ARTICLES

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Trailer Showcases a Rad Game

29 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Until yesterday I’d never heard of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith’s new game that shows you what happened inbetween The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In this game you’ll play as Talion, a ranger of Gondor who gets possessed by a wraith and then uses his new found powers to systematically assassinate a variety of orcs and Uruk-hai. This gameplay trailer for Shadow of Mordor shows off some cool abilities you can use and details the nemesis system which sounds too crazy to actually be true. Give it a watch!

For a game that I didn’t even know existed until recently, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor looks like a guaranteed fun time. What do you guys think about this trailer? Are you on-board for some orc killing?

Can DICE/EA Make Up For Months of Problems With Battlefield 4′s “Player Appreciation Month”?

28 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 5 Comments

battlefield 4 player appreciation month

Look guys, I’m sorry I keep writing about Battlefield 4, I really am. This game had a ton of promise leading up to launch and then it promptly fell flat on its face and has been struggling to right itself even since.

A week or so ago I wrote about DICE and EA’s handling of the whole situation (which you can read here if you’re so inclined) and in summation I felt that all that was necessary was admitting that they did wrong by the consumers and apologize. Instead, we’re getting the “Player Appreciation Month” for Battlefield 4, where EA and DICE neatly side-step responsibility for the game’s problems by offering up free Battlepacks, double XP events and shortcut kits.

Take a read through and see what they’re offering. Even if you haven’t played Battlefield 4, I’m sure you’re at least somewhat aware of the game’s issues. Tell me, is the Player Appreciation Month enough to make up for the bungled launch?

Is Battlefield 4's "Player Appreciation Month" an Appropriate Amount of Compensation?

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Killzone Shadow Fall and the First Rage Quit of 2014

27 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 5 Comments

killzone shadow fall free fall section

I was enjoying Killzone Shadow Fall in spurts. Sometimes, I would tolerate its mundane tasks and other times, I would actually lose myself in the gameplay for a bit. I wasn’t having a bad time, per se, but I wasn’t exactly overjoyed every time I booted the game up. But with only 9 missions, I figured I could manage my way through. The graphics were really quite nice, actually, with blue as the new brown, a refreshing change from last-gen.

So I trudged my way through, having already lost the narrative, something about a Cold War and experiments and weapons and using my drone companion to hack a lot of consoles. But then the free fall sequence slammed into me, halting my progress entirely. So I tried it again, thinking that it was my unfamiliarity with the controls that were hindering me. After all, it was a free fall through a city of collapsing skyscrapers and buildings, so this was clearly a big set-piece in the game, one that the developers wanted gamers to see. So I tried again.

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GamerSushi Asks: Is the “Next-Gen” Really That Next-Gen?

24 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 4 Comments

tomb raider definitive edition

While I’ve yet to take a step into the brave new world that is the “next-gen” (or current gen, I suppose), I’ve become a little disillusioned that my expectations for Sony and Microsoft’s new systems aren’t exactly being met.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to own a PlayStation 4 at some point, but I don’t feel like the next-gen is living up to its potential. Take this news from CVG for example, where the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, an up-scaled version of a game that came out last year for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, can’t run at a consistent 60 fps at 1080p. According to the report, Tomb Raider will hit 60 fps “some of the time” on PS4 and the Xbox One version is more or less locked at 30. Square Enix reportedly wanted the game running at 30 fps at 1080p, which both consoles succeed at.

This may be a case of having my cake and wanting to eat it too, but after all the hubbub about these new consoles I was certain that we were looking at 1080p and 60 fps as the norm, not the exception. I’m not a huge stickler for these kinds of things, but to me it seemed like the next-gen promised something it can’t really deliver.

What do you guys think? As developers get more familiar with these systems will we eventually hit this lofty goal, or will we have to wait for the next hardware cycle?

Source – CVG

Review: Battlefield 4

22 Jan 2014 | Posted by | No Comment

battlefield 4 review

While the notion of destructible environments and the real-time evolution of a map has been around since 2008’s Bad Company, Battlefield 4 takes this concept and makes it grandiose in its execution, giving us the type of destruction that was taken out of Battlefield 3 and adding in “Levolution”, events that change the way a given map plays and feels.

Running on a new version of the Frostbite engine and having an increased number of moving parts, does Battlefield 4 stride proudly across the gaming landscape or does it collapse under its own weight?

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In-Game Reporters Document GTA V’s Los Santos

22 Jan 2014 | Posted by | No Comment

GTA V Media

As much as it’s easy to loathe the Internet at times (take for instance this 500 page Mass Effect 3 fanfic), there are other times when I find it just brilliant and amazing. The things that people can cook up when they find like minded folks is just astounding.

Proof: this subreddit of people that roleplay in GTA online as reporters, documenting the gang violence of Los Santos like digital versions of Anderson Cooper. It’s just one of those things that surprises you but doesn’t shock you, because of course there’s a subculture of the game’s population that gets a kick out of that.

To me, one of the most interesting things about online communities for games is the way that they tend to break down into these really unique niches. Take the custom game community of Halo, the roleplaying community of old Star Wars Jedi Outcast games or the MLG community for any competitive multiplayer title. I love that games give these people a home, because where the heck else could they have done some of these things?

What are some of the most interesting developments you’ve seen in an online community? Go!

Source – GTA V Media
Image – Stustuca

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 81: This Isn’t Even My Final Form

20 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 2 Comments

gamersushi show ep 81

What ho, podcast faithful! We’re two casts into this new year and 2014 has been kind to us with many topics to converse about. It’s a three-man cast this week as Anthony and myself were off doing secret best-friend stuff (Askarnian handshakes) so Eddy, Jeff and Nick shared the load. Well, Jeff and Nick tried to, but Eddy was dishing out some USDA-choice trolling. Seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous.

There were also some interruptions which I tried to cut around, but you can probably tell at a couple points that “real life” was calling on our intrepid heroes. Anyways, you know what to do, listen, rate and be merry. See you next time!

0:00 – 3:12 Intro
3:13 – 10:54 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
10:55 – 18:04 Don’t Starve
18:05 – 47:07 Nintendo in trouble and the Wii U’s development
47:08 – 51:24 Joe Staten leaves Bungie
51:25 – 56:10 SimCity’s Offline mode
56:11 – 1:12:19 DayZ and Early Access
1:12:20 – 1:15:13 Outro

Inside Look at Wii U Reveals Development Woes

15 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Wii U

We’re sometimes hard on Nintendo around here, but it’s (for the most part) out of love for what Nintendo was and could be. The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest stab at relevance in the gaming world, has been met with a lack of enthusiasm embodied by abysmal sales.

So how does something like this happen? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at the development process of an entire console, EuroGamer presented the latest in its series, The Secret Developers. The premise of this feature is that developers write candidly and anonymously about particular subjects. This edition of the Secret Developers just happens to focus on the genesis—and troubling development— of the Wii U by a major third party developer.

And it’s certainly…interesting, to say the least.

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Review: Beyond: Two Souls

14 Jan 2014 | Posted by | One Comment

Beyond Jody

Is it a game? Is it interactive fiction? These are the questions that inevitably surround a David Cage release. It happened with Heavy Rain and again with Beyond: Two Souls. It’s clearly a game, but is it fun and worth your time? That’s the question and the purpose of this review.

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Maxis Adds Offline Mode to SimCity, But is it Too Late?

14 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 7 Comments

simcity offline mode

In the weeks and months after release, EA and Maxis told SimCity customers that an offline version of the game was not a possibility, due to the way the cities were designed to work with one another in a region. Modders quickly cracked that notion wide open, but the developer didn’t say a peep about an offline mode until late last year.

Now, in a sudden reversal, SimCity will finally be available to play offline. Offline mode will be available in Update 10, which is free for all SimCity owners. Since this is coming nearly a year after release, is this a wasted gesture? Sure, offline mode is a nice add but SimCity still has a lot of the problems that plagued it on day one and I’m not sure that offline mode will get disillusioned purchasers back into the game. What do you guys think? Is this enough to get jaded gamers back into SimCity, or is it too little too late?

Is SimCity's Offline Mode Too Little Too Late?

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Crafting Fun with Don’t Starve

13 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 6 Comments

Don't Starve

There’s a certain kind of crafting that I dig when I play games. Hunting animals to craft bigger weapons and pouches to hold more ammo to kill even bigger animals? Sign me up. Huddling in the dark and crafting that one tool I need to barely make it through the next night, while monsters press in all around me? Not so much.

This is part of why I avoided Don’t Starve for so long, despite hearing nothing but good things from just about everyone that’s ever played it. Since Klei’s roguelike survival simulator with an art style right out of a Tim Burton movie went up on PSN Plus this weekend, I thought I would give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 80: Teem Mucheens

12 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 2 Comments

the gamersushi show ep 80

We’re back with our first post-Winter break cast and it is a doozy. Everyone is here and we rap about some neat stuff like the news out of CES, what we’re playing and then we wrap it up with some video game news.

It’s been a few weeks so I’ll remind you how this goes. Listen, rate and we’ll see you in the next cast!

0:00 – 6:11 Intro
6:12 – 13:49 4K TVs
13:50 – 18:33 PlayStation Now
18:34 – 30:19 Steam Machines
30:20 – 39:46 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
39:47 – 44:24 Gone Home and The Stanley Parable
44:45 – 47:44 The Walking Dead Season 2
47:46 – 55:16 Spelunky
55:17 – 1:03:54 Batman: Arkham Origins
1:03:55 – 1:13:44 Evolve
1:13:45 – 1:23:04 Titanfall
1:23:05 – 1:24:22 Outro

The Troubling Future of Battlefield

10 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 4 Comments

battlefield 4

As much as I think gamers and the gaming press in general are prone to histrionics, the ongoing saga of Battlefield 4 is cause for legitimate concern. While I have faith that DICE will eventually get the game working in almost tip-top shape, the whole process of Battlefield 4, from the demo Beta in early October to the mangled launch and the current state of the game has been quite the snafu.

The rumor out there is that EA rushed DICE to have Battlefield 4 drop on PC and previous generation consoles (the Xbox 360 and the PS3) on October 29, two weeks before the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, sacrificing time needed to finish the actual game for a few extra sales. While the actual validity of this fact is up for debate, EA/DICE have a long history of taking potshots at Call of Duty and doing whatever they can to one-up Activision’s FPS juggernaut.

With lawsuits pending, future projects and DLC being delayed and more bugs than you can shake a stick at, has the rocky launch of Battlefield 4 shaken our faith in EA/DICE and cast aspersions on the future of the series?

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Respawn Confirms 6v6 Matches for Titanfall, Internet Freaks Out

9 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 6 Comments

titanfall 12 player count matches

As the old saying goes, “bigger is better” although in the case of multiplayer shooter games this isn’t always true. While Titanfall may go big in terms of the giant mechs it features, the player count for Respawn and EA’s upcoming sci-fi shooter is a little on the smaller side.

While we’ve know for a while that Titanfall would contain a smaller number of players in matches (the E3 demo had 7 on 7), Respawn founder Vince Zampella confirmed on Twitter that Titanfall matches would max out at 12 humans, so 6 versus 6. The backlash to this news has been kind of over the top, as is the way with the Internet, but is 6v6 really that bad?

Many of the best competitive shooters out there, from Counter-Strike to Halo, have always had smaller matches because with more people things just get a little too hectic. Battlefield is one of the only games to pull this off because that’s their gimmick, but sometimes a full 64 player match can get kinda of crazy. Respawn additionally confirmed that the Titans, while capable of being directly controlled by a player, can also be automated to defend a specific area or follow a person around, so the matches are essentially 12 v 12 with some AI enemies padding things out.

I played Titanfall at PAX Prime 2013 and I honestly didn’t notice that it was a smaller game. With all of the AI enemies constantly dropping in, the action felt fast and frenetic and captured the feeling of being a small part of a larger battle. I’ll wait to actually play the game proper before making my judgement, but given how Titanfall felt at PAX, I imagine 6 v 6 will be just fine.

What do you guys think about this? Did the Internet overreact? Are more players essential, or do you prefer things to be a bit more…intimate?

Source – Vince Zampella Twitter

Evolve is the New Co-op Shooter from Left 4 Dead Creators Turtle Rock

8 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 3 Comments

evolve game

Not content to just be the creative force behind one of the most successful cooperative gaming series on the market, the makers of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios, is at it again with Evolve, their next-gen only asymmetrical co-op shooter.

In Evolve, four human alien-hunter characters will battle against a single player-controlled creature. While that may sound hilariously lopsided at first, the hook of Evolve is that the monster grows larger and more powerful with each match that goes by. Judging by the short snippet from the Game Informer February cover reveal, each human will have their own bag of tricks, but they alien they’re hunting will be more than able to hold its own. It’s a pretty cool competitive twist on the co-op scene, and the fact that its next-gen/PC only means that Turtle Rock will be able to cram in plenty of bells and whistles.

February’s Game Informer will have a bunch more information about Evolve, but for now consider me intrigued. While I never exactly got into Left 4 Dead’s competitive side, Evolve sounds like enough of a different beast that I’d be willing to give it to go. Having an ever-expanding array of powers and abilities as the alien sounds like it might make for some hilarious screaming matches if you’re on the human side of things.

What do you guys think about Evolve? Is your interest piqued?

Source – Game Informer

Pixel Count: Is the Steam Machine for You?

7 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 3 Comments

steam machine

Hot off the presses at CES in Las Vegas, it sounds like Valve has finally dropped some details about their upcoming foray into home entertainment—the Steam Machine. While the idea of a Valve system that acts as a vehicle for all of your impulse buying—er, I mean, PC gaming—right from your couch might be appealing, the company has had quite a few questions to answer about price, specs and the like.

It seems we’ve finally got those answers. This week, Valve unveiled specs and designs for 14 of its initial run of Steam Machines. The machines cover a range of hardware capabilities, but in my mind, the most interesting thing about them (aside from many of the hideous designs) would be the price points.

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Battle of the GameCops: 2014

7 Jan 2014 | Posted by | No Comment

gamecop

Now that 2014 is here in full force, it only makes sense that we bring out our flatfoots of the gaming force to give their opinions of the biggest issues that gaming faced over the last year or so. That’s right, GameCop, LameCop and PsychoCop are back, and ready to hit the mean streets and the slummiest spots in town.

Since you haven’t seen them in some time, here’s how this feature works: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety.

Here’s how they feel about these issues:

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Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone with Fire Emblem: Awakening

6 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 4 Comments

fire emblem awakening

As a gamer I’d like to think that my tastes are fairly diverse. Sure I enjoy a good dude-bro shooter every now and then, but I also appreciate stretching my wings, so to speak, and trying something different when given the opportunity.

One genre I’ve never managed to get into is the Strategy RPG (although I suppose the most recent XCOM game might qualify). I’m remedying this right now with Fire Emblem: Awakening, the latest entry in Nintendo’s long-running portable series. Anthony put up a review of the game last year, and I’m finding myself hard-pressed to disagree with him.

While I enjoy the battles in the game, my favorite aspect is purposefully trying to pair up units to get bonuses to my stats; it’s satisfying to have two people back each other up while enemy after enemy kill themselves trying to take my heroes down. I’m really liking the cast of characters as well, as the writing is fairly humorous at times and the anime cutscenes are rather thrilling. Fire Emblem: Awakening is quickly becoming one of my top 3DS games, which is saying something considering the additions to the library of that system in 2013.

What this game is making me want to do is dig deeper into this genre. I hear Valkyria Chronicles is pretty good but I doubt I could find a copy anywhere around where I love. Does anyone have some SRPG suggestions for titles I should check out?

Review: Super Mario 3D World

3 Jan 2014 | Posted by | No Comment

super mario 3d world review

There’s something sublime about a 3D Mario game. Whether its the subconscious association with Super Mario 64 or the fact that almost every 3D Mario is really damned good (I put in the caveat for those Sunshine haters) you can’t deny that putting a Mario game into your system is a recipe for a nostalgic smile.

Super Mario 3D World does what 3D Mario games have been doing for the past while: taking an established formula and adding on just enough twists and tricks to make something really unique. While this particular series might have started on the 3DS, this Wii U sequel truly shines.

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Spelunky Makes Me Want to Stab But I Can’t Stop Playing

2 Jan 2014 | Posted by | 2 Comments

The brave adventurer lets the damsel take the lead.

I made it through this year’s Steam sales largely unscathed, if only because I already own most of the games that went on sale. I did still pick up a few things (because I have no willpower), but the one game that has captured my attention the most is Spelunky, a “procedurally generated” platformer that is maddeningly difficult, occasionally cruel, full of cheap deaths, and surprisingly addictive. I’ve already put in more than eight hours of playtime, and I’m starting to wonder why I do this to myself.

Spelunky has a lot of mechanics designed to make you throw your controller at the wall. Health is limited and hard to refill. Dying means starting over completely. Checkpoints are non-existent and short-cuts require beating every world multiple times under specific conditions. Half the monsters in every level can kill you with one hit, and most of the traps you come across cause instant death. Sometimes the levels are dark or under water or full of the undead and oh if you take too long a giant ghost starts chasing you around until you die or manage to escape. You get the picture.

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