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Tag: March 14

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Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: The Price of Hell for Love – Code

Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: The Price of Hell for Love – Code Geass and the Remarkable Lengths One Will Go for Love The Loot Box Problem And Why Rocket League Should Be Rated “Adults Only” Adventures In Hyrule: 10,000 A.C.G. RedStripe Loved Trax: Rock Your Baby (George McCrae)


You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out the Beginner’s Guide to TAY and join in.

Follow us here.

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GAMES

Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: The Price of Hell for Love – Code

Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: The Price of Hell for Love – Code Geass and the Remarkable Lengths One Will Go for Love The Loot Box Problem And Why Rocket League Should Be Rated “Adults Only” Adventures In Hyrule: 10,000 A.C.G. RedStripe Loved Trax: Rock Your Baby (George McCrae)


You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out the Beginner’s Guide to TAY and join in.

Follow us here.

Vía https://tay.kinja.com/today-s-selection-of-articles-from-kotaku-s-reader-run-1823792746 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

A Search For Japan’s Best Driving Roads In A 562 HP McLaren Led Straight To Nirvana

When McLaren Japan offered me a 570S Spider to drive for a few days, I knew I had to take it somewhere special. This wasn’t some boring kei car—this was a car that needed to be taken on some proper roads. It would almost be blasphemy to only drive in a congested city.

The problem was that I couldn’t take it anywhere too far, which meant I had to find some roads worthy of this car nearby. This proved to be more difficult than I had expected; I realized I don’t actually know too many good driving roads within close proximity to Tokyo.

So here’s what I did: I figured it out.

You won’t lose this in a car park.

(Full disclosure: McLaren Japan loaned me a 570S Spider with a full tank of gas to test. That was nice of them.)

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Okay, I knew a few. There’s the Hakone Turnpike to the south where I took a Mazda MX-5 Miata RF last year, and as good as that road is, it’s a bit cliché. I’d say a large chunk of Japan’s motoring publications test the cars they get on that road. The Irohazaka Route in Tochigi was where I tested the Honda S660, but that’s even farther away from Tokyo. I whipped out Google Maps to try and figure out some roads nearby.

Luckily Mount Takao to the west of Tokyo in Hachioji looked promising. This was a popular tourist destination and mountains are always a good sign for driving roads. The starting point was in central Tokyo near the National Diet Building. It’s basically the government building of Japan; “Diet” is a Latin-derived word that means “meeting.”

It was a short 60 kilometer drive on the motorway which should’ve taken 70 minutes. However, there was some unexpected traffic which added about another half hour to the drive. Luckily the baby McLaren coped with stop and start traffic well.

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It also allowed other motorists to take a few snaps of the ludicrously blue supercar. This was only the beginning of all the camera phones this car attracted.

The sign says 20 km/h but you can go through at 50 km/h if you’re brave.

Once we got off the motorway the scenery was refreshingly rural. I hadn’t driven that far out of Tokyo, yet the crowds of people, the mile-high towers and the bright neon signs felt like a world away. I got to the road leading up to Mount Takao and it looked like something straight out of a period drama.

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It wasn’t so much a road but a giant foot path surrounded with traditional Japanese houses selling local omiyage (souvenirs) and delicacies. I kept driving up only to find the road was blocked by signs not allowing unauthorized vehicles to go up the road.

Parked obnoxiously in the middle of the ‘road’.

This wasn’t how I had expected the day to go. I had been stuck in traffic on the motorway and I’d basically driven on a foot path to a dead end. To make matters worse, doing a three-point turn was near impossible with all the tourists walking up and down this road wanting to take the cable car to the top of the mountain.

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Eventually the car pointed in the direction of the exit, but I had to stop in the middle of the road to get a photo of this car with the quintessential traditional Japanese background. Can you blame me? At least everyone else got a kick out of it. A group of elementary school kids on a field trip here shouted stuff like “kakkoi” (cool) and “sugoi” (amazing), while some of the older adults simply stopped to admire it.

Squiggly roads are always a good sign.

I parked up for lunch to try out one of the many soba noodle shops on the main road. In the station car park the 570S’ spaceship-like shape stood out even more, especially amongst white, grey, and black econoboxes. At lunch I consulted Google Maps again to see if there were any interesting roads nearby.

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And there it was; the Otarumi Touge. It was a squiggly roads in the direction of Lake Miyagase, a picturesque location. It seemed perfect, some driving roads with a photo opportunity at the end.

Empty, squiggly roads are even better.
Not a soul in sight.

I’ll be perfectly honest and say I’ve never been to this area of Japan before or even heard of this touge. But I was in for a treat. It had tight, winding roads which cut through a forest. There were swooping s-bends and a mixture of uphill and downhill corners.

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The best part is that it was practically empty, except for a few motorcycles going in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until the road got closer to civilization where I caught up with other traffic.

Views all around.

McLaren’s littlest supercar shone here. It may be the “entry level” McLaren, as ridiculous as that concept is, but it still has a 562 horsepower twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 mounted behind the driver. Even in this age of insane power outputs, I don’t really see why anyone would want any more than this.

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The steering, electro-hydraulic by the way, was perfect. It didn’t take on corners but rather flowed through them. Then there’s the grip, which was plentiful. I know the electronics on this car are doing most of the work but I could not believe how planted it felt. The last time I was in a car this powerful with this much grip it was the Nismo GT-R.

I was going the speed limit, officer.

Eventually the road leveled out as I got closer to the lake. Due to all the mountains nearby there were several tunnels as well, which I didn’t shy away from.

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I was in a 562 HP supercar with the roof down, near some tunnels. What would you have done?

A good road needs tunnels.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission changes gears in an instant. Everything about this car is instantaneous, especially the speed. Work the engine up past 3000 RPM and you better be clinging on to for dear life as it catapults you to speeds that would result in time behind bars. Luckily the stopping power from the carbon ceramic brakes is immense.

A pretty blue thing, and a lake.

Shaking from adrenaline, I gingerly arrived at the parking area of the Lake. I needed some time to collect myself, but it gave a chance to have a look around the car park. You know there are roads nearby when bikes and a variety of driver’s cars are gathered up. I didn’t realize this area was a popular place to meet up and drive on.

It’s like a baby McLaren.
9000rpm redline. 6-speed manual. Rear-wheel drive. You’re doing it right.
I love a Busso V6 Alfa.

There was everything from the usual suspects—including new and old Toyota 86s, Lotus Elise, and Nissan GT-R—to some other interesting cars like a Fiat Barchetta and an Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. There was a group of car guys working on their cars here too, fine-tuning them for the roads around the lake. They would go out in turns testing out each other’s cars around the roads here. I had never seen anything like it before, even at Hakone.

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It seemed like this was a place generations have come to meet up with friends and drive. It wasn’t a place to do street racing or drifting, the barriers in the middle of the road would see to that, but it felt like a more chilled and relaxed driving road. So naturally I had to try it out myself.

Unexpected ‘car meet’.
Subtle clues this car gets driven properly.

The road basically goes around the outside of Lake Miyagase, with stretches of downhill straights and fast corners. The roads around here aren’t big or wide so the guys in the Caterhams, MR2s, and S2000 had the right idea.

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As much fun as it was blasting up and down here in the topless McLaren, I felt like I would’ve had as much fun in a car with less power. That said, I was glad I wasn’t in any other supercar because the 570S was just such a joy to drive. It was playful, had power to spare, and the ride over the rough rural roads was better than any other car of this type.

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After draining most of the fuel left in the tank I parked up at the parking lot to get a shot of the McLaren at sunset. Despite the rough start, this day turned out to be one of the best and most memorable drives I’ve had. This is an incredibly beautiful park of Japan and the people were very open and friendly. I imagine this was how Tatsumi and Daikoku were back in their glory days—a place where car people would meet up and exchange tips on getting the most from their cars. With this setting and the predominantly JDM cars, it felt like I was in an episode of Initial D.

Some days are better than others.

On the drive back to Tokyo, I got me thinking of what other hidden roads Japan has to offer. There are definitely some secrets the locals have kept to themselves where they’re living out their driving dreams.

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Consider this the start of a challenge to find some of the best driving roads in Japan. One of these days I’ll have to check out the real life locations of the roads featured on Initial D too. Stay tuned for that.

BRZ with some STI bits but not actually an STI.
One of the locals.
GT-Rs and bikes always means good roads are around.
Hey, you can have fun in a front-wheel drive Fiat Barchetta too.
MR-2 surrounded by some kei-cars.
He probably had more fun than me.
Japan can do views too.
Plenty of opportunities to open it up. Literally.
The old couple came up and asked what it was.
Why would you want anything more?
Even the bikers approved of this spot.
Pick your weapon.
Oh you know, just casually working on your Trueno at a car park…

Vía https://jalopnik.com/a-search-for-japans-best-driving-roads-in-a-562-hp-mcla-1823681399 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Forsen Can’t Get Away From Stream Snipers, Even In Private Tournaments

Most stream snipers follow (and mess with) their streamer of choice once or twice for laughs. Then they get on with their lives. This one, however, plays for keeps.

Forsen is a streamer who’s just as notorious for his out-of-control audience as he is his own questionable decisions. Today, he took part in a developer-hosted invitational tournament to celebrate the launch of new battle royale game Darwin Project. Things were going swimmingly until a familiar face showed up: Samme1g, perhaps the most notorious face among his largely faceless army of stream snipers.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=SpunkyBraveAlbatrossMingLee&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

Samme1g suddenly appeared in a match lobby while the tournament’s host was explaining the rules.

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“How the fuck did he get in here?” Forsen asked. “He’s one of my stream snipers.”

The Darwin Project invitational was supposed to be private, limited to a cast of Twitch stars once again locked in the murder purgatory glass cube that is the latest battle royale game, a cycle they will repeat until the sun collapses or another genre gets popular. For a moment, everybody was dumbfounded. How did this guy get in? Competitors started suggesting that somebody leaked the password.

“I did not leak anything!” Forsen shouted.

Turns out, popular PUBG/Fortnite streamer Shroud streamed the moment he was told the private room code, which was not a great idea! In all likelihood, Samme1g was either watching Shroud’s stream, or word of the code quickly got back to him. Either way, he capitalized like his life depended on it; thousands of people were watching Shroud’s stream at the time, but Samme1g was the only non-competitor who managed to sneak into the match.

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The tournament organizers ended up kicking everyone and creating a new room with a new password. While he was waiting to be invited back, Forsen mostly just sat in silence, clearly surprised. You think the most consistently stream-sniped man on Twitch would be used to this kind of thing by now, but clearly, even he wasn’t expecting this level of dedication.

“He must have been so fast, dude,” said Forsen. “What the fuck?”

Vía https://kotaku.com/forsen-cant-get-away-from-stream-snipers-even-in-priva-1823784753 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Keep Walking

Tony Trujillo has been a concept artist in the video game industry for over a decade, working at studios like Electronic Arts and Sony.

You can see more of Tony’s work at his personal site, and buy prints here.


To see the images in their native resolution, click on the “expand” button in the top-left corner.

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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/keep-walking-1823783389 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Street Fighter Gets Unofficially Ported To The Real World

Abhishek Singh, creator of that very cool first-person Mario experience for the HoloLens, is back with a home-made version of Street Fighter that projects the action to anywhere you can point your phone screen at.

He calls it the Real World Warrior Edition, and yes, it’s choppy. But like…the point here isn’t the speed or fluidity of combos. It’s being able to show off that there are two guys from Street Fighter in the middle of the road.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-NpvZWFd0uRg&start=0

Vía https://kotaku.com/street-fighter-gets-unofficially-ported-to-the-real-wor-1823781690 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Amazon’s Discounting Almost 300 Marvel Graphic Novels to Just $1 Each

Graphic Novel Sale | $1 | Amazon

Featuring everything from Black Panther to Darth Vader, there’s a little bit of everything in Amazon’s Marvel comic sale. All of these digital titles are just $1, so what are you waiting for? A few picks are below to get you started, but head over to Amazon to see all 295 options.

Have other suggestions? Drop them in the comments!


Vía https://deals.kinja.com/amazons-discounting-almost-300-marvel-graphic-novels-to-1823697880 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Amazon’s Discounting Almost 300 Marvel Graphic Novels to Just $1 Each

Graphic Novel Sale | $1 | Amazon

Featuring everything from Black Panther to Darth Vader, there’s a little bit of everything in Amazon’s Marvel comic sale. All of these digital titles are just $1, so what are you waiting for? A few picks are below to get you started, but head over to Amazon to see all 295 options.

Have other suggestions? Drop them in the comments!


Vía https://deals.kinja.com/amazons-discounting-almost-300-marvel-graphic-novels-to-1823697880 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Amazon’s Discounting Almost 300 Marvel Graphic Novels to Just $1 Each

Graphic Novel Sale | $1 | Amazon

Featuring everything from Black Panther to Darth Vader, there’s a little bit of everything in Amazon’s Marvel comic sale. All of these digital titles are just $1, so what are you waiting for? A few picks are below to get you started, but head over to Amazon to see all 295 options.

Have other suggestions? Drop them in the comments!


Vía https://deals.kinja.com/amazons-discounting-almost-300-marvel-graphic-novels-to-1823697880 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The Tiniest Lil’ Nintendo Switch Game Cases

Reader Mahir, who last year designed a bunch of full-size Switch cases for downloadable titles, has come back in 2018 with something different. And much smaller.

He’s created a range of Switch cases that are just big enough for the cartridge, and that’s it.

A size comparison vs regular Switch boxes (which aren’t exactly big to begin with).

Cons: you could lose all of these in around 17 seconds.

Pros: you could string them together into a bandolier and walk around all day like Chewie.

Thanks Mahir!

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-tiniest-lil-nintendo-switch-game-cases-1823751168 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The Tiniest Lil’ Nintendo Switch Game Cases

Reader Mahir, who last year designed a bunch of full-size Switch cases for downloadable titles, has come back in 2018 with something different. And much smaller.

He’s created a range of Switch cases that are just big enough for the cartridge, and that’s it.

A size comparison vs regular Switch boxes (which aren’t exactly big to begin with).

Cons: you could lose all of these in around 17 seconds.

Pros: you could string them together into a bandolier and walk around all day like Chewie.

Thanks Mahir!

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-tiniest-lil-nintendo-switch-game-cases-1823751168 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Kingdom Come: Deliverance: The Kotaku Review

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was a grand idea. In a genre awash with fantasy epics, it sought to ground a role-playing adventure not in some distant and imaginary land, but in history. There would be no wizards, no dragons, no giant rats—just you, a horse, some mud, and a cast of flawed human beings.

Drawing on extensive historical research as well as the experiences of its homegrown Czech development team, Kingdom Come sought to tell a very real tale, narrowing its focus so that it would only include a small cast of important characters and an intimate patch of 15th-century Central European countryside.

Since its announcement back in 2013, I’ve been quietly excited to get my hands on the finished game, both as a big fan of this kind of RPG as well as a lover of European history. It’s been a depressing month spent playing through it, then, to find that for all its ambition, Kingdom Come just doesn’t work very well.

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There are the separate and individual parts of an incredible video game here, but the game’s flimsy tech and inconsistent design just can’t hold them together long enough for Kingdom Come to win me over.

The writing, occasionally honest and endearing, is in other parts agonisingly out of place and over-cooked. The pacing of the game’s main storyline is completely off, spending its first half lazily spinning its wheels before dragging you through an excruciatingly overdrawn conclusion.

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The so-called “realistic” combat system, implemented in an attempt to fix the click-happy madness of games like Skyrim, introduces more problems with its speed and clumsiness as it solves by making swords feel truly dangerous. And that’s just the melee systems. Trying to use a bow is a frustrating exercise in repetition and guesswork.

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Most glaring of the design missteps, though, is Kingdom Come’s save system, which restricts saving your progress to certain key points in the story, or by obtaining, then drinking, potions. Time is precious, and it astounds me that in 2018 a game was released that doesn’t respect the fact I may have other shit to do (or have things come up) that prevent me from sitting through long passages of a game, or that I don’t want to replay hours-long stretches of a mission because of a bug or accidental death.

This happened a lot. In some cutscenes, player models would simply refuse to load at all, with dialogue delivered by a floating sword.

And it’s not like losing progress to a bug, or simply having one wreck interrupt your session, is a rare occurrence in Kingdom Come. When I say there are technical issues with this game, I’m not talking about the odd performance hiccup or framerate stutters. I’m talking about fundamental problems at almost every point.

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The pop-in I encountered running on a standard hard drive is some of the worst I have ever seen, although things are supposedly improved by installing it to a solid-state drive. At times entire cutscenes played out like the game was released in 2001, all jagged faces and empty textures. NPC scripting was also not up to scratch. Sometimes the results were funny, like seeing a man floating in mid-air holding a ladder going nowhere. But other times it’s a more serious concern, like the two times I had to reload during key story missions because important characters simply didn’t show up or start delivering their performances.

Running into one or two of these things during a game would be a problem. Running into so many of them so often undermines the entire point of Kingdom Come. It’s presented by Warhorse as an immersive, authentic role-playing game set in a fully-realized medieval world, but at every turn the world is breaking down around you.

Even were successive patches and updates to fix many of the more superficial technical woes, I still don’t think I’d come around to recommending this as a great or even serviceable RPG, because the struggles at the heart of its design are simply too great to overlook.

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So many of Kingdom Come’s features are seemingly there merely to boost the perceived “authenticity” of the experience. This is history you’re meant to be playing through, and Warhorse have decided that the best way to truly immerse the player in that history is to recreate the past, warts and all.

Combat is slow and unwieldy because, supposedly, that’s what it was like. That you can’t save games all the time because that’s not how the real world works. But that’s all bullshit. This game isn’t a simulation, it’s only a simulation when it wants to be.

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Why is the save system so punitive when the game has various magic potions? Why do players have to continuously eat and rest to survive when your horse can be instantly summoned to your side at a moment’s notice? It’s incredibly frustrating to ponder just where the line was drawn during development that determined which parts of Kingdom Come could bow to modern luxuries and which parts were going to be dragged out and made difficult simply to satisfy some inconsistent historical mandate.

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The game’s lowest ebb, a dreary slog through the daily routine of being a monk-in-training, is the most memorable example of this. Players are made to wander a monastery on a strict timetable, attending mass, reading books and adhering to a curfew. It is as fun and interesting as it sounds, and it’s insane to think anyone at Warhorse thought the scant amount of education or immersion on offer was worth the drudgery.

That’s a question I found myself asking throughout the rest of the game as well. In what universe was I supposed to enjoy these broken systems implemented in the name of authenticity, when they flew in the face of more convenient, enjoyable ways to play video games? And why did these specific things suck in the name of a greater cause, yet so many other parts of the game weren’t made to suffer the same fate?

The answer, of course, is that as Nathan Grayson found when exploring the game’s success in spite of all the flaws I’ve dwelled on above, there is admiration to be found in the idea of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, if not the execution.

The monastery section of the main storyline is an absolute disaster.

The nuts and bolts of the experience—daily village life, objective markers and quests, mission structure—is very Elder Scrolls. The inhabitants of this artificial Czech countryside are going about their routines around you, and everything takes place in real time, according to a day-night schedule. It’s a lot to process under the hood, and that might explain why the relatively small team at Warhorse couldn’t manage it for the bulk of the game like a larger, more experienced studio like Bethesda can.

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But at certain times, in certain situations, they can pull everything together. And those moments that emerge from the chaos are almost worth the hassles that bog you down everywhere else.

I’ve already mentioned the issues I had with NPC behaviour in storyline missions, but the one thing the game’s villagers can do without fail is hit the pub every day at sunset. It’s a hell of a thing to see; I parked myself outside a tavern one afternoon to see it go down, and was hypnotised to see everyone end their work, enter their homes, drop their tools then head to the bar, taking their seats, ordering beers, playing dice, dancing the night away and having fun.

It all looks and feels so human, and so natural, that for those precious few hours, Kingdom Come feels alive.

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And not every mission is ruined by real-time NPC behaviour. Two quests defined the game for me, and may stick with me long after the general frustrations have faded from memory.

Preach, Henry

One involved the hunt for the witness to a crime, which led me to a windmill at midnight. Upon discovering that he was hiding in a nearby village, a group of thugs appeared, announcing they were also looking for him. I wasn’t capable or willing to engage three armed men directly, so to save my skin I cooked up a plan to test Kingdom Come’s mission structure: I told the thugs his hiding location in exchange for them not killing me.

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Their leader ran off to murder him, leaving the other two behind to guard me. Upon doing so, I was presented with mission updates telling me that I’d failed to find and question this man. But I wasn’t done: I shot one of my chaperones with a bow, then overcame the other in melee combat, and took off after the leader on horseback, hoping to catch him.

Riding at breakneck speed along a country road at night, my way lit only by a torch, I actually came across the thug leader, running in real time, just outside the target’s home. I jumped off my horse and shot him, dragging his body off the road—and as soon as I did, the mission objectives reverted to me being able to save and question the witness. I’d saved this guy’s bacon, and salvaged a better path through the mission, through some fast-talking and improvised murder. It was amazing.

The other example was my attempt to cure a town of a pestilence. After being told to contact a physician slash herbalist monk for help, I was asked if I could read and if I had skill at alchemy, the game’s catch-all term for potion-creation. You begin the game as an illiterate peasant, but I had since put some points into my reading and alchemy skills, so I just clicked “yes,” figuring that since I’d been given the option, my skill levels must have been high enough to prompt the responses being made available.

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Nope. The recipe I was given was barely legible—Kingdom Come simulates poor reading skill by making in-world text start off as mostly gibberish and making it become clearer the higher your stats. Let’s just say I found it incredibly difficult brewing a potion.

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But eventually I managed somehow, rode to the village, and distributed the remedy.

Which killed everyone. Because I’d lied, then tried to fake my way through it, and had brewed the wrong potion. An entire village, wiped out, their blood on my hands, all because I’d got cocky and not appreciated the fact the mission had been designed to test my honesty as much as my stats.

That’s one that will haunt me for a long time.

This is the shit people wanted from this game, and at times, it genuinely delivers on its promise. Real problems that you’re able to solve with actual open-ended and relatable solutions. These two missions weren’t testing me with dwarven runes or dark magic. They required quick thinking and human intuition, and rewarded me with some of the best emergent experiences I’ve run into in an RPG.

Kingdom Come can at times be gorgeous, especially whenever you’re away from big buildings or crowds of people. The Bohemian landscape once you hit the countryside is beautiful, and the times I was running or riding around miles of empty woodlands were some of my favourite spent with the game. Things get especially pretty when the weather plays up and creates the kind of wet, moody landscapes that were once solely the reserve of The Witcher 3.

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This means Kingdom Come is at its best when you leave its broken world behind. This isn’t Skyrim: the woods aren’t full of tombs and monsters and caves, so there’s really not much to do once you venture outside settlements, which might strike you as a bit boring. But it actually does more for the historical feel of Kingdom Come than any writing, wardrobe design or conversation does because the countryside feels truly wild. Just you, the streams, the birds, and the wind.

While I’m on the game’s visuals, Kingdom Come also has some excellent maps. Drawn entirely in a medieval style, they scale wonderfully, with a single large map covering the entire playable region, while zooming in on each settlement provides a separate, more detailed, lovingly characterized image for the towns scattered around backwoods Bohemia. Below is an example; as splendid as it is, it’s still a functional map, as it manages to show every road, building and bridge that it needs to.

I’m not angry at Kingdom Come, I’m just… disappointed. It was touted as this grand historical representation, an abandonment of fantasy for a true medieval setting, a game that would let us live the middle ages. But the game we got is just this busted, inconsistently ambitious RPG that shines in points, but falls apart in most others.

Vía https://kotaku.com/kingdom-come-deliverance-the-kotaku-review-1823606430 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Earther Stephen Hawking Was Terrified of Climate Change | The A.V.

GAMES

My Family Died of Dysentery in the Palm of My Hands—and I Loved Every Minute of It

Before kids hunted for Carmen Sandiego, in a time when computers could barely muster a few on-screen colors, a game called The Oregon Trail taught students about the hardships of pioneer life. The graphics were terrible, the sound effects were awful, and more often than not, all your characters died. But it was the first video game I ever played, and I’m thrilled that Basic Fun!, which previously resurrected classic games like Simon and Pac-Man, has made a portable version of The Oregon Trail that almost perfectly recreates my grade school obsession.

So why do so many children of the ‘80s have fond memories of The Oregon Trail, when the game itself really isn’t that amazing? I think a big part of its nostalgic attraction comes from the fact that many of us got to play it at school, as an educational tool, which was a welcome break from staring at a chalkboard all day. Think back to your favorite memories of grade school, do any of them include solving math problems?

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As simple as the gameplay and graphics of The Oregon Trail were, after playing Basic Fun!’s version, I’ve found that the game still provides a genuine challenge, even for adults. I’ve been playing this handheld version since last week, and I’ve yet to successfully get my entire family safely out West—I’m a terrible pioneer.

This morning alone I lost two oxen during a river crossing, a thief stole some of our rations during the night, and my loved ones were slowly wiped out by dysentery, cholera, and typhoid. Nostalgia certainly plays a part in wanting to revisit The Oregon Trail, but so does my obsession with wanting to finally finish the game.

The handheld is designed to look like a miniature version of the classic Apple II person computer, including a semi-functional floppy disk power button.

Emulating The Oregon Trail is relatively easy with the internet at your disposal. And updated, touchscreen-friendly versions of the game, with vastly improved graphics, can be easily downloaded to your smartphone. But Basic Fun!’s new handheld version not only makes it even easier and more convenient to play, it also does a fantastic job at recreating The Oregon Trail experience you remember as a kid. The Game Boy-like console is even designed to look like a compact version of the classic Apple II personal computer, complete with a dull gray plastic housing, and a tiny diskette you can actually push to power the game on or off.

The best part about revisiting The Oregon Trail is this faux mechanical keyboard which feels great to mash.

Instead of more traditional gaming controls, The Oregon Trail includes a truncated version of the Apple II’s mechanical keyboard, and while the buttons definitely aren’t using real switches underneath, they’re still quite satisfying to mash while you play through the game.

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I was also pleasantly surprised by the unorthodox design of the console’s directional pad. It’s really only used while you’re hunting in the game, but everyone knows that’s the best part of The Oregon Trail, and the gamepad’s additional diagonal movement buttons work quite well for aiming and shooting thousands of pounds of deer and buffalo your character will never be able to carry back to their wagon.

A surprisingly decent screen is only let down by its size and limited resolution, which makes the occasional in-game fine print hard to read.

For a $25 video game system, I was also pleasantly surprised at the quality of the two-and-a-half-inch screen used on The Oregon Trail. The brightness and contrast are excellent, and the game’s primitive graphics and colors look lovely on its tiny display. But I do think the screen is a little too small, and that, combined with its limited resolution, does make it hard to read some of the game’s smaller text prompts, even for someone who doesn’t wear glasses. It’s not a deal-breaker, but you will occasionally find yourself squinting and holding the handheld uncomfortably close to your face.

Nostalgia-targeting consoles packed with classic video games are all the rage right now, and you’ll easily get $25 worth of satisfaction out Basic Fun!’s The Oregon Trail recreation.

For $25 you can also get a copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Blu-ray, but that’s a thinly-veiled attempt to sell you nostalgia that’s been prettied up with fancy visual effects and shirtless Sith Lords. Basic Fun! isn’t trying to make the original version of The Oregon Trail into something it isn’t here. Instead, it’s embraced everything that made the game so endearing and challenging, and packed it into a portable console that’s a cheap and enjoyable way to re-experience pioneer life on your own pilgrimage to work every day.

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  • A near-perfect recreation of The Oregon Trail video game experience from the ‘80s, right down to the chunky keyboard you use to play it.
  • The Game Boy-sized handheld only plays The Oregon Trail, which really isn’t the pinnacle of video gaming.
  • At $25 it’s cheap enough to be an impulse purchase that will actually entertain (or frustrate) you for hours.
  • The handheld’s excellent screen is unfortunately a little on the small small side, and reading smaller text can be a little challenging.
  • You can actually save your progress and resume the game later, which is a feature I would have loved in the ‘80s.
  • The Oregon Trail now has the potential to educate a new generation on the dangers of dysentery.

Vía https://gizmodo.com/my-family-died-of-dysentery-in-the-palm-of-my-hands-and-1823591318 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of March 14, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites today.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: ratchet belts

It’s not like having a belt that doesn’t fit right is a huge issue, it’s a personal problem. But it’s really, really annoying. Ratchet belts are the answer to that small, but not insignificant problem, and Amazon has a bunch from SlideBelts discounted to just $45 each, today only. Made from premium top-grain leather, you can choose from nine colors and buckle finishes.

#2: PLAYSTATION VR

If you still haven’t picked up a PlayStation VR kit, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a better deal than this one. Just $350 gets you the headset, two Move controllers, the camera, Skyrim, Resident Evil BiohazardI, and Star Wars Battlefront II. The Skyrim VR bundle by itself has been an enticing deal at $350 in the past, so you’re getting a fantastic price on that, plus some bonus games for free.

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Update: For some reason I had it in my head that this was $300 when I first published the post, but it’s actually $350. It’s still a good deal, sorry about that!

#3: phone mounts

Anker Magnetic Smartphone Vent Mount | $8 | Amazon | Promo code ANKERA713
Anker CD Slot Smartphone Mount | $11 | Amazon | Promo code ANKER714
Anker Magnetic Smartphone Dash Mount | $12 | Amazon | Promo code ANKER719

No matter how you prefer to mount your phone in your car, there’s probably an Anker deal for you today. Three different smartphone mounts are on sale, including one that transforms your fallow CD slot into something useful again.

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Note: As of the time of this post, the magnetic vent mount has a Lightning deal running for $7. Once that’s over though, you’ll still be able to get it for $8 with promo code ANKERA713.

#4: european vacation

European Vacation Package | Starting at $1499 | Gate 1 Travel | Promo code TZWBENX

If you don’t want your vacation days to go to waste this year, Gate 1 Travel (in partnership with Travelzoo) has a great package available right now that lets you experience multiple European cities for less than you might think.

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Each booking includes roundtrip air (priced from New York by default, but you can alter it to leave from basically anywhere), two nights in Amsterdam, a night in Bruges (it’s like a fairytale), and three nights in Paris, plus all transfers, English language tours, six breakfasts, and two dinners with wine.

Prices start at $1709 per person (double occupancy) depending on the week, but for a limited time, promo code TZWBENX will take $210 off for each traveler, bringing it down to $1,499. I recently patched together my own European trip for this summer, and I can tell you that’d be a pretty decent price for airfare alone on a non-budget airline, not even accounting for the hotel stays and other extras.

#5: thinkgeek’s pi day

It’s a day full of geekery. In honor of 3/14 aka Pi Day, ThinkGeek is taking 31.4% off 314 products. Grab clever t-shirts or a mug to show off your brainiac tendencies. Or stock up jewelry and accessories for the next birthday or anniversary or whatever.

#6: COLLAPSIBLE ISLAND

Origami Rolling Island | $83 | Woot | Free shipping for Prime members, $5 for non-members

You can expand your counter space with this rolling kitchen cart, and then collapse it back down for easy storage. It’s only $83 on Woot today, which is about $16 less than its Amazon price. Shipping is free for Prime members, and just $5 for non-members.

#7: ps4 wireless headset

Sony’s original PS4 Gold headset was already our readers’ favorite gaming headset, and the new model is lighter, more durable, and frankly, better looking. Like the old one though, it’ll still immerse you in 7.1 surround sound, and doesn’t need a clunky boom mic to pick up your voice either.

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This debuted late last year for $100, and $85 is the best price we’ve seen to date.

#8: PHILIPS HUE WHITE

If you like the idea of Philips Hue’s automation features, but don’t particularly care about exotic and colorful lighting concepts, you can pick up the Hue White starter kit for $45 today, the best price we’ve ever seen. That gets you two soft white bulbs and a Bridge that lets you control them from your phone, or with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.

#9: lodge dutch oven

Our readers love Lodge cast iron skillets. But have you tried out a Lodge dutch oven? This enameled red 6 Qt. one is just $45 today, which is a good discount from its usual $50 – $60. I have one and use it almost every time I cook. Plus, these make great gifts.

#10: 10 USB PORTS

Anker PowerPort 10 | $30 | Amazon

Int. Board Room – Night

Anker executive: I want a charger with 10 ports.

Anker engineer: That’s madness sir, that’s too many ports.

Anker executive: <Takes drag from unreleased Anker vape> Is there any way I could change your mind? <Suddenly shouting> Alexa, turn on the light.

Both men look to the corner of the room, where the Eufy Genie has illuminated a Eufy smart light bulb, revealing a body guard who had been hiding in the shadows. He approaches the engineer and binds his hands and legs behind the chair with PowerLine+ Lightning cables, and covers his mouth with Anker-branded packing tape.

Anker executive: 10 ports.

Anker enginner: <Nods>

Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-10-best-deals-of-march-14-2018-1823780179 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

COD: WWII Adds Nightmare Leprechauns For St. Patrick’s Day

Call of Duty: WWII’s March 13 update lets you hunt leprechauns, and it is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds. Sledgehammer Games has launched the “Operation: Shamrock and Awe” event just ahead of Saint Patrick’s Day, so there’s plenty of tacky gear, décor, and trolling leprechauns.

If you’re feeling lucky, you can try to score new camos, uniforms, weapon charms, or guns from Supply Drops. WWII’s multiplayer is currently filled with players donning leprechaun hats and clover camos, and you can even accessorize with a little cheeseburger charm on your gun.

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The Headquarters received a fitting visual treatment for the holiday. Splashed with green and gold, the décor is pretty much a ton of clovers, pots of gold, rainbows, and barrels of Irish spirits.

And what’s a St. Paddy’s Day celebration without some leprechauns? WWII adds a Leprechaun Hunt mode, which is basically a mix of existing game modes that frequently spawn an evil, zombie sprite. Killing the leprechaun is a chore because he’s a tiny target and swift on his little feet, but you’re rewarded with your full scorestreaks. Totally worth it. This twist makes for a much more entertaining and hectic multiplayer experience.

My first attempt at Leprechaun Hunt landed me in a game of Domination on USS Texas. He was hard to spot at first, but I definitely heard his insane cackling as he scooted around the map. Some players fought to capture the objective points and others focused on killing the leprechaun. I tried to do a bit of both, but the match was practically raining carpet bombings and paratrooper scorestreaks. And honestly, there were times the little jerk seemed to chase and troll me as I reloaded my gun. I never would have thought leprechauns could add so much action to Call of Duty.

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However, if killing leprechauns isn’t enough, you can now enjoy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s classic Shipment multiplayer map reskinned as “Shipment 1944” in WWII. The new map is now available for season pass holders, but the remake will be available and free for everyone on March 16.

Just make sure to catch those leprechauns while you can as Shamrock and Awe will only be available until April 3.

Vía https://kotaku.com/cod-wwii-adds-nightmare-leprechauns-for-st-patricks-d-1823758226 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!