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.


    Hi Mark. Do you know if (for the PS3) in order to get the Back to Karkand map pack for Battlefield 3, you have to pre-order the limited edition or will you get it with the standard edition as well?
    I tried asking ozgameshop but all I got back was a derp answer of "erm. I don't know."

      i asked them too... no reply :'(

      It's with the limited.
      However, all pre-orders should be upgraded to limited editions at no cost.

      It's like how all Bulletstorms were 'Epic' editions.

        Thanks James. Thought that might be the case. Probably just ships with a map pack purchase code. With limited editions, I couldn't care less about getting special packaging with nightvision goggles or Day One access to a SuperSpiffyGophernator5000 shotgun which shoots flaming rodents at enemies. I just don't want to have to purchase extra map packs every month (ahem MW).

          I would probably buy a limited edition for a gun like that.
          Can you imagine enemies running around with flaming critters all over them, going up their trouser legs, down their shirts, biting things and burning?
          I would play a game just for the opportunity to die with a burning hamster stuck to my face and biting through my visor.

            Guns should be earned through knifing camping bush wookies rather than given away as an enticement to buy.

            I recall an old gothic FPS game called Blood where you could use a flare gun to set people on fire. Not really the same as a flaming ferret but entertaining nevertheless...

              I remember loading a Mech with flare launchers and flamers back in the day.

              It was an awful thing to take into multiplayer as it lagged the server to buggery... good times.

    How much cumulus could a Qumulys consume, if a Qumulys could consume cumulus?

    Hi Mark,

    Can you tell me the name of the song that was used in the main menu screen for Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines?


      I'm pretty sure it's exclusive to the game. I found it in the game files - it's called "Menu" or something similar.

      HOWEVER, I also noticed it sounds strikingly similar to Massive Attack's "Angel".

      Have a listen. You decide.


        You're awesome.. you like the same things as me.. and your name is so sharp it could decapitate people.


        *is decapitated*

        I've missed listening to Massive Attack and this was always my favourite track. Thanks for reminding me about it!

      This one?

      not sure what it's called, but if you still won the game, like me, the entire soundtrack is on the disc in .mp3 format, ready for listening pleasure.

      Swamped and leecher bitch werre epic songs.

      That game had some of my favorite in game music of all time.. man i really want to play it again now...

        Awww man.. that was meant to have a link..

        I second this. I loved the track which played in the Asylum too! Was called Isolated, by electronica artist Chiasm. Have it on my ipood right now actually.

        Lecher Bitch is also a favourite of mine. Good taste Chuloopa /thumbs up

        It's Lecher Bitch, and any song by Genitorturers is rad!

        My absolute fav song on the soundtrack though was Cain by Tiamat. Wicked song!

          Oh, an extra 'e'?
          how will i ever atone for my sins now!?!?

            Silly, Chuloopa, put your shirt back on.

              But it's not cold mummy!! i swears!!!

      I'm pretty sure I'm going to rename ask me stuff 'Ask Kotaku'.

        Haha, sorry for jumping on this one Mark. I saw the game title and couldn't stop myself.

          I'm serious though - maybe this would work better as an Ask Kotaku post! Just a place where people can ask random questions and have everyone answer them!

    I've always wondered why movies and games are rated so different. A game's seems to be considered a "disappintment" with anything less than an average score in the 90s. But with movies, even if only 80% of critics LIKE it but it gets an average score of 6 or 7, it's considered a critical success. What's with that?

      mainly because while the film industry rates from 0-100

      The games industry really only rates from 60-100.

      so a 90 is really only 75 in film based reviewing.

      My guess is for the most part it comes from the developers being able to bribe certain places, and retract previews from others if they rate it too low.

      It's gotta be hard for a magazine to give an honest rating for something if they know that having the next game on the cover will sell issues. Yet if they give a true score to the current game they'll lose any chance of that preview

      A good example would be MW2 with all it's magical 10/10 reviews. It doesn't deserve them for the most part, yet they don't wanna piss off activision and not get a scoop in the future

        I think it's more because reviewers are trying to help sell games. In their minds, a game starts at 10 and they arbitrarily knock points off, like demerits, whenever the game fails to live up to expectations. Sometimes, if a game does something exceptionally well, it will earn some points back.

        I recall Guitar Hero 2 earned an 11/10 somewhere (at least they put a sticker on the box that said so) and if you apply my logic this kind of makes sense.

        MW2 was a good, solid game. It had a few flaws, but what it did well it did REALLY well.

        Once you have a game that a reviewer has knocked all the way to down 7/10, you're left with the impression that the game has glaring issues that can't be ignored or explained away.

        This is where the issue of hype comes in. People who don't like a game say that the score is wrong because they found issue with things the reviewer didn't, or didn't like things the reviewer did.

        This makes the whole system of applying scores to reviews ineffective because you can't perform a critical analysis of games like you can movies - they're much more centred around the user experience.

        But people still base their impressions of games they haven't played on reviews as if it were the same as reading a review of a movie they haven't seen.

        And let's not forget people who judge a game they haven't played and STILL disagree with the reviews (e.g.: I've never played Halo Reach but I think Halo is stupid so there's no way it can be 10/10).

        This is a symptom of an industry that, while it has an aging fanbase, is still largely seen as the pastime of juveniles and continues to appeal to them as such.

          I think that 11/10 score for Guitar Hero 2 was somebody making a smartarsed reference to Spinal Tap - the amps that go up to 11 instead of the regular 10.

          "I think it’s more because reviewers are trying to help sell games."

          Which is already of them going wrong, it's not a reviewers job to sell games. If it is it suggests a vested interest in one game succedding where another fails.

          "Once you have a game that a reviewer has knocked all the way to down 7/10, you’re left with the impression that the game has glaring issues that can’t be ignored or explained away."

          But thats the point, that 7 should be like a 4-5 and it will open up room for more distinction for the truly great games.

          Instead you have some awesome games crammed in with stuff like CoD7 and halo5, that has become derivative and really shouldn't be able to score higher than a 9.

          Video games don't use the whole scale which is the issue a game that has major issues shouldn't get a 7 it should get a 5.

          There are plenty of great 5/10 movies to see, they just don't have the stuff that makes the critic's go pop.

            *smartass answer because that's all I have time for*

            There are 10 points of distinction! 90, 91, 92...

            I'm not saying it's a good system, I'm just saying it's the system we seem to have.

            I prefer reviews that don't try to apply a score - they just tell you what a game is and isn't, so you can decide if you want to play it.

            Scores are for people too lazy to read.

              No doubt, one should always read the review. the score is generally meaningless otherwise.

              My points were more tied to the differences between the systems and likely reasons

      I agree with the fact that games are rated on a 60-100 scale and this is mainly because once a game starts rating below 60 its usually due to its general functionality or play ability failing. This isn't really a problem with film as even the poorest story line and most contrived characters can still be made into a watchable film, where as 0-50 rated games are usually rated so because they're simply unplayable or have a large number of glitches/game breaking bugs est.

      My views on this are too long and wanky for a comment.

      I agree that the way games are reviewed are broken, but we as gamers have expectations about scores, and sort of inherently understand what an 8 is, what a 7 is, etc, etc.

      We've made this bed and have to lie on it for now!

    Can't decide which question to ask, so you can pick which one to answer!

    Do you know anything about if the Witcher 2 will really hit consoles?

    Know of any gladiator video games in the works? I've been watching Spartacus Gods of the Arena and would love a GOOD game in this style!


      Pretty sure Witcher 2 isn't coming to consoles. In regard to your other question - i think Crytek is doing something Gladiator like with MS GS, Codename: Kingdoms for 360.

    How did you first get published when you started writing about games, and what kind of relevant tertiary education did you undertake?

      I wrote for free to begin with - for

      That was a long time ago!

      I have an honours in English and a Masters in Media. Not sure how relevant either of them were. I would honestly say that if you want to write about games, you should just do it. Write for free on any number of fan sites, write good stuff, show it to the relevant people and see how you go!

    Is there a future for AAA blockbuster games?

      Such a huge question, but a good one.

      I'm going to say yes. Absolutely. They still make a lot of money.

      I think what Cliffy B said about the 'middle class' game being dead is completely spot on.

    What's for lunch? I'm starving already.

      I'm thinking about heading out and grabbing some Maccas, I like to get out of the office for lunch

    Has it been announced when the playstation store is actually going to be back up and running here in aus??

      I think the PSN store was supposed to be back up by today, but the grand reopening has been delayed.

      I reckon they're going to get so hammered by their "77 million users" downloading their free games, you'd be lucky to get online anyways.

      Was looking into this last night, as lots of people were expecting the 24th. Don't believe its been announced anywhere in the world yet.

      It is a wait and see.

      What Sarujin said. I think if I've learned anything from this sony situation it's that specific dates are completely pointless. It's not something Sony will put a deadline on.

    Dear Mark,

    Do you miss me?

    Stephan Kold-Labia

      lol JOKE!

    Hey mark. The US Kotaku reported that you could preorder a retro lancer from Gamestop in the US and there has been talk about releases in UK and Aus. Any chance you can find out more from either NECO(I think) the guys producing the gun, Epic or ebgames as the aus arm of Gamestop?

    Do you think that Notch having Minecraft Mobile as an Xperia Play exclusive for a short while is a bad idea?

      Doubtful, he's probably getting paid quite the commission on it.

      I think the worse thing here is that it's getting released on mobile devices at all. I suspect if it wasn't for various clones he wouldn't bother.

      but the more places people can play it the faster they are going to burn out on it.

      and seeing as his whole update frequently has slowed down a fair bit with most of the updates reflecting things that mods provided in alpha

      It's a weird move, but then it isn't if you get my meaning! I never expected it, but then it kinda makes sense. I don't have a problem with it.

    What's the worst or most annoying glitch/bug you've encountered in your years of gaming?

    What's the funniest glitch/bug you've encountered?

      Wow. I'm drawing a blank here.

      I had a bug in LA Noire yesterday where a NPC threw himself off scaffolding hence ending my mission. But not really too much of a problem.

      Oh, I know.

      When the first Assassin's Creed came out, the PS3 version was miles behind the 360 version. I was guaranteed it would be up to scratch, so reviewed as such. When the game came out and the PS3 version still had bugs I was pretty shitty.

      When AC2 came out I had a similar situation. I was on Aus 360 by then - the game was great, but had really bad framerate drops. I was told again, by Patrice Desilets himself, that it would be fixed. I was like, hmmm. That's what you said last time - and mentioned it in my review. I gave the game 9, but might have gone the 10 if I had known just how big of a difference there was in the final version, which was much, much smoother.


    Ever been so dissapointed in a game that you couldn't finish it?

      I never finished Dead Space 2. Was disappointed. Controls felt a bit weird. Too actiony. Felt like the atmosphere of the original was a bit lost.

        I tend to agree. Did you make it as far as chapter 10? That chapter felt closest to the original, for more than a few reasons.

    Is KotakAU running kind of slow today?

      Not sure - Tad isn't in today. Will ask if he can work his magic on the morrow.

    I was playing Splosion Man on a mate's 360 the other day and found it really enjoyable. Is there anything like that on the PSN? Also feel free to take your time, it's not like I'm going to go download it right away. Or rather, can't.

      I played the demo for Explodemon on PSN, and I think it was pretty similar to Splosion Man, but I didn't really enjoy it so much.

      Can't think of anything. But the PSN has an awesome line-up.


    Hi Mark,
    With the news this past week about possible new Kinect features coming, any word from Microsoft Australia on the update for us that would bring Voice Control to the Kinect?

    I believe last time it was mentioned at launch Microsoft was saying it was still being preped and the expectation was it would launch late Feb/March.



      Yeah dude - tell me about it. I ask Microsoft about this practically every week. No word.


    When will the PSN store be back online?

    Hey Mark,

    Whats this community meet people keep talking about? I'm guessing its in Sydney?


    I was wondering which game have you been most disappointed with either because it was so over-hyped or you had been looking forward to it and it just didn't deliver the goods.

    Is there any more news on the 40K MMO? As much as I am sick to death of MMO’s I can think of no better story that’s suited to one.

    I would love to see this designed where a player takes on the role of a inquisitor as there is enough scope to do or be anything without everyone be Space Marines running around and ruining the lore.

    Any information would be great.

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