ARTICLES

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.

GamerSushi Asks: Online Launch Issues?

11 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

GTA Online Heist

Grand Theft Auto Online launched 10 days ago and it only now seems to have reached a stable state, much to the dismay of people with amnesia. For the rest of us, we all knew it would be a disaster, as we have seen this movie many times before and starring companies who have far more experience and know-how with online games than Rockstar does. Hell, if Blizzard can’t get it right with Diablo III, what chance does anyone else have?

That being said, it is pretty messed up that we can’t expect to play something we bought for on the day it launches: from Simcity to Call of Duty, the first day and even week can be a symphony of frustration to any gamer who dares dip their toe into the online world. How does this make you feel? Do you get angry at this or have you come to a place of serene acceptance, as I have? Are these just the breaks or should companies go out of their way to compensate their customers, as Rockstar is doing now with the bribe, I mean, gift of $500,000 for GTA Online? Should they stagger allowing certain timezones access or would that make you angry knowing that people on the East Coast are already playing while you have to wait a few more hours? Speak now or forever hold your peace!

The ABCs of Pokemon X and Y

11 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

the abcs of Pokemon x and y

Over the years Pokemon has gotten a lot of flack for remaining largely the same since the Red and Green versions hit the scene way back in 1996. Over the years there have been incremental improvements to the formula, so a newcomer, or someone who hasn’t played since the late 90s, might feel pretty safe picking up Pokemon X and Y for the 3DS.

Not so! While the series is making the transition into 3D polygonal models, a big change from the sprite-based game of the past, there’s also a lot of new mechanics to Pokemon X and Y. I’m going to give you a beginner’s run-down of what’s changed for X and Y.

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Pokemon Trafficker Confesses to Charming Crimes

9 Oct 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

Pokemon Trading

Pokemon X/Y will be out worldwide in less than a week and I’ve been slowly immersing myself in all things Pokemon while trying to assess whether or not to bite the Bullet Seed and plunge into the legendary franchise. So rather than skip the countless Pokemon stories I am stumbling upon everyday, I am actually reading them. And this uplifting tale on USGamer.net caught my eye and I felt it was worthy of sharing.

Rich Stanton is a veteran Pokemon player, who came across an efficient way to breed Pokemon and then trade them to others. Not for money or for other Pokemon, but simply to help people, most likely kids, who wanted the original starters (Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle) in Pokemon Black/White. It’s the familiar tale of playing a game and then creating a new objective for yourself, which we all do at some point, but Stanton accomplished this on a much larger scale. Reading how his trade partners were overjoyed to get their desired Pokemon brought a smile to my face and I hope it does the same for you.

Have you ever done anything similar to this? Has anyone helped you in such a way? Are you going to get Pokemon X/Y? Hit the comments!

Source: US Gamer

Pixel Count: Games without Release Dates?

8 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

The eve of a new generation is a strange time for gamers. We’re so used to having our calendars planned out at least a year in advance, knowing all of the big blockbuster releases that we intend to snatch up day one. But when a new generation dawns, all bets are off, and release dates become a nebulous, free-form sort of thing, hidden in shadow.

Which kind of sucks.

At the moment, this seems to be exactly the case for 2014, with tons of titles announced, but no clear idea on when we’ll really be able to play them, beyond vague “quarter” references meant primarily for stockholders. But none of that really means anything to gamers, especially when it comes to us saving money and figuring out what we’d like to buy. Even though I can’t wait for my PlayStation 4, I’m admittedly a bit bummed that I have no real idea when I’ll be playing some truly spectacular next generation games once we move over to 2014.

With all that in mind, I put together a list of the most anticipated games that don’t have true release dates yet, and wanted to see which ones you guys were most excited about. Go!

Which game without a release date are you most excited about?

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GamerSushi Power Rankings: October 2013

7 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Gta 5 banner

A new challenger arrives!

Several new challengers, actually. Now that the fall is rolling out like AutoBots, it’s safe to say that our Power Rankings chart is going to undergo quite a few transformations of its own, month-to-month. See what I did there? References!

This month sees several new contenders making a debut on the rankings, from mobile games to indie titles and to arguably the biggest blockbuster of the entire year in Grand Theft Auto V. Yes, this venture into Los Santos and San Andreas has stolen our hearts, making us forget all of the abuse that Rockstar dished out in Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re fickle beasts.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 games we’ve been playing over the last month. What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing? Go!

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The Highs and Lows of the Battlefield 4 Beta

7 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

battlefield 4 beta

Last week the Battlefield 4 beta launched, featuring the map Siege of Shanghai with the modes Conquest and Domination. Being the outspoken Battlefield advocate that I am, I selflessly took it upon myself to dive headfirst into the beta and bring you a report from the dust-choked battleground of Shanghai.

I’m playing the beta on PC, and thankfully I haven’t been impeded by the weird technical errors that seems to have stymied some users. Battlefield 4 looks absolutely gorgeous on a decent rig as DICE has done away with most of their weird aesthetic choices from Battlefield 3 (like the super-nova sun and the blue tint). The war torn streets of Shanghai have a lot of interactive features as well, like the ability to close store shutters to keep enemies out or raise bollards to stop a tank from rolling across a bridge (at one point I was able to use a blinking metal detector to locate an enemy that had rounded the corner and escaped my line of sight).

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I Totally Asked for This: Deus Ex: Universe Announced

3 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

A couple of years ago, Deus Ex: Human Revolution proved to be both a worthy follow-up to a storied franchise, as well as a great introduction for new players. It combined stealth, awesome powers and a moody, sci-fi atmosphere ripped right Blade Runner in the best way possible.

Fortunately for all of us that loved Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal loves money enough to promise not just one, but multiple follow-ups to the Deus Ex series with the announcement of Deus Ex: Universe yesterday. Deus Ex: Universe is not simply a sequel, however — it’s a collection of titles that spans multiple forms of media, including PC and next-gen console games, tablets, books, graphic novels and more.

While I could leave some of the other stuff behind, I do have to say the promise of more Deus Ex games is something worth getting excited about. Human Revolution was a breath of fresh air, one that I look forward to filling my lungs with again in the near future. Who else is excited about this? Go!

Source – PC Gamer

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Will Let You Rate Missions

2 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

assassins creed 4 rate mission feature

Shiver me timbers, potential Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag players! For the upcoming pirate-themed sequel, you will be able to rate missions on a five-star scale, helping Ubisoft build better content going forward.

This is a neat move by the company, and one that open-world games in general can greatly benefit from. While this system (like anything you give to gamers at large) is open to abuse, the fact that you can directly give developers feedback on what you thought about a given mission is an exciting prospect. This feature is entirely optional and at the end of a given mission a small box will pop up on the lower right of the stats screen, allowing you to assign a one-to-five star rating.

Open-world game mission design has gotten a lot better since the start of this generation, but for some reason we still have follow missions, or escort quests. Also, I would appreciate the ability to go back and give all of Assassin’s Creed 3 one out of five stars.

What do you guys think about this? Is it a good move for Ubisoft? Does it seem like we’re beta-testing mission design? Go!

Source – Polygon

Pixel Count: Most Anticipated October Release

30 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Grand Theft Auto V landed last month and I imagine we are all still digging deeply into its controversial wickedness. However, time and video game releases wait for no one and with a new month comes more new releases.The odd thing about the month of October is that the really big releases come at the end of the month, such as Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Before that, it’s much more wide open than usual for a fall month. Check the poll below and vote for the game you want the most this month, then meet me after the break for my thoughts:

Most Anticipated October Release?

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Getting Addicted to Grand Theft Auto V

30 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Grand Theft Auto V

Guys, I have a confession.

You see, in the last couple of weeks I’ve developed a bit of an addiction. Every day at work, my mind is driven by thoughts of drugs, violence, theft, mayhem and destruction. At night my actions are guided by these impulses, and I disappear into the dark underbelly of my psyche to participate in grotesque fantasies, some of which leave people bloodied and battered.

Of course, I’m talking about Grand Theft Auto V here, Rockstar’s record-breaking new game that puts you in the shoes of the retired thief Michael, the up-and-coming gangster Franklin and the maniacal, homicidal addict Trevor. I can’t get enough of it.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 75: Millions of Beeches

29 Sep 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

gamersushi show ep 75 gta 5

We’re back after a week break, but can you blame us? We needed time to digest Rockstar’s latest magnum opus, GTA 5. As you can imagine, a large portion of the cast is taken up by this game, but we only talk up to the first heist, so there’s not a huge risk of spoilers.

Other than that we talk Valve’s Steam announcements (outside of the Steam controller that hadn’t been revealed yet), I heap some love on Nintendo for the Wii U and Windwaker HD and the fact that Apple payed EA to give them the exclusive launch of Plants vs Zombies 2, and apparently that’s a big deal?

Anyways, you know the drill by now, listen, rate and come back next week (hopefully) for another installment of the GamerSushi Show!

0:00 – 6:27 Intro
6:28 – 21:40 SteamOS, Steam Machines
21:42 – 26:58 Next Gen Transfers
26:59 – 31:09 Wii U and Wind Waker HD
31:10 – 37:25 EA and Apple “Non-troversy”
37:26 – 1:01:07 GTA 5
1:01:08 – 1:03:48 Outro