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!
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.
You can get into the beta by liking the Company of Heroes 2 Facebook page, or by pre-ordering the game, and I think a little “Like” on Facebook is a small price to pay. Unlike the original game, which took place on the Western Front, CoH2 features clashes between the Red Army and the German Army on the fields and villages of Russia. Company of Heroes 2 now throws the seasons into the mix, playing on the infamous contributions of “General Winter” to the war.
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.
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.
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.
And there’s something terribly right about the whole thing.
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:
Pretty crazy, right? Are there any games out there that have similar glitches that you like to use? Have you ever discovered any yourself? Hit me!
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!
I know that not everyone here is a good and proper American (Murican), so I know this post isn’t entirely applicable, but I still thought I’d put it out there anyway. After all, our Canadian friends just had Canada Day this weekend, and our friends across the pond probably celebrate distancing themselves from the U.S. 235 years ago.
As of now, my only plans today are to eat a lot of ribs. Seriously, I’m going to two separate parties in which the purpose is to eat ribs. Besides that, I plan on playing a bit of Half-Life 2, Starcraft 2 and watching some Modern Family, which I’ve just recently gotten into. Good times.
So, yeah. On this great day of fireworks (unless you’re in Texas, that is, where the drought is stopping all that), hot dogs and general lazing around, what are you guys doing? What are you playing? How do you normally celebrate on holidays like this? Go!
After avoiding the game for some time, I finally picked up StarCraft 2 last week. Part of the reason I did my best to thwart the temptation of this popular RTS is because I know what these kinds of games do to me. They take away my life and they make me an angry person.
You see, part of the problem is that whatever genes are required to be good at micro-managing units, I just don’t have them. This makes me generally terrible at any and all RTS games. On top of that, I do happen to have the genes that make one an obsessive compulsive stat monger. So, naturally, these two things are at odds with another, and I inevitably tumble down a voracious toilet bowl flush of addiction. I suck, I obsess about build orders, I still suck – and so on.
Anyway, I’ve spent most of last night playing (and losing) to pretty much the entirety of BattleNet. So here are my questions for you lovely people. For you StarCraft 2 players, do you have any advice for a guy trying to get his Terran on? And to everyone else, what do you do when you continually lose at a game you play competitively? How do you handle it? Go!
Hey readers, how’s your weekend going? Me, I’ve been doing a few things, including winning my first ever StarCraft 2 match! I know that’s not very impressive, but considering I haven’t finished placing yet, this is a pretty big deal for me. The guy I beat was probably even more Forever Bronze than I am, but still, I’ll take a victory when I can get one.
Besides that, I’ve been doing the Gears of War 3 beta with Eddy and having a LAN gaming marathon with my friends. I know that LAN parties typically refer to linking a bunch of PCs together, but I use it as a catch-all term for getting together with friends in the same room and playing a bunch of favorites. So far we’ve done Age of Empires 2, StarCraft 2, Halo 3 and right now we’re beating each other up in Fight Night Round 4. My poor boxer facsimile, he just can’t win a match. That may be my fault though.
Since I’m gaming with pals today, I was wondering what sort of games you play when you want to trash your friends. RTS games, FPS games, good old classic brawlers? Also, if any of you PC players want to rage on me for misusing “LAN party” by referring to consoles, go ahead. I can take it.
How’s your holiday weekend going, GamerSushi-ites? Me, I’ve been tucking into the Gears of War 3 beta again after doing a marathon Portal 2 session where I polished off the whole game, both single and co-op. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to do a “What Are You Playing” sometime this weekend, so we’ll table that discussion for later. Segueing from that, I am planning on checking out Mortal Kombat soon, which frightens me mostly because fighting games are one of the genres that I totally suck at.
To be totally honest, in a multiplayer standpoint, I’m really only good at first person shooters. Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 gameplay, I’ll admit that my Kill/Death ratio is pretty terrible, with one often outpacing the other (guess which one). The same thing goes for real time strategy games, where I can maybe hold my own in a campaign or a comp stomp scenario, but once I get out into the wild, everything just goes right down the tubes.
All that pales in comparison to how badly I perform at fighting games like Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Tekken and the like. I’ll maybe win the odd round, but more often than not I’m getting Hadoukened back to last week.
It’s rare that anyone admits that they’re bad at games, but we’re all friends here, so go ahead and let us know what genres you aren’t that great with. Fighting, racing, shooting? Drop them comment bombs, yo.