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

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.

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

Top Six: Franchises of the Current Generation

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 Continue reading Top Six: Franchises of the Current Generation

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 73: Rinkydink Curdlesnoot

the gamersushi show ep 73

Aaaand…we’re back. After our traditional Summer break we return to the mics to bring you the latest installment of the GamerSushi Show where we talked about how much we missed eachother. Not really, it’s mostly dick jokes, video games and the Benedict Cumberbatch name-generator, which is where I got the title for this episode.

When we recorded the cast last Wednesday, I had just come back from PAX, so I give an in-depth breakdown of what I saw and played. Well, more accurately I have to be gentle lead through the discussion, but we all know I’m bad at just talking about stuff.

Seeing as how we’re back, you should definitely listen to the cast, rate the cast, and enjoy the cast. We’re back on the regular schedule, more or less, so we’ll see you next week!

0:00 – 11:44 Intro
11:45 – 20:39 Dark Souls
20:40 – 42:59 PAX Prime
43:00 – 54:18 Microsoft and the Xbox One
54:19 – 1:13:24 Nintendo’s Missteps
1:13:25 – 1:30:06 Saint’s Row IV
1:30:07 – 1:31:46 Outro
1:31:47 SEKRIT PODCAST STUFF

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: August 2013

Dark Souls

Another month, another update to the rankings. This time, we’re seeing not only movement in our backlogs, but movement in a few games that we managed to stick with from one month to the next. Imagine that! Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: August 2013

Returning to Dark Souls

Dark Souls Gargolyes

After Skyrim, I thought to myself, what’s the most stressful, rage-inducing experience I could put myself through? Naturally, a trip to the DMV was my first choice but there were no appointments available. So I went with the next best thing: Dark Souls. The only difference being, with Dark Souls, there is a chance, albeit slim, that I could end up feeling good about myself.

I didn’t quite finish it back when it came out, so I deleted my save and started anew. Thankfully, my skills had not atrophied over time and I quickly cut my way through the first few areas. Even the bosses that once gave me fits found themselves bowing to my mighty sword. The rush you get when clearing an area is like few in gaming. No Achievement or Trophy has ever made me feel the sense of accomplishment that I got when I finally dropped the Capra Demon in the Lower Undead Burg. My next stop is the infamous Blighttown, an area that I have heard horror stories about.

Have you ever stopped a game for a really long period of time and when you came back, you find that you are somehow really good at it now? This happened to me with Pac-Man, as well. I sucked as a kid, but as an adult, I can usually get the high score. Just like I did during GamerSushi Weekend. Seriously, ask the guys, they will tell you. I even called it beforehand, too.

So what about you? What games have you stopped and then picked up again later without missing a beat? Have you stopped a game and then discovered when you come back to it that you have no idea how to play anymore? Do you plunge through or restart?

PC Version of Dark Souls Will Kill You in August

dark souls pc version

Good news everyone, the infamously hard follow up to Demon’s Souls will be making its PC debut this August according to a German game magazine as confirmed by the fine folks over on NeoGaf. The PC version of Dark Souls will pretty much be a 1:1 port of the consoles, except for the obvious keyboard/mouse stuff and the addition of two new bosses.

I said during our lightning round on the GamerSushi Show that if Dark Souls ever made the jump to PC I would give it a try and it looks like I’m going to have to live up to my statement. I think that the precise commands of a keyboard/mouse setup will be beneficial for the trying world of Dark Souls but I imagine I’ll give my Xbox controller a shot if the game comes with support for it (which it probably will).

Considering the new release lull that we’re getting in to this is a great boon for me and the many other PC gamers on this site who have been intrigued by the challenges of Dark Souls. So, veterans of this game in its console forms, do you have any tips? Should we start making obeisances to the gods of gaming right now? Are you guys excited for this game to make the jump to PC? Go!

Source – NeoGaf

GamerSushi Asks: Are 100 Hour Games Necessary?

Dark Souls

With the price of games on the rise, so too have a series of complaints risen around the idea that longer games generally mean better games. In particular, RPGs are expected to be bloated to colossal lengths, from the Elder Scroll series to Mass Effect and even Fallout 3. Gamers want more game for their money, more world to explore, more weapons to collect, more foes to conquer and more time to invest. But is this always a good thing?

In a rather interesting (if somewhat controversial) review of the game Dark Souls, Slate writer Michael Thomsen wonders if 100 hour games are a waste of time for gamers instead of a boon to their hobby. Even though I haven’t played the game, and always hear the opposite of his assessment of it, I do have to say that I find his prodding question to be thought-provoking. Honestly, there’s so much that people can accomplish in the amount of time it would take someone to clamber through all of Skyrim – but does that mean that it’s pointless for the person that enjoys it?

It seems that Thomsen would argue that yes, it is. In his view, it’s never necessary for a game to take 100 hours to tell its tale, and that many games have done better with far less time. When put that way, I do have to agree: some of my most favorite games have accomplished what they did in around 20 hours or so, without ever overstaying their welcome.

So, while I’m not sure I’m on board with everything this article states, I did want to kick the question to you guys: are 100 hour games just a waste of time? Go!

Slate