Articles by Mike Fahey

Hip Hop

Snacktaku Eats Rap Snacks Potato Chips, The 'Official Snacks Of Hip-Hop'

I ran to the corner store this morning for an energy drink, I returned with five bags of Rap Snacks brand potato chips. That’s snackologist life. One minute you’re thirsty, the next you’re eating chips out of a bag with Fetty Wap’s face on it. Advertisement Distributed by the fine folks at RapSnacks of Locust Grove, Georgia, these inexpensive face-covered chip bags have been showing up all over the Atlanta area as of late. You can’t beat a bag of chips for a dollar. That and a can of Arizona ice tea and you’ve got lunch for two bucks and change. Unless you opt for the Romeo Miller Bar-B-Quin’ With My Honey flavor, which is $1.29 for some reason. Riley: “It looks like the people are supposed to be the chip flavors.” Rap Snacks are a neat concept. Flavors styled after rap artists’ tastes, QR codes on the back that could score the snacker a download of an unreleased song. But I am a snackologist, so it’s not about the concept. It’s about the taste. We’ll do this real quick. Advertisement Honey Jalapeno READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Latest Figures Capture Pokémon At The Height Of Their Powers

GIF The second wave of Pokémon Gallery figures have hit The Pokemon Company’s online store, giving Psyduck, Cubone, Jigglypuff and Vulpix a chance to show off their signature moves in style. Advertisement The Pokémon Gallery figure line launched back in February as part of the celebration of the game’s 25th anniversary. The idea is to portray Pokémon as they appear in the middle of the moves most often associated with the character. Pikachu gets Thundershock, Magikarp does Splash, that sort of thing. Each figure in the series runs $16.99 and is sold exclusively through the Pokémon Center online store. They come in lovely boxes, but to truly appreciate them you’ve got to shed that cardboard and plastic shell. Be sure to right click on the images and expand them for a better look. First up is Vulpix, captured here in mid Fire Spin. The designers opted to give this figure a clear base, which, along with the translucent orange plastic, grants the illusion of a whirling flame tornado, destroying any grass-type it touches. Next we have one of the most depressing READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


At Least It's Not Another Star Wars Collectible Card Game

There’s a new Star Wars game out on mobile today, and it doesn’t involve collecting characters, buying things in order to unlock characters or forming a party of collectible characters. At this point a match-three game like Star Wars: Puzzle Droids is kind of refreshing. Advertisement As much as I like to ride on the lazier examples of the genre, I’m always down for a well-crafted match-three game, and Puzzle Droids certainly looks like one of those. Free to download today on iOS and Android (hah) devices, the game sees players matching themed gems in order to unlock BB-8’s memories of classic Star Wars scenes. At this point I am down for any mobile Star Wars game that doesn’t involve me trying to level up Chewbacca. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Puyo Puyo Tetris Is Delightful, Even When You're Losing

GIF While I’ve still not gotten the hang of Japanese puzzle classic Puyo Puyo, I‘m pretty good at Tetris when I concentrate. Recording a Kotaku Plays video is not a good way to concentrate, but I don’t mind losing when I get to share the colorful sights and spirited sounds of Puyo Puyo Tetris. Advertisement Out this week for both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, Puyo Puyo Tetris is a combination of two of the world’s favorite drop puzzle games. Players can launch matches of either or both games directly from the opening screen, or dive into story mode, online multiplayer or splitscreen multiplayer for up to four. Watch me play through a story mission and try my hand at a little multiplayer in the video below. My performance isn’t pretty, but everything else is. Ignore my playing. Focus on the bright and welcoming graphics and the lovely arrangements of “Korobeiniki,” the Russian folk song better known as the Tetris theme. While the game’s story mode, which tells the story of two puzzle-based worlds merging into one, alternates between Puyo Puyo, Tetris and mixed battles, in READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Holy hell, Forza Horizon 3 is getting a Hot Wheels expansion.

Holy hell, Forza Horizon 3 is getting a Hot Wheels expansion. Arriving on May 9, the expansion features six themed islands off the coast of Australia, all connected with Hot Wheels track, plus iconic Hot Wheels rides like Twin Mill, Rip Rod and the Bone Shaker. Best expansion idea ever. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Burnout Creators Try To Turn Crash Mode Into A Game Again

Last year a small independent development studio lead by Criterion Games veterans Fiona Sperry and Alex Ward released Dangerous Golf, a game that was basically Burnout’s Crash Mode without cars. With Danger Zone, due out next month for PC and PS4, they’re trying it with cars. Excellent. Advertisement Crash Mode was my favorite part of Burnout 3: Takedown, as I am much better at running into things than I am dodging them gracefully. Last year’s Dangerous Golf promised the same sort of experience in a different setting, but it fumbled the execution. You know what was missing? These things: Danger Zone takes the show back out on the road. Players will be charged with tearing apart 20 single-player crash scenarios. They’ll try to cause enough chaos during the initial impact to initiate a SmashBreaker, which slows things down and gives them a little more control over their flaming wreck to earn more points. They aren’t even changing the name for this. SmashBreaker! That’s what were getting in Danger Zone. The new vehicular destruction puzzle game that’s really the beloved old one with a new name will be out on PC and PlayStation 4 next month for $12.99. Somebody tell Lana….

happy meal toys

You Don't Have To Eat McDonald's To Get Super Mario Happy Meal Toys

McDonald’s employees across the country have begun stuffing the latest series of small Mario-themed pieces of plastic into smiling cardboard grease boxes. New Super Mario Happy Meal toys don’t mean you have to eat the food they come with. There are other ways. Advertisement Have children: No matter how good your intentions are towards your children’s good nutrition, they’re going to figure out Chicken McNuggets eventually. Don’t worry, a Happy Meal now and then, say once a week when the toys rotate, won’t kill them. For extra bonus points, have twins. I’ve already thrown away two Yoshi’s and a Mario this week. Get a job at McDonald’s: Maybe not this. How about instead . . . Advertisement Make friends with someone who works at McDonald’s: Look at this promotional video for jobs at McDonald’s. These are fun people! Friendly people! People who look like they’d be willing to make sure you get a full set of Super Mario Happy Meal toys. I’m not saying you should take advantage. What I am suggesting is you form a lasting relationship with them, support them when they need READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku plays

Marvel's Diablo-Style MMO Plays Pretty Well On Console

GIF Marvel Heroes, Gazillion Entertainment’s Diablo-style comioc book MMO, is making the move to consoles as Marvel Heroes Omega. The PlayStation 4 closed beta launched last weekend, and I’m here to show it to you the only way I know how—with copious amounts of Squirrel Girl. Advertisement Early last year, Gazillion introduced controller support to its long-running Marvel Comics MMO, a move that paved the way for move to consoles, which more and more free-to-play MMO games (Trove, Skyforge) seem to be making these days. Rather than straight porting the PC version, we get Marvel Heroes Omega, essentially the same game with a few console-friendly changes. The game is currently in closed beta on PlayStation 4, accessed by purchasing one of several Founder’s Packs for the game, which start at around $17. Once the game launches, players will be able to try out any hero up to level 10 for free, after which they’ll have to buy the character to progress further. Note that Omega doesn’t seem to be tied to Gazillion player accounts, so PC players moving to console will likely have to re-buy their favorites. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Dragon Quest

Dragon Quest Heroes II Is Less Dynasty Warriors, More Dragon Quest

The first Dragon Quest Heroes was a a satisfying combination of Dragon Quest characters and creatures with Dynasty Warriors-style battles and structure. With an overworld to traverse filled with random encounters and hidden treasures, Dragon Quest Heroes II feels a lot more like . . . well, Dragon Quest. Advertisement Being more a fan of the Dynasty Warriors games than the Dragon Quest series, I must admit I did not pay a lot of attention to this sequel leading up to today’s launch on PC and PlayStation 4. I liked the first game well enough and figured I was in for more of the same. As I watched and played through the game’s opening moments, there was no indication otherwise. The graphics are still sharp as hell, and the English voice acting this time around is top-notch stuff (the accents really make the Toriyama character designs work for me), but as the opening moments wrapped up and I was launched into a hack-and-slash battle, I figured I was getting what I expected. But after that massive battle, the introduction of red-haired envoy Desdemona and the massive boss fight, something was very READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

green hills zone

Green Hill Zone's Looking Good In Sonic Forces

Sonic Forces, like Sonic Generations before it, combines classic and modern Sonic the Hedgehog style into one game. And where there is classic Sonic, there is the Green Hill Zone. This one’s not too shabby. Advertisement We’ve seen a little bit of column B, now here’s a taste of column be in the clash of hedgehog timelines, due out this holiday season for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Switch. Speed? Check. Catchy music? Check. Yes, I think this will do nicely, as long as they keep classic Sonic far away from underwater levels. No one ever liked the underwater levels. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

You Can Play A Bit Of The Original Tomb Raider In Your Browser Right Now

GIF Fancy a quick jaunt with Lara Croft before she got all fancy and realistic? With Timur Gagiev’s OpenLara project, that adventure is just a click away. Advertisement It’s not the whole game—just a demo level—but it’s a demo level that runs damn well in a full screen browser window, and it’s even got controller support. Not only is it a fine piece of work, it’s an excellent means to see how far the Tomb Raider series has come since 1996. Gagiev goes by XProger on GitHub and lists himself as a graphics programmer on Quake Champions for Saber Interactive. He drew inspiration for OpenLara from the OpenTomb project, a cross-platform re-implementation of the Core Engine that powered the first five Tomb Raider games. Advertisement Well done. Click here for instant Lara Croft. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

CI games

 Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 Is At Least Good For Sniping

GIF After a couple of average linear outings that sold well to the sniping set, CI Games fleshes out Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 into a full open-world sneaking and sniping adventure with triple-A aspirations. The sniping is pretty great. The rest? Eh. Advertisement Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 tells the story of Robert and Jonathan North, a pair of brothers destined for sniping greatness. The game opens with the young and scrappy Robert sharpening his rifle skills out in the woods. See that shiner? Robert is scrappy. It worries his mother. Robert’s practice is interrupted by the arrival of Jonathan, his older sibling. Jonathan is about to start his military service. He’s older and more responsible. They’re complete opposites, but they love each other. Oh you, my creepy chiding smile says it all. Then a time jump. Robert and Jon are in a chopper, heading for the Russia-Ukraine border, on a mission to destroy a cache of weapons. They argue. Jon accuses Robert of being too straight-laced and by the book. Robert accuses Jon of being too wild, only embracing the system when it works for him. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Swapping Keycaps Is The Key To Having A Pretty Keyboard

A kit-built sandwich keyboard with purple aluminum top plays the perfect host to GMK’s Skeletor set. Between my keyboard-centric posts here on Kotaku and my Twitter feed, I’ve been posting a lot of pictures of very pretty keyboards lately, which leads to people asking me where they can buy those keyboards. For the most part, you can’t. You have to build them. Advertisement I’m not saying you need to buy a kit and learn to solder, though those are excellent things to do. What I am saying is that recieving your keyboard from Amazon or or someone on Reddit’s MechMarket is just the beginning. Take my Saber 68, for example. It started off as a barebones board I grabbed from a seller on Reddit. Just a case, a PCB, some MOD-M switches and that was it. While searching for a nice set of keycaps for a completely different keyboard, I picked up an EnjoyPBT Valentine set. The set ended up not quite going with the keyboard I bought it for (you’ll see that one in a bit), but being a full set with tons of READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Introversion Software

From Introversion Software, the makers of Prison Architect, comes Scanner Sombre, a game involving n