Unexpected Pleasures in Saint’s Row 3

Saints Row the Third

As many of you may know, I am the proud owner of a new gaming PC, so naturally I’ve been digging through my backlog of Steam games to put the new machine through its paces. Thanks to various sales, I have a pretty sizable collection of games despite not having a rig worthy of running them until now. One of the games I’ve been playing the most is Saints Row: The Third, which I bought as part of the THQ Humble Bundle. The funny thing, though, is that I didn’t buy the bundle thinking I’d end up playing much Saints Row; it was more that I’m a sucker for a sale price and thought some of the other games in the bundle might be worth checking out.

Part of the fun of my new machine is launching games and seeing how they run with all settings maxed out, so I spent most of one Saturday launching one game after another and playing with the settings. Much to my surprise, Saints Row is actually a gorgeous game, especially on the highest settings. Once that sank in, I realized that I was also having a hell of a lot of fun playing the opening set piece during a bank robbery gone wrong. Pretty soon after that, the game had its hooks in me, and I ended up playing it for a good six hour session the following weekend.

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Sleeping Dogs: When to Let a Game Lie

Sleeping Dogs

As I talked about last week, I’ve been doing a remarkable job when it comes to my gaming backlog. The most recent casualty on my seemingly ever-growing list (seriously: I just added Ni No Kuni to it this weekend) is Sleeping Dogs, Square Enix’s Hong Kong crime drama.

I’m generally down on open-world GTA style games, but Sleeping Dogs was a welcome treat, providing fun hand-to-hand combat, some nice diversions, exhilarating driving and a well-told story to boot. But one of the things I loved most about Sleeping Dogs? It knew when to call the game quits. Continue reading Sleeping Dogs: When to Let a Game Lie

How Rockstar Can Bring The Magic Back To GTA

GTA V blonde

With Game Informer’s cover story finally unveiling some concrete details about Grand Theft Auto V, the Internet finally has a reason to talk incessantly about Rockstar’s popular open-world series and we here at GamerSushi are no different. I have stoically ignored all GTA V rumors and discussion until new information was released. However, since that has now happened and we find ourselves in the golden age of GTA V info, I have some thoughts and concerns, as I so often do.

First, as we have mentioned in the past, Grand Theft Auto IV was a disappointment. I know some people swear up and down by it, but as a huge fan of the PS2 trilogy, I didn’t find much to like. The world has bigger and denser, but there just wasn’t much of a reason to explore it anymore. The numerous side activities of previous games were scaled back, leaving you with only a few things to do other than the story missions. Instead, they were replaced by what amounted to taking your friends out on dates, which was fun and unique exactly once. We all got a laugh when we took our perverted cousin Roman to the strip club, but that wasn’t something I was anxious to repeat.

The other minigames were poorly controlled and very tedious. Bowling was kind of interesting, but a single game took forever and the overly long animations had me scrambling to quit as fast as I could. And the only real purpose for this was so you could get bonuses, like Jacob the weapons dealer giving you a discount. Honestly, what kind of black market merchant of death cuts into his bottom line just because someone takes him to a comedy show? It just makes no sense and wasn’t fun. Continue reading How Rockstar Can Bring The Magic Back To GTA

Shut Up Already! Gaming’s Most Annoying Sidekicks

Video games are supposed to hold your attention for hours on end, whether that is with engaging characters, superior game-play elements or what have you. Sometimes, though, you have to puzzle at the sheer stupidity of making a sidekick who is the most annoying person (or thing) that has ever grated your patience. Here’s a list of the top five sidekicks that make me want to beat the game designer to death with a rusty spoon:

5. Kreia: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lordskreia   title=

Nothing is more irritating than a character that finds fault with everything that you do, which is why Kreia comes in at number five. Whether you’re a goody two-shoes Jedi or a completely evil baby-stealing innocent-killing Sith, Kreia always has a few words to say about your choices during the game. Despite the fact that she herself is a Sith, any dark side choices you make are wrong from her point of view. Talk about nagging.
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Generation Gap: Video Game Stories

51hz0r4pdnlA while back, I asked what video games you fell in love with  in terms of story. Not surprisingly, most of your responses centered on games in the more recent era. This is an obvious trend because in the old days, games did not need a story to exist. But now, we need motivation, cut-scenes, back-story and lots and lots of twists. Too many, some would say. Like me. I think that people’s love for game stories depends on when they started playing.

See, when I was younger, stories in games were very basic. Some games didn’t even try to have one! Endings were short, usually text based. Hell, people were stunned by Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’s FIVE minute ending. Minds were blown, heads exploded, etc…Since I have been playing games since about 1986 or so, I have a different perspective than someone who started in 1996. I play the game for the GAMEPLAY. If a game has a great story, awesome, but it’s only a bonus. If a game has poor gameplay, I don’t care how good the story might be, I am not playing it.
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GTA IV Sales About “50-50” Between 360 and PS3

gta4Take-Two said in a press conference that sales of its mega-ultra-super-shiny juggernaut Grand Theft Auto IV (the one without the digital ding dong) were split about even between the 360 and PS3. They did not give any other specifics or release any actual numbers, but fanboys on both sides are freaking right out, while Wii fanboys wave a plastic remote in the air cause they just don’t care.

GTA IV sold 13 million copies worldwide so if they sold even down the middle on both systems, this means that more of the PS3’s installed base bought the game than the 360’s, which is odd and just a little surprising. The PS3 has sold 21.3 million worldwide and the Xbox 360 has sold 27.93 million worldwide. Maybe its due to the PS3’s demographic skewing older? Maybe people just preferred getting it on the PS3 because thats what the old GTAs were originally on? If this is accurate and Take-Two is not just having a laugh at us, it also means that Microsoft’s much vaunted exclusive DLC did not play much of a factor in people’s decision, which is even more odd. If I had a 360, I would have got it on that for the DLC. As a PS3 owner, I am still hoping it is simply a timed exclusive.

What did you buy the game on and if you have both systems, why? What do you make of this surprising news?

Source: SeekingAlpha.com

How Does Hype Affect You?

halo3In our chosen hobby of playing video games, it is fair to say that the Internet is a major component. And the internet is good at several things, but the thing it excels at more than any other is buzz. Nothing gets word moving faster than the InterGoogle and game companies and fanboys alike take advantage of this. But hype comes in more forms than that.

Let’s take a look at Halo 3. It had the kind of buzz reserved for a major box office movie. When I saw all the cross-promotional tie-ins, I started to wonder if Bungie was being run by George Lucas. I mean, seriously: Halo energy drinks?

I saw so many commercials and trailers and ads with Master Chief pleading with me to finish the fight that I honestly was ready to join the Covenant.
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