Taking a Swing at Mario Golf: World Tour

mario golf world tour

It’s been a good ten years since we last saw a Mario Golf game, but longtime Nintendo sports collaborators Camelot are at it again with Mario Golf: World Tour, a 3DS title that came out on May 2.

The Mario Golf games have either been strictly arcade-like or had some light RPG aspects and World Tour seems to straddle both of these disciplines. Playing as your Mii in the “Castle Club” mode, you use the tried-and-true power bar to control your shots and for each course you complete (whether it’s a practice round or a tournament), you unlock a new piece of stat-altering gear in the pro shop which you can put on your golfer. Continue reading Taking a Swing at Mario Golf: World Tour

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: August 2013

Dark Souls

Another month, another update to the rankings. This time, we’re seeing not only movement in our backlogs, but movement in a few games that we managed to stick with from one month to the next. Imagine that! Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: August 2013

Pixel Count: Franchise Sabbaticals

Video game timelines are funny things. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the annual release titles — the familiars of our hobby, such as Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Mario and the like — and on the other side of the spectrum you have the folks that release games when they’re good and ready — the Valves and Square Enixes of the world. Today’s post concerns the first group.

With the recent quality dip of franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, the underwhelming “next gen” (but still the same old) gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts and the staleness of other titles like Mario or Madden, it seems like there are quite a few annual releases in need of a good old fashioned sabbatical. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these franchises. Far from it. I just think that perhaps an extended break might give developers a chance to come back to the table with fresh eyes and maybe a few gameplay or art tweaks that might reinvigorate things again.

Take Madden, for instance. I’m a dude that loves watching just about any random NFL game I can find on TV, but you almost couldn’t pay me to play a Madden game. Here’s the game of football — a rough-hitting, edge-of-your-seat, strategy-on-the-fly sport played by athletic gods — and EA manages to make a game that feels boring. Contrast that with something as historic as Mario or Zelda, two imaginative franchises that don’t quite excite the way they used to (unless they go retro or reboot one of the older, better games in some way), and it starts to feel like maybe it’s time for these guys to rest just a little while.

So without further ado, here’s today’s Pixel Count. Get your votes on and tell us what you think in the comments! It doesn’t even have to be a yearly release — just a franchise that you think might benefit with some rethinking.

Which franchise needs to take a sabbatical?

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Pixel Count: Best Video Game Sport

Welcome to Pixel Count Tuesday!

Here in America we are busy preparing for the Super Bowl on Sunday. It’s an unofficial holiday in these parts with plenty of food, football and commercials. Even people who don’t watch football tune in for the spectacle. There is a tradition where EA simulates the Super Bowl using Madden NFL and that got me to thinking about what sports are best when played on a video game.

Without a doubt, Madden is the most popular, but is it the best? Hockey, free from the constant breaks in gameplay and offering a flowing experience has always been my favorite sport to experience through video games. Soccer and basketball are largely similar to hockey and are a blast to play for the same reasons. Even racing games seem like they would translate better than football, yet Madden outsells them all, much to the annoyance of some who feel that it is the same experience every year.

So that leads to the poll question: what is the best video game sport to play? Vote below and leave a comment stating your reasons for your vote. Play ball!

Best Video Game Sport

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Filling out the Party: Friends that Game?


One of the inevitable consequences of doing something as a career is that it will eventually worm its way into your personal life as well. I suppose this is all fine and dandy if you do something like play video games or landed a role being professionally awesome somewhere, but that’s not always the case. A good chunk of my job pertains to social media and how to use it. In monitoring online conversations, I’ve found that I tend to treat my own Facebook and Twitter accounts the same way at times, separating things out into their proper places.

Something odd I’ve found is that over time, I’ve come to view Twitter as the place where I post about video games, and Facebook is for most of the other stuff. I realized that the reason I do this is simply because not that many of my real life friends are gamers. Sure, there are those that would classify themselves as gamers, but that means that while they may play games like Red Dead Redemption on a whim because it’s $20 at GameStop, most of the rest of their gaming is tied up in sports games or the occasional bout of Call of Duty.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disparaging their tastes in gaming. But I simply don’t connect with that kind of gamer, as it’s only a fairly casual interest on their part. For as much as gaming has grown over the years, I still find that I’m a closet gamer around many of my real life friends. It’s not so much that there’s a stigma associated with it (although sometimes that is the case with a few individuals), but just that I know it won’t really help us connect. I can really only name a handful of people I see on a regular basis that get why KOTOR changed my life or why I went to GameStop at midnight to go pick up L.A. Noire, or Portal 2, or what have you.

So, I guess I wanted to ask you guys: do your friends game? Are they just as into video games as you are? If not, how does it tend to affect your real life relationships? Go!

NFL Bestows Mercy On EA


For those of you who don’t know, the billionaire owners of the NFL are engaged in a life or death struggle with the millionaire players of the NFL which will likely result in a lockout starting in March, which could cancel or delay the NFL season this fall. All of the various parasites who suckle at the NFL’s teat are pretty much out of luck, but EA is getting a break that few others will receive.

SportsBusinessDaily is reporting that the NFL has restructured its deal with EA, allowing EA to escape some of its obligations this year due to the pending lockout, but also adds another year of NFL exclusivity, much to the chagrin of gamers who want to see innovation and competition in the NFL video game market. While exact details of the deal are not being disclosed, we do know that NFL makes 30 to 40 million dollars a year from their Madden license, so it likely will reduce the amount that EA has to pay.

Should EA receive such a deal or should they tough it out like all the rest of the NFL’s partners? Do you think interest in Madden will be higher or lower next year? If there is no football to be played, I would think more people would buy Madden, if only to get SOMETHING that resembles the NFL on their TV. Ready? Set? Hike!

Source: SportsBusinessDaily

GamerSushi Asks: When Are You Finished with a Game?

Little Big Planet

December and January have been spectacular for me in terms of clearing out my gaming backlog. I’ve commented on it in posts before, but there’s something really satisfying about playing games and knocking more of them off the list, finally getting to experience games I’ve been dying to play.

Whenever I tackle gaming backlogs, I tend to shoot for low-hanging fruit first, unless there is some stellar title that I am just dying to play. This means I normally go for games that I hear are shorter (or easier) and won’t delay me as I try to move through the rest of the list. Playing through these is rather simple, since there’s a clear beginning and end to the experience. I tend to run into problems, though, when I get to games like the three I’m dealing with right now: NBA 2K11, Gran Turismo 5 and Little Big Planet 2.

As two of them are expanding sports titles with deep pools of gameplay and one is a charming (and really awesome) sandbox extravaganza, it’s going to be hard to determine when I’ve hit the “end” of those titles for me. I’m fairly certain I’ve had my fill of NBA 2K11, even though there are plenty of things in the game I’ve yet to sample, but I’m not sure.

So what do you guys think? How do you normally tackle these large games that never end? When do you finally set them aside for another game? Do you do it when you’ve sampled everything? When you’re tired of the game? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing, 2011 Edition

Back to the Future PSN

Time to check in, folks. We are officially done with our break.

January is already underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slow down on playing games. In fact, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been playing more games lately than I’ve played in awhile. It’s been a total blast getting to spend time on the games I got for Christmas, and I’m really excited about some things that are coming up.

For me, I’ve been playing Red Dead Undead Nightmare, and am about to finish that tonight, actually. I’ve also been playing some Halo: Reach mutliplayer, Lost Odyssey, and I finally jumped into “My Player” mode on NBA 2K11, which is some of the most addicting sports play I’ve ever experienced. Seriously, even if you don’t like sports games, you might want to check it out. In the immediate future, I have plans to knock out Final Fantasy VI on the GBA, and I’m probably going to grab Call of Duty: Black Ops this weekend as well as the Back to the Future PSN game.

What are you playing these days? Have you finished those Christmas games? Are you trying to clear out the backlog to get ready for 2011’s steady stream of great releases? Go!

GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2010

Another year of gaming has gone by, which means it’s time for us to reflect on the games that really made 2010 stand out all its own as one to be remembered. This trip around the sun has produced some clunkers, disappointments, triumphs, wins, fails, works of art and everything in between. We saw quality releases from January through December, and a few surprises that threw us for a major loop in the best way possible.

To create this list, the GamerSushi staff (myself, Nick, Anthony, Mitch and Jeff) all made our own individual top 10 lists. From there, Nick used the powerful science of magicmatics to conjure up a final list, based on some mumbo jumbo he did with a point system. What you see is something like an average of all of our lists together, and one that we’re all happy with, minus a few honorable mentions of course.

So, without further ramblings from myself, I present the Top 10 games of 2010!

Best of 2010

Continue reading GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2010

GamerSushi Asks: What Are Your Gaming Resolutions?

RDR Undead Nightmare

Happy new year, folks. Yesterday marked the first day of the brand new year. Surprisingly, this blue and green ball keeps spinning along through space, un-attacked by alien oppressors. One day, though, this will happen. I have foreseen it in the moving cinema pictures.

Anyway, now that the holiday season is largely over, how did your gaming go? What games have you been playing? For me, I’ve been knocking out quite a few games. I started with Forgotten Sands, then moved onto Enslaved, and now I’m playing Undead Nightmare and lots of NBA 2K11. One of my resolutions this year is to just enjoy more books and games, getting a healthy dose of each one of those every week. Something called Web Zeroes and writing a couple of books got in the way last year, but I won’t let that happen this year.

So what about you guys? Do you have any resolutions or gaming related goals you’ve set for this year? Any non-gaming ones? Go!

Uncharted 3 Gameplay is on Fire

After the surprise pre-VGA announcement of Uncharted 3, followed by the delicious teaser trailer confirming a release date of November 1, 2011, what will Nathan Drake do next? How about a gameplay demo on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon? Would that be something that would interest you?

Naughty Dog and Sony are really pulling out all the stops this time around. Now that they have a known quantity on their hands, they seem intent on spreading the word, which is kind of nice to see from the usually subtle and esoteric Sony. The gameplay footage, by the way, is pretty spectacular with gorgeous fire effects and pretty nifty hand to hand combat, including a dive from a high perch to crush a bad guy below. Check it out and tell us what you think!

GamerSushi Asks: Favorite Sports Video Game?

Michael Jordan

Gamers have a diverse mix of interests. Some are really into fantasy novels and Star Wars, others anime and manga. Even more are sports nuts, which is where we will focus our question today. In the days of old, sports games were a fun way to have a few friends over and enjoy the outdoor sports while indoors, but not all sports games are created equal. Some are fantastic and others are unworthy of merit.

Having cured myself of the Madden addiction I once had, now I find myself enjoying the more niche sports games, such as Hot Shots Golf, FIFA Soccer and the Fight Night series. Up until the right analog stick became the dominant way to play, EA’s NHL series was my all-time favorite sports franchise. I just think hockey has the best flow and pace for video games, even more than football.

So what sports games do you enjoy playing the most? Are there any sports that you don’t watch, but play the games instead? What sport do you think hasn’t reached it’s fullest potential when it comes to games? Hut, hut, hike!

Kinect Impressions

kinect impressions

I got to try out Kinect over the weekend, and I had enough hands on time with Microsoft’s full-body motion controller to get a decent impression. This isn’t a review, per se, but it’s still going to be a decent summary of my thoughts on it.

Kinect, if you’ve somehow managed to avoid the copious amount of information about it over the last year, is a sensor bar that hooks up to your Xbox 360 and uses an infrared scan of your body as input in specific games as opposed to the remote-wand set up used by the Wii and the PlayStation Move. The major hook of Kinect is the lack of any extraneous methods of control: it’s just the game and your body. There are no complicated button combos to remember, no dual analog sticks to fumble around with. By making the game an extension of yourself, Microsoft hopes to tap into the casual market by removing arguably the largest obstruction for new gamers: controllers. Does Kinect work in this regard, or was Kevin Butler right about the need for buttons?

Continue reading Kinect Impressions

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

NBA 2K11

Video games, how I miss thee. Over the last several months, I’ve been swarmed by all kinds of things that have been taking away my gaming time. Some of these distractions fall into the realm of that general nagging living life thing (working, broken down vehicles, etc), and others are chosen (Krav Maga, personal writing).

Needless to say, I’ve been itching to play some games. When I’m not overwhelmed by these non-gaming nuisances, my time is being thrown into the following: Angry Birds and NBA 2K11. A basketball game may seem like an odd choice, but NBA 2K11 has already given me hours of sporty goodness. My brother and I have played countless games against one another, talking trash and throwing down sick jams all the meanwhile. If you’re into sports games at all, I’d suggest picking it up. On my radar are Fallout: New Vegas, Black Ops and Dead Rising 2 in the near future.

What about you guys? What are you playing this weekend and this week? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Halloween Costumes?

Bioshock 2 Halloween costume

Trick-or-treat, GamerSushi dudes and ladies. Since it’s officially Halloween, and I’m answering the door for screaming hooligans that want candy, I thought I’d stop in to ask you guys about the day of scares and pumpkins.

Myself, I just played NBA2K11 all day, and it’s seriously one of the best sports games of this generation. It’s definitely some of the most fun I’ve had playing a basketball game, and yes, that includes the boom-shaka-laka NBA Jam days of old. In terms of Halloween festivities, last night I helped carve a pumpkin (and by that I mean I watched someone do it), and later tonight I plan on watching the junk out of Walking Dead. However, Friday was the Halloween highlight of the weekend, seeing as how I won a costume contest at work by dressing like Bob the consultant from Office Space. I’m not always a huge costume guy, but that one was a fun one that got a lot of laughs. I only wish I could grow a mustache like that.

What about you guys? Did any of you have any awesome Halloween costumes this year? See any awesome video game related ones? What did you guys do for Halloween? Go!

Today’s WTF: EA Introduces an Online Pass for its Sports Titles

leaf graphicOh, EA, you were doing so well. You started trying to publish new games in 2008 with Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, and you took back your estranged children Vince Zampella and Jason West when they got canned by Activision. You even pledged on-going downloadable content support for your titles with “Project Ten-Dollar”, but now the true nature of this initiative rears its ugly head.

Announced today in what may go down as one of the biggest bone-head moves of all time, EA Sports has dropped the word that all Sports titles will come with an online access card similar to the ones in Bad Company 2 or Mass Effect 2. The major difference is that this card will allow the player to access the multiplayer portion, something that gamers have come to take for granted from their titles. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be the first game to include this pass, and one has to wonder if this practice will begin to make its way into other EA titles. Could Crysis 2 require this? Unthinkable to most gamers, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Additionally, this pass will only be available with new copies, so used game purchases and renters will be out of luck.

In an effort to further underline the questionable motives of this maneuver, GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo has pledged his support to EA Sport’s new enterprise, stating that GameStope employees will begin pitching X-Box LIVE and PlayStation Network point cards to used game purchasers.

What do you guys think of this? How do you think it will affect the rental industry? Let us know in the comments.

Source: GamePro

Today’s WTF: Tony Hawk is a Glutton for Punishment

Poor Tony Hawk. Back in its heyday, the Pro Skater series of games were the best way to get on a skateboard and have fun without breaking your neck, but recent iterations of the franchise have been, well…less than stellar, to put it kindly.

After the massive failure that was the first Tony Hawk Ride, it appears that Mr. Hawk and the crew at Robomodo (the developers of the original) are more than willing to get back on the board and give it another shot; probably as a courtesy to those who paid upwards of $119.99 USD for the game and its peripheral. The skateboarding luminary, famous for his 900 degree revolution trick, recently Tweeted that he was in Chicago meeting with the studio about their next project.

The Tony Hawk games reached their zenith with the first Underground game and have been in a swift decline ever since, and I don’t think that Ride 2 (or whatever it will end up being called) has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning back those who were jaded by the first game.

I’m interested in one thing, though: has anyone here played THR, and was it as bad as it was made out to be? What do you think of the games themselves? Should they fade off quietly into the nether, or will Activision continue to pump them for all they’re worth? For fun, what was your favorite version? Answer away!

Source: ShackNews

Rumor: NBA Jam Gets a Revival

NBA JamBoom shaka-laka! He’s on fire!

If anyone knows those words, then they will be excited to hear one of the newest rumors circulating around the video game realm this week. Namely, that NBA Jam is getting revived by EA Sports for an exclusive Wii title. That’s right, the Midway classic that we played in arcades and on our SNES or Sega Genesis are getting the Frankenstein treatment, coming back to us in the year of our Lord 2010. Allegedly.

While details right now are scarce, it seems that there is a pending announcement that could hit later this month. I’m not sure if you guys ever even played this game, but it ranks among my top sports games of all time, and probably as the greatest basketball title that I can remember playing. I loved getting on fire and doing the crazy make-your-opponents-weep kind of dunks to get absurd scores by game’s end. Even though I don’t have a Wii, I seriously can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Does anyone else remember playing this game?

Source- VG247