Cutting Through the Shooter Fat

hot-dogThose of you that frequent this site know something of my sordid disdain for the FPS overflow of the current generation. It seems that nearly every blockbuster title for the last couple of years has been some kind of shooter, be it Resistance, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Halo, Left 4 Dead or Killzone. Shooters are bombarding us from every corner, and after some time, I grew rather sick of them.

So for the last few months, I’ve been on something of an FPS diet. I’ve been on a real diet, too, coincidentally enough. The funny thing about losing weight is that people always want to know what your secret is. You say that you’ve lost x amount of pounds, and people always ask, “How have you been doing it?” When the answer is “getting off my ass to exercise and not eating like a wildebeest”, they tend to get a tad upset. As if I’m holding out on them. Oh right, there was also a secret pill that made it really easy. Forgot to mention that part.
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A Little Reason Goes A Long Way

sinkingTake a look at any video game news site and you will be sure to find a story about how the PS3 is in third place in the Console Wars and how Sony should just give up and go the way of Sega and make games and not consoles. Yeah, cause that worked out so well for Sega. But I digress. The Playstation brand has seen rough days but it would foolish to count Sony out just yet.

Now, I understand that costs are very high to make video games and that making games on the PS3 is very complex and probably more expensive. I also understand that 360 has a higher install base, but I have news for you: it’s not that much higher. The 360 has sold about 30 million worldwide compared to the 22 million sold for the PS3. Consider the fact that the PS3 launched a year later and around the same time as the Wii. Factor in the admittely high cost of the PS3 and an 8 million unit lead is nice, but not nearly as big as everyone makes it out to be. From the way people fanboys talk, you would think the 360 has a 112 million unit lead or something. Oh wait…112 million units is the amount that the PS2 outsold the original Xbox by. But you didn’t hear this kind of doomsday talk for the Xbox then, did you? I know I didn’t. And the PS3 has already sold as many units as the original Xbox, which is not a mark of success by any means, but it sure does make you stop and wonder where all this negativity is coming from.

Let’s face it: the PS3 has had a rough launch. The high price and lack of killer games really hurt for a long time. But that time is over. With LittleBigPlanet, Killzone 2, Infamous and God of War III all out or soon to be out, the future for the PS3 is looking very bright. This article is not meant to prop up the PS3 or bring down the Wii or 360. I am merely trying to point out some facts that seem to fall by the wayside in these debates. Sony is not going anywhere and neither is Microsoft or Nintendo. Sony thumped everyone in the last round of consoles, so losing this one isn’t going to be end of the world for them.

Besides, these consoles are just getting going. Nintendo has jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable lead, but Wii sales have already slowed down and while mining the casual market seems to have done them a great service, the loss of the hardcore market might mean that the Wii’s days of ruling the sales charts are over. The 360 and PS3 will only get stronger, so we have a long way to go before this battle in the Console War is over.

Just relax and enjoy the games and try to let the guys who get paid tons of money worry about the business side of things. You want to support your console? Buy new, not used games. Other than that, it’s out of our hands. Except for the controller, of course. Until the Natal comes out.

Your System Sucks: A Rant About Fanboys

fanboy-3A few months ago, I wrote a feature about the things that are wrong with the gaming industry on the whole. Some of that had to do with the games themselves, some of it had to with the journalists that covered and reviewed them, and some of it had to do with the gamers that played them. In terms of gamers that are hurting gaming and its culture unknowingly, console and even PC fanboys rank right at the top.

What is a fanboy? A fanboy used to be someone that just played and loved their system or machine exclusively. I think we’ve all done this at some point in our lives. I remember loving the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo 64 and being just fine with not owning the rival systems.
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GamerSushi Asks: What Are Your Gaming Quirks?

monk173dqGame time. I turn on the PS3, go to the bathroom and wash my hands. I hate sticky controllers and my hands get sweaty when I find myself in a vicious cock fight with the Helghast of Killzone 2. I sit on the bed, make sure my cell phone and the TV remote are in front of me, slightly to the left and if my controller is charging, I make sure the wire is not snagged on anything in case I have to make a sudden move. I sit Indian-style on my bed, never laying down because this is no time to relax. I check my message box and then sign off. I don’t need to be bothered during killing time with invites.

My laser-like focus will not be moved.

So, as you can see from reading the above, I am a little quirky when it comes to playing games. I am pretty set in my ways and I like things the way I like them, even outside of games. You should see my organizing system for my books! So what quirks do you guys exhibit when you play games?

Cliches I Never Want To See In Game Reviews Again

idol_lVideo game reviews have a difficult existence. Some people use them to decide whether or not to buy games, others use them as ammunition in the Console Wars. Usually, very strong emotions are attached to these reviews. But one thing we seem to be missing that we should get mad about is the lazy and irritating cliches that constantly pop up in reviews, even from such esteemed sources as EGM.
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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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GamerSushi Asks: The Most Beaten Games?

vc-2I’m in the middle of trying to finish way too many games right now. Currently, I’m doing a massive battle royale with Dead Rising, Valkyria Chronicles (still), Killzone 2, Resident Evil 5, Fallout 3 and Halo Wars. This was a bad move on my part, as now I’m nowhere near finishing all of these games. Actually, it’s been awhile since I’ve beat a game at all.

This got me thinking- when I was a kid, I used to beat games like nobody’s business, and then go back and beat it again immediately. Those days are kind of long gone, but it’s fun to think about the ones that I used to play over and over again, to the point where I knew them like the back of my hand.

The main games for me were Shadows of the Empire (loved the final space battle), Metal Gear Solid (skipping cut scenes, I could beat this game in 2 hours) and Super Mario 64, where I once got 40 stars in an hour and a half one day.

So what about you guys? What are the games that you’ve beaten the most in your lifetime? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Purchasing Busts?

ff8I randomly decided to get Halo Wars this weekend. Well, not completely randomly. You see, I’m selling my Wii to some poor sucker on this website, and knowing that I’m about to get some extra gaming cash has really gotten me itching for a new game, especially considering all the new titles coming out.

I don’t know if you guys ever get that same itch, but for me it’s killer. It came down to Halo Wars or Killzone 2, and Halo Wars won out, though I’m pretty sure Killzone 2 will end up in my collection in a week or so. The point is, I’m really enjoying the purchase so far. The single player campaign is interesting, albeit simplistic, and multiplayer is just a blast. I imagine 3 v 3 with some friends is stupid fun.

Anywho, it made me start wondering about the most disappointing (or even the worst) game I had ever actually purchased, because this was far from that. I think for me it was probably Final Fantasy VIII, which just let me down in so many ways. What about you guys?

Myth of the “Killer” Game

dark-cloudFanboys and the media just love to start trouble. Fanboys we can understand, they just want to see their console succeed and all others fail. Why, I have no idea, but thats their moronic role and I have to live with it. The gaming media, which I am beginning to think is pretty juvenile sometimes, should know better than to manufacture a story. But they do all the time, with their unrelenting hype.

Dark Cloud was widely called a “Zelda-killer”. First, I don’t know what that even means, since it won’t stop Zelda games from being made. Trust me, as good as Dark Cloud could be, Nintendo will still make more Zeldas. I loved Dark Cloud, but I bought a GameCube just to play The Wind Waker. So it didn’t really kill anything, did it? Second, the two games are really nothing alike, apart from the green hat the heroes both wear and that it is an action-rpg. Dark Cloud was a dungeon crawler with a focus on stamina and weapon maintence. You only explored one dungeon at a time and rebuilt a town using items found in the caves. Zelda is much more open and epic, with the focus on exploring and puzzles.
Continue reading Myth of the “Killer” Game

GamerSushi Asks: Spring Releases?

sf4The prolific times of the year for video games show up around February/March, August, and October/November. As we come up to the first big season of the gaming year, there are quite a few notable titles looming on the horizon. Halo Wars, Killzone 2, Resident Evil 5, and Street Fighter IV seem to round out the list.

Right now, I’m actually really looking forward to both Halo Wars and Killzone 2, which couldn’t represent more of a polar opposite in terms of fanboy and genre appeal. While I’m not sold on Resident Evil 5, I’m still anxious to actually play the game proper, and Street Fighter IV is just nowhere on my radar, even though it looks fun. I guess I’m just not that into fighters anymore.

Which of these titles are you guys looking forward to? Which could you care less about? Go!

The Great Edge Killzone 2 Review Caper

kz21Killzone 2 is coming out later this month, as many gamers are no doubt aware of. Reviews are already starting to pour in, most of them overwhelmingly positive, which is exciting for me, as I own a PS3. However, what is not as exciting to me is some of the rabid fanboyism that it is inspiring amongst the gaming populace, either for it or against it.

Case in point: recently, Edge magazine gave the game a 7/10, which is admittedly lower than it has been receiving so far. However, 7/10 is still above average for a game, but no, not many others saw it that way. In fact, Edge was blasted by PSX Extreme and numerous other publications (as well as Sony’s most devoted fanboys) for being elitists and just trying to grab attention by scoring the game lower. Um, maybe they just didn’t like it as much as you did?

To me, this really drives home the reason why a game like Grand Theft Auto IV will get almost all perfect scores with little to no dissension among the ranks. Hell, disagreeing with the norm gets you labeled as a pariah in the gaming journalism circles these days. It’s ridiculous. To me, it speaks of a greater issue with gaming publications and the way they buy into their own hype.

What do you guys think? Fair/foul by Edge magzine, or by the other sites that are giving them guff?

Source- CVG

GamerSushi Asks: Halo Killer?

halo-killerEver since Halo claimed the console FPS throne, several games have come and gone to try to take the title “Halo Killer”. As if all of FPS-dom were some huge hill that could be overtaken, and fans would automatically shift their allegiances to this new god-like app with the ability to fell Master Chief and his minions.

Personally, I find that to be a load of garbage, as does The Goozex Report, which has an interesting article up discussing how Sony May Never Have a Halo Killer. While many Sony games have tried, none have come close, and honestly, I don’t see it happening any time soon. Not because of any deficiency of the system, it’s just the fan base is so large I can’t see it being slain and won over.

Not even with Killzone 2, which Sony expects to outsell MGS4 (seriously). Personally, while I’m excited about a lot of games for the PS3 this year, Killzone 2 just isn’t even on my radar. It’s like everyone forgets that the first one was just mediocre.

So what do you guys think? Do you see a Halo Killer coming along any time in this generation? And is Killzone 2 actually going to be any good? Tell us your thoughts!

Source- The Goozex Report