We’re sometimes hard on Nintendo around here, but it’s (for the most part) out of love for what Nintendo was and could be. The Wii U, Nintendo’s latest stab at relevance in the gaming world, has been met with a lack of enthusiasm embodied by abysmal sales.
So how does something like this happen? If you’ve ever wanted an inside look at the development process of an entire console, EuroGamer presented the latest in its series, The Secret Developers. The premise of this feature is that developers write candidly and anonymously about particular subjects. This edition of the Secret Developers just happens to focus on the genesis—and troubling development— of the Wii U by a major third party developer.
Every generation represents a new set of hurdles for the medium (or art, if you’re feeling fancy) of video gaming. In the current generation — and yes, I do include PC games in this — I think the most obvious hurdles we’ve cleared have to do with graphics, the ease of connectivity and huge, immersive universes. Within the last few years, it’s easier to play with friends than ever before, or even talk to them across games. I can share games with them on Steam or track their progress through PSN or XBL. Games like Skyrim, Borderlands 2 and Arkham City have given us amazing, huge worlds that we can interact with, and feel like we’re a part of. The Uncharted series and Red Dead Redemption have given us high-caliber storytelling and some memorable vocal performances.
But do I think all of these things are perfect? Not by any stretch. The medium still has plenty of growing up to do in terms of what it can achieve, in any number of arenas. Today’s Pixel Count poll is a big one, representing what I think are the biggest hurdles that gaming still has in front of it.
So, if we’re entering the next generation soon, which of these do you think is the most important issue, from a player’s perspective? Vote and tell us what you think in the comments!
April isn’t exactly the greatest month in the world for gaming, but we’re right up at the edge of it, and we’ve got to play something, right? As for myself, now that I’ve completed both Mass Effect 3 and Journey (both of which I loved), it’s on to a few other odds and ends.
For one, I spent quite a bit of time playing the Diablo III Beta last night, and I have to say that I’m surprised at just how much fun I had. It’s not that I didn’t expect the game to be great or anything, it’s just always been one of those games that I knew I would be playing, so the specifics of the gameplay never really mattered that much to me. I know that might sound strange, but some games are just such a given you don’t even spend that much time getting excited about them, and instead focus on things releasing ahead or behind. I rolled a monk, and in no time at all I decided that it’ll be my main class when the game drops in May. It’s hard to quantify just how joyous it was to pummel hordes of undead creatures and other ghouls in that good ol’ hack-n-slash style. It’s just been too damn long, you know?
In terms of other things I’m playing, I could rave on and on for an entire post about the beauty of Journey, which so captivated me in my one-sitting-playthrough that it’s already in contention for game of the year. The game affected me in a way that’s hard to put into words, which is weird because I consider myself a writer. In short: just go play the thing.
When I’m not Journey-ing or fighting minions of Diablo, I’ll be catching up on MGS HD, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 co-op and anything else I can get my hands on – at least until my daughter arrives in just a couple of weeks’ time.
While there are a number of troublesome trends in the video game industry (as many of you have noted in the Mass Effect 3 DLC discussion), every now and then someone just gets it right. I think because of the anti-consumer nature of the industry at times, it becomes that much more potent when a company does something on our behalf, or something that goes against the grain.
Today, Sony launched a totally free version of Killzone 3’s multiplayer mode for download on PSN. Yes, Killzone, one of their staple franchises. You can play the game with friends, kill random strangers, and even rank up – although past a certain point you’ll need to pay money for continued experience and trophies. Again, that’s hours of entertainment for the grand total of free ninety-nine.
To me, this is a bold and brilliant move by the company that just a few years back tried to tell us their Heavenly Sword player was worth a staggering fee of $599 with a straight face. This is basically the equivalent of Microsoft announcing that Halo: Reach’s multiplayer was going free to play. Obviously, the business side of this is that Sony hopes that it will encourage gamers to buy DLC packs, maps and so forth, but I think the results will be interesting to watch. A number of MMOs didn’t become profitable until they went free-to-play, so I can only guess that this will have a positive effect for Killzone 3 as well.
What do you guys think of this decision? Would you like to see other companies pull something similar with their big franchises? Go!
A startling admission, I know. Especially coming from someone who is a fan of Sony consoles in general and Japanese games in particular. But I missed the boat on Metal Gear Solid for the PS1, having only played Metal Gear Solid 2 when it was a Greatest Hit on the PS2 and then wondering, “This is what all the fuss was about? Gamers have terrible taste!” Seriously. I looked down on MGS fans after that.
All I had ever heard about was how amazing the story of Metal Gear Solid is, how it is just like watching a movie. All the hype before the release of MGS 2 focused on the story, rather than gameplay, something I had not previously seen before. So I played it, liked it, but didn’t see all the fuss. Then MGS 3 came out and finally MGS 4. I skipped those as well, but something was nagging at the back of my mind. Despite my experience with MGS 2, I still felt like there was something I was missing out on. With the release of Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, I saw my opening and I struck. I would download and play the original MGS on the PSN and then play all the rest on the HD Collection.
So that’s what I did. I recently finished the MGS and had a blast with it. Even so many years after its release, the game still holds up well and its design and story had me pondering video games and the state of the medium to a degree that I haven’t in quite some time. So here are my thoughts on Metal Gear Solid. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid Experience
Here’s a new podcast that’s not exactly new, seeing as how we recorded it a couple of weeks ago. That being said, it’s still a hoot. Is that what the kids are saying these days?
We talk about a variety of topics once the cast kicks off, from PSN to Brink and even a bit of the Gears of War 3 Beta, and just how much I want to have its babies. True story. After that, we kick things up a non-Minecraft notch with a game of Either/Or. For real, it’s good times. I only wish you all could join us during these games, because Nick does a great job of picking topics.
Oh, that’s right. You can. In the comments. Join in, dudes.
I think Square Enix just got the Internet hooked up to their offices because they’ve been bombarding the PSN lately with classic releases, finally listening to what their fans have been clamoring for (Well, in some cases). Last week brought Parasite Eve and starting tomorrow another PS1 classic, Legend of Mana, will be available for download. Having rented Legend of Mana about 11 years ago, I am pretty excited to be able to play it again.
For those of you who don’t know, the game plays like the SNES classic Secret of Mana, but with a World Map, which involves you placing the locations and rebuilding the world. Depending on where things are placed in relation to each other, new secrets will be revealed. Also, the game is very side-quest heavy, so if you aren’t into that sort of thing, consider yourself warned.
What other classic games are missing from PSN, XBLA and Virtual Console? Hit me!
I’m always on the lookout for something different (yes, even though I play Call of Duty) and I’ve been hearing about Bastion, an upcoming downloadable action-RPG by Supergiant Games, an indie developer, for some quite. So I finally decided to take a look see at what all the fuss is about and honestly, I am intrigued and looking forward to its release on PSN, Xbox Live and PC this year.
I don’t know much beyond this: I kinda love the art style, the isometric viewpoint brings back fond memories of Super Mario RPG and the constant commentary is going go be awesome or super annoying within the first 15 minutes. Have a look:
It’s kind of hard not to be amazed by what people are capable of. LittleBigPlanet 2 is still only in beta and yet more and more amazing videos keep coming out. Take this newest video for instance, which recreates Marvel vs. Capcom 3, managing to edge Capcom’s release date by a few months.
The dynamic camera movements are a nice new feature, as is the obviously over-dramatic voice recorded to announce the fight’s beginning. What really impressed me were the special moves that were on display, such as a missile and bomb projectiles. Also, a demo for LBP 2 will hit the PSN Store tomorrow and while it likely will just be a Story mode-based demo without any of the building tools, I am still anxious to get my grubby hands on it.
Sometimes, the things you wish for in life come true and today is one of those days. The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, one of the most critically acclaimed games of the last generation, will be released on the PSN when it updates later today, for the low price of $14.99. Clearly, someone up there is paying attention to silent prayers. Now, if only Jessica Alba would knock on the door…
This is no simple port of the PS2 title, but a 720p resolution and Trophies as well. And if you are really insane, it’s 3D enabled, but let’s face it, I am talking to myself with that one. The following two games in the PoP trilogy, The Warrior Within (meh) and The Two Thrones (thumbs up!) will be available in December. Personally, I will be downloading this tonight as the Sands of Time is one of my all-time favorites and if I reviewed it back in the day, I would give it an S.
Is anyone excited about this or going to download any of these games? Did you play it in the first place or are you looking to play it for the first time? Commence!
A new development over the last few years for the gaming industry has been the advent of digital distribution on a large scale basis, beyond just downloadable bonuses. Through platforms such as Steam, XBox Live and PSN, games are being delivered to us entirely differently than they were even just a short decade ago. So what is the next decade going to bring?
Back in 2006, former Sony exec Phil Harrison was quoted as saying that he would be surprised if the PS4, the next iteration of the Sony black box, would have a physical disc drive at all. That comment caused some interesting conversations in its wake, but current Sony exec Kaz Hirai has recently weighed in on the matter as well. In an interview with MCV, Hirai had this to say:
“We do business in parts of the world where network infrastructure isn’t as robust as one would hope… There’s always going to be requirement for a business of our size and scope to have a physical medium. To think everything will be downloaded in two years, three years or even ten years from now is taking it a little bit to the extreme.”
I know that there are differing opinions on this issue out there. On the one hand, the idea of an all digital future at some nebulous point down the technology timeline is an exciting prospect, with instant access to all forms of entertainment. On the other hand, there is a part of me that likes physical copies of everything I own. To prove that I, you know, do in fact own it. There’s also the risk of things like the recent debacle with the PSP Go, where adopters of hardware without physical disc drives run the possibility of getting screwed.
So what do you guys think? Are you looking forward to an all digital future? Or do you prefer to keep a physical copy of what you own? I think this question is already answered in many ways for PC users who download via Steam, but go ahead and jump in anyway. Would you do this for all of your entertainment, based on your experience with Steam? Go!
We’re all used to the buddy list, that mysterious thing full of avatars and names that populates the user interface of our gaming machine of choice. From the Wii to Steam to XBL and PSN, we’ve gone through the process of adding names to that list, connecting with other users in the vastness of cyberspace in order to play our silly video games. Many of these systems refer to these connections as friends, but is that always the case?
A recent Kotaku post titled Are Your Online Friends Really Your Friends got my brain fired up on this subject, and I think it’s a cool question for discussion. I’m not sure how many of you have developed friendships with online buddies before, but I have done this quite a few times over the years. In fact, I have friends from a forum I used to go to 10 years ago that I still actively communicate with through Facebook and IM, and I have even met a handful of them.
There are many people that I know who would not view these as actual friendships, but I don’t think being face-to-face with somebody is a requirement for getting to know them in a way that you can call them a legit friend. It goes both ways, too. I think you can just as easily really know somebody you’ve never seen just as easily as you can not know somebody you see everyday.
In an age where more of our interactions with people are happening online, I think it’s going to become more and more common for people’s online friends to increase. I just view it as people that you would be friends with it if you lived close to each other, you just do it over a distance. I know that XBL is how I kept up with many of my friends from college, so how is it any different if you’ve never officially met the person?
Anyway, what are your thoughts on this topic? Can online friends be real friends? Go!
One of the things that we seem to miss out on with this site is coverage of some of those random indie games. It’s not that we dislike them, it’s just that none of us are the kinds of people who really seem to seek them out and report on them. That’s why I love Bytejacker, a video game show on Revision3 that covers this topic terribly well, and gives regular folks like me the chance to see something I might have otherwise missed.
While watching this week’s episode, I caught sight of a game that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t heard of before. It’s a straight up classic style shoot-em-up in the vein of the old R-Type games, and it’s only $12.99 on the PSN right now. It’s called Soldner X-2, and the only word I have to describe the way this game looks is “epic”.
Really, I’ll stop talking about it. Just watch the trailer.
On June 9, the Earthworm Jim HD remake is coming to XBox Live Arcade, and will follow on the PSN one month later. Gameloft released a brand new trailer for the game today, which included this little tidbit: the game will now include a 4 player co-op mode. For the old school retro lover in me, this is quite the bombshell. I can’t wait to play this.
As the video game industry moves more and more towards complete digital distribution, I thought it would be a good idea to see where things stand right now in terms of how we buy our games and DLC. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all have platforms for digital distribution and each has strengths and weaknesses, but today I plan on talking about what I personally like and dislike with each of them, specifically, the manner in which we fork over our hard-earned cash monies.
First, the best: Sony’s PSN network is just the smoothest interface, in my opinion. No silly point systems, just straight up money. You can add a few different games to your cart and buy them all together or one at a time and they will download in the background. The only problem I have with this is that you always have to add at least $5.00 to your “wallet”, which sucks when you buy something that is only $1.99 because then you have money that you have spent in real life and is now just waiting to be spent digitally. A minor quibble, but one that can be annoying.
Microsoft comes in a close second. Xbox Live Marketplace has many of the same features that makes PSN so strong and in fact, there is only one thing that really holds it back: that mystical point system. See, whenever you go to purchase something, you need points. So you have to add points, but thankfully, your credit card is saved, so you don’t have to enter it in every time. Continue reading Pay For Play: A Look At The Big 3’s Digital Pay Systems
Well, I have joined the darkside and can now spew profanities with all the little 12 year olds out there on Xbox Live. So I thought it would be a good time for everyone to repost your PSN and Xbox Live gamertags and any games that you play online that your fellow GamerSushi folk can join you on. I currently just have Halo 3, but will be renting all the other good games, so add me and I am sure we can hook up at some point.
I feel like we’ve got a pretty good thing going on here at GamerSushi. In many ways, I’d like to feel like the discussion that goes on here is perhaps ahead of the curve on some gaming issues in comparison to other sites. I think this is especially true when topics we’ve debated about here start to appear in more mainstream outlines.
Take the subject of demos, for instance. CVG has posted an opinion piece stating that demos are evil, and no good really comes of them. The writer raises some good points which we’ve covered here, but I thought it would be good to revisit them. I think the main problem with demos is that they don’t often showcase the things about a game you really need to get a grasp of it.
Most games operate on a curve that teaches you about the game the farther you get into it, so the first few minutes is most often ideal. However, the first 10-15 minutes aren’t always the sexiest parts of the game, so developers don’t often do that, giving you weird glimpses into what they’ve made (see Resident Evil 5’s demo). I’m curious to see how the new PSN features that allow you to experience the first hour of a game operate, and how they work against game demos.
What do you guys think about game demos? Are they evil?
I’m not sure how many of you have heard about Fat Princess, which hit the PSN just a couple of days ago, but I’m seriously thinking about picking it up. The premise? A 16 versus 16 game of Capture the Flag, only you’re trying to bring a princess back to your base instead of a flag. The catch? Feeding the princess makes her fatter, which means more team members have to carry her. Combine that great premise with resource gathering, cartoony graphics and awesomely animated violence, and I’m in. What do you guys think?
As many of you know, Battlefield 1943 released yesterday over PSN and XBox Live. While the game launched with some issues (namely, server capacities), those issues are being dealt with and the game is slowly but surely becoming playable again.
After some difficulty joining a server, I finally was able to land inside, and I have to say, I had a blast. It really is good to be playing Battlefield again, especially in the WWII setting, with bombers, aircraft carriers, boats and jeeps all at your disposal. The game works with squads and squad spawns, which was such brilliant addition to the series with BF 2. So, if you’ve got either a PS3 or XBox 360, this game is a ton of fun and a definite steal at only $15 for the whole deal.
So, who’s gotten to play this game yet? What did you think?