E3 2013 is right around the corner (seriously, it’s on Monday!) so it’s time to bust out those E3 predictions! Gaming yearly extravaganza always seems to sneak up on us, even when we know exactly when it’s coming.
So! What do you think is going to happen at E3? What are you looking for out of the press conferences? Of the big two, since Nintendo is skipping E3 this year, who do you think will come out on top? Will EA announce SimCity 2? Go!
Man oh man, if there’s one game for the rest of this year that might be able to topple BioShock Infinite off of its lofty perch, it’s The Last of Us. Sure, everybody might have their own personal Game of the Year (come on, Battlefield 4), but I predict that those two giants will be slugging it out for that prestigious award come December.
What makes me say that, you ask? Well, in case you missed it yesterday, the review embargo for Naughty Dog’s fungal-fueled post-apocalyptic title lifted and there are some fantastic reviews out there. Here’s a round-up of what some outlets are saying about it:
Pretty much unanimous across the board, except for Polygon’s review which highlights a few inconsistencies with the shooting mechanics. The multiplayer is of particular interest to me, especially considering I kind of forgot that The Last of Us even had this mode.
The game is out next Friday, so what do you guys think about these reviews? Are you getting excited?
We gripe quite a bit about the homogenization of games on GamerSushi. One of the most disappointing things about this past generation has been the way publishers and developers have shifted to providing game experiences that feel all too similar. We’ve been through the laundry list of complaints before: RPG mechanics married with Call of Duty style shooting, games that lead you down cut-scene filled tunnels, etc.
However, in the last year or two, we’ve finally had a bit of a break from the attack of the video game clones. With creative titles like XCOM, Monaco, Papers Please, Journey, Walking Dead, Hotline Miami and more, it seems like we’re slipping out of that mid-generation funk of tired, boring military games. And as time goes on, I feel like I keep seeing more reasons to be excited about upcoming games, as people are finally turning the corner. Don’t get me wrong, the shooter will always be popular — but we’re finally seeing more of the variety that the generation started with.
So, with that in mind, let’s have ourselves another edition of Pixel Count. This week, we’re talking about the game types we miss most, and that we hope to see more of in the near future. Start casting your votes and tell us why in the comments. Go!
I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t love Blood Dragon.
After being so excited about Far Cry 3′s far-out DLC with a cheesy sci-fi bent, it turns out I’m just not that into it. The atmosphere of the game, full of reds, purples and neon colors, actually makes it kind of hard to pull of Far Cry 3′s refined, excellent gameplay. You can’t see enemies very well, you’re so superpowered that stealth barely matters, and with all the colors you rarely have any idea of where enemy fire is coming from.
But more than anything it just makes me want more of the real game. I’m not sad that I purchased it — I think DLC like this should be made more often — it’s just not really floating my cyber-boat. I find that I’m having to force myself to play the game, even after bumping it down to Easy to make it pass more quickly.
With gaming, I tend to muscle through most of the time and finish titles, even if I’m not 100 percent feeling them. But sometimes, I run into a Blood Dragon, where I legitimately do not even want to play it anymore, but feel like I should. So my question for you guys is this: when do you decide to cut the cord on a game? And what’s the last game you decided to stop playing? Go!
After a little break from the Drunk Cast, we’re back with a normal-ass normal episode of the podcast. Nick joins us once again and we bring back Anthony’s famous GAME TIME clip for the second time in recent memory.
In a little change from casts past, we talk about something other than the video game industry. We dip into a conversation leading off of Blood Dragon about TV shows, and it’s a pretty good talk, all things considered. We’re very well-rounded nerds.
So yeah, listen up, rate up and enjoy…up. Catch you next time!
0:00 – 5:06 Intro
5:07 – 18:34 EA and Star Wars
18:35 – 23:33 Microsoft Ditches Points
23:34 – 46:16 Blood Dragon (NOPE j/k we talk about TV)
46:17 – 53:44 Fire Emblem: Awakening
53:45 – 1:00:59 Star Command and Kickstarter
1:01:00 – 1:02:06 GAME TIME (Percentages)
1:02:07 – 1:05:03 Chance we’ll see a price at the Next Xbox reveal
1:05:04 – 1:07:11 Chance that half the presser is dedicated to Kinect
1:07:12 – 1:09:36 Chance we’ll see some new cool thing involving Kinect
1:09:37 – 1:12:25 Chance we’ll see a Halo teaser/trailer
1:12:26 – 1:16:34 Chance there’s a good launch title
1:16:35 – 1:21:07 Chance the Wii U will have a system seller by this Fall
1:21:08 – 1:23:27 Outro
We’re finally here with Episode 69 of the GamerSushi Show, the third installment of the Drunk Cast! It’s a full crew this time as Nick makes a triumphant return with some whiskey and beer.
After we establish the nation of Askarnia in podcast canon, we talk about Nintendo skipping E3, Microsoft’s next gen troubs, Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Ghosts, GTA 5, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and many more things besides!
So yeah, it’s a pretty great cast. Listen, rate and enjoy the cast!
0:00 – 7:57 Intro
7:58 – 25:17 Nintendo skipping E3
25:18 – 40:30 Microsoft is behind for the next-gen
40:31 – 46:42 Tomb Raider
46:43 – 57:06 Call of Duty: Ghosts and GTA V
57:07 – 1:10:54 Watch Dogs and some other stuff
1:10:55 – 1:23:45 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
1:23:46 – 1:27:49 SimCity
1:27:50 – 1:37:41 Outro
Can you guys believe that it’s already May? That means it’s time for another bout of Power Rankings. At about half way through the year, I do have to say I’m surprised with the games on this month’s list, and what a surprise 2013 is shaping up to be in terms of variety and the titles available to us. Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are still kicking strong, but Blood Dragon is a surprise contender out of the blue. And that’s not even mentioning the two 3DS games that are making waves.
So here’s this month’s list of the hottest 10 games that the GamerSushi staff is playing at the moment. I’m actually really looking forward to the shake-ups that are bound to occur for June’s list, when games like Last of Us and Monaco show up in our backlogs.
What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!
It’s the last day of April and with it comes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which is the likely winner of this month’s poll. Before that, let’s look at last’s month poll real fast to see who won: Injustice! The DC Comic fighting game won the hearts and minds of our readers in a somewhat anemic month. Did anyone play Injustice? I tried the demo and found it to be about what I expected, which is a lot like the last Mortal Kombat. Not like that is a bad thing, but I already got my fill of that a few years back.
No, I haven’t finished it. I’m just done with it. After stopping for a month to play Bioshock Infinite (twice) and Tomb Raider, the thought of going back to Ni No Kuni was enough to make my body recoil in revulsion. I wasn’t sure why, but I had a similar feeling when I stopped Ni No Kuni the first time in order to play Dead Space 3. But once I started playing again, I found it surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things. I put 24 hours into it before I took my month-long break.
But just like last time, I decided to throw it back into the old PS3 and see if my sudden aversion to the game would dissipate once I got going again. It didn’t. The moment I started playing I wanted to stop. The first battle I got into was literally the last battle I ever wanted to play in this game, which I think is the crux of the problem. I love the characters, the world and the story, but the battle system, while tolerable for the first 20 or so hours, just suddenly hit a wall for me. I love everything else about this game except for the battle system. I thought back to some of the tedious boss battles I had been through and I knew I didn’t want any part of that again. In the end, they were more of a chore than enjoyable.
Fun or Shun is making a surprise comeback! In this feature, GamerSushi editors take a look at an upcoming game and give their thoughts on whether or not it will be worth your time to play. We’ve also done this with Dishonored and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This time, we’re giving Naughty Dog’s upcoming survival action adventure The Last of Us a litmus test.
As we inch ever closer to Episode 69, the Return of the Drunk Cast, I bring you this, Episode 68, which has a bit of a different format than previous shows. First, Eddy and I start off with an extended intro where we talk my genetic inability to lie on account of my nationality, and how Eddy knows a guy who has done a lot of cool voice acting.
Then, when Jeff joins the cast we kick into a talk about Heroes on Xbox LIVE, SimCity descending even further into a well of idiocy, and then we bring back Fill in the Blank. You can see the topics below, and as you can image we had some good discussions.
You know the deal, listen, rate and come back next week (hopefully) for the Drunk Cast!
0:00 – 14:44 Intro
14:25 – 21:24 Microsoft is bringing back Heroes on Xbox LIVE
21:25 – 24:29 SimCity adds Colgate-sponsored DLC
24:30 – 25:19 GAME TIME (Fill in the Blank)
25:20 – 40:17 Valve refunding Bioshock Infinite after a customer complained about it based on religious reasons is _____
40:18 – 48:42 Ubisoft Montreal CEO thinks gamers are ready for always online. He’s ___
48:43 – 55:20 Video game prequels underperforming is ______
55:21 – 58:41 Link to the Past 2 and trading in the Xbox 360
58:42 – 1:00:34 Outro
BioShock Infinite was announced a long time ago in gamer terms: 2010 was the first time we heard about the world of Columbia in any official sense (Irrational had been referring to the game as Project: Icarus before that). Even though we’ve known about it for three years, we can assume it’s been in development for much longer than that. Naturally, any game with a long gestation cycle will undergo a lot of changes, and BioShock Infinite is no exception. The folks over at Outside Xbox have a short video detailing the ways that Infinite has progressed ever since we first laid eyes on it, and I thought I’d share it with you for this week’s “Did You See This” Wednesday.
Even though we at GamerSushi are extremely happy with the end product, it’s crazy to think what could have been. BioShock Infinite isn’t wildly different in its final form, but Elizabeth’s powers were more broad in scope and the combat arenas were much more open and dynamic than they were in the final game. What do you guys think? Happy with how Infinite turned out? What features from 2010 would you like to have seen stay in the game?
With Blood Dragon coming out soon for FarCry 3, I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about DLC. It’s hard to imagine several things about the scenario that resulted in one of the year’s top sellers creating an 80s-themed sci-fi story: 1) that someone would have this idea and feel strongly enough about it to 2) pitch it to suits who would then 3) agree to make the damn thing.
Taking beloved mechanics and applying them to a wild shift in setting is fascinating, and it made me start thinking about the types of DLC we have available to us. From simple add-ons like weapons and maps to full-blown sequel-bridging epilogues, DLC has really come a long way in the last few years. While there are some bad apples, it seems that developers for the most part are starting to be more creative about what they offer, and when.
So that being said, let me hit you up with a poll. Vote and tell us about your favorite DLCs in the comments!
One thing that is nice about GamerSushi is that we’re not compelled to review each and every game that comes out. Sure, we do review a large chunk of the big-name releases each year, but there isn’t that pressure to get our written thoughts up on day one.
That kind of explains why there hasn’t, and will never be, an official GamerSushi review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, unless one of the other Editors wants to take a stab at it. While Revengeance has achieved some critical acclaim the consensus didn’t gel with my experience.
Coming off Bioshock Infinite, I was anxious to start Tomb Raider, a game I have had my eye on since the first E3 reveal way back when. But once I started, there was one big problem: I just couldn’t get into it. There were a number of reasons for this: I was tired, I was trying to get in a little more WWE ’13 before trading it in and I had a pretty busy week with lots of “real life” obstacles getting in the way. I liked what I played, but being only able to play in 20-30 minute sessions a night wasn’t allowing me to get invested in Lara Croft and her tribulations in the Dragon’s Triangle. Even during cut-scenes, I found myself checking Twitter instead of paying attention.
But, as I knew it would, the game finally grabbed me this past weekend, when I was able to play for a few hours in one sitting. Little things like upgrading your weapons, exploring the areas and the really fun use of the bow managed to reel me in and after one gorgeous and harrowing sequence where Lara must climb an insanely tall radio tower, I am now riveted. The mystery of the island and how Lara overcomes these dangerous situations have got me playing through the story at a fairly decent clip now. The voice acting is great, with perhaps the exception of Whitman, who’s characterization just feels out of place with the rest of the cast and the gameplay is tight.
Welcome, welcome, one and all, to the 67 episode of The GamerSushi Show. On this three man cast, we finally delve into spoiler-talk about BioShock Infinite, so be warned if you’ve yet to complete the game.
Not that Eddy doesn’t try and spoil it a couple times in advance of the actual discussion, but I, your fastidious editor, made sure that his attempts at trolling were for naught. Sorry in advance to you headphone users, though. In addition to BioShock, we talk about Disney closing LucasArts, EA winning the Worst Company in America award for the second time in a row (they’ll annualize anything, won’t they?) and the out-of-control rumor mill surrounding the next Xbox.
Listen, rate, and we’ll catch you on the flip side! Of the coin. Get it? BioShock reference.
0:00 – 3:47 Intro
3:48 – 10:55 Disney closes LucasArts
10:56 – 17:24 Ea is the Worst Company in America (Again)
17:25 – 33:50 Next Xbox is a Cable Box and Always On
33:51 – 1:20:00 BioShock Infinite Spoilercast
1:21:41 – 1:23:50 Outro
When I tend to think back on my favorite games, I tend to reminisce on particular moments rather than the experience as a whole. Sure, the experience as a whole is worth replaying as well, but usually there is one bit that I have focused on above all others, one instant where everything came together and burned itself into my brain forever.
Recently, Bioshock Infinite has held several of those moments for me. I won’t venture into spoiler territory here, but I will say that besides the ending, a moment that stood out to me was in the basement of a broken down bar, where Booker DeWiit picks up a guitar and plays Let the Circle Be Unbroken while Elizabeth sings. It’s one of those things that catapulted straight to the lead of my favorite gaming memories, and I remember being breathless in the moment itself.
There are plenty of others to choose from. Climbing that ladder in MGS3. Talking to your party members for the final time in Mass Effect 3. The ride into Mexico in Red Dead Redemption. I’m sure we’ve asked this question before, but it’s always a good time to stop and update. What are some of your recent favorite video game moments?
Another month, another update to the beloved, ever-changing GamerSushi Power Rankings. If you’ll remember, March had us loving games like Ni No Kuni, FarCry3 and Dead Space 3 above all others. Well, things have changed quite a bit in April. You see, some of the year’s best games and biggest surprises have all come out one after the other, which leaves us quite a few new contenders. And some of those contenders will probably linger for a while to come.
So without further ado, here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games for the month of April. Tell us why we’re nuts, and what we’re doing wrong. We’re listening.
I barely have the words to describe Blood Dragon, FarCry3′s new standalone DLC, but I suppose I’ll try my best. Imagine if FarCry3 were re-invented as a really terrible 80s science fiction movie starring Michael Biehn of Aliens and Terminator fame. Yes, that’s what Blood Dragon actually is. Oh, and there are also robot dragons that shoot lasers out of their eyes.
In what it is seriously one of the most bananas moves I’ve ever seen by any video game company, Ubisoft is going completely off the rails with FarCry 3′s new content — and I couldn’t be more excited, even if I have no idea where this inspiration comes from. I can’t say I’d mind playing FarCry3′s mechanics in a ridiculously hilarious ode to 80s science fiction. And for $14.99, I can’t see why I wouldn’t jump right in with two bionic legs.
As you may know, Naughty Dog’s upcoming post-apocalyptic tale The Last of Us stars a pair of main characters: a grizzly, bearded man named Joel, and a teenage girl named Ellie who bears a passing resemblance to Ellen Page. However, as the developers do publicity and interviews in preparation for the game’s upcoming release, it’s becoming more and more clear that Naughty Dog had to fight to keep Ellie in the spotlight. I find that particularly interesting because Ellie is by far the more memorable and striking of the two characters.
For example, in a recent interview with The Escapist, Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann explained that “the research group wasn’t planning on focus-testing female gamers – it’s something we had to specifically request”. This paired with the fact that they also had to insist that Ellie be included on the cover of the game paints the state of game marketing in a particularly dispiriting light. Apparently the going wisdom is that women don’t play videogames, so they shouldn’t focus test them, and men won’t buy games with women on the cover.