ARTICLES

Pixel Count: Which System Will You Be Playing in 2014?

13 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

E3 has come and the Big 3 have shown us what they have in store for us over the coming months. There has been so much news, updates, retractions, clarifications and denials that it is kind of hard to keep track of everything. Still, this has been an eventful E3, one where the details of two new consoles were revealed, where fanboys waged war and where Nintendo did whatever it is they do. Microsoft brought the games, Sony brought the Internet to its feet and Nintendo brought its beloved franchises.

So now that we have a clearer picture of what Microsoft and Sony are going to do with their next gen systems, it only makes sense to take a poll of our loyal readers and find out where your current desires lie. A lot can change between now and release but it seems reasonable to assume that some of you have made up your minds. So tell us in the poll below which system you plan on doing your gaming in the near future. Please leave the reasons for your vote in the comments!

Pixel Count: Which System Will You Be Playing in 2014?

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Towers Crumble in Battlefield 4: Siege of Shanghai Multiplayer Trailer

11 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

You guys probably knew this was coming, but after Battlefield 4′s strong showing at the EA press conference yesterday, there’s no way I could pass up sharing this.

DICE showed off a 64-player Conquest mode match on a map based in Shanghai, displaying the revamped Commander mode (which you can do through a tablet as well as in-game), Levolution, and a few things besides. While the gameplay is live, the players are quite obviously following a script, but overall it’s a great trailer. Have a watch!

So yeah, consider me super impressed by Battlefield 4! EA had a great press conference, even if they did spend a little too long on sports (which I understand, even if it’s the genre of games I find the least interesting). What do you guys think of Battlefield 4′s multiplayer? Looking good?

Sony E3 2013 Press Conference Highlights

10 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 9 Comments

PS4 E3

Now that Microsoft has sounded off this morning, it’s time for Sony to jump in with their own version of what the next generation of video gaming should look like. As these things tend to go, the conference had its share of highs, lows, hyperbole, hype and exciting moments. But most of all, some shots fired at Microsoft.

Many people said that this year was Sony’s to lose. So how did they do?

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Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference Highlights

10 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 8 Comments

XBox One

Well gents and ladies, E3 is here, which of course means one thing: time for press conferences! The big gaming show is about the only time of the year that I get excited to listen to executives throw a bunch of scripted marketing speak at me, since it (sometimes) means I’ll get to look at some new games — and, if it’s a really good year, maybe some new tech and a few new IPs as well.

So how did Microsoft deliver after all the hubbub they’ve caused in recent weeks with the reveal of the XBox One? Let’s find out.

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GamerSushi Asks: E3 2013 Predictions

8 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

e3 2013

E3 2013 is right around the corner (seriously, it’s on Monday!) so it’s time to bust out those E3 predictions! Gaming yearly extravaganza always seems to sneak up on us, even when we know exactly when it’s coming.

This year is going to be especially interesting considering that both Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles have been announced. With Microsoft’s recent info-dump about the Xbox One’s stance on used-game and its once-a-day mandatory Internet check in, I wonder whether they’ll concentrate mainly on games or try to do further damage control.

So! What do you think is going to happen at E3? What are you looking for out of the press conferences? Of the big two, since Nintendo is skipping E3 this year, who do you think will come out on top? Will EA announce SimCity 2? Go!

The Last of Us Reviews Explode Onto the Web

6 Jun 2013 | Posted by | 10 Comments

the last of us reviews

Man oh man, if there’s one game for the rest of this year that might be able to topple BioShock Infinite off of its lofty perch, it’s The Last of Us. Sure, everybody might have their own personal Game of the Year (come on, Battlefield 4), but I predict that those two giants will be slugging it out for that prestigious award come December.

What makes me say that, you ask? Well, in case you missed it yesterday, the review embargo for Naughty Dog’s fungal-fueled post-apocalyptic title lifted and there are some fantastic reviews out there. Here’s a round-up of what some outlets are saying about it:

Pretty much unanimous across the board, except for Polygon’s review which highlights a few inconsistencies with the shooting mechanics. The multiplayer is of particular interest to me, especially considering I kind of forgot that The Last of Us even had this mode.

The game is out next Friday, so what do you guys think about these reviews? Are you getting excited?

The Scourge of Teenage Game Center Hackers

4 Jun 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

Game Center

If you’ve played many games on an iPhone or iPad, you’ve probably spent a little time in Game Center, Apple’s achievement and score tracking app. If you did, you may have noticed that the public leaderboards for most iOS games are almost entirely full of impossibly fake scores at the very top. I’d always hoped that there weren’t actually people with enough free time to make it to level 10,000 in Infinity Blade II, and this article at Edge confirms my suspicion. Apparently leaderboard hacking is incredibly common in iOS games, and it’s oftentimes perpetrated by teenagers playing around with programming.

If you think about it, it makes sense. A lot of iOS games were created by very small developers who don’t have much time to spend policing bogus scores on the global leaderboard. I’m occasionally interested in seeing where I stand on a big leaderboard, but most of the time I only really care how I’m doing in relation to people I actually know. In the big scheme of things, bogus scores on the global leaderboards don’t have much impact on my use of the app. They’re just an oddity I’ve always been curious about.

My favorite quote in the article comes from Terry Cavanaugh, developer of the punishingly difficult Super Hexagon:

“If it was really quite difficult to hack, then I could understand it,” says Cavanagh. “But it is so easy that a kid could do it. Maybe [the person] wants to pose as an elite hacker, saying, ‘Oh look what I was able to do,’ but even to hackers that must look pretty pathetic, because there is no protection in the game… If somebody wants to set a fake score on the leaderboard, it’s just kind of an embarrassing thing for them, really. It’s just so shameful; I feel like by deleting it I’m covering up just how awful they are.”

When it comes down to it, iOS games will probably never be a big deal in the world of eSports, where leaderboard scores actually matter, so for now the hackers seem to be doing it just for the hell of it. It’s fascinating the things you learn about people on the internet.

Review: Fire Emblem Awakening

31 May 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

Fire Emblem Awakening Feature

The Nintendo 3DS has had some great games in the past few months with one of the most notable being Fire Emblem Awakening. Having a love-affair with strategy games and being a Fire Emblem virgin, I was anxious to delve into the game and see what all the fuss was about.

The Story

The story of Fire Emblem is a bit of a mixed bag. It starts off in an interesting, if cliched fashion: your custom avatar wakes up in a field with amnesia. Now, I know what you’re thinking but stick with me, the story gets better. Having been found by Chrom, the prince of the kingdom of Ylissia, and his companions, you help them in defending the countryside from marauders, eventually joining them in the greater struggles that await. These struggles range from demonic Risen to all manner of political intrigue and attemped coups. Chrom’s sister rules the kingdom and he enforces her rule, but there are neighboring nations that have nefarious plans of their own, all of which give you a reason to do what you do best: fight some battles and kick some ass. The story encompasses everything from bandits to time travel to world-ending dragons, so there should be something in here that appeals to everyone.

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Pixel Count: Franchise Sabbaticals

30 May 2013 | Posted by | 9 Comments

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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Sonic: Lost World Trailer is a Little Sonic, a Little Mario Galaxy

29 May 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about Sonic the Hedgehog anymore. While SEGA has made some decent efforts in the past to revitalize their old mascot’s image, for every step they take forward it seems like they take two back. Sonic Colors was good, but it was only on the Wii, so a lot of people didn’t play it. Sonic Generations was, by and large, a really fun Sonic game, but every couple of levels the developers seemed to forget what kind of Sonic game they were making and shoved in some clumsy platforming sections. That said, the new Wii U and 3DS exclusive Sonic game Lost Worlds looks like Sonic Team has been bitten by the Mario Galaxy bug, and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Watch the trailer below!

Besides the Galaxy influence, I’m detecting some Sonic Extreme in there as well, which is good news for people who waited for that game back in the mid ’90s only to have it cancelled. So what do you guys think of Sonic: Lost World? Are you on board?

GamerSushi: Summer Schedule

28 May 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

summer

Hola friends, bro-mans, Sushians — and welcome to GamerSushi, summer style. If you are up to date on the latest podcast (and if you’re not, then why aren’t you, because we talk about XBox One and it is fantastic) then you know that Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer for us here at Sushi land, and we take that thing pretty seriously. It helps us to take a slight break while game news trickles to a crawl just after E3, and gives us a chance to recharge a bit and continue doing this thing year after year. For real, we’d probably have hit each other with hammers and blown up the site if we didn’t get a chance to do this, and then what podcast would you listen to?

With the summer schedule we’ll be posting 3 times per week instead of the normal 5-7. That means you’ll still get plenty of gaming content and commentary, just not at the normal frequency. You’ll find the schedule below.

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Loving the Gimmicks in Mario Kart 7

27 May 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

mario kart 7 3ds

If there’s any constant in this universe, it’s the fact that a new Nintendo console will get a Mario Kart game. True, Mario Kart 7 did release in 2011 and the Wii U hasn’t even had one teased yet, but I’m enjoying the 3DS version and I hope that a few of the new innovations that get carried over to the inevitable Wii U title.

Mario Kart 7 added a glider and submarine option to every kart so occasionally, if the race calls for it, you’ll either be high up in the sky or driving around underwater. It’s a neat way to break up the pace of a race, even if some of the gliding/submerged sections do feel a little gratuitous. Additionally, while a lot of the courses function on the tried and true 3-lap circle course, Mario Kart 7 introduces continuous courses where you don’t see the same section of the race twice. It’s a great new way to shake up the racing in the seventh iteration of this long running series.

Unfortunately the Download-Play is a little lacking; people using that functionlaity only get to play as Shy Guy and can’t upgrade their karts with the new coin system, and they only hear the same music on every track. That said, Mario Kart 7 proves that this old warhorse still has a few tricks up its sleeve and is a worthwhile addition to any 3DS owner’s lineup.

Has anyone else played Mario Kart 7? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to see some of these changes when Mario Kart Wii U comes out? Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 71: All for Xbox One

26 May 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

gamersushi show ep 71 xbox one

It might come as no surprise that the majority of this week’s cast is dedicated to the Xbox One reveal. We talk about our thoughts on the device, everything from the announcement itself to whether or not people actually need a console that can do all this stuff when they already have three or four more gadgets that can do the same thing.

After we wax philosophical about the Xbox One, we make a couple E3 predictions and those are always fun. In case you missed it during the cast proper, this will be our last cast for a couple of weeks until E3, which is when we’ll do our “Season Finale” E3 wrap-up.

You know what to do. Listen, rate, all that good stuff. See you after E3!

0:00 – 8:20 Intro
8:21 – 46:21 Xbox One
46:22 – 1:05:55 E3 Predictions
1:05:56 – 1:06:59 Outro

GamerSushi Asks: Next Gen Selling Point

24 May 2013 | Posted by | 7 Comments

xbox one ps4

Now that both Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles have been revealed, there’s been much hemming and hawing here at GamerSushi over what would make us buy one of the new devices. Sure, there are neat features between each one, like the Xbox One’s three operating systems so you can “alt+tab” your console now, or the PlayStation 4′s streaming services, but there’s nothing that’s really made one console stand out over the other.

That said, there might be something announced at E3 that would completely change my mind about one of the new consoles that would make it a “must have” for me. I’m not talking about games, because I already have a PC (although InFamous might sway me), and let’s face it, both of these consoles will have games at some point. No, I’m talking about something that makes you stand up and say “that is so awesome, I can’t believe nobody’s built that in yet”.

So, my question to you guys is: what’s the magic feature that would make you shell out your hard earned cash for either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4? This can be something that Microsoft and Sony have already said “no” to, like backwards compatibility, or things like that.

Nintendo Asserts Ownership Over YouTube “Let’s Play” Videos

23 May 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

nintendo you tube ad revenue

With all the buzz about the Xbox One over the past week it’s possible that this bit of news slipped under your radar. Nintendo, having recently become a YouTube Partner as of February, has flexed their legal muscles and claimed control over its copyrighted content on the popular video sharing network and that includes “Let’s Plays”, a type of gameplay commentary/walkthrough that a lot of YouTube channels use.

What this means is that Nintendo is using YouTube’s copyright algorithms to analyze videos and if there’s a certain percentage of Nintendo content in those then Nintendo monetizes them and receives that ad money. This cuts the video makers out of the ad revenue loop and any Let’s Plays will forward the money to Nintendo instead of the person(s) who made the video.

This has led to a bit of backlash from the YouTube Let’s Play community, with a lot of well-known personalities claiming that they won’t be playing Nintendo games on their channel anymore. A lot of smaller game developers have come out saying that Let’s Play videos are great forms of grass-roots advertisement, and a few companies have gone out of their way to give YouTube channels special permission to make money by playing their games and making videos of that.

What do you guys think? Is Nintendo right to claim the ad money from these videos? Are people correct in the backlash? Go!

Source – PA Report

EVE Online’s Fanfest Is A Learning Experience

22 May 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

EVE Online Fanfest

We’re going to be hit hard with Xbox One news in the coming weeks so today I wanted to offer a momentary respite from that with something that fascinates us all: EVE Online.

EVE Online is the most interesting, intimidating, exciting and possibly most mundane game that most of us have never played. Many of us will never play it, but the awe-inspiring stories that are generated from the MMO are the stuff of legends. The tales of epic battles, years-long subterfuge and stunning betrayals have left us all stunned at one time or another. It’s kind of amazing that such amazing things are happening practically under our noses. The density of the game prevents many from playing it, but those who do find themselves part of a unique community. And the hallmark event of that community is Fanfest.

Patrick Klepek and Drew Stanton of Giant Bomb traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland for Fanfest. Iceland has a population 319,000. To give that some meaning, my hometown of Tampa, FL has 349,000 people, so an entire country with less people than that honestly boggles my mind. But it is from this tiny nation that CCP, the creators of EVE, hail. EVE has about 500,000 active users and 1,400 of those users made the trip to Fanfest as well. Kind of staggering to think of more people play the game than live in the country that gave birth to it.

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Microsoft Reveals the Xbox One

21 May 2013 | Posted by | 8 Comments

xbox one reveal

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know all about the reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox 360. In the one-hour event at Microsoft’s Xbox Campus, the Xbox One was unveiled, showing the actual console (including a new Kinect and controller), multimedia features, Skype integration, sports, the internal workings of the device, and I think there were a couple games in there somewhere.

The Xbox One conference started off showing the console’s compatibility with your existing TV services as Yusuf Mehdi switched between live TV, the 2009 Star Trek movie and even opened a Skype call while he was doing this. The gestures and voice commands actually looked pretty slick, and I could see this being a huge reason to buy the Xbox One for some people.

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Pixel Count: Most Missed Game Types?

21 May 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

We gripe quite a bit about the homogenization of games on GamerSushi. One of the most disappointing things about this past generation has been the way publishers and developers have shifted to providing game experiences that feel all too similar. We’ve been through the laundry list of complaints before: RPG mechanics married with Call of Duty style shooting, games that lead you down cut-scene filled tunnels, etc.

However, in the last year or two, we’ve finally had a bit of a break from the attack of the video game clones. With creative titles like XCOM, Monaco, Papers Please, Journey, Walking Dead, Hotline Miami and more, it seems like we’re slipping out of that mid-generation funk of tired, boring military games. And as time goes on, I feel like I keep seeing more reasons to be excited about upcoming games, as people are finally turning the corner. Don’t get me wrong, the shooter will always be popular — but we’re finally seeing more of the variety that the generation started with.

So, with that in mind, let’s have ourselves another edition of Pixel Count. This week, we’re talking about the game types we miss most, and that we hope to see more of in the near future. Start casting your votes and tell us why in the comments. Go!

Which type of game do you miss most?

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Going Through the Motions with Blood Dragon

20 May 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Blood Dragon

I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t love Blood Dragon.

After being so excited about Far Cry 3′s far-out DLC with a cheesy sci-fi bent, it turns out I’m just not that into it. The atmosphere of the game, full of reds, purples and neon colors, actually makes it kind of hard to pull of Far Cry 3′s refined, excellent gameplay. You can’t see enemies very well, you’re so superpowered that stealth barely matters, and with all the colors you rarely have any idea of where enemy fire is coming from.

But more than anything it just makes me want more of the real game. I’m not sad that I purchased it — I think DLC like this should be made more often — it’s just not really floating my cyber-boat. I find that I’m having to force myself to play the game, even after bumping it down to Easy to make it pass more quickly.

With gaming, I tend to muscle through most of the time and finish titles, even if I’m not 100 percent feeling them. But sometimes, I run into a Blood Dragon, where I legitimately do not even want to play it anymore, but feel like I should. So my question for you guys is this: when do you decide to cut the cord on a game? And what’s the last game you decided to stop playing? Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 70: Pwncentages

19 May 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

gamersushi show ep 70

After a little break from the Drunk Cast, we’re back with a normal-ass normal episode of the podcast. Nick joins us once again and we bring back Anthony’s famous GAME TIME clip for the second time in recent memory.

In a little change from casts past, we talk about something other than the video game industry. We dip into a conversation leading off of Blood Dragon about TV shows, and it’s a pretty good talk, all things considered. We’re very well-rounded nerds.

So yeah, listen up, rate up and enjoy…up. Catch you next time!

The Onion’s “Find the Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights and Weekends For the Rest of Your Life”.

0:00 – 5:06 Intro
5:07 – 18:34 EA and Star Wars
18:35 – 23:33 Microsoft Ditches Points
23:34 – 46:16 Blood Dragon (NOPE j/k we talk about TV)
46:17 – 53:44 Fire Emblem: Awakening
53:45 – 1:00:59 Star Command and Kickstarter
1:01:00 – 1:02:06 GAME TIME (Percentages)
1:02:07 – 1:05:03 Chance we’ll see a price at the Next Xbox reveal
1:05:04 – 1:07:11 Chance that half the presser is dedicated to Kinect
1:07:12 – 1:09:36 Chance we’ll see some new cool thing involving Kinect
1:09:37 – 1:12:25 Chance we’ll see a Halo teaser/trailer
1:12:26 – 1:16:34 Chance there’s a good launch title
1:16:35 – 1:21:07 Chance the Wii U will have a system seller by this Fall
1:21:08 – 1:23:27 Outro