Still scratching your head over what to get Mom for Mother's Day? Tell her you love her with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier! And flowers. And breakfast in bed. And a picnic lunch. And another Mother's Day present. You should be able to afford one with all of the savings we've got in this week's edition of The Moneysaver!
• May 22 release Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier (360, PS3) is $47.99, free shipping from NewEgg through Sunday. Next best is $57. [Dealzon]
• Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC) is now only $34.44 from EA Store, and Digital Deluxe Edition is $44.44. Next best is $50 and $80, respectively. [Dealzon]
• GameStop is offering a coupon for 10 purchase off any purchase of $99.99 or more, along with a $5 coupon for PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS games. [Dealzon]
• Rock Band 3 Bundle (Wii) is $39.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Next best is $59. [Dealzon]
• Lord of the Rings: War in the North Collector's Edition (360, PS3) is $39.99, free shipping from Best Buy. Next best is $60. [Dealzon]
• Dark Souls (PS3) pre-owned is $17.99, free shipping from GameFly. Next best in used condition is $35. [Dealzon]
• Aliens vs Predator (PS3) is $9.99 plus $2.98 shipping from Target. Next best is $16. [Dealzon]
• Alan Wake (360) is $9.99 plus $2.97 shipping from Target. Next best is $20. [Dealzon]
• Dungeon Siege 3 (360) is $12.74 from Amazon. Next best is $19. [Dealzon]
• New U: Fitness First Yoga & Pilates (Wii) is $12.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Next best is $48. [Dealzon]
• Wii Fit Plus (Game Only) is $12.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Next best is $17. [Dealzon]
• Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Kinect Bundle with Kinect Adventures and Carnival is $349.99, free shipping from NewEgg. Next best is $400. [Dealzon]
• PlayStation 3D Display Bundle with MotorStorm is $270.68 plus $3.99 shipping from Buy.com. Next best is $300. [Dealzon]
• Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor (Refurbished) with Kinect Adventures game is $84.99, free shipping from eBay Deals. Cheapest new is $135. [Dealzon]
• Thermaltake eSports Shock One Gaming Headset is $79.99 plus $9.34 shipping from SuperBiiz. Next best is $99. [Dealzon]
• XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 PCIe HDCP Video Card with coupon for Dirt 3 game is $140.99 after rebate, free shipping from NewEgg. Next best is $184. [Dealzon]
• Just released Alienware M18x r2 Ivy Bridge 1080p 18.4-inch laptop with Core i7-3610QM, Kepler-based 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M, 6GB RAM is $1,949 after coupon, free shipping from Dell Home. List price is $1,999. [Dealzon]
• New Alienware M17x r4 Ivy Bridge 17.3-inch laptop with Core i7-3610QM, 6GB RAM, Kepler-based 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M is $1,449, free shipping from Dell Home. List price is $1,499. [Dealzon]
• Also new Alienware M14x Ivy Bridge r2 14-inch laptop with Core i7-3610QM 3rd Gen, 8GB RAM, Kepler-based 1GB GeForce GT 650M is $1,399, free shipping from Dell Home. [Dealzon]
•HP 15.6-inch dv6t Quad Edition laptop with Ivy Bridge Core i7-3610QM 3rd Gen, GeForce GT 650M, 32GB mSSD, 1080p, 8GB RAM, Blu-ray is $999.99, free shipping from HP. This dropped by $25 on Friday. [Dealzon]
The following listing of digital download bargains are grouped by distributor. For more, see Deals4Downloads' roundup.
• Bulletstorm is $4.08, save 80 percent.
• Darksiders is $4.99, save 75 percent.
• Supreme Commander 2 is $5.86, save 61 percent.
• Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising is $8.06, save 60 percent.
• Two Worlds II - Velvet Game of the Year Edition is $19.99, save 50 percent.
• Tropico Trilogy is $5.99, save 70 percent.
Microsoft Xbox Live
• Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 is $14.99, save 50 percent.a
• Trine 2 (PS3) is $9.99, save 33 percent.
• Sanctum is $2.49, save 75 percent + Free Weekend.
• Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition is $6.80, save 66 percent.
• BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY is $14.99, save 50 percent.
• Shank 2 is $4.99, save 50 percent.
• Victorian Admirals Anthology. Use coupon: VASALE is $8.99, save 70 percent.
Kotaku thanks our coupon partners for providing these and other great deals. Be sure to bookmark and search their Kotaku hashtags (#dealzon, #deals4downloads and #dealtaku) for updates throughout the week. Further, to our friends across the pond and north of the border, check the #ukdeals, #europedeals and #canadadeals hashtags and be sure to flag any deals you might have with that.
As always, smart gamers can find values any day of the week, so if you've run across a deal, share it with us in the comments.
Another week of Kotaku stories, another compiled list of our best ones. Welcome to Best of Kotaku.
Moving on to our Best Of content this week, we kick things off as usual with a comment from the community.
If you want to see the list of nominations (and other random conversations) you can head to my most recent nomination post that goes up every Friday here.
Want to suggest an article, comment, tweet, or any other content on Kotaku to be featured for a weekly Best Of nomination? Drop me a line at email@example.com with the subject line of "Best Of Nomination." Or any other subject line that will help me sort through and search for them. I'm not too picky.
This week's best comment was almost a tie, but the win goes to Uncle Jesse for a Talk Amongst Yourselves comment. It's simple, it's decent, and we can all relate:
I played video games last night.
I like to play.
Mark Serrels checks out multiplayer in...God of War: Ascension. More »
Kirk Hamilton looks at the games that have allowed child-murder. More »
Michael Peck analyzes what a Second Korean War looks like through the virtual eyes of a video game. More »
Taylor Clark gets deeper into the article he wrote about games being dumb. More »
Stephen Totilo went to Paris and came back with knowledge of game (and toilet) culture as told by the European country. More »
Stephen rounds up Kirk Hamilton's coverage of the newly revealed Black Ops II. More »
Brian Ashcraft looks into the Guy Fawkes mask that keeps appearing in Black Ops II. More »
Stephen disapproves of the lackluster Mario and Sonic olympic games that fail to hit on quintessential nostalgia. More »
Evan Narcisse does not suggest you play Fable Heroes. More »
Kate Cox breathes in the gorgeous world of Guild Wars 2. More »
Stephen talks to Al Lowe about the return of Leisure Suit Larry and dirty jokes. More »
Eric Jou tracks down China's first home console, Eedoo CT510, and compares it to the Xbox's Kinect. More »
Kirk Hamilton tells us of the women that will be in the next Call of Duty game. More »
Stephen previews Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and comes away feeling like he's played Call of Duty. More »
Mike Fahey wants to see some specific features in the upcoming MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. More »
Kirk details what we know of potential Chinese enemies in Black Ops II. More »
Evan interviews the Houser brothers to ask about the new Max Payne comics. More »
Owen Good profiles umpire Wally Hughes from MLB 12 The Show. More »
Stephen talked to Randy Pitchford about the Aliens lore. More »
Jason Schreier explains why we love the characters of JRPGs. More »
Owen Good uncovers a costly loophole in the rules, and evidence one finalist may have used it, in MLB 2K12's Million Dollar Challenge More »
Leave it to Remedy, the guys running the Max Payne franchise before Rockstar took over, to put their own paranoid protagonist through the ordeal. Skip to 1:57 for it - while in a drug-induced stupor (and getting the snot pounded out of him in the real world), Max realizes firs that he's in a graphic novel, and then that he's in a video game.
Somehow I doubt we'll see anything like this in Rockstar's Max Payne 3, but I guess you never know.
There have been, to date, one jillion Star Wars video games. (That figure is approximate). But in many ways, there was only one—the 1983 Atari game Star Wars. I played this game when I was barely old enough to understand the films, much less do well at any of the levels, particularly that difficult trench-run.
The game made its debut during "The Video Game Challenge," a short-lived television program from the 80's.
Just like the force, this Star Wars game will be with you… always.
Actually, considering how regularly I still think about that game…that's true!
In the storied history of video games, there have been a surprising number of amazing dance numbers. Just for you, Chris edited together this video of… pretty much all of them.
Sit back, relax, and let Bayonetta lead you through a highlight reel of the best spins, turns, and booty-shakes video gaming has to offer, all set to the tune of "Let's Dance Boys."
Man, I always knew that Legion was funkier than Commander Shepard, but I'd never seen that Crysis 2 one before. Who knew that shady paramilitary soldiers could be so funky?
Before that, maybe you want to engage in some commenting. Being the commentry. Leaving comments.
Here is an open thread for you. And here, from the internet, are some things to talk about.
And that's that. Have an awesome weekend, you guys. I hope you find someone to carry you home.
I inherited this feature from Mike McWhertor, who has been gone from Kotaku more than six months, and who I hope to see again in San Diego at Comic-Con. "Mike," I would always say to him, "if we get fired, well, we'll finally have time to play all the video games we never got to play because we were too busy playing video games."
I have no clue what I'll be playing this weekend. I'm flat exhausted, and I get to mind the site for 48 hours unaccompanied. I recently modified my Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 settings to give me the hardest swing difficulty while still preserving my greens reads and caddie suggestions. It's produced a truer appraisal of what my golfer's skill would actually be at this point in his career. It's a difficult game.
I also want to finish up the first Prototype and jump back in for my semi-regular grind with DC Universe Online. And I have a righthanded screwballer languishing in the minor leagues of MLB 12 The Show, getting hosed on the outside strike every fifth day by that no-good son-of-a-bitch bastard Wally Hughes. By the way, I got an email from a guy at Sony San Diego today. He said my guess as to Wally's namesake was off. The umpires have more prosaic origins—Porter Callahan comes from a bar near the studio, which serves Sierra Nevada porter, for example.
I may also play nothing. Three wild turkeys like the one above came down off the butte today and hung out in my driveway. Watching them mate was entertainment enough.
What are you playing this weekend?
The controller customization experts at The Controller Shop asked if we wanted to review one of their magical creations. I said sure. They asked what sort of controller they should send. I left it up to them. Wise decision.
Arriving today complete with custom plastic case, this Kotaku-flavored Xbox 360 controller is so pretty I'm afraid to touch it. But those 9mm steel bullet buttons and the nubbly analog stick covers are begging for my fingers so badly I'm almost embarrassed for them.
I still have to put the controller through its paces in a full review, but from a purely aesthetic standpoint it's definitely a winner.
I promise not to stick it down my pants. Much.
Available: In the Fall.
Price: Unknown, but a bargain at any price.
What You Get: The straight-up delivery on the April Fool's prank everyone waved at dismissively. An alien kidnaps the leader of the Saints and traps them in a virtual reality simulation of Steelport. Inside the Dominatrix, you will experience, according to the original release (assumed to be a joke) "Mind-Bending Telekinesis, Really Really High Jump, Really Really Fast Sprint, Shiny Blue Force Shield, and Shiny Blue Fireball Projectile-of-Doom."
Why It's Evil: For making us think this was a joke. Saints Row is a riotous eff-you to convention in its main presentation. With physics-warping powers, this should be a trip.
Evil Score: 1/5. Lowest evil score ever assigned by this short feature. I don't know if creating the extension is ThinkGeek-style fan service, or if they had plans to all along, but the execution is pretty solid.
Available: This summer
Price: Also unknown
What You Get: Frost elves? Crossbows? Bethesda will not say, except to say we'll find out more at E3, when whatever this is will be annihilated by the dragon shout of actual new games announced there.
Why It's Evil: Wait, did you say this was an Xbox 360 timed exclusive? FFFFFFFUUUUUUS RO DAH
Evil Score: 3/5, for the timed platform exclusive. God damn you Microsoft and your deep, deep pockets!
North is a relic of the decade in which Call of Duty really should have been released: the Rambo 1980s, in which proxy wars were fought with perfect moral clarity by people who funded them but didn't pick up a gun. Call of Duty embodies that repulsive vicariousness; its multiplayer-intensive focus, the kill-die-respawn-kill-die liturgy of the game's main selling point, has led some to argue that it's actually a casual title, considering that there isn't even a metaphorical consequence for death in the game's principal mode of play.
Perhaps they found their perfect spokesman then. North broke the laws of a nation that he, as a United States Marine officer, swore to uphold. We're continually reminded that servicemembers are foremost loyal to the Constitution, not necessarily their commanding officers, particularly commanders-in-chief of a different political party. Though North claimed his actions in selling arms through an intermediary to an enemy of the nation—Iran, mind you—were known and authorized by his superiors, he lacked the moral code to refuse to carry out actions that benefitted a hostile nation and specifically broke a law passed by our Congress. He is a disgrace as both an officer and a public servant and anyone who looks up to him is a fool who believes liars.
Black Ops II may wish to flatter itself by aspiring to a realpolitik story in which you must make decisions that are right but not necessarily legal. After seeing how the original Black Ops handled its singleplayer campaign story, I have little confidence it can deliver anything that sophisticated. The first Black Ops was a noisy, facile, confusing stroll through a series of set pieces and quicktime events that reduced the intrigue of the Cold War's pivotal events to a couple of panels in a G.I. Joe comic book. If we're going to be peering into the future—into any future influenced by consultation with Oliver North, we'll likely get a self-serving acquittal of his conduct that sings directly from the GOP hymnal.
He is a celebrity. And his presence creates what every marketer wants. A "conversation." Or "buzz" in more mercenary terms. Obviously, I'm writing about North and Call of Duty and a controversy that has two sides, and the net effect may be to recruit partisans to the cause, or even opponents out of curiosity. Robert McNamara, the defense secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, cameoed in the first Black Ops. I'll confess to a morbid interest in seeing him on the screen. When I phoned Dad about it, his response was not so much disgust as it was fascination that this man, who sent the best and the brightest of his generation to die in a war known by its planners to be pointless and unwinnable, would ever be in a video game.
We got here by expecting nothing of Call of Duty, by giving it a pass on offensive hype trailers like this, for World at War, and for the unbelievably stupid "F.A.G.S." Internet promotion for Modern Warfare 2. LOL so what, everyone said. Just a video game. Stop being so offended. And I bought into it a little, knowing that there are, basically, professional victims out there in a culture that is constantly seeking to be offended.
Still, in 2009 I lived with my grandfather—like North, a Marine colonel—helping him recover from a head injury and stroke. Before I moved in, I sold off my copy of Call of Duty: World at War. There was no way in hell he would ever see me playing that in his home. My grandfather was, literally, in a World War II first-person shooter in his youth—in one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific campaign. And it wasn't entertainment. And he was also in Korea, where he damn near died. If Activision really wants to impress me with its steely-eyed understanding of the lawless reality of war, it can try to interpret that in a video game.