The house has fallen into chaos. Thankfully, a savior has emerged: Tilda Swinton. Advertisement You wouldn’t really think much of Tilda from the looks of her. The past few times I’ve played this house, she’s mostly napped on the couch and played basketball. But today I decided to see what makes her tick. Mainly, it’s alcohol. She rolled these back to back. Girl, chill. She also rolls wants to cook meals, which is convenient, because no one else really knows how to cook. Indeed, when I’m not controlling this house, shit goes awry. No one really sleeps in their bed. They kinda just fall asleep wherever they want to. So I decided Tilda would become the house mom. In between making drinks for herself, she’d cook meals for everyone else. That doesn’t mean other sims don’t cook, of course. They often try to grill hamburgers and then leave the platter by the pool to spoil. Advertisement The house’s grilling habit would become a problem when Drake decided to man the grill, caught himself on fire, and then READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Super Mario 64 was a watershed moment for our favorite video game plumber. Mario made the leap into the third dimension and brought a colorful array of characters with him but a major ally was missing: his brother Luigi. Was he just hiding the whole time? Advertisement Mario’s brother Luigi has always had his back ever since the pair conquered arcades in 1983. When Mario went missing, Luigi was on the case. But he was notably absent in Super Mario 64. It’s hard to know the precise origin of the rumors regarding Luigi. The most popular myth centers around what has become known at the “Eternal Star.” It is a statue resting inside of a fountain that can be found on one of the lower levels of the game’s castle hub world. “Eternal Star” or “L Is Real 2401?” The statue gained its name from the plaque it bears. Some players claimed that it read “eternal star.” The most interesting fan translation was a coded message: “L Is Real 2401.” It was a sign from the creators according to some. The statue was a key for unlocking READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Artist Brent Watanabe debuts the San Andreas Community Cam today, a Twitch stream that follows the lives of five Grand Theft Auto V NPCs. Watch as they traverse GTA V’s Los Santos, accompanied by the sounds of crying. Advertisement The San Andreas Community Cam follows five NPCs as they go about their day. In the words of Watanabe, “The citizens are ‘playing themselves’, with all activity unscripted.” At the moment they’re mostly walking into walls and staring ponderously at vacant lots. What’s most interesting is that they’re all soundtracked by recordings of people crying, sometimes very loudly. I think I’m really freaking out my roommates right now. Take a look below. But why the crying? It just so happens that today is the Inauguration of the 45th United States President, Donald Trump. Also, all donations made to the San Andreas Community Cam will go directly to Planned Parenthood. Advertisement Last year, Watanabe streamed an autonomous wandering deer in GTA V, which memorably got chased by the cops and wandered into a gang turf war. Here’s hoping these Los Santos citizens fare a little better on READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The Pedestrian’s pitch begins: “What’s it like inside the world of public restroom signs?” Advertisement It’s a game about signs. Caution signs, street signs, any kind of sign that would feature a little human icon. And the aim of the game is to arrange a bunch of the signs together so you can get that little human from one end to the other. Like this: Doesn’t that look cool? The game’s currently up on Kickstarter, though it also has a Steam Greenlight page. Advertisement And if you want to try it out, there’s a playable demo available here. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
If you visualize the depth buffer of a game (stay with me), you can make it look like the game is running in black & white, ala Limbo. Advertisement It’s not a very practical thing to do, but it does look very nice, as kidaXV shows/explains here. Here’s Borderlands 2: Here’s Fallout 4: And here, most fittingly, is Dark Souls: This isn’t a recommended way to actually play through games, since there are times—menus especially, since there’s no depth there to visualise—when the effect will be a pain in the ass. Plus, there is no HUD, so again, that’s a problem. Advertisement But for making pretty videos, it’s very useful. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Heroes of the Storm released its latest hero, Valeera Sanguinar from World of Warcraft, onto the PTR on the 17th. However, some fans of HotS and WoW alike are disappointed in the character choice. Advertisement Valeera is a new Assassin class character for HotS, and the first Rogue class character from WoW to be added to the game. But her release fell on the heels of three other HotS Assassin class characters, all from World of Warcraft. In the eyes of fans, four WoW Assassins is, ahem, overkill. On top of that, some players think Valeera isn’t the best Rogue character to import from WoW. While Valeera’s first appearance in the lore was over a decade ago, her time in in-game events has been scant. WoW players aren’t necessarily disappointed, but they’d have preferred more recognizable characters like Garona, the Van Cleefs or Matthias Shaw. When I reached out to fans, they theorized that Valeera’s status as the face of the Rogue class in Hearthstone might have had something to with the choice to include her. Advertisement “Valeera was essentially invented for the DC READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Cultist Simulator is a “one person boardgame” from Alexis Kennedy, creative director and lead writer on Sunless Sea and Fallen London. It’s a fun, tactile game of studying the dark arts and performing human sacrifices. Advertisement You begin Cultist Simulator with no occult knowledge at all. You must find a way to make money consistently, and then use that money to buy forbidden books. You’ll study those books to discover lore, study the lore to get rituals, use those rituals to gain dark power, and so on and so on. It feels like an experience meant for mobile in a lot of ways. You complete every action by clicking on the large, blocky tokens and slotting a card or two into them, and then waiting for a timer to go off. You’re rewarded with a card that gives you more avenues to go down in your quest for occult knowledge, be it a new book, location, a bit of lore, or just some money. As the game goes on and these processes become more complex, it feels pretty good to put all your ducks in a row and watch your READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
One of Dark Souls 3‘s most difficult bosses has been defeated in dizzying self challenge. The accomplishment is full of unbelievable parries and stripping. Advertisement iHardlyTriHard Gaming faced down the dangerous Champion Gundyr. The challenge was involved. When Gundyr attacks, they spin 720 degrees before parrying behind their back. Then then attack and perform the “Praise the Sun” gesture for some extra swag. Finally, they remove some armor before switching to a new weapon on the fly. It’s a wild bit of play that takes advantage of one of Dark Souls 3‘s odder mechanical touches. Parrying in Dark Souls 3 doesn’t simply allow for players to deflect attacks from the front. When players parry, the game essentially creates a small zone where an attack can be deflected. With the right timing, it is possible to parry attacks from most directions including behind. The end result is a stripteasing warrior who managed to utterly humiliate one of the game’s deadliest foes. Viewers are completely gobsmacked. Which is a word I’ve always wanted to use. It’s a little bit like those moments in anime when the protagonist removes their READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
William Bao is an artist based in LA who works for Ironklad, a studio that has helped out on stuff like The Division, League of Legends and…Taylor Swift videos. Advertisement You can see more of Bao’s art at his ArtStation page. To see the images in their native resolution, click on the “expand” button in the top-left corner. Advertisement Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you’re in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you’d like to share, drop us a line! READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Overwatch will be running a thing for Chinese New Years, starting January 25. Hope you’re ready to open a ton of red envelopes full of shit you don’t want. Korea gets its own message, with a killer D.Va skin: READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Nintendo just announced that Super Mario Run, a game which has been out on iOS devices for over a month, will not be out on Android until March. Advertisement I am aware of the difficulties of developing for Android vs iOS, what with all the different specs and screen sizes. I am also aware that Apple was very interested in promoting the game exclusively over the holiday period, with demos in Apple stores, etc. But still. Come on guys. Any Android users wanting to be kept informed of the actual release, you can register for updates on the game’s Google Play Store listing. If it helps, remember that the new Fire Emblem game for mobile devices is coming to Android first. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Illustration by Angelica Alzona Snipers have a bad reputation: the class is infamous for standing back and picking off kills, all without contributing to the match objective. In Overwatch, that sniper stigma means that players consider heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo to be nonviable competitively. For some players, straying from that norm often turns ugly. Advertisement For weeks now, I’ve been hearing stories from people who say that picking Widowmaker in Overwatch matches opens them up to harassment from teammates, even if they’re just playing for funsies. I’ve had people complain to me about the constant insults and slurs that they get for picking Widowmaker, and one reader even admitted that they can’t see Widowmaker on attack without immediately messaging that player to urge them to switch characters. Social etiquette has emboldened Overwatch players to constantly monitor and micromanage heroes picked by the friendly team, and the experience can be awful for everyone involved. One player, Jean Fauquenot, is constantly battling against the negative perception that his go-to character picks are destructive for his team. The current accepted meta is the “triple tank” strategy, where heroes like READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Fruits of a Feather is a light and breezy relaxation game where players can soar around a picturesque island as a hawk. With hidden caverns to explore and countless fruit to find, it’s a wonderful way to unwind and a very Cool Indie Game. Advertisement Developed by Samurai Punk and featuring music from Skeletone Audio, Fruits of a Feather derives a lot of strength from simplicity. There’s a very simple goal to collect various fruit around the island. For players seeking a challenge or who have a completionist streak, this provides direction. But the game never positions this goal as a requirement. It’s a suggestion. You’re free to fly around at your own leisure for as long as you want. You can play a focused session and collect fruit for five minutes or just swoop and dive for an hour. It’s up to you. It helps that the game is so vibrant. The island is bright and filled with trees, ruins, and beach shores. There’s a genuine sense of speed whether you’re high in the clouds or zipping through a cave. Mellow ambient music also gives the experience charm. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Last week, The Sims 4 team added toddlers as a free update after years of clamoring from fans. While I’m happy to see the life stage added, previous iterations of toddlers in The Sims didn’t do it for me. These new toddlers, however, change up the lives of my sims in significant ways. They also make it hard for anyone in the house to sleep at night, but that just seems true to life. Advertisement I wasn’t all that upset when The Sims 4 launched without toddlers—the way they were implemented in The Sims 3 was pretty annoying. Essentially, the life stage was dedicated to teaching sims to walk, talk and use the toilet, and then dealing with the fact that they cried all the time. Relationships between toddlers and their parents didn’t feel meaningful, and toddlers only had a few actions they could do autonomously to keep them out of their parents’ way. The life stage felt so insignificant that once I discovered that I could keep the parents awake all night via cheating, I’d make them stay up all night to teach the toddlers all their skills in READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!