Kotaku

GameStop's Trade-In Program, the 1993 EditionHere's a flyer for Electronics Boutique's (now part of GameStop) fledgling trade-in scheme, which not only warns you that the program could end at any time (oh no!), but demands you bring the instructions in. No manual, no trade-in.



Compared to the "sure we'll take any old piece of shit" policy the company has now, those were some strict rules.



[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Electronics Boutique Flyer [VC&G]





GameStop's Trade-In Program, the 1993 Edition
Kotaku





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You don't need me to tell you how awful most FMV games from the 1990s were. But amidst the wreckage of bad racing games and even worse adventure games, I have a soft spot for Fox Hunt.



Mostly because, over 15 years later, I can only now appreciate how batshit crazy the whole thing was.



The facts: Fox Hunt was a full-motion-video comedy adventure game developed by Capcom and starring an eclectic mix of no-names and fallen Hollywood stars. It was released on the PC and PlayStation in 1996, in the dying days of video gaming's fascination with CD-ROM drives and FMV.



The madness: one of those was Rob Lowe, who to be fair had been in Wayne's World and Austin Powers semi-recently. Another was Timothy Bottoms, who I will always remember fondly for his portrayal of George W. Bush in That's My Bush!. As if the cast wasn't weird enough, another actor involved was George Lazenby, who you may know as the guy who only played James Bond for one movie, and who I know as that guy from the next town over.



Fox Hunt was an attempt by Capcom - yes, Capcom - to not only cash in on the whole FMV thing, but also make a parody of spy movies (hence Lazenby's involvement). Neither worked. The writing was woefully unfunny, the acting atrocious, the 70s gags irrelevant to an audience that had grown up in the 80s and, worst of all, the game was just terrible.



Unless you're this guy. Then it's awesome.



A rubbish game and a footnote on the obituary of the FMV genre, then, but one worth remembering if only for the fact it's just about the most un-Capcom game Capcom ever put its name to.



Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends. You'll find Total Recall stories every Tue-Fri between 1am -2am Eastern.
Kotaku

Return of the Jedi LEGO Has a Freakin' Sarlacc PitThere's been a lot of great Star Wars LEGO over the years, but these two new sets, both based on the opening of Return of the Jedi, are my new favourites.



The first set is Jabba's Palace ($120). It not only has a moving throne platform, for trapping Luke beneath while he sticks bones in a stupid animal's mouth, but also a carbonite-frozen Han Solo (who can pop out and become Blind Han Solo) and even a minifig of one of the coolest characters in the entire Star Wars universe, a B'omarr Monk.



The second set is called "Desert Skiff" ($25), an exercise in understatement if ever I've seen it, because the star is really the LEGO Sarlacc pit, which can gobble up the little Boba Fett that comes with it.



Both sets will be out in September.



Jabba's Palace [Sideshow]



Desert Skiff [Sideshow]





Return of the Jedi LEGO Has a Freakin' Sarlacc Pit Return of the Jedi LEGO Has a Freakin' Sarlacc Pit Return of the Jedi LEGO Has a Freakin' Sarlacc Pit Return of the Jedi LEGO Has a Freakin' Sarlacc Pit
Kotaku

Online Game Suspected of Causing Teen to Shoot at, Stab a "Friend"An unspecified online game is suspected of leading to a stabbing and attempted shooting in Oakley, California, with a 17 year-old boy now in police custody following the incident.



On Monday afternoon the arrested teen and a 20 year-old man - reportedly a "family friend" - had been playing the mystery game together online when the 17 year-old allegedly arrived at the doorstep of his victim, and after a confrontation was refused entry. That's when things got messy, with the teen brandishing a gun.



The victim's mother says "He actually had the gun aimed at me, but he shot at my son. I went downstairs to call the police and he ran downstairs, put his gun down, ran back up the stairs and evidently — I thought they were fist-fighting — he was stabbing the h*ll out of my son."



The shot missed, but the 20 year-old man is currently in a stable condition from the multiple stab wounds he suffered.



Police say the pair were playing against each other online right before the attack, and are currently investigating just what exactly was said/done to take things from "playing a game" to "stabbing/shooting at the guy".



Teen shoots, stabs neighbor after playing video game [KTVU, via Game Politics]


Kotaku

DSi Coming in Two New, Rather Fetching Colour SchemesWhile the 3DS is the flagship handheld at the moment, Nintendo hasn't forgotten about the DSi, with plans to release two new colours for the device "as early as this week".



The two colours are "Matte Red" and "Matte Blue". A sneaky Olympic-themed marketing move? They've only been announced for the North American market at the moment, so maybe!


Kotaku





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Col. Rob Kiebler spent 14 months away from his family serving with the US Air Force, both training and on a tour of Afghanistan. He recently returned home, and having not seen his son for over a year, wanted to really surprise him.



Adorable.



What just about brought the tears down for me, though, was the kid's reaction. At first seemingly oblivious, as most small kids are, it slowly dawns on him that his father has actually come home.



[thanks everyone!]


Kotaku

There Are Many Places Cats Do Not Belong I'm not Kirk. I don't look a thing like him. I can't even play Kirk on TV. He's a jazz saxophonist. I'm a classical French horn player. I mean, really. We're just worlds apart.



But what I can do is bring you evening nonsense. Despite the fact that Guybrush—an on-topic cat—has taken over my mouse and seems to be aiming for the keyboard. He's very sweet, but that does make it hard to work.



Doesn't he know he doesn't go there? No. Because cats think they go everywhere. Especially these cats. There are even cats who want to play Pokemon. But cannot. Because they are cats.



Now that you're tired of cats, feel free to chat about the weather. Or why French horns are awesome. The threads are open, and they're all yours. Or you can talk amongst yourselves.


Kotaku

Batman's Morgan Freeman & Catwoman Look Almost as Good as 3D Models as They do in Real LifeSay what you will about the in-game graphics (which look pretty good for a phone game!), this 3D character art for the Dark Knight Rises game is incredible.



The work of artists Uri So and Shenggang Dong, both from Gameloft's Singapore studio (another of whose artists we've looked at Kotaku previously), they're nestled right at the depths of the uncanny valley.





Batman's Morgan Freeman & Catwoman Look Almost as Good as 3D Models as They do in Real Life Batman's Morgan Freeman & Catwoman Look Almost as Good as 3D Models as They do in Real Life
Kotaku





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Not a day after I get my hands on the official LEGO Minecraft set and this exciting stop-motion video has appeared, bringing the tiniest Creepers on the planet to terrifying life. Who shall save LEGO Steve?



The first in a series of animated Minecraft LEGO shorts from YouTube user ForlornCreature sets up an odd alliance between minifig and even more minifig against a deadly for no less dangerous for their smallish stature. An explosion is an explosion, after all.



Will LEGO Steve and his newfound friend lose everything they've built to the green menace, or will they live to brick another day?



The suspense is killing me. I die now.



Adventures of Lego Minecraft [YouTube via @LydiaWinters]


Kotaku

With The Old Republic Going Free to Play, Now You Can Afford This Ridiculously Overpriced KeyboardWhen Star Wars: the Old Republic launched last year, peripheral maker Razer was ready, delivering a stylish mouse and headset combo that evoked the feel of the Lucasverse at a modest premium over similar devices. Razer was not, however, ready with the $250 keyboard.



Delayed due to last-minute redesign (it used to feature a strip of indicators under the HOME keys) and fine-tuning the Switchblade technology that makes it so damn expensive, it wasn't until the spring of this year that the Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming Keyboard made it into consumers hands.



It is stunning. It is well-crafted. It's strong with the Force.



It's also got a largely unnecessary and rather costly bit hanging off the right side.





From a purely typing things while doing things on my computer perspective, this is a highly capable input device. Despite my largely positive experience with Razer as a whole, I was not expecting that. It's the keys, you see. I'm a fan of chunky keys with a definite mechanical click. This is a keyboard with flat, silent squares for keys, much like the Razer Blade laptop, with which it shares several features.



It's the type of keyboard I will suffer on a laptop, but normally steer clear of in a desktop situation. That's been my loss, it seems. The keys on the Star Wars: The Old Republic keyboard are ultra-responsive, and the smaller form factor means my fingers are doing less lifting and more travelling, which really makes a difference when you spend all day writing. With my normal keyboard I often stumble over multiple presses; it hasn't happen with this unit yet. Once I ship this one back I'll be shopping for something similar (albeit a bit more practical).



The unit certainly doesn't skimp on style, either. The same silver-grey plastic that adorns its mouse and headset counterparts is present here, etched with geometric lines evocative of the Star Wars style. They keys are backlit with a pleasant yellow glow, which an illuminated strip at the top and bottom of the keyboard can be adjusted to any solid color, set to cycle through the spectrum, or even tied together with Star Wars: The Old Republic, acting as ambient lighting in sync with the game.



This is all easily controlled through the Razer Synapse software, the control panel for all your Razer peripherals.



With The Old Republic Going Free to Play, Now You Can Afford This Ridiculously Overpriced Keyboard



Here you can set up your illumination, save profiles, or fiddle with the various options and configurations for the right side of the keyboard, where this thing sits:



With The Old Republic Going Free to Play, Now You Can Afford This Ridiculously Overpriced Keyboard



The Switchblade user interface, an excellent idea that began life as what might have been the ultimate portable MMO-playing machine, eventually devolving into a row of ten programmable keys and a touch-screen track pad.



Here's a quick overview of the Switchblade's standard functions:










Let's boil it down to the very basics. The Switchblade interface is a series of programmable macro keys, each featuring a tiny LCD screen, and a touchpad that acts as a tiny display monitor. In a way it fulfills the promise of the Optimus Maximus keyboard that had so many PC gamers drooling back in 2007.



In a game setting, players can create and assign their own icons to the buttons, creating custom macros on the fly for any game they deem worthy of their attention. It's the same sort of thing you can do with many other gaming keyboards, only now you're paying a lot extra for fancy buttons.



And that track pad. While it works fine for the Razer Blade, I don't know a single person that would forego their gaming mouse to use a touchpad. The idea of having a default button dedicated to bringing up a virtual number bad in the stop a real number pad would be on a normal keyboard pretty much defines the absurdity of the device in this context. Is it useful as an additional screen for displaying maps or boss tactics? Sure it is. So's your phone.



I would love to see a version of the Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming keyboard that utilized the same style and mechanical parts, but did away with the expensive gimmicks. That, in my mind, would be the perfect companion to Razer's other Star Wars peripherals and a fine way to enjoy the game you soon won't have to pay for.



As it stands I just can't see recommending the product in its current configuration. Save your credits for other bits of bantha pudu.


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