This is Not a Review of The Stanley Parable… or is it?

The Stanley Parable

To give you a peek into the inner workings here at GamerSushi, we recently discussed the fact that there are several prominent games out there that we haven’t actually reviewed yet. Like, for example, Grand Theft Auto V, which landed a solid #12 in our list of the top 20 games of the last generation. We are aware of the oversight, we are, and we hope to make amends soonish. Personally, I planned to start my attack on un-reviewed games by diving into one of my recent purchases, The Stanley Parable by Galactic Cafe. I figured it’d be both quick to play and reasonably timely. It’s still a fairly new game, after all.

Accordingly, late one night I sat down with The Stanley Parable and played it for about an hour and a half. I think I beat it. In fact, I may have beaten it several dozen times. I’m honestly not entirely sure. I am sure, however, that I haven’t experienced everything the game has to offer. It’s hilarious, confusing, surreal and nearly impossible to summarize. Part of the reason summaries won’t do it justice is that the experience is built entirely around the fact that you are playing a game and bringing certain expectations to the table.

Continue reading This is Not a Review of The Stanley Parable… or is it?

Assassin’s Creed 3 Thanksgiving Patch Fixes a Broken Game


Well isn’t this just dandy? Just a couple of weeks after the game is released with a mess of glitches and bugs packed right in, Ubisoft has announced the Thanksgiving patch for Assassin’s Creed 3 which, by the looks of it, will remedy almost every misgiving I had with the game engine wise.

As I outlined in my Assassin’s Creed 3 review, this new game in the series is riddled with almost-game-breaking glitches from things that prevent you from accomplishing optional objectives for full synchronization to a final chase that’s so ridiculously bug-ridden that it’s nigh impossible to complete on the first few tries. The fact that this patch is being handed out half a month after the game has launched means that Ubisoft was more than aware of the problems AC3 players would face, but chose to ship the game anyways.

Just take a look at the laundry list of fixes coming in with the Thanskgiving patch. Almost every mission is getting changed to some degree, and that’s before getting to the stability changes that the Anvil Next engine is getting.

If this is how much the game needed fixing after the day one patch, I can only imagine the state it was sent to discs in. How it ever passed certification is beyond me. Since I’ve given up trying not to editorialize, I feel massively ripped off by Assassin’s Creed 3 in a way that I haven’t been by a video game in a long time. I payed full price for a game Ubisoft knew was broken, without any idea that it would be receiving a patch that would fix most of my grievances. While my problems with the mission design and the story still stand, I think the game would have fared better if I didn’t have to fight a legion of bugs.

What do you guys think about this? Am I right to be this indignant? Who’s still holding on to their copy of Assassin’s Creed 3?

Source – Ubisoft forums

Today’s WTF: Single Player Is a Gimmick


Hello, Sushians. I’ve come to give you very bad news: single player video games are nothing more than a gimmick. I know, this may come as a shock to you. What, with games like Dishonored, XCOM, Deus Ex, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City gracing our screens over the last couple of years. I mean, it’s easy to be fooled by these great titles with fantastic mechanics or engrossing stories. But you really should know that playing by yourself is a gimmick.

At least, according to Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonson. Antonson has a few thoughts about single player titles in a recent interview that might not be too popular around these parts:

“I also think that it is worth to note that the single player mechanic is a gimmick – games are meant to be played with others and it doesn’t matter if it’s in-person or online. The first games were designed as multiplayer experiences, but when computer and console games became a thing there was a need to construct an antagonist and/or a protagonist for commercial purposes.”

Antonson goes on to talk about how toddlers make up someone to talk to when they play games, and even points at the “high score list” in arcades as a way to make games social. I understand what he’s saying — on one level, playing a game in a social setting transforms the entire experience. It’s nice to compare experiences with other people in a meaningful way, as we’re seeing with a game like XCOM. But on the other hand, I think it’s too much of an overstatement to say that all single player titles are inherently gimmicky by not including a social component.

So what do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy? Is Antonson off his rocker in his assessment of single player as a gimmick? Does every game need some kind of social component in order to truly matter? Go!

Source – Games Industry

Today’s WTF: Mass Effect Trilogy Doesn’t Include Paid DLC

mass effect trilogy dlc

It’s almost like EA is goading us on purpose now. The recently announced Mass Effect Trilogy collection sounds pretty neat and looks even cooler (what with the unified designs on the disc labels) but it will only include the DLC that came free with the various Online Passes associated with the game, and you’ll have to pay for the other bits.

I’ve never heard of a collection of any work where parts of it were purposely left out and you had to buy them separately. Hell, George Lucas kept adding stuff when nobody wanted it. For those curious, here’s a breakdown of what you will get with the package in terms of DLC:

On PC, Mass Effect will include Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station on disk. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included which features Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, The Firewalker Pack, Cerberus Assault Gear, Arc Projector heavy weapon, and Normandy Crash site mission. For Mass Effect 3, Online Pass will be included granting players access to co-op multiplayer.

On Xbox 360, Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station are not included with Mass Effect, however they are available as stand-alone downloads through Xbox LIVE. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included and Online Pass will be included for Mass Effect 3.

Information on PlayStation 3 DLC will be available soon.

Not bundling Mass Effect 2 with Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker is baffling, because those two add-ons were fantastic, and in the case of Lair, essential to the series’ story. Arrival I can take or leave, but regardless, I think that all the DLC should be bundled in.

What do you guys think about this? Should EA throw in the DLC or am I just making too much of a fuss about this? I get that EA is a business, but this just seems like an unnecessary cash-grab.

Soruce – Mass Effect Trilogy

Today’s WTF: EA Leaks Battlefield 4 Beta on Origin

Battlefield 4 beta leak

Everyone on here knows that I love Battlefield just as much probably more than the next guy, but it’s not a game the benefits from having a successor so soon, considering that the latest version was released under a year ago. Add in the fact that Battlefield 3 Premium meant that customers bought the game twice, advertising the fact that there will be a Battlefield 4 Beta included with a Medal of Honor: Warfighter pre-order is a bit much.

I tried to grab a screenshot of this myself, but EA’s crack team of monkies running Origin seemed to have nipped this in the bud. The Internet is always quicker than you think, though, as Reddit user krov grabbed this screenshot of the Battlefield 4 Beta being advertised on Origin. Add this to the fact that IGN has their own screengrab and it’s looking like EA accidentally spilled the beans on Battlefield 4.

It’s fairly obvious that EA is positioning Medal of Honor and Battlefield to trade off on a yearly basis, but seeing one of my favorite franchises essentially working the digital street corner is disheartening. I try not to fall pray to the whole “gaming is ruined” thing, but it’s looking pretty ugly out there. What do you guys think about this? Is it actually legit? Should EA at least wait until Medal of Honor: Warfighter actually comes out before pimping the next Battlefield?

Source – Reddit, IGN

Today’s WTF: Diablo 3 Digital Copies Take 72 Hours to Process

diablo 3 digital purchases take 72 hours to process

Oh, Diablo 3, will you make it out of the strange lands of WTF-dom? Blizzard’s massively popular RPG may be a success with critics, but the design choices being made even after launch have left players more than a little outraged.

The new Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 has changed many things for the game, but one of the new side-effects is that purchases of Diablo 3 through Battle.Net will take up to 72 hours to process. Yes, you read that right: copies of Diablo 3 bought online will restrict players to the Starter Edition of the game (limited at level 13 and Act One to the Skeleton King, no Auction House and no online play with owners of the full edition) until the transaction is processed.

Blizzard has tried to do some damage control saying that it will normally take less than 72 hours for the majority, but this turn of events is incredibly strange. It’s not made clear why exactly the purchasing process has to go down this way, but one thing is certain: people are not happy.

What do you guys think about this move? Most of us already have Diablo 3, but what about those of you who are holding out? Will this affect your purchase or is it not really a big deal? Is 72 hours too long a wait considering that you can get to the Skeleton King in a few hours?

Source – Battle.Net

The Pain and Suffering of a Ten-Year Long Civilization II Game

ten year civilization 2 game

Civilization games are famous for taking a long time to complete, but even your most hardcore marathon doesn’t compare to Reddit user Lycerius’s ten year slugging match between his communist Celtics and the Vikings and Americans.

In the year 3991 A.D., the remaining super-powers have weathered over 1700 years of war and are huddled in dilapitated cities surrounded by infertile marshes and radioactive wastelands.

The stalemate comes from the fact that Civ 2’s late game is perfectly balanced and the Vikings attack every round regardless of cease-fires. Every nation is 100% comitted to war manufacturing as any attempt at peaceful rebuilding means that your nation will be crushed by the other armies. Late-game building units are used only to build roads that take units to the front lines and then rebuild them when the infrastructure is destroyed.

While it’s cool that this guy managed to keep a save file for ten years, The Eternal War is also an awesome post-apocalytpic tale. Commie Celts? Spies slipping nukes into cities? Ice caps melting and reforming 20 times? Sounds like a recipe for a good novel.

A whole fandom has sprung up around this man’s tale and there’s a subreddit dedicated to finding a way to end the war. What do you guys think of this?

Source – Reddit

Today’s WTF: Assassin’s Creed 10?

Assassin's Creed 3

Franchise fatigue? Ubisoft’s never heard of that, apparently. With Assassin’s Creed 3 on the way, Gamasutra sat down for an interview with Ubisoft North America executive director Laurent Detoc, in which he insisted that the idea that there can be too many sequels simply isn’t true. So does that mean we’ll see Assassin’s Creed 8, 9 and 10?

“I hope we will,” says Detoc. He goes on:

“I also hope we’ll be able to branch out from within the franchise. It’s very simple to me: There’s no such thing as not being able to annualize a franchise. If it’s good, people will come.”

I get that this guy is talking from a business standpoint. Obviously, a game studio head wants to crank out yearly sequels for a profit – but surely, everyone remembers what happened to some of Activision’s franchises recently, yes? People do get fatigued and move on from franchises. We’ve seen it time and time again.

It seems like some of these studios should worry more about how to offer something new and less about how to crank out the same thing every year. The reason some are excited about Assassin’s Creed 3 isn’t because they’re dying to see what happens to Desmond — it’s because the game finally represents a shot in the arm for the franchise, after several years of re-hashing some of the same ground.

What do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy? Or am I just overreacting? Call me crazy. Do it. Go!

Source – Gamasutra

Today’s WTF: The Petition to Change Mass Effect 3’s Ending

mass effect 3 endingWell, here it is people. The point where I begin my slow descent into quitting video games. I’ve moaned about the entitled attitudes of gamers before, but this absolutely takes the cake. Mass Effect 3 hasn’t even been out a damned week and there’s already a petition to get BioWare to change the ending of the game.

I haven’t beat the game yet (I’m holding out until my Galactic Readiness is 100% in every sector) but I have heard some grumblings about the less than satisfactory way the Mass Effect trilogy wraps up. Sure, not every trilogy has a perfect ending, but demanding that the developers change their vision is a new one.

So far I’m really enjoying Mass Effect 3, even if I have problems with it. The game doesn’t exactly put its best foot forward but the further you get into the game the better it gets and some of the missions are really fun. True, some of the side missions are pretty boring “horde” scenarios but it’s not that big a deal.

I’m trying really hard to avoid spoilers which is why I’m linking to the Kotaku post instead of the actual poll on BioWare’s social site. I looked at the poll and almost spoiled myself, so I’m mad at these Gandalfs for more than one reason. I mean, how would BioWare change the ending? It wouldn’t be in a free patch, that’s for sure. What do you guys think about this? Do you have a (spoiler-free) opinion on the ending?

Source – Kotaku

Today’s WTF: Fans Tear Mass Effect Novel a New One

mass effect deception errors

Canonical consistency in video game universes is kind of a strange thing, given the loose nature of the story-telling and the tendency that most games have to go back and retcon plot points to better fit in with a new direction (Kojima says hello). Out of all the various franchises, Mass Effect has had a rock-solid fictional underpinning, thanks to the tireless work by the writing staff at BioWare. The in-game Codex has hundreds of entries that are incredibly detailed, giving you back story on everything from krogan reproduction to how spaceships prevent static electricity buildup while travelling at lightspeed.

Given the thorough nature of the Mass Effect universe, you might understand why the new novel, Mass Effect: Deception, is getting ripped to shreds for its heaps of inconsistencies. Written by series newcomer William C. Dietz, Deception picks up the story started by previous author and BioWare employee Drew Karpyshyn and manages to fumble even the most basic facts. There’s a Google Document detailing the many ways that Mass Effect: Deception drops the fictional ball, and it’s kind of hilarious to read.

There’s a whole smattering of errors here which makes me wonder who greenlit the novel considering that it glosses over some pretty important parts of Retribution, the previous book. Characters who previously knew each other have magically forgotten that they met, and one character’s neural disorder (a significant aspect of the last novel) is written off as an “adolescent phase”. I’m not typically one to be slavishly adherent to an established canon (except for when Lucas made Mandalorians a pacifist culture), but I have to think that you want to at least maintain some consistency. As you can imagine, there’s quite the poop storm over this book, with one angered fan going as far as to set it on fire.

What do you guys think? Are fans over-reacting? Should the author and the publisher have taken more care? Go!

Source – Errors in ME: Deception

Today’s WTF: Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Trailer

Metal Gear Rising disappeared from the scene for a while, dropping only a brief trailer of the game’s protagonist Raiden chopping up dudes and watermelons with motion-gaming like movements. With nothing about the game being released since then people began wondering if we were ever going to see the game again. Well, the new trailer for Rising has leaked just a couple of hours before its appearance at the SPIKE Video Game Awards tonight and all I have to say is “wow”. You can judge what kind of “wow” that is for yourself after you view the trailer.

So yeah, that happened. The Metal Gear games were always a little crazy, but Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (yes, that’s the real title) is down-right bat-shit insane. Revengeance is now being handled by Platinum Games, the studio behind Bayonetta and Vanquish, so you can see where it gets the heritage of over the top action from. What do you guys think of Rising’s new direction?

Today’s WTF: Win $10K for Grabbing Drake’s Ring

OK, we’ve seen some absolutely wild, are-you-freaking-kidding-me type promotional stunts pulled for games quite a bit in the last few years. Hearing about the new, wacky schemes that these companies will go to in order to win over some fans or promote their games is starting to become old hat. We’re sort of used to these antics by now.

Sort of.

You see, Kevin Butler (or Sony, if you want to be uppity about it), VP of everything PS3, is offering gamers $10,000 for whoever can hold out their arms the longest via webcam. Yes, really.

The “Uncharted 3: Grab the Ring” contest rewards those with superior arm-holding stamina up to $500 each day (for the winner of the day) and $10,000 for the overall best time. The current champion at the moment has done so for over 2 hours.

Normally our daily WTFs are things that we think are appalling, but this one is just plain silly. I really don’t have much of an opinion on it. So yeah. Get to those webcams if you want in on this ridiculous promotion. Any takers?

Source – Grab the Ring

Today’s WTF: Call of Mountain Dewty Double XP

CoDSome of you may have heard about the new Mountain Dew Call of Duty promotion giving away in-game Double XP time for buying their products. Stuffing your face with bags of Doritos and washing it down with a can of the green can give you up to 90-plus minuets of in-game double XP. Codes on the products can be entered to give you a rank-up edge in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.

Now I don’t know how many of you feel about companies giving in-game goodies for pre-orders or buying the more expensive edition of a game, but this one really takes the cake. Check out the official rules at the link from the top to view the official rules and a table of the time-to-drink ratio.

While 15 minutes of double experience for drinking a 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew isn’t going to skyrocket you to 15th Prestige, the concept of this promotion is still a giant facepalm to me. With companies like Best Buy and GameStop already doing absurd promotions this new concept seems to be pushing that idea too far. What do you guys think? Is Mountain Dew hitting on a goldmine? Or is this a joke of a promotion? Give me your thoughts!

Source – PC Gamer

GamerSushi Asks: Call of Duty and Videogame Vampires?

Game Vampires

While reading Game Informer issue 220, I ran across a section called “Feedback.” In here they list responses from readers and one in particular caught my eye. The response was entitled “Call of Duty: Time Vampire.” What follows is the entry and Game Informer’s response.

“This letter is coming from a previously avid Call of Duty online player. Recently, I’ve begun to actually think about what I’m wasting all these hours of my life on. I decided to pop back in my copy of CoD: WaW, and after getting shot up quite a bit, I quit in frustration. Then I moved back into my comfort zone with my usual gaming selection: Black Ops. I played for a little while and suffered more than my share of frustrating deaths. Then I rage quit and walked outside, thinking about what I had just endured. I asked myself, “Aren’t video games supposed to be fun? Why am I wasting hours upon hours of my life on such a meaningless and even disturbing experience? Why does my kill/death ratio even matter?” I then stepped back and realized that Call of Duty is just a massive waste of time. I went into the barracks option and looked at the amount of time played. It read 10 days, 18 hours, and 34 minuets. Call of Duty, you were like a leech, sucking away at me and my time. I’m glad to be rid of you.”

Matt Bernsdorf
via email

Then GI responded with this:

“So we’re guessing you don’t plan on subscribing to Activision’s new monthly Call of Duty: Elite service?”

So the article hit me in a way that may surprise some people. I felt like this letter was totally worthless, as was the response from GI. I talked about it with my girlfriend and she agreed that the article seemed pointless. Games within themselves are just that, ways to waste time. They are for entertainment, like a movie or a book. They are for you to spend your free time and have fun, two things that the author seems to be re-thinking.

I have spent 8 days 2 hours and 31 minuets playing Black Ops alone. I have had horrible games and been frustrated, but I never consider it an absolute waste of time. I play with my friends and I have fun. To me it seems the author of the letter is not having fun, which leads him to believe that said games are a waste of his time. What I find interesting is that this can be taken to more than just the Call of Duty series and FPS games. I guess MMOs and RPGs are all wastes of time, too. What’s the point? Why should I go for the best weapon or armor? Why should I level up?

I find that it defeats the whole purpose of gaming all together. Perhaps he has grown out of videogames, but I feel he is just being a bad sport. So what do you guys think? Is Call of Duty a total waste of time? Are videogames in general worthless vampires that suck away at us? Give me your thoughts!

Source – GameInformer

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Pre-Order Debacle

star wars the old republic pre-order

Some exciting news out of Comic-Con today regarding the Old Republic, but maybe not the kind that people were expecting. It’s not the release date as many people might have hoped, but rather the news that you can pre-order Star Wars: The Old Republic in one of three flavors (regular, Digital Deluxe and Collector’s

Pre-ordering is all well and good and as natural to the video game industry as wetness is to the ocean, but letting people pre-order without a release date is a little strange. Beyond that, the Collector’s Edition was very limited (it was sold out by the time I looked at the page this morning) and apparently the Digital Deluxe version is in limited supply as well. You can still pre-order the DD SKU, but after dropping your cash-monies on it you’ll be informed that you are “likely” to receive the thing you paid for.

I’m going to try and not editorialize this too much, but there’s something wrong if you can’t guarantee people something they paid money for, especially if it is digital. What many people suspect EA and BioWare are attempting to do is limit the amount of people logging in on day one in order to transition smoothly from development to MMO-sentience, but they way they’re going about it is all wrong. Opening pre-orders before a solid release date and telling people that they might get what they paid for smacks of under-preparedness among other things.

EA will no doubt bequeath people their Digital Deluxe editions, but whether or not you’ll be in the first run remains to be seen. I get that the Collector’s Edition is supposed to be rare (given the number of Halo 3 boxes I still see in stores makes me scoff at that notion), but putting a limit on a digital item will no doubt raise eyebrows.

What do you guys think of EA’s move? Is it a little too much taking money before putting out a release date?

Wanted: Original Heroes

Cole Infamous 2

I don’t mean to be a grumpy old man about the state of games these days – as you know, I love them fiercely. Think of it as a mama bear and her cubs. And yes, I’m the mama bear. Anyway, while I try to stay positive and don’t want to pounce on the things that bug me all the time, I will say that in addition to poor writing in modern games, another problem that I’ve seen is a new tendency towards weak protagonists.

In my mind, these two problems easily fit together hand-in-hand. I feel like writing in games suffers precisely because of weak protagonists, who are designed to be bland so as not to affect the plot itself or even your memory of it. While story isn’t everything in games, there’s something to be said for an experience that works alongside the gameplay.

To underscore this unsettling trend, IGN posted a feature a couple of weeks back that highlights the Devolution of Character Design. It’s really disturbing to see, especially as they photoshop several heroes together without any hitches. I knew that heroes were growing more unoriginal, but not to such a staggering degree.

So what do you guys think? Do we need more original heroes? Who’s your favorite protagonist in recent video games? Who is your least favorite? Go!

Source – IGN

Today’s WTF: Call of Duty Elite Will Add A Monthly Subscription

Call of Duty Elite

In a move that’s sure to raise eyebrows, Activision Blizzard (via the Wall Street Journal) have announced that they will finally try to add the long-rumored monthly subscription to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 when the game launches this fall. While the exact services and price are still being discussed some portions are suspected to be things like in-depth stats-tracking and a Facebook-like webpage.

Call of Duty Elite will not be mandatory, at least not at this juncture, as Activision confirmed that non-subscribers will still be able to play online, but the company is being very hush-hush about what capabilities the hold-outs will have. Call of Duty Elite purchasers will get access to post-launch map packs as part of their subscription.

Call of Duty is one of the only video game franchises that can pull this off, having an enormous player base that seems content to drop sixty plus dollars on the titles every year. Call of Duty Elite is said to be an enormous investment for Activision, despite the fact that similar services are provided by Bungie for the Halo franchise for free.
Continue reading Today’s WTF: Call of Duty Elite Will Add A Monthly Subscription

Today’s WTF: Obsidian Regrets New Vegas Bugs


Seriously, Obsidian?

I’m not trying to be a troll or anything, but this one really gave me a combination of laughs and head-scratching. You remember all of that fuss last year, back when Fallout: New Vegas had its buggy launch? Well, so does Obsidian, and they are none too pleased, thank you very much.

Here’s what Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart had to say about his company’s reputation for releasing buggy games in a recent article with Play Magazine.

I think it’s fair and unfair at the same time, because in the same conversation that I hear how buggy KOTOR and Alpha Protocol were, I also hear how great they were… Now in the case of Fallout: New Vegas, we made a gigantic game, and I’m proud with what we were able to do but I wish it wasn’t as glitchy when it came out. The criticisms people had are fair but it’s difficult to get a game the size of New Vegas bug free. But that’s an excuse and it doesn’t matter when someone’s paid $60 for a game. It’s something we need to work on.

He goes on to pump their new game Dungeon Siege III, but that was the meat of it. Maybe I’m reaching a bit here, but in my mind, if you’re the CEO, why don’t you do something to ensure that the games don’t go out the door with so many bugs? You’re in charge, last I checked. Delay the game if you have to, or work with your managers to get a better schedule for release so your developers aren’t cramming like crazy. On the flip side, it really is nice to see a CEO being open and honest about this kind of criticism, rather than just brushing it aside. So kudos for that.

What do you guys think? Fair or foul here? Go!

Source – NowGamer

Bro Game Reviews

Alright nerds, it’s time to get real around here. When I’m not busy slamming beers and stealing your girlfriends, I sometimes play video games. As a guy who really knows his stuff, I thought I’d do all you dweebs a favor and tell you which of these upcoming games are worth your time and money. I’ve been convinced by the other dudes around here to use the grading scale to rate these games, so let’s pop those collars and get down to business. This is gonna be boss. Continue reading Bro Game Reviews