Video Games

Early Xbox One Adopter? Microsoft Freaking Loves You; Has Gifts

If you really know your gaming shit, you’ll remember the sad plight of the 3DS. Its 2011 launch was, in corporate terms, a farcetacular disaster. What with the price and rumors of the 3D effect melting people’s freaking eyeballs right out of their sockets, sales were fairly awful.

Price cuts and other such big-business shenanigans saved it, but early buyers were pissed. So much so, Nintendo pulled the Ambassador Program out of their asses; a series of free downloadable games available only to those who bought the handheld at its original, too-damn-much price.

Three years later, here’s Xbox One. It didn’t quite hit store shelves ass-first, but nor has it been the sales sensation it could have. The next-gen hype train promised much, and has failed to really deliver a killer app in a year of trying.

Fear not though, spangly new console owners. Microsoft are here to remind us that they do love us. No, really. Sure, they don’t call as often as they should, but they’ve been busy. What with the new baby and the move and all. But hey, presents.

If you’ve bought an Xbox One in the last year, quoth Kotaku, you’ve got a magical email of free stuff coming at you down your Internet-pipe as we speak. Early adopters are being rewarded with an exclusive Year One gamer picture, backgrounds for the console and free time-limited rentals (of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods).

If that's not enough for you (which it isn’t, because it’s a bit wank frankly), you’ll also be entered into draws to win everything from limited edition console bundles to a GTA Online Tiger Shark cash card ($200,000 in-game GTA dollars).

Gaming’s Whacked Out Week: Hey, Remember That Time Nintendo Made Ecstasy Tablets?

As we know, Nintendo have taken a lot of snark over the years for their kiddy image. The mockers have mocked, like the mocking mocksters of mock that they are. They always have. As that fat kid with the breathing problems once told me at recess, Sonic is cool and Mario is gay. As though this was an insult, and not just a sign of a guy with much better fashion sense and standards of personal hygiene than the rest of us.

True enough, their first party output has always been on the family friendly, toontastic side. Not to mention their commercials, cutesy enough to make all the hairs on your scrote stand on end. But hey, they’ve tried all sorts of things to get the hardcore, old-enough-to-legally-drink gamer on board. When the Gamecube launched in 2001, Nintendo secured a deal with Capcom to get the whole main Resident Evil backlog ported, and an exclusive entry or two to boot.

The console may have been bright purple, and resembled a Hello Kitty My First Handbag, but that doesn’t help the point I’m making at all. And the point is: Nintendo-branded ecstasy tablets.

Spoiler: this isn’t an official Nintendo product. Just in case you thought they’d taken their attempts to woo the cool core crowd a little too far (I know, mom, drugs are not cool). Just bizarre news from Merry Old England earlier this week, where three teens were rushed to hospital after taking ‘super-strength ecstasy pills branded Nintendos to cynically appeal to youngsters’ at a club.

Seriously, what will dodgy back-alley drug dealers come up with next?

Destructoid, via The Mirror.

The Weekly WTF: Blob-based Weirdtastic With ‘A Boy and His Blob’

When I was a boy, what awesome, badass-exuding pet did I own? A fish. Named Archie. Now, Archie didn’t have poisonous fangs or laser eyes or anything else we wanted our pets to have as boys. He couldn’t kill on command (unless ordered to ‘kill’ those sad brown flakes that fish eat). Frankly, fish do shit all.

What a bum deal. While Eliot was flying through the motherfreaking air on a magical bike with E.T and phoning home, I had Archie. Leaving those long, weird trails of crap behind him and otherwise being a damn fish.
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Years Later, ‘Batman: Arkham City’ is Still Full of Surprises

There is nothing --effing nothing-- that Arkham City can’t do. Along with predecessor Arkham Asylum, it was the game that convinced the world licensed titles don’t have to be huge steaming shitheaps. Which is a freaking miracle in and of itself; I still break out in hives at the mere mention of Superman 64.

These babies surpassed all expectations, from nerdly critic types and regular Hobo Joe players like ourselves alike. Now, three years later, we learn that Batman: Arkham City is the badass face-punchin’ gift that keeps on giving.

Somehow, a hidden easter egg within the game has just been found, having eluded capture longer than that creepy dude in the park who keeps exposing himself to strangers. As Kotaku reports, it’s connected with the enigmatic Calendar Man. We’ve seen this guy spouting his date-specific weirdery before, but this is a new one right here.

‘Turns out, if you set your PC to the date December 13th, 2004, you trigger special Calendar Man dialogue. The date seems random, but players speculate that it's tied to a very special date. That's the year that the developer behind the game, Rocksteady, was founded after all,’
quoth the report. It’s all very mysterious, and possible hints about Batman’s death and the end of the franchise abound. It could all be BS, of course, but you can check out the clip and ponder for yourself at the link above.

Honest Game Trailers’ Latest Slice of Mocktastic: Smash Bros. (VIDEO)

Smash Bros
Smashtacular.

Smash Bros (or rather, the double whammy with Mario Kart 8) is pretty well the only thing likely to haul the Wii U out of Shit Creek at this point. It’s the kind of big ol’ exclusive it could’ve used about 2 years ago, but who’s counting?

So it’s a big freaking deal. And if there’s one thing Smosh Games like, it’s unleashing their piss-takery on big freaking deals.

Yep, the latest episode of Honest Game Trailers is Smash Bros flavored. Armed only with their trademark bucket of snark, these cheeky buggers tackle all the pertinent Smash-based issues. Is it really a ‘fighting game,’ or just a multicolored button-mashing clustereff? What the hell are Sonic and Snake doing here? Who in the name of Grandma’s wispy pubes is Shulk?

We demand answers. We don’t get any.

Nevertheless, if you like taking your cute childhood nostalgia and beating the shit out of it, Smash Bros has your back. Nobody does it better. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale certainly doesn’t, because it was wank.

Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Castlevania

You don’t eff with Castlevania. This ol’ bastard has become a real gaming fixture. To date, there have been over forty entries in the series, and that’s pretty damn impressive. If I knew what fancy-ass words like 'prolific' meant, I’d be typing them in your face in Castlevania’s honor right now.

The franchise is approaching its thirtieth anniversary, and there’s only one way to celebrate that. With a heaping helping of snark and/or piss-takery, that’s how. So let’s party like it’s 1986 and look back at the very first Castlevania release. Which was called --just so our slow cousin Joe didn’t get confused-- Castlevania.
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The Weird-Ass Achievement: ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ is a Throwback in More Ways Than… Four

The times, they have a-changed, as the ol’ saying freaking almost goes (nuts to it, it’s Monday morning, that’s close enough).

In their original forms, the early Halos were bereft of achievements. After all, today’s fancy-ass gamerscore business wasn’t introduced until 2005. They were tacked on in later years, sure, but how nostalgia-tacular would Halo: The Master Chief Collection be? Would it remove them again?

Of course it wouldn’t. That’d be a one-way ticket to Crazy Town on the what-the-shit-are-you-doing express. In reality, the Xbox One exclusive collection is now the biggest achievement hog in Xbox history. And it includes this little slice of weirdery.

One of them sports the enigmatic description ‘inscrutable, mysterious.’ Naturally, this means slightly less than eff all, but it’s worth checking out Kotaku’s why, what and when guide to this mystery unlock. Turns out, it’s a clever little homage to the series’ past.

If you’re the nerdliest of nerdly Halo enthusiasts, and talk of the .fortune easter egg means anything to you, you’d best hit the link.