GamerSushi Asks: Underrated Games!

Viva PinataMan, after the huge amount of response we got to the thread about overrated video games, I figured we were just about begging to get this follow-up. I’d love to see something similar happen here as well.

Basically, I want to know what you guys think are the most underrated games out there. Games that for some reason or another seem to get overlooked by either gamers or the media on the whole. Or perhaps they weren’t overlooked, but just discounted outright or given an unnecessary amount of undue hatred.

For me, I have to say that Suikoden III doesn’t really get the praise I think it deserved as one of the best RPGs of the last generation. In this generation, Saint’s Row 2 was largely ignored in light of Grand Theft Auto IV, when it was probably a better spiritual successor to the series than GTA 4 was, even. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand was a great shooter that more people definitely needed to play. Likewise, Viva Pinata was another underrated game still that got shoved under the rug because it appeared to be a kid game.

So what about you guys? What do you think are the most underrated games?

GamerSushi Asks: Life in the Sandbox?

prototypeI’ve been playing through some of Prototype this week, and as with most sandbox games, it seems to do a few things really well, but a bunch of other ones in a largely mediocre way. Traversing the city is perhaps the best part of the game. Skyscraper running is so addicting I almost can’t believe it, so moving back and forth between objectives is actually more fun than even doing them.

But it falls short in other ways. I’m not even very far into the game, and the story is a mess. Likewise, all the objectives are already repetitive, and I’m only a few hours in. On top of that, the draw distances and the graphics are pretty laughable, and the city doesn’t feel like a living, breathing world.

It makes me wonder why sandbox games seem to be so hit-or-miss in all of these other areas. To me, to have a good sandbox game, you need a fun way to travel the world, unique diversions, non-repetitive missions and a fully functioning world to make as your playground. In the last couple of years, I feel like Saint’s Row 2 is the closest I’ve gotten to playing something that meets all of those.

What about you guys? What’s your favorite sandbox game, and what do you think is the most important aspect of the genre? Go!

Is The Drive For Realism Making Games Less Fun?

virtual-reality-8When I was a kid, realism is all anyone wanted out of video games. Virtual Reality was the buzzword of the times. If an enemy acted realistically, that was amazing. If a character’s portrait in a cut scene looked anything like the real thing, we were in awe. As graphics got better, the dream became closer to reality. Games like Flashback and Heart of Darkness wowed gamers with photorealistic graphics, crude by today’s standards, but jaw dropping back in the days when Kurt Cobain was still smashing guitars.

Even though graphics were getting more real, the gameplay was still crazy. Cloud and Sephiroth may look like real people in the cut scenes, but obviously no human could really wield that giant sword. This was a happy medium, but it never really set right with me. I preferred the awesome summons animations and the scenes with WEAPON and other unreal events. You know: stuff I have never seen.
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GamerSushi Asks: What Have You Finished?

As of now, I’ve finished Saint’s Row 2, Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead from the holiday pile of games. On the deck still are things like Chrono Trigger DS, Fallout 3, Penny Arcade episode 2, Portal “Still Alive”, Call of Duty World at War, Fable II, Little Big Planet and Mirrors Edge.

What all have you guys played so far, and how would you rate those experiences? Did they live up to the hype? Did they fall short? And what are you still waiting for, that you’re expecting to get for Christmas? Me, I’m dying to get my hands on Prince of Persia, and all 3 of the games I’ve finished went above and beyond what I expected from them, so I’m extremely pleased.

What about you? What have you finished? What have you started?

A Gaming Emergency!

So I’m exactly in the position that i didn’t want to be in: I’ve got a bunch of games to play, and I’m dabbling a little in each one, without ever really jumping into one to finish it.

Right now, I’ve got: Fable 2, Saint’s Row 2, Fallout 3 and Little Big Planet sitting in my apartment, and I’m just knocking out a bit here and a bit there. To top it all off, Gears of War 2 releases later this week, and after playing the Mirror’s Edge Demo (more on that later) and seeing the new Prince of Persia trailer, I’m in a bad spot.

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Saint’s Row 2 Thugs Me Out

So after forcing myself to finish GTA IV last week and feeling slightly underwhelmed, I decided to grab Saint’s Row 2, having heard from several gamers that it is just maddeningly fun. I wasn’t too impressed with what I played at PAX, but that was an early build, so I gave it a go…

As of now, I’ve dumped about 5 or 6 hours into the game in just a day, and I have to say, I could see it being more fun than GTA IV by the time I’m done.

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PSN Store Update: 9/4/08

It’s Thursday! Time for another update to the PSN! This week brings a ton of video content and a new episode of Qore. If you have not subscribed to it, I highly recommend you do. It’s full of fun features and tons of info. And since I signed up for the first episode, I will be allowed into both the Resistance 2 and Socom: Confrontation betas! Eat your heart out! This month’s Qore features the Motorstorm: Pacific Rift demo.

Full list of new content after the jump:

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PAX: Saint’s Row 2

Even though I’m a bit of an XBox junkie, I’ve never actually played the original Saint’s Row for the 360, though I’ve consistently heard good things about it. The Saint’s Row 2 booth at PAX is almost impossible to miss, given that it’s got a giant gangsta’s head about twenty feet in the air, with 3 large HDTV’s plastered to the walls for people to play.

I’m a fan of open world games (too much of a fan), so I was pretty excited to see this one here. I stepped up to an open controller, wondering if it was going to be a thugarific good time, or just a GTA clone. I got a little bit of both.

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