2014 is half-over, which means that the time is nigh to reflect on the last six months of new games. We saw some current-gen only titles drop along with a 3DS title that sought to reclaim the JRPG crown, a couple of big MMORPG releases and a game that actually made people want to buy a Wii U.
As you can probably suss out from the preceding sentence, my favorite game so far this year is Mario Kart 8. I wrote a bit about the sheer joy that playing the newest Mario Kart can bring you and I’ve yet to even dip my toes into the online mode. It even has a rather forward thinking feature for a Nintendo product in Mario Kart TV, which allows players to slice up clips of their races and upload it to YouTube, which brought us the famous Luigi Death Stare. Some might not like the serious downgrade that the Battle Mode received, but the N64 implementation of that was always the best for me and I haven’t played that mode sense.
We still have six game-packed months to go and my front-runner for Game of the Year will most likely change when 2014 is done and dusted. Even so, I’d like to know what your game of the half-year is. What games do you think will knock it off in the latter half of 2014?
Aiden Pearce is a dork. He’s also “The Vigilante”, the hacker who takes matters into his own hands on the streets of Chicago in Watch Dogs, the new hit from Ubisoft. Watch Dogs is a fun, enjoyable take on the open-world genre, even if it lacks in genuine originality or innovation. But the more I’ve played, the more I’ve enjoyed my time in our newest digital sandbox.
Except where Aiden is concerned. The gameplay of Watch Dogs is pretty damn good, but the story and Aiden’s character are pretty horrendous. Slight spoilers for Watch Dogs ahead: Continue reading The Dork Knight Rises in Watch Dogs
Over the weekend I played a healthy amount of Mario Kart 8 and I can firmly say that this is the most fun I’ve had with the series in a long time. This game feels like a perfect evolution for the series with new features that make sense and a lot of returning mechanics from the previous games that are implemented in clever ways. The new hover segments, where the tires on your vehicle turn sideways and you float a foot or so off the ground, manages to feel like an integral part of how you play in Mario Kart 8 and not just a new gimmick to put on the back of the box. Hovering turns the gameplay on its head, sometimes literally, and forces you to think differently, like purposely bumping into other races to get a speed boost instead of avoiding them.
It helps that Mario Kart 8 is an amazing looking game and even in local two-player splitscreen it still delivers a 60 frame per second performance. Across the eight different cups are 32 tracks, 16 new and 16 returning and all have been tweaked to take full advantage of the different modes of transportation. In one race alone you might be underwater, gliding through the air and hovering upside down. Mario Kart 8 keeps you constantly engaged by changing up the progression of the race so you never feel like you’re just going through the motions. The soundtrack is nearly fully orchestrated this time and is a huge improvement over the music of Mario Kart Wii. Continue reading The Sheer Joy of Mario Kart 8
I’ve been reading Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris that chronicles the rise of Sega during the 90’s. It’s a delightful book, full of endlessly fascinating details, such as how Target’s lenient return policy allowed customers to return years-old NES’s in order to get credit towards a SNES. Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with Nintendo and it led to Target pulling Nintendo products from the stores for a time. I lived through this era and reading the behind the scenes drama that went on has been very enjoyable. My nostalgia bones are all tingling right now. Continue reading The Eternal War: A Look at the Repeating Console Cycle
Today is a strange day to be a Nintendo stalwart and a Pokemon fan. Nintendo’s fiscal year ended on March 31, 2014 and the company is not looking good right now. Due to lower than expected sales numbers on both the Wii U and the 3DS, Nintendo has fallen below their projected income for the last fiscal year, and that’s even after taking into account the fact that they lowered their projections back in January of this year. With Nintendo once again skipping E3 and maintaining that they will not be showing off new hardware, one has to wonder what they plan on doing to right the ship.
Of course, if things are looking down a little Pokemon can always give you a nice bump. This morning, Nintendo announced Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, updated versions of the classic Game Boy Advanced titles that released in 2003. Promising an “epic new story” in a “dramatic new world”, both games will be hitting the 3DS/2DS this November. Long-time series fans will recall that the original Ruby and Sapphire games took place in Hoenn, but speculation about the potential Mega Legendaries on the game’s cover art has pointed to the fact that this game might be in a new location.
What do you guys think about this news? Sad for Nintendo? Excited for more Pokemon? Sound off!
Source – GoNintendo, Nintendo, Eurogamer, Pokemon.com
I’m not going to lie, I really like Nintendo Directs, but I feel like this one for Mario Kart 8 is like one of those Internet videos that people find really funny for some reason but I just don’t understand the humor (this is how I feel about Mega 64, for example). This is one weird Nintendo Direct, but we’re getting some hot Mario Kart 8 info so I’m down with it. It’s almost 40 minutes long, so make sure you’re sitting comfortably.
I think the most appealing part about this is the free game that you get for registering Mario Kart 8 with Club Nintendo, although there’s plenty of great stuff coming in Mario Kart 8 as well. The game looks fantastic and I’m really glad Nintendo is moving towards fully orchestrated scores and away from the mostly-awful MIDI tracks that plagued Mario Kart Wii. How is Mario Kart 8 shaping up for you? Pre-order confirmed?
Fans of Patrick‘s last appearance in the days of yore of the GamerSushi Show (well, episode 83 actually) will be overjoyed to learn that the site’s most Easterly Canadian is back for another go.
Given Patrick’s stance as a Wii U supporter, it’s fortunate that we brought him in to discuss the massive Super Smash Bros. info-dump that came out this week. We also talk about out impressions of the Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number trailer and break down the beneficial changes Blizzard has brought to Diablo 3 for the new expansion, Reaper of Souls.
So listen, rate, give us five stars on Twitter and we’ll be back in your ear holes soon!
0:00 – 1:06 Intro
1:07 – 13:19 Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct
13:20 – 17:49 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number trailer
17:50 – 26:07 What we’re playing
26:08 – 37:05 Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
37:06 – 39:50 Jeff’s Titanfall obsession
39:51 – 42:10 Outro
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Ever since the Nintendo 64, each new Nintendo console has brought us a new Super Smash Bros., Nintendo’s hot franchise-on-franchise brawler. We’ve known that a version of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U has been in the cards for a while (along with a 3DS version), but thanks to this new Nintendo Direct with Smash Bros. series director Masahiro Sakurai we now know that we’ll be seeing the newest iteration in Winter of 2014 (I assume they mean Q4) with the 3DS version hitting this Summer.
In addition to the release dates, this Nintendo Direct features information on new characters, online play,the 3DS-exclusive Smash Run mode and a few new characters, so check it out!
If this trailer is any indication then the music in the games themselves will be straight bangin’. Smash Bros. games are always good nostalgia trips, and I think that the tripping mechanic has been removed this time around and that makes me a happy camper. What do you guys think? Is Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS shaping up pretty nicely?
After 2012’s less-than-stellar entry, the Assassin’s Creed series seemed poised to spend the last few years of its life cycle fighting irrelevancy. While Assassin’s Creed 3 might have sold well, it turned off a lot of people, myself (an admittedly hardcore fan of the franchise) included. Half-baked mechanics, buggy presentation and a bland protagonist were all parts of the gumbo of disappointment that was AC3.
Not long after that game released, Ubisoft announced a follow-up that would take place in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. The new protagonist would be Edward Kenway, father and grandfather to the Assassin’s Creed 3 playable characters Haytham and Connor, respectively. With a game poised to take advantage of the naval combat introduced in AC3, could Black Flag right the ship? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
In the upcoming Wii U platformer Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, DK will play with a 3DS if you leave him alone long enough. YouTube Channel GameXplain shows you a clip of this as well as analyzing the sounds the 3DS makes to figure out exactly what games the platforming ape is playing!
The GamerSushi Show is back for another week, but this time the intrepid boys from the States are hosting a different Canadian: Patrick, friend of the show, joined us this week to try and defend Nintendo against our usual merciless onslaught.
Since Patrick is a long-time friend of Eddy, Jeff and Nick, he fits right in. In fact, you might not even notice that a certain other Canadian is missing. *sniff*
So, if you enjoyed the cast, why not let Patrick know by rating it? Thanks for listening, and see you next time!
0:00 – 9:51 Intro
9:52 – 23:23 Titanfall and EA
23:24 – 29:21 Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
29:22 – 32:40 Square Enix
32:41 – 40:03 Bravely Default
40:04 – 59:50 Nintendo
59:51 – 1:16:25 GTA 5 and games as cultural events
1:16:26 – 1:18:30 Outro
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When Warner Bros announced the next game in the acclaimed Arkham franchise would be a preequel, the reaction was mixed. When they announced that Rocksteady would not be returning for the prequel, instead handing the reins to Warner Bros Games Montreal, the reaction was negative. It felt like a cash-grab, a stop-gap while Rocksteady worked on whatever would follow the brilliant Arkham City. Was this reaction premature or right on the money? Read on to find out. Continue reading Review: Batman: Arkham Origins
We’re sometimes hard on Nintendo around here, but it’s (for the most part) out of love for what Nintendo was and could be. The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest stab at relevance in the gaming world, has been met with a lack of enthusiasm embodied by abysmal sales.
So how does something like this happen? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at the development process of an entire console, EuroGamer presented the latest in its series, The Secret Developers. The premise of this feature is that developers write candidly and anonymously about particular subjects. This edition of the Secret Developers just happens to focus on the genesis—and troubling development— of the Wii U by a major third party developer.
And it’s certainly…interesting, to say the least. Continue reading Inside Look at Wii U Reveals Development Woes
Now that 2014 is here in full force, it only makes sense that we bring out our flatfoots of the gaming force to give their opinions of the biggest issues that gaming faced over the last year or so. That’s right, GameCop, LameCop and PsychoCop are back, and ready to hit the mean streets and the slummiest spots in town.
Since you haven’t seen them in some time, here’s how this feature works: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety.
Here’s how they feel about these issues: Continue reading Battle of the GameCops: 2014
There’s something sublime about a 3D Mario game. Whether its the subconscious association with Super Mario 64 or the fact that almost every 3D Mario is really damned good (I put in the caveat for those Sunshine haters) you can’t deny that putting a Mario game into your system is a recipe for a nostalgic smile.
Super Mario 3D World does what 3D Mario games have been doing for the past while: taking an established formula and adding on just enough twists and tricks to make something really unique. While this particular series might have started on the 3DS, this Wii U sequel truly shines. Continue reading Review: Super Mario 3D World
We are back from a month long break to drop a cast on you before we talk another month long break. Hey, it’s the holidays, can you blame us?
In this three-man yuletide cast, Eddy, Anthony and Jeff talk about the PS4 and the Xbox One, the VGX and then do a live formulation of our top ten games of the year. Nick and I weren’t able to make it but I’d say that our views are fairly represented (except about The Last of Us, but that’s a battle I gave up on long ago).
We’ve never done a live top-10 discussion, but it worked out rather well, especially after our Top 20 Games of the Generation article kind of listed us out.
Hope you enjoy the last cast of 2013 and remember to rate and enjoy the Holidays! See you in early 2014, Sushians!
The GamerSushi Top Ten Games of 2013
1. Grand Theft Auto V
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Tomb Raider
4. The Last of Us
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
7. Pokemon X/Y
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
9. The Wolf Among Us
10. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Honorable Mentions: Super Mario 3D Worlds, Saints Row IV
0:00 – 5:03 Intro
5:04 – 18:46 Next Gen Consoles
18:47 – 41:06 VGX
41:07 – 1:11:09 The Top Ten Games of 2013
1:11:10 – 1:12:59 Outro
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I have to admit, as much as I generally loathe the production of any gaming television that finds itself in the mainstream, it’s still hard not to get excited about them when you know you’ll be seeing all kinds of new reveals and information. This year, Spike’s Video Game Awards show saw a bit of rebranding as VGX, a streaming only, more quiet affair that ditched the dude bro appeal in favor of something resembling, you know, something gamers might actually care about.
Whether they succeeded or not is another question entirely. While I found the show to be passable, there was no doubt the usual Twitter snark directed at Joel McHale, who really looked like he would have rather been anywhere else as he delivered poorly written jokes. Personally, I tuned in for the video reveals and ignored everything else.
And trust me, there were plenty of those to be had. Continue reading The VGX Round-Up
The Wii U got some flack, and rightly so, for launching last year without any games. Well, it had Zombie U and some third-party cross-overs, but what I really mean is that it didn’t have a recognizable Nintendo title outside of New Super Mario Bros. U.
Flash forward a year later and the Wii U has a game that is not only a potential system seller but a game of the year contender as well. Super Mario 3D Worlds, a console-sized semi-sequel of the excellent Super Mario 3D Land available on the 3DS, brings four-player co-op to a 3D Mario game.
While a year is a long time to wait for a 3D Mario title, Super Mario 3D Worlds absolutely nails it in every aspect. The game looks gorgeous in a way that New Super Mario Bros. U never managed to, despite also being a high-definition game. From sun-dappled beaches to lava-ensconced castles, Worlds is one gorgeous game. Although the Wii U might be a little behind the Xbox One and PS4 in terms of horsepower, you wouldn’t know it looking at this game. The level design is clever as well, with this game boasting some of the most memorable Mario levels. My personal favorites are a Mario Kart-inspired course or a level that opens up into a huge savannah. Continue reading The High-Def Charm of Super Mario 3D Worlds
Now that the Xbox One is finally out in the wild, I thought I would ask what all of you GamerSushi peeps will be up to this weekend.
Are you playing a shiny new Xbox One, or are you perhaps gaming with a PlayStation 4? Personally I’ll be checking out Super Mario 3D Worlds and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds this weekend, both of which have been getting sterling reviews.
I also tucked into some Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag last night and I’m already enjoying it much more than AC3. While I can kind of tell that Edward will end up being a character that is ultimately fairly forgettable, the world and the sheer amount of piratey things to do really speaks to me.
So, what are you playing? Go!
As you may or may not know, I recently bit the bullet and purchased a Legend of Zelda themed Wii U because after Nintendo’s showing at E3 this past year, things are finally looking up for the system. Super Mario 3D Worlds is shaping up to be a must-own title, what with it bringing four-player co-op to the a 3D Mario title. Nintendo is going pretty crazy adding new things to the game and they released a trailer today detailing 10 new things you can see in Super Mario 3D World.
The game drops on November 22 and you can bet I’ll be picking it up. Any fellow Wii U owners looking to get it? Does this gameplay video entice anyone? Let us know!