Random Encounters IV

Beyond Jodie

1. The outrage over the VGX, while some understandable in parts, is also overblown in others. Look, it’s Spike TV; you really shouldn’t expect something elegant for video game awards. But that doesn’t mean you should sit there and be insulted or talked down to. My suggestion is let Geoff Keighly host by himself. He is capable and serious enough to do it. Also, three hours is way too long. Have the awards, have the world premieres and trim it to an hour and half, maybe two. Cut some of that crap. A new character for Donkey Kong? Cut it. Pewdiepie? Cut it. Be smart. Know your audience.

2. It’s a good thing that that the Xbox One and PS4 are selling like hotcakes. Despite what some articles would have you believe, there is no clear winner and there won’t be for several years and even then, who cares? Pick your console and enjoy it. Don’t let anyone ruin your fun and don’t ruin anyone else’s.

3. That said, I love my PS4 and I have zero interest in the Xbox One. It sounds like it is exactly what some people want and bless them all. But it doesn’t really speak to me and as I have less and less time to play games, I need to start being more rigid in what I can play. Money isn’t the issue, but time is and I need to prioritize the kinds of experiences I want.

4. I hate to be That Guy, but now that I have a next-gen console, I am really looking forward to seeing next-gen sequels to beloved franchises. Imagine what the next Fallout or Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect will look like. Imagine what they will be able to do with the new power at their disposal. Even God of War, a franchise I am tired of, could be given new life with the power of PS4. Same with Halo on the Xbox One. It’s all potential right now, but the mind reels at what we could have in our hands in the coming years.

5. I really enjoyed streaming Final Fantasy VII with Eddy back when that was happening, but I’ve never really streamed anything myself until getting a PS4. And wow. The ease of it and the experience of people watching along, commenting and cheering you on is pretty incredible. Make no mistake: streaming is the killer app for the PS4. I know the Xbox One will have it eventually sometime in 2014, but for those people who say it is not a big deal, you clearly have not tried it on the PS4.

6. Recently started Beyond: Two Souls and while I am only 2 hours into the game, I am really impressed. The story, told in a non-linear fashion, has kept me interested more than I expected and the jumping around the timeline is a smart way to keep the player doing different things, thus preventing the gameplay from becoming stale. The QTE’s have also been streamlined in a smart, elegant way. Look forward to playing more.

These are the things on my mind these days. What about you? Anything you want to get off your chests? The doctor is in.

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: April 2013

Tomb Raider

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. Continue reading The GamerSushi Power Rankings: April 2013

Final Fantasy: Forging The Future


I’ve thought a long time about how to write this. I knew I would need a Final Fantasy article honoring its 25th year in existence (if we go by the Japanese release dates), but I wasn’t sure what the angle should be. I’ve already written so very many posts about Final Fantasy that the readers probably think I am trolling them. I’m not. It’s just my favorite game (as you might have noticed) and it’s the one that always gets my blood pumping. But I’ve conveyed that already, many times before. I thought about letting the whole thing go by, but that didn’t feel right either.

So rather than talk about the past of Final Fantasy, which admittedly was when people still cared about the series, I’ve decided to talk about the future of Final Fantasy and what I think I can be done to salvage the once-proud franchise. There are tons of articles out there about this very subject, but I hope you will agree that I have shown enough credibility regarding Final Fantasy to make my voice stand out against the cacophony of chaos currently clouding the Internet like a sudden squall. (See what I did there?) Continue reading Final Fantasy: Forging The Future

Happy 15th Birthday, Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

Today marks 15 years since the release of Final Fantasy VII, AKA, The First RPG You Ever Played. The legacy of Final Fantasy VII looms large over the entire franchises and indeed, over the entire video game industry. It brought RPGs to the forefront of the mainstream, something that hadn’t happened at that point. It compelled thousands of games to have an amnesiac for a hero and it made teenagers the world over cry tears of sadness after the death of Aeris. Sure, Tifa was hotter, but Aeris was the kind of girl you could see yourself settling down with. Maybe bring her home to Nibelheim and start a family, away from the hustle, bustle and terrorist threats of Midgar.

I personally received FF VII for Christmas in 1997 and with it, a Playstation. It was the first non-Nintendo system I had owned since the Genesis and it felt so new and exotic to my 16 year old self. I remember that Christmas break like it was yesterday: my hands practically shook as I held the controller in my hand and the opening cut-scene played. My favorite game series in glorious 3-D graphics! My mom and I fought for control of the TV for the next 2 weeks. She was intent on watching as many year-end specials about Princess Diana as possible and I was trying to save the world from Sephiroth. Clearly, one of us had our priorities out of whack.

FF VII’s legacy is still strong today, although there was something of a backlash after a few years from some of the old-school Final Fantasy fans, myself included, who were upset that our particular favorite game from the pre-FF VII days was being overshadowed by the sudden surge of new fans. For me, that has largely passed. I remembed how much I loved playing FF VII and even today, hearing the music makes me want to boot it up for one more go. Final Fantasy VII was a landmark game for millions of people and the clamor for a remake has only grown stronger. Maybe Square Enix will grant our wish, but until then, we have the memories to hold us over.

What are your thoughts about Final Fantasy VII? Join us in the Lifestream by commenting below!

GamerSushi Asks: What Games Changed How You View Games?

Aeris and Highwind

This is a topic we’ve kind of covered before, but I love talking about it so much you’re not going to get me to stop. In my mind, there’s always that one game that gamers have that changed the way they felt about gaming in general. Somehow, it stretched beyond the boundaries of what we thought a game could be and do, and it stuck with us in ways that other games never did. Whether that’s because of emotional impact, story, a certain mechanic changes depending on who you ask.

For me, that game will always be Final Fantasy VII, and I say that completely unapologetic. As I talked about on our S games podcast, it’s a game that I played at exactly the right time in my life, and it not only turned my expectations of games on their head, but also the way I viewed story. As with anything I liked at that age, it’s by no means perfect, but it was perfect for a young dude like me and I think that matters.

I’ve written at length today about FFVII on my blog, but I thought the question would be pertinent here as well. What games changed the way you viewed games? Which have affected you most deeply, and for what reasons?

GamerSushi Asks: What Remakes Do You Want?

10259finalfantasyviiorige5Remakes and ports of older games is really starting to become a trend in gaming. Square Enix alone must have a whole team dedicated to retreads of their older games. With the PSN’s PS1 Classics, Xbox Live Arcade and the Virtual Console, retro gaming has never been stronger.

But there are ports and there are remakes and there is a difference between the two. A port is simply porting a game from an older system to an existing system with little or no changes to the actual game. A remake is updating the graphics, translation, adding new story or gameplay elements and things of that nature.
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: What Remakes Do You Want?

GamerSushi Asks: Desert Island Gaming

Imagine that you wake up on an island. You know, kind of like in Castaway or Lost, minus the smoke monsters and the volleyballs and the weird. And it’s just you there, for the rest of your life. Only, imagine you find a small room (a hatch, if you will) with a TV, and some game consoles, and a small box full of just a handful of games…

Cheesy intro aside, everyone’s got that list, you know? The desert island list. People make them for movies, books, music, other people, or just favorite items in general. You know what I’m talking about: if you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life, which games would you like to be stuck with?

Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Desert Island Gaming