When Mother-Daughter Relationships Appear Just AwfulThis week, Chinese model Gan Lulu once again raised eyebrows. She appeared at the Beijing Motor Show in a dress that was more skin than fabric. Right along with her, every step of the way was her mom, snapping photos of her daughter on her iPhone.

There's nothing wrong with close mother-daughter relationships. But their relationship seems to go beyond close to somewhere else entirely. It seems abusive and exploitive.

Gan Lulu has appeared in TV spots and movies, but really rattled the internet in 2011 when her mother filmed Lulu in the shower and then naked in bed. Her mother was supposedly trying to help Lulu get a boyfriend. The video went viral, and Chinese netizens cried foul, saying it was merely a stunt to increase Lulu's popularity. It not only raised her profile online (in China and abroad), but raised internet ire.

Lulu had to go online and plead that her mother meant well. But something was off—this didn't seem like a pushy mother. It was weird.

Likewise, Hollywood has also seen mother-daughter relationships that appear to be anything but healthy.

Later that summer, Lulu's mother physically attacked her daughter while appearing on a Chinese variety show. After getting hit and shoved by mom, Lulu told the camera crew, "My mother hits me because she loves me." As website China Smack pointed out at the time, it was unclear what provoked the attack.

It is crystal clear why earlier this week why Gan Lulu wore that revealing dress and why mom was there every step of the way.



Leaked Rayman Legends for Wii U Trailer Hints at Assassin's Creed CameoRayman Legends is headed to the Wii U, a new leaked trailer reveals. It's bringing legendary settings, new playable characters, touch screen controls and NFC (near field communication).

The trailer shows off the four-person multiplayer as well as its swiped-based touch controls. The clip shows three on Wii-Remotes, and one player using the new Wii U controller.

The game also has online and social features.

The Wii U controller also offers NFC. Players can rest a Raving Rabbid on the Wii U controller screen, causing it to appear in game. Hearts apparently can be conjured simply by placing a heart on the screen.

At the end of the trailer, Ubisoft hints that Assassin's Creed's Ezio will appear in the game when a player reaches for an AC figurine.

There is also Back to the Future music.

Previously, a survey seemed to leak some of Rayman Legends' classical settings.

Rayman Legends : première vidéo Wii U ? [GameKult Thanks, The Logic and Rationale Police!]

Leaked Rayman Legends Wii U trailer shows graphics, touch-screen, NFC tech [Eurogamer]

Suda51 (Goichi Suda) is one of Japan's most famous game directors. In the West, this is due to his cult classic PS2/GameCube title, Killer7, or his best-selling Wii series, No More Heroes. In Japan, however, he first became famous for another game entirely: Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special on the Super Famicom.

Back in 1994, Suda51 was tasked with writing and directing his second game in the popular Fire Pro Wrestling Series, Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special. On the surface it's pretty much what you'd expect. It's full of painfully transparent knock-off characters from all the popular early nineties professional wrestling federations and, as the eleventh game in the Fire Pro Wrestling series, the gameplay is about as tight as you can make it.

But what made Suda51 famous was neither the gameplay nor the characters; it was for the plot—specifically the ending.

The story of Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special, is uncharacteristically dark. You start as a rookie working your way to the World Championship. Along the way, however, tragedy repeatedly strikes with a string of defeats, the murder of your coach, and the accidental death of one of your closest friends in the ring—at your own hands, no less. And after all that, just before your How Suicide Made This Japanese Game Developer Famouschampionship match not only does your girlfriend leave you, but also the defending World Champion Ric Flair (called "Dick Slender" for copyright purposes) straight up murders your tag-team partner in the middle of the ring—and informs you he killed your coach, too.

The game ends after your match with Flair. As the new World Champion, you stand alone in the ring, having lost everyone you ever cared about. Surrounded by cheering fans and having attained your dream at last, you wonder if it was really worth it.

Three days later, you shoot yourself in the head.

With that scene Suda51 was catapulted into the limelight—a spot he still sits in comfortably to this day—and all it took was one convention-breaking, dramatic twist that no one was expecting.

To see the notorious scene, just check out the video above.

China To Launch a New Console. Price Tag: $600!For years now, there have been rumblings about the eBox, or its other moniker, the iSec. Yet, the console was pushed back, and then it seemed to vanish completely. Well, it's back and slated to come out soon. Real soon.

Now called CT510, this is the Chinese game console the Lenovo backed and co-invested in—the first of its kind. In China, video game consoles are banned. Yet, Beijing Eedoo Technology Ltd., the company developing the CT510, said this week that the console will be released in China on April 29. It will be priced at 3,799 yuan ($600) per unit, and it comes with eight pre-installed games.

Last fall, it was priced at 3,000 yuan, which was then $470.

Like Kinect, the CT510 features control-free motion-controls. According to Eedoo head Jack Luo, the CT510 is only the second home console to feature an entirely controller-free home console. The console is targeting casual players and not hardcore gamers. It also seems to be targeting people with $600 to spare.

China Daily reported that the console was delayed for about a year because, as Luo said, Eedoo required more time to "further improve the product and provide a better user experience".

Even though the console is slated to come out, it's unclear how this machine can bypass the Chinese game console ban, which outlaws "game boxes", and be legally sold in China.

And once it does go on sale, does that mean that Japanese and American console companies can legally sell their hardware in China?

The PS3, the Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii are widely sold throughout China, but via the country's gray market.

Chinese game console about to hit market [China Daily]

When I first played Diabolical Pitch, it was at the Tokyo Game Show 2011. There at the Microsoft booth, I played this Kinect title in two-player coop mode with a beautiful Japanese booth babe. I had a lot of fun.

It was only when I played the game at home alone this last week that I realized a laughing, bouncing, attractive woman can make pretty much anything fun—even a game as boring as Diabolical Pitch.

The entire two-hour experience is little more than making a baseball throwing motion at the screen over and over again. Sure sometimes you need to give a little kick to boot an enemy who gets too close or use your other hand to aim and lock onto a target, but most of the time it's throw, throw, throw, throw, throw.

The only time the monotony is broken is in that panicked moment when you realize the game has stopped recognizing your throwing actions—and in the following moment, too, where you spastically try to make the Kinect register your commands.

While you won't receive any satisfaction from playing Diabolical Pitch, you will receive an aching arm. Quickly it almost becomes a meta-game as you try to figure out the bare minimum gesture you can give to register a throw. Personally I found cartwheeling my arm in a slow, constant circle to be a most effective way to play.

Diabolical Pitch Strikes OutLike most Grasshopper-developed games, Diabolical Pitch is brimming with creator Suda51's (Goichi Suda's) signature over-the-top style. It is, after all, a game about an injured baseball player gaining a demonic pitching arm and facing off against hordes of demons in an unearthly amusement park. However, like most of his games, his style alone isn't enough to make them fun. With reused backgrounds, generic enemies, and ugly comic cutscenes, the graphical presentation does little to pull you in.

In the end, Diabolical Pitch is a game that falls flat on every point and there's no reason why anyone should spend their hard earned cash on it.

Diabolical Pitch was released worldwide on April 4 for the Xbox 360/Kinect and can be purchased only on Xbox Live.

This Akira LEGO Diorama Will Make You Scream "Kanedaaa!"Internet person Arkøv created this wonderful Akira diorama, complete with concrete rubble, Tetsuo, a flowing cape, Kaneda, and a laser cannon. Pew. Pew.

The diorama is somewhat abstract, smartly sidestepping mini-fig representations to bring Akira to life. I am...impressed.

In 1988, Akira was turned into a feature film anime by Katsuhiro Otomo, who created the original manga.

Akira_005 [Flickr via Super Punch]

Pregnant Woman Stripped After Supposedly Stealing an iPhoneEarlier this week, a 20-something woman was accused of stealing an iPhone from another customer at an apparel shop in China's Yongkang City. The customer, who had set the phone down on a table, noticed it was missing, and then

Mob mentality kicked in and people began cutting the thief's clothes and hair. Her shirt in tatters, the woman covered her chest with her hands. She then said she had money problems and was pregnant.

Police arrived on the scene, and took the woman to the hospital and confirmed she was two-months pregnant. Since she did not have the stolen iPhone on her, the police did not press charges and released her.

女小偷被当众扒衣剪发(图), PREGNANT IPHONE THIEF STRIPPED [iFeng/MayDaily via ChinaBuzz]

Thieving Nerds Stole To Hang Out with Maids and See IdolsThey were called the "Five Guys". Fitting, because there were five of them. They weren't just buddies. They were apparently criminals, who went on a crime spree that resulted in burglary and arson. And they were nerds.

The Five Guys wanted money, but apparently, not for drugs or booze. They wanted money so they could head to Tokyo's nerd district, Akihabara, and go to maid cafes and idol concerts.

The Five Guys were a band of otaku (geek) crooks.

It all started last October, when five friends decided to create a group of thieves. They called themselves "The Five Guys", and the set off on a crime spree that, according to news reports, took them across Tokyo to neighboring Chiba and even as far as Aichi for apparently sixty-six break-ins.

The Five Guys apparently made off with ¥5,300,000 (US$63,000) during their crime spree.

One sporting goods robbery, for example, supposedly netted them ¥400,000 (around $5,000) worth of equipment and approximately ¥850,000 ($10,500) in cash. In another break-in, they supposedly entered a Tokyo apartment through an unlocked window and scored ¥630,000 (about $7,800) in cash and around ¥1,500,000 ($18,500) in jewerly and precious metals.

Thieving Nerds Stole To Hang Out with Maids and See IdolsAnd once, when there wasn't money or things to steal, the Five Guys would apparently torch the place.

Japanese police recently arrested the group's ringleader, 21 year-old Yusuke Tasaki. When asked why The Five Guys went on this crime spree, Tasaki replied, "We wanted money to go to AKB48 concerts and maid cafes."

AKB48 is a popular idol pop group. Aimed at Japanese otaku, maid cafes are coffee shops populated with young maids. With Japan's staggering conviction rate, the only place Tasaki will get to go is prison, which is populated with fellow criminals. Not exactly otaku's paradise.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.
(Top photo: ANN/AP)
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Our First Punches With PlayStation All-Stars Battle RoyaleParappa the Rapper slings a jab. Kratos takes it in the gut. Said jab leads into a slick combination - a flurry of one-twos that culminates in a tremendous uppercut, sending the God of War soaring impossibly into the sky.

Seconds later, Parappa hops onto a skateboard. He runs over a Fat Princess who, just seconds ago, was punching above(?) her weight against Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Somewhere in the background Hades is under attack from a particularly belligerent group of Patapon.

This is madness, I think to myself.

This is the calculated chaos of PlayStation All-Stars.

Note: See the game's official announcement, and launch trailer, here.

The insanity erupting on screen is one thing, but the fact that multiple Sony brands - brands that exist in directly opposing tonal extremes - are co-existing? Well, that's a different type of madness altogether…

"It's definitely a challenge," laughs Chan Park, Director and Studio President of SuperBot, the newly created development studio tasked with building PlayStation All-Stars. In a sense SuperBot represents a different, very real team of all stars, top developers who have worked across several pivotal fighting titles in the games industry - Mortal Kombat, UFC Undisputed - brought together for the express purpose of creating something special. All stars creating All-Stars.

The inspiration is also the competition: Super Smash Bros. But while Nintendo's massive cast of characters fit snugly within the same family friendly universe, Sony's IP blasts wildly across the radius. Kratos and Fat Princess? Sweet Tooth and Parappa the Rapper? Is it possible to shoehorn this wide cast of characters into a single game and have anything make sense?

We ask Chan.

"In terms of integrating them all into the same world, part of this is supposed to feel like a mash up," he says. "We're not just trying to sanitise everything, we kind of want them to stand apart from one another - that's where the irreverence and the humour comes from.

"It's a challenge, but ultimately we've found a pretty decent balance of getting them all to live in the same world."

Another game begins, on a battlefield loosely based on LittleBigPlanet's opening level. The battle starts auspiciously - PlayStation characters beat the living crap out of one another and all is right with the world.

But what's this? In the background, LBP's ‘pop-it' appears onscreen, and starts randomly adding new platforms to the scenery, as if a user created LBP level is being constructed ad hoc. As we play, the terrain is constantly evolving. It's crazy, but fun.

And that's just the beginning. Seconds later Buzz turns up, on a massive projector screen behind the platforms. He is literally part of the level and he's asking questions. ‘This doesn't make any sense whatsoever,' I think to myself - but in context it somehow works!

Then I remember the last level I played - a schizophrenic Frankenstein's monster of a stage featuring Quark from Ratchet & Clank being eaten by the Hydra from God of War. I wonder why I'm still allowing myself to be surprised.

I also wonder how the hell Sony managed to convince its studios to sign off on this collective madness…

"I've been at Santa Monica studio for a really long time so fortunately I know a lot of the people who have spent a significant amount of time creating these characters. They live and breath these characters and one of the really important things to establish with our content partners is - first off - thanks for your support!"

Our First Punches With PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale As Executive Producer at Sony Santa Monica, it's Deborah Mars' (pictured) job to convince everyone that PlayStation All-Stars is a swell idea and their beloved characters should be involved. Deborah is friendly, but assertive. I suspect she rarely has to take no for an answer.

"It's just incredible the amount of support we've gotten," she continues. "I worked really closely on Fat Princess, so I know what it's like to give up your baby, and have it live in this world and play in the sandbox with all the other characters.

"I'm just like, oh my god I don't want Fat Princess to get beat up by Kratos!"

I smile to myself. Just five minutes ago I was playing as Kratos. And it was Fat Princess doling out the beatings.

"The thing is, no matter what, PlayStation All-Stars always makes you smile," says Deborah "And this is one of the areas where SuperBot has done a fantastic job

"It's never going to be a 1:1 representation - I think that's one of the messages we're giving when trying to get everyone's support and approval. There's no way the Fat Princess from the original game is 100% the same as the Fat Princess you're going to play in PlayStation All-Stars. And it's not supposed to be.

"At first they're like, ‘that's not the world my character is supposed to live in!' But once they get their hands on it, and play it, they just have a ton of fun."

The characters are one thing, but it's arguably the levels themselves that are most subversive: a calculated chaos where directly opposing IP intertwine in the strangest ways.

At first I wonder if this dilutes PlayStation's brands - does Kratos lose his menace after being hit over the head with Parappa the Rapper's skateboard? Maybe. But perhaps the explicit tonal differences help define the identities of Sony's finest. In stark contrast to one another they instantly become more tangible.

"That's SuperBot's goal," says Deborah. "They're taking these disparate worlds and characters and asking - how can they live and breathe in the same space? Well, it's about the execution, it's about the conscious decisions being made as to which worlds and which characters they're going to merge together."

"It would be kind of boring if we were too straight with the levels," adds Chan. "We really saw an opportunity to celebrate PlayStation history, to draw from characters or lesser known characters, to bring in cameos in the background, so that people playing - and the people watching - can be like, ‘oh my god, I know that character!' Look the Patapon just attacked Hades!

"To have that sort of interaction just makes the game a richer experience. That's what it's about - bringing in as much fan service as possible to try and spice up the game world."

And it's certainly spicy. It's a sort of chaos, a calculated chaos of brands and mechanics, but somehow it makes sense. But even when it doesn't make sense, it coasts easily with a light and breezy irony. You couldn't imagine a cast of characters this broad co-existing in any other video game, or any other platform for that matter - and that's a good thing.

"I think that's what makes Sony so unique," says Chan, finally. "The game, by virtue of the fact we're dealing with the PlayStation universe, is just gonna be edgier and cooler, because there are so many different looks and styles. It just makes sense that you'd want to mash it all up and see what happens.

"And we've put a concerted effort into making sure that everyone can play nice together."

Mark Serrels is the EIC for Kotaku Australia. You can follow him on Twitter!
Republished from Kotaku Australia with permission.