GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Trick-or-Treats?

MGS 2Happy Halloween, Sushians!

Or I suppose it’ll be the day after Halloween by the time you read this, but that’s no reason to be any less festive, is it? Every year, we try to give some kind of feature towards the day of ghouls and goblins, and 2011 is no different. While in the past we may have covered a list of scariest games or done a Halloween Pop Quiz, this year I wanted to skew in a bit of a different direction. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Trick-or-Treats?

GamerSushi Asks: Best First Levels?

HL2 Combine

There’s nothing better than a video game that hooks you into its style and premise in its opening level. Well, I guess it’s better when the entire game can deliver on that promise, but you know what I mean. The first levels of video games in a lot of ways are a pitch for the entire experience. They teach you the rules, what to expect and tease some more of what’s to come. In fact, they can often give us the biggest “wow” out of any level in a game, if done right.

That’s why UGO has come along with its list of the best first levels in gaming history. They’ve got quite a few games on there, a few of which are a bit surprising, to say the least. If I’m being honest, I think it’s a decent list save for the fact that it skews a bit towards the last couple of years too much in terms of where it ranks the newer experiences.

As for my favorite first levels in video games, I’d have to go with a few of these: Goldeneye 64, Half Life (1 and 2), Uncharted 2, Sonic the Hedgehog and Medal of Honor: Frontline. Part of me is tempted to say Metal Gear Solid 2, because I just love the tanker section so much. However, if you consider the first level to be a promise on what the game wants to deliver, I feel like it’s more of a tease than something that the gamer actually gets. Just my opinion, though.

So what do you guys think? What are your favorite opening levels in video games? What do you think of the list? Go!

Source – UGO

Games as Art: Looking Back at MGS 2

Metal Gear Solid 2Metal Gear Solid 2 is a game that gets quite a bit of flack from some of the gaming community. The MGS fan kingdom seems to be split down two camps of people that have opposing feelings for the sequel to the hit PS1 game. Personally, I fall into the group of people that generally dislikes MGS2. I remember being so excited for its release, especially after playing the demo that came packaged with Zone of the Enders. I loved the first game’s comic book Die Hard feel, but the sequel just got much too campy, and Raiden was nowhere near as good of a hero as the beloved Solid Snake, in my opinion.

Some years ago, the Delta Head Translation Group published a formal analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2, which is one of the most fascinating pieces of writing I’ve ever read on a video game. It breaks down some of the meta-narrative of MGS2, and what the game might have actually been designed for: to leave the player feeling frustrated. Agree with it or not, it actually gives a really enlightening look at the game, and might even give you pause about your assumptions.

I was reminded of this article because I got into a discussion with JJ about Roger Ebert recently backtracking on his “games can never be art” infamy; he now says that some day they might be. JJ and I got on a tangent about it being hard for something to be fun, artistic, emotional and medium-transcending all at once. I was arguing that fun might not necessarily be a requirement for video games to be art- after all, is watching Schlinder’s List “fun”? In the MGS2 article, the author argues that perhaps the game was designed to make you feel the way it did, and not designed with a fun-factor in mind. If this is truly the case, then perhaps MGS2, as flawed as it is, might be a video game that approaches that territory, where games are turned on their head and go beyond the medium? Portal is probably one of the best examples of a game that deconstructs gaming yet manages to be entertaining and well made.

Anyway, all that mumbo-jumbo aside, you should definitely check out the article, it’s long, but worth the thoughts it gives on what games are supposed to make you feel. And while you’re at it, feel free to weight in on the “games as art” discussion.

Source- Delta Head Translation Group and Roger Ebert

Why Are Gamers Such Crybabies?

crybabyI am a man of passions. I mostly love things more than life itself or hate them with a fury that borders on the wrong side of psychotic. But even I am taken aback by the wrath that seems to regularly appear from gamers on the Internet. Perhaps it just that the Internet has given these people a voice. Or perhaps gamers are the biggest bunch of babies this world has ever seen.
Continue reading Why Are Gamers Such Crybabies?

Gaming’s Biggest Turkeys

Ah, Thanksgiving. When we eat and stuff our faces like we might never taste food again. It’s the time of year where we get to play extra video games, and where we long for Christmas to get the last few that we haven’t bought. In light of this holiday, I thought I’d leave you guys a short feature before departing on my great Turkey adventure tomorrow.

In honor of these great birds on which we feast upon, I wanted to discuss gaming’s biggest turkeys. What do I mean by turkeys? Basically, anything that flopped or completely fell under your expectations. Anything that you devoted your time to that turned out extremely disappointing. That game that broke your heart and that you wanted to be good, but sadly, it just sat there like a lame duck. Er, turkey.

Let’s begin!

Continue reading Gaming’s Biggest Turkeys