Skip to content
Advertisements

Tag2017 at 07:00PM

Gorgeous Pacific Rim Robots, and More Toys That Are Probably Too Late to Add to Your Christmas List This Week

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9's regular roundup of the cool toys and merchandise we’ve been trying to furiously add to our Christmas wishlists this week. We’ve got some excellent new Pacific Rim robots, the General of the Resistance herself, and even environmentally-conscious Jenga. What more could you want?


Diamond Select Pacific Rim Uprising Figures

The world could always use more giant robot figures, and Diamond Select is happily obliging with another set of 7"-scaled figures based on the upcoming Pacific Rim movie. The three figures making up the wave include the dark green Titan Redeemer, who wields a giant mace (yes please); the red-and-white Guardian Bravo, who wields an electric whip with 16 points of articulation (yes, please); and then the mysterious Obsidian Fury, who looks a lot like the old Gipsy Danger, but with some slick updates—as seen battling the other Jaegers in the first trailer, with its twin wrist blades (god, yes, please again). If we haven’t made it clear just yet, we’re very excited for these robots to hit our shelves in June next year. [Toy News International]


Star Wars Admiral Ackbar Coin Bag

Do people still carry coins around instead of just dumping them into the nearest fountain? They would if they had this lovely Admiral Ackbar coin bag in their pocket. Made from intricately stitched faux-leather, the bag also features a fabric lining with a repeating Star Wars logo pattern on the inside. If you sift through the mountains of coins on your dresser you’ve been hesitant to carry around all day, you can probably easily scrounge up $24 in quarters and dimes to add this to your collection. [ThinkGeek]


Kaiyodo Zootopia Nick Wilde Figure

Disney proved that it doesn’t necessarily need Pixar’s help to make a successful CG animated film with Zootopia. The characters might not have been as endearing or memorable as Buzz and Woody, but I’m going to have a hard time passing up this Complex Movie Revo Nick Wilde figure from Kaiyodo. Why? When available come April of next year, it will include 14 points of articulation that make it incredibly poseable, plus three swappable facial expressions, replaceable hands, and a pair of Ray-Bans. That makes it slightly easier to cough up $70 for a five-inch tall figure. [BigBadToyStore via Toy News International]


Hot Toys General Leia Organa

After a few truly jaw-droppingly good Leia figures, Hot Toys has finally given us a sequels-era Leia and… it’s fine, but it’s not quite the perfect encapsulation of Carrie Fisher as its previous figures were. There’s something off about the face—there’s almost a little too much young Leia in it, and not enough of the stately former senator Leia has become by the time of The Last Jedi. But if you can look past some of the sculpt’s misgivings, this is still a gorgeous figure overall, complete with Leia’s spectacular robes, and even her trusty blaster. She’ll set you back $220 when she releases early 2019. Just in time for that Episode IX hype! [Sideshow Collectibles]


Blitzway International Space Station Astronaut

We’re usually not fans of collectible statues that take the action out of action figure, but Blitzway has changed our hearts with its quarter-scale ISS astronaut engaged in a perpetual spacewalk. It stands almost three feet tall, and the amount of detail on this statue is staggering, including functional LED lights on the astronaut’s space helmet. There’s a good reason it will set you back almost $1,200 when available next June—space exploration isn’t cheap. [Blitzway via GeekAlerts]


Jenga Ocean

Does your family love stacking and re-stacking wooden blocks, but deep down feel guilty that a tree had to die just so you could have a games night? The makers of Jenga have teamed up with an organization called Bureo to create Jenga Ocean, a new version of the game made from 25 square feet of recycled plastic fishing nets. Players still stack and re-stack blocks, but the individual monoliths now look more like black dominoes, adorned with images of threatened marine animal life, and the $50 game adds “special edition” rules to mix things up, and teach players about ocean cleanup efforts. [Bureo]

Vía https://io9.gizmodo.com/gorgeous-pacific-rim-robots-and-more-toys-that-are-pro-1821496210 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Designing Yennefer of Vengerberg

We’ve featured the work of CDPR’s Bartlomiej Gawel before, both individually and as part of our massive Witcher 3 special, but today we’ve got a more narrow focus: the origins of Yennefer of Vengerberg.

Below you’ll see “a very messy, early” round of sketches and photobashing that were part of the effort to nail down Yenn’s look for the game. She emerged from the other end as one of the most iconic characters from one of the great games of the modern age, so you know, Gawel and his colleagues at CDPR did an OK job.

You can see more of Bartlomiej’s work 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, get in touch!


Vía https://kotaku.com/designing-yennefer-of-vengerberg-1821414845 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Some Of 2017’s Best Video Game Screenshots

Screenshot artist Andy Cull, a man whose work we’ve featured on Kotaku before, has created a gallery with some of his favourite images taken from games he played in 2017. If nothing else, they make for excellent wallpaper.

Obviously, as you’re probably noticing some of these shots look a lot better than anything you’d normally get just hitting F12. That’s because that when using a PC, screenshotters like Andy make use of tools that do things like free up a camera so they can take more dramatic shots, or apply some extra shaders.

Advertisement

The PS4 shots, though, are simply taken using Uncharted and The Last Of Us’ in-game photo mode.

Other games featured below include Battlefront, Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Division, Skyrim, Mass Effect Andromeda and Hellblade. Obviously not all those games came out in 2017, but these are the best shots Andy took for the year, not the best shots he took for new games.

You can see more of Andy’s work at his Flickr page.

Vía https://kotaku.com/some-of-2017s-best-video-game-screenshots-1821371150 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Battlefield 1’s New DLC Blends Conquest and Assault, And It’s Great

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=mcp-3454103&sponsored=false&post_id=1821272056

With all of the games that 2017 has offered up so far, 2016’s Battlefield 1 continues to give me new stuff to play. The third DLC pack, titled “Turning Tides,” is being split into two releases. The second half is slated for a January 2018 release window, but the first half came out this week and features two new maps. Achi Baba is infantry only, and Cape Helles introduces a new mode called “Conquest Assault.” This new mode basically adds a more defined Offense and Defense structure to the classic capture-the-point gameplay, which can sometimes feel a little stale. Along with the new maps, you’ll find new weapons, a new elite class, more assignments and minor tweaks that have been a little overdue. Turning Tides is available now for premium members and will open up to everybody else in two weeks.

Vía https://kotaku.com/battlefield-1s-new-dlc-blends-conquest-and-assault-and-1821272056 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Top World Of Warcraft Guild Says Member DDOS-ed Teammates To Get Their Raid Spots

An MMO guild is like a giant family, a tangled yarn ball of love and dysfunction. Generally speaking, people don’t DDOS their families. It is, for obvious reasons, Not Cool. And yet, that’s exactly what top US World of Warcraft guild Limit claims one of its members did.

Right now, top WoW guilds are racing to be the first to defeat the “mythic” difficulty final boss of the game’s Legion expansion, a giant, Protoss-looking motherfucker named Argus, The Unmaker. Many thought he’d be a pushover, but after almost five days of exhausting attrition, nobody’s downed him so far. Being part of the raid that solved the puzzle, then, would be a big deal. According to Limit officer Jeathebelle, a healer in the guild named Adois was stuck on the bench, but really wanted in. Jeathebelle claims Adois schemed to scrape fellow healers’ IP addresses, DDOS them, and take their spots when they suddenly and mysteriously fell off the internet.

Advertisement

“We only found out because Adois was begging a healer to click his shorted URL link, so we checked out the link and it redirected to an IP scraper,” Jeathebelle wrote on Twitter (via PCGamesN). “Earlier that night, the only healer who had clicked the link had disconnected on mumble, discord, and game.” Jeathebelle said they became suspicious when Adois showed up at the exact right moment to claim the newly-open raid spot.

Jeathebelle said that the guild then found evidence that Adois had been doing this for a while, going back to at least Tomb Of Sargeras, an earlier Legion raid. He’s since been kicked from the guild, with Limit members publicly advising other top guilds to steer clear of him.

As of now, Adois has yet to say anything in response to these allegations or his removal from the guild.

Vía https://kotaku.com/top-world-of-warcraft-guild-says-member-ddos-ed-teammat-1821201059 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

The Dutch Are Coming To Civilization VI

Another of my favourite Civ V factions will be returning to Civ VI next year, with the Dutch accidentally revealed a little early on local TV.

The Dutch program RTL Boulevard had footage of the new Civ over the weekend (ahead of 2K’s usual announcement channels), showing that they’ll be led by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, the country’s longest-serving monarch (1890-1948).

Their unique improvement will be the very-Dutch Polders, while they’ll also be commemorating Radio Oranje, the WW2 radio service broadcasting out of London into the occupied Netherlands, on which Wilhelmina was a frequent speaker.

Advertisement

Wilhelmina and the Dutch are one of the new factions being included in Rise & Fall, Civ VI’s upcoming major expansion.

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-dutch-are-coming-to-civilization-vi-1821168459 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Batman PS4 Controller Knows Where The Trigger Is

Kotaku regular Devin Smith, aka End of Line Designs, is back with another custom video game controller redesign, this time turning a DualShock 4 into something Batman would throw at a bad guy’s face.

This pad has a retractable “cowl” for the touchpad, a busted-up finish to match Batman’s battle damage and some trademark spiky armguards (though those are just for show, they can be removed to actually use the controller).

You can see more of Devin’s work at his Facebook page.

Vía https://kotaku.com/batman-ps4-controller-knows-where-the-trigger-is-1821063544 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Batman PS4 Controller Knows Where The Trigger Is

Kotaku regular Devin Smith, aka End of Line Designs, is back with another custom video game controller redesign, this time turning a DualShock 4 into something Batman would throw at a bad guy’s face.

This pad has a retractable “cowl” for the touchpad, a busted-up finish to match Batman’s battle damage and some trademark spiky armguards (though those are just for show, they can be removed to actually use the controller).

You can see more of Devin’s work at his Facebook page.

Vía https://kotaku.com/batman-ps4-controller-knows-where-the-trigger-is-1821063544 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

It’s Wild Out There

Geoffrey Bire is an artist at Ubisoft, where he’s worked on games like Ghost Recon: Wildlands and The Division.

You can see more of Geoffrey’s work 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, get in touch!


Vía https://kotaku.com/its-wild-out-there-1820963236 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

PS3 Emulation Makes Huge Strides, Can Now Play Uncharted

The team behind RPCS3, an emulator designed to let you play PS3 games on a PC, have made a ton of progress since we last checked in on the project, with the program now able to run—if not perfectly play—some of the biggest and best games on the PS3.

The reasons why are of course pretty technical (though you can read them here if you want to take a look), but the end result is that Uncharted now boots and is playable, and improvements have been made to a range of games from Ratchet & Clank to God of War to LittleBigPlanet to Gran Turismo.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-q-ApI7L-Slk&start=0

Now, as with most emulation stories, “playable” is used only in the most literal sense. Most of these games still have huge issues, from single-digit framerates to broken shadows to texture horror shows. The point here is the progress being made, not the end result.

Advertisement

The ability to play games like Uncharted 3, The Last Of Us and Killzone 3 is also inching forwards, with each of those games now able to at least boot to a title screen before crashing.

There’s a detailed game-by-game breakdown of what’s been improved recently at the project’s site.

Vía https://kotaku.com/ps3-emulation-makes-huge-strides-can-now-play-uncharte-1820961740 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

DayZ’s developers say that the massively influential survival game is finally leaving early access “

DayZ’s developers say that the massively influential survival game is finally leaving early access “next year.” That’ll also mean a console version sometime next year, if all goes according to plan. Personally, I’m expecting it to add a battle royale mode shortly after, which, in DayZ time, means the year 2020.

Vía https://kotaku.com/dayz-s-developers-say-that-the-massively-influential-su-1820933240 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

AI Is Learning How To Build Its Own Video Game Worlds

A team of researchers from the University of Lyon, Purdue and Ubisoft have published a paper showing what may well be the future of creating video game worlds: an AI that is able to construct most of its own 3D landscapes.

Similar to Nvidia’s work that is able to conjure its own celebrity mugshots, the tech would require only minimal input from a human, who would just have to contribute some basic requirements, draw some lines then let the AI do all the hard work: namely, filling in all the gaps with elevation, ridges and natural-looking rock formations.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-NEscK5RCtlo&start=0

As the paper states, this kind of tech would only be the beginning; future research could lead to landscapes being generated entirely by the AI, and for the model to be able to handle more complex environmental features like sand and vegetation.

Vía https://kotaku.com/ai-is-learning-how-to-build-its-own-video-game-worlds-1820695548 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Some Of The Best Scrabble Moves You’ll Ever See

There are professional Scrabble players. Here are some of the best of them, recounting to The New Yorker some of their favourite moves.

I expected to watch this and be floored by the words. Which I was, but my main takeaway is that professional Scrabble players seem like the nicest people on Earth.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-O3eO646jjzQ&start=0

Vía https://kotaku.com/some-of-the-best-scrabble-moves-youll-ever-see-1820527565 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

The Challenge Of Designing Two Of Persona 5’s Best Characters

Persona 5's art book, now available in English, has some…interesting things to say about the design of a couple of the game’s best characters, Takemi and Kawakami.

The book—which is incredible, by the way—is full of developer commentary, explaining the design process behind everything from the Phantom Thieves to the game’s boss battles.

Advertisement

A lot of this is good background info for fans of the game, but there are two passages in particular that stood out to me reading through it yesterday. One concerns Kawakami, the hapless homeroom teacher who you can, for reasons that’ll take too long to get into here, sleep with later in the game.

If you thought she looked plain and kinda boring for a game where everyone else looks so wild and stylish, that’s the point. And also one of the biggest challenges an art team can face.

“While not completely hopeless, she isn’t exactly gifted, either, and the idea when designing her was to make her into a ‘normal’ person”, the book’s “Creator Commentary” explains of her design. “We didn’t put any effort into making her clothes cool or fashionable or adding anything to her that really stood out.”

Advertisement

“Rather, we purposely went for a normal person who appears to be missing something. We didn’t do that to cut corners. We actually had to put a lot of thought into what a thirty-something, normally clothed woman who seems to be missing something would looks like. Fans could probably cosplay as her at minimal expense, but others might not even realize they’re cosplaying.”

Brutal. But also weirdly understandable. Video game artists spend so long dreaming of the fantastic that when asked to produce the mundane, it must be a stretch!

The other passage I thought was worth a look was the one explaining the design of Takemi, aka “Hot Doc”, both for how she ended up looking in the game, but also for the revelation that there was a guiding principle behind the design of most women in Persona 5.

“We originally made her look extremely unapproachable, with the eyes of a killer”, Takemi’s commentary section reads. “However, we received a request from Director Hashino that ‘all female characters should basically be on the cute side’ and eventually softened the design. I suppose we probably overdid it a bit in the beginning [laughs]”

Advertisement

I kinda would rather have seen this more psychotic version of Takemi? Persona 5 isn’t afraid to show its men in all shapes and sizes, would have been nice to see the same principle applied to more of the women as well.

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-challenge-of-designing-two-of-persona-5s-best-chara-1820412666 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

There’s A Hot Ryu Action Figure

Image: ToyArk

Shirtless, bearded Ryu, one of the best Street Fighter skins of all time, is now also one of the best Street Fighter figures of all time.

Made by Storm Collectibles, he features…no shirt and a beard. And some fireball effects for his hands, if you want to clip them on to detract in some small way from his rugged charms.

Advertisement

These photos are from ToyArk, where there are more dark, moody pics if that’s the kind of thing you’d like to pour a glass of wine for.

Image: ToyArk

Vía https://kotaku.com/theres-a-hot-ryu-action-figure-1820379176 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

World Of Warcraft LEGO Castle Used Over 55,000 Pieces

Here’s World of Warcraft’s Theramore, built in LEGO by Mark Erickson.

As The Brothers Brick report, it’s an immense structure, with around 55,600 pieces used to stick it atop 80 x 80 inches worth of mats.

And as you can see below, he’s done a real good job getting it to scale with the actual (well, actual in the game) thing.

It remains a great tragedy of the 21st century that LEGO is not smarter with its video game licensing.

You can see more of Mark’s LEGO work at his Flickr page.

Vía https://kotaku.com/world-of-warcraft-lego-castle-used-over-55-000-pieces-1820232563 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!