back, there was a rumor that a Team Ico Collection coming to the PS3 at some point in the near future. This little anthology would feature both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, upgraded to glorious and stunning HD to match their already gorgeous art design.
Well, this juicy rumor has now been proven real, and confirmed by this week’s issue of Famitsu, the Japanese gaming magazine. Now, when it will release – and for what price – is still up for grabs. However, there are rumors going around placing its release in March or April 2011 for a price of about $40. Call me crazy, but I like it.
While I’d rather be playing the game at Christmas, I guess I can live with getting this game next year, because let’s face it – these are two of the greatest games of last gen, put together on one disc for our enjoyment. Who else is ridiculously excited about this?
There are a few times when I feel older than my years, despite the fact that I am only 23. One example is that children born when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out are now teenagers. The other is that, 25 years ago today, Super Mario Bros. graced the Nintendo Entertainment System and changed the way we viewed home entertainment. What started that day in 1985 was just the beginning of a life long journey for Nintendo from a small playing card company to the video game giant it is today. Mario has been through a lot of changes in his life time, and Nintendo has cooked up a video to celebrate.
Watching that video brings a smile to my face as it makes me remember all the great times I’ve had playing Mario games over the years. Although Nintendo doesn’t really click with my anymore, there’s no denying that they were a powerful force in my childhood, and probably ruined my willingness to engage in physical activity for the rest of my life. Do you guys have any memories about the plumber? Any game you remember more fondly than the others? What do you hope to see from Mario in the next 25 years?
On this day, 15 years ago, the gaming world was forever changed when a company best known for their stereos stepped into the wild fray that is the video game console business. On 9/9/95. Sony released the PlayStation, or PS1, as we all know it now. Many people, myself included, didn’t give it much of a chance, but eventually, with a ton of stellar titles, namely Final Fantasy VII, they managed to overtake Nintendo and change the course of gaming history. They also killed Sega, but that was going to happen anyway.
Personally, the Final Fantasy games, namely Tactics and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night were my highlights. I missed out on a lot of other big games, but I have since corrected that oversight.
Also, speaking of Sega, today is the 11th anniversary of the Dreamcast, Sega’s swan song. This console was pretty much the harbinger of things to come, but it harbinged (New word, tell your friends) far too early and gamers weren’t ready for its particular brand of goodness until Microsoft refined it with the Xbox 360.
So what are your fondest memories of the PS1 or Dreamcast? Any games you still want to play or wish you had played?
One of the things that the GamerSushi staff likes to debate in lengthy e-mail threads and occasionally on podcasts is the difference between an “A” rated game and an “S” rated game, based on the qualifications laid out in our grade chart. As some of you know, our review system underwent a major overhaul last year, where we tried to spread out our grades a little more. So often, review sites fail to distinguish between great games and classic games.
For me, an “S” game isn’t just a great “A” game that you love. It’s something a little more than that. One of my favorite games of this generation is Resident Evil 5, and I wouldn’t distinguish it with that remarkable rating because I feel like it lacks that intangible quality that stamps it as one of the greats.
Ideally, there are only a handful of games that reach that mark every generation. For this gen I would say Portal, Call of Duty 4 and Uncharted 2 easily fall into that category. I would also say Red Dead Redemption, but that’s another issue altogether. For last gen I would say Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid 3 are the top two that come to mind, though there are definitely many others (side argument: did last gen have the most “S” games?).
Anyway, as we are taking another look at our review system as some new changes (hint: get excited) are in the works here at GamerSushi, I wanted to ask what you think gives a game that special something, that quality that makes it stand out from the pack. In addition, what games this generation would you give an “S” to, and can you remember any from last gen? Go!
OK, the Back to the Future fanboy just has to get this out of the way right off the bat. Ready for it? Great Scott!
Anyway, several months back, Telltale Games announced that they were going to be developing some Back to the Future and Jurassic Park adventure games. Well, today they let loose a little bit more information about the project, and the details are certainly enticing. For one, there are going to be a total of five episodes of gaming goodness. For dos (that’s Spanish for all of you keeping track at home), both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd have released their likenesses for use in the game.
On top of all of that, Bob Gale, one of the key people behind the writing of the movie trilogy, will be contributing to these games to make sure they are in keeping with the series. And last but not least, Christopher Lloyd will be reprising his role as Doc Brown, lending his vocal talents to the project. Heavy. I can honestly say that these are some of my most anticipated games in development right now, and I’m going to jump on any news that comes out of these guys. I hear they’re going to have a DeLorean at PAX, so Mitch, that means you need to take pictures.
Anyway, who else is pumped about these games, and this news? What do you think of the new concept art? Go!
Oh Sonic. Your franchise, along with Sega, have become quite the punching bags in the gaming industry of late. You used to be so spinny, so fast, so fresh (and bright + vivid), but now you’re just a retro-gen has been. As much as it pains me to say it, it’s true. It’s so true in fact, that every time we get a glimpse of how good you could be, we get a little weepy, and mourn for the Sonic that we knew and loved.
Take this video mock-up of Sonic and Knuckles 3D. It’s a re-creation of the Mushroom Hill Zone level from that game, done in widescreen and updated graphics. Sadly, it’s not playable, but gives a great sense of that old school Sonic flavor. Sega, I have to ask you an honest question: why have you been unable to pull this off? This game should have come out years ago.
As some of you may be aware, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is set to come out in theaters tomorrow. For those of you who have not seen the preview, I urge you to google it right the hell now. If you like video games, you will, at the very least, be amused by the trailer.
The movie is based on a graphic novel, which contains tons of references to old school games, some so old that I had forgotten about them completely until now. Our good friends at GamesRadar put together a nifty little list of them and I thought it might be fun to share it with you guys.
Personally, the River City Ransom “BARF” and the coins dropping are my favorites. I’ve always had a soft spot for that game, ever since I first read about it in Nintendo Power back in the 80s. What references did you think were cool? Are you planning on seeing the movie?
OK, I’ve seen a few bizarre mods and hacks to videogames in my day. Some of these range from funny to weird and ridiculous to just plain awesome. This one for Sonic 2, dubbed “Sonic 2 XL“, actually might cover all of those categories, while smashing a few new ones all its own.
The hack basically puts a new spin on the Sonic franchise: namely, that rings transform our favorite speedy hedgehog into a morbidly obese blob that can’t move, and thus, dies. Like I said, it’s weird but also manages to be hilarious to look at. I laughed out loud at fat Sonic trying to outrun the explosions towards the end of the game.
What do you guys think of this? And what are some of the cooler mods you’ve seen to games? Also, this makes me want to go and play the real Sonic 2 quite badly.
Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that gets quite a bit of flack from some of the gaming community. The MGS fan kingdom seems to be split down two camps of people that have opposing feelings for the sequel to the hit PS1 game. Personally, I fall into the group of people that generally dislikes MGS2. I remember being so excited for its release, especially after playing the demo that came packaged with Zone of the Enders. I loved the first game’s comic book Die Hard feel, but the sequel just got much too campy, and Raiden was nowhere near as good of a hero as the beloved Solid Snake, in my opinion.
Some years ago, the Delta Head Translation Group published a formal analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2, which is one of the most fascinating pieces of writing I’ve ever read on a video game. It breaks down some of the meta-narrative of MGS2, and what the game might have actually been designed for: to leave the player feeling frustrated. Agree with it or not, it actually gives a really enlightening look at the game, and might even give you pause about your assumptions.
I was reminded of this article because I got into a discussion with JJ about Roger Ebert recently backtracking on his “games can never be art” infamy; he now says that some day they might be. JJ and I got on a tangent about it being hard for something to be fun, artistic, emotional and medium-transcending all at once. I was arguing that fun might not necessarily be a requirement for video games to be art- after all, is watching Schlinder’s List “fun”? In the MGS2 article, the author argues that perhaps the game was designed to make you feel the way it did, and not designed with a fun-factor in mind. If this is truly the case, then perhaps MGS2, as flawed as it is, might be a video game that approaches that territory, where games are turned on their head and go beyond the medium? Portal is probably one of the best examples of a game that deconstructs gaming yet manages to be entertaining and well made.
Anyway, all that mumbo-jumbo aside, you should definitely check out the article, it’s long, but worth the thoughts it gives on what games are supposed to make you feel. And while you’re at it, feel free to weight in on the “games as art” discussion.
It’s the middle of the summer, just after E3, which of course means that video game news has largely slowed to a halt again. Things will pick up after a few weeks, I’m sure, but until then, expect lots of editorials and questions about your lives as awesome gamers.
As many of you are no doubt on summer break, I wanted to talk a little about summer gaming. When I was younger, I remember several days in the summer months where I would just get up and play the NES or Sega Genesis all day long, walking to Blockbuster to rent games and then promptly dispatching them as soon as I got home. It was a glorious schedule, and one I long for again. I think my favorite summer gaming memory, though, comes from the summer of 1997, when Star Fox 64 came out. I remember walking to the GamePower, a local video game shop, trading in several video games and then running back home with a copy of the game in my hand. I then beat the game in one sitting, and my brother and I played multiplayer matches with our friends nearly all night.
Man, that just made me crazy nostalgic. What about you guys? What are some of your favorite summer gaming memories?
At present, we’ve already had two sets of inductions into our very own GamerSushi Hall of Fame: one for solo campaign levels as well as multiplayer maps. When I wrote those, I was sure to note that they were by no means a final list, and that we would be adding plenty of new groups in with them. That’s why I’m here today to bring a new set of candidates, but with a bit of a twist: The Video Game Level Hall of Shame.
This wing of the Hall of Fame is devoted to those game levels which are masochistic in their design, ever demanding more skill from us, more hours and frustration and yes, even blood sacrifices in order to add their notches to our belts. The Video Game Level Hall of Shame is reserved for those notorious offenders that made us collectively throw our controllers in frustration and disdain, scorning the forges that could create such misery in video game form.
You probably read that title and asked yourself “why is Mitch posting about Russian commercials?” Simple answer my friends: they are awesome, and video game related. The ads take two iconic video game franchises, like Contra and Tetris, and mashes them up in a versus setting. These ads have been running for quite a while, so there’s a few gems in there. The animated commercials are also a bit more mature than we’re used to in North America, but we’re all adults here, right? Catch Tetris versus Contra here, and Mario versus Pac-Man after the jump.
This will surely be good news for those of us who fondly remember SEGA’s last foray into the console business as it has just been announced that the Dreamcast’s library of titles is being made available on the PlayStation Network and the X-Box LIVE Arcade. The Dreamcast garnered over 650 titles during its lifespan, which started on September 9, 1999 with Sonic Adventure.
While some Dreamcast games have seen re-releases on previous generation consoles (the Sonic Adventure series being the most notable) this is the first time they’re being set loose on the current generation featuring all the fancy bells and whistles that we’ve come to expect like updated graphics, sound, and online integration.
SEGA’s VP of Digital Business, Haruki Satomi, had this to say about the Dreamcast’s resurgence:
“The Dreamcast is fondly remembered by a large community of dedicated fans as a console that was ahead of its time in terms of graphics, quality and online gaming. There are few things that are more requested from us than making Dreamcast classics available for download in today’s digital market place. We’re very excited to begin offering gamers our beloved Dreamcast titles again on the current console systems.”
The first games to be out in the fall will be Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, and I can tell you that those are on my list. What about you guys? Excited about the Dreamcast coming back? What games would you like to see?
By Internet standards, this news is a couple of days old, so by now it’s practically ancient history. However, that hasn’t stopped people from talking incessantly about this brand new Mortal Kombat short film that made its debut on the tubes and swelled to mythical proportions in just hours.
Here’s the rundown: it’s a gritty, well made depiction of the Mortal Kombat universe with some excellent production values behind it. No, it’s not a trailer for a new game, nor a trailer for a new movie. It is, however, a brief proof-of-concept that director Kevin Tancharoen made to pitch to Warner Bros., in the hopes of getting a new movie produced.
While I’m not quite as enthralled as the rest of the Web seems to be over this, it’s still pretty damn entertaining, and would make a great opening to a potential new Mortal Kombat film. If this guy gets picked to bring the next one of these to life, then sign me up.
OK, I figured I would contrast that sad gaming news from earlier with something super badass, so I now bring a pretty awesome piece of news that’s been floating around. We all know that Team Ico makes great games, including both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus from the PS2 days. They are also working on the highly anticipated Last Guardian for the PS3, which I simply can not wait for well.
Well, it looks like they’re going to have another PS3 release early 2011 in the form of the Team Ico Collection, which will consist of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, running on the PS3 in glorious HD. To me, this is one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a while, as I simply loved SotC, and never really got to actually play Ico (though I watched my best friend play through a bit of it).
I really love the trend that Sony’s been on lately of packaging last gen games together for people to play them on their next gen system, like the God of War Collection. Now I’m just holding onto hope for one that includes Metal Gear Solid 3. Fingers crossed.
In addition to that, someone on NeoGAF has posted mock-ups of Ico running in HD through a PC emulator, and they are simply gorgeous. Go check them out!
So what do you guys think of this news? Who played the first games? Go!
This past Sunday brought us a fairly major landmark for the year in gaming in a brand new iteration of the Super Mario series. Super Mario Galaxy 2 hit store shelves, and from several accounts, it is pretty stinking good.
In honor of the game’s release, which now includes Yoshi, it seems that Nintendo has put together a little bit of nostalgia mining in the form of this Yoshi tribute video. It recounts his appearance in every game he’s been in, from Super Mario World through the Sonic Olympics. If you are into these games, it is certainly worth the watch.
So, who’s getting or has already played Super Mario Galaxy 2?
If you ask anyone with a brain cell what their favorite Star Wars movie is, chances are it will be The Empire Strikes Back. This movie has all the right ingredients to make a great film, and it’s surprisingly dark to boot. This is the first Star Wars film to show us just what the series is capable of out of the grubby hands of George Lucas, and I’m forever thankful to director Irvin Kershner for giving us this cinematic masterpiece.
My personal fawning aside, The Empire Strikes Back is also known for it’s cinematic Battle of Hoth which pits the Rebels against the titular Empire on the snowy wasteland planet. Naturally, such a big exciting fight is perfect fodder for video game recreations, and since 1982, we’ve had almost a dozen interpretations of the Battle of Hoth. Kotaku put up a nice post collecting all of them, but I’m going to share my favorites after the jump.