The Hyperbolic Chamber


Reviews are important. They help us ascertain what games are worth playing amid all the marketing hype and hoopla. They give us substance instead of sizzle. They protect our sacred dollars from those publishers who wish to take it from us by selling us a mediocre game. But what happens when the reviews themselves offer more sizzle than any publisher ever could? I’m not talking about a high review score. I am talking about actual words in the text of the review that sound as if they were written by the id of a PR rep. I’m not alleging any bribery or wrongdoing here. But I am going to point out the complete abdication of responsibility that occurs when a reviewer himself (or herself) gets swept up in the hype and then pays it forward to the rest of us. Using quotes from actual reviews, you will be astonished at some of the blinding praise heaped upon games that, though they may be good or even great, are not worthy of these particular accolades. Continue reading The Hyperbolic Chamber

Big Games of 2011 That You Missed?

Rayman Origins

This year is swiftly coming to a close and we’ve seen almost all of the major releases come and go with the exception of Star Wars: The Old Republic which drops on December 20. As this year was more jam packed than others, I thought I’d do a quick survey and see which giant games of 2011 you might have missed.

I’m not really one to talk here because I seem to be swimming in games (some still un-played like The Witcher 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations), but I did manage to miss Forza 4, Killzone 3 and Skyward Sword, although I might make time for that last one. Rayman Origin is another game that might get overlooked this year, but I’m going to make an effort to try it out. It’s a gorgeous looking 2D platformer with couch co-op and it’s being reviewed pretty well right now.

In terms of games that I could have passed up, given hindsight, I’d say Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. Modern Warfare 3 is pretty much the same old Call of Duty we’ve come to expect and I haven’t even touched Battlefield 3 since Skyrim hit, which is kind of surprising given the nerd boner I was rocking for that game.

What about you guys? Any big games that you missed this year just because you didn’t have enough time? Any smaller, indie titles that grabbed your attention that may go unnoticed by others? Sound off!

What Are You Playing: It’s Too Damn Hot Outside Edition


Salutations, faithful readers, it is I, your humble Canadian, back for another round of What Are You Playing. If you’re new to this recurring post, the basic set-up is pretty simple: I ask you what video games you’re playing, and you answer. It doesn’t have to exactly be video games per se; if you want to launch into a (spoiler-free as I haven’t seen the show yet, and people may not have read the books) discussion about the season finale of Game of Thrones, feel free to do so. It’s an open forum, but we’d love to get your thoughts on some current games, and maybe some oldies too.

For me, I spent the morning playing Nicholson Electroplating, the new Arson case for L.A. Noire. I bought the Rockstar Pass when it was on sale a while back, so I got all the DLC for the game for a reasonable price. Nicholson Electroplating is a very action-intensive case and the investigative aspects are relatively slim, but it’s a solid addition overall. It also got me that much closer to rounding out the achievements for L.A. Noire, so that’s always good. Besides that I’ve been finishing off my Evil karma run-through of inFAMOUS 2 and getting back into Halo: Reach in preparation for this year’s Bungie Day. A friend of mine also picked up The Witcher 2 on Steam, so I’m going to log into his account and play it when I have a moment. I’m also trying to desperately bring myself up to a respectable level on StarCraft 2 so I don’t embarrass myself. It’s hard though, but I’m working on my three barracks build.

That’s probably enough out of me, so what about you guys? Has anyone tried Nicholson Electroplating, and what did you think? Opinions of the L.A. Noire DLC overall would be good too. Anything else that you’re playing? Let us know!

What Are You Playing: Almost Summer Edition

The Witcher 2

Hello, GamerSushi faithful, did you miss me? I know that you guys probably didn’t even notice I was gone for a couple of days, but I was off in Vancouver watching a hockey game (pause for Canada jokes). Unfortunately, this little getaway clashed with the release of L.A. Noire, and I only got to try that out last night. While I’m finding the controls a little too clunky for my liking, the interrogations are super awesome and the facial animations continue to astound me.

Besides L.A. Noire, we’ve also seen the release of the Witcher 2 on PC, and I’ve been hearing rave reviews about it both here and other places. It’s definitely on my list of “must haves”, so I’ll hopefully be able to pick that up soon. Based on the screenshot I used for this article, the game should be titillating in all the right ways.

So what are you guys playing? I know we already have a whole thing about L.A. Noire, but if you’ve got any Witcher 2 thoughts, this is the place to put them. Hit me up with those comments, son!