From Software's sequel will be remembered as one of the hardest games of this console generation. It took some people weeks—months, even—to make their way to the final battle of Dark Souls. This ruthless speedrun by Freddy 'Thanatos' Vasquez blows through it in about half an hour. There's some skipping but it's still a hypnotic thing to watch.
Tonight's Video Game Awards on Spike TV will also be streamed online (including here at Kotaku as well as through the Xbox 360. It's via the 360 that viewers will be able to cast votes to tweak the show and one of its exclusives.
Spike's/GTTV's Geoff Keighley just shot me a list of the things that Xbox users can vote on. I was expecting some weak stuff like "Say whether you love the Xbox 360 or not", but these are actually some fun options.
My votes would be Tomahawk, Persona (to make Jason Schreier happy), Minecraft and Tomb Raider. The VGAs air and stream tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT.
Looking through our lamentable catalogue of stories in which a baby is killed when a parent or other caregiver has flown into a game-induced rage, most of them involve shaking. Two involved a strike to the body. In one, an infant was dropped on her head.
Well, we have a new low in the realm of horrible things done to a newborn by an adult who can't control his temper. In High Point, N.C. last week, authorities say Brian Jack Frazier, 20, hit his two-week-old son in the face when his crying interrupted his video game session at 5 a.m.
Frazier then went back to sleep, said investigators, and evidently didn't check on the child for another 9 hours, as he discovered the baby unresponsive at 2 p.m. Medical staff pronounced the child (pcitured above) dead an hour later.
Frazier is in jail, and so is the baby's mother, charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder. Frazier is charged with first degree murder and prosecutors in Guilford County have not yet ruled out seeking the death penalty. The home apparently was squalid enough that family members are wondering why the children were not placed into protective custody after a social worker's visit earlier.
I can fly off the handle about a lot of things, but I am terrified of holding babies, frankly, because I know it takes very little to cause serious, permanent injury to their heads. The idea of someone punching a 2-week-old in the face is something that takes physical effort to put out of my mind. This trend is by now so long tenured and ugly that I'm wondering when a public service campaign about baby shaking and video gaming begins.
It's incredibly sad and mortifying to the gaming community that some people have to be told to calm it the hell down if they're new parents, but I don't see any other proactive way to address this. People who shouldn't be parents will always have kids.
High Point baby killed by father's face punch was living in squalor, relatives say [The Winston-Salem Journal. Image via WTVR-TV.]
Traditionally the Week in Gaming Apps has been a weekly round-up of our daily Gaming App of the Day feature, punctuating those Android, iOS and Windows Phone games we've deemed worthy of special attention. Now that my entire attention is on the mobile gaming market, I play too many games each week to let them all slip away, so we're changing things up. Call it the best of the rest.
Don't worry, the Gaming App of the Day round-up is still down there at the bottom of the page, but those games and the others I cover week in and week out already enjoy the spotlight. This is where the Nitro Chimps and Element Battles get a chance to shine.
Without further ado, here's what else we played this week, in no particular order.
An addictive little endless racer, filled with stunts, monkeys, and costumes for monkeys.
Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders
The Sky Gamblers series from Namco bolsters its air superiority on iTunes.
Reflec Beat +
A competitive music game that mixes rhythm tapping with table tennis, from the fine folks at Bemani.
What if Temple Run was more like a fantasy role-playing game? This, right here.
Zenonia 5: Wheel of Destiny
Gamevil's long-running (well, in mobile terms) role-playing series returns with a sharp look and the low price of free.
One of the deepest combo match-three puzzle / role-playing games I've played.
We all looked a bit silly playing Wii Sports and sillier still when we played Dance Central or Just Dance or just about any other Kinect or Wii motion game. More »
Stunning combat games like Infinity Blade and Avengers Alliance are nice and all, but they waste a lot of time in-between battles with exploration and poking at items. In Glu Mobile's Dragon Slayer you slay dragons. That's it. More »
'Tis the season for snowball fights, at least if you're lucky enough to live in a part of the world that gets below freezing. Grab some friends, put on your snow-pants, ball up some icy white residue from the sidewalk, and let it fly. More »
In early 2011, Epic Games released Duty Calls, a Call of Duty parody game that made fun of the military shooter in order to promote the release of Bulletstorm. The story mode for Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is ten times as funny, only I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be. More »
My apologies to the guy I was playing this morning in Letter by Letter. You were assigned to me at random by the game's server. You played "bole," (a synonym for "trunk") which was a very good choice. I didn't have an S to tack onto the end of that and steal the whole thing. I countered with OOZE, you with POOL as we warred over those two Os. Then, snickering like a fifth-grader, I played BOOB. More »
If you have a suggestion for an app for the iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Phone 7 that you'd like to see highlighted, let us know in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The popular myth has been debunked: you can't blow on cartridges to make them work. Actually, blowing on the cartridge might damage it. Sorry, folks. It's true.
But, apparently the myth never needed to be debunked in the first place. Nintendo has kind of been telling us all along. We just weren't paying attention. Luke Plunkett wrote about this before, but here's photographic evidence.
Ah, the hours we could have all saved if we bothered to read, eh?
In celebration of the holidays and the impending release of the 3D Nintendo DS Final Fantasy IV remake on iOS. Square Enix has lined up a slew of iOS game sales, starting with slashed prices on those excellent-but-pricey mobile FF games.
It's hard to resist a mobile Final Fantasy game, but those that managed to stay the course are rewarded this week with Final Fantasy I and II for $3.99 apiece (normally $8.99), the regularly $15.99 Final Fantasy III for $8.99 ($16.99 to $9.99 on the iPad), and $12 off the full Final Fantasy Dimensions, dropping it to a mere $16.99.
The FF sale runs through December 14. Between December 12 and January 7, Lara Croft and the couple of games you probably don't care about are reduced to $.99 from $2.99, and American Mensa Academy goes on sale for $1.99 starting December 17.
No sale for Android gamers, but they can look forward to the impending release of Final Fantasy Dimensions, Demon's Score and Wizardlings, so that's something.
Check out the full sale details below. Hopefully those slashed FF prices will help make up for whatever ridiculous price tag is affixed to Final Fantasy IV.
• FINAL FANTASY I $8.99 → $3.99
• FINAL FANTASY II $8.99 → $3.99
• FINAL FANTASY III $15.99 → $8.99 (iPhone) $16.99 → $9.99 (iPad)
• FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS $28.99 → $16.99
December 12 – January 7
• LARA CROFT AND THE GUARDIAN OF LIGHT $2.99 → $0.99 (iPhone, iPad)
• VICTORIAN MYSTERIES WOMAN IN WHITE $2.99 → $0.99 (iPad)
• VICTORIAN MYSTERIES THE MOONSTONE $2.99 → $0.99 (iPad)
December 17 – January 7
• AMERICAN MENSA ACADEMY $4.99 → $1.99 (iPhone, iPad)
There may not have been an actual Arrested Development Nintendo game, but that hasn't stopped the folks at 72Pins from imagining what might have been.
You can now get a set of 6 carts for made-up Arrested Development games, each one created by artist Jesse Eisemann. There's Mr. Bananagrabber, Steve Holt!, and of course, Chicken Dance Revolution. Has anyone who worked on that game even seen a chicken? Sadly, I Just "Blue" Myself is not on offer.
As it happens, I was testing out the Wii U's Netflix app last night and wound up re-watching a few episodes of Arrested Development, including the first episode I ever saw, "Marta Complex." Those new episodes can't come soon enough.
2012 was a good year to be moved by visuals in games. I'm not talking graphic fidelity, but rather aesthetics. So many games this year were visually inspired and pleasing to the eye.
To commemorate this, I'm creating a series of cinemagraphs (partially animated GIFs) devoted to some the most aesthetically beautiful moments in gaming this year. First up? Journey. Enjoy.
Former BioWare game director Trent Oster recently spoke to Eurogamer and revealed a project that was killed by EA.
Think James Bond meets Jason Bourne. Okay, now take that and add a focus on digital action and intense drama. That's what this game was going to be. It had the working title "Agent."
"The idea being that James Bond isn't just a gun that walks around the world and shoots people. He's a suave manipulator, he's a talented martial artist, he's a secret agent. We wanted to cross that 007 with Jason Bourne, where he's been modified in some way; you're not sure what, but he's definitely deadly," Oster explained.
But, EA didn't believe in the idea. Agent "failed to survive the recession" according to Oster.
"And if the company's not behind it, it doesn't matter how hard you struggle you just can't make it happen," Oster lamented.
Too bad. I would have totally played this. Damn you,
Excluding the bloodier events, let's sit back and take a virtual tour of Rook Islands, as photographed by Jason Brody himself. Or, more accurately, Redditor HanzJimmer. Great, now I need to go on a vacation to a tropical island somewhere, brb.