Half of 2013 has come and gone, and maybe it’s just me, but this year already seems like it’s offered us some huge surprises — almost too many, if my nasty backlog is any indication. Fortunately, July is the month that we can sort of start catching up, putting old titles behind us in preparation for the blitzkrieg of the fall.
That’s not to say there aren’t any new titles worth playing, though. Between The Last of Us, Animal Crossing 3DS and Company of Heroes, we’ve had our hands full. You’ll see these guys making appearances in our monthly top 10, along with some old classics. So here we are, the top 10 games we’ve been playing for the last 30 days.
What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!
According to the letter, Broken Age got pretty large; so large in fact that internal predictions at Double Fine put the game’s release in July of 2014 with a significant amount of content being cut. Instead of releasing a smaller game at a later date than promised, Double Fine will be selling the first half of Broken Age through Steam Early Access in January of 2014 to fund the rest of the game.
Backers will still get their full game as promised; what the Steam Early Access will do is open the game up to people who didn’t back the game on Kickstarter and will hopefully create the revenue Double Fine needs to finish it off. Double Fine thought it would be improper to get money from an actual publisher or go back to Kickstarter.
So what do you guys think? If you’re a backer, what’s your take on this?
Anyone that’s played Mark of the Ninja or Don’t Starve by Klei knows that these guys are some talented developers with a knack for creating some crazy fun games. Mark of the Ninja, a 2D stealth game, is one of the more creative titles I’ve played in years — and probably some of the best stealth gameplay in this generation. And while I haven’t played Don’t Starve, I’ve heard the alpha access, community building and the fun take on survival gameplay made the title an interesting experiment that’s worth taking part in.
Klei’s newest game, Incognita, announced yesterday, sounds just as ambitious as their previous titles — with a brand new take on stealth. Taking inspiration from XCOM, a game that I fell in love with, Klei is aiming to make Incognita a turn-based tactical espionage game, where information is power.
One of my most anticipated games of the year, Company of Heroes 2, is finally out, and it’s being met with some pretty good review. Well, the number at the end of the review is good, but if you actually read the review, it paints quite a different picture.
Despite the praise heaped upon the multiplayer of Company of Heroes 2, and the new Theater of War missions which work a lot like an RTS version of Modern Warfare 2′s Spec Ops mode, a lot of criticism is heaped on the campaign. I can’t quite speak on CoH 2′s campaign yet, but I find it odd that a review would focus on the negative aspects of a game and then spend a little bit of time talking about the good parts and give it a pretty good score. Check out the reviews below:
Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m criticizing, but if I’m going to give a game a high score I’d list the good things in detail instead of the bad parts. I’m still looking forward to trying out some Company of Heroes 2, but what about you guys? What do you think about these reviews? Are you going to give CoH 2 a try?
As part of our summer schedule, I’m happy to bring you guys a new edition of What We’re Playing. Like I imagine many of you guys are doing, I’ve been diving headlong into an ancient backlog for the time being, partly because there’s a break of game releases (besides the Last of Us, of course) and partly because I’m preparing to auction off a few items in preparation of new console releases. Next up on my list: Final Fantasy VI.
The most interesting thing that I’ve been experiencing in Final Fantasy VI at the moment is how great the illusion of freedom actually is, for a game so old. For any of you that are unaware, a critical moment comes halfway through the story that results in the destruction of the world, rearranging/reshaping it and scattering your party members far and wide. Once you resume control, you can go after them in almost any order, or go tackle some of the game’s many sidequests, or just go face Kefka in his mighty tower.
Giving the Internet an ego boost it did not need, Microsoft reversed their controversial polices regarding DRM and always-online as it pertains to the Xbox One, their next-gen console scheduled for release in November of this year.
Giant Bomb reported that multiple sources were suggesting that Microsoft was poised to do the mother of all walkbacks and fundamentally change their approach to used games, DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One. Shortly after that, Microsoft did in fact reveal the changes, which are highlighted below:
The Xbox One does not need to be online at all with the exception of a one-time initialization during set-up.
The Xbox One will not be required to check-in online every 24 hours.
Disc based games will be played from the discs, the same as with the Xbox 360. Installing the game is no longer required.
All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
No additional restrictions on trading games or lending discs
Hello, fine GamerSushi friends. In continuing with our summer schedule, today is “Did You See This”. Naturally, with another E3 come and gone, the industry is still buzzing and writing some fantastic pieces on the things they saw last week, so that’s where we’re headed — and more specifically, to Ryse.
For those that are unaware, Ryse is one of the games that was highlighted by Microsoft at the XBox One press event. Developed by Crytek, Ryse looks like God of War had a baby with Gladiator and Dynasty Warriors, offering historical-looking action and dozens of quick-time events.
It’s the Season Finale of The GamerSushi Show! At the end of this season of the podcast, we talk about E3 2013: the press conferences, the games, and how we felt about the whole thing!
All five of us assembled like some sort of giant robot or mighty super-hero team, so it’s a pretty great cast. Unfortunately I had to duck out early thanks to work things coming up, but the guys brought it home in grand style.
So, you know the deal. Listen, rate, and eagerly await our return in September (or August, if Saint’s Row 4 has anything to say about it).
Kickstarter is something that isn’t going to go away any time soon, what with the massive success that so many games have seen on that service.
While Kickstarter may have worn out its welcome with me personally, there are some cool projects that have come through, like Double Fine’s two games, Broken Age and Massive Chalice, or FTL.
As awareness about Kickstarter has grown, there have been some massive funding undertakings, so I think it’s probable that at least a couple of Sushians out there have Kickstarted something. So, what have you put your money towards? Anything you regret Kickstarting now?
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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 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.
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.