Ask Me Stuff

You guys have any burning questions? About anything? This is Ask Me Stuff, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Leave me a question in the comments below and I'll endeavour to answer it before the day is out.


    What should I prioritize? Crysis 2, or a 3DS?

      Tough one. 3DS doesn't really have any must have games yet, but I love new tech, and have been chomping at the bit for the 3DS since it was announced.

      Crysis 2 looks great, but I've truly had it with shooters for the forseeable future. That's just my own personal opinion though.

    Hey Mark,

    Still havent received my Madman reader review prize from end of last November yet??

    - Corey

      Just sent an email to Madman - sorry for the massive delay.

      Do you have a Blu-ray player?

        Oh now you start asking! ;)

        Yes but it's called a PS3 :)

    Hi, with the new Mortal Kombat listed as a competition game for this year's EVO and Austalia having band the game. Does this mean there will be no qualifiers in this Austrlia?

    And if there was to be one, would have it have to be held in secret? AKA like the prohibition episode of the Simpsons where Moe's bar is a pet shop.

      Wow. Awesome question. I honestly don't know. I assume not.

    Hey Mark any news on the new Xcom game? Cheers.

      Oh and do you have to import Mortal Kombat like the rest of us? Or would they still send you a review copy etc?? Where is everyone else importing their copy from? I played the demo on Ps3 and its pretty sweet, so I may risk the import :P

        If they sent him a review copy then there's the potential there for customs to intercept it resulting in Mark copping a fine, if not actually being jailed and spending several years as some biker-type's bitch.

        I really don't think Mark would like getting fined, so I doubt they'll send him a review copy.

          Mark might not like being fined, but don't be so hasty in thinking he doesn't want to end up being some Bikers biatch! Everyone needs to snuggle sometimes :P

            If you re-read my comment, you'll notice that I didn't make any assertions either way about how Mark may or may not feel about being a biker's bitch :P

        Xcom - nothing new yet. I'm pretty sure it won't be long before we get more details.

        Mortal Kombat - I'm undecided. I don't know if I'm excited enough about the game to risk the import. That being said, I'm confident most won't have a problem getting it through customs.

        I'll probably pick it up next time I'm overseas.

        Bikey's bitchdom here I come!

          Thanks for the reply. Yeah Xcom has kinda fallen off the face of the earth. For a game that is supposedly coming out this year, I've heard very little. It is more of a fleeting thought as this year is a wallet buster already!!! And with Crysis 2 out tomorrow (unless someone has broken the street date today) I've got more then enough to keep me going. Oh and if you do buy MK overseas don't be surprised if you get hit up about some side orders :P In my line of work I could usher along that biker bitchdom faster then you think, so be nice to spoonie!! :P MUHAHAHAHAR

    Mark, What is the meaning of life.....

    Its a question that has been on humanities mind for a long time.

    Im bored at work.....ahem

      42... move on.

      I guess it doesnt help your boredom though, sorry.

        Alight, 42 I'm good with that answer.... BUT how does one come to that answer of the sacred 42.

          The Big Giant Calculator told the little white mice.

          (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)

          For that, you need to know the Ultimate Question for the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

          All Arthur Dent managed to extract with Scrabble tiles is
          "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"

      I can make everything about Trials HD..

      Look at this picture... that is the answer


    Have you found time to play Trauma Center again?

      I couldn't find my copy! Finished Ghost Trick instead, and then played Pixel Junk Shooter 2.

        I can only hope that this fills you with a great sense of shame and remorse.

    Mark, will a Kotaku podcast be coming any time soon? Or are there bigger things to deal with at the moment?

      Might as well do a little bit of an update!

      We're definitely doing a podcast - it's just a matter of when and what the format will be. Personally I don't think the world needs another '3/4 guys sit round a table, 'what have you been playing, news round up, talking about how funny they are and not really talking about games' podcast. Don't get me wrong - there's totally a place for that, and I listen to and love plenty of podcasts that are exactly like that, it's just that I'm really keen to do something a bit more focused and interesting.

      We're in the process of discussing what that'll be, and if we do a Kot/Giz/Lifehacker catch all podcast, or a focused Kotaku one. A couple of details to iron out, but mainly we're taking our time because we want to create something that's good quality instead of just an arse about.

      Would be keen to hear what you guys would like from an Aussie Kotaku podcast?

        For an Aussie Podcast, I think it would need to be long extensive, indepth and a little personal. This site is very user friendly and we can find any article we like on most games and read about the latest news in less than 10 seconds (not to mention outside sources)

        Make it worth downloading!

        I'm a fan of the discussion style podcast.

        You raise an issue, say the R18+ classification and whoever is there discusses their views on the matter and anything tangential to it.

        Something similar to how the Objection articles are done, except you could probably have two regulars and one person who is related to the topic being discussed.

        I've never listened to a podcast before. Never. Not ever.(What have I been doing with my life? *head shake*) So I have no idea what they are like. Personally, the idea of just having sound bores me, why not make a video podcast? Would that be too hard/expensive/not worth your time/anything else I can't think of?

      • Podcasts always lose me cos they get pointlessly chatty. If you do do one it would be nice if you had a strict time limit with a plan that you stick to rather than going off on tangents.

        I don't get that much free time these days. One of the main reasons I come to Kotaku is that it's articles are mostly quick and to the point (the otherone being bordom at work).

        I have trouble keeping up with my fave TV shows because I always choose games and comics first.

        Make me want to watch it.

          : )
          can i interest you in an early promo for the Plainview Diaries? Now with even more Natalie Portman and other such things - like moustaches and eye patches and stories about men called Biff & Chuck and Dodge and a dog called Lightning. And cigarettes and convertibles and war and peace and all things from far away places of mystery and suspense. And a girl called Meredith!!!
          The Plainview Diaries: Coming Soon.
          Tell no one,
          : (



          • When you say Natalie Portman, do you mean the woman or the song?

              This (nsfw) song???
              : )



              : (

              Now with more Natalie Portman & Less Rebecca Black,

        I guess... I'd like it to be interview and guest driven - find someone in the industry, could be a publisher, developer, another journalist with some interesting insight to [stuff] or cover a theme... however I do realise the logistics of recording with guests could be difficult (especially if they're not all Aus-based)

        I also think it would be nice if there was an opinion-piece segment (where you can rant, do a game review [minus scores] or whatever - possibly even transition the Ask Me Stuff questions to the podcast)... well, either that or you do Arnie impersonations'n'stuff - I'd like to hear more subjective stuff from you.

        As far as a combined show with the Nick and Angus, I don't mind the idea (I like the other Allure editors, everyone seems pretty cool when I peruse the network) and that's sort of what I was thinking waaaaaay back last year when you started but I think that forces you into a ’3/4 guys sit round a table, ‘what have you been playing, news round up, talking about how funny they are and not really talking about games’ format and I'd happily settle for a shorter show that is more focused.

        Trying to be realistic for you, I'd probably like something in the realm of... 30 minutes a fortnight (just watch, I'll bitch that it's too short if that happens) or at least an hour per month, but with more frequent updates (perhaps they're recorded once a month and you post 15-20 minutes a week that might be one interview + other stuff) - if it were just Kotaku.

        Any chance you could give a timeframe (don't worry, we won't lynch you if you have to push it back... probably) that this might go live?

        Thank you for the detailed update!

        Support for the interview format. I'd like it to be more industry insider stuff covering different publishers/developers and even people related to the industry.

        I don't mind a combined podcast with Gizmodo/Lifehacker as long as the focus is in Australia. If I wanted to hear about tech/gaming stuff overseas, there are way too many podcasts dealing with that already. I think it would be cool if you guys have a combined discussion, say Mark you won't be restricted to talking about gaming stuff only.

        Are you guys considering to do it live streamed or prerecorded? I'm thinking a 'call-in' Q&A section would be neat during live stream. And if it's not too much of a hassle, there could be a shorter version for release afterwards for people just wanting to hear the main discussions. I think 30 minutes to 1 hour would be ideal, but it could be extended for special events/issues.

    What's your dream job?
    What's the highest you could possibly go in any indutry/trad/whatever where you could say "damn this is awesome, it doesn't get any better than this!"

    As awesome as it would be editing Kotaku, i'm sure there is still something in your head that makes you think "well... his is awesome.. but that would be awesome +1"

      Hmmm. Hard to say.

      1. Seamus' job.


      [but not really]

    Why is the Aus PSN pricing a joke ??
    $8.45 for 1 MvsC 3 character DLC?....REALLY !?!?!?


      CAPCOM are simply arseholes who have always asked for far too much in price for what you are actually getting...

      RE5 & SFIV are great past examples...

        It truly is atrocious.
        When I first read initial reports that each character would be 5bux I was somewhat hesitant at best at the pricing.

        But 8.45 is insane.

        Sure the 5r may've meant in US bux, but how the f&^$ could they come the price of 8.45 when the dollar is virtually on parity?

        Surely the Aus PSN has some hand in this tomfoolery.

          Once again, it's just CAPCOM doing it, Sony have no part in the cost on PSN unless it's actually a 1st Party title.

          I feel as though the price conversion is fair based on all the other markets (btw, our price would be set by EU CAPCOM), the actual cost is the problem.

          2 addition characters for the cost of ~$17, when you get 36 in the game for ~$100 (ave $2.78 per character)...

          A $6 markup is simply taking the piss, and if it was $8.45 for BOTH, then it would be alot fairer.

          Just wait for the eventual Alternate costume packs, that will be broken down into about 4-5 characters per pack and cost about $7-8 per pack. The cost of all the DLC will be more than the game.

            Thanks for the breakdown oggob.
            Yeah Costume pack 1 is already in affect.

            Def would've bought if you got the two characters for the one price.

      Because SCEA are jesters, and price-gouging is their punch line.

      $23.95 for MAG is well priced if you ask me

    I guess this question is open to everyone.

    Do you think we will see a major change in the type of video games we play in the next few years?

    I ask this because it seems that Console developers are very quickly losing the battle to the smaller game developers. The things that would once caused front page controversies like day one DLC that was cut from launch, online passes and paying real money for in game perks are now commonplace. Console developers seem to be scrambling to get every last dollar they can out of a title, via ethical methods or otherwise. It’s not all the developers doing either, pre owned sales and pirating as well and high prices steer a lot of people (myself included) away from buying as many games as I have in the past. Do you think we will be exclusively playing smaller games in the years to come? Will big budget console and PC gaming become a smaller niche of the market?

    Hypothetically, if I was an up and coming game developer, I would literally see no reason to sign up with Activision and make the next Call of Duty game, or Squaresoft to make the next FF when games like Angry Birds are made on a fraction of their budget and often produce just as much money (last I’ve heard angry birds has become one of the biggest selling games of all time passing 50 million units)

    Obviously Smaller app-games are not a fad that will blow over anytime soon. So, what does this mean for the video game market? We’ve already seen that developers are desperate for more money. What happens when even more people start buying smaller games exclusively?

      Smartphone games and console games are entirely different markets.

      Saying that there is more incentive to get into smartphone game development instead of console game development is somewhat like saying getting in reality tv production is more attractive than movie production. They're similar, they overlap, but they're two very different things.

      Also, games like Angry Birds are very hit and miss. For every Angry Birds, Tiny Wings or Fruit Ninjas, there's thousands of games that nobody bothered with. Console games are a much more established industry, with publishers putting sizable budgets behind marketing the product. Giving console games a more likely return on investment.

        Actually a better comparison, instead of reality TV and movies, would probably be Youtube and movies, or possibly commercials and movies.

        Bigger games are just as hit and miss. The only difference is that because of the Tiny costs associated with these games (as well as no very little publishing costs and almost no marketing) If these games fail, then no big deal. When Big budget games fail the entire studio goes bust. APB and Bloodstone 007 are some recent example I can think of.

        I think they are the same market. We are seeing more big name developers try to get in on the casual smaller market via Facebook. They obviously think their games of interest to a casual market.

          Wow, I really have no grasp on grammar today, do it?

          A major developer may fold if they are not providing a reasonable return on investment to the publisher. The publisher doesn't want that and uses whatever means they can to get the best return on investment they can.

          With the other market, there are less mechanisms to exploit to try and ensure a return on investment. There is far less security in being an independent developer, especially if you are expecting your income to be based on sales (whereas someone under a major publisher will expect payment for their work with a potential bonus if it does well).

          Tapping into new markets is something that businesses do. Look at Apple, they have a pretty tight hold on the smartphone market but prior to that they focused on computers. Their utilising of a new market does not stop their other products from accessing their old markets. There is even a reasonable level of overlap known as the Halo effect, where purchases of products from the new market become interested in the other products by brand association.

          That's very similar to a major developer focusing on social media/smartphone games. They're just taking advantage of another way to make money.

          Consoles game sales generate a ridiculous amount of money. If some developers and publishers abandon that to make money from the more risky casual game market, then someone else will simply step into their place until nobody is interested in buying the product.


      For every Angry Birds there are thousands of games that burn hard and fast.

      Studio games come with a measure of security, and it's not your money on the line... indie games are an all or nothing prospect.

    • If games go in that direction the industry will lose me as a consumer.
      There are the occasional easy to pick up games that attract me, but they never hold my attention for as long as a good solid RPG or something similar.

      I don't buy nearly as many games as I did 5 years ago and when I do I go for my dollars worth in playtime and fun. I know there are the type who can play simple puzzle games for longer than I put into an RPG but it just isn't my thing.

      I love portability, so a game like Dragon Quest IX or Pokemon are really up my alley.

      Angry birds?? Not so much...

      This is such a big question.

      - The market is very fragmented now. Mainly because it's bigger. I think different developers will adapt and cater to different markets. We won't have seen the last of the Assassin's Creeds, the GTA's and the Halos. I think the next consoles will still use disc based media.

      Premium content still makes a lot of money, and that won't change.

      I think your quirky, super original, yet still expensive titles will be digitally distributed as premium content. Your Katamari Damacies are now your Noby Noby Boys, your Flowers, etc etc. Mainly because retail can't really afford to take risks.

      Then you'll have your cheap games like Angry Birds, Doodle Jump et al.

      To be honest I think we're already getting a vibe for how things are evolving.

      Sorry - rushed answer to a good question.

        One thing is for certain. This "evolution" is happening much faster than anyone could have imagined. People talk of the "future" of games as if it's something that will occur in the distant future. But when I look around I see a video game market that will drastically change in the next 5 years.

        Maybe that guy (Cory Barlog?) was right when he said the next generation will be the last.

    I assume you (like many other journos) get to go on hasty-but-fun adventures to visit game devs and see what they've got cookin' - who have you found has the best attitude/setup/whatever... i.e. which of the studios you've visited was the most impressive?

    (I'd also like to know who was the least impressive/worst, but I won't do that to you :P )

      The best place I've ever been to through work was the Konami secret training center, which is like a frickin' Bond Villain lair in the middle of the Japanese mountains.

      That entire trip is sort of coloured by the fact that I was getting the chance to play through the entirity of MGS4 3 months before it went on sale, and spending time with Kojima and his team. That whole trip was just amazing.

    Man, this has been asked before, but I can never remember: When does our PSN store update? Was it Thursday night-ish? I think a few years ago it was Friday night. Or something. I don't know! I want my Hard Corps Uprising!

      Wed night. iirc

    I gave up on the Metal Gear franchise after MGS2 when I thought I was about to finish the game @ around 11pm but then had to sit through 1 hr of useless exposition that made no sense and that I couldn't skip past and couldn't quit for fear of losing my progress.

    Lately I've been considering giving MGS4 a go but :
    a) Am I likely to be in a similar situation (I recall reading somewhere that there are equivalent length babblefests in MGS4 as well)
    b) Will I have missed too much by skipping MGS3

    • I loved that full-on ending to MGS2. That elevated the game above the mediocre fest I thought it was before.
      All that mask taking off at the end as people revealed that it was actually them pulling the strings was so stupidly over the top I loved that too!

        Maybe I wouldn't have been so pissy about it if I hadn't been half asleep while it was all going on.

        Definitely no fun when all you want is the game to f%^&n' shut up and end

      MGS3 is like a spinoff rather than a hard-and-fast continuation of the story.

      That said, it has by far the best story of any of them, so if you can play, DO play it.

      Also MGS2 endgame was epic. Will not hear otherwise :)

      I love MGS4, but I realise it's not for everyone. I actually just love the gameplay. Brilliantly balanced, endlessly rewarding - there's just an incredible level of depth and detail to every mechanic.

      Just play it. Then replay it. Then play it on Big Boss mode - then you'll get a feel for just how well made the game is.

        I find it hard to believe Mark didn't say this, but you need to go back and play MGS3 - you're missing out on a brilliant game.

    Can you fix the hole in my sock? It is quite vexing.

      I had that last week... i got home and put it in the washing basket (forgetting there was a hole). I put them on monday morning and the hole was bigger and my big toe was sticking out.. put them straight in the bin. Make sure you check them out tonight.

      My suggestion for today... use a stapler.

      My wife throws out socks as soon as they get a hole in them. Quite vexing.

        If ever there was a perfect opportunity to say "darnit, woman!" that would be it.

    What should I cook for dinner?

      I feel like pizza. make that.

      then invite me!

        Alright Shady, if you make it down to my house in Canberra by dinner time tonight, you can come in and eat some pizza.

          I swear if i didnt have a wife and kids right now i would do this just to be a smart arse!!! damn responsibilities!!! Cheers mate.

        I made a hotdog pizza for my lunch but it's almost all gone now....

    Oh, another one that's been annoying me for a while - what is Seamus' actual job title and what does it require him to do?

      I thought his job title was "Seamus"...

      In French his title is :
      éditeur en ligne avec les illusions de la télévision présentant grandeur

      I... don't... know...

      Nah his job is 'Publisher' and he works across all the tech sites.

    How do I permanently log out of my facebook account here? Clicking "here" to log out does nothing. NOTHING D:

      Try clearing your cookies and emptying your cache.

        This doesn't work. The only way I found that worked for me was to remove Kotaku AU from my apps in Facebook. Facebook was different then but I think this is what you'd do now:

        Account -> Privacy settings -> (Apps and Websites) Edit your settings -> (Apps you use) Edit Settings -> (Kotaku AU) Edit settings -> Remove app

    Where are you at with sending out Stacking. I finished Portal last night so looking for a new game..? Cheers.

      I've been hassling THQ about the codes. I have the frickin' statue toy thingies just not the codes.

        On that note - Qumulys and I seem to have reached the agreement that we were the joint winners of the Community Kudos that week (correct me if I'm wrong Q-Bo!) - I get the dolls, he gets the code.

        I sent you an email with my details way back then, so if you already have the dolls, you should be free to send out that part of the prize without waiting!

    Hey Mark,

    Do you know what's going on with the Raiden Fighters Aces PAL release for the X360? The release date's been pushed back over and over again and I fear the worst.

    Bit of an open question, and slightly left field, but has anyone on here (including you mark) played the Assasins Creed Brotherhood multiplayer? The series pretty much lost me after the first one, but for 50$ on steam, I thought if the multi was any good I'd get it. Cheers.

      Assassin's Creed 2 fixed a lot of the problems that the first game suffered. I was really pissed off with the first game but gave the second a try after being told exactly what I just said. Brotherhood is really AC2.5.

      Although I haven't bothered with the multiplayer, so that's another factor entirely.

      I played it at E3, but AC:B came out at a time when I had so many games I wanted to get through, so I never bothered with Multi.

      My online game of choice is Halo: Reach, and it takes a lot to get me off that!

    So Mark, I have a "friend" who won a prize from a "website" in a format he can't use? What would you recommend? :)

      Ooh...I have pretty much all formats...ask your "friend" if he wants to work something out.
      Oh, wait, what prize did your "friend" win? Would I want it? Badly enough to trade something in a format usable by your "friend"?

        I will let my "friend" know.....

        HEY JIMU!!!!
        ***arms waving***

        • I have an anime in a format you may of heard of...Bluray.
          It's called X...something, starts with X looks a little like Evangelion but without the cerebral deep thought. I wouldn't know as it is still in the shrink wrap.

            (crappy)Blu-ray players can be bought for under $100 these days.

            When we get other region DVDs that can't be played on most of our players we use our computer to make a copy and burn it on an all-region disc, I don't know if it's possible to turn a Blu-ray into a DVD this way?

              Although obviously that requires knowing someone with a blu-ray drive in their 'puter.

      lol - sorry Jimu. I'll try and sort you out with something for your troubles.

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