There are three things I really enjoy about the Holiday season: doing Christmas things with loved ones, the Granville Island Brewing Company’s Lions Winter Ale and the ability to have a few days off to just wrap myself up in a toasty blanket and play some video games.
While any type of video game is a good time, there are certain genres and titles that I feel are ideal for this sort of situation. Long, free-form open world games with a ton of collectibles tend to be my go-to; something that I can just wander around in doing what I please. Skyrim was the perfect game for this a couple of years ago, doubly so because it had the wintery atmosphere to go with it.
I also like a good first-person shooter multiplayer with a ton of unlocks and progression for when I need something a bit more action oriented. What about you guys? When the weather gets colder and you have a few days off, what are the types of games that you like to play? Go!
Between gimmicky Wii shovelware, Red Rings of Death and large price points tainted by giant crab battles, this generation started with something akin to a whimper—and that’s being generous. But as the years went on, we were not only treated to one of the longest generations of console gaming, but also the most fruitful. We saw games take great strides in scope and imagination. With dozens of new IPs that hold great promise, some of the most fantastic sequels ever made and new approaches to storytelling, it’s safe to say that gamers are in a better situation now than they were back in 2005, when the Xbox 360 first debuted.
On the even of a new generation, we thought we’d take a look back at this last generation—and perhaps one of the greatest we’ve ever had. Over the course of several weeks, the GamerSushi staff voted on the best experiences of this generation, getting in heated debates, pitting games against each other in vicious battles and nearly ending several friendships. Below are the results.
One of my most anticipated games of the year, Company of Heroes 2, is finally out, and it’s being met with some pretty good review. Well, the number at the end of the review is good, but if you actually read the review, it paints quite a different picture.
Despite the praise heaped upon the multiplayer of Company of Heroes 2, and the new Theater of War missions which work a lot like an RTS version of Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode, a lot of criticism is heaped on the campaign. I can’t quite speak on CoH 2’s campaign yet, but I find it odd that a review would focus on the negative aspects of a game and then spend a little bit of time talking about the good parts and give it a pretty good score. Check out the reviews below:
Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m criticizing, but if I’m going to give a game a high score I’d list the good things in detail instead of the bad parts. I’m still looking forward to trying out some Company of Heroes 2, but what about you guys? What do you think about these reviews? Are you going to give CoH 2 a try?
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.
It’s crazy to think that Relic’s World War 2 RTS sequel Company of Heroes 2 was supposed to be out already; indeed, it was to be released day and date with StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Thankfully for gamers (and not so much for employees) THQ went under so Relic was not forced to meet their earlier deadline and their new masters at SEGA pushed the release date back until late June. This is good, because while the game is a ton of fun, it isn’t ready yet.
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.
No word of a lie, I’m pretty excited for the next Company of Heroes game. Set on the Eastern front, this sequel looks to bring a lot of new mechanics to the old formula like vision cones, ice with hit points and building fires for warmth. What it’s also bringing is a new tiding of evil in the form of pre-order reward tiers.
If you take a look at the Company of Heroes 2 page on Steam, you might notice that it has a section called “Pre-Purchase Rewards”, promising additional goodies if more people pre-order the game. I’ve kind of accepted the status quo of pre-orders in the gaming industry but this seems like a step too far to me. Even the new XCOM: Enemy Unknown game does this, and even though it looks like a lot of fun, these pre-purchase tiers make me hold back a bit.
The problem I have with the pre-purchase tiers in Company of Heroes 2 is that it makes it look like Relic is trying to add cash-stops to a full-price game. Things like XP boosts and character boosts might fly in a single-player game, but in a multiplayer arena that doesn’t really work. Eventually all that evens out, but for the first couple of weeks that leads to a huge imbalance.
So what do you guys think? Are pre-order reward tiers the equivalent of the devil? Is this just another way to get those oh-so-important pre-order dollars?
There’s a trailer/pitch video for you to watch, but to be honest, the trailer part of it alone might sell you. Games like Supreme Commander are a rare breed, especially as the sequel was streamlined into a generic RTS. The original game was a massive battle between a bunch of different races on a huge scale, and Planetary Annihilation blows that out of the water. If turning asteroids into weapons of mass destruction sounds good to you, give the trailer a watch.
All I have to say is: yes, please. The art style and the mechanics really speak to me, and unlike a lot of recent Kickstarters, the folks at Uber Entertainment actually have some concept video to go with their pitch to let you know that they’ve already started working on it. What do you guys think of Planetary Annihilation? Does this look like something you could get behind?
One of my favorite strategy games of all time is Relic’s Company of Heroes, a WW2-based title with crazy graphics that was tearing down buildings and deforming terrain a long time before Battlefield: Bad Company. As great as it was, CoH wasn’t super popular, so I never got my hopes up for a sequel.
In an actual surprise announcement, Relic has revealed Company of Heroes 2, set on the Eastern Front. As such, they’re bringing in a lot of the factors that made that side of the war one of the most brutal conflicts in human history. The winters on the Russian front were so brutal that troops gave them the nickname “General Winter” to reflect how badly mother nature could eff up their plans. Continue reading Feel the Might of ‘General Winter’ in Company of Heroes 2
One of the most bizzarre crossovers of this year is Pokemon Conquest, a game that mixes up the creature-catching RPG with the tactical turn-based strategy of Nobunaga’s Ambition. If Pokemon in Feudal Japan sounds like your kind of game, then I’ve got good news for you, because apparently this title is pretty dang awesome.
I haven’t played it personally (yet) but this crossover got me thinking about what other games have blended two genres or universes and got away with it. Thankfully, Games Radar was thinking along the same track as me and put together a list of 15 of gaming’s most famous crossovers. There are a couple of obvious ones like the Capcom VS fighting titles and Kingdom Hearts, but there are a few in there that I’m puzzled over how they got the green light.
How many of these mash-ups have you played? Are you going to try Pokemon Conquest? What crossovers would you like to see in the future?
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.
In a move that’s sure to incense Jay Mohr fans the world over, PC gaming giant Blizzard announced today that it will not be holding its annual celebration of its franchises down in Anaheim, California. The convention, which has not missed a year since 2006, is usually the platform Blizzard uses to announce its upcoming projects. With a next-gen MMO rumored to be waiting in the wings, many people had hoped that 2012 would be the year that we would first see “Titan”, but it appears that this isn’t going to be the case.
With a game from each of the company’s major properties hitting this year, Blizzard has said that they’re a little too busy to make BlizzCon 2012 a reality. While this certainly is disappointing, the prospect of seeing not only Diablo 3, but also StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm this year is more than enough to make up for it (there’s some Kung Fu Panda based WoW expansion too, I guess).
Blizzard will still be putting on the Battle.Net World Championship for StarCraft 2, which will take place in Asia closer to the end of the year, so we’re not even going to miss watching StarCraft pros beat the stuffing out of each other.
So what do you guys think of BlizzCon’s 2012 absence? Do you just want to see the games finally be released? Should Blizzard have held their convention, schedule be damned?
I’m a huge fan of Final Fantasy VI, it being my favorite game of all time and everything, but apparently there is something I’ve never know about it: it can be broken in the most bizarre and fun ways possible. A user on the SomethingAwful forums (via 1UP) named Elephantgun posted the below video, which not only shows him having an airship in the opening minutes of the game, but also causing the game to go completely haywire when he uses Relm’s Sketch skill against an invisible enemy. See for yourself:
A new podcast appears? Yup. It’s been a couple of weeks since we recorded this, but I thought you’d like to have it anyway. We’re talking about some old news at this point, but there’s some entertaining bits in there about Counter-Strike: GO, Bethesda Versus Notch and Diablo 3 on consoles.
The super exciting news is that next week’s podcast release will be extra awesome, as it was done over GamerSushi weekend last weekend. Yes, all of us in the same room, acting the fool. It’s entertaining stuff, and by no means should keep you from enjoying this episode as well.
Nick tried editing this one in a different format than normal. It should play mostly the same, but if you open it in Quicktime, you can advance through chapters with the arrows, which is kind of cool. Have fun, gents and ladies.
As you know, if you listen to the podcast, a few of us here at GamerSushi enjoy a little game called StarCraft II, and a about a month ago was its 1st Birthday (grunt birthday noise!). To celebrate this, the guys over at WellPlayed put together this fantastic little 35-minute documentary from a series of interviews they conducted with 9 progamers and casters while at MLG Anaheim in July.
So turn up your speakers, or grab your nice headphones, crack open a drink, sit back, relax and enjoy…
Last night, in the spirit of true camaraderie, Nick, Mitch and I teamed up for some 3 v 3 matches of StarCraft 2. Big surprise, right? If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you’ll know that these outings have increased in their frequency, and I’m starting to experience something while gaming that I haven’t in a long time – defining a good team strategy.
Basically, we hit a point in the game where we had to change what we were doing, and really zero in on a particular plan. Our new builds last night really opened up some new possibilities for us, and we were able to defend our platinum rank in 3 v 3 with gusto.
Weirdly enough, the last time I remember obsessing this much over strategy has been with previous Halo games. I did the same kind of tactical research for Halo Wars, and before that, lots of practice flag runs on Halo 2. The practice/teamwork dynamic is something that I don’t experience too often in games, so it’s always interesting when it strikes again.
What’s your last big experience with teamwork triumphs in a multiplayer game? What games in recent past have forced you and a team to really work together? Go!
Look at that, two weeks in a row. My, we are on something of a streak. In fact, you might even say that we are streaking. Just throwing that out there.
In this edition of the podcast, Jeff and Anthony acted like divas and stormed off the set, leaving myself, Nick and Mitch to discuss things all by our lonesome. We basically used this time to talk about all the things we can’t normally talk about with those two bozos around, which really means we spend a good chunk of time talking about StarCraft 2. It gets… fairly in depth at a couple of points, so hopefully you like that kind of thing. I know I do.
We also took the three-man opportunity to play a game we’ve never been able to play before on the podcast – a real-time edition of GameCop Versus LameCop, with each of us swapping roles as we see fit. I think the results are particularly entertaining, and hopefully you do, too. You will either love it or turn the podcast off and throw it from your window.
As I said in the podcast post, you should notice that there is more going on around here than there has been in the last few weeks. We were taking a break because of the post-E3 news drought, and because we just wanted to chill a bit. It’s funny, because for some reason, I took a break from gaming in general, save for the daily StarCraft 2 ladder match.
So, now that the gaming season is kicking back into high gear, I’ve been trying my hand at a few games lately. For one, I picked up Bastion, and have played just a bit of that lately. I’m really enjoying the presentation, and it helps that the gameplay is solid, too. On top of that, I’ve been knocking out some Civilization V, which I’m enjoying as well.
But for me, though, the crown jewel of my gaming life the last two days has been Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions on iPhone. For those unaware, this is the PSP remastered version of Final Fantasy Tactics, one of my favorite games of all time. The idea that it’s in my pocket whenever I want to play it is kind of incredible, and already I’m sucked right back into it. Seriously, if you have never played this and have an iPhone, get it.
It’s been a long time coming, but the GamerSushi staff are finally ready for another game night. The last official one we had was in Halo 3, with a few random Halo: Reach sessions when that dropped. Now that Eddy has built his new PC, we’ve decided that the time is ripe to have another GamerSushi Game Night.
This time around we’re going with StarCraft 2, so you PC gamers will finally get a chance to trash us. Nick may put up a fight, but Eddy and I will basically roll over and die as soon as you start harassing our mineral lines (seriously though, don’t do that).
While we still need to nail down a specific date (it will be sooner rather than later, don’t worry), what we need you guys to do is put your Character ID below and give us an indication of what time works best for you. Obviously, with the time differences, it’s going to be hard to get it perfect, but we’ll give it our best shot. Much like Halo 3, we’ll probably do this a couple of times to ensure that you’ve had your fill of beating the crap out of us.
Sign up below so we can get an idea of how many people will be participating and we’ll go from there!