Ask Me Stuff

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.

I’m re-posting last week’s Ask Me Stuff, so I can get round to answering the questions posted when I was on holiday last week – but drop more questions in and I’ll get to it this afternoon!


  • I asked this previously, and apologies if I missed the answer, but have MS coughed up a date for voice control of our Kinect yet? Are they hoping we will just sort of forget about it after awhile?

  • Mark –

    1: Where are you out of the office to?

    2: Have you ever lost any precious data, from pictures to game saves? Do you back your stuff up?

    3: What do you drink / eat in the morning to wake up?

    4: Will you sign my autograph?

    • I’ll dive in on a few of these for kicks…

      1. He’s off showing a Scottish mate / tourist around Sydney.

      2. I lost precious data once. ONCE. In the time before CD-R drives were commonplace, so backups were about floppy or maybe ZIP disks, I had a desktop stolen. Worst thing I lost was my Diablo save game — I was just completing my 2nd playthrough! ARGH!

      3. I drink tea, don’t eat much before lunch. My cereal of choice is a blend of Sultana Bran and Just Right (with the apricots removed).

      4. That was a question for Mark…

  • Do u know of any games or developers that have been directly influenced by Jenova Chen’s work or his desire to broaden the emotive range of games?
    I’m looking for examples for an essay.

    • Hmmm. Tough one – Jason Rohrer? Although he does a fair bit of influencing himself.

      I think you’d have to really dive into the indie realm for this one.


    Pretty sure that plenty of other sites have already asked this question of EA and EA are obviously being quiet… but perhaps some more badgering is required.

    Burnout Crash (PS360) INFO REQUIRED STAT!!!

    Main Question – Is Criterion Games developing it?

    Assumed sequel to Paradise as Criterion themselves said that post support was finished when the Island pack was launched. Anything of interest would be good.

    • I saw a story mention that people known to be working for Criterion hinted at this Burnout game in their LinkedIn profiles… so in answer… please oh please oh please oh please oh please…

  • How awesome has this WWE comp been?!

    Have you laughed so hard, like me, that milk came out of your nose, even though you’re not even drinking milk at all?!?!

    Also.. as i asked in TAY… Duke Balls Of Steel Edition? Rad or Sad?

    Also Also – i like big butts, and i cannot lie – are you an other brother that wants to deny?

  • Have you played Lego Star Wars III? If so, did you enjoy it?
    Also, how about you do some mod reviews? There are a lot of mods that make the games completely different from what they originally where, so I think we need some reviews of the best mods on Kotaku.

    • I haven’t played LEGO Star Wars III – although I did consider getting on 3DS.

      Mod reviews are a great idea. I’ll chuck it in the vault.

  • I might be blind, but was there a “The week in games” post this week? I’ve looked but can’t find anything. Maybe there are no new releases this week? But usually there is some shovelware to warrant a post.

  • Any word on the new XCOMM? Also, were you as disappointed with Crysis 2 as I was when I figured out you could just stealth and run through pretty much the whole game unless it was a hold this area objective? Game breaker right there.

    • You don’t think that’s cool? You, as a player, made the choice to not engage any enemies and take the stealth route and the game allows you to do so. It doesn’t have scripted fights in all the areas that mean stealth becomes useless.

      How is player choice a “game breaker”?

      I mean, the buggy AI and x-ray vision possessing enemies is more akin to “game-breaking” than the fact you can slip by some of the fights.

      • Well that’s true, but I don’t know, it didn’t feel stealthy like the old splinter cells etc. More like no clipping from doom 😉

          • :/

            I still enjoyed most of it though, but I’m guessing that’s because I only realised in the last 3 missions or so.

            Sooo.. Any good games coming out soon? I’m pretty damn bored of what I’ve got lying around.

  • Assuming one could get a copy of mortal kombat in Australia, do you think online multiplayer would still work? Swear I read something about servers being country specific or something?

    • Yeah, I’d read the multiplayer would be “region” specific to eliminate lag.

      My understanding was that it would use the ping between players to setup the “region”, so you could only play against players within a reasonable proximity.

      Although, they could well be definitive geographical regions… Maybe Serrels knows more.

    • I honestly don’t think you’ll have any problems outside of the normal latency we have to deal with in Aus.

  • There was a rumour that the TV show Gamesmaster might be making a return. With the legendary Dominik Diamond off farming in Canada, and after seeing a couple of your videos (Wresling & cooking)AND your facination with ‘pants’ (or lack thereof) I wondered if you would consider taking over his role?

    • I used to read the magazine of that TV show when I was a kid. Don’t think we actually had the show here.

      Sega Power was a waaaay better mag!

    • I used to work at Future Australia, which does the Gamesmaster mag. So I know for a fact that the show is actually coming back. No idea of the format though.

      One of my mates actually congratulated me on fulfilling my life long dream of becoming Dominik Diamond.

      On closer inspection I’m probably more Dexter Fletcher. 🙁

  • Max Payne 3 in the news recently. 3 articles in the last week (IIRC).

    In your opinion, does this kind of sudden coverage often pre-empt a bigger announcement (like release date)?

    Someone suggested E3 is coming out… will MP3 be officially release-dated then, do you think?

  • How often do you get writers block/struggle getting an article finished?

    Is the Kotaku community nagging you too much and becoming too needy, or do you enjoy everyone fighting for your undivided attention? 😛

    • My official line used to be that writer’s block was for pussies.

      Then I got writer’s block.

      I love people fighting for my attention. I’m a needy and shallow human being.

  • Mark –

    Do you think a Wolverine game done in the exact same style as Assassin’s Creed but in Japan (and actually be good) would be viewed as a cheap-assed rip off in or the greatest superhero game ever?

    • Not sure about you, but I simply loved X-Men Origins: Wolverine and would be gloriously happy if they made a sequel in any setting, with the same controls, visual style.

      I went through the game about 3-4 times straight, mopping up trophies, etc and fatigue never set in.

      There was only one bad thing about the game, the final boss was a cheating bastard! :p

    • Wasn’t that transformers game a rip off of Gears of War? People liked that didn’t they?

      [Chuloopa troll – ACTIVATE]

      I wouldn’t really mind playing that game. Better than having it be a sup-par God of War rip off.

    • My 3DS is dead because the battery life is RUBBISH.

      I’m sure I’ve posted it a bunch in other posts on Kotaku…

  • Why are you going to be out of the office for a lot of tomorrow? Did this morning’s news make you decide that you want to go shopping for an Android phone?

    • Android? EEWWW

      [Elly and Angus Kidman Troll – ACTIVATE]

      Nah, my best friend from Scotland came to visit, so I was showing him around Sydney.

  • What is the correct amount of clearance between a cat5 cable and 3 phase power lines. I am trying to find some info online but not having much luck, other than the odd person saying ‘oh yeah, you can put them beside each other, it’ll be fine’ WRONG.

    Might have to see if I can find a kind electrician to let me know… I do actually have one in the family, but I’m not sure if he’ll know.

    • Once I’ve charged my 3DS I’ll try and add you. I’ve got loads of people I’m supposed to add!

  • I hate to keep brining this up but judging from the lack of feedback from the other winners of this comp

    I’m starting to think I’m the only winner of that particular competition who has not heard anything from Electronic Arts.

    I even went to the length of emailing them during the week and their response was to email you guys, which I have done but still nothing.

    Is there a particular contact at EA that I can get in touch with?

    Again I wouldn’t worry that much about it except none of the other winners have come on here to express any problem which makes me think I’ve fallen through the cracks.

    • I’m chasing it up. We’ll get something worked out. Because it was before my time, and before the current EA contact’s time it’s been tricky.

      The EA person is also overseas at the moment. But I’ll chase it up. Sorry for the hassle.

  • I would love to know what you studied, potentially, to get this job? Seriously, I’m a 29 year old going through the mid life crisis realising that I am working in something that I have no interest in and want to change!

    • I’m not trying to speak for Mark here, but my personal opinion only.

      I don’t believe becoming a gaming journalist has a lot to do with what degree you graduated with from uni, but rather building up your portfolio and work experience in the field. I think networking and getting contacts with other people in the field helps as well?

    • Dawdle makes some awesome points.

      I have an English honours degree and an MSc in Media Research, so I’m edumacated, but most Game Journos aren’t. Best to build up experience and write for free, then start trying to find paid work.

      Good pieces, good work, build a good reputation, make good contacts – all that stuff.

  • What the hell has happened to the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus collection?

    Wasn’t that supposed to be out around April (i.e. now)? Haven’t heard anything about it for ages. Can you use your extensive network of spies throughout the industry in general and Sony in particular to find out where it’s at and, more importantly, when we’ll be getting it?

    • I’ve been wondering about this as well. Have you seen the game during preview events? if so, what are your impressions?

      • Well my amazon order was delayed till Jan 2012 which probably means they have no idea when it’s going to ship

  • Not sure if this has been answered before, but how come Kotaku doesn’t promote/put reminders to watch Good Game anymore? I totally forgot the show existed until recently.

  • Will people really be fined $110000 if caught importing Mortal kombat?

    We had a look and the fine only covers large amounts as if you were going to sell it.

  • Is this just last week’s batch of unanswered questions being bumped up? :p

    Also, if Allure was to cut all ties with Gawker in the US and continue independently, would you assemble a super mega awesome team of writers to fill the gap or desperately try to manage all of the content by yourself? What would you change (like the colours of the logo, review format or other things that came from the US)?

    • A heroic team of misfits, oddballs and desperados, brought together from the farthest reaches of the, erm, continent to provide award-winning™ games journalism to the discerning public?

      I call it… KOTAKAU! (sans Gawker)

    • Yeah, bumped them because I intended to answer them, but got busy touristing with my buddy from Scotland.

      I don’t like leaving questions unanswered so I thought I’d bump last weeks and go through them all.

      You’ll find out what I’d change soon enough, because we’re working on a redesign!

  • Although im sure there would have been plenty of posts on this subject, has there been any word on special/limited/Awesomely Humungous Spectacular editions for Skyrim?
    Personally Im hoping for the Nordic Barbarian Edition.. not sure why

  • Why is it that when Good Game interviewed Simon Pegg last night, I expected him to have a Scottish accent?

    • I’m actually going to be on Good Game possibly this tuesday, but also at some point in the future.

      Really hoping Simon Pegg gets hassled on twitter the same way I did this tuesday!

  • When they announced that both you and Kotaku had won awards, what was the first thing that went through your mind?

    Do you’ve them on display?

    Would your wife have found you insufferable the past few days or have you been pretty modest? 😛

    • It was a big relief. I’m such a stupidly competitive person. I was happy, but it was mostly relief.

      It was funny – had people bigging me up the whole night. As soon as I got home (at 1am) my wife was just like, ‘you woke me up!’ And was all grumpy.

      Straight back down to earth.

      I took the best Journalist one home, but left the Kotaku award for the office.


    I don’t know if its just cos me and my xbl mates hit up ANYTHING with a decent 4-player campaign, but does it not feel like a game is normally more enjoyable when you’re playing with friends?

    Halo 3/ODST/Reach
    Army of Two/40TH Day
    Rainbow 6 Vegas 1&2

    Personally, I felt these games became immensely more fun with other people as compared to slogging through them solo. And there’s been games with extremely average campaigns that have only been lifted by the fact we could co-op them.

    Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is the perfect example of this. I’ve been playing that the last few weeks now with 3 other mates, all who bought it specifically to play co-op. One of them tried it on his own and couldn’t believe how boring it became (imagine how more interesting Homefront might’ve been with a co-op option?)

    QUESTION: It feels like a lot of developers are still quite resistant towards providing us fully-fleshed out co-op campaigns. Why?

    (side note; we are all extremely pumped for Operation Flashpoint: Red River. Its co-op campaign is looking siiick)

    • WOW, I dont meet many other people that play OF:DR. I loved that game but actually really enjoyed the single player game.

      If you are keen for someone to have a game with, let me know. GT: FatShady Live

      I will have to buy another copy of the game but they should be cheap now. Would love some co-op action in this one.. only played a small amount in co-op.

      • We’re mostly done with Dragon Rising (last mission on Hardcore is becoming a chore! haha) but Red River comes out next Thursday dude! I’m not expecting it fly off the shelves, but it looks like a huge improvement over Dragon Rising.

        And I enjoyed the single player the first time as well haha.

        • WOW again… I am such a fan of the series ()seriously been playing since 1985 adn cold war on PC) that I didn’t even know about red river!!!! Can’t wait.

          Hit me up with a FR if you want and I’ll try to get a copy when it comes down in price…

    • Agree completely on co-op campaigns (I would add Splinter Cell Conviction to your list as well). I would much rather games looking for longevity or more appeal implemented a co-op campaign rather than the obligatory multiplayer that will be a wasteland in a month after release. Why not put the develop resources into co-op instead?
      Games which should have gone this route in my opinion are Far Cry 2, Bioshock2 and Dead Space2. Would’ve had much more appeal to me than combative multiplayer tacked on…

    • I’m not as big a fan of co-op games, unless they’re built from the ground up for it. I know. Weird.

      • Yea, that’s what I meant when I said ‘fully fleshed out’ (that term is so wrong when it’s not in a sentence haha… eew)

        We’ve already had a couple of blockbuster co-op based titles the last few years. I don’t understand why it hasn’t clicked in the industry, that this might be the solution to the wash of competitive multiplayer mediocrity out there.

        Know what I’m sayin (G)?

  • HEYO!

    Marky Mark, what are your thoughts on the Portal 2 ARG? Do you believe that Valve would release Portal 2 early? Do you think that is something such a sophisticated developer and market of their games would do?

  • Any plans or invitations to tour some Aussie podcasts anytime soon so that your friends and colleagues may lavish praise and admiration upon you?

  • Hey Mark,

    Do you think holding onto a 360, at this stage is a wise decision, as there appears to be a distinct lack of new exclusives coming out this year, or is it worth moving completely over to PS3, (better Multiplats etc)


    • Depends what you want to play…

      I’ve heard a lot of complaints about CoD on PS3… but not many about xbox*.

      *My not having heard about them doesn’t mean they don’t exist… only that I haven’t heard of them.

    • Most reviewers endorse the 360 as a better choice for multiplatform titles… Why not have both? You can choose which platform is best for multiplatform titles and have access to exclusives from both?

    • Personally I play multiplatform titles on my 360 – because my friends are mostly on Xbox LIVE, Achievement points, etc.

      So I say no. I like my 360.

      I would say that the PS3 is a much more flexible media center though. And I love Blu-ray.

  • Since you ignored me in TAY last week, maybe I’ll have better luck here! Do you know if anything is happening with THQ and their licence for He-Man? I heard a while back they picked it up and were talking about an RPG or some such.. any truth to the rumour?

      • haha YAY! I’m not the only one!! 🙂 I used to have all the toys.. saddest moment in my life was when mum sold them all at a garage sale 🙁

    • I’ll hook you guys up with something cooler. Going to get the girl in our office to do a mega prize run this week.

  • Do you hate the weekly Ask Me Stuff?
    Do you view it as an anacronistic throwback to the Wildgoose era of Kotaku, which has been made redundant with the increased community involvment?

    Also, are you going to put up a new picture now that Dragon Age 2 is out… or are you going to wait for ME3?

    • I only hate it when someone asks a question I’m too rubbish to answer – like the He-Man one!

      I really enjoy it. It’s a different angle, and it’s great when the community sort of answers one another’s questions and helps each other out.

      Sometimes someone will ask a question in TAY, and I’ll miss it. Or spot it, try and remember to answer it, get busy then forget. With Ask Me Stuff, I try and answer every question asked, so I think that’s good. They’re all in the one spot and I can find them easily.

      Hmmm. New pic? Ben is actually in the process of designing new logos for some of the regulars at Kotaku Australia, so we’ll change it then.

      • awww don’t worry mark! I still love ya even though you can’t answer! At least you’ve got something to research now! Maybe drop a few q’s next time you chat with THQ!! 😉

  • Hey mark congrats on the award

    Just wanted to know the reason for no indie channel on the 360 and if they are ever going to release it? I know its an old one

    • Sad to say, it’s all to do with classification ratings dude.

      A game cannot be made available in Australia, whether retail or digital distribution, without a rating being applied by the Classification Board. Micosoft has no process implemented, not inclination to attempt, to submit the user-generated indie games to the board. Therefore they don’t supply us with the service.

      One could suggest they might provide the CB with a number of indie game submissions each monthl, then drip-feed them onto the Australia XBL Service, funding the process with our AUD XBL subscriptions that we pay them. However, the arguement I foresee here, is that XBL Australia (if there is such a thing) would then need to host an Indie Games server, independant of the American XBL one. Which I don’t think they’d be able to do (looking at past abortions, such as the XBL Community Gaming announcements going to the shitter)

      Hope that helps!

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