Ruling the Open Gaming World

Fable 3

Howdy, gents. I hope that this post finds all of you starting the holiday gaming extravaganza that this time of year is typically known for. As I said, we’re mostly taking it easy for the next couple of weeks, but because I like you all, I thought I’d share a post with you that I found.

Over at the Moving Pixels blog at Pop Matters (one of my favorite gaming blogs), a recent article goes over the idea of owning the open world in single player sandbox games. Taking a look at new games Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas and Fable III, they study the recent trend in game design that pushes players to control major portions of real estate and owning/converting as much of the game world as possible. It’s interesting to think about the idea that in many of these games, the players tend to want to set the main storyline aside in favor of getting invested in the world itself, which I guess is the case with many RPG’s as well, even apart from owning land.

I think this gets to another interesting issue as well: does this mean that the stories in those games aren’t actually all that compelling? If we are willing to set them aside to do everything else but the stories, is there a problem with the design there? In addition, most of these games almost seem to require a fair amount of exploration and sidequest upgrading in order to stand a fair chance in the proper endgames.

So what do you guys think? Do you tend to set aside single player campaigns in favor of sidequests? Do you like the idea of controlling game worlds, or do you just focus on the stories when you play? Go!

Source – Pop Matters

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 11: Reducto

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsThe GamerSushi Show is back, and this time in a newer, more awesome format. You see, while we enjoyed all the podcasts of old, they were starting to become large and scary monsters. At 2 hours plus, it gets harder and harder to find the time to not only record, but also edit and get them ready for release. On top of that, we felt that every 2 weeks was not as fun for you guys. Ideally, weekly content is better.

So as a result, we decided to shorten the podcast down to 1 hour, and attempt to release it for you guys each and every week. This is much more manageable, and I think the product will be much better for it. It forces us to move from topic to topic, and doesn’t allow us to get too bogged down in one particular discussion.

In honor of this new format, and the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in theaters, I’ve titled this week’s edition “Reducto”. In it, you’ll find discussion about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fable III, a new game from Nick where we grade industry events (such as Diablo III heading to consoles) and a bit more. What stinks is there won’t actually be a follow-up next week because of the holidays, but you can expect one the week after.

Since I always ask, please go rate this cast on iTunes and subscribe with the handy links to the right. Enjoy! Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 11: Reducto

Review: Fable 3

fable 3 review

If any game series in the history of our pastime has a penchant for over-promising and under-delivering, it’s definitely Peter Molyneux’s prized creation Fable. From its first inception, Fable promised to bring us a fully realized world that would change according to our actions, where trees would grow from tiny acorns to mighty oaks in real time. Of course, since the original game debuted on the Xbox, the console’s processing power couldn’t harness the time-warping ambition of Molyneux’s design so the final product was somewhat neutered. It was still a fun, addictive game, but nevertheless far from what we were promised.

Thus the stage was set for the series where a new game would be accompanied by Peter Molyneux leading the hype train making all sorts of wild boasts that we knew would never, ever come true no matter how badly we wanted to believe. Fable 2 has come and gone and now we’re on the third title. As the old saying goes, is the third time really the charm?

Continue reading Review: Fable 3

User Interfaces: Which Games do Them Right?

Dead Rising 2 UI
The user interface is incredibly important to a person’s gaming experience, yet it often seems that this particular facet of design is either over looked or included as a last-minute thought. Even games with amazing visuals elsewhere have generic menus and head’s up displays, marring their otherwise perfect visages.

As a group, I think that gamers have gotten used to average looking UIs and we usually block them out. However, there are some that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Fable 3 is one of those, the few and the proud. This is a game that eschews the idea of traditional menus entirely and replaces the pause screen with your Sanctuary, essentially a magical bat-cave. There’s no long, arduous trek, or even loading, just a simple press of the “start” button brings you back to your John Cleese-staffed retreat. To me, this is a masterful solution to the multitude of clothing, weapon, spell, and quest menus that cluttered up previous games of the series and similar titles in the genre. I spent a good ten to fifteen minutes looking around seeing what it offered, and I’m anticipating the options that will come along to pimp it out as the game progresses.
Continue reading User Interfaces: Which Games do Them Right?

Welcome to Fall: The Upcoming Games of 2010

Ladies and dudes, the time is here: the fall season of gaming is officially upon us, and all we can do now is paddle as hard we can to keep up with the avalanche of titles falling to our TVs and monitors. Sure, I’m mixing metaphors here a little bit, but the point here is the same: lots of games are coming out, and you no doubt want to play a large share of them. Yes, even though Little Big Planet 2 has been delayed.

Since we’re so nice, we’ve put together an epic list of our 30 most anticipated upcoming games of 2010. You’ll be surprised at just how much is waiting for you. We’ve got everything from RPGs to zombies, DS exclusives and sprawling PC MMOs. Check it out! Continue reading Welcome to Fall: The Upcoming Games of 2010

Peter Molyneux Bemoans Fable 2’s Development

Fable 3Fable 2 was OK, for the most part, but it wasn’t perfect. Like all games helmed  by Peter Molyneux, it over-promised and under-delivered. That’s not a shot against the long-time developer, but it’s a sad fact that most ambitious projects get crushed down by the harsh realities of development. The difference with Fable 2, though, was the astounding number of bugs that had to be squashed before the game game out. According to a recent interview, some 67,000 bugs were present in Fable 2’s code at one time, necessitating a rating of “super-black” by the Microsoft quality assurance team. Judging from the interview, games are rated on a sort of “threat assessment” scale, with “super-black” being a very scary area.

Eventually, Lionhead Studios got the bugs under control and the game shipped to above average reviews and sales. Molyneux still wasn’t happy with the finished product, conceding that there were “huge design flaws” in Fable 2 (what those were, he did not specify. How about farting until someone married you?).  Fable 3 is apparently facing a tough time as well, breaking its predecessor’s record for most bugs present in a Microsoft first-party title. While the exact number wasn’t mentioned, it is a known fact that Fable 3 has more coding errors than Fable 2, and the team at Lionhead are working very long hours to get it under control for a fall release.  Molyneux maintains that this is endemic to the industry as a whole, and reading post-development breakdowns of games like Uncharted 2 would reveal similar problems.

What do you guys think of Molyneux’s statement? As gamers, I think we’ve all come to accept the reality of bugs and glitches, but 67,000 is quite the staggering number. Does this change your perception of Fable 3?

Source: 1up via and

Today’s WTF: Fable III Allows XBL Friends with Benefits

Well, for those of you who have always longed to knock boots with that sultry voiced minx on your friends list, you may have finally gotten your chance. It seems that Fable III is going to allow for players to get intimate and create babies with their friends in co-op games. Hot stuff, right?

I mean, as with anything that goes in a Peter Molyneux game, this should be taken with the grainiest grain of salt one can think of, but still it’s interesting to talk about. The idea of a unique weapon that is tied to your profile and gamerscore? Sounds good, I hope it makes it in. The idea of a king-like RTS that takes over part of the tale? Another great idea, can’t wait. Sleeping with someone on my friends list to make virtual babies for our co-op game? Not so keen on that one.

However, if I’m being completely honest here, if there is an achievement for doing someone on your friends list to make a baby… someone out there is going to have to help me do this. I’m not a picky man, either. I only ask that you be gentle with my evil avatar.

Source- Kotaku

The Great Sequel-gasm

ac2If there’s one thing we can always be certain of in the gaming industry, it’s sequels! Sequels until our ears bleed. All you have to do is look at the last couple of years to see that the biggest games are new installments in current franchises.

Well, it seems that the sequel talk is ramping up, as there are a few big games that will be unveiled or teased in the coming weeks. Three pieces of sequel news hit today, and it’s kind of awesome.

  • A brand new Assassin’s Creed 2 teaser hit Ubisoft’s site today, which ends with a date for a big unveiling, scheduled for next Thursday.
  • Fable II is going to be releasing some new DLC, titled See the Future, which features not only new quests, but also a glimpse down the road of time in Albion, and the possibilities that lie in wait for Fable III.

Wow. Lots of good stuff for us to feast on. Which of these three games are you most excited about: Fable III, Assassin’s Creed 2, or Bioshock 2?

Sources- Kotaku, Ubi, Lionhead