Finding New Thrills in Gaming in 2011

Confession time, gents and ladies. Playing Batman: Arkham City makes me feel like a kid again, and I don’t really care who knows it. As of right now, it’s my game of the year. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

Arkham City Concept Art

But first, there’s something you may have already guessed about me, but I thought I should confess that as well: sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. I always try to look at the brighter side of things, but in this day and age, the overwhelming cynical voice of the Internet can be a bit of a bog that all of us get stuck in. Especially when it comes to gaming. Continue reading Finding New Thrills in Gaming in 2011

Gaming Pop Quiz: Soapbox Edition

Alright friends, it’s been a few months since we’ve done a GamerSushi Pop Quiz, so I figured it was time to drop one in the bucket for you piranhas to devour.

Now that some of the huge titles of 2011 have been released (Portal 2, Little Big Planet 2, Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, L.A. Noire, Brink and The Witcher 2), I had some questions on my mind about the nature of hype and how games live up to it. The year is already halfway over, and we’ve had some major surprises and major letdowns to boot. I’m curious how you guys feel about how 2011 is shaping up. At the end, you’ll even have a soapbox opportunity to talk about whatever gaming issue is on your mind.

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. Have at it, gents and ladies. Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz: Soapbox Edition

Poll: What’s Your Current Game of the Year?

Seeing as how we’re almost five months into the glorious year of 2011, and given that we’ve already seen a slew of quality releases, I thought I’d conduct an informal poll (TWSS) and find out what your current Game of the Year is.

While we do have a few luminary titles coming at us in a few weeks, the recent release of Portal 2 gave us undoubtedly one of this year’s critical juggernauts. Gaming is for all types though, so maybe you liked something else? Let us know which game you’re rooting for in this handy-dandy poll we cooked up. Chances are, you’ll like a game with the number “2” in it. Just a guess.

For anyone wondering why I picked these games, I basically selected big ticket titles over a score of 87 on Metacritic. If you’d like me to add something else, please let me know in the comments!

What's Your Current Game of the Year for 2011?

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 16: Sweet 16

For some reason, all of you crazies keep coming back to listen to our podcasts. And for some reason, we keep getting together on Skype to record them without killing one another. Basically, everybody wins.

We celebrate the sixteenth edition of the GamerSushi Show by waxing not-so-philosophically about a variety of topics. These include our manly Valve love, the Nintendo 3DS, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and then some. Nick also drops in with another one of his games, Percentages, and I think there are some hilarious results that come out of that conversation. I may have broken the podcast a couple of more times in this episode, for which you’ll have to forgive me. Lord knows I’m having a hard enough time forgiving myself (not really).

Anyway, check it out, and be sure to rate the podcast on iTunes. Many thanks to those of you who already have done so. You’re our favorites. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 16: Sweet 16

GamerSushi Asks: When Are You Finished with a Game?

Little Big Planet

December and January have been spectacular for me in terms of clearing out my gaming backlog. I’ve commented on it in posts before, but there’s something really satisfying about playing games and knocking more of them off the list, finally getting to experience games I’ve been dying to play.

Whenever I tackle gaming backlogs, I tend to shoot for low-hanging fruit first, unless there is some stellar title that I am just dying to play. This means I normally go for games that I hear are shorter (or easier) and won’t delay me as I try to move through the rest of the list. Playing through these is rather simple, since there’s a clear beginning and end to the experience. I tend to run into problems, though, when I get to games like the three I’m dealing with right now: NBA 2K11, Gran Turismo 5 and Little Big Planet 2.

As two of them are expanding sports titles with deep pools of gameplay and one is a charming (and really awesome) sandbox extravaganza, it’s going to be hard to determine when I’ve hit the “end” of those titles for me. I’m fairly certain I’ve had my fill of NBA 2K11, even though there are plenty of things in the game I’ve yet to sample, but I’m not sure.

So what do you guys think? How do you normally tackle these large games that never end? When do you finally set them aside for another game? Do you do it when you’ve sampled everything? When you’re tired of the game? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Biggest Let Downs of 2010?

Final Fantasy 14

As the end of the year draws nigh, it’s only natural that every site in the world is going to come up with a series of “Best Of” lists regarding the nearly late but still great 2010. We try to vary things up around here when we can, but since there’s no news, you’ll probably be getting a few of these lists as we find them, because hey, we like to post. Sort of.

Anyway, Gamasutra has been doing a series of lists about 2010 in review, including this new one I enjoyed where they covered the year’s Top 5 Disappointments. The list covers everything from the giant cluster that was the Final Fantasy XIV launch through the removal of the Taliban in Medal of Honor. I suppose it could also be called the biggest fails of 2010, but hey, it’s their list. I think if I’m going over my list of disappointments, it would include Little Big Planet 2 getting moved to next year, and Microsoft’s focus on Kinect at E3.

So what about you guys? What were your top disappointments of 2010?

Source – Gamasutra

Little Big Planet Fan Gets his Dream Job

Little Big PlanetI’ve got to be honest. Every time I hear awesome stories about people that are fans of games getting to work at those studios, I go through a range of emotions. On the one hand I’m insanely jealous and maybe a tad annoyed (SFF fans should understand), but more often than not, I’m just happy that one person gets to live out a really awesome story. Because I’m a human, I love these tales.

Take John Beech, who also goes by “johnee” on PSN. A construction worker by trade, John also happened to be an advent map and level creator for Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet, the sprawling sandbox game that allows players to do virtually whatever they can think of. CVG has posted a cool look at Beech’s story, which goes from his time designing maps with a blanket over his head and the TV (so he wouldn’t wake his sleeping girlfriend) to his near-death experience on a construction site, and how it lead to him asking MM for a job… and then getting it. Beech now works as a designer on Little Big Planet 2, and it sounds like he’s totally living the dream.

The whole story is really kind of touching. The craziest part of the whole thing to me is that Beech didn’t have any other work experience except construction, and didn’t even have a resume with him when he visited Media Molecule. A brief excerpt of the encounter:

I didn’t even have a CV, and I hadn’t done anything except be a builder my whole life, which they thought was hilarious. Then I loaded up my PlayStation and started showing them one of the things I had done.

Two minutes in Kareem, the art director, told me to stop and said, ‘Hold on a second.’ He went and he brought half the company back in and then said, ‘Okay John, you can carry on now.'”

Anyway, I highly suggest reading it for the “warm fuzzies” factor. Do you guys have a talent that you’d love to turn into a video game job? Personally, I’d love to write stories for someone like Bioware.

Source – CVG

LittleBigPlanet 2 Takes This Battle to the Sky with an Awesome Afterburner Homage

Sackboy and his Sackbot’s have struck again, with another gem that makes me feel inadequate about my creativity. Using the beta, an adept gamer has created “Sackfighter Dogfight”, a game that owes more than a little to Sega’s classic jet-fighter shooter. Complete with barrel rolls, cinematic camera movements and even a gun that can overheat, LBP 2 just shot up high on my want list. Take a look at this:

What say you? Impressed yet? This thing isn’t even out of beta and it’s making that calculator from the first game look like child’s play. Anyone going to get this? Do you have any game ideas you want to share?

Submit Your Podcast Questions!

microphoneWe’ve finally started releasing GamerSushi podcasts, and we couldn’t be happier. For real, I’ve been obsessing over doing the next edition ever since we recorded the first. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it, too.

We’ll be recording a new episode on either Sunday or Tuesday, so the time to start asking questions or topics that you’d like for us to talk about is now. Feel free to ask about whatever, as long as it is generally game related, and we’ll pick our favorite submissions to discuss on the podcast. You can already rest assured that EA’s new game codes will be on the list, as well as Little Big Planet 2 and Alan Wake.

What are you waiting for, fools? Submit your questions.