Articles by Mike Fahey

expansion

How To Take Down Susano, FFXIV Stormblood's First Primal

Primal battles in Final Fantasy XIV are massive spectacles that pit a group of players against powerful creatures that usually show up in the series as summons. Stormblood’s first primal, Susano, gets more massive than most, but a well-coordinated group can take him down pretty easy. Susano is a take on Susanoo, the Shinto god of storms, making him a fitting first primal fight in an expansion that explores new areas inspired by ancient Japan. His appearance at the end of a lengthy quest line in the Ruby Sea area of the Doma region came as a surprise. I was not expecting a primal to show up at that particular time. Judging by the looks on their faces, neither were my non-player character companions. He looks intimidating, but there’s something infectious about his enthusiasm. He revels in battle, and the prospect of an epic fight against me and my fellow players genuinely seems to make him happy. It’s infectious. Like many Final Fantasy boss fights, the Susano battle is split into three phases. I’ll timestamp them so you can skip around in the video above. Our party, assembled at random via the game’s Duty READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

free

Celebrate Sonic's 26th Birthday With A Little Traveling Music

Just in time to kick off Sonic the Hedgehog’s 26th year, the folks at Overclocked Remix release Speeding Towards Adventure, a free 23-track album celebrating a quarter of a century that went by in a blue blur. The great thing about the Sonic franchise is that no matter how good or bad the games released might be, the music is almost always on point. Speeding Towards Adventure celebrates the series’ musical chops with 23 gorgeous remixes of some 30 community artists. Here’s a small taste: The compilation includes remixes from games spanning Sonic’s 25-year history, from the original game to Sonic Colors. Hell, they’ve even got a remix from Sonic Rush Adventure. The tunes are excellent, perfect for running, driving, flying or ring collecting. You can download it for free here, torrent it here and read all about it over at Overclocked Remix. Advertisement Advertisement Or just fire it up right here, courtesy of Soundcloud. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

barbie

Wonder Woman Makes Barbie Look Good

After rescuing the DC movie-verse from rampant mediocrity, Wonder Woman deserves much more than the basic Barbie treatment. The Black Label Wonder Woman Barbie collection features articulated bodies, stunning face sculpts, amazing outfits and awesome accessories. They’ll do nicely. When most people think of Barbie dolls they think of the $15 to $20 fashion dolls sitting on the shelves at their local Walmart. But there’s an entirely different side to Barbie aimed at the brand’s most passionate fans. Browse the Barbie Collection website and you’ll find everything from modestly-priced exclusive fashion dolls to $200 models sporting Oscar De La Renta designs. You’ll also find these three. Priced at $44.95, the Black Label Wonder Woman collection features dolls that straddle the line between “for play” and “for display.” Hippolyta, Antiope and Diana look good enough in their boxes or on stands on a shelf, but the weapons, armor and accessories beg to be fiddled with. If I still had my G.I. Joe collection from when I was a kid, I guarantee you I’d be recreating the crossing no-man’s land scene from the movie with Wonder Woman facing off against the tiny forces of Cobra. But READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Hololens Super Mario Bros. Looks Dangerously Fun

GIF Designer Abhishek Singh created a first-person augmented reality version of Super Mario Bros.’ first level, which is very cool. Then he dressed up as Mario to test out his creation in New York City’s Central Park. That’s the dangerous bit. On one hand, Singh’s AR game does a great job of demonstrating the potential of Microsoft’s Hololens tech. In the video, recorded directly from his headset while a second camera captured his movement, pixel hills sprout from the ground, enemies shuffle about and the sky fills with blocky clouds and boxes. Using movement and hand gestures he stomps on goombas, shoots fireballs and avoids obstacles, ultimate capturing the flag and entering the castle beyond. At the same time, he’s walking down a path where real people are obscured by bits of Mario’s world while dressed like a video game character, wearing a very expensive piece of tech on his head. When he enters the castle at the end of the run he’s surrounded on three sides by orange walls only he can see. Note the guy walking by in the top corner. He has no idea what is going on. It’s the sort of augmented reality project that begs…

arc

Currently in open beta, Motiga’s animal-powered action MOBA Gigantic officially launches on PC and X

Currently in open beta, Motiga’s animal-powered action MOBA Gigantic officially launches on PC and X Currently in open beta, Motiga’s animal-powered action MOBA Gigantic officially launches on PC and Xbox One on July 20. Interested parties can pick up founder’s packs for the free-to-play game for $29.99 at its official website. Kotaku elder, lover of video games, toys, snacks and other unsavory things. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

lego

The Ninjago Movie Is Spawning Some Very Cool Lego Sets 

The theatrical film based on Lego’s long-running ninja setting arrives on September 22, but we’ll be playing with the vehicles, dragons, and massive shark mechs starting in August. Check out five awesome new sets hitting stores in the coming months. In case you’re unfamiliar with Ninjago, go to a toy store or something. It’s one of Lego’s longest-running original properties. Just about everybody loves ninjas, and for those who don’t, the line also features pirates, high-tech vehicles, mystical creatures—it’s like an eight-year-old boy’s imagination threw up in the Lego aisle. It’s so good. The movie doesn’t look too shabby either. And it’s not just a funny trailer. It’s also a catalog of many of the new sets dropping on August 1. The five I’m sharing today aren’t as large and expensive as the $300 city set Io9 showed off yesterday, but combined they’ve got more than enough firepower to lay it to waste. 70618 Destiny’s Bounty – $159.99 – 2,295 Pieces Master Wu’s got a training boat, and it’s pretty massive. The Destiny’s Bounty features three modular rooms, four minifigures, a working anchor and plenty of secrets to uncover. Though I suppose if you’re READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

ANDROID

Castle Cats Isn't Much Of A Game, But The Cats Are Excellent

The key takeaway from Castle Cats, a new free-to-play mobile game for iOS and Android, is that you can collect adorable feline versions of Harry Potter, Django, Katniss Everdeen and Cthulhu. Also, they are fighting an evil Pugomancer. The rest is a bit fuzzy. The game itself is pretty basic. Players form a party of cats and assign them to timer-based missions according to each animal’s special skills. There’s a mechanic that allows players to speed up battles by tapping on the screen, but once the limited tap energy tapers out, it’s back to just waiting. But while you’re waiting, you get to play with some awesome cats, like Barry here. Collected cats, earned through in-app purchase or randomly found in treasures boxes, begin as basic, unassuming kittens. One of the first major characters I received was Howard, and I had no idea who he was supposed to be referencing until I used a gem to evolve him. Howard P Lovecraft to his friends. How cool is Cathulu here? So cool that I can’t stop tweeting pictures of his tentacled little face. Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Cooler Master MasterKeys L PBT Keyboard Review: A No-Nonsense Mech

Despite evidence to the contrary, a mechanical gaming keyboard doesn’t need to have bright glowing LED lighting. Cooler Master’s MasterKeys L PBT favors style over substance, losing the light show and adding some lovely thick keycaps to create an excellent sub $100 keyboard. Known for its computer cases, power supplies and cooling solutions, Cooler Master is also a big name in computer peripherals. Mice, headsets, keyboards—it’s a company that really wants to have its name all over your gaming PC, inside and out. The company has done especially well in the mechanical keyboard scene, where many mainstream mechanical keyboard manufacturers (Razer, Logitech) are regularly dumped on. The MasterKeys series is well-regarded, and mentions of the company’s high-end, hybrid capacitive Novatouch keyboards are accompanied by the sounds of singing angels from on high. Advertisement Most boards in the MasterKeys line feature LED lighting and thinner ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) keycaps to allow the light to shine through. The newly-released MasterKeys PBT boards, available in both full-size (L) and tenkeyless (M), do not have lights. Instead they feature 1.5mm thick keycaps made of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), a pricier plastic that’s very resistant to wear and shine. The MasterKeys PBT boards also feature…

free to play

NCsoft Launches A Slightly Different Sort Of MOBA

Launched today in Europe and North America, Master X Master (MXM) is an free-to-play PC action MOBA featuring WASD movement and a tag system that lets players bring their choice of two NCsoft all-star champions (Masters) into the arena at once, swapping them out on the fly. It’s hard to get excited for a new MOBA these days, but MXM has a few cool things going for it. The tag system sounds cool and should make for some really exciting gameplay moments between people much better at multiplayer arena games than I. It also features a cast of beloved characters from more interesting NCsoft games, like City of Heroes’ Statesman, Poharan from Blade & Soul and that one guy from that thing. Plus it has mini-games. What the hell is going on here? Here is an informative overview of how the game is played. And here is a much less informative cinematic launch trailer. Interested in giving it a go? Hit up the official MXM website and download the PC client for free. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

How To Unlock Swimming In Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood

One of the coolest new features introduced in Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood expansion is the ability to swim and dive, exploring exotic underwater locales. Anyone can tread water, but to go deep you’ve got to talk to some turtles. Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Spoilers Follow Just like learning to fly in the Heavensward expansion, gaining the ability to survive underwater environments without drowning in Stormblood takes a bit of work. The quest to unlock the ability is located in the game’s new Ruby Sea zone, which is only accessed after players complete the opening Ala Mhigo quests and take their first steps into the Far Eastern land of Doma. Initially landing in the island city of Kugane, players eventually find passage to the mainland with a lengthy layover in the Ruby Sea, an area featuring small settlements, volcanic islands and the underground city of Tamamizu, home of the turtle people. Cowabunga, dude. In order to end an age-old feud between the green turtle people and the red turtle people (they have a name, but they are turtle people), the player must be granted the ability to breathe and move underwater. A whole new world? For me? A quick fetch quest…

hardware

One Of The Mechanical Keyboard Community's Most Beloved Boards Is Back

This is the WhiteFox, a custom 60 percent keyboard created by Matteo ”Matt30″ Spinelli. A couple of years back this board was offered as a DIY kit on Massdrop, and over 4,000 kits were sold. Now Matt30 and the folks at Input Club are offering the WhiteFox once more, fully-assembled for the masses. Working together with the folks at keyboard enthusiast group Input Club and group buy website MassDrop, Matt30’s initial launch of the WhiteFox was a massive success. It quickly became one of the most coveted small form factor mechanical keyboards going. Now Matt30 and Input Club have teamed up to offer the board via Kickstarter. The $100,000 campaign kicked off earlier this morning, with fully-assembled boards a reward for pledging $159 t0 $169. As of this writing they’ve just surpassed the $30,000 mark, with no signs of slowing down. Why the move from Massdrop to Kickstarter? From Matt30’s blog: Massdrop is a great platform with a huge user base but of course you have to compromise when dealing with big companies. BUT. The WhiteFox is our baby, Input Club and I felt that we couldn’t keep compromising and we needed a way to finally READ FULL STORY AT…

activision

The Necromancer class comes to Diablo III on June 27.

The Necromancer class comes to Diablo III on June 27. The Rise of the Necromancer DLC pack will be available for $14.99 on PC and consoles. A Diablo III: Eternal Collection will also be available on Xbox One and PS4, bundling the original game and the Necro update for $39.99. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

cookies

Snacktaku And Son Eat Jelly Donut Oreos

Friday, June 2, was National Doughnut Day in the States, the day we celebrate fried sweet dough, torus-shaped and otherwise. Nabisco celebrated this joyous holiday by reminding us that there’s nothing quite like a warm jelly doughnut, especially not a creme-filled sandwich cookie. As has been our annual tradition since 2017, Snacktaku combines both National Doughnut Day and Father’s Day into one joyous occasion, inviting the next generation of Snackologists to participate in the eating of the snack. Archer, one of two six-year-old boys that look vaguely similar, is at the stage in his Snackology studies where he’ll try anything once—really sour candy, chips made from cricket flour, that especially delicious-looking blue Lego piece on the floor of my office I keep meaning to pick up. He’s like the canary in my culinary coal mine. Advertisement And so, when it came to Jelly Donut Oreo cookies, he was up to the challenge. The challenge, in this situation, was to forget everything you know about jelly doughnuts and embrace Oreo’s version of the national treasure. Note the use of the shortened “Donut.” That’s awfully familiar, Nabisco. What we have READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

expansion

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Progress Report: Lost Connections

GIF Since Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood expansion launched in early access on Friday morning, I’ve leveled a Red Mage from 50 to 60 and taken my first steps into the city state of Ala Mhigo. Imagine what I could have accomplished had the servers been anywhere near stable! While the crux of the Stormblood expansion involves characters venturing into Ala Mhigo and the Asian-inspired Doma with the intention to free them from the oppression of the Garlean Empire, I spent precious little time in the new areas. This was mainly due to the fact that one of the major progression quests for the new lands was nearly impossible to complete for the first two and a half days of early access. When a special cinematic solo quest begins, the game creates a special instance just for the player doing the quest. Slammed with players new and old all attempting to do the quest at once, the game’s servers were having trouble creating new instances, leading to players lining up or gathering around the quest giver, desperately trying to move on. Some players made it through. Others were kicked back to the same area READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!