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Pixel Count: Most Anticipated November Release

29 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

It’s time for the next generation of video game consoles to arrive! As we say good-bye to October and hello to November, it’s time to check out the latest releases, both current-gen and next-gen, that are hitting stores this month. Personally, I didn’t buy anything in October except Pokemon because I was too busy with GTA V. But now, with the new consoles coming, I am ready for more. And November has plenty to keep us all satiated. Hit the poll below and meet me after the jump for analysis:

Most Anticipated November Release

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GamerSushi Asks: Do Games Always Need to Innovate?

26 Oct 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

batman arkham origins

With the release of Batman: Arkham Origins yesterday, the series, which has smashed all of our pre-conceived notions of what a licensed game should be, saw its first release away from the careful hand of Rocksteady, the developers of the first two titles. While the general consensus in the reviews is that the game more or less matches the quality of Asylum and City, Warner Bros. Montreal didn’t do enough to innovate this time around, and the game was docked points for that in some outlets.

Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were both fantastic games, one of which will probably rank among the greatest games of the past generation. Since Arkham Origins hews so closely to the previous games that it’s more or less indistinguishable from Rocksteady’s work (for the most part), should Warner Bros. Montreal get flack for not innovating? This is a series with sky-high expectations by this point, throwing a new developer into the mix and asking them to completely rethink the Arkham series while at the same time trying to live up to Rocksteady’s work is quite the herculean task.

While innovation in some games is necessary, the Batman: Arkham series is about as close to perfect as games come, for the most part. Should Warner Bros. Montreal have been expected to think outside the box, or were they well within their rights to take as many pages out of Rocksteady’s book as possible? Should all gaming sequels be innovative, or is it OK to just have more of the same every one and a while?

Sad News: Watch Dogs Delayed Until 2014

16 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Watch Dogs

Ugh. In what I’d call more of a gut punch than actual news, Ubisoft announced via its blog yesterday that Watch Dogs, slated for a release this fall, will be pushed back until Spring 2014.

The reason? They want to make the game better, and to deliver more of a truly next gen experience. From Gary Steinman, Ubisoft’s community manager:

Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”

So, yeah. This is pretty disappointing for me, as Watch Dogs was the one game I really wanted play on my PlayStation 4 this fall. Now, the thing may just be a paperweight until February, when InFamous comes out. Unless I *shudder* decide to play Assassin’s Creed 4 instead.

Who else is bummed by this? What games will you be playing this fall? Go!

Source – UbiBlog

Mini-Review: The Wolf Among Us, Episode 1

14 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

The Wolf Among Us

Telltale Games just released the first part of their follow-up to our favorite game of 2012, The Walking Dead, and I think it’s safe to say they’re still in the zone and only getting better. The Wolf Among Us is a prequel to Bill Willingham’s long-running Fables series, which focuses on the lives of creatures from fables, stories and legends who escaped from their home world into the “real world” and are hiding their true identities from the “mundies” around them. The main character of the game and comics is Bigby Wolf, formerly known as The Big Bad Wolf, now reformed and working in human form as sheriff for the Fables community. He’s gruff, dangerous, and chain-smokes his way through the entire game.

Knowledge of the comics isn’t necessary to enjoy The Wolf Among Us, but reading them will help you catch a few references here and there. Readers of the comics may also be interested to know that the game is considered canonical. The first episode sets up a noirish murder mystery occurring about twenty years before the start of the comics, in the sleazy, neon-filled 1980s. The art style and music are pitch-perfect for the material; as soon as the game loaded up, I already knew I was going to love the music, and by the end I was ready to drop money on a soundtrack album (not that one exists right now, of course). It took me just over two hours to finish the first episode, and I’m already considering replaying it so that I can try different options.

In some ways I think I might actually prefer this first episode of The Wolf Among Us to The Walking Dead. Shocking, I know. Part of it is that The Wolf Among Us builds on and refines the style first perfected in the previous game. The same tense dialog choices are there, as are the split-second decisions and visceral quick-time events, but the art and music are even better, and the world of Fables is far weirder than anything in The Walking Dead. That extra bit of oddity piled on top of a gritty mystery is right up my alley. Several reviews I’ve read call out the fact that Bigby doesn’t have a moral compass like Clementine to influence his decisions, and it’s definitely true that this makes Bigby’s world that much more of a moral grey area. If you liked The Walking Dead, you should definitely check out The Wolf Among Us.

GamerSushi Asks: Online Launch Issues?

11 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

GTA Online Heist

Grand Theft Auto Online launched 10 days ago and it only now seems to have reached a stable state, much to the dismay of people with amnesia. For the rest of us, we all knew it would be a disaster, as we have seen this movie many times before and starring companies who have far more experience and know-how with online games than Rockstar does. Hell, if Blizzard can’t get it right with Diablo III, what chance does anyone else have?

That being said, it is pretty messed up that we can’t expect to play something we bought for on the day it launches: from Simcity to Call of Duty, the first day and even week can be a symphony of frustration to any gamer who dares dip their toe into the online world. How does this make you feel? Do you get angry at this or have you come to a place of serene acceptance, as I have? Are these just the breaks or should companies go out of their way to compensate their customers, as Rockstar is doing now with the bribe, I mean, gift of $500,000 for GTA Online? Should they stagger allowing certain timezones access or would that make you angry knowing that people on the East Coast are already playing while you have to wait a few more hours? Speak now or forever hold your peace!

GamerSushi Power Rankings: October 2013

7 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Gta 5 banner

A new challenger arrives!

Several new challengers, actually. Now that the fall is rolling out like AutoBots, it’s safe to say that our Power Rankings chart is going to undergo quite a few transformations of its own, month-to-month. See what I did there? References!

This month sees several new contenders making a debut on the rankings, from mobile games to indie titles and to arguably the biggest blockbuster of the entire year in Grand Theft Auto V. Yes, this venture into Los Santos and San Andreas has stolen our hearts, making us forget all of the abuse that Rockstar dished out in Grand Theft Auto IV. We’re fickle beasts.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 games we’ve been playing over the last month. What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing? Go!

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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Will Let You Rate Missions

2 Oct 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

assassins creed 4 rate mission feature

Shiver me timbers, potential Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag players! For the upcoming pirate-themed sequel, you will be able to rate missions on a five-star scale, helping Ubisoft build better content going forward.

This is a neat move by the company, and one that open-world games in general can greatly benefit from. While this system (like anything you give to gamers at large) is open to abuse, the fact that you can directly give developers feedback on what you thought about a given mission is an exciting prospect. This feature is entirely optional and at the end of a given mission a small box will pop up on the lower right of the stats screen, allowing you to assign a one-to-five star rating.

Open-world game mission design has gotten a lot better since the start of this generation, but for some reason we still have follow missions, or escort quests. Also, I would appreciate the ability to go back and give all of Assassin’s Creed 3 one out of five stars.

What do you guys think about this? Is it a good move for Ubisoft? Does it seem like we’re beta-testing mission design? Go!

Source – Polygon

Getting Addicted to Grand Theft Auto V

30 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Grand Theft Auto V

Guys, I have a confession.

You see, in the last couple of weeks I’ve developed a bit of an addiction. Every day at work, my mind is driven by thoughts of drugs, violence, theft, mayhem and destruction. At night my actions are guided by these impulses, and I disappear into the dark underbelly of my psyche to participate in grotesque fantasies, some of which leave people bloodied and battered.

Of course, I’m talking about Grand Theft Auto V here, Rockstar’s record-breaking new game that puts you in the shoes of the retired thief Michael, the up-and-coming gangster Franklin and the maniacal, homicidal addict Trevor. I can’t get enough of it.

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The GamerSushi Show, Ep 75: Millions of Beeches

29 Sep 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

gamersushi show ep 75 gta 5

We’re back after a week break, but can you blame us? We needed time to digest Rockstar’s latest magnum opus, GTA 5. As you can imagine, a large portion of the cast is taken up by this game, but we only talk up to the first heist, so there’s not a huge risk of spoilers.

Other than that we talk Valve’s Steam announcements (outside of the Steam controller that hadn’t been revealed yet), I heap some love on Nintendo for the Wii U and Windwaker HD and the fact that Apple payed EA to give them the exclusive launch of Plants vs Zombies 2, and apparently that’s a big deal?

Anyways, you know the drill by now, listen, rate and come back next week (hopefully) for another installment of the GamerSushi Show!

0:00 – 6:27 Intro
6:28 – 21:40 SteamOS, Steam Machines
21:42 – 26:58 Next Gen Transfers
26:59 – 31:09 Wii U and Wind Waker HD
31:10 – 37:25 EA and Apple “Non-troversy”
37:26 – 1:01:07 GTA 5
1:01:08 – 1:03:48 Outro

GTA V Myths Are Up All Night To Get Busted

25 Sep 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

The white whale has landed: Grand Theft Auto V has been in our hot little hands for over a week now and with the white whale comes the white lies: people making up all manner of tall tales, the kind that spread through message boards and social media like a digital Ebola virus. In the old days, outrageous claims were difficult to confirm. You had to try it yourself, usually several thousand times while wondering if you were following that jerk on the playground’s instructions exactly or if he was just a being a tool.

Thankfully, in this age of Youtube, we can test out some of these myths and legends for ourselves. And that’s just what DefendTheHouse has done on its Youtube channel: they’ve rounded up some of the biggest GTA myths out there and set about to prove them true or false. From towing a pursuing police car to stabbing a shark while underwater, these myths get put to the test. My personal favorite is the one about a car’s backfire igniting a gasoline trail. Little details like that really make the game stand out.

So take a look at the video below and tell us about your favorite video game myths, from GTA and from other games. Remember: busting makes you feel good. Go!

Source: DefendTheHouse

Pixel Count: Prequel Passions?

24 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Prequels are all the rage these days. A word that used to hold little meaning before Star Wars made it commonplace in the 90s, prequels now span every medium of entertainment, from movies to video games and TV. For every Breaking Bad, there’s a Better Call Saul, for every Deus Ex, there’s a Human Revolution, and so on.

With Batman: Arkham Origins dropping next month, one of the more popular video game franchises in recent years is getting its own prequel treatment, putting us in the shoes of a younger, less experienced Dark Knight. While I’ve no reason to be suspicious of the game at all, I admittedly find it hard to get excited about not taking a step forward in the mythology, seeing as how I love where the story seemed to be heading with Arkham City. Likewise, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, while looking mighty impressive, sort of kills my desire to see its story unfold since we’ve already seen how the whole thing ends — and let’s not even mention that there’s a new voice for the iconic Snake.

So today’s Pixel Count focuses on prequels. Do you love them or hate them? Are you indifferent? Go!

What do you think of prequels?

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Pixel Count: The Review Game?

17 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Welp, it’s Grand Theft Auto V week here on the Internet, so you can guess what we’re talking about.

Despite our many, many grievances about Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto V has managed to charm me over the last few weeks. I have to give credit to Rockstar for the way that they’ve managed the flow of information about this game, from the screenshots to the trailers to the details about GTA Online. It’s created a bit of a frenzy for a game I never wanted to play, to the point where all this week I’ve been salivating over reviews.

Which leads me to today’s Pixel Count. We’ve all got our methods about how we choose our games, or how we rate them before we’ve played them. I wanted to know how you guys get a sense of a game when it releases. Vote and tell us more in the comments!

Who Do You Listen to When a Game Comes Out?

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GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

13 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Saint's Row 4

Sushians! The dreaded fall abyss approaches.

You know, the one that we’re all going to disappear into while we’re busy playing games. The first harbinger of doom comes in the form of one Grand Theft Auto V, which somehow is only a few days away. I’m not really sure how that happened, but I’m not complaining about it. After that, we’ll have games like Watch Dogs, Batman: Arkham Origins, AC IV, Battlefield 4 and then some.

But before all that, what are you guys playing right now? To prepare myself for battle at the moment, I’ve been diving into Saint’s Row IV, trying to finish it in a mad dash just in time for GTA V. I’m also trying to wrap up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and hope to knock out Call of Juarez: Gunslinger sometime in the near future as well… but my eyes are often bigger than my stomach when it comes to gaming.

So what about you guys? What are you playing while you await the inevitable fall madness? Go!

Emotional Simplicity in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

9 Sep 2013 | Posted by | No Comment

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

In the last few years, some of the most striking, emotional experiences I’ve had in games have come from stripped down, simple titles. Titles like Journey or Bastion, which give the player one simple goal, and execute the carrying out of that goal in a skillful, artful manner.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new title from Starbreeze Studios which does just that. The best way to describe Brothers is that it’s a single player co-op game, one in which you control two brothers simultaneously, with each analog stick on a controller, along with its triggers. While it sounds simple enough, trying to solve puzzles with two characters at the same time can be a decent enough challenge of your dexterity and brainpower.

But the more striking thing is how much the game conveys with no dialogue whatsoever, just gameplay.

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An Open-World Game Draws Near! Command?

9 Sep 2013 | Posted by | One Comment

New Vegas Melee

Open-world games are hugely popular. Ever since Grand Theft Auto III, it seems most franchises try to take a stab at it at least once, with mixed results. The masters of the genre are the ones that give you so many things to do that you become paralyzed by the freedom of choice. Although sometimes this can be a good thing. If everything is fun, then maybe you just do whatever is nearest to you, until eventually you have done it all.

The point is, there are many ways to approach open-world games. Grand Theft Auto V is drawing close and I will be anxious to see if they are able to give us enough tasks to keep us busy, as they failed to do in GTA IV. I am currently playing Fallout: New Vegas in the meantime and I am taking a slightly different approach to the game than I have in the past. When I play Skyrim, Oblivion or Fallout 3, I tend to avoid the main quest as much as possible, doing all the side tasks that I can until I am suddenly weary of the game and then I race through the main story as fast as possible before the game drives me insane.

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PAX Prime 2013 Round-Up

4 Sep 2013 | Posted by | 4 Comments

pax prime 2013

I’m back from four days of video games, panels and D&D down in Seattle, the home of PAX Prime. My shoulders are sore, my eyes are aching because of expose to dim lighting and bright neon and I can’t feel my feet, but I had an awesome time checking out some unreleased games.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I saw, I what I thought of it!

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Rockstar Reveals GTA Online

17 Aug 2013 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Damn you, Rockstar.

My hatred of Grand Theft Auto IV has not been exaggerated or underreported in the slightest over the last few years. While Liberty City was gorgeous to look at through Niko’s eyes, I found it to be a dull, tedious place that I hardly cared about, or cared to be a part of.

But dang, does Grand Theft Auto V look different. In addition to a campaign that looks to mix up the formula with three protagonists, Rockstar’s newest iteration of the popular series is taking the multiplayer in a different direction than ever before by way of Grand Theft Auto Online, a persistent world where you and up to 15 others can heist, race, deathmatch, build and generally unleash havoc together. I’ll let the video do the rest of the gushing.

Grand Theft Auto Online releases on October 1, and is free with every retail version of GTA V. What do you guys think? Am I jumping too far into the hype train? Have I been burned too many times to take another chance?

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: August 2013

5 Aug 2013 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Dark Souls

Another month, another update to the rankings. This time, we’re seeing not only movement in our backlogs, but movement in a few games that we managed to stick with from one month to the next. Imagine that!

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Minerva Help Me, This New Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Trailer is Awesome

24 Jul 2013 | Posted by | 5 Comments

I think that I’ve been pretty vocal in my condemnation of Assassin’s Creed 3 over the past year. I thought it was barren, janky, scatterbrained and didn’t fit the mold of what I’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game. In short, it left me wary of future installments in the franchise.

Since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was announced a few months ago, I’ve been rather lukewarm about it. Sure, it capitalizes on the best part of AC3, the naval battles, but being a successor to that game would it travel the same dark road? This new gameplay video narrated by game director Ashraf Ismail shows how closely Assassin’s Creed IV is hewing to the older games and what’s changed for the next adventure.

I’ve got to admit, Black Flag is looking pretty solid. The naval combat has had a tactical layer added on to it with the spyglass, and the return of free-form assassination contracts rubs me in all the right ways. So what do you guys think? Does Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag look like it has some promise, or are appearances deceiving?

Returning to Dark Souls

22 Jul 2013 | Posted by | 12 Comments

Dark Souls Gargolyes

After Skyrim, I thought to myself, what’s the most stressful, rage-inducing experience I could put myself through? Naturally, a trip to the DMV was my first choice but there were no appointments available. So I went with the next best thing: Dark Souls. The only difference being, with Dark Souls, there is a chance, albeit slim, that I could end up feeling good about myself.

I didn’t quite finish it back when it came out, so I deleted my save and started anew. Thankfully, my skills had not atrophied over time and I quickly cut my way through the first few areas. Even the bosses that once gave me fits found themselves bowing to my mighty sword. The rush you get when clearing an area is like few in gaming. No Achievement or Trophy has ever made me feel the sense of accomplishment that I got when I finally dropped the Capra Demon in the Lower Undead Burg. My next stop is the infamous Blighttown, an area that I have heard horror stories about.

Have you ever stopped a game for a really long period of time and when you came back, you find that you are somehow really good at it now? This happened to me with Pac-Man, as well. I sucked as a kid, but as an adult, I can usually get the high score. Just like I did during GamerSushi Weekend. Seriously, ask the guys, they will tell you. I even called it beforehand, too.

So what about you? What games have you stopped and then picked up again later without missing a beat? Have you stopped a game and then discovered when you come back to it that you have no idea how to play anymore? Do you plunge through or restart?