Inside Look at Wii U Reveals Development Woes

Wii U

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.

And it’s certainly…interesting, to say the least. Continue reading Inside Look at Wii U Reveals Development Woes

Top Xbox LIVE Activity for 2011 Shows Black Ops on Top

xbox live top activity 2011 black ops

I really like the fact that every year Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson posts the top activity for the service so we can see which games got the most attention during the year. Call of Duty has held the top spot ever since 2007, but I don’t think the domination by that series has ever been this strong.

Activision’s much maligned but million selling series holds three of the top spots with Black Ops surprisingly taking first place over Modern Warfare 3 which falls in second. Halo: Reach is still holding strong in fourth place and is faring better than two of this year’s big multiplayer releases, Battlefield 3 and Gears of War 3, falling in the fifth and seventh spots, respectively. I’m kind of surprised that Gears of War is so low considering that this is the series that defined multiplayer on the Xbox this generation, but seeing Reach in fourth spot warms my heart, if only out of spite for all the complainers who said Reach would be dead in a year.

Some other surprises from the list would be that GTA IV is still charting as is Gears of War 2. I guess Xbox LIVE gamers know what they like, and that’s re-hashes of a game from 2007 and previous iterations of an improved product. Thoughts on 2011’s Xbox LIVE activity list? Surprised that Black Ops still holds first place? Anything that should be higher in your opinion? Go!

Source – Major Nelson

Player: A Short Story of Multiplayer Gaming

Halo Reach

When I was a kid, I remember sitting in the living room with a bowl of Frosted Flakes, watching cartoons with an eager hunger every Saturday morning. In addition to the classics such as the Super Mario Bros cartoon or Captain N, I was fascinated with the show Reboot, which takes place entirely in a virtual world. Since then, I think I’ve always had a desire for even more fiction that revolves around gaming, which is surprisingly seldom encountered even two decades later.

However, today I stumbled across a short story that a friend of mine wrote over at Prolific Novelista, so I figured I would share. Player is the tale of one man’s quest to beat an anonymous gamer online, and the way our competitive edge kicks in whenever we deal with strangers in multiplayer settings. It’s a piece that I think all of us can identify with. I know that one of the most shocking things for me when I first entered the realm of online gaming was realizing that I was just a mediocre fish in a sea of badasses with itchy trigger fingers. The desire to beat an opponent at a game you pride yourself in is a strong one, and we’ve all encountered it at one time or another.

So yeah, I think you guys should read it. Definitely entertaining and familiar. I would also suggest you guys check out Ready Player One, a novel I keep hearing about that takes place inside of a video game. Thoughts, gents and ladies? Go!

Prolific Novelista

Wordy Bastion Will Talk Your Ear Off

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:

[youtube width=”500″ height=”310″][/youtube]

What say you? Seem like an interesting concept? Or just a lame gimmick? The narrator has plenty to say, what about you?

Take A Leap With This XBLA Marketplace Deal: Spend 2400 Points in October, Get 800 Free

Fresh off a successful Summer of Arcade, which included the critically and commercially acclaimed Lara Croft: Guardian of Light and Limbo, Microsoft is offering an October thank you gift for those of us who might have missed out on these or any other games on XBLA. It’s quite simple:

During the month of October, spend 2400 Microsoft Points on Arcade games and/or game add-ons and you’ll get 800 Microsoft Points added to your membership as a thank-you gift.

Now for those of you without an abacus, 2400 Microsoft Points is $30 and 800 Points is $10. So spend $30, get $10 back. Not too shabby a deal and I am already off to the races by buying Breath of Death VII. Okay, it’s not exactly a rousing start since it only cost $1, but I have the whole month to do it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

However, if you, like me, are baffled as to what to purchase, check out this handy list of The 23 Best XBLA Games from the nice folks at GamePro. There were quite a few gems on there that I wasn’t aware of, so it might come in handy in helping you decide what to buy.

Is anyone else going to partake in this offer? Any games you love that you recommend I pick up?


Source: GamePro

Old Games Are Old: This Week on XBL

Call of Duty 4We’ve all seen the phenomenon of people not being able to part with old games. Just take a look at those fine folks that never wanted to give up Halo 2 for some quick and easy proof. But even though we know that people do weird things with their time and their gaming habits, it never ceases to amaze me when I see some new statistic that upends what I thought I knew.

This week’s statistics from XBox Live (taken from Major Nelson’s Blog) are pretty telling when it comes to what people like to play. To me, it’s crazy that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is getting beaten by so many old games. And on top of that, three Call of Duty titles still manage to battle it out in the top 10, this far removed from their release dates. Move on, people!

Anyway, here’s the list. Craziness.

Xbox 360 Top Live Titles

1. Modern Warfare 2
2. Red Dead Redemption
3. Halo 3
4. Call of Duty: WaW
5. FIFA 10
6. Call of Duty 4
7. Battlefield Bad Co. 2
9. Gears of War 2
10. Left 4 Dead 2
11. Halo 3: ODST
12. Forza Motorsport 3
13. UFC Undisputed 2010 Demo
14. NBA 2K10
15. Backbreaker Demo
16. Splinter Cell Conviction
17. NHL 10
18. Borderlands
19. UFC Undisputed 2010
20. Madden NFL 10

Hit the jump for the XBox Live Arcade list. Continue reading Old Games Are Old: This Week on XBL

Today’s WTF: 14 People Still Playing Halo 2

Halo 2 XBLThis is one for the history books, folks. On April 15, Microsoft said bon voyage to the old XBox Live, sending it away into that soft, tranquil night. Or on a boat in a waterfall, like Boromir’s arrow-riddled corpse in Lord of the Rings (spoiler alert). Anyway, they said bye to the old XBL, discontinuing support for original XBox games, including Halo 2.

However, there are some refusing to let this die. You see, there are 14 diligent fans that are continuing to play Halo 2, leaving their consoles up and running, connected to the old XBL. That’s right. 14 people in the entire world, and they say they are not stopping any time soon. There are actually several livestreams broadcasting a few of these last games, flickers of a game that won’t go quietly into that good night.

Here are the gamertags:
Agent Windex
sherlok 1
z0mbie stench
Lord Odysseus11
H2o Shoagie
xxBooker Dxx

While I think the idea of playing a game that old for that long is ridiculous, you have to admire these guys’ commitment to this game. So what do you guys think? Worthy of salute, or mockery? Go!

Source- Bungie Forums

Today’s WTF: Fable III Allows XBL Friends with Benefits

Well, for those of you who have always longed to knock boots with that sultry voiced minx on your friends list, you may have finally gotten your chance. It seems that Fable III is going to allow for players to get intimate and create babies with their friends in co-op games. Hot stuff, right?

I mean, as with anything that goes in a Peter Molyneux game, this should be taken with the grainiest grain of salt one can think of, but still it’s interesting to talk about. The idea of a unique weapon that is tied to your profile and gamerscore? Sounds good, I hope it makes it in. The idea of a king-like RTS that takes over part of the tale? Another great idea, can’t wait. Sleeping with someone on my friends list to make virtual babies for our co-op game? Not so keen on that one.

However, if I’m being completely honest here, if there is an achievement for doing someone on your friends list to make a baby… someone out there is going to have to help me do this. I’m not a picky man, either. I only ask that you be gentle with my evil avatar.

Source- Kotaku

GamerSushi Asks: Arcade Memories

With the release of the Game Room on Xbox Live, it occurred to me that many of the younglings on Xbox Live have no idea what an arcade even is. I spent many a day of my youth in the dimly lit, sometimes smoke-filled gaming meccas and I wasted many a quarter.

Those were the days of Star Wars Arcade, Nintendo Play Choice 10, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Asteroids. I never played Dragon’s Lair, but I watched the cinematic that would play automatically dozens of times, longing for one more quarter. Apparently, I didn’t miss much, but I wanted to know: do you guys have any arcade memories you are fond? Do you have any at all?

My favorite was pumping quarters into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game with my friends on my birthday and finally defeating the evil Shredder. It was literally a jump up and down, hug each other moment.

So…what’s your epic win? GO!

Anthony Got A 360! Post Your Gamertag Here To Pwn Him!

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.

Post your IDs and games below. Here are mine:

Xbox Live: Edgewalker81

PSN: Starkiller81

Get Your Games in Now: Original X-Box Losing LIVE Support

It seems like the end of an era somehow, but as the current generation pushes into the future it had to happen. Microsoft announced their plans to discontinue support for the original X-Box on LIVE today, and that includes playing backwards compatible games online on the 360. X-Box LIVE general manager Marc Whitten explains this move as necessary to facilitate the continued evolution of LIVE as a service, but I’m sure that more than a few people will be disappointed with this action. Microsoft has continually stated that the furtherance of original X-Box games have been holding up certain LIVE features on the 360 such as raising the friend list cap to 100 Gamertags.

While the official press release does do a lot to trumpet the Microsoft horn, it’s good to see that the LIVE team is taking steps to make sure that those who will be adversely affected by this move are being taken care of. Users who are still subscribed to the base LIVE service will receive prorated refunds, and Mr. Whitten had this to say about those being left behind:

“We will contact the X-Box LIVE members directly impacted by this change and if this includes you, I encourage you to check your LIVE messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities. We view you as a partner in this process.”

Interesting developments indeed, but what innovations are coming to LIVE that required this change? Who here is going to get in a few more games before the serivce gets axed on April 15? Just for kicks, what were your favorite original X-Box games to play online? Halo 2 was a good one, obviously, but who played Crimson Skies? Oh yeah, have you heard that XBL Arcade crested a hundred million in sales last year?

Source: Major Nelson and X-Box 360 Press

GamerSushi Community Game: XBox 360!

OK dudes, we talked about this stinking forever ago, but we’re finally doing the deed tomorrow afternoon. Let’s all hook up for some cool time playing some games together, in what is hopefully the first of many such occasions.

For our first community function, we’ll be playing either Halo 3 or Modern Warfare 2, depending on what more of you guys have. We’ll be playing tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 PM CST, so check to see what time that is for you. And for you PC or PS3 dudes, don’t worry, we’ll be doing more of these soon. The idea right now is to do a PC one some time next week, with a PS3 one in the near future.

So here’s how this is going to work. Leave your gamertag here along with which of the games you have. Tomorrow, either Mitch or I will add you and then invite you to a game that we set up at 2:30 PM CST. I’d say just to go ahead and send me a friend request, but that could just get chaotic as I have to clear some room out first. Rest assured that once I play with you I will more than likely leave you on it (since you’re from GamerSushi), unless you are a total jerk. If it turns out we get way too many people, we’ll just set up another day for the ones that don’t make it in to the best of our ability.

If you are a PC or PS3 person, we’ll have a new topic up soon for you guys to sign in on and we’ll decide there what games we’re playing and when. Let’s do this!

2010 Gaming Resolutions

Every year, New Year’s Resolutions are the big thing to do once January rolls around. People make fake promises to themselves in order to build their self esteem and generally and make them feel better. In general, they hope this mental self flagellation results in them being able to sleep better at night, if in fact it causes any betterment at all in their daily lives.

I’ve only had a very minimal experience with these self imposed restrictions or boundaries, but only this year were they actually a positive thing for my health. However, I wondered what it would be like to pen up a few resolutions that related to video games. Here’s what I came up with:
Continue reading 2010 Gaming Resolutions

Review: 1 vs 100, Season 1

1 vs. 100 FailHi folks. Just a quick introduction here… I’m Jeff, sometimes known as JJ, sometimes known as Unsquare. I’m the webmaster of the Smooth Few Films and Gamersushi sites. I’ve been getting back into gaming over the past year ever since I purchased myself an XBox 360, and I’ve been feeling the desire to contribute to this site a bit more now that I actually have opinions on games and such. Hopefully you’ll start seeing posts from me every once in a while. Can’t promise they’ll be as hilarious as Anthony’s Phantasy Star adventures, however.

Anyways, enough about me. Recently, Eddy, Nick and I have been playing a lot of 1 vs. 100 on Xbox Live. It’s a surprisingly addictive game, and if you haven’t already checked it out, it’s a great way to spend a few hours with some friends and seems ideally designed for the party system.

None of us have played it enough to make it into the Mob, let alone the hallowed position of The One, but considering the people who do make it to that top position, I have to wonder what exactly we’re doing wrong. In some ways, The One has been the only really disappointing part of the 1 vs. 100 experience.

Continue reading Review: 1 vs 100, Season 1

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

sacred21Since it’s a holiday weekend here in the States, I’m sure that many of you are getting to do some gaming over the last few days that you haven’t been able to do recently. For me, I’m loving a game called Sacred 2 right now, a hack-n-slash RPG that is absolutely HUGE. Seriously, my brother and I have played it for over 12 hours and haven’t even discovered 20 percent of the map yet. Awesome? Yes.

I’ll probably hit up some Halo Wars at some point and also some Valkyria Chronicles. I really need to nail that game down, finally. So what are you guys playing over the weekend? Go!

Homophobia On Xbox Live (and PSN)

9609The Consumerist is reporting that a woman who identified herself as a lesbian on her gamertag profile was banned from Xbox Live. In order to prevent offensive actions or harassment, Microsoft bans certain words, regardless of how they are used. This policy makes a certain degree of sense, but wasn’t the case:

The woman, who only goes by “Teresa,” claims that she was harassed by other XBL users. “They followed me into the games and told all the players to turn me in because they didn’t want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap. As if xbox live is really appropriate for kids anyways!” She goes on to say that her account was suspended. When she brought the issue up to Microsoft, the response was that other users found it “offensive.”

Simply saying you are gay, which has no affect on anyone you are playing online with, causes this kind of hatred. I think its really sad and it makes me ashamed that gamers treat people like this. Microsoft told MTV they are reconsidering their policy towards offensive words, which is good news.

Xbox Live and PSN are full of people who shout “faget” and other racist and homophobic terms. Gamers get so offended when someone portrays them as mouth-breathing neanderthals or violent-loving sickos, but this kind of portrayal doesn’t seem to bother most. I think its really wrong when people play a GAME and can’t even enjoy it without hatred and vitriol spewed at them.

This is Anthony, getting off his soapbox, in a bad mood because Morrissey canceled his concert, which was Anthony’s birthday gift.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled life.

GamerSushi Asks: What Remakes Do You Want?

10259finalfantasyviiorige5Remakes and ports of older games is really starting to become a trend in gaming. Square Enix alone must have a whole team dedicated to retreads of their older games. With the PSN’s PS1 Classics, Xbox Live Arcade and the Virtual Console, retro gaming has never been stronger.

But there are ports and there are remakes and there is a difference between the two. A port is simply porting a game from an older system to an existing system with little or no changes to the actual game. A remake is updating the graphics, translation, adding new story or gameplay elements and things of that nature.
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: What Remakes Do You Want?

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix…whew…Next Week!

PS3Fanboy is confirming what many have suspected: the Cloverfield monster-sized titled Super Street Fighter II HD Remix…sorry, exhausted from typing…will be released on the PSN on Tuesday the 25th of November with the Xbox Live versions coming the next day.

  Continue reading Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix…whew…Next Week!

Castle Crashers and Braid Bring Joy

So this weekend my goal was to get through a couple of new XBLA games, Castle Crashers and Braid. I’ve been hearing a lot of great stuff about both of these games, and I wanted to check them out, with hopes of reviewing them sometime in the next week or so.

As of right now, I’m completely thrilled with and loving both of these titles. It’s funny, because they’re the exact opposite of one another in terms of their playing styles. Braid is a puzzle game and Castle Crashers is an old school arcade beat-em-up a la The Simpsons or Streets of Rage.

Continue reading Castle Crashers and Braid Bring Joy

LEVEL UP! Call of Duty 4 Double XP Weekend 9/12-9/14!

Time to dust off that copy of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and kill some people online! According to Infinity Ward’s blog, IAMFOURZEROTWO, next weekend will be a double experience point frag fest for both PSN and Xbox Live.

Continue reading LEVEL UP! Call of Duty 4 Double XP Weekend 9/12-9/14!