I’ve recently started digging deep into Fire Emblem: Awakening and I’m having a great time so far. It’s taken me a bit to get used to its own special brand of SRPG, but I am starting to understand the mechanics and I’m improving with every battle, which is all you can really ask for. You can’t expect to master a game like this from the outset, otherwise, where is the strategy there?
But with this learning curve comes a danger: perma-death. That’s right, the terrible tragedy of losing one of your favorite characters lurks at every turn. To make matters even more frustrating, the enemy has no such fears. They will rush forward in a suicidal frenzy, knowing with certainty that you will kill them on your next turn, but they pay no heed to their own safety. For them, it’s worth it if they can take down one of your squad. It’s not fair and makes the game even more challenging than it would be normally, but that’s what makes it nerve-wracking.
Can you guys believe that it’s already May? That means it’s time for another bout of Power Rankings. At about half way through the year, I do have to say I’m surprised with the games on this month’s list, and what a surprise 2013 is shaping up to be in terms of variety and the titles available to us. Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are still kicking strong, but Blood Dragon is a surprise contender out of the blue. And that’s not even mentioning the two 3DS games that are making waves.
So here’s this month’s list of the hottest 10 games that the GamerSushi staff is playing at the moment. I’m actually really looking forward to the shake-ups that are bound to occur for June’s list, when games like Last of Us and Monaco show up in our backlogs.
What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!
No, I haven’t finished it. I’m just done with it. After stopping for a month to play Bioshock Infinite (twice) and Tomb Raider, the thought of going back to Ni No Kuni was enough to make my body recoil in revulsion. I wasn’t sure why, but I had a similar feeling when I stopped Ni No Kuni the first time in order to play Dead Space 3. But once I started playing again, I found it surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things. I put 24 hours into it before I took my month-long break.
But just like last time, I decided to throw it back into the old PS3 and see if my sudden aversion to the game would dissipate once I got going again. It didn’t. The moment I started playing I wanted to stop. The first battle I got into was literally the last battle I ever wanted to play in this game, which I think is the crux of the problem. I love the characters, the world and the story, but the battle system, while tolerable for the first 20 or so hours, just suddenly hit a wall for me. I love everything else about this game except for the battle system. I thought back to some of the tedious boss battles I had been through and I knew I didn’t want any part of that again. In the end, they were more of a chore than enjoyable.
Nintendo’s been hit with a bit of the Legend of Zelda bug as of late, it seems — and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. In addition to the HD Wind Waker remake due out this fall, Nintendo has also announced Link to the Past 2, releasing for the 3DS this year.
The sequel to the much loved SNES game debuted during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, introduced by the big Reggie himself. It takes place in the same world as Link to the Past, features some 3D dungeons and even allows link to become a wall drawing in order to solve some puzzles. While I never played Link to the Past (I didn’t own an SNES), I did watch a friend play quite a bit of it. I have no doubt that there are certain GamerSushi fans (and a few of its staff) that are freaking out about this news.
When I tend to think back on my favorite games, I tend to reminisce on particular moments rather than the experience as a whole. Sure, the experience as a whole is worth replaying as well, but usually there is one bit that I have focused on above all others, one instant where everything came together and burned itself into my brain forever.
Recently, Bioshock Infinite has held several of those moments for me. I won’t venture into spoiler territory here, but I will say that besides the ending, a moment that stood out to me was in the basement of a broken down bar, where Booker DeWiit picks up a guitar and plays Let the Circle Be Unbroken while Elizabeth sings. It’s one of those things that catapulted straight to the lead of my favorite gaming memories, and I remember being breathless in the moment itself.
There are plenty of others to choose from. Climbing that ladder in MGS3. Talking to your party members for the final time in Mass Effect 3. The ride into Mexico in Red Dead Redemption. I’m sure we’ve asked this question before, but it’s always a good time to stop and update. What are some of your recent favorite video game moments?
Another month, another update to the beloved, ever-changing GamerSushi Power Rankings. If you’ll remember, March had us loving games like Ni No Kuni, FarCry3 and Dead Space 3 above all others. Well, things have changed quite a bit in April. You see, some of the year’s best games and biggest surprises have all come out one after the other, which leaves us quite a few new contenders. And some of those contenders will probably linger for a while to come.
So without further ado, here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games for the month of April. Tell us why we’re nuts, and what we’re doing wrong. We’re listening.
Welp, time for another Bioshock Infinite post. I’m sure you guys are getting sick of these by now, but I suppose you’ll have to suffer through our praises of this game for just a little longer.
As I already noted on Monday, Bioshock is a gorgeous game. The worldbuilding and the design of Columbia are enough to take your breath away for the first few hours, and everything begs to be explored. But what happens after that? You get sucked into the story, and soon you’re rocketing along faster than skyrails.
Every now and then, I find myself trying to slow everything down, though. Not in a bad way, like the game is moving too quickly. But more in a way that I want to appreciate everything instead of tackling it at a breakneck speed. Certain story games prompt me to blast through them and enjoy the ride no matter where it takes me, but with Infinite I find that I’m trying to pull back just long enough to remember the experience and make it matter more.
So my question for you guys is: when is the last time a game did this for you? Do you try to take your time with games, or just push through them as quickly as possible on your first playthrough? Do you pace yourself? Go!
The March Madness is over and what a long, strange trip that month was. From Simcity’s crushing disappointment to the stellar heights of Bioshock Infinite. From the fantastic reboot of Tomb Raider to the prequels of Gears of War: Judgment and God of War: Ascension. March was a month where it could be all things to all people with a little something for everyone.
Well, I hope you got what you wanted in March because odds are that April isn’t going to blow your mind with its offering. Not that there aren’t some gems here, but nothing on the scale of last month. This is more of a specific kind of month, with niche titles that appeal to fans of that sort of thing. See the poll below:
There are two types of franchises in video games: the ones like Final Fantasy, where each game is a completely separate world with new characters and new experiences and the ones like Mass Effect where there is a continuing narrative that flows from game to game. These two aren’t the only franchises that are like this of course, but they are two of my favorite and I think they best represent the example I am trying to make. So I wanted to ask the GamerSushi Universe which type you prefer.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. With Final Fantasy’s template, you know every time that you are getting something radically different from the previous game. Sure, certain themes and elements will be the same, but it’s kind of exciting to get immersed (or annoyed) by a whole new world with new characters to fall in love (or hate) with. Not to mention new gameplay ideas and mechanics that seem revolutionary compared to the previous entry. Far Cry 3 is a great example of this. There is a downside to this, though: as we saw with Final Fantasy VII, sometimes the game is so popular that deviating from that story will only irritate its legion of fans. Final Fantasy VIII is all but forgotten by Square Enix these days. It was only years later that they thought to capitalize of FF VII’s success, but by then it was too late.
In an era where ever game is so self-serious, it’s kind of refreshing to see a title that basks in whimsy. Level 5 and Studio Ghibli’s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is such a game. It fairly oozes with clever environment design and goofy, pun-filled dialogue.
Traditionally, I don’t truck with JRPGs. Not because I actively dislike them, or anything, but they never really clicked with me. That said, Ni no Kuni is an experience that wrapped itself around me like a warm blanket and drew me in. Let’s get down to specifics, though, shall we?
We talk a lot about backlogs here at GamerSushi, as some of us (mainly me) have an annoying tendency to buy games and then let them sit on the shelf for weeks and months at a time as we get distracted by something fresh and shiny. It’s funny because gamers complained for years about the Fall Onslaught of games, but now instead of a sudden rush, we have a year-long trickle that makes finishing a game before the next one you want comes out tough, not to mention making a dent on the backlog.
This is something I’ve been confronted with since I received Ni No Kuni on my birthday back in February. My goal was to put a dent in it until Simcity came out and then play Simcity until Bioshock Infinite was released. From there, I had no real idea what I was going to do after I beat Bioshock Infinite; likely go back to Ni No Kuni and split time with that and Simcity until Ni No Kuni was completed and I was sick of Simcity.
Dragonborn Sushians, hark! For Did You See This Wednesday, we’re pointing you to one of many hands-on previews that press outlets scooped this past week with Bethesda’s upcoming MMO of their popular RPG series, The Elder Scrolls.
Penny-Arcade’s preview of The Elder Scrolls Online in particular has some nice, juicy info for any of you that have been hurting for more details about what it’ll be like to run around in the lands we’ve visited in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. For the most part, the game seems to deliver generic MMO fare, although the combat sounds a bit more interesting than what you’d usually see in a WoW clone.
Welcome to the monthly Power Rankings, gents. If you’ll recall, we’ve changed the Power Ranking format in 2013 to reflect our current “What’s Hot” list, regardless of the year the game was released. These are the games we keep coming back to collectively, salivating as we play… OK, that last part might have been an exaggeration, although I hear Mitch does get very excited about necromorphs.
Speaking of necromorphs, 2013 is already rolling with a handful of new games that have made their appearance on this month’s Power Rankings, including Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3. Next month’s list will be even wackier in terms of shake-ups, if Anthony’s recent Pixel Count is any indication. We’ve also been dipping our toes into some older ponds, including the zany urban warfare depicted in Saint’s Row 3, as well as the magepunky slums of Midgar in Final Fantasy 7.
Here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games right now. Feel free to tell us we’re the crazy ones, and tell us what would be on your list.
It seems like everywhere I turn, people are talking about the importance of story and emotion in video games. I know that I get sucked into that, too, partially because some of the most meaningful games that I’ve played have had some stellar stories. Games like The Walking Dead, Uncharted 2, a number of Final Fantasies and more have stuck with me longer than most.
The other day, Anthony, Jeff and I were talking about stories in games, and how it’s funny that gamers will excuse even the most absurd stories in favor of excellent gameplay. Far Cry 3, for instance, had a ridiculous premise and a story which made little sense, but I never really cared because the setting and the game itself were so much fun. Likewise, I can’t say I’ve ever been completely invested in the stories of games like Gears of War or even most of the Halo titles. Even Ni No Kuni, a game that I adore at the moment, has a pretty so-so story.
I’ve been bit with a bit of a completionist bug lately. I mainly blame Ni No Kuni and its charming world, which has totally sucked me in, much like the game’s main character Oliver, as he looks for a way to save his mother with the help of his fairy friend, Mr. Drippy.
While I’m not normally the kind of guy that I used to be with RPGs — namely, the guy that does every possible sidequest before moving onto the story — Ni No Kuni is making me feel like a kid again, and I don’t mind plumbing the world’s depths for bounties, errands, and familiars. But it is causing me to run into an issue: to guide or not to guide?
Over the weekend, I finally jumped into the world of Ni No Kuni, Level 5 and Studio Ghibli’s collaborative take on JRPGs. As has been reported from pretty much the whole world, the game is charming as all hell, from the story down to the monster design. With a great big world to explore and tons of sidequests, the experience is certainly reminiscent of the RPGs I used to play during my summers off of school.
But one of the more surprising reasons for my nostalgia happens to be the game’s cut scenes. Back in the day, one of my favorite parts of a new game was getting to a CG cut scene. These fully animated sequences served as a bit of a reward after a particularly harrowing part of the game, and always kept me on the edge of my seat. The fact that they looked so much better than the game made it all the more rewarding.
We’re back with another one of our block-rockin’ casts, bringing you all that hot gaming discussion we know you love. Nick even makes a cameo appearance on the cast, so fans of his bearded tones get a little treat this week.
This is one of our longer casts as we get into discussions about the newly announced Assassin’s Creed 4, Dead Space 3 and microtransactions, Ni No Kuni, racism and Borderlands 2, the next generation and the possibility of the Wii U being DOA. So yeah, there’s a lot of gabbing going on here.
Listen, rate, comment; we’re all old hands at this, but I like reminding you anyways. Enjoy!
For today’s GamerSushi Asks Friday, we’re going to take a look at the long, hard farewell. I feel like there’s a “that’s what she said” in there somewhere.
After finishing Far Cry 3 recently, something happened to me that I’ve really only experienced a few times in gaming. After the main game was completed, the pirates were vanquished from the island, outposts liberated, animals hunted and huge portions of secret items located, I realized there was nothing left for me to do in the game. Because of said pirate vanquishment, I couldn’t even run around and kill a few bad guys. I was done with the game, almost completely.
And when it came time to sign off, I found myself coming up with excuses to hop around the world a little longer. I was kind of sad to say goodbye. This has happened before, and will hopefully happen again.
I hope you’re all happy to know that we’re bringing the Power Rankings back this year, but in a slightly different format. Last year, the Power Rankings updated at a few key points to bring you our running list of the best 10 games of the year so far. In 2013, the Power Rankings will focus more on our hottest 10 games of the moment, despite what year it was released. Think of it as a “what’s trending” list amongst the GamerSushi staff. These are the games we just can’t get out of our heads, or out of our disc trays (or hard drives, as it were).
Every year, it’s interesting to note the games that stick with you from the end of the previous year’s crazy gaming season. For me, the biggest surprises to come out of the Fall were games like Hotline Miami, but most especially Far Cry 3. While I had no interest in Far Cry 3 for the entire year, I couldn’t put the game down for the entire two weeks that I blazed through it, completing nearly all of the sidequests as well. If you had told me that Far Cry 3 would still be on my mind in 2013 a year ago, I would have snorted and called you a crazy person. Heck, I still might call you one today.
Here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games right now. Feel free to tell us we’re the crazy ones, and tell us what would be on your list.
January was a decent month for games: DmC and Ni No Kuni both landed with sizable critical acclaim, but other than those two, the month was bare. It was a good time to catch up on your backlog or even take a break for a bit, maybe read a book or two to pass the time. Two great games in one month is probably ideal.
Well, no more of that. February is here and it’s not “ideal”: it’s here to kick some ass. There is about a half-dozen worthy titles dropping during the shortest month of the year (and my birth month) and while the quality of a few may be in question, there is no doubt that us gamers will have a nice buffet of gaming goodness to sample from this month. Shall we take a look at the menu?