The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011

Back at the end of 2010, a glance at 2011’s calendar either sent gamers into a fit of excited trembling or utter despair. How were we going to play all of these games? What surprises were in store for us? Which ones were going to be worth the money? Could the long-awaited sequels live up to the years of promise? At the beginning of 2012, we now have all of those answers and then some. And thus, the GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011 list is born.

It sounds like we’re using hyperbole, but we truly feel like 2011 was one of the greatest years of gaming we’ve seen in quite some time. That much is evidenced by each staff member’s ballot – the submissions we used to determine our final top 10 (and yes, your votes for Game of the Year counted as one of our submissions, as well) were wildly different and full of an astounding variety of games. One thing was certain – gamers had a wealth of choices last year, and everyone benefited from it.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2011. Enjoy, dudes.

Continue reading The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011

GamerSushi Votes 2011: Best Multiplayer

What up friends and gamers and welcome to a new yearly feature here at GamerSushi. We’re going to be trying something different this year by letting you, the community, weigh in on the always fun “best of the year” lists via some voting. We all love practicing our democratic rights (while we still have them, anyways) and these sorts of topics always make for great discussions.

To kick it off, we’re going to be talking the best multiplayer of the year, also known as the “Battle of the Threes”. There are a lot of great candidates and I can’t wait to see which way this leans. Get your vote on!

GamerSushi Votes 2011: Best Multiplayer

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GamerSushi Asks: Favorite Threequel?

Uncharted 3

Good things come in three’s. Or is that celebrity deaths? Who knows, but what we do know is that November is full of threequels, lots and lots of them. A threequel, in case this is your first day alive, is the 3rd installment of a franchise. This month alone we are treated to Uncharted 3, Saint’s Row: The Third, Modern Warfare 3, Assassin’s Creed 2: Revelations (the third game in the Assassin’s Creed 2 trilogy and yes, it counts) and already in September and October we had Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3 and Resistance 3. Whew!

Our friends at Wired’s game blog GameLife have pulled together a list of the best threequels in gaming history. There are some great games on here, including some that you may not have heard of or may not have thought were “Part 3’s” in their respective series. I look forward to finally trying Metal Gear Solid 3 when I get the Metal Gear Solid HD collection for Xmas. Take a look at the list and tell us what they left off! 1, 2, 3, GO!

Source: Wired

Gaming Pop Quiz: Fall 2011 Edition

Somehow, these new editions of Pop Quiz keep sneaking up on us. It feels like it wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about the dog days of gaming summer, looking forward to the Fall like seagulls swarming around a family having a potato chip fight. I don’t really know what the deal is with that analogy, but I think it sort of works.

Anyway, it’s officially Fall now, and the releases are rolling in. We’ve had Gears of War 3, Dark Souls, the Battlefield 3 Beta and soon Arkham City, Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and then some. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, and one that I’m sure will produce a number of thought provoking responses from you all, our lovely Sushi-ans. This pop quiz is full of questions about the games we’ve already seen, candy and peril. Tread carefully.

As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go! Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz: Fall 2011 Edition

GamerSushi Asks: Last LAN Experience?

Gears 3 Horde

If there’s something that I’ve really missed over the years in my life as a gamer, it would be the LAN experience. Whether it was with consoles or PCs, my friends and I would constantly get together for crazy nights of shooting, trash talking, Diablo-ing and Warcraft-ing. The spread of online gaming in the console realm has sort of put the LAN experience in the backseat, but it doesn’t make it any less fun.

I found this out firsthand this weekend as several of us got together the night before my brother’s wedding. To celebrate his last night of sweet, sweet freedom, we pulled several XBox 360s out with monitors and TVs and played Gear of War 3 until late in the evening. As fun as Horde mode can be online, it kicks up a notch when all of you are in the same room, freaking out at one another during the boss waves and screaming for your life. Good times.

The whole night was a great reminder of those times of old. Even though we play together constantly online, being in the same room was such an awesome experience, and one that I want to have again soon. In a lot of ways, the LAN extravaganza is so representative of what gaming can be in terms of community and creating stories together. There’s nothing quite like it.

So what about you guys? When’s the last time you had an awesome LAN experience? What games did you play? What games are on your wishlist for a fun LAN party? Go!

Review: Gears of War 3

gears of war 3 review

If you want to know my opinion (and you’re reading a review that I wrote, so I’m going to assume that you do), Microsoft has had a very keen eye for franchises that will go on to become very influential in their generation. Halo informed the whole of the last generation and Gears of War did a fair bit to shape the direction of gaming in this one. While we did become a little sick of the “brown and grey” color schemes that dominated the first Gears, you can’t really deny that Epic has created something unique with their stop-and-pop shooter.

Indeed, it’s rare that a Gears game didn’t have a design element that was aped by the games that followed. If Gears one brought cover systems and a certain visual style to the masses then Gears 2 brought Horde mode which has been copied, to various degrees of success, by other notable franchises like Halo, Call of Duty and many more.

Now, after a wild five-year ride, we come to the end of this current trilogy of Gears of War games. If you’ve followed the story of the games all the way through, you know that humanity is out of the frying pan and in the fire, living as disparate bands, trying to survive as a new life form called “Lambent” overruns both them and their old subterranean foes, the Locust. Indeed, the first chapter of the game details the new living situation as Marcus and Dom are living aboard a dilapidated aircraft carrier and Cole and Baird are scrounging the mainland for food and supplies. With such a depressing beginning, does Gears of War 3 provide a nice, satisfying end to all the chainsawing insanity? Continue reading Review: Gears of War 3

2011: The Year of Strong Female Characters

gears of war cartoon

Typically in gaming, female characters are either total write-offs or just re-writes of male characters but with ridiculous armor that barely covers anything except their privates. I’d all but given up on seeing believable female characters in video games, but this year actually marks the first where I was more impressed by the fairer sex in a game then I was by their masculine counterparts (no homo).

The year started off with Dead Space 2 and its introduction of Ellie Langford, a pilot for the Concordance Extraction Corporation and a survivor of the Necromorph outbreak on Titan Station. While Isaac Clarke was fighting to regain his sanity, Ellie battled the zombified remains of her co-workers (and implied boyfriend) and helped Isaac destroy the Marker and escape the station, all while losing an eye. Ellie didn’t need your help, didn’t need to be saved (again, the eye thing was a minor set-back) and she contributed way more to the story than just jump prancing around in a skimpy outfit. The same goes for Second Lieutenant Mira in this year’s destined to be over-looked Space Marine: she held the Imperial Guard together after the deaths of her superiors and kept them fighting even after the Ultramarines came in to steal the thunder. Continue reading 2011: The Year of Strong Female Characters

GamerSushi Asks: Fall Plans?

Arkham City

When you’ve got a fall that’s going to be as epic as 2011, it becomes necessary to dig into the furthest reaches of your brain to properly forumlate the best approach. If you look at the Fall of games like a mine field, which steps can you take to avoid getting blown to smithereens? At least, that’s the way I look at it, but I’m kind of weird.

Hyperbole aside, I really do have a game plan of sorts when it comes to this Fall’s releases. It seems like you almost have to in order to avoid dropping $500 in just a few months. Off the top of my head, here are just a few of the games we’re going to see: Deus Ex, Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City, Shadow of the Colossus/Ico, MGS HD, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Torchlight 2, etc. And that’s not mentioning Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3.

As of now, I’ve got Gears of War 3 and Batman pre-ordered, with plans to use Batman’s credit to get closer to Skyrim. Beyond that, I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I know for sure that I’m going to buy Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3, even if I have to sell my body.

So what about you guys? What’s your game plan for the Fall? What games are you for sure buying? What have you already pre-ordered? What’s your strategy? Go!

Poll: Most Anticipated September Release?

Finally, we’ve reached Fall. The season of where ALL THE GAMES are here. September brings about the first onslaught in what promises to be a long and tough campaign, but if we perservere and stay true to our goals, we will emerge victorious. You may think I am piling on the hyperbole, but you would be the most wrong person of all time. This is gonna get ugly. Vote below for your most anticipated game of September and may God have mercy on your souls.

What September Release Are You Most Looking Forward To?

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Personally, it’s all about the Gears of War 3. I’m really excited to try the multiplayer that Eddy and Mitch keep raving about. So…who ya got??

Liking Games on Facebook for In-Game Bonuses: Is It a No-Go?

gears of war 3 facebook griffin

I was kind of in an argumentative mood this week, it seems, and there was a certain thread on Reddit that caught my ire. In this thread, the poster took a screenshot of a pre-trailer ad for Gears of War 3 stating that people could gain a code to unlock a playable character for Horde and multiplayer named “Griffin”.

While I didn’t think this was a big deal, the title for the article stated “Developers, this is not OK!”. My first thought was, why isn’t this OK? It’s just a harmless code based on liking a Facebook page that doesn’t change the game in anyways. It confers no additional advantages to you, unless you end up playing with a guy who gets really jealous that he doesn’t have a playable character voiced by Ice-T.

I shot back at the guy (see if you can find my comment) and got into a back and forth with a few people who said that this was shameless advertising. I maintined that you aren’t going to “like” a game on Facebook that you’re not going to buy anyways, so this is just a simple bonus.

What do you guys think? Is this an evil move by Epic and Microsoft? Have you got my back?

Source – Reddit

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 32: The Prodigal Podcast

And… we’re back.

We’ve taken a bit of time away from the podcast (and if you’ve noticed, the site in general) to recharge our batteries a bit before heading into the fall. The thing about video game news is that like anything else, it works in seasons of dry spells and deluges, and the month of July is a drought of anything worth talking about on the whole. This is mostly due to E3, since the games industry seems to save all its mojo for one special week, and then deals with the announcements for another couple of weeks after. And then the dread silence.

So, we decided that for the podcast, August through E3 will now be a “season” of the show. Which technically makes this season 2, I guess. Welcome! We’ve got a game of over/under for the first few games of the fall, some talk about Bastion, as well as some silliness about the Nintendo 3DS price drop.

Anyway, you’ll see more posts in general around these parts, including the continuation of the weekly podcast. I for one am ready for the Fall of epic gaming to be upon us. Here are the topics for this week’s prodigal podcast: Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 32: The Prodigal Podcast

Gears of War 3 Horde 2.0 Walkthrough Drops the Facts

One of the great surprises of E3 2011 was the reveal of Horde 2.0 in Gears of War 3. With all the improvements made to the multiplayer, it shouldn’t have caught us off guard that Epic would be turning their loving eyes to Horde mode as well, but this really came out of left field. Taking away from player data from Gears of War 2, Horde 2.0 features a whole host of usability improvements seen in the multiplayer of Gears 3 (like enemy tagging and the tactical overlay) and adds the ability to use an area as a base and fortify it with static defenses, turrets and the fearsome Silverback mech suit. There’s a new Horde 2.0 walkthrough narrated by Nan McNamara, the voice actor for Anya Stroud, and I’ve embedded it below.

Much like Halo: Reach last year, Gears of War 3 might dominate our lives when it hits on September 20. I have my copy pre-ordered and paid for, and I can’t wait to tuck into this triple threat title. We may have to have a GamerSushi Game Night for this when it comes out (non-Xbox readers, don’t worry, we might have something in the works…). What do you guys think of the new improvements to Horde?

Prioritizing the Remaining Video Games of 2011

batman arkham city

I won’t lie to you, GamerSushians, I’m a little worried about the rest of the year. I’ve been managing to squeeze in every big title so far this year, but I think I’m going to lose track of everything come September. Gears of War 3 is already pre-ordered, as is Battlefield 3. Beyond that, though, things get a little out of control.

With three games that I want to get coming in one day, and a couple more must haves before that, I’m going to have to start making cuts. First on the chopping block is Batman: Arkham City. I really enjoyed the first game, but I don’t think that the second is going to draw me in; I’m just doubtful that Arkham City will give me a different experience than I had with Arkham Asylum. Don’t worry, I’m also passing on Modern Warfare 3 so you can’t give me flack for that.

What about you guys? Which titles are you passing up this year, if any? Why are you giving them up for different games?

GamerSushi Asks: What Was Your Game of Show for E3 2011?

battlefield 3 e3 2011 game of show

This is kind of a tricky GamerSushi Asks, what with all the quality showings from many publishers and developers, but I feel that we can get an interesting discussion going around this one. Now that E3 2011 is behind us, we can gaze back fondly at the at the games and scoff at the terrible press conferences and Mr. Caffeine.

Since we’ve seen everything that the industry’s biggest trade show had to offer, we’re going to open this up and ask you guys what your Game of Show was for E3 2011. There’s so many strong contenders from the shooters to the RPGs and the sandbox/adventure games that it might be hard to choose just one.

So what are you leaning towards? Personally, I’m thinking Battlefield 3 with Skyrim, Saint’s Row: The Third and Gears of War 3 coming in close behind. It was really hard to choose, but the tank video impressed the hell out of me and the multiplayer sounds super tight with lots of new improvements. I also know that at least one of you lucky devils made the trek out to L.A., so maybe there’s something we all missed that we should pay more attention to going forward? Hit me up in the comments, son!

Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference Highlights

x360Microsoft’s big shindig just went down, and it was kind of crazy. Despite the early leaks, they still manage to pull off a few tricks and bring a lot of Kinect.

Hit the jump to see the round-up!
Continue reading Microsoft E3 2011 Press Conference Highlights

Bro Game Reviews

Alright nerds, it’s time to get real around here. When I’m not busy slamming beers and stealing your girlfriends, I sometimes play video games. As a guy who really knows his stuff, I thought I’d do all you dweebs a favor and tell you which of these upcoming games are worth your time and money. I’ve been convinced by the other dudes around here to use the grading scale to rate these games, so let’s pop those collars and get down to business. This is gonna be boss. Continue reading Bro Game Reviews

The Puzzling Anger of Online Gamers (And Gears of War 3 Beta Impressions, Too)

gears of war 3 beta impressions

Portal 2 is out today as we’re all very, very aware, but there was another release this week that’s been overshadowed a bit by Valve’s behemoth: the Gears of War 3 Beta. I know that we’ve been talking about it a lot here on the site, and thanks to my Epic Edition of Bulletstorm, I got to hop in and try out the multiplayer flavor of Gears of War 3.

So far, I’m really impressed with the Beta. There are, thankfully, few glitches and I can actually get into matches, which is a big improvement over Gears of War 2. The progression from cover based shooting to close in melee combat feels natural, and it’s a real thrill to run your chainsaw through someone’s back when they aren’t expecting it. I’m finding the sawed-off shotgun a little over-powered, but that’s probably because I keep running into it like a moron.

Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 Beta, I ran into the angriest gamer I’ve come across in a long time last night. As I’m usually in a party with whomever I’m playing online with, I don’t get to hear the braying of the masses, but last night I put on my headphones and listened to the fury this man had to offer.

He got mad at me for reviving him, got mad at people for not reviving him, was pissed off that he ran into places with no backup, and made one player quit when he wouldn’t stop telling him that he was worse than a bot. I get that it’s a little frustrating when you’re stuck on a team with a bunch of ineffective players, but I could never fathom getting that angry about a match that’s ten minutes at most.

I wish I had recorded this guy’s outbursts, because they were seriously hilarious. I think that abrasive gamers have passed beyond offensive and into hilarious because we’re so used to the weirdness of the Internet as a whole. Have you guys ever ran across a gamer so angry that it stuck with you? Is anyone playing the Gears of War 3 Beta, and what do you think of it?

Epic Games Talks Gears of War 3 Beta and Release Date

gears of war 3 beta details and release date

At an Xbox 360 press event today, Epic Games revealed a bit more about Gears of War 3, including the upcoming Beta and some additional details on the game’s September 20 release. VG247 has a really good interview with Gears’ art director Chris Perna about the new look for Marcus and friends, the environments, and the recently unveiled cover art for Gears of War 3.

As Gears of War 3 is the end chapter for the current trilogy, the characters are being redesigned to display the wear and tear of the fifteen year war against the Locust, the main enemy of the game. The armor is a worn down, the weapons are ragged and filthy, and the characters faces are tired and grubby. Gears of War 3 will retain the same predominantly brown look endemic to the series, but the levels are going to be a bit more varied this time around as opposed to the city and cavern based backdrops of the first two games.

It’s not just the protagonists that are getting a make-over for Gears 3, but the Locust as well. As Gears of War 2 saw the destruction of the Locust capital city (spoilers), the former alien conquerors are eking out an existence much like the human population of Sera, the planet Gears of War is set on. The Locust are beaten and broken, living in the wasteland and bearing a superficial resemblance to the Sand People of Star Wars (a comparison drawn by Chris Perna). The Lambent, the new enemy that are the bane of humans and Locust alike, are a bit more extraterrestrial in their origin; they’re very different from the Locust, who are more or less humanoid in their appearance. Chris Perna once again makes a reference to sci-fi pop culture by saying the Lambent are more inspired by H.R. Giger’s Alien designs than Conan the Barbarian, which served as the original inspiration for the Locust.

There’s not much more detail about Gears 3 gameplay or story wise that we didn’t already know about, but a bit more information was dropped about the Beta. Hit the jump to see how to get in, and what rewards you get for playing it. Continue reading Epic Games Talks Gears of War 3 Beta and Release Date

New Unreal Engine 3 Demo Is Just a Bit Gorgeous

Occasionally, I feel like I get so caught up in how today’s games look that I’m only really impressed by unique art styles, rather than raw graphical horsepower. We’re getting to a point where games just look a little better each year, but nothing truly jaw-dropping seems to hit. Sure, there are games that look great, but rarely do we have one that just floors us. So when they do, we notice.

Take the new Unreal Engine 3 trailer, for instance, which highlights some changes Epic have made to the already gorgeous graphics package. Considering how many games are utilizing the Unreal Engine nowadays (Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bioshock, Gears of War 3), it makes me hungry to see some of this in the near future. The question is: can consoles support something that looks remotely like this? Or will this be PC exclusive until the next batch of consoles drop?

Crazy that this is real time graphics these days. Your thoughts?

Gears of War 3 Takes a Chainsaw to April, Eyes Fall Release

gears of war 3
Those of you who were looking to continue the adventures of Marcus Fenix and pals in April of 2011 are going to be a little disappointed this morning as Microsoft curbstomps our hope with this bit of news. Perhaps realizing that their exclusive fall lineup was a little slim, the software giant has chosen to move the “threequel” to an unspecified date closer to the holidays. Of course, there could be speculation that the game is just plain not ready, but the Microsoft statement pretty much says that this is a marketing decision:

Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011,” the Microsoft statement reads. “The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the Spring of 2011. However, we’ve elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season.

Just when we thought that Microsoft learned to spread its titles out, this notion gets dashed. While I can’t blame them for wanting a big game to shill around the holidays, this just means that we’ll be waiting even longer to cut up some aliens. Gears heads can get their fix with novel series if they are really parched, but for the rest of us, some patience is in order. So, any opinion on the news? Do you wish Microsoft would have just bit the bullet and stuck with April?

Source – Kotaku