Ahoy, gents and lasses of GamerSushi! I’m writing to you from the ridiculous world of fatherhood, some bizarre alternate reality where the universe felt that I was somehow fit to be entrusted with the care of a little girl’s life. It’s just a bit of an adjustment, which is why I haven’t been posting at all this week. In the meantime, Mitch and Anthony (and Jeff!) have been rocking it out with some great content. I’ve found the tiniest bit of equilibrium over the last couple of days, and hope to be producing more of that myself shortly.
But first, I wanted to draw your attention to the newest batch of reviews. In the GamerSushi update post, I promised that we’d been awaiting the debut of our new grade chart to post a few outstanding reviews, and for once I wasn’t a dirty liar. Here are the reviews we’ve posted in the last week, with more coming all the time:
So far, I’m really liking the way the updated review system has translated into actual grades. It seems a bit more balanced to me, and doesn’t give us quite as many A and S scores. Other reviews coming soon: Journey, Twisted Metal, Portal 2 (that one is super late), Final Fantasy XIII-2 and more.
What are your guys thoughts on the new review system? Have we completely lost our minds? Go!
What’s this? Two GamerSushi Shows in a row? We must be getting back on track or something. This podcast might mark Eddy’s last appearance on the show for a few weeks so I hope you enjoy basking in his video game knowledge and hatred of my silent treatment.
Yes, on this episode of the GamerSushi Show I was overcome with a fit of shyness and basically stopped talking and participating around the time when we start chatting about Max Payne on the iOS. When it came time to do the game Eddy was getting understandably frustrated with my lack of vocals and you can hear that creeping in at a few points, hence the title of this cast.
So yeah, listen, rate, be merry. Hopefully we can keep up this pace so you guys won’t have to wait too long for the next episode.
The coming of an Elder Scrolls game is always a monumental occasion in the world of video games and the release of Skyrim was no different. Hype for this game was incredibly high and it even knocked Counter-Strike: Source off the top-played list on Steam for a short while. It seemed like the entire world was waiting on baited breath for Skyrim, but does it keep up the legacy of the Elder Scrolls or take an arrow to the knee?
Good news everyone, the infamously hard follow up to Demon’s Souls will be making its PC debut this August according to a German game magazine as confirmed by the fine folks over on NeoGaf. The PC version of Dark Souls will pretty much be a 1:1 port of the consoles, except for the obvious keyboard/mouse stuff and the addition of two new bosses.
I said during our lightning round on the GamerSushi Show that if Dark Souls ever made the jump to PC I would give it a try and it looks like I’m going to have to live up to my statement. I think that the precise commands of a keyboard/mouse setup will be beneficial for the trying world of Dark Souls but I imagine I’ll give my Xbox controller a shot if the game comes with support for it (which it probably will).
Considering the new release lull that we’re getting in to this is a great boon for me and the many other PC gamers on this site who have been intrigued by the challenges of Dark Souls. So, veterans of this game in its console forms, do you have any tips? Should we start making obeisances to the gods of gaming right now? Are you guys excited for this game to make the jump to PC? Go!
In a move to placate fans after the uproar about the ending, BioWare has announced that it will be releasing a free “Extended Cut” DLC for Mass Effect 3 this summer. No specific date beyond the season has been announced, but the DLC will offer additional scenes that the developer hopes will help clarify the end of Shepard’s journey.
The Extended Cut DLC will not change the ending to the game but rather will contain “additional cinematics and epilogue scenes” which will be tacked on to the existing ending, according to a post on the BioWare Blog. The author of this post for BioWare was very cut and dry about the motivations behind the Extended Cut DLC as well:
So there you have it. Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding.
This DLC has apparently been re-prioritized by the staff at BioWare to help address the problems people have with the ending of the game. Will this satisfy the “Retake Mass Effect” people? What do you guys think about the Extended Cut? Is BioWare making the right move?
Sometimes, nothing paralyzes me more than a wealth of options. Sure, having to choose between one or two extremely difficult questions can tie me up the same as any other man, but the thing that really makes me stop dead in my tracks is when I have more options than I even know what to do with. Rather than being happy about all the tantalizing options that are available to me, I stare at all of them in some kind of mute trance.
This is usually the problem I run into whenever I get put face-to-face with a character creation tool (pun entirely intended). A tool that is now more prominent than ever due to the rise of customizable RPGs, the character creation tool allows you to design an avatar in any way, form and – quite literally – shape. My problem with this kind of robust feature set is that I often have no clue what to do with it.
For the most part, I tend to stick with the default character, which is what I did for the Mass Effect series. In fact, I’m so used to the generic Shepard that when I see other Shepards in clips on YouTube talking with my Commander Shepard’s voice, I get kind of weirded out. In other games, I tend to make my characters look like Cortez Cardinale, from Leet World. This is a bit silly, yes, but it helps me make the character my own without having to go too crazy. I very rarely break from this trend, although I recently designed my Saint’s Row 3 character to look like Walter White from Breaking Bad.
All of this thinking about character creation got me wondering how other people make their own characters? Do you design them to look like you? Do you make them look like somebody famous? Do you stick with the vanilla presets? Share your heroes!
Somehow, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time warp. I’m not really sure how or when it happened, but gaming has taken me back about 12 years or so. I look a little bit older, I know only a couple of more things, I’m about to be a father, but the mouse and the keyboard still feel the same: every satisfying click fires another round, sends another SCV, marks another target or claims another piece of loot.
And there’s something terribly right about the whole thing.
April isn’t exactly the greatest month in the world for gaming, but we’re right up at the edge of it, and we’ve got to play something, right? As for myself, now that I’ve completed both Mass Effect 3 and Journey (both of which I loved), it’s on to a few other odds and ends.
For one, I spent quite a bit of time playing the Diablo III Beta last night, and I have to say that I’m surprised at just how much fun I had. It’s not that I didn’t expect the game to be great or anything, it’s just always been one of those games that I knew I would be playing, so the specifics of the gameplay never really mattered that much to me. I know that might sound strange, but some games are just such a given you don’t even spend that much time getting excited about them, and instead focus on things releasing ahead or behind. I rolled a monk, and in no time at all I decided that it’ll be my main class when the game drops in May. It’s hard to quantify just how joyous it was to pummel hordes of undead creatures and other ghouls in that good ol’ hack-n-slash style. It’s just been too damn long, you know?
In terms of other things I’m playing, I could rave on and on for an entire post about the beauty of Journey, which so captivated me in my one-sitting-playthrough that it’s already in contention for game of the year. The game affected me in a way that’s hard to put into words, which is weird because I consider myself a writer. In short: just go play the thing.
When I’m not Journey-ing or fighting minions of Diablo, I’ll be catching up on MGS HD, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 co-op and anything else I can get my hands on – at least until my daughter arrives in just a couple of weeks’ time.
One of my favorite TV shows of all time is AMC’s Breaking Bad, the story of how a mild-mannered chemistry teacher becomes a hard-core crystal meth dealer. In the opening few episodes, the central character is told by his junkie accomplice that you just can’t start “breaking bad”, implying that if you’re a kind person at heart, you just can’t start doing things that are incredibly out of the norm for you.
I feel this way about moral choices in video games. I’ve just started replaying the entire Mass Effect trilogy as a Renegade female Shepard and I’m finding it difficult to “break bad” as it were. I subconsciously find my conversation wheel hovering over the Paragon dialog choices before the option is even up, and when it comes time to make a Renegade decision I get a little sick in my stomach.
Hey dudes, we are back from outer space, here to bring you our thoughts on BioWare’s space opera trilogy ending Mass Effect 3. We’re unfortunately beardless this week, but Eddy, Anthony, Jeff and myself wax philosophic about everything from story beats to the multiplayer, the ending controversy and the ending itself.
There’s no Six Minutes with Resident Evil 6 or a game this week, so I hope that an hour and a half of straight up Mass Effect is good enough to tide you over. Eddy hadn’t finished the game when we recorded, so he dropped out for the ending talk. When you hear Harbinger for the second time, that’s when we launch into the discussion. There was also a technical issue with both Jeff and Eddy’s mics, and the way the cast is recorded means these sorts of problems are hard to rectify. Jeff fixed his junk for the ending talk, but for the first half of the show he is super quiet.
Technical problems aside, the cast is super sweet so I hope you enjoy. If you guys could also rate the cast that would be boss. Enjoy!
One of the things I love about video games is when you manage to find a “game within the game”, to speak. This has become more and more of a thing in the past generation due to open-world sandbox games, and there’s a certain kind of joy there that’s hard to match. As a kid, I remember playing Mario 64 during the summer when I was bored, just playing the flying missions repeatedly to see how low I could swoop to the ground without touching it and losing the flight. Somehow, we always find new ways to entertain ourselves.
That’s exactly what the guys at Achievement Hunter have done in their newest video, Things to Do in Skyrim, which features them creating trick shots that involve throwing cabbage into buckets. It’s very reminiscent of this Michael Jordan/Larry Bird Super Bowl ad for McDonald’s – and that’s a good thing. Anyway, you should watch it, the reaction shots at the end are priceless.
When’s the last time you guys got sucked into doing this kind of thing in a video game? Did anyone else die laughing when they freaked out?
Not because of the ending of Mass Effect 3, which apparently is the worst atrocity to hit humankind since whatever that Kony dude (allegedly) did.
I’m upset because gaming sucks today.
Not actual gaming. When you put the game in the console (barring a RROD or a YLOD) and it’s just you, the controller (unless you are playing Kinect) and the game, it’s awesome. All is right with the world. Immersion into a foreign world, excitement, adventure…a gamer craves these things.
Sorry about how slow it’s been around here lately guys, but other than Mass Effect 3 dominating our lives (and every news post on every other site), there’s hasn’t really been much else to report on. There’s a new Sim City, I suppose, but what do you need to know? You make buildings, lose them to tornadoes, c’est la vie.
Given the lack of news and new releases, I’ve been replaying Mass Effect 3 on Insanity, trying to make Mass Effect 3 the first game in the series that I get 100% of the achievements on. So far it’s been fine, but the thing about cover based shooters is that on the hardest difficulty, the game pulls some really cheap tricks to make things difficult for you.
Since being in cover essentially makes you invincible (as one would expect), stepping out in to the open means certain death via some BS means like stun locking. Getting caught out in the open in Mass Effect 3 is survivable on normal but on Insanity it’s an instant death sentence. This doesn’t make the combat encounters challenging, but more of a slog because it mainly comes down to finding the one corner where enemies can’t flank you and just wasting them with power and ammo until you win.
Games do a really poor job at being difficult (there are exceptions like Dark Souls and the like) and that’s what makes doing runs on Insanity or Legendary or whatever such a chore. Maybe it’s too hard to design higher difficulty levels because most people just play it on normal, but increasing the amount of damage done to you incrementally doesn’t actually count. Halo: Reach was one of the last games to make a fun, challenging experience on Legendary; there were actually more things done to change the way the enemies behaved, and the energy weapon projectiles were faster meaning that not getting out of the way of a plasma pistol volley could spell the death of your Noble Six.
What games have you guys played recently that have given you a run for your money? What games have really poor excuses for the highest difficulty level? Do game developers need to start making harder games overall? Go!
If you’re like me and you played the original Borderlands on the PC then you were probably disappointed by how much the game reeked of “console-itis”. The signs of a hasty port were everywhere and the game suffered for it. With a new Borderlands on the horizon, Gearbox decided to kick their PC support into overdrive and threw up a love-letter from everybody’s favorite (sarcasm) robot Claptrap, listing the features that will be in the PC version of Borderlands 2.
While this is a very nice gesture on behalf of Gearbox (and I hope they carry all this over to their other release this year, Aliens: Colonial Marines) it just strikes me as how odd it is that features that should be included on the PC SKUs of games like FOV sliders and offline LAN support are now considered to be extras by the developers. If anything demonstrates how far down the chain PC gaming is in terms of priority these days, it’s this.
Sure, a lot of the items on the list are things that PC gamers take for granted, but we just don’t get that kind of support these days. Usually these things are added in by mods, so at least Gearbox is taking the time to add that to the game.
What do you guys think of Borderland 2′s promised PC version? Does it get your engine running? What do you think of these features now being considered “bonuses” of a kind? Go!
We’ve all got our quirks, even in video games. Or at least for some of us, especially in video games. I tend to be an obsessive compulsive searcher/hoarder/stealther. I’m not sure if some of the searching obsession comes from the days when JRPGs didn’t mark every item for you or make them obvious, forcing the player to run around mashing buttons in the hopes of finding some potion or other piece of loot. But even in Mass Effect 3, which marks things for you via omni-tool, I’m still running around mashing buttons in the most random corners, searching every last avenue before moving towards the objective. I almost can’t help it.
I’ve also documented multiple times my obsession with stealing in open world games and how I like sneaking around in stealth games. It borders on unhealthy, and tends to totally hamper the first portion of both of those types of games. Deus Ex: Human Revolution combined both of these things into one package that forced me to actively re-think the way I approach these situations, just to keep my sanity.
I’m bringing all of this up because 1UP has a fun article going on at the moment called You’re Not Alone, which takes a look at different quirky gaming habits from readers and staff alike. It’s kind of hilarious to see that there are other gamers just like me who hoard special items until they’re practically useless, or who hate to use healing items if there’s an inconvenient method to do it for free.
So what about you guys? What are your gaming quirks, ticks and obsessions? Go!
Zounds! After a week of nothing but Mass Effect 3 ending talk, it seems that there’s finally some news worth posting about — Diablo III launches on May 15th. So two months from today, PC gamers everywhere will be enjoying the great tastes of hack-n-slash dungeon crawling that have been missing since Diablo II came out in June of 2000. Almost a dozen years, gents.
While there was originally a lot of clamor about the art style of Diablo III and some bickering about whether or not it would see the console light of day, all that seems to have died down in recent months. I’ve had a chance to play literally just a few minutes of the beta, but plan on playing a little more now that the game has a proper date. Needless to say, I’ve been missing this type of game for years now – it’s strange that nobody’s really done it as well as Diablo II has all those years ago.
So now, the big question: is anyone else as pumped about this as I am? Who’s going to be grabbing this on day one? Go!
In the wake of the recent Mass Effect controversy and all of the other game-design related outcries, I sometimes wonder if gamers would take games to court if they could. 1up recently put up a feature about six game design choices that should be punishable by law, and it’s a pretty good read.
Sure, it’s humorous in nature, but there’s no denying that I feel like I need compensation for the pain and suffering caused by some of their examples. The slow-moving text in Skyward Sword is a great one, and it’s something that a lot of Nintendo games, from Pokemon to Mario, are guilty of. Sure, you can hold down the A button or whatever to speed up the text, but it still crawls pretty slowly. Ninty seems set on doing this and a lawsuit just might be the only way to get them to change their ways.
Personally, I’d like to sue someone over the Journal design in Mass Effect 3. I can get around bad quest logs, but the one in ME3 is just plain unhelpful. Main quests, side-quests and fetch-quests are all lumped together and the damn thing doesn’t even update when you’ve gathered one of the items necessary for your eavesdropping side-business on the Citadel.
I could probably also make a case against some of the things in Battlefield 3, and maybe for the extreme time-loss caused by Skyrim, but I’m pretty sure I have Stockholm Syndrome where that game is concerned. What did you guys think about the article? Are these choices worth going to court over? What games would you get litigious against?
Well, here it is people. The point where I begin my slow descent into quitting video games. I’ve moaned about the entitled attitudes of gamers before, but this absolutely takes the cake. Mass Effect 3 hasn’t even been out a damned week and there’s already a petition to get BioWare to change the ending of the game.
I haven’t beat the game yet (I’m holding out until my Galactic Readiness is 100% in every sector) but I have heard some grumblings about the less than satisfactory way the Mass Effect trilogy wraps up. Sure, not every trilogy has a perfect ending, but demanding that the developers change their vision is a new one.
So far I’m really enjoying Mass Effect 3, even if I have problems with it. The game doesn’t exactly put its best foot forward but the further you get into the game the better it gets and some of the missions are really fun. True, some of the side missions are pretty boring “horde” scenarios but it’s not that big a deal.
I’m trying really hard to avoid spoilers which is why I’m linking to the Kotaku post instead of the actual poll on BioWare’s social site. I looked at the poll and almost spoiled myself, so I’m mad at these Gandalfs for more than one reason. I mean, how would BioWare change the ending? It wouldn’t be in a free patch, that’s for sure. What do you guys think about this? Do you have a (spoiler-free) opinion on the ending?
Huh. Things were super quiet on the GamerSushi front yesterday. I wonder why that could be… Who knows, but I do hear that this science fiction role-playing game called Mass Effect had its trilogy-ending release drop yesterday. I’m not sure, but I think it was kind of a big deal – although none of us were playing it.
OK, you got me. I totally know what Mass Effect 3 is. I’m sure I had you guys fooled, but you are much too cunning. Anyway, Mass Effect 3 arrived yesterday to much rejoicing from gamers all over the world, and this one in particular. To say that I love the Mass Effect series is nowhere near the proper amount of statement required for a set of games that I feel has defined my console-playing experience this generation. Say what you will about the choices Bioware has made, but I adore this series, its atmosphere and its well-crafted universe.
My guess is that plenty of you do, too – if my friends list was any indication. When I signed on nearly everybody on it was partaking in Mass Effect 3 in some way, shape or form, and I couldn’t help but get that twinge of release-day giddiness. There’s nothing quite like all sharing in the same experience collectively. While I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted yesterday, I managed to get past the intro and subsequent first mission, and I have to say that I’m a fan of the gameplay changes so far. I didn’t have the weird bug that some are having involving the migration of their old Shepard, so that was all fine for me. Can’t wait to jump back in tonight.
So it’s time for a roll call, fellas and ladies. Who got Mass Effect 3? How much did you play yesterday? Did any of you deal with that save file character issue? What are your spoiler-free thoughts?
With the price of games on the rise, so too have a series of complaints risen around the idea that longer games generally mean better games. In particular, RPGs are expected to be bloated to colossal lengths, from the Elder Scroll series to Mass Effect and even Fallout 3. Gamers want more game for their money, more world to explore, more weapons to collect, more foes to conquer and more time to invest. But is this always a good thing?
In a rather interesting (if somewhat controversial) review of the game Dark Souls, Slate writer Michael Thomsen wonders if 100 hour games are a waste of time for gamers instead of a boon to their hobby. Even though I haven’t played the game, and always hear the opposite of his assessment of it, I do have to say that I find his prodding question to be thought-provoking. Honestly, there’s so much that people can accomplish in the amount of time it would take someone to clamber through all of Skyrim – but does that mean that it’s pointless for the person that enjoys it?
It seems that Thomsen would argue that yes, it is. In his view, it’s never necessary for a game to take 100 hours to tell its tale, and that many games have done better with far less time. When put that way, I do have to agree: some of my most favorite games have accomplished what they did in around 20 hours or so, without ever overstaying their welcome.
So, while I’m not sure I’m on board with everything this article states, I did want to kick the question to you guys: are 100 hour games just a waste of time? Go!