GamerSushi Asks: The Continuing Story?

Mass Effect 3

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. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: The Continuing Story?

Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

ni no kuni review

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? Continue reading Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Clearing The Plate for Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Inifinite

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. Continue reading Clearing The Plate for Bioshock Infinite

Penny-Arcade Goes Hands-On with Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls online

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. Continue reading Penny-Arcade Goes Hands-On with Elder Scrolls Online

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: March 2013

Final Fantasy 7 Tifa

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. Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: March 2013

GamerSushi Asks: Story Versus Setting?

Walking Dead story

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. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Story Versus Setting?

To Guide or Not to Guide in Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni

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? Continue reading To Guide or Not to Guide in Ni No Kuni