Xbox 360

The Case Against Annualization

1 Dec 2011 | Posted by | 7 Comments

modern warfare 3As the end of this generation draws near we’re seeing an increase in the amount of franchises that are taking a stab at faster release cycles. Call of Duty has been pulling this trick for a while but even titles with a bigger scope like Assassin’s Creed and Dead Rising are trying to give us a new game every year.

The term “new game” may be a bit of a stretch because in the rush to meet the deadlines a lot of these titles are getting flak for not adding enough to previous iterations. While waiting years for a game may be painful, is it preferable to basically buying what equates to an expansion pack?

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Big Games of 2011 That You Missed?

26 Nov 2011 | Posted by | One Comment

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!

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing, Thanksgiving Edition

24 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 13 Comments

Halo CE Anniversary

Oh man. As cliche as it is to make a post on Thanksgiving about how much food you’ve eaten, I can’t help but do just that. I feel like I’m at least partially absolved of this crime because I ran a 10K this morning, but even then, I know I’ll still have to beg your forgiveness just a little bit.

All that to say: Happy Thanksgiving, dudes. I know not all of you are from our fat states, but I want to wish you all a good one either way. Maybe it’s because I’m food drunk, but I do want to say that I’m thankful for this community and for all of you. Shucks and stuff.

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to the good stuff. Naturally, holidays means video games for many of us. As for me, I’ve been playing lots of Skyrim (of course), but now that the holidays are underway, I’ve been struck by the nostalgia bug, as I knew I would be. This means I’ve got a sudden and intense hankering to play not only Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD, but also Halo: CE Anniversary and the MGS HD Collection. Christmas really can’t come soon enough.

So what about you guys? What are you playing this fine holiday weekend? Go!

Gorgeous Skyrim Time Lapse Video

21 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 3 Comments

You guys, Skyrim. Skyrim, guys.

I’m sorry that there are so many mentions of Skyrim happening on the ol’ Sushi, but it can’t be helped. I’m fully vested in this game and its world, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get away from it any time soon. It’s just one of those games that hits me in the right way (or the wrong way depending on how you look at it).

For anyone that has experienced it, you’ll understand when I say that Skyrim is a truly engaging world. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s one of video games most real-feeling worlds that I’ve ever played.

To prove it, I’m posting this gorgeous Skyrim time lapse video. Watch. And be amazed and stuff.

Saint’s Row the Third and My Growing Appreciation of Maturity in Games

21 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 7 Comments

saints row the third

One of the many games I bought last Tuesday was Saint’s Row the Third, Volition’s newest entry in the kill-crazy crime series. I’ve put a fair number of hours into it (not as much as Skyrim or even Sonic Generations), and I think I’ve come to a shocking conclusion based on how some of the game is making me feel: I’m growing up.

This post isn’t a knock against Saint’s Row’s content; I know it’s full of juvenile humor, diving nut punches and mind-controlling octopus cannons and it does that all very well and even manages to pull off some insane gameplay without it being contrived. Besides, I’d have to be a pretty big troll to call out Saint’s Row for being immature. No, I’m just finding that some of the ancillary quests feel kind of silly and I’m started to get repulsed by the idea of shooting cops and civilians.

Yes, the old tried-and-true stand-by of the GTA-style sandbox game, descending into unbridled mayhem, no longer holds the appeal for me that it once did. I was showing the game off to my roommate and after shooting a mascot dressed as an energy drink and doing the same to a couple cops, I got a funny feeling in my stomach. I know these cops are just pixles and animated rigs moving on my screen, but busting a cap in them doesn’t hold the same thrill it once used to.

Saint’s Row the Third is still fun and I heartily recommend it to anyone who played the second one and loved it, but I’m kind of moving past the “see how long you can kill cops for” type of sandbox play and coming to appreciate structure more. What about you guys? Do you sort of feel the same, or do you think I’m just an old man yelling at Saint’s Row from his porch? Has any other game made you feel this way?

10 Years of Halo

16 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 4 Comments

10 years of halo

The release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary yesterday also saw the passing of the franchises’ tenth year in existence. Yes that’s right, good old Halo is 10 years old, if you can believe it. It seems only yesterday that I was waiting for Reach to fall or finishing the fight, but there you have it. Halo has been such a fixture in my gaming life that I can’t really let this occasion pass by unnoticed.

I played Halo: Combat Evolved more than any other game, even Knights of the Old Republic 2, which absorbed a large part of my life. I played through the campaign on solo and co-op on every difficulty except for Easy, and I had dozens of LAN parties with friends, trying to to see who could out-pistol each other. It’s kind of amusing to me that the most iconic weapon in Halo’s history is reportedly a tweak that was put in by accident by a developer that more than doubled the pistol’s damage right before ship.

Halo 2 had almost as much of an impact on me; it was the first game I lined up at midnight for, and it also showed me that multiplayer could be done well on consoles. While I was still very much a PC player then, the fact that I could have a great experience on my TV was kind of revolutionary. Halo 2′s campaign was also pretty decent, story blunders and the fact that I would have to wait four more years to get a Halo game set entirely on Earth.

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GamerSushi Asks: Doomsday Tuesday Roll Call?

15 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 6 Comments

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Wow. I think out of all the days that could have decked us in the Fall, it was today that I was most worried about. As Mitch has lovingly dubbed it, Doomsday Tuesday happened today, and with it came a veritable salvo of gaming entertainment. Or horrors, if you’re concerned about what this means for your wallet.

While I’m no doubt going to leave somebody out, the big games that dropped today include Saint’s Row: The Third, Halo: CE Anniversary and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. So, yeah. Lots of stuff to play, I guess.

Rather than doing a slew of posts roll call-ing for each of these gems, I thought I’d put it all together in one post and just ask you straight up: which of these are you getting today? Are you getting any of them at all? As for me, I received Halo: CE Anniversary in the mail, and hope to add Saint’s Row: The Third and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations over time. But for now, Skyrim rules all.

So what about you dudes? Time to weight in on the roll call. Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Getting Your Attention?

13 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Skyrim Whiterun

At 10 hours into Skyrim, you’d think that I would be a walking bad ass by now. Townspeople would weep or cry out in joy at my passing. Animals would steer clear of my manly musk. Dragons would swoop down to bow before me in reverent awe. My weapons would sing with the crackle of lightning and the sharp hiss of steel and silver. In short, you would think that I’ve already started bending the world of Skyrim to my digital will.

Actually, I’m picking flowers just outside of Whiterun. You see, I’m trying to learn some new recipes and the properties of various ingredients for alchemy, just so I can sell some potions and make enough money on the side to buy a house. You know the type: a starter home, with a nice view of the Jarl’s place up on the hill. It’s quaint, but it’ll get me by long enough to stow all of my stolen items until I can contact someone in the Thieves’ Guild to purchase them for me. I might get around to that once I’ve searched the nearby brewery or taken a few more Smithing lessons up at the Skyforge. That’s just how I roll.

While none of those things sounds particularly exciting, they’ve somehow gotten me totally snared by Elder Scrolls V’s dark and fantastical clutches. Every preview of the game showed spellcasting, shield bashing, dragon shouting and dragon fighting. Yet all I’m doing is the mundane, the ordinary, the stuff that nobody in their right mind would do.

And I love it.

You see, I’ve got certain triggers when it comes to video games. Certain things that scratch just the right spot or catch me at just the right moment. This happens from time to time, and even though it shouldn’t surprise me, it still totally does. I wrote just a few weeks back about how Batman: Arkham City made me feel like a kid again. Skyrim is sort of similar, but there’s something more to it: it just has my attention.

I can’t really describe what it means when I say that a game has gotten my attention. The only mental image I have is of a small child, with a street performer snapping in front of him to hold his gaze while he does a sleight of hand routine. And I guess that’s what video games do to us. The best ones leave us transfixed, totally beholden to whatever spectacles are playing themselves out on the screen. I won’t declare Skyrim game of the year or say that it’s one of my favorites. But I will say that it’s already put me under its spell.

So my question to you guys is this: what does a game have to do to get your attention? What kinds of things tend to really suck you into a game and keep you from doing anything else? Does it have to have a good intro? A great story? Great mechanics? A combination of those things? What types of games tend to leave you obsessed? Go!

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Roll Call!

10 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 14 Comments

Skyrim

Goodbye, cruel world.

I am leaving you for better, greener pastures. Well, sometimes they’re greener. Sometimes they’re frozen tundras swarming with dragons. Other times they’re cavernous holds for bandits. It doesn’t really matter what they look like, all I know is that I’m going to the world of The Elder Scrolls, and I don’t know if I’ll ever return from those fair peaks and dark dungeons.

This could last awhile.

As you know, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is out tomorrow (or in just a few moments on the East Coast), and the world will never be the same. I for one plan on playing this game through the end of the year, forsaking all other suitors that plead for my time. With a ton of great, mostly perfect reviews out for the game, along with the reports that it will have never-ending sidequests, it almost seems like a no-brainer to pick this one up.

So I guess my question to you guys is this: who’s getting Skyrim? Roll call! Go!

Sonic Generations Actually Looks Fun

9 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 3 Comments

Sonic Generations

When I was a kid, I was a really big fan of Sonic the Hedgehog. I didn’t have a Nintendo system in my house until the 64, so that meant that I played the heck out of the old Sonic games all the way from the original to Sonic 3D Blast on the Saturn. It’s kind of a tired meme in our hobby that Sonic games have by and large been pretty terrible since the Dreamcast days, although some would argue that Sonic Adventure was decent. In the transition to 3D gameplay Sonic kind of lost his spark and SEGA has been trying desperately to get it back.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4 seemed poised to redeem the blue blur but after that tanked and we got that terrible Werehog abomination, I had kind of given up hope of seeing a good Sonic title in my time with gaming. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Sonic Generations, the newest title in the series, is quite fun and brings back a lot of the old conventions that made Sonic great.

You now play only as Sonic and not as any of his ridiculous anthropomorphic friends (although they can be accessed in challenges if you desire) and the game splits itself between the old 2D platforming of Classic Sonic and the crazy speed-runs of Modern Sonic. Gamer laureate TotalBiscut has a “WTF is” video up for Sonic Generations and if you’ve been on the fence about this game I recommend checking it out. He takes a look at the PC version (madness!) but I imagine the Xbox and PS3 SKUs are largely the same.

I think I’m going to pick this game up next week which brings the number of games I’m buying next Tuesday to an insane five. What about you guys? Any interest in picking this up? Did TotalBiscut’s video intrigue you?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Roll Call

8 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 8 Comments

call of duty modern warfare 3

As sure as the Fall brings cold weather, it also brings us a new Call of Duty game, this time from the all-star collaboration of Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 finally released today and as you might expect the reviews are generally favorable, although the Metacritic User Reviews currently sit at a hilarious 2.8.

I’m not able to pick up the game today, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting it, which is kind of an odd phenomenon with Call of Duty. Every year since Modern Warfare 2 I’ve told myself that I’m not buying this version, but I always buckle under. This time around it’s more to see if Infinity Ward can repair the story after what happened in MW2, but I’m also interested in trying out the multiplayer and Spec Ops modes.

So what about you guys? Did any of you pick up Modern Warfare 3? What are your thoughts so far?

Mass Effect 3 Leak and the Customizable Experience

6 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 10 Comments

mass effect 3 single player

Whoops.

So it seems that the other day, an error by Microsoft resulted in the testers of the new XBox 360 dashboard update being able to get their hands on an early build of Mass Effect 3. This accidental leak (which was meant for private internal testing) included portions of both the single player and multiplayer, some of which were missing sound and textures.

While this is certainly a bit of a goof, the more interesting part of the story is the menu that showed up for these players, which revealed something that we didn’t know about the game. Basically, it gave players the option for the single player game to choose to highlight certain components for their playthrough, each with an emphasis on different aspects. Here are the three choices:

  • Action Mode: For those who want to emphasize action and combat and minimize story management. Action mode will set automatic replies in conversation and a normal difficulty.
  • Story Mode: For those who want to emphasize story immersion and minimize combat pressure. Story mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a minimal combat difficulty.
  • RPG Mode: For those who want to explore both realms of story and combat. RPG mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a normal combat difficulty.

This seems like a direct response to the complaints that Bioware received about Mass Effect 2 being “dumbed down.” While none of this is final, it’s certainly an interesting way to tackle the problem – too many games these days try to be all things to all people, and it’s something that doesn’t always work. Bioware has responded to the leak, saying that these options will give players an even greater degree of control over their personal experience with the campaign.

What do you guys think of the idea of splitting the campaign into these different modes? At first glance, it appears to be a creative way to let each player get the Mass Effect 3 that they want. Give us your thoughts, though. Go!

Source – VG247

Review: Battlefield 3

4 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 6 Comments

battlefield 3 review

Here we are, folks: after months of waiting and watching trailers, Battlefield 3 has finally dropped, bringing DICE’s no-hold-barred attempt to kick Call of Duty square in its Modern Warnads to a head.

I haven’t really attempted to keep my excitement for the game a secret and I’m sure many of you have read the reviews on other sites and played the game, but now we get to have the official GamerSushi verdict. Having tucked into all three of Battlefield’s modes, I’m going to review them in a similar manner to Eddy’s Modern Warfare 2 review from two years ago, tackling the campaign and co-op first and hitting the multiplayer last. I’ll average the two scores as best I can, and that will be the final grade for Battlefield 3. All clear? Move out, solider!

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Grand Theft Auto V Debut Trailer

2 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 8 Comments

So this just happened. It’s kind of big news, I guess.

There’s not much to say about the Grand Theft Auto V trailer that you haven’t heard already. It’s been several years since GTA IV came out, and Rockstar definitely has a lot to live up to in terms of expectations. Do they rise to the occasion? I guess you can watch and find out.

So what are your reactions to the trailer? As much as I’m not a graphics guy, I have to say that the detail and the quality of the animations shown in the trailer are really impressive. It also seems to me that we’re back in Los Santos, though it’s hard to tell if it’s going to include the same amount of real estate that we saw in San Andreas.

While I’m curious to see more of this game, we all know that I wasn’t a huge fan of Grand Theft Auto IV, so they’ll have to show me something new and interesting to get me more pumped for this than I am for Saint’s Row 3. That’s just my opinion, though. Let’s hear yours. Go!

Corridor Digital Gives Battlefield 3 a Jolt with Shock Troopers

31 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Ever since Battlefield 3 came out last week (I bet you thought I would stop writing about it, eh?) I’ve been kind of obsessed with the multiplayer portion. Seriously, you guys, it’s quite good and I’d say it’s going to end up as the best of the year. One thing I’m lamenting about the multiplayer, though is that defibrillators can no longer be used to kill your enemies. I’d say this is a serious oversight on DICE’s part, because killing people with defibs kind of feels like this:

I’m kind of a huge fan of Corridor Digital’s work, so expect to see more of their gaming related stuff on here. What did you guys think of the video? Any thoughts on BF3′s multiplayer?

When do Video Games Have too Much Content?

28 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 6 Comments

riddler-arkham-city

Between bouts of Battlefield 3 multiplayer, I’ve been going back into Arkham City to try and collect all the Riddler trophies and challenges into order to finish off his sidequest and save those poor doctors. Now, if you’re not familiar with this particular aspect of the game, the Riddler has captured five doctors and hidden them all over Arkham City and the only way he’ll allow you to save them is by collecting 400 plus trophies and riddles and combat challenges. It also doesn’t help that he’s kind of a dick and taunts you the entire way through.

Now, I’m not one to shy from completing any game to 100% (that’s become a bit of a running joke around here) but even I think 400 something collectibles is a little much. I mean, they’re not incredibly well hidden, but just the sheer volume of the things makes this a daunting task. This is a problem endemic to open world games where I imagine the developer is kind of tempted to hide these things all over to justify the massive game worlds (although Call of Duty has hidden collectibles as well).

So here’s the thing: while I don’t blame Rocksteady for having Riddler challenges in the game, I just think there’s too damn many. No offense to the guys who went in and designed and placed all of these things, but didn’t they break 200 and start thinking “wow, we’ve sure put in a lot of these things. Maybe we should stop?”. Have you guys run into a similar sort of fatigue with collectibles, or just games with a lot of content? Which game was it? How are you getting along with the Riddler challenges?

Eight Video Game Glitches That Will Give You Nightmares

27 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 2 Comments

video game glitches

Glitches are part and parcel of any software experience, but there are a few that stand above the rest. The comedy alchemists over at Cracked have put together a list of eight horrifying video game glitches that are sure to terrify the wits out of you. Red Dead Redemption and the notoriously buggy Fallout: New Vegas are on the list but there are a couple on here from games that I never even knew about that are pretty freaky.

The “manimals” from Red Dead Redemption received a lot of attention after the games release and I’ve seen plenty of glitches in Fallout: New Vegas besides the one listed, but the creepy Watson glitch really caught me off guard. The talking bodies from Call of Duty was something I hadn’t seen before either.

Have you guys seen these specific glitches before? Got any other disturbing ones you one to share?

Source – Cracked

Battlefield 3 Roll Call

26 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 12 Comments

battlefield 3 roll call

Ten-hut soliders, Battlefield 3 has finally hit and we need to know who here has donned their war faces and are hunting for dog tags. I played a bit of co-op and multiplayer last night and I’ve got to say, every concern I had with the Beta has been addressed and then some. While the co-op is a little bland in its design (still fun, though), multiplayer brings the game back to the feel that Battlefield 2 had, and that’s giant 64-player battles, tanks, helicopters and jets all mingling with infantry warfare. More than once I said that a few maps felt like Strike at Karkand, and this is a very good thing.

I didn’t have any problems with Battlelog or any in-game stuff either, so I’m pretty impressed with how DICE managed to iron that all out. There was a bit of lag on the servers, but that’s to be expected of a launch-day game (and it was actually working, unlike Bad Company 2 at launch). Joining a game with a party is now pretty effortless and if you happen to get separated there’s an actual in-game Squad browser now. There’s a “Command Rose” too, but I don’t think it’s entirely functional right now as you can’t call for ammo or health and your character doesn’t shout out the message you select.

So, is anyone else playing Battlefield 3? What system are you on? What are your thoughts on the three different modes? Go go go!

Review: Batman: Arkham City

25 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 5 Comments

batman arkham city review

2009′s Batman: Arkham Asylum was not just a landmark title because it was really, really good, it’s also one of the very few games in recent memory to take a super-hero license and use it well. Arkham Asylum was a faithful adaptation of the Caped Crusader, one where players actually felt like they were Batman as opposed to just slapping his moniker on a bland brawler and calling it a day.

Developers Rocksteady clearly have a deep love for the Dark Knight and when the follow up title Batman: Arkham City was announced last year at Spike’s Video Game Awards fans eagerly began salivating at the prospect of another chance to be Batman. Did Rocksteady follow up Arkham Asylum with a worthy successor or should they be locked up?

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Finding New Thrills in Gaming in 2011

23 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 8 Comments

Confession time, gents and ladies. Playing Batman: Arkham City makes me feel like a kid again, and I don’t really care who knows it. As of right now, it’s my game of the year. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

Arkham City Concept Art

But first, there’s something you may have already guessed about me, but I thought I should confess that as well: sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. I always try to look at the brighter side of things, but in this day and age, the overwhelming cynical voice of the Internet can be a bit of a bog that all of us get stuck in. Especially when it comes to gaming.

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