As many of you devoted Halo-ites know, we are mere hours away from the launch (or should I be cheesy and say drop again?) of Halo 3: ODST in stores all along these American shores. Though you east coasters won’t see it for another hour or so and the rest of us have to wait even longer than that, I’m sure the anticipation is already pretty high for another Halo title release.
I have to admit, I was trying to avoid the Halo fever this time around, but starting about two weeks ago, I once again got caught up in the hype train. It was completely inevitable. The thing that really sold me on the game has to be the 4 player co-op story play as well as the Firefight mode, reminiscent of Horde mode from Gears of War 2. I’m hoping to attend the midnight launch in just a couple of hours. And if I can’t do that, then I’ll pick it up tomorrow after work.
So- which of you guys is planning on getting the game, too? Go!
Have you been wondering what Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds has been doing since 2007 when their game launched? Well, wonder no more as you absorb the awesome trailer for All Points Bulletin (APB), a free-to-play MMO. It looks a lot like GTA IV multi-player, and as long as they can get it to be a lot more stable than that I think we’ve got a hit on our hands.
In APB, you can join one of two sides, the Enforcers or the Criminals. Once you’ve chosen your side, you can fully customize your own gang and roam around the city with friends hitting fools with you car. The shooting looks pretty tight as well, and I’m very intrigued by the option to recreate the look of the Beastie Boys out of their “Sabotage” video and rip around the streets.
APB is set to debut on both the PC and the 360 in March 2010. Given that Crackdown was a huge sleeper hit, I think that there’s going to be a large player base when this game comes out. Who’s going to be giving APB a try, and on what platform?
We play lots of games here around GamerSushi. So many, in fact, that there’s not possibly time to write reviews for all of them. While we would love to give some in-depth analysis of every title that graces our screens, we just don’t always get a chance to.
So, rather than neglect this bunch of titles, and make way for the deluge of blockbuster games that are about to appear on the queue, Mitch, Anthony and I decided to give you guys a new feature called Quick Hits.
What are Quick Hits? Quick Hits are fast and to-the-point reviews of several titles we’ve played recently, machine gunner style. Feel free to discuss the games at article’s end, and let us know what you think of them. Continue reading GamerSushi Reviews: Quick Hits
One thing that I’ve gotten really bad at in recent years is beating a game. I used to beat nearly every game I played, no matter its quality or length, including all the crazy JRPGs that I used to power through in college. Part of the reason I don’t seem to do this anymore is that as I get busier, my free time is a lot more valuable, and I don’t want to spend it playing a game that starts to feel like a chore.
That being said, I’ve made it a point to beat a few games that have been sitting on my docket recently, such as finishing Halo Wars on co-op mode, Shadow Complex and the Secret of Monkey Island. I have to say, I was really surprised at how satisfied I felt to beat a few games in a row, and it made me realize just how few games I seem to beat these days. Just this week I gave up on Prototype after getting tired of the repetitive missions.
So it made me wonder, do you guys do this too? What’s the last game that you guys have beaten, and what games have you given up on lately? Go!
Are you prepared for Rocktober, the most heavy metal month of the year? If you are, brace yourselves for the opening six minutes of the Jack Black-starring, Tim Schafer-produced Brütal Legend, a journey through the most raging of fantasy worlds! No doubt you’ve already heard about some of the voice stars in this game-which includes Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister and Tim Curry-and you’ve probably heard about the various legal troubles that the game has had, what with Activision being a vicious font of evil and all that. Anyways, check out the video, which feature some awful “music”, surprisingly sober voice acting by Black, and a giant monster that reminds me of Mannoroth from Warcraft III.
So, who’s picking this up? October’s a packed month as far as releases go, but I’m making room for a little Brütal Legend on my calendar.
It’s often gratifying as a gamer to hear that developers do listen to the complaints we have against their games. As small as we can sometimes feel against the pull of design committees, release dates and budget crunches, having a developer say that he’s heard our opinions and is taking them into serious consideration feels like a victory well deserved.
One of the games that has come out in the past couple of years that has seen the most amount of griping by the community at large is Assassin’s Creed. While the game found almost universal acceptance among its players, there were still a few points of contention which people felt needed to be addressed for the inevitable sequel. Things like the repetitive nature of the side missions and the over-all sameness of the actual assassinations were among the biggest criticisms raised against the game.
This is where the conversation with the game’s developer springs up. It’s not as literal as sitting down at a table with the design staff and reading off a list of grievances and what you would have done differently, but it can sometimes have the same effect. The best part is that when developers listen and change things, they’ll sometimes try to get us to differ our views by making us take a harder look at the tropes we’ve come to expect from games.
So what happens when you create a role-playing game in the vein of old school pixelated JRPG’s… only you build it in 3D out of blocks? Why, you get 3D Dot Gamer Heroes, a PS3 exclusive coming out later this year in Japan. I have no idea if/when this game is coming out in the US, but please, for the love of all things holy, I can has?
Tell me that this trailer doesn’t make you nostalgic for games long forgotten. I dare you.
If there’s one game coming out this holiday that has style leaking out of its cel-shaded ears, it’s Borderlands. In this new trailer for the upcoming FPS-RPG, we’re introduced to the various characters that we’ll be controlling as we explore the wasteland looking for sweet guns. There’s plenty of gory game-play (censored to tantalize you) and awesome music packed into this video, so check it out.
Gearbox’s CEO Randy Pitchford, notable for being slightly outspoken about his games, has said that he thinks Borderlands has the moxie to stand up to the big dogs this Christmas, and based on this trailer, he might be right. We’ve looked at this game before at GamerSushi, but I just couldn’t pass up sharing this trailer with you guys. I’m picking this up on PC for sure.
One of the best demos I’ve ever played for a game was the one for Just Cause. While the game itself ended up being a bit repetitive, the demo showcased just enough to really make you want more. To me, the free-falling/parachuting mechanic was some of the most fun “flying” gameplay I had experienced since the wing cap in Mario 64. An open world game that allowed you to leap from car to car, or even jump up into helicopters, Just Cause made you a ridiculous action star, and had some promise, which is why I’m excited about the sequel.
The new edition to the franchise drops in 2010, and so far, it’s shaping up to be a hell of a ride. This vertical gameplay trailer really showcases some of the things you can do, and the thought of hook-shotting my way up skyscrapers and then leaping off of them gets my do want meter going. What do you guys think? Who here played the first game?
With the glut of shooters, brawlers, and generally anything being associated with action set for release this holiday season, it’s sometimes easy to let a game that doesn’t focus primarily on racking up a huge body count escape your notice. However, amidst all the big tent-pole titles, there’s usually a few that deserve at least some of your time, if only to cleanse the pallet from all the shootery-goodness.
Enter Tropico 3. Developed by Haemimont Games for the PC and X-Box 360, Tropico 3 is a building and management simulation that puts you in the boots of “El Presidente”, iron-fisted dictator of a small banana republic in the Caribbean. The time period is the 1950s and onward, so you have to play the US and the USSR carefully against each other, managing all your resources wisely if you don’t want to be invaded by one of the super-powers.
In the demo, you’re given a tutorial and two separate campaigns to play around in: one focusing on building a successful banana-fuelled dictatorship, and the other features a scenario where you’re deposed by your twin brother, taking your former government’s treasury and a few loyal supports onto a new, less hospitable island to start anew.
As nostalgic as it is to pick up an old game and go retro for a bit, often times it’s a bit risky. While we do love those old games and the kinds of flavors they bring to us, games have progressed so much in terms of gameplay, design and more obviously, graphics. That’s why you never know what you’re going to get when you pick up an old game. Will you find a title that has gotten better with age like a fine wine, or pick up a clunky mess that was only good because it was the first of its kind, and has since been passed by much better endeavors?
Just the other night I finally caved in and re-downloaded one of my favorite titles from last generation – Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. I’m not sure what made me do it, but it was probably the combo of playing a new sneaking game such as Batman: Arkham Asylum, as well as JJ buying it, so I knew I’d have a buddy to do some co-op with. Speaking of co-op, the two player missions in that game were mind-numbingly good for their time.
My brother, Evan, lives in the Seattle area, so of course he attended PAX. Nick, Eddy and I might have gone, except we were busily working on a Smooth Few Films mystery project. Maybe next year? Anyways, enjoy his extremely detailed report on the con! He only had to fight off a bit of the flu to bring it our way.
I think I understand what a journalist must feel like at times: There was so much going on that I just want the chance to tell people about it all, because you could go through the entire show for all three days and still not run out of things to see. Continue reading PAX 2009 Report
Man, this seems like it was the year to go to PAX in Seattle. If you didn’t know, the huge gaming convention happened last weekend. I went last year, but was unable to attend this year, and I had to avoid the news because it was just going to make me depressed, hungry and angry. Yes, all three of those.
One of the big games that I wish I could have seen in person was Mass Effect 2. Bioware was rocking a nice demo from the game, and you can watch it in all its glory. Who else is getting ridiculously anxious for this game, due early next year? Just me? Ok then.
Ah, the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott. One of the sillier boycotts around. Even though the footage from the new game is continuing to look better and better, and news of DLC for the first game is still pumping out, yes, the boycott for the sequel continues. While the official Steam group is content on making noise, Valve so far has done very little in terms of an official response, until now.
Apparently, the video game developer flew out the leaders of the boycott to get some hands-on time with Left 4 Dead 2, and even to see some of the behind-the-scenes info regarding the new DLC. I have to say, that’s about as good of a response as a boycotting group can hope to get, so major props to go those guys.
The funniest thing to me about the whole deal is the comments and accusations from fellow boycotters, accusing the leaders of selling out by going to Valve. Isn’t this the kind of thing you want to see from the developer? Anywho, I know we’ve talked about it before, but what do you guys think of Valve flying out these dudes to check out Left 4 Dead 2?
Hello and welcome to Cross-Contaminated Media, a short series on video game franchises that have taken their fictional settings and expanded them into books, comics, and film. As the video game industry becomes even more wide-spread, we’re seeing a lot of companies try their hand at developing their intellectual properties by taking them off of a game disk and put them into forms of media that are less graphically intensive, but require more attention on the story and characters.
Of all the companies currently trying their hand at pursuing different avenues of story-telling, Halo is the one that stands out to most people as the current leader of this pack. When we popped Halo: Combat Evolved into our X-Boxes for the first time, we were vaguely aware that there was some history behind this game, at least according to the small preface in the manual. There was some planet named REACH that had been destroyed, Humanity was fighting a losing battle with a genocidal alien hegemony, and the character you were going to be controlling was the last of his kind, a genetically engineered super soldier.
But why had these events come to pass? The story of Halo was preceded by 25 years of brutal warfare and intrigue, and those of us who were engrossed by the game’s universe could only scratch at the surface of the story. Microsoft, perhaps being aware at the great selling power their new IP possessed, had had the foresight to employ Eric Nylund to write The Fall of Reach, which told of the beginnings of Master Chief’s career as a soldier and of the destruction of REACH. The Fall of Reach went on to be a New York Times Bestseller, and the stage was set for a variety of Halo licensed media to continue the story outside of the games. Continue reading Cross-Contaminated Media: Expanding Universes Outside Games
I’ve had one hell of a couple of weeks. I’ve been busy, tired, and working like crazy on a number of things. But in the middle of it all, I managed to get in a playthrough of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and boy was it worth it. As a few of you know, especially those that read Mitch’s review, the game is a blast, has an excellent story and some quality stealth gameplay. But something about it bothered me: its length.
While I think the game is maybe one of the best of this year, it is just simply too short for the money that people are expected to pay for it. To me, the game is totally worth $30-$40 simply because of its quality, but $60 is just asking too much for a game that only takes about 8 hours or so to beat. Sure, there is replay value in the challenges and Riddler puzzles, but does anyone else see this as an issue in terms of rising game costs?
To me, this is exactly why people tend to gravitate towards sequels and multiplayer games- the $60 price point is just too much for an impulse buy, or for a game that will only take one weekend to finish. So, what do you guys think about this issue? Go!
If there’s one classic video game mascot that has his fans clamoring for a return to the days of old, its Sonic the Hedgehog. The speedy blue Erinaceidae has suffered more than his share of bad games over the past few years, and every time Sega has tried to change Sonic by adding new game-play mechanics and annoying side-kicks, the more it seems obvious that Sonic does what he does best in a simple side-scroller. Indeed, the most enjoyable parts of Sonic Unleashed were when you were controlling Sonic as he speeds through the day-time stages, whipping past beautiful vistas.
The new Sonic game, which is tentatively titled “Project Needlemouse”, is due for release in 2010, being built from the ground up in an all new HD 2D engine. No systems have been confirmed yet, but a PSN and an XBLA release is safe to assume. Check out the teaser, and get ready to have your hopes dashed once more.
If there’s two things I love, it’s Star Wars and shooting people in the face. Thankfully, a nice group of modders calling themselves blackMonkeys shares my love of sci-fi warfare and are hard at work on a total conversion kit for Call of Duty 4 called “Galactic Warfare”, which takes the silky smooth game-play of CoD and fits it in with classic Star Wars imagery.
The trailer for the mod showcases Stormtroopers and Rebel fighters battling it out in Mos Eisely, and it looks like everything that I hoped Battlefront II would be. With the future of the Battlefront series in limbo, I’m looking forward to trying this out when the mod is complete. Check out the video:
This may be the first time that I can remember that I tuned in to specifically watch what is essentially a very elaborate commercial, but this is probably worth it. Who else is going to be watching this?
Poor Valve, they just can’t seem to catch a break. Hot on the heels of the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott debacle and the newly brewing Team Fortress 2 item-deletion snafu comes the news that the new Left 4 Dead campaign, Crash Course, is going to be free for PC users, but will cost 560 Microsoft Banana Bucks for 360 users.
Is Valve heading for another ill-deserved boycott? Maybe not, says Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek. According to Chet, the decision to charge for the X-Box 360 mission lies solely with Microsoft. As Mr. Faliszek tells it, Steam is Valve’s distribution platform, so they can charge whatever they want, even give stuff away for free. Microsoft of course owns LIVE, so pricing for downloadable content there is a whole different ball game. Continue reading Microsoft Charging for New Left 4 Dead Content