PC

Hotline Miami: The Drug of Rinse and Repeat

14 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Hotline Miami

Sushians, welcome to our first ever “What We’re Playing” Monday post. I know. You can probably barely contain your excitement.

This weekend, I spent pretty much the entirety of Saturday afternoon obsessively picking my way through Hotline Miami, a top-down 2D stealth/challenge room shooter by Dennaton games, gifted to me during the most recent Steam Sale.

For those of you unaware (which means you haven’t listened to the newest podcast), Hotline Miami is a violent game about busting into rooms full of bad guys and taking them out in the most brutal, daring way possible — all while maintaining twitch-quick reflexes.

The thing about this game is that it is old school, throw your controller across the room hard. You bust into a room full of mobsters, and you have to rehearse how you’re going to eliminate them quickly and methodically, one by one. If you’re not perfect, you get your brains blown out. As such, it requires a certain amount of rinsing and repeating, as you attempt to clear the same rooms over and over, racking up an absurd amount of deaths.

There’s something strangely addicting about this kind of gameplay. I’m not sure if it taps into that old part of us that was used to trial-and-error gameplay, the kind that required you to get a level absolutely perfect, step-by-step, if you ever wanted any hope of progressing. All I know is that on Saturday, I was a slave to Hotline Miami’s drug, trudging through half of its levels all in one sitting, sometimes shouting in triumph, sometimes cursing and swearing the game off forever.

All that to say — if you haven’t played Hotline Miami, you should certainly give it a try. It’s probably one of the more addictive games I’ve played in the last year. Have any of you guys played it? What are some other games you’ve played recently that relied on this kind of rinse and repeat drug? Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 58: PC Master Race

13 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

gamersushi show ep 58

Happy New Year, Sushians! Your glorious GamerSushi crew is back from our protracted holiday break, bringing you the first podcast of 2013! I know you’re excited.

Something strange happened to our staff over the break as everyone dipped pretty heavily into the PC gaming inkwell, and as such we talk exclusively about everybody’s favorite gaming machine. True, most of the titles we played were multiplatform, but Jeff does gab for a bit about Hotline Miami.

In addition to that we also spend some time talking about the new Steam Box and the Steam Winter Sale, which ruined more than a few wallets. Since it’s been just over a month since our last cast, here’s a quick refresher on how this goes down: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, and comment on the podcast.

0:00 – 4:32 Intro
4:33 – 9:51 Sleeping Dogs
9:52 – 25:27 XCOM: Enemy Unknown
25:28 – 34:13 Far Cry 3
34:14 – 36:41 Torchlight 2
36:42 – 43:38 Dishonored
43:49 – 54:33 Spec Ops: The Line
54:34 – 1:00:30 Hotline Miami
1:00:31 – 1:07:13 PC Gaming and the Steam Sale
1:07:14 – 1:15:50 Steam Box
1:15:51 – 1:18:14 The Witcher 2
1:18:15 – 1:21:48 Outro

The 2012 Sushis: A Year of Highs and Lows

10 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

The 2012 Sushis

If you’ll do us the kindness of remembering, you’ll recall that GamerSushi does the annual recap a bit differently than most places. Sure, we’ll do our Top 10 Games of 2012 list within the next week, but before that we bring you the Sushis, our roast, celebration and general send-up of the previous year’s highs and lows.

In the 2012 Sushis, we mock the disappointments, high five the best multiplayer experiences and give solos to the unsung heroes of one of the generation’s most interesting years yet.

Enoy!

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Gabe Newell’s Steam Box Dream

9 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Gabe Steam Box

PC gamers and Steam lovers can rejoice, because the cat’s finally out of the bag: a Valve’s “Steam Box” is official, Gabe Newell confirmed in a recent interview with The Verge.

While we can mostly guess at what a Steam Box means for games — namely a “Big Picture Mode” console designed for your TV — Newell did talk about some of the box’s other early features. For instance, rather than just the living room, they want the Steam experience to be sharable from screen to screen, and between different rooms with ease. But beyond that, Valve’s main emphasis will be open platforms with different manufacturers, open content and a way for gamers to publish and create their own content through the Steam store or possibly even personal stores. The goal is to make things easy for publishers and developers, and ideally that trickles down to gamers as well.

It’s certainly too early to tell anything about the Steam Box, but it basically sounds like my dream console. I’m pretty pumped on Steam at the moment, mostly due to the most recent Steam sale (sorry, but you’ll hear me mention it a million times over the next, I dunno, year, so I love the idea of an affordable console that runs what I think is currently best platform for games. I love that Valve will be removing the normal restrictions we see from consoles, and can’t wait to hear more about this. I definitely recommend checking out the rest of the interview, there’s even a bit about how they have been researching biometric feedback and new controller inputs.

What do you guys think of the Steam Box? Go!

Source – The Verge

GamerSushi Votes 2012: Biggest Disappointment

8 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

It’s a sad fact that when you have the highs of a year, there will unfortunately be lows. With so many big name titles getting their next iteration last year (and in some cases, wrapping up a planned trilogy) it was inevitable that gamers at large would be let down by some of them. Not saying that these games were bad across the board, but when you wait fifteen plus years for something, well, expectations tend to be a little inflated.

So, here’s a list of games I’ve put together that generated the most stink during 2012. This isn’t me saying that I think these games are awful, but rather these are the games that critics and players won’t stop bashing. Let’s put it to rest once and for all. What was the biggest disappointment in gaming for 2012?

Biggest Dissapointment of 2012

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What’s Happening with the DayZ Standalone?

7 Jan 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

dayz-standalone

DayZ, one of the biggest breakout mod hits of 2012, was slated for release as a standalone version by the end of that year. Now that we’re in 2013 with no DayZ solo project in sight, Dean “Rocket” Hall has made a rather large post on the DayZ Devblog, detailing what’s happening with DayZ and some of the features that are being added.

One of the reasons that the DayZ standalone has been delayed is because Rocket and his team decided to increase the scope of the project a fair bit. According to the blog post, the game was supposed to be a polished version of the mod, packaged and sold as its own entity. The opportunity to completely redo the existing game was a little too tempting, however, so the developers decided to rework a whole host of systems, from the game engine to the UI and the scavenging.

The inventory has been rebuilt from the ground up, and will “fundamentally change” the DayZ experience, if the post is any indication. The new system allows for enhanced scavenging, or different items stats like if you shoot someone with night vision in the head, the night vision goggles will be damaged when you pick them up. This also applies to disease tracking, so you can leave cholera-infected items around for poor scroungers to find.

Another factor holding up development is that the designer of the original Chernarnus map, Ivan Buchta, is still imprisoned in Greece on espionage charges. This means that the DayZ team is having to get input from him via letters, stalling forward progress on their retooling of the landscape.

So it seems that Rocket allowed DayZ to blossom under his newfound development position, and Bohemia Interactive are letting him run with it. I’m all for a new UI and updated mechanics in DayZ, because the ARMA 2 interface is a little cumbersome, especially for a survival-type game.

What do you guys think about this new development? Excited for the prospect of “DayZ 2″, as it were?

Source – DayZ Developer Blog

GamerSushi Votes 2012: Best Single-Player

5 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Now that we’ve talked about Best Multiplayer/Co-op let’s move on to the next segment of GamerSushi Votes. On the docket today is Best Single-Player, and it’s been a heck of a year for solitary experiences. A couple years back it looked like the single-player experience was on the way out and a good multiplayer portion was the ticket to success, but near the end of this generation we’ve swung back around to games having a really fleshed-out single-player campaign and tacked on multiplayer modes.

It was hard to narrow down the selection of single-player games to vote on, but I think I got a good sample. As usual, if there’s a game you think I missed, feel free to tell us in the comments. Now, vote!

Best Single Player of 2012

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GamerSushi Votes 2012: Best Multiplayer/Co-op

3 Jan 2013 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Hello, gaming friends, and welcome back to GamerSushi Votes, our now annual tradition of asking you, the community, what you felt were the stand-out titles of the year.

For the first day of voting, I thought we’d tuck into the best multiplayer of the year, which I’ve expanded to include co-op because I’ve spent more time playing with people rather than against them this year. Mass Effect 3 lead this charge, having a surprisingly strong and deep multiplayer mode that has been repeatidly expanded on and I’m still playing to this day. Add that to plethora of other games that encourage working with your friends, and you have a very strong year for co-op.

So, choose a selection from the list below, or let us know what your favorite multiplayer/co-op of 2012 was in the comments!

Best Multiplayer/Co-op of 2012

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Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

30 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

black ops 2 review

While Call of Duty moved into the realm of fictional wars with the first Modern Warfare game, the series has never strayed beyond modern technology; indeed, even jumping into today’s battlegrounds was deemed a huge leap for the series. Now that almost every era of modern war has been mined for inspiration (I’m still waiting for Trench Warfare), Call of Duty’s off-year team Treyarch decided to make a bold move and place their Black Ops follow up in the year 2025.

The whole game doesn’t take place in 2025, however, as there are several levels that occur in the 1980s that set up the origin of Raul Menendez, the antagonist of this particular outing. Switching back and forth between the shiny combat of 2025 and the shady battles of the 1980s, can Black Ops 2′s unique narrative break it out of the Call of Duty rut?

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Changing the Game with Steam’s Big Picture

29 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Steam Big Picture Mode

Hola, Sushians. If you can’t tell, we’ve been on a bit of a break due to the holidays and the fact that most gaming news has ground to a halt. On top of that, we’re actually busy playing tons of games for a change (XCOM, you have my heart), so that we can vote on our Top 10 Games of 2012 list and also because games are amazing.

On top of clearing out a backlog (which has been made impossible due to the Steam sale), one of my goals over the holiday season was to finally purchase an adapter of some sort so I could play certain PC games with a 360 controller. While I enjoy a keyboard and mouse for shooters and RTS style games, there are a number of gametypes I’d prefer to use my 360 controller for — to the point where I wasn’t purchasing some great deals on games because I didn’t want to play with a keyboard and mouse.

Well, I’ve finally hooked up the adapter and tried out Big Picture Mode, Steam’s new UI built for a controller and a TV, and wow, guys — I’m a total believer in a Steam box.

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GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing this Christmas?

24 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 13 Comments

far cry 3

Merry Christmas Eve, GamerSushi friends, or any other holiday that you fine folks might be or have been celebrating. I’d insert a joke here about diversity, but I think we’re all a bit grown up for that by this point.

One of my favorite things about having some time off for Christmas every year is all the free time I suddenly get to catch up on games. In addition to the mouthwatering deals of the Steam Sale, I’ve also been playing a bit of Halo 4, and I’m dying to get my hands on Far Cry 3, Spec Ops: The Line and Sleeping Dogs. I’m sure there will be many other things added to that list in the next few days.

So what about you guys? What are you playing while on break? Hit us up with your comments! Go!

The Games of 2012 in Under Two Minutes

21 Dec 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

It’s been a heck of a year guys, starting off strong with Journey and Mass Effect 3 and finishing off with a wide array of excellent games from Borderlands 2 to Halo 4 to Far Cry 3. This year has been so great in fact, that a video montage by YouTube user Malcolm Klock is the best way to send it off. Set to “Leaving Earth” from Mass Effect 3, the video has clips from thirty-plus games from 2012. Give it a watch and enjoy.

There you go! What did you guys think of that? Did you favorite game show up? What games were sadly missing from this montage?

What’s the Deal with The WarZ? Updated

18 Dec 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

So The WarZ, Hammerpoint Interactive’s zombie survival MMO hit Steam over the past few days, bringing with it a fresh new wave of controversy. While the Steam page for the game has been updated, it originally did not state that the game is still in alpha and was missing a lot of the advertised features such as more than one map and player classes.

It’s really hard to keep up with The WarZ’s current woes, but apparently the newest patch has added an instant respawn button that you need to pay for with real money, lest you want to wait four hours for the cooldown to be over. TotalBiscuit has a gameplay video about The WarZ which is 40 minutes long, if you can actually make it that far.

Frankly the game looks pretty bad, especially given the whole kerfuffle about the game being announced shortly after Day Z’s launch with the developers claiming The WarZ has been in development for five years.

Has anyone played The WarZ? How is it feeling to you so far?

Update: The WarZ is no longer availible for purchase on Steam, and Valve has started a thread for people to air their grievances about the game in light of the developers deleting posts on the game’s Steam forums.

Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the Expansion We’ve Been Waiting For

18 Dec 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

battlefield 3 aftermath review

Continuing my trend of reviewing the DLC for Battlefield 3, like Close Quarters and Armored Kill, I’m going to sit down here and rap with you for a bit about Aftermath, DICE’s newest contribution to the steadily growing stable of post-launch content for their combined-arms FPS.

Like the previous two pieces of DLC, Aftermath has a “theme” to go along with it, and in this case it’s picking up from the single-player story by giving us four new maps set in a post-earthquake Iran. This means rubble-strewn pathways, and in the case of Epicenter, aftershocks that will shake your camera around a little bit. It’s not too noticeable that it will affect your aim, but you do have to compensate for it a bit.

The new maps are more in the style of the vanilla BF3 maps, having several choke-points leading to wider areas for you to mess around in. Coming off of the Armored Kill maps, which sometimes felt a little too big, this is a welcome change of pace. The maps are more suited to infantry combat, as tanks are a rare sight even on 64-player Conquest. The new hotness is the customized vehicles, which are basically civilian vans and Humvees with a grenade launcher and a machine gun bolted on. They’re a ton of fun to rip around in, and in a nice change of pace from the armored jeeps of the main game you can actually kill the occupants with a few bullets or a grenade.

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How 7 Games Affected the Industry in 2012

15 Dec 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

journey

Every year, the video game industry is rocked by a handful of events. Or more specifically, a handful of games that become events in and of themselves. No, I don’t mean blockbuster game releases (although the Modern Warfare 3 drama was something to behold in 2011), but rather games that become a story themselves, the release of which affects the trends and discussions of the entire industry as a whole.

In a new feature, MCV takes a look at 7 Games that Shaped 2012, where study the games that most affected the marketplace. The focus of this list is pretty interesting: Borderlands 2 proving that retail is still a powerful force, Double Fine and Kickstarter changing the way a number of indie games (and a few AA titles) are produced and released, and the quality tipping point of small, downloadable games with titles like Journey and Walking Dead. Each of these things has played a huge role in 2012 in terms of shaping the industry, and I’m curious to see what it means in the future.

Although some of the stuff on the list doesn’t quite apply to those of us in the States — like Mass Effect 3 and the collapse of GAME — Mass Effect 3 is still just as notable this year because of how it affected the discussion of art and the consumer. It’s one of the more memorable times we’ve seen a creator change a product after its release in order to cater to what consumers wanted from it.

So, what do you guys think the biggest game stories of 2012 were? What other games affected the industry this year? Go!

Source – MCV UK

Mass Effect 3: Omega is a Non-Essential Side-Story

14 Dec 2012 | Posted by | Comments Off

mass effect 3 omega review

As excellent as Mass Effect 2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker was, BioWare might have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to post-release DLC. While it would be unrealistic to expect that every piece of Mass Effect DLC would be up to the same standards, it kind of laid the implication that any quests given to the player outside of the main game would advance the story, or at least fill in some background information.

To BioWare’s credit, Mass Effect 3: Leviathan did dredge up a more fleshed-out history of the Reapers, but the newest effort for Mass Effect 3 DLC, Omega, doesn’t add anything new to the story, or change your perception of the established characters you’ll be interacting with.

Shepard is contacted by Aria T’Loak, the Pirate Queen of the space station Omega, to help her take her throne back from Cerberus, who threw her out before the main campaign of Mass Effect 3. Because of Aria’s dislike of your squadmates, you’re going in without any familiar faces from the Normandy. I’ve never bought into the character of Aria as much as BioWare seems to want me to, and being saddled with her for a couple hours just demonstrates how one dimensional she is. While the end of the Omega campaign has her softening a bit, for most of the time she grunts and threatens her way through dialogue sections, being so predictable that a new character, Nyreen the female turian, calls her on it. It doesn’t help that the voice actress behind Aria, Carrie-Anne Moss, sounds like she’s collecting a paycheck for most of her lines, only occasionally dipping into having any emotion besides bored anger.

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Street Fighter X Mega Man is Coming Because Why Not

9 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Sometimes I’m really confused when it comes to Capcom. They seem like they’re struggling for relevance and have made some very confusing public relation moves in the last few months (not to mention the whole “on-disc DLC” debale) but they still manage to pull off the occasional moment of brilliance.

A prime example of this is Street Fighter X Mega Man, where the Blue Bomber will be taking on the cast of Street Fighter in a free PC download coming on December 18 (Mega Man’s 25 birthday) to Capcom Unity. Check out the trailer below!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 57: The Walking Podcast

7 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 4 Comments

the walking dead video game

We once again convene our even nerdier Council of Elrond as we return for the 57 episode of The GamerSushi Show. It’s been a few weeks since our last podcast, but when isn’t that the case?

To be fair to us, not a lot has happened between then and now, except for The Walking Dead finishing up its first season, which we cover in the majority of this podcast. In case you’re wondering, we go full spoilers on this one. No holds barred, and all that, so be warned if you’ve yet to finish.

In addition to The Walking Dead, Eddy beat Assassin’s Creed 3 so we dedicate some time to his impression of the game. We also talk about Hitman: Absolution’s terrible “assassinate your friends” marketing campaign and the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards nominees.

You know how it goes: listen to the podcast, and don’t forget to rate it for full synchronization.

Zachariah Scott’s Bad Medicine.

0:00 – 1:54 Intro
1:55 – 3:37 Hitman’s baffling advertising
3:38 – 10:42 Spike’s Video Game Awards 2012
10:43 – 31:00 Assassin’s Creed 3
31:01 – 1:04:38 The Walking Dead
1:04:39 – 1:07:38 Outro

Review: Sleeping Dogs

4 Dec 2012 | Posted by | 3 Comments

sleeping dogs review

When a game originally starts its life as part of the True Crime series and gets dropped by its publisher in advance of its release, it doesn’t bode that well. Such was the case for Sleeping Dogs, until Square Enix swopped in and scooped up the rights to bring the game to the public, saving United Front’s Hong Kong-based open world game from development hell.

Starring the enigmatic Wei Shen as an undercover police officer infiltrating a local Triad gang, Sleeping Dogs takes the melee combat style popularized by the Batman: Arkham titles and mixes it with some familiar open-world tropes and in a brazen move, refuses to give the player a gun for the first few hours. Sleeping Dogs takes a lot of risks for what should be a safe bet in the video game world. Does the game succeed or is its cover blown?

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PlanetSide2 Offers Three-Way FPS Action for Free

29 Nov 2012 | Posted by | 5 Comments

planetside 2

One game that always had potential but hit too early was PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment’s sci-fi MMO shooter. When it originally came out, the computers of the time were barely able to keep up with the huge environments and massive firefights that the game had to offer.

Now that computing technology has become a lot better, Sony Online Entertainment is taking another crack with PlanetSide 2, this time making the MMOFPS free-to-play. Having the ability to fight as one of three factions over three giant continents with and abundance of vehicles and player classes may seem like a crazy amount of content to give away for free, but the game pulls it off without finding a way to beat you over the head with microtransactions.

Don’t get me wrong, those exist, but they’re mostly cosmetic. Upgrades to your character and your weapons are bought with Certification points which are earned by killing enemies and taking capture points. While the base level attachments are fairly cheap, higher-level purchases can run upwards of a hundred points which take a while to earn. Fortunately, basic modifications like small increases to your base health are not that cost prohibitive.

Each of PlanetSide 2′s three factions have their own theme and style to go with it, like the Vanu Sovereignty which is all purple body suits and lasers or the New Conglomerate which look and fight a lot like the Browncoats from Firefly. Straddling the line between them is the Terran Republic, so no matter you fighting style (or taste for clothing) you can find a faction that suits you.

The battles in PlanetSide 2 can range from small skirmishes to all out war between the three factions with dozens of players on each side. Tanks and air support mix it up with infantry and all the classes have their role to play.

The only downside of the game right now is the lag and the fact that the UI is extremely cluttered, which might be intimidating for some new players. Figuring out how to take down bases is also a little tricky, but watching the tutotrial videos will help clear that up.

I’m really enjoying my time with PlanetSide 2, and I recommend that you check it out. It’s free, so the only thing you’re wasting is hard drive space. Has anyone else played PlanetSide 2? What do you think of it?