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 Continue reading Top Six: Franchises of the Current Generation
Over the last few days, I’ve been deadlocked in an attempt to clear out my gaming backlog before the big days of Fall land in our laps, and we’re once again swarmed with games to enjoy. Currently, I’m working on Alpha Protocol, 3D Dot Game Heroes and last but not least, Borderlands.
Borderlands is the really curious one, considering it’s a game I stopped playing months ago only to pick back up out of the blue. I forgot just how much fun it is, and the crazed shoot-outs with waves of enemies is satisfying and intense. I’m a level 27 soldier, and my favorite thing is deploying my turret, now sporting caustic damage and rockets that really mess everything up in their path.
While partaking in one of these shootouts, I started thinking about gaming classes. If I had to pick a particular style that suits me for most games, it would have to be some sort of tank or a hybrid of a tank and something a little more specialized, with a few support capabilities. I know that’s fairly vague, but I tend to go all out on offense, preferring chaos over actually racking up kills, and doing what I can to help my teammates in the process. I tend to pick one of the simpler classes in my first playthrough of a game, and then expand from there later.
So, now I’m wondering what your preferences are. What kind of classes do you normally pick in video games? What is your play style for shooters or RPGs? Go!
There are plenty of “best of the year” lists floating around for video games these days. But none of them are the Sushis. The Sushis represent a higher pedigree, one that rises above all of the other bush league video game blogs out there. These awards really mean something, people.
OK, maybe not. But they’re fun as hell, and that’s the point of playing games, right?
The Sushi awards represent our goofy and snarky take on the year in gaming, for better or worse, chosen by the GS dudes. A proper “best of” list is coming this weekend, but for now, enjoy these custom awards and feel free to comment on them.
Continue reading The 2009 Sushis: A Year In Review
With all the new games coming out every year, it becomes tricky to negotiate which games you should/shouldn’t buy. Already this Fall, I’ve bought a game I didn’t expect to (Halo: ODST) and I’ve been tempted by two other titles I didn’t have any plans on buying (Forza 3 and Borderlands). However, there is inevitably the game that everyone else seems to love, but you don’t necessarily drink the kool-aid for the way others do.
For me, that might be Left 4 Dead 2 this year. In previous years, games like Bioshock and any of the Devil May Cry games have failed to catch my fancy. Same thing with Mario Galaxies. Also, and this one might get me yelled at- Ocarina of Time. Though others loved them, I just never caught the fever. What about you guys? What recent great games do you not drink the Kool-Aid for like everyone else does? Flame on!
Guess Valve didn’t get around to checking out the report that states the PS3 is experiencing a surge in popularity because Left 4 Dead 2 Lead Writer Chet Faliszek, in a recent interview with CVG has come out publicly to state that Valve views the 360’s online capabilities as “head-and-shoulders” over the PS3’s. In the same sentence, he also puts Microsoft’s console on equal footing with the PC, thus pissing off the Valve’ most fervent supporters at the same time.
Valve doesn’t really strike me as the muck-raking kind, but this statement has set off all kinds negative backlash from not only the Sony Defence Force, but also from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. Mr. Pitchford has in the past stated that he views the Steam platform as a less-than-ideal way for small developers to get their games onto the market, and now he’s got something to say about Valve’s posturing towards the PS3.
In a recent interview with Official Playstation Magazine, Randy equated Valve’s attitude to be comparable with that of fanboys, implying that they’ve become “X-bots”. Randy also thinks that the PS3 version of the Orange Box being handled by another company, and Valve viewing it as the “step-child” just speaks of “underlying sleaziness.”
The catapults have been loaded and fired by Gearbox, so it just remains to be seen if someone from inside Valve has anything to say about this. Frankly, I think that Valve’s comments are a bit out of line, but the venerable company clearly has some issues with Sony’s black monolith. This little game of back-and-forth could go on for a while, and it’s pretty ironic considering that Borderlands topped the Steam sales charts for a while.
What do you guys think, though? Is Valve just trolling, and is Gearbox just trying to catch them riding dirty? Can’t the developers just play along nicely?
Shooter fans have been used to a very ridged structure in their games so far: you progress through levels, you shoot stuff, you move on. Sometimes you pick up different guns, but mostly it’s an aesthetic change than an actual improvement on your previous weapon, barring the rifle-bazooka trade-up.
What first person shooters haven’t had is the in-depth levelling and obsessive-compulsive stat manipulation of traditional RPGs. Enter Borderlands, a first person role-playing shooter from Gearbox, best known for the PC port of Halo and the Brothers in Arms series. Set upon the dismal dust-ball of Pandora, Borderlands has the player choose one of four classes (Solider, Hunter, Tank or Siren) and starts them off on an adventure to find and open a mythical Vault full of alien weaponry.
Continue reading Review: Borderlands
The future of PC gaming is something that comes up a lot among the enthusiasts, the media, and even developers. Is it dying, is it going to experience a resurgence, what’s going to happen to the PC? While there are some companies that seem to earn a living just fine by making high-quality PC titles (Valve and Blizzard come to mind), there are other companies that have moved over into console development to supplement their income.
Splash Damage head honcho Paul Wedgewood has a few words to say about PC exclusive development and how it’s no longer financially viable. He maintains that the budget is not there for triple-A quality PC titles which makes it hard to get high-end bonuses like a full orchestra and a rich voice cast. Considering that his studio originally started as a mod house which made “hardcore” multi-player maps for Quake and Wolfenstein, perhaps Mr. Wedgewood is in a better position to judge the future of PC-only development than most people.
Continue reading Brink Developers Splash Damage Go Trolling