What’s Your Favorite Release This Year?

Today, Nick and I were chatting during Web Zeroes filming (or rather, after, while I was level grinding in Final Fantasy XIII), and we got to talking about how great of an opening 4 month stretch we’ve had so far in 2010. With some excellent releases, this could be maybe best first quarter I can remember in gaming.

There are any number of titles so far that can be game of the year candidates, and that’s not even mentioning some of the great games that will be coming out later in the year. Since our last poll was so successful, we thought we’d try our hands at another. So far, my favorite game of the year is Mass Effect 2, though Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Final Fantasy XIII are the next two in line. I’ve never quite played another game like ME2, and I think it might stand as my game of the year when the year is said and done.

What is your favorite game of 2010 so far?

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Vote away, and chat about your answer in the comments.

GamerSushi Review: God of War III

The God of War franchise has become the premier beat-em-up in the eyes of many gamers, with its super-tight controls, stunning visuals and excessive brutality. God of War and God of War II on the PS2 were massive successes, both critically and commercially and Sony’s Santa Monica studios has pulled out all the stops to finish the series off in style.

The story of the game is simple and complex, oddly enough. Basically, Kratos has declared war on the pantheon of Greek gods, with his eye on Zeus, in particular. The bulk of the game is Kratos traveling from place to place, wiping out a god here, a demi-god there and acquiring whatever magical item is needed to help him succeed in his quest. The part where things get complex is that much of the game hearkens back to the first two games and even the PSP entry. It’s not a big problem because the game describes what you need to know through gorgeously animated scenes, but I was struggling to figure out opening Pandora’s Box in the first game was affecting events in this one. A minor quibble, however.

The controls, as ever are responsive and you always feel like Kratos is doing exactly what you want him to. The platforming sections are rare, which is good because Kratos’s boots were not made for jumping. The combat, though, is second to none. Each weapon Kratos has (you get four by the end of the game) has its own combo system and feel and upgrading these and then performing the new combos you unlock is extremely satisfying.  Each weapon also comes with a magical ability and in addition to that, you have items that you use, such as the Head of Helios, which lights up dark areas and uncovers secret chambers. In short, Kratos has a ton of options at his disposal.

Which is very handy when dealing with the tons of enemies the game throws at you. It’s difficult to count when you are fighting for your life, but there were over 30 enemies onscreen at one point and the game didn’t even seem to notice, as there was no slowdown at all. There was one battle where I was fighting 6 giant cyclops and literally all hell was breaking loose and the game chugged along perfectly. This is a highly polished and beautiful game.

One thing I want to mention is that there is enough variety in enemies that I never felt like I was getting bored or slogging through it. The game will introduce a new enemy and once you get the hang of it, either throw a ton of them at you or combine them others. Gorgons too easy? Try fighting them with a chimera backing them up. These types of things make the game challenging and fresh.

A lot is said about the Quick Time Events and I feel like I would be remiss if I did not address this: I love them. See, when you beat an enemy down, an option appears to start the QTE. You can ignore this and finish the enemy off with normal attacks or you can watch a brutal kill that will grant you extra experience. Personally, I never get tired of watching them and I often exclaimed out loud how how disgusting many of them were. From ripping out eyeballs to disemboweling Titans, Kratos shows no mercy to anyone during the course of his journey.

The game should last you anywhere from 8-10 hours and there are bonus modes to play once you finish it, in addition to hidden items that grant you bonuses on a second playthrough, such as unlimited health or magic power. These turn the game into God Mode and while I don’t care that sort of thing, it does give you the chance to play the game without fear of dying, so I guess it’s good for trying new things.

Gorgeous graphics, sick gameplay and an epic story that slices its way through Greek mythology? I couldn’t sign up for this fast enough. God of War III showcases what the PS3 is capable of and if you have one, you have to play it.

GamerSushi Score:


Top Six: Games You Shouldn’t Play Around Non-Gamers

As a lifetime gamer, I’ve come to accept certain facts about our pastime. The most difficult one to swallow, though, is the undeniable truth that gaming is very, very strange. Sure, we may not see it that way, but have you ever been playing a game and had your parents or a sibling walk into your room, pull a disgusted face and walk out? It may be because you were covered in Cheetos dust and Mountain Dew stains, but the greater probability is that they saw something on the TV screen that they just couldn’t comprehend. Well, to help you along with your family, I’ve assembled a handy list of games you should never play around non-gamers:
Continue reading Top Six: Games You Shouldn’t Play Around Non-Gamers

Sony E3 Presentation Highlights

playstationAfter Microsoft’s Shock and Awe campaign yesterday, I think we were all anxious to see if Sony would even show up for their 2-hour presentation today. Here are the highlights:

  • Sony dude Jack Tretton opened with a joke about how nobody in the industry can keep secrets, a total reference to the leak of the PSP Go from the other day. I think it’s pretty classy that they can make fun of themselves like that.
  • 364 new games coming to Sony systems this year, 35 of which are exclusive. Considering the dearth of PS3 games for a while, this is welcome news.
  • Uncharted 2 Multiplayer beta goes live tonight. Single-player looks very impressive. Really seem to have meshed the shooting and platforming elements. Also, the graphics are incredible.
  • Gameplay footage of MAG. 256 players in one battle. For so many players, it looked kind of lonely. Would have liked to have seen more action.
  • Hannah Montana lilac colored PSP announcement for this Fall is met with cheers. I don’t know if that’s funny or scary.
  • PSP Go! announced officially. Will not replace UMD or other PSPs. 16MB of memory. Can download from PSN with built in Wi-Fi. 50% smaller and 40% lighter than original PSP. The price will be $249.99, available on 10/01/09. Too rich for my blood.
  • Gran Turismo for the PSP. Over 800 cars and 35 tracks. You can trade cars with your friends. Cool, but where is the PS3 version???
  • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker for the PSP. Kojima announced it himself. Set in the Seventies, 10 years after MGS 3. Might show the origin of Outer Heaven. Looks like a full on MGS game, with the possibility of 4 player co-op in the form of Snake clones.
  • New Resident Evil for the PSP. Also, LittleBigPlanet, Monster Hunter, Motorstorm, Soul Caliber, Fat Princess, Guitar Hero and Star Wars: Battlefront.
  • Final Fantasy VII on PSN TODAY! Also, over 50 PS1 classics by the end of the year.
  • More content coming to Home. Meh.
  • Video of various games, including DC Universe Online, an MMO and also a PS3 exclusive.
  • Rockstar PS3 exclusive: Agent. Spies and assassins in the late 1970s. They claim this will have the same must-have value that GTA did. No footage shown.
  • Assassin’s Creed 2 footage. Looks pretty cool, might have solved the problems of the first game. Out before Christmas along with the PSP version. PS3 version will have 6 exclusive weapons.
  • More Final Fantasy XIII footage. Gorgeous, just like you would expect.
  • Final Fantasy 14 in 2010 for PS3 ONLY! It’s an online game! Awesome footage! This is the megaton announcement!
  • Motion control time: True 1:1 tracking. All of it was a tech demo, looks cool. Coming in 2010.
  • LittleBigPlanet is getting Disney themes. That is kinda awesome.
  • Mod Nation Racers announced. Part of the Play Create Share theme that Nintendo ripped off earlier. Drivers can be customized like in LittleBigPlanet. Think Mario Kart meets Sackboy. Custom tracks! That is pretty neat. Better than making Wario Ware games! The track builder seems easy to use as well, they built one on stage in just a few minutes.
  • The new Team Ico game is called The Last Guardian. The trailer from last week was indeed leaked, but it doesn’t change that this game looks incredible. Interestingly enough, the leaked footage is about a year old apparently, and this stuff looks way better.
  • God of War 3 will be the last game in the series, and it’s going to have some crazy brutal quick time kills. The ones on the centaur and the chimera are stinking insane. Creatures are going to get owned, for sure. The game drops March 2010.

Overall, a pretty solid showing with really no wtf moments to speak of. Not a whole lot of new stuff coming, but when you have this many exclusives coming over the next year, why do you need to drop a lot of new information?

What do you guys think? What’s the most exciting piece of Sony news?

VGA: God of War 3 Trailer

Say what you want about the VGA’s, but man, it was cool to see some exclusive new announcements. For instance this teasingly short but tantalizingly sweet God of War 3 trailer, which shows off what looks to be incredible in-game footage. The graphics here are remarkable, and it looks like there will be some familiar gameplay tropes as well as new twists.