ARTICLES

Pixel Count: Next Gen Launch Titles?

12 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s next gen week here at GamerSushi, and really everywhere else on the Internet, for that matter. Can you blame us? We’ve got two new consoles launching this month, ushering console gamers into a collective new era of brand new possibilities, new intellectual properties, and new ways to get trolled online.

Of course, one of the least exciting things about a console launch would actually be the system’s launch titles, which are very rarely anything to boast about. This seems to be the case this generation in terms of first party games, although there are a few third party games to get excited about.

So, I wanted to ask you guys which of the following launch titles excited you most? In the past, what are some of your favorite launch titles? Hint: if you say anything other than Mario 64, you might be banned from GamerSushi. OK, kidding. Sorta.

Which launch title are you most excited about?

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Roll Call: The Next Generation?

11 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Next gen

Wow. Even though my excitement about the next generation has been restrained—I mean, come on, we all know that launch lineups are traditionally lame—my enthusiasm has hit a sudden peak in the last day or so, due to the launch of the PlayStation 4 this week, and the Xbox One later this month.

I haven’t been a day-one participant in a console launch since the Nintendo Wii, back in 2006, and the PlayStation 2 before it back in 2000. It’s crazy to think that I haven’t had this experience in 7 years (almost to the day), but here it is, just a sunsets away. And while I was just semi-pumped before, paying off my system last night and seeing all the deals from places like Target and Amazon are getting the fire stoked anew.

Basically, I can’t wait for the next generation. And it’s about to be here.

So my question for you guys today is this: who’s jumping in right away? What are you getting? PS4? Xbox One? What games are you getting? Let’s do a bit of a roll call. Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 78: Thanks, Assassin’s Creed

10 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 78

It’s a new episode of (presumably) one of your favorite video game podcasts. We’ve got a full crew this week because Nick is jobless and that’s what you do when you don’t have to work. Podcast and play video games.

In case you haven’t heard enough about it, we talk GTA 5, including Nick’s impressions of the single player game and some online anecdotes. Then we talk Assassin’s Creed IV’s meta-narrative, some fields of battle, the newest Call of Duty and some next-gen stuff. It’s a pretty good show.

So, you know what to do. Listen, rate and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do. See you next time!

0:00 – 1:29 Intro
1:30 – 17:27 GTA 5
17:28 – 27: 20 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
27:21 – 36:44 Battlefield 4
36:45 – 46:13 PlayStation 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts
46:14 – 48:29 The Walking Dead: Season 2
48:30 – 57:41 The Stanley Parable
57:42 – 1:00:47 Outro

GamerSushi Asks: Resurrecting IPs?

8 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Anachronox art

In a pretty astonishing move yesterday, Square Enix announced Collective, a new crowdfunding platform that allows indie developers to pitch and create games for some of their old, dormant IPs. With Collective, Square Enix is basically allowing indie developers to rouse some of their sleeping properties, with Anachronox, Fear Effect and Gex going up for grabs. Developers that create games for these will receive a majority of their profits if Square helps publish, and all of the profits if Square does not.

To me, this is an inspiring, fascinating idea, and one that makes total sense. If you’re a developer with a huge backcatalog of IPs, some of which you know for sure you don’t have the resources or interest in resurrecting, why not hand them over to the community to see what comes out of it? It’s incredibly forward thinking of Square Enix, and I’m dying to see if other companies follow suit. In particular, I can’t wait to see what folks do with Anachronox, an often-overlooked cyberpunk noir RPG that had a rich atmosphere, ripe with potential.

So my question for you all on this Friday of Asking Things is this: if you had a chance to resurrect an old, long unvisited property, what would it be? What are some old games that you’d love to see more of, and would you change anything about how they’re presented? Let’s call this an impromptu game jam. Go!

Source – Gamasutra. Image by Alex Chin Yu Chu

NeoGaf Thread Shows Halo 4′s One-Year Decline

6 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

halo 4 one year later

Halo 4 came out one year ago today, marking the first time in the series’ history than an FPS title was developed by a studio other than Bungie (who had, at that time, moved on to making Destiny).

343 Industries, the studio that Microsoft created to keep the Halo train rolling, brought forth an admirable effort (we liked the game a lot), but one year after launch, how is Halo 4′s multiplayer user base doing?

According to this NeoGaf thread by user FyreWulff, not very well. Halo 4 had a peak population of just over 400,000 gamers shortly after launch and that number has dropped down to about 50,000. In this thread he lists 343i and Mircosoft’s various missteps with Halo 4, including the early map pack debacle and the weapon tuning and balance changes that occurred six months after launch (Black Ops 2 also sucks up half of Halo 4′s players, but we won’t count that against 343i or Microsoft).

The number tell the tale of Halo 4, it seems. Despite the game impressing critics, it failed to retain the long legs that made Halo 3 and Reach such contenders throughout swaths of Call of Duty releases. What do you guys think of Halo 4′s one year decline? Does this mean bad news for the future of the series?

Source – NeoGaf

The Rough Launch of Battlefield 4

4 Nov 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

battlefield 4 launch issues

Battlefield 4 launched last Tuesday on current generation consoles and the PC and it’s been kind of a bumpy ride. There are things I really love about the game that will still persist after all of the instability has been patched, so let’s cover the bad stuff first.

When Battlefield 4 came out last week, it was virtually unplayable, and that didn’t change until the evening of November 3. To start there were severe rubberbanding on every server and more often than not the servers or the game itself would crash. This is frustrating considering that Battlefield 4 has a very deep unlock/ranking system, even compared to the previous games in the series. When you lose essential unlocks like the defibrillator and have to unlock it five more times before the game actually lets you complete a round and save your stats, it gets pretty annoying.

Fortunately, that has pretty much been ironed out. The netcode is still wonky, what with enemy players killing you while you’re behind cover or even before they round a corner and the rubberbanding still persists when flying air vehicles. In short, DICE and EA are continuing their sterling legacy of making every Battlefield game virtually unplayable for about a week. Even though they’re working hard on it (there have been about six server-side patches in the last week with more to come) having to wait a week to play a game is always a demoralizing experience.

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GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

1 Nov 2013 | Posted by | 10 Comments

GTA Online

There seems to be some gaming event called “the next generation” coming up pretty soon. I don’t know, maybe you guys have heard of it? Apparently these big machines are coming out and people are pretty excited.

However, before that strange phenomenon occurs, we peons are stuck in the current generation (or you’re perpetually next generation gaming on your PC), no doubt clamoring through our backlogs and keeping up with this year’s more modest fall deluge of video games.

Since I’m waiting to play Assassin’s Creed 4 on my soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4 and holding out on Steam sales for Batman: Arkham Origins and The Wolf Among Us, I’m currently playing the heck out of Grand Theft Auto Online and loving it. Even though the actual online design is borked to all hell, the actual races, once you get in them, are among some of the most fun I’ve had gaming online in recent memory. Anthony and I have been partaking in planes, boats, motorbikes and more over the last week, leveling up our respective gangsters and having a general ball.

So what are you guys playing right now? Has anyone else tried Grand Theft Auto Online? Who’s playing Arkham Origins? Details, folks!

Pixel Count: Most Anticipated November Release

29 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

It’s time for the next generation of video game consoles to arrive! As we say good-bye to October and hello to November, it’s time to check out the latest releases, both current-gen and next-gen, that are hitting stores this month. Personally, I didn’t buy anything in October except Pokemon because I was too busy with GTA V. But now, with the new consoles coming, I am ready for more. And November has plenty to keep us all satiated. Hit the poll below and meet me after the jump for analysis:

Most Anticipated November Release

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 77: Sushimons

27 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 77

We’re back with another episode of the video game podcast you love, the GamerSushi Show.

This week bears some exciting news as Eddy finally joins the ranks of 3DS owners. Nintendo’s handheld has picked up in some big ways, and the mere fact that he bought one brought up a conversation about how we’re all transitioning to a different style of playing games.

After that we talk memories from out PlayStation One and Two days and then I finally get to talk Pokemon. Anthony has also been digging into the newest iteration of the series so we get my perspective as a veteran and his as a newcomer.

I think you know the drill by now, but listen, rate the cast, and be nice to everyone. Except that one person. You know who I’m talking about. See you next time!

0:00 – 2:00
2:01 – 10:22 Eddy gets a 3DS
10:23 – 17:42 Getting older and finding time for games
17:43 – 33:00 PlayStation memories
33:01 – 46:55 Pokemon X and Y
46:56 – 50:40 Outro

GamerSushi Asks: Do Games Always Need to Innovate?

26 Oct 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

batman arkham origins

With the release of Batman: Arkham Origins yesterday, the series, which has smashed all of our pre-conceived notions of what a licensed game should be, saw its first release away from the careful hand of Rocksteady, the developers of the first two titles. While the general consensus in the reviews is that the game more or less matches the quality of Asylum and City, Warner Bros. Montreal didn’t do enough to innovate this time around, and the game was docked points for that in some outlets.

Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were both fantastic games, one of which will probably rank among the greatest games of the past generation. Since Arkham Origins hews so closely to the previous games that it’s more or less indistinguishable from Rocksteady’s work (for the most part), should Warner Bros. Montreal get flack for not innovating? This is a series with sky-high expectations by this point, throwing a new developer into the mix and asking them to completely rethink the Arkham series while at the same time trying to live up to Rocksteady’s work is quite the herculean task.

While innovation in some games is necessary, the Batman: Arkham series is about as close to perfect as games come, for the most part. Should Warner Bros. Montreal have been expected to think outside the box, or were they well within their rights to take as many pages out of Rocksteady’s book as possible? Should all gaming sequels be innovative, or is it OK to just have more of the same every one and a while?

Sony Tugs the Nostalgia Strings with PS4 Ad

23 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Since our hobby is something that we’ve grown up with, we gamers tend to be an over-nostalgic bunch. Sometimes all it takes to yank on our heart strings is a sound clip, a bar of music or a screenshot of an old game.

Sony taps into that nostalgia thread with their new PS4 ad, “For the Players Since 1995.” It’s about as close to pandering as you can get—but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. They really capture that feel that no doubt many of us have had over the years of growing up with consoles in our rooms, and give lots of great shout outs, too.

The PS4 releases in just a few weeks. Count me excited.

Pixel Count: Game Time?

22 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 11 Comments

One of the things I love about the Sushians here is that I think we cover a decent spread of ages and lifestyles. Some of us have kids, some of us are still in school, some of us are kids at heart and others of us eat hearts to strengthen their bushy beards (not that I’m naming names).

In recent weeks, I’ve had to do some thinking about the state of things in my life, what it means for my schedule and how that affects the time I can devote to gaming. Sadly, I’ve concluded that multiplayer games are all but out—however, handhelds are on their way back in! Most of that is because I’m discovering that I just don’t have the disposable time that I used to (most of my free time goes to family and writing), so it’s time to stop kidding myself.

With that in mind, I wanted to ask you guys about your gaming time sheets, and how many hours you guys are able to put toward our illustrious hobby week in and week out. Feel free to go into more detail in the comments. Go!

How many hours do you game each week?

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The Evolution of Pokemon X and Y

21 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

pokemon x and y

Pokemon X and Y, the first of the series to be released on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, dropped a couple weeks ago and since then I’ve been playing the junk out of it. I’m currently at the sixth gym, so I feel like I’ve got a good handle on all the changes Game Freak has made.

For the first time in a long time this feels like an honest upgrade for the series, instead of just incremental tweaks. The new art is gorgeous, especially with the enhanced polygonal Pokemon models. Sure, performance suffers some times (the frame rate drop is most noticeable during battles), but leaving the sprite-based graphics of the previous games behind was a good move. The camera perspective changes can also be a little jarring at times.

Pokemon X and Y removed some of the grind from the series by giving you the EXP Share very early on and having it apply to your entire team instead of just two Pokemon. This is a great boon, because you no longer have to spend a lot of time making sure your team is around the same level; with an equipped EXP Share, it just happens automatically. I am finding that my team is somewhat over-levelled, but the Pokemon series was never too difficult to begin with. Besides, I’m always free to turn it off.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 76: Much Doge Delay

20 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 76

We’re back with an on-topic cast as the crew gather to talk all the video game news that’s fit to print…or talk about. Whichever.

Leading off, Eddy gets sad about Watch_Dog’s delay (much disappointment), Anthony bemoans the current direction of Final Fantasy, I talk about Ryse: Son of Rome’s crunch, Jeff soliloquizes about The Wolf Among Us and we close with some Grand Theft Auto 5. So, it’s a pretty full cast.

Listen, rate the podcast (it’s very important that you do this since we lost all our previous ratings) and enjoy life. We’ll be back soon with another episode.

0:00 – 2:48 Intro
2:49 – 12:24 Watch_Dogs Delay
12:25 – 21:03 The Death of Final Fantasy
21:04 – 33:14 #RyseFacts Crunch Tweet
33:15 – 43:06 The Wolf Among Us
43:07 – 1:05:48 Grand Theft Auto 5
1:05:49 – 1:09:34 Outro

Top Six: Franchises of the Current Generation

19 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Current Gen

Even though this current generation of video game consoles isn’t wrapping up for at least another year, the new generation looms over the horizon. And thus, this warrants a look back at our recent past to honor the best of new franchises we were introduced to this gen. The list is based mainly on what franchises I found to be most compelling over the years. These opinions belong solely to me, but please feel free to list your own in the comments!

First, the games that didn’t make the cut. There are some awesome games here, but they just didn’t move me enough to make the list. All of them are still fantastic, though.

Honorable Mentions: Assassin’s Creed, Demon/Dark Souls, Gears of War, Saint’s Row, LittleBigPlanet, Borderlands

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GamerSushi Asks: What’s Your Favorite Pokemon?

18 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

favorite pokemon koffing

With the release of Pokemon X and Y, the total current number of Pokemon adds up to over 650. Given the widespread love that the newest games are getting (as well as the series’ cultural presance over its lifespan) it’s reasonable to assume that out of these hundreds of critters you must like one more than the others.

Personally, my favorite Pokemon would have to be Koffing. Although I find Poison-type Pokemon to be the least useful (aside from Ice), Koffing’s design has the elegant simplicity that was the hallmark of a lot of Generation One designs.

Just by looking at this guy you get the sense of what he’s about. There’s smog, and a skull, so you know he’s bad for your health. Plus he has that big goofy smile. What’s not to love?

So, who or what is your favorite Pokemon?

#RyseFacts Tweet About Crunches Backfires

17 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 6 Comments

rysefacts crunch

Ryse: Son of Rome is an upcoming Xbox One third-person action title being worked on by Crytek, makers of Crysis, Far Cry and hopefully at some point in the future a Y: The Last Man video game because that fits with their motif.

Since the game has been in development for several years and changed direction a few times, it stands to reason that the team would have been through a crunch or two. According to the Ryse Twitter account, the team has been served some 11,500 crunch-time dinners during the game’s development.

Besides being a rather large number, it’s also an odd thing for a game’s Twitter account to bring up. Sure, crunch happens, but I don’t think it’s a stat the public needs to know about. People who are much better at math than me totaled that up to about 58 days of crunch during the game’s development time (assuming the Crytek team is about 200 people).

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Sad News: Watch Dogs Delayed Until 2014

16 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Watch Dogs

Ugh. In what I’d call more of a gut punch than actual news, Ubisoft announced via its blog yesterday that Watch Dogs, slated for a release this fall, will be pushed back until Spring 2014.

The reason? They want to make the game better, and to deliver more of a truly next gen experience. From Gary Steinman, Ubisoft’s community manager:

Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”

So, yeah. This is pretty disappointing for me, as Watch Dogs was the one game I really wanted play on my PlayStation 4 this fall. Now, the thing may just be a paperweight until February, when InFamous comes out. Unless I *shudder* decide to play Assassin’s Creed 4 instead.

Who else is bummed by this? What games will you be playing this fall? Go!

Source – UbiBlog

GamerSushi Extra Bytes, Ep 1: Old Man’s Cast

14 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 9 Comments

gamersushi show off topic

This week we’re trying something a bit different. As you can hear in the intro, this is ExtraBytes, an off-topic GamerSushi Show.

As Eddy and I couldn’t make it last week, Nick, Jeff and Anthony decided to convene anyways and record a cast about all sorts of stuff. It’s pretty neat, and a bit out there, but sometimes it’s good to talk about things other than video games.

The guys talk about Gravity for a big chunk at the start of the podcast, but even though they give a spoiler warning, they really don’t spoil anything you won’t know from the trailers.

Anyways, you know the drill. Listen, rate and let us know if you’d like to listen to more off-topic casts in the future!

0:00 – 0:57 Intro
0:57 – 14:41 Gravity
14:41 – 22:50 The Oscars
22:50 – 38:55 Books
38:55 – 41:01 Outro

Mini-Review: The Wolf Among Us, Episode 1

14 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

The Wolf Among Us

Telltale Games just released the first part of their follow-up to our favorite game of 2012, The Walking Dead, and I think it’s safe to say they’re still in the zone and only getting better. The Wolf Among Us is a prequel to Bill Willingham’s long-running Fables series, which focuses on the lives of creatures from fables, stories and legends who escaped from their home world into the “real world” and are hiding their true identities from the “mundies” around them. The main character of the game and comics is Bigby Wolf, formerly known as The Big Bad Wolf, now reformed and working in human form as sheriff for the Fables community. He’s gruff, dangerous, and chain-smokes his way through the entire game.

Knowledge of the comics isn’t necessary to enjoy The Wolf Among Us, but reading them will help you catch a few references here and there. Readers of the comics may also be interested to know that the game is considered canonical. The first episode sets up a noirish murder mystery occurring about twenty years before the start of the comics, in the sleazy, neon-filled 1980s. The art style and music are pitch-perfect for the material; as soon as the game loaded up, I already knew I was going to love the music, and by the end I was ready to drop money on a soundtrack album (not that one exists right now, of course). It took me just over two hours to finish the first episode, and I’m already considering replaying it so that I can try different options.

In some ways I think I might actually prefer this first episode of The Wolf Among Us to The Walking Dead. Shocking, I know. Part of it is that The Wolf Among Us builds on and refines the style first perfected in the previous game. The same tense dialog choices are there, as are the split-second decisions and visceral quick-time events, but the art and music are even better, and the world of Fables is far weirder than anything in The Walking Dead. That extra bit of oddity piled on top of a gritty mystery is right up my alley. Several reviews I’ve read call out the fact that Bigby doesn’t have a moral compass like Clementine to influence his decisions, and it’s definitely true that this makes Bigby’s world that much more of a moral grey area. If you liked The Walking Dead, you should definitely check out The Wolf Among Us.