Some of the other writers here at GamerSushi may fall into the category of gamers who would agree that developers “just don’t make ‘em like they used to.” With plenty of respectably aging gamers out there who grew up on games that made today’s “Veteran” difficulty look like child’s play, it’s no wonder a change was bound to happen. The crew over at Irrational Games, makers of the BioShock series, is introducing a new level of difficulty in BioShock Infinite with “1999 Mode.” This mode is designed to “challenge players in a variety of ways – each requiring substantial commitment and skill development.” But what does this mean exactly?
I’m an old school gamer. We wanted to make sure we were taking into account the play styles of gamers like me. So we went straight to the horse’s mouth by asking them, on our website, a series of questions about how they play our games. 94.6 percent of respondents indicated that upgrade choices enhanced their BioShock gameplay experience; however, 56.8 percent indicated that being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better.” – Kevin Levine, Creative Director
The idea behind 1999 Mode is to make players think much harder about the decisions they make while playing the game. Gone will be the day of rushing in like Rambo without thinking. Players will have to deal with each and every one of their choices – sometimes permanently. This new game mode will also force the player to pick specializations and focus on them. The new mode will also have “demanding” stat requirements including health, power and your weaponry. Respawning will also be much tougher, with players experiencing the old school “Game Over” screen if they don’t have sufficient resources to get back into the action.
So what do you guys think of this new game mode? With games like Call of Duty, where players can charge through recklessly, will BioShock Infinite’s new approach change the way we approach single player campaigns? I can certainly see this sticking with certain types of games. How about you guys? Will we see more of this in games, or can today’s youth not handle the challenge?
After the long-awaited arrival of last week’s video podcast, many of you expressed your wishes that we not wait so long before the release of the next one. Well, for the first time in my life, I’m afraid I won’t be disappointing all of you – here’s a brand new podcast, fully of shiny gaming stories, GamerSushi memes and all kinds of other wonders.
This podcast brought us the monumental task of trying to recap an entire season’s worth of games, ranging from Bastion all the way to Skyrim. We used this as an excuse to try out a new game, Lightning Round, and I think all of you are going to be happy with the results. It was a nice way to run down a staggering list of games in a way that didn’t take 87 podcasts and two years of our blabbering to cover.
In addition, we played a game of Buy or Sell with a number of industry topics. Like we do. Listen up and enjoy, friends.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, or worse, terribly cliche – I want to take a moment and gripe about sequel-itis in video games. No, I’m not against sequels. And yes, I understand that in a time where AAA games cost big bucks to develop, publishers want to go with surefire hits instead of taking chances on new IPs. All of that’s fine. But what I can’t forgive is when this sequel-itis starts affecting stories negatively.
Take Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, for instance. I’m sure all of you will think I hate this game after posting a couple of negative critiques about it, but it’s more that Revelations’ negatives shine so outrageously because the game itself plays so well – and in some ways is a perfection of the Assassin’s Creed formula. I’m going to have to be as spoiler careful as possible here, but AC: Brotherhood ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. OK, that’s an understatement – it ended on a double scoop of cliffhanger with a major sprinkle of WTF. Part of the lure of Revelations is that it was supposed to give you some of the answers about both Desmond and Ezio that were left hanging at the end of Brotherhood.
The problem is, Revelations ends in much the same way. The cliffhanger isn’t so bad compared to Brotherhood, but the “answers” they finally give you only lead to a dizzying array of questions. No explanation is given for some of the really bizarre things you see in the climax of this game, after the entire narrative kept assuring you that the time for answers was coming soon.
This post was actually written by Eddy, posted by Nick. Just to clear up any confusion.
Wow. Uh, hi dudes. I know it hasn’t been a long time since we’ve chatted, but it’s certainly been a long time since we’ve chatted in this format – you know, the format where I’m bringing you a brand new podcast. So that’s pretty cool, right? Especially considering the fact that this isn’t a normal podcast, but a special video podcast!
Yes, this is the long-rumored video podcast from GamerSushi Weekend, AKA PAX South, where the GamerSushi dudes convened for a weekend of hanging out, video gaming, drinking and yes, podcasting. I know it’s pretty ridiculous that it’s just now coming out almost six months later, but sometimes life happens and bearded dudes have to go to California to work. And yeah, that gets in the way every now and then.
I should be over the annual Assassin’s Creed formula that Ubisoft has set into motion this generation. Sure, Assassin’s Creed 2 and Brotherhood both happened to be great games, but there’s no way that lightning can strike three times, right? That’s the gamble that we take by playing yearly re-hashes, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is no different.
So far, I’m actually enjoying the game quite a bit. It’s kind of a rinse and repeat job, but the promise of learning Desmond’s fate and seeing the close of the Ezio storyline certainly has me hooked, and I like to see Ezio as a bit of a grim, grizzled old man, complete with salt-and-pepper beard and all. To Ubisoft’s credit, they’ve done what they could to mix the gameplay up, but unfortunately, some of these additions are where the game’s cracks are most evident.
I’ve never been a guy that gets all that into competitive gaming. Sure, it’s fun to watch some skilled players go at it from time to time, but I’d rather just sit down and play the thing myself. Up until the recent bouts of watching pro StarCraft 2 players, I’ve never understood why someone could sit and watch someone else play a game for hours. I just assumed StarCraft 2 was different because of the level of the players.
All that changed over Christmas break, when I discovered Siglemic on Twitch TV. You see, Siglemic is a Super Mario 64 player. And not just any Super Mario 64 player – he’s the recent world record holder for a 120-star speed run. I watched in awe over most of the break to see him capture this record, and sat there for a number of failed attempts as he dodged, dove and ran impressively through the game’s many challenges in just under 2 hours.
I’m not sure if it’s just the joy of seeing Super Mario 64 in motion again that had me so enthralled, the skill of Siglemic, or both. But needless to say, I’m fascinated with watching people stream themselves playing through old games right now. I think part of the fun of this is just experiencing some nostalgia with thousands of people (Siglemic had up to 7000 people at a time watching him try to beat the record) all at the same time. Ever since then, I’ve been checking out people playing through Final Fantasy VII, IX, X and even Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4. And somehow it’s riveting.
Have you guys ever checked out streaming games on Twitch TV? What game would it take to get you hooked on speed runs? Go!
Alright folks, here’s part two of GamerSushi Votes 2011, and this time we’re tackling the solo aspect of gaming. While this might have a bigger overlap with the typical “Game of the Year” criteria, you can have an awesome single-player experience with pretty crappy multiplayer, like Dead Space 2, for example.
I’m going to put what I think are the most popular and well-recieved single-player games of 2011 in the poll below, but if you have any other suggestions, please tell us in the comments! While the GamerSushi crew (and me in particular) do try to give every game a fair shake, sometimes we miss stuff, so if there’s a game that your want to represent, go ahead. I know we have a few supporters of The Witcher 2, but what other games caught your fancy?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but 2011 was a monumental year for video games. The last four months alone have given us some of the finest gaming experiences of the last few years. Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City are still vying for my personal Game of the Year slot, but even with these two juggernauts on my mind it’s hard to forget the games that were smaller but still managed to pack a big punch.
My biggest surprise of 2011 was Sonic Generations, the return to form for the Blue Blur that we’ve been waiting for ever since Sonic Adventure 2. There are no Werehogs (which I love to point out smugly is a misnomer, as “were” means “male human”, so “Wolfhog” would have been more appropriate), no goofy side-kick levels and no swordplay. It’s just straight up speed in classic or modern flavors and I kind of love it for that. If you’ve been hesitant about Generations, it gets my personal seal of approval. It’s not Game of the Year contender material, but it’s a solid title that earns its praise.
Another game that caught me off guard this year was Magicka, the isometric magic-casting game that took the PC world by storm. This game took co-op and turned it on its head by making your friends not only your greatest allies but your biggest threat as well. Four out of the five GS crew members played a night of Magicka and it was a howling good time, even if it did turn me into a raging asshole.
Rayman Origins also gets a nod from me as a sleeper hit, but what about you guys? What were your big 2011 games that no one’s talking about?
I’ve got plenty of gaming-related secrets. A few of them I’ve shared before, but some are so embarrassing that I dare not ever let them see the light of day. These include times that I spent hours going about a task the wrong way in an RPG, re-rolling characters and bumping certain games down to easier difficulties because there were no achievements associated with finishing it on Normal. Yup.
And while I won’t speak directly about some of those things, the guys over at Wiki Game Guides have put together a rather humorous (and sadly familiar) collection of the 10 Most Humbling Experiences that a gamer can go through. This list might make you laugh and cry all at once, because it includes getting “perfected” in a fighting game, being asked to switch to Bass in Rock Band and running into the first Goomba in Mario 1-1. Each of those may have happened to me at some point. In a past life. I don’t like to talk about it.
So what about you guys? How many of these things have you experienced? What are some of your biggest gaming shames?
In 2009, the release of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves not only solidified the series as a noteworthy entry into the current generation — it also gave the PlayStation 3 its first must-have franchise. On top of winning numerous game of the year awards, Uncharted 2 became the standard that other modern action games are judged against, most notably in terms of its voice acting, writing and unbelievable set pieces.
For two long years, gamers have waited for the follow-up to Naughty Dog’s smash hit, and in a year of other contenders, a question mark has hung over Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Could it live up to the earth-shattering release of its predecessor? And even more unthinkable: could it surpass it? In this unique GamerSushi review, a number of the GS staff weighs in for a consolidated effort to analyze one of the year’s most anticipated titles.
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!
I’ve been trying to save some of my opinions about Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (or Decepticons if you’re feeling especially nerdy) for our upcoming review of the game, but I couldn’t help myself on this one. As fun as the game can be, I had major problems with it’s shooting mechanics, which felt a bit spastic and dare I say broken in comparison to Uncharted 2′s excellent gunplay. When I first started playing the game, I couldn’t tell if my skills had diminished, or if I was just a crazy person, but something felt… off. This became even more apparent when Anthony tried a run of some multiplayer, where the shooting mechanics felt much better, and vastly different from their singleplayer counterpart.
Apparently I’m not the only one. It seems that quite a few Uncharted fans, both on Naughty Dog’s website and NeoGAF, have taken to drafting charts, filming comparison videos and dissecting the difference between Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3′s gunplay. The main offender is a strange bit of input lag, plus a snap-to grid for diagonal aiming that isn’t present in Uncharted 2.
While all of that is typical for the Internet, the interesting part of the story is that Naughty Dog listened and tried to figure out the difference themselves… but couldn’t. So they then asked several of the outspoken NeoGAF posters to come into the studio to present their case firsthand. As a result, Naughty Dog is working on a patch that allows players to choose between the mechanics of each game for the singleplayer campaign.
How about that for listening to your community? I really have to commend Naughty Dog for hearing the complaints and addressing them, although I don’t understand how they couldn’t figure out the difference between two of their own games. Have any of you played Uncharted 3? Any issues with the aiming? And what do you think of this move by Naughty Dog? Go!
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!
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?
OK, we’ve seen some absolutely wild, are-you-freaking-kidding-me type promotional stunts pulled for games quite a bit in the last few years. Hearing about the new, wacky schemes that these companies will go to in order to win over some fans or promote their games is starting to become old hat. We’re sort of used to these antics by now.
You see, Kevin Butler (or Sony, if you want to be uppity about it), VP of everything PS3, is offering gamers $10,000 for whoever can hold out their arms the longest via webcam. Yes, really.
The “Uncharted 3: Grab the Ring” contest rewards those with superior arm-holding stamina up to $500 each day (for the winner of the day) and $10,000 for the overall best time. The current champion at the moment has done so for over 2 hours.
Normally our daily WTFs are things that we think are appalling, but this one is just plain silly. I really don’t have much of an opinion on it. So yeah. Get to those webcams if you want in on this ridiculous promotion. Any takers?
My insider sources tell me: pretty good. Actually, I don’t have any insider sources, I just go by wild reports I read on the Internet. And we all know how trustworthy those things can be.
The much ballyhooed sequel to the critically acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (our first S review, if you’ll recall) drops into eager PS3 disc drives next week after months of hype regarding both the single player and multiplayer outings. After such a successful release, Uncharted 3 represents a huge challenge for Naughty Dog, especially in a day and age where everyone expects to be wowed with each new title.
As far as the reviews go, it seems that Naughty Dog has certainly risen to the occasion. You can obviously judge that for yourselves from the following reviews, but so far it sounds to me that while Uncharted 3 is more of the same, what it offers is a really great experience with tons of content.
It’s worth noting that the last link to Eurogamer is to a more “controversial” (I use that in scare quotes facetiously) review, where the writer blasphemed against all things holy by giving Uncharted 3 the dreaded 8 (or hate) out of 10. His reasoning: The game is great fun, but takes away too much control from the player. Definitely a criticism worth noting as that’s not some people’s cup of tea, but I don’t mind the occasional experience that does that, especially when they do it so darn well. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
So, who else is ready to do some deceiving of their own with Nathan Drake next week? Go!
When you’ve got a fall that’s going to be as epic as 2011, it becomes necessary to dig into the furthest reaches of your brain to properly forumlate the best approach. If you look at the Fall of games like a mine field, which steps can you take to avoid getting blown to smithereens? At least, that’s the way I look at it, but I’m kind of weird.
Hyperbole aside, I really do have a game plan of sorts when it comes to this Fall’s releases. It seems like you almost have to in order to avoid dropping $500 in just a few months. Off the top of my head, here are just a few of the games we’re going to see: Deus Ex, Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City, Shadow of the Colossus/Ico, MGS HD, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Torchlight 2, etc. And that’s not mentioning Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3.
As of now, I’ve got Gears of War 3 and Batman pre-ordered, with plans to use Batman’s credit to get closer to Skyrim. Beyond that, I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I know for sure that I’m going to buy Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3, even if I have to sell my body.
So what about you guys? What’s your game plan for the Fall? What games are you for sure buying? What have you already pre-ordered? What’s your strategy? Go!
Seeing as we’re stuck in kind of a gaming drought and I don’t have regular access to my PC to play me some sweet, sweet StarCraft 2, I’ve been replaying the original inFamous after I got it for free during the PlayStation Network’s Welcome Back program. Coming fresh off of the sequel, it’s given me appreciation for just how different inFamous was when it came out and reminded me about some of the things that the first game did that were awesome that Sucker Punch removed for the second game.
While I am glad that Sucker Punch changed the horrible side-mission structure, some of the powers and the main quest designs in the first game were pretty awesome. The ability to absorb energy while grinding and using your basic lightning bolt to redirect your rockets akin to a laser-guided missile have me really enjoying the game, even on hard difficulty.
While I still maintain that inFamous 2 is truly deserving of the grade that I gave it, the original still holds up even two years later (at least in the sense of gameplay, the graphics are still pretty rough). This got me thinking about the original games in franchises that have a better reputation than their sequels. Games like Knights of the Old Republic and Deus Ex are obvious, but I’d count Halo (which is better than three of its four successors) and Dead Rising among those. Dead Rising 2 was good, but the original sucked me in in a way that the sequel never did.
What about you guys? Any games that you like more than their sequels? If your thoughts go against popular opinions, I definitely want to hear about it.
Much like The Legend of Zelda a few months ago, another one of Nintendo’s long-running franchises is celebrating twenty-five years in existence this week. This particular game is the company’s sci-fi dark horse Metroid, best known for its more mature feel and its female protagonist.
While Metroid is far from Nintendo’s most lucrative franchise, it was no less important than Zelda or Mario in forming the gaming landscape back in the early days. Besides the aforementioned gender bender it pulled, it was also played its part in the advent of the “Metroidvania” style of games where players would start off strong and lose their items to some unforeseen circumstances.
The Metroid series has also given me one of my favorite games ever, Metroid Prime. The first game in the franchise since Super Metroid in 1994, Metroid Prime took some early flak from fans because of the transition to First-Person-Shooter. Despite the nay-saying, the game was very well received, holding a 97/100 rating on Metacritic, one of the very few games in existence to do so. The game did see a couple of sequels, but the original Metroid Prime will always stand as the greatest game in the series to me. While this may not be a surprise to anyone, I did 100% the game and see the real ending.
Another thing that can’t be overlooked about the Metroid series is the music. Even though the themes are not as iconic as Zelda or Mario, the music in Metroid has always been one of my favorites, mostly because of its haunting nature. The music added to the lonely feeling of the games and has given rise to quite a few fan interpretations as well. Seriously, look up Metroid Metal if you don’t believe me.
It’s a shame that Metroid’s 25 anniversary is being a little over-looked by Nintendo, but after Metroid: Other M’s reception, I can’t really blame them. Do you guys have any memories of Metroid? What’s your favorite game in the series? Will we see another Metroid game?
Panic struck the hearts of LittleBigPlanet fans around the net this weekend, as there have been reports that Siobhan Reddy, studio director of Media Molecule, said that the group was “stepping away” from the franchise for a time to focus on new ideas. Naturally, game sites reported this news (which originated from a single tweet) as gospel, but since then there have been updates from Media Molecule which clarify that they are not leaving LBP forever, merely putting it in the backseat temporarily while they break ground on new developments.
All of this is most certainly welcome news (I’ll be happy with anything that MM puts out in the future), it did spring a new question to life that I thought I’d ask you guys. It’s well known these days that game devs’ hands are tied to their popular franchises, which is why we see sequel after nonstop sequel each year. It almost makes me wish that more studios had the freedom to step away like this. I would love to see what Naughty Dog could do besides Uncharted, and I certainly can’t wait to see what Bungie does with its new-found life after Halo.
So now I ask you gents: which devs would you like to see step away from their current hit franchises? What kind of games would you like to see them create? Go!