The Best of Kotaku, This WeekWelcome to the Best of Kotaku, where I round up all of this week's best content.

Up top, the first and last issues ever of Nintendo Power, which, sadly, will not be publishing any more issues. At least they went out on a classy note.

Moving on to our Best Of content this week, we kick things off as usual with a comment from the community.

The Best Comment From The Community

Our favorite comment of this week comes to you from SuperBrother, who approaches a much-discussed article about cheating and Diablo III with compassion and thoughtfulness:

I usually don't go out of my way to defend self professed cheaters but it doesn't seem like a lot of commenters are looking at his from a more critical perspective. Looks like most folks saw the bit about cheating and just decided to lambast her for it. It seems pretty clear that she was getting much, if any emotional fulfillment out of the relationship. Is it that inconceivable that she'd look elsewhere? It's not like they didn't try to fix what they had but regardless, it didn't help.

You can't help the way you feel about a person and if the person you're with is clearly wrong for you or, despite efforts otherwise, things aren't working out, it doesn't seem unreasonable to look for or find someone else. To clarify, I don't usually support cheating but I've seen more than a handful of relationships where it actually seems understandable. Even more rare, would be where cheating is the best option. This doesn't fall under the later but I can see the former.

Style points, too, to SpaceshipForAnts for having a similar, longer response.

Okay, on to some articles!

Getting Up Close and Personal with Square Enix's New Engine Blew My Mind

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Richard Eisenbeis is amazed by the level of detail in the Luminous Engine's rendering abilities. More »

Do Video Games Make Depression Worse?

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Phil Owen accounts for studies both against and for video games as a coping mechanism. But does it actually help or make depression worse? More »

The Best Things In Video Games Are Broken

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Tina Amini appreciates all the things you're not meant to do in a video game. More »

ZombiU: The Kotaku Review

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Stephen Totilo finds smart ideas in ZombiU, even if it makes him die a whole lot. More »

How The Walking Dead Game Could Change The Way We Play

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Kirk Hamilton is rightfully a huge fan of The Walking Dead's episodic formula. More »

The Vita Is A Great System—Too Bad Sony Screwed It Up

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Jason Schreier worries that Sony has let the Vita's reputation become tarnished. More »

Mass Effect 3: Omega: The Kotaku Review

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Kate Cox is excited to dive deeper into Aria's character in the latest ME3 DLC. More »

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition: Everything You Should Know

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Jason sums up what's new and old in this enhanced edition. More »

Crashmo: The Kotaku Review

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Stephen is really into blocks. More »

A Dragon Age III Mystery, A Star Wars Theory And Some Gaming Secrets

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Superannuation digs up some information on some announced and some rumored games. More »

This Drug Is Legal. It's Digital. And It's Supposed To Improve How You Game. I Put It To The Test.

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Patricia Hernandez tries out some audio drugs to see how they impact her gaming. More »

Story Details & Art Leak From Bungie's Next Game, the Sci-Fi Epic Destiny

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Luke Plunkett discovers some leaked information about Bungie's next game. More »

Planetside 2's Art Director and Creative Director Are Answering Your Questions Live

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Art director Tramell Isaac and creative director Matt Higby answer your questions live. More »

The New Lego Lord of the Rings Game Apes Peter Jackson's Movies Brilliantly

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

We take a look at how many scenes from the LotR films are re-created in the new LEGO game. More »

YouTuber: I Was Banned From Making Money Because Of An Over-Zealous Fan

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Jason talks with a YouTuber who lost his ability to make money because one of his fans tried to game the system.More »

The Ups and Downs of a Night Out at the Official Zelda Concert

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Stephen has mixed feelings about the Zelda concert he attended. Hey, at least it wasn't Bieber.More »

How Diablo III Told Me My Marriage Was Over

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Guest writer Tiffany Claiborne takes a frank look at her failed marriage, and the role video games played.More »

This RPG Was First Released On Sega Genesis. Now It's Coming To Dreamcast. (And Xbox)

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Jason talks with the guys who released a game on Sega Genesis (in 2010 !!), and are now bringing their game to more current consoles.More »

The Herd Outsider's Guide to the Brony Phenomenon

The Best of Kotaku, This Week

Mike explains to us once and for all: "What the heck is a Brony, anyway?" More »


All the Bullet Hell You Can Handle in One Box SetCave, famous for its maniac shooting games, is releasing an Xbox 360 box set for its shoot'em up fans.

Called "Cave Shooting Collection", the box set comes with ten classy Cave titles: Espgaluda 2: Black Label, DeathSmiles, DeathSmiles II X, Do-Don-Pachi Dai-Fukkatsu, Do-Don-Pachi Dai-Fukkatsu: Black Label, Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets, Akai Katana Shin, Mushihime-sama, Mushihime-sama Futari, and Guwange.

If you count the revamped Black Label version of Do-Don-Pachi Dai-Fukkatsu as its own game, this box set technically contains eleven games. The reason is that while Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets were released on the same disc for the Xbox 360, they are actually separate games and were originally released as such in arcades.

According to Famitsu, pricing and the release date are still TBA. No word on a release outside of Japan.

Xbox 360で『CAVEシューティングコレクション』発売決定 [Famitsu]


I'm Frying My Eyes, So Let's See If These Gaming Glasses Can Stop ThatI stare at a screen. A lot. All day. And when I finish, I stare at a screen some more. Seriously, this cannot be good for my eyes.

You might have the same worry! You might not, because A). You don't stare at a monitor or a TV all day or B). Don't really care about your peepers. But these viewing circumstances do concern me. They don't keep up at night, but yes, there's some cause for concern. That's what Gamers Edge Gaming Glasses, with their "Stop Frying Your Eyes" slogan, hope to combat. Do they?

The glasses have been around for a while now, but I recently checked out three tester samples I was sent: aviator style, green rectangle specs, and camo wraparounds. I'd probably wear the aviators in public. Those green rectangles? Hrm. Those camo wraparounds? Never. Ever. Thank goodness they're also available in black.

Priced at around forty bucks, they're not a premium product. You're not buying Oliver Peoples, here! They are packaged with a pouch for easy storing, and the frames do certainly seem sturdy enough to handle regular use. However, when I pulled on the aviator frames, I could hear a slight creaking. So don't do that, I guess! The wraparounds appear to be the most rugged of the bunch—I felt like I could chuck them into a bag and did a few times to test them. I didn't try sitting on them, though. You can do that with your pair.

I'm Frying My Eyes, So Let's See If These Gaming Glasses Can Stop That

Most of the money was probably poured into the lenses, and if you are buying these, that's perhaps what you care most about, and whether or not you can use these while gaming. The glasses are lightweight, so I was able to wear for long stretches, no problem.

According to VC Eyewear, the lenses are coated with "exclusive iEdge filtered lens technology". VC Eyewear says that these lens filter artificial light that is emitted from screens, thus offering clearer screen resolution and a more relaxed viewing experience.

Did they? For the most part, yes. Under low light conditions, wearing the glasses while gaming meant less eye strain and fatigue—less eye frying. That's good!

However, using them in natural light or well lit conditions didn't feel as comfortable, because the yellow lens tint became far more noticeable. As with sunglasses, the tint is something you get used to, but the glasses seemed to work better for me in low light conditions. I'm assuming those were the conditions for which they were designed.

I'm Frying My Eyes, So Let's See If These Gaming Glasses Can Stop That

I didn't feel like I was getting a "competitive edge", like VC Eyewear claims, but I did feel like the glasses did what they promised: making staring at a screen for long stretches in low light more comfortable than it usually is. So maybe that is an edge, at least for good eye health.

Gamers Edge [VC Eyewear]


The New Iron Chef's Bad Ratings Blamed on Unappetizing FoodDuring its heyday, Iron Chef had celebrities like Mother creator Shigesato Itoi on to taste its delicious looking and interesting meals. The show was a smash hit. And now, it has returned to Japanese television after a 13-year hiatus. And nobody's watching.

According to J-Cast, online and in weekly magazines, people have been saying that the food doesn't look tasty, and therefore, the desire to watch has vanished.

The theory is that the show's digital broadcast, while giving a crystal clear image, isn't exactly showing the food and its preparation in the best light. "I was surprised the first time I watched it and the food didn't look good," wrote one comment, while another said the dishes looked "experimental".

It is thought that the way Iron Chef depicts the process of making a dish looks less appetizing in the digital age than it did during the show's analog broadcast days. Others complained about the guests (bring back Itoi!).

This is an odd theory. There are other cooking shows in Japan that do digital broadcasts, and the food does look good. Maybe there's a simpler explanation for this: Maybe the new Iron Chef just sucks?

フジ「アイアンシェフ」視聴率低迷は地デジ化が理由? 魚の血の塊がハッキリ「料理が不味そうだ」 [J-Cast]


This Mecha Sure Knows Its Audience (and Fan Service)Virtual On mecha Fei-Yen is getting yet another plastic model. It's called "TF-14 A/M+ Fei-Yen [Final 14 Special] Vivid Cinderella". Try saying that twice fast.

The kit comes with customizable pieces—weapons and boobs—for both version of Fei-Yen, whether that's the TF-14+, which is named "Vivid Heart", or the TF-14 M+ version, which is named "Cinderella Heart".

This is kind of like what Sega did back in 2010, when it offered a "Fetish Unlock Code" for Xbox 360 game Cyber Troopers Virtual-On: Force that allowed players to make a similar adjustment—an adjustment I'm pretty sure isn't necessary for mecha.

This Mecha Sure Knows Its Audience (and Fan Service) This Mecha Sure Knows Its Audience (and Fan Service)

For Virtual On, fan service knows no bounds.

胸の大きさも変更可能! [Game Watch Impress]


Here Are All the Japanese Game Boy Advance Games. At Once.If you've ever wondered what all 795 Japanese Game Boy Advance cartridges would look like lined up, wonder no more. And if you've ever wondered how much all those carts would cost, then do likewise!

Here Are All the Japanese Game Boy Advance Games. At Once. Here Are All the Japanese Game Boy Advance Games. At Once. Here Are All the Japanese Game Boy Advance Games. At Once.

Someone has put a complete Japanese GBA game collection up on eBay for a cool US$5,800. Free shipping, though. There's that.

Lot of 795 Japanese Game Boy Advance COMPLETE ALL TITLE [eBay via @RetroCollect via @Analogueint via TinyCartridge]


Teen Wanted To Be An Anime Character, So He Burned TrashA 13 year-old in Fukuoka was recently picked up for a misdemeanor: he was burning garbage with a lighter at two trash collection spots, Yahoo! Japan reports. When asked why he was doing this, the kid replied that he wanted to see what how it was to handle fire "like an anime hero."

The article doesn't specify which anime character, but online in Japan, people are speculating that the teen was perhaps referring to the "Dark Flame Master" in Chunibyo Demo Koi ga Shitai! That seems about right, but do you have any other ideas?

軽犯罪法違反:ごみに火付けた中1を児相通告 [Yahoo! Japan]


It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese GeeksMeet Wonder! As social networking sites go, it's pretty darn nerdy. Cosplay, figurines, mecha, anime drawings—you name it, Wonder! seems to have it.

Just launched by Yahoo! Japan, the site does have a decidedly otaku (geek) focus and an unnecessary exclamation point. Wonder! is image heavy, which I personally prefer for social networking sites (and is probably why I enjoy Instagram).

As IT Media points out, Wonder! is similar to Facebook and Twitter: you can upload images, "like" other people's uploads, and follow them.

If you want to become a member, you'll need either a Yahoo! Japan ID, a Facebook ID, or a Twitter ID (fyi: an iPhone app is planned by year's end). Currently, the site only seems to be in Japanese, but that has never previously stopped those who don't know the language.

The site does have a never-ending page, which does seem to cause load time to crawl the further you go. And once you click on something, it takes you back to the top of the page. That's annoying! (necessary exclamation point)

Here's a sample of what you can find (warning: skimpy cosplay outfits):

It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks It's Like Facebook or Twitter, But for Japanese Geeks

Most of the content varies between mecha or hero figurines (or models) and female cosplayers. Over time, expect it to become more varied and slightly more inclusive. If you are into Japanese subculture stuff, Wonder! is worth checking out.

Wonder! [Official Site via IT Media]


True to Its Word, Halo 4's Multiplayer Sends Out Its Specialization CodesAnyone who played multiplayer in Halo 4 before Nov. 20 is now getting access to six class-based specializations previously available only to those who purchased the game's Limited Edition. Emails with download codes went out Friday evening, according to tipsters.

"Specialization Priority Alpha," is the codename for the DLC package unlocking the modes. You earned it if you played Halo 4 multiplayer sometime before Nov. 20. Specializations offer additional armors and abilities and another 10 ranks. They become available once you reach level 50 in multiplayer.

If you missed the Nov. 20 window, the "wetworks" and "pioneer" specializations are still unlockable after level 50, but not the rest. For now.


In honor of Tina, who is on vacation today, I will post this video in the off-topic slot. What is it? Why, it is a "trailer" for a "movie" called 8 to Go, which is about a cat who wants to be a DJ. Because he wants to do a show with Deadmaus. Because he thinks Deadmaus is an actual mouse.

The video, as it turns out, was made by FreshStep Cat Litter, who have created something of a collection of cat videos on their YouTube page. Most don't appear to be branded, which makes me think that Catvertising really has become a reality.

Everyone ready for the weekend? I sure am. Except that it's pouring rain in San Francisco, so I'm not all that keen to go out. Guess I better tune in to the Midnight Channel tonight. (If you think I'm not going to make that joke every time it rains for the rest of my life, you are mistaken.)

Talk games, cats, or anything else you like, here or over in the Talk Amongst Yourselves forum. Have good conversation, and a great weekend.

(Via Laughing Squid)


Search news
Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2018   2017   2016   2015   2014  
2013   2012   2011   2010   2009  
2008   2007   2006   2005   2004  
2003   2002