Features

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: February 2013

7 Feb 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Torchlight 2 cut scene

I hope you’re all happy to know that we’re bringing the Power Rankings back this year, but in a slightly different format. Last year, the Power Rankings updated at a few key points to bring you our running list of the best 10 games of the year so far. In 2013, the Power Rankings will focus more on our hottest 10 games of the moment, despite what year it was released. Think of it as a “what’s trending” list amongst the GamerSushi staff. These are the games we just can’t get out of our heads, or out of our disc trays (or hard drives, as it were).

Every year, it’s interesting to note the games that stick with you from the end of the previous year’s crazy gaming season. For me, the biggest surprises to come out of the Fall were games like Hotline Miami, but most especially Far Cry 3. While I had no interest in Far Cry 3 for the entire year, I couldn’t put the game down for the entire two weeks that I blazed through it, completing nearly all of the sidequests as well. If you had told me that Far Cry 3 would still be on my mind in 2013 a year ago, I would have snorted and called you a crazy person. Heck, I still might call you one today.

Here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games right now. Feel free to tell us we’re the crazy ones, and tell us what would be on your list.

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Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

5 Feb 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

paper mario sticker star review

While the main Mario games may be getting a bit stale, the mustachioed plumber has a great stable of spin-off titles in other genres. Paper Mario wasn’t our hero’s first foray into RPGs, but the series became known more for its art style and humor as opposed to any stat-based hooks.

Armed with his trusty book of stickers and a new companion, can Paper Mario: Sticker Star bring the series’ trademark charm to the 3DS?

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Gaming Pop Quiz: 2013 Edition

31 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

Pop Quiz

Sweet, merciful heavens. Has it really been almost a year since our last Pop Quiz? My, how time flies. In my defense, the last Pop Quiz arrived about a week before my daughter did, so it’s interesting to note how little humans tend to disrupt things like, you know, writing features for a gaming site.

So, since it’s been a year since our last getting-to-know-you game, we wanted to ask some questions about the upcoming year, last year, and where your head is at as a gamer for the time being. While 2012 was certainly an interesting and fun year for gamers, 2013 looks to be no slouch, either. Already we’ve had Ni No Kuni and Devil May Cry making waves, and Dead Space 3 is just around the corner next week. Seems like we have a good opportunity here for some questions.

If you haven’t joined us for a Pop Quiz before, it’s simple. Just answer with as much or as little of an explanation as you like, and nobody will judge you. Too much. OK, scratch that, I’m always judging.

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Review: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

29 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

XCOM

We don’t get many thinking man’s games these days. It’s usually shoot first, ask questions never, and maybe occasionally press X to interact while the really cool stuff happens in QTEs or cut scenes. But XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a different kind of animal for a different kind of gamer. Of all things, XCOM is the most taxing on your brain — and sometimes your heart.

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Review: Far Cry 3

24 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

far cry 3 review

If you’re captured by pirates on a tropical island halfway around the world, what do you do? According to Far Cry 3, you get some sick tribal tattoos and start stabbing. Far Cry 3 doesn’t waste much time before dropping you into an island paradise full of dangerous predators and even more dangerous pirates and mercenaries and allows you to go about your business as you see fit.

Want to be a master of stealth and roll around with a bow and a machete? Go for it. Want to trundle in with a flamethrower and a bunch of rocket-propelled grenades? Perhaps you’d like the local wildlife to do your killing for you. Far Cry 3 has so many ways to interact with the environment and your enemies that it’s almost insane. Oh, did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

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Review: Dishonored

22 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Dishonored Cover

New IPs are increasingly rare as this console cycle stretches on and on. It’s not something I fully understand, as more people than ever have 360s and PS3s, so one would think the risk of funding a game based on a new property would be much lower, but then again, what do I know?

Thankfully, Bethesda feels differently and thus has unleashed Dishonored upon the world. Developed by Arkane Studios, which features the talents of one of the original Deus Ex developers, it is a mix of Bioshock, Thief and Deus Ex, all rolled into one package. Onward to the review!

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 59: Rude Cast

20 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

gamersushi show ep 59

The GamerSushi Show is back for your listening pleasure two weeks in a row! Crazy, right? Unfortunately neither myself or Nick could make the cast this week, but that doesn’t mean that Eddy, Anthony and Jeff didn’t have enough to talk about on their own.

After going over a couple of 2012′s late entries, the guys talk about the upcoming games of 2013 and whether or not we’ll actually see the next gen this year (signs point to yes). There’s much more nerdery in the podcast proper, so what are you waiting for? Listen, rate, comment. You know the drill.

0:00 – 2:06 Intro
2:07 – 10:28 Hotline Miami
10:29 – 16:10 GamerSushi Schedule
16:17 – 21:46 Far Cry 3
21:47 – 27:55 GS Staff Personal Top 10 of 2012
27:56 – 31:50 Ni No Kuni
31:51 – 36:26 2013 and the Next Gen
36:27 – 48:58 The Games of 2013, January to May
48:59 – 52:21 Outro

Review: Hotline Miami

18 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

hotline_featured

When I first heard about Hotline Miami, I didn’t quite understand the attraction. My assumption was that it was just a gruesome beat-em-up with the old-fashioned pixellated visual style so common in indie games these days. I just wasn’t that interested in a game that appeared to involve nothing more than bashing in the heads of an endless number of goons. However, when I had a chance to pick it up on sale over the holidays for $2.50, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hotline Miami is stranger and far more challenging that I was originally expecting, and I knew within a few hours of gameplay that it was worthy of a place on my personal top ten games of the year.

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The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2012

16 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

2012 was a surprisingly robust year for gaming. While we didn’t quite get the bombardment of sequels to huge franchises that we’ve come to expect, we got a year filled with unique titles. 2012 was filled with strategy games, stealth games, new IPs and a new bar for emotional engagement in our favorite medium. Even the sequels found a way to change the game. Suddenly, the industry gave us something we’ve been clambering for what has felt like years — some variety. And what a nice change of pace it’s been.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2012. Enjoy, dudes.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 58: PC Master Race

13 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

gamersushi show ep 58

Happy New Year, Sushians! Your glorious GamerSushi crew is back from our protracted holiday break, bringing you the first podcast of 2013! I know you’re excited.

Something strange happened to our staff over the break as everyone dipped pretty heavily into the PC gaming inkwell, and as such we talk exclusively about everybody’s favorite gaming machine. True, most of the titles we played were multiplatform, but Jeff does gab for a bit about Hotline Miami.

In addition to that we also spend some time talking about the new Steam Box and the Steam Winter Sale, which ruined more than a few wallets. Since it’s been just over a month since our last cast, here’s a quick refresher on how this goes down: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, and comment on the podcast.

0:00 – 4:32 Intro
4:33 – 9:51 Sleeping Dogs
9:52 – 25:27 XCOM: Enemy Unknown
25:28 – 34:13 Far Cry 3
34:14 – 36:41 Torchlight 2
36:42 – 43:38 Dishonored
43:49 – 54:33 Spec Ops: The Line
54:34 – 1:00:30 Hotline Miami
1:00:31 – 1:07:13 PC Gaming and the Steam Sale
1:07:14 – 1:15:50 Steam Box
1:15:51 – 1:18:14 The Witcher 2
1:18:15 – 1:21:48 Outro

The 2012 Sushis: A Year of Highs and Lows

10 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

The 2012 Sushis

If you’ll do us the kindness of remembering, you’ll recall that GamerSushi does the annual recap a bit differently than most places. Sure, we’ll do our Top 10 Games of 2012 list within the next week, but before that we bring you the Sushis, our roast, celebration and general send-up of the previous year’s highs and lows.

In the 2012 Sushis, we mock the disappointments, high five the best multiplayer experiences and give solos to the unsung heroes of one of the generation’s most interesting years yet.

Enoy!

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My Metal Gear Solid 4 Experience: The Saga Ends

3 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Cover mgs4

Well, that was certainly an experience.

In the last year, I have played all the numbered Metal Gear Solid games (MGS, MGS2, MGS3), ostensibly to see what the big deal was. After finishing Metal Gear Solid 4, my feelings on the game itself are largely ambivalent, but my feelings on the entire franchise are generally positive. (spoilers follow)

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Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

30 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

black ops 2 review

While Call of Duty moved into the realm of fictional wars with the first Modern Warfare game, the series has never strayed beyond modern technology; indeed, even jumping into today’s battlegrounds was deemed a huge leap for the series. Now that almost every era of modern war has been mined for inspiration (I’m still waiting for Trench Warfare), Call of Duty’s off-year team Treyarch decided to make a bold move and place their Black Ops follow up in the year 2025.

The whole game doesn’t take place in 2025, however, as there are several levels that occur in the 1980s that set up the origin of Raul Menendez, the antagonist of this particular outing. Switching back and forth between the shiny combat of 2025 and the shady battles of the 1980s, can Black Ops 2′s unique narrative break it out of the Call of Duty rut?

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Review: Halo 4

14 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

halo 4 review

When Halo: Reach launched, the future of the Halo games became rather uncertain. Sure, we knew that Microsoft had formed 343 Industries to shepherd the series now that Bungie was moving on from the games that made them famous, but there were still doubts as to whether 343i had the chops to take over. Their first video game effort didn’t come until 2011 with the re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved. While it was a nice update to this classic game, it was still just standing on the shoulders of giants.

Leading up to Halo 4 you could kind of sense the uncertainty surrounding it. An unproven studio with Microsoft’s most valuable franchise making a game that promised to uphold everything Halo stood for? 343i was in a tricky position, because if they played it too close to Bungie’s territory they’d be looked down on and if their Halo was wildly different, the backlash would have been immense. They needed to strike a balance between making a Halo game while at the same time moving it in an entirely new direction. Now that the game is finally out, have they become the Reclaimers to Bungie’s Forerunners?

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My Metal Gear Solid 3 Experience: The Best One Yet

10 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 9 Comments

MGS 3 Cover

In a series consisting primarily of odd choices, perhaps the oddest choice by Hideo Kojima was to take the Metal Gear Solid storyline back to the past, to the beginning of Big Boss’s journey. It’s always odd when a prequel has a number assigned to it that indicates it is actually a sequel, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater actually is worthy of the moniker. The story of Metal Gear Solid is invigorated and broadened in exciting new ways thanks to this bold decision. I had heard so much about MGS 3 being the best in the series and I was seriously surprised when it turned out to be one of the best games I have ever played.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 57: The Walking Podcast

7 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 4 Comments

the walking dead video game

We once again convene our even nerdier Council of Elrond as we return for the 57 episode of The GamerSushi Show. It’s been a few weeks since our last podcast, but when isn’t that the case?

To be fair to us, not a lot has happened between then and now, except for The Walking Dead finishing up its first season, which we cover in the majority of this podcast. In case you’re wondering, we go full spoilers on this one. No holds barred, and all that, so be warned if you’ve yet to finish.

In addition to The Walking Dead, Eddy beat Assassin’s Creed 3 so we dedicate some time to his impression of the game. We also talk about Hitman: Absolution’s terrible “assassinate your friends” marketing campaign and the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards nominees.

You know how it goes: listen to the podcast, and don’t forget to rate it for full synchronization.

Zachariah Scott’s Bad Medicine.

0:00 – 1:54 Intro
1:55 – 3:37 Hitman’s baffling advertising
3:38 – 10:42 Spike’s Video Game Awards 2012
10:43 – 31:00 Assassin’s Creed 3
31:01 – 1:04:38 The Walking Dead
1:04:39 – 1:07:38 Outro

Review: Sleeping Dogs

4 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

sleeping dogs review

When a game originally starts its life as part of the True Crime series and gets dropped by its publisher in advance of its release, it doesn’t bode that well. Such was the case for Sleeping Dogs, until Square Enix swopped in and scooped up the rights to bring the game to the public, saving United Front’s Hong Kong-based open world game from development hell.

Starring the enigmatic Wei Shen as an undercover police officer infiltrating a local Triad gang, Sleeping Dogs takes the melee combat style popularized by the Batman: Arkham titles and mixes it with some familiar open-world tropes and in a brazen move, refuses to give the player a gun for the first few hours. Sleeping Dogs takes a lot of risks for what should be a safe bet in the video game world. Does the game succeed or is its cover blown?

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Fawful: The Best Nintendo Character Since Ever

26 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Fawful

There are so many video games on so many systems that certain things are bound to fall into the cracks, ignored by many while exulted by a passionate minority. In this new feature, I hope to shine a spotlight on certain overlooked games, characters and anything else that should warrant mention.

The first is a character from the Mario & Luigi RPG series, which originated on the Game Boy Advance and has since moved on to the DS. There have been no entries thus far on the 3DS, but one can certainly hope, although the fact that Paper Mario is on the 3DS leaves me feeling forlorn. The games have always been a delight to play, due to their unique control system, which allows you to control and move both Mario and Luigi simultaneously. But the real reason to play the games is due to the humor, of which a large part can be attributed to the new villain that debuted in the first game, Superstar Saga: Fawful.

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How Rockstar Can Bring The Magic Back To GTA

21 Nov 2012 | Posted by | Comments Off

GTA V blonde

With Game Informer’s cover story finally unveiling some concrete details about Grand Theft Auto V, the Internet finally has a reason to talk incessantly about Rockstar’s popular open-world series and we here at GamerSushi are no different. I have stoically ignored all GTA V rumors and discussion until new information was released. However, since that has now happened and we find ourselves in the golden age of GTA V info, I have some thoughts and concerns, as I so often do.

First, as we have mentioned in the past, Grand Theft Auto IV was a disappointment. I know some people swear up and down by it, but as a huge fan of the PS2 trilogy, I didn’t find much to like. The world has bigger and denser, but there just wasn’t much of a reason to explore it anymore. The numerous side activities of previous games were scaled back, leaving you with only a few things to do other than the story missions. Instead, they were replaced by what amounted to taking your friends out on dates, which was fun and unique exactly once. We all got a laugh when we took our perverted cousin Roman to the strip club, but that wasn’t something I was anxious to repeat.

The other minigames were poorly controlled and very tedious. Bowling was kind of interesting, but a single game took forever and the overly long animations had me scrambling to quit as fast as I could. And the only real purpose for this was so you could get bonuses, like Jacob the weapons dealer giving you a discount. Honestly, what kind of black market merchant of death cuts into his bottom line just because someone takes him to a comedy show? It just makes no sense and wasn’t fun.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 56: Mendicant Podcast

18 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 9 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 56

We’re almost back on track with the podcasts as we return with the 56 episode of our illustrious gaming show. In the edition we see the return on Nick, who regales us with the tale of his journey to the International Beard Competition. Or, maybe we just talk about Halo 4, GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 3 like a bunch of nerds.

The podcast opens with some Grand Theft Auto 5 talk, including our misgivings about the three playable characters and the changes that Rockstar needs to make to the formula after 4. Halo 4 is, of course, a big topic, with Anthony and I declaring our love for the game with all of its playable modes. We close out the cast with a final dissection of Assassin’s Creed 3 where I expand on my review a little bit.

I don’t think you need to be told what to do at this point, being 56 shows deep, but I’ll remind you anyways because I’m nice: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, love the podcast. Wanna meet that podcast.

0:00 – 1:12 Intro
1:13 – 16:08 Grand Theft Auto 5
16:09 – 31:03 Halo 4
31:04 – 40:37 Assassin’s Creed 3
40:38 – 42:10 Dragon Quest 7 re-release
42:11 – 53:18 Outro