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.

Note: I'm totally in my bed sick, so if I take my time with these - that's why!

[Coughs heartily for sympathy.]


    What are your thoughts about Xbox Live for Windows 8 and cross platform multiplayer between xbox 360, windows 8 and windows phone 7?

      cross platform Multiplayer isn't going to happen on anything that requires precision.

      As much as they like to deny it. The mouse provides to much of an increase in accuracy in shooters.

      I'd also argue that car racing games are easier with a twin stick controller. but the wheel wins above all.

      Not to mention no one on PC is going to pay the equivilant of an XBOX Live Sub. Which means if cross platforming is available all the Xbox guys complain the PC gamers get it free.

        They could balance out the PC players so each team has equal amount of them in shooters. Perhaps someone will think of a good idea to make cross platform fps mp working well.
        As for gamepads being better than keyboards for racing games, both have their own advantages/dis-advantages. I, personally, am better with a keyboard than gamepad, but that's probably because I don't use my gamepad much.
        As for xbox live subscriptions, Microsoft hasn't mentioned anything about that for Windows 8 *yet*, but they have confirmed that cross platform MP will be there for devs to take advantage of. Personally, I *might* pay for an Xbox Live sub if it means I can play with my Xbox 360 owning friends. It sure beats trying to convince them to pay $1000 for a new PC... :P

          Is evenly spreading the burden of people playing with gamepads really a good solution? It seems like it would just generate resentment on both sides.

          I've always thought it would be possible with a turn based stratagy game... like CCP is doing with Dust514.

          PC players take turns (capture building), console players act them out (shoot up the place).

          How does spreading PC players change anything.

          PC player is still going to have a natural advantage. Much in the same way that a good 4 man team can basically win a BF game.

            Spreading the PC players would work just like spreading out that 4 man team you mentioned. It means they end up playing against each other making it hard for one team to slaughter the other. Of course, PC players will still be getting higher scores than Xbox players, but at least the gameplay is balanced a bit. Perhaps they could also make the PC players deal less damage than Xbox players do, or make them move slower. There are ways to make cross platform FPS MP work, it just takes quite a few changes to keep everyone happy and everything balanced.

              It doesn't fix the problem though.

              instead you have 5 guys with better aim on each team slaughtering all the console guys anyways.

              It might make the team's more even but it doesn't change the fact that the console players have a significant disadvantage.

              Also it assumes that all players are of equal skill no point splitting 10 PC players across 2 team's if 3 of them combined are equivilant to the other 7 player's.

              I think if we see cross platform play it will be something pushed at the start of the next generation. Unlikely to happen in this one.

              Especially since PC gamers already complain enough that the consoles are ruining their games, adding cross platform isn't gonna go over well.

              Also like we need more P2P focused MP games

      I like the idea of seamless experiences, which is why I prefer the iPhone over Android devices. It's also the reason I tend to use my Xbox 360 for online play.

      I like the idea of things like this - I'm cynical about the execution!

    Who do I have to suck up to in order to get into the SWTOR beta?

      I would also like to know who I have to suck up to to get into the SWTOR beta?

        Who would have to suck me up to get inside the Star Wars Beta?

        (So tempted to change Up to Off.)

    What did you think of the fights on Sunday? One of the best cards in my recent memory.

    Also have you seen or got to play any of the new UFC Undisputed game? If so, what are your thoughts?

      Card was immense. I started watching late, so I only watched the three main event fights.

      I honestly thought Florian was unlucky - he squandered a great start.

      Sonnen looked unbelievable actually. That's how wrestlers should fight.

      And what else can you say about Frankie Edgar? He looked tiny in there. He took crazy uppercuts from the biggest guy in the division, who probably weighed five kilos more than him on the day of the fight, and still knocked Maynard out cold.

    How did you find Tracy Lien?


        e? He met her while they were on ecstasy together?

          Tracey is *obviously* Mark's secret alter-ego.

          Or is it the other way around?

          ..... I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S REAL ANYMORE!!!!


          Actually, I think the boring answer to that question would be that they found Tracey via something called a "Resume" or "Application". Something along those lines.

      Maybe he found her wandering the halls of the Sydney Opera House when that Final Fantasy Orchestral concert was on and he was all "Ye thare, wirk fur me!" but she was all "Who is this man and why is he speaking funny" and 6 months later, here we are!

        I still think he speaks funny.

    What's your thoughts on The Simpsons risk of getting cancelled after all these years?


      The Simpsons passed it's prime around Season 9. There's a few episodes here and there that are alright, but there's only so many times I can handle something crazy happening (like Moe opening a Gay bar, leading Smithers on and then running for Mayor) then being badly resolved (Smither's finds out Moe's not gay, his campaign comes apart) and resetting Springfield back to normal.

      It should've finished up with the movie.

      Anyway, I thought it had all been resolved and their contracts were renewed last week?

        Smithers is gay?

        I thought he was Burnsexual.

        I agree in part.

        The best episodes are, in my opinion, and always have been, the ones that focus on the Simpson family and their family dynamics.

        There have been some decent episodes, even recently, that chart Homer's quest (odyssey, if you will) to be a better dad (and ultimately, of course, failing).

        Ever since the extended cast of characters became central to the show, the quality has dropped significantly. I advocate a return to basics... or one movie-length finale that once again focuses on the family (like the first movie did).

          I always liked the Halloween episodes myself. That said, they've had a good run, let them go...

      I don't mind the show ending, but I'm glad that they'll at least be able to finish it off on their own terms, rather than just being cancelled outright like a lot of shows tend to be these days.

      it's already been renewed for 2 more seasons

      It's been renewed, unfortunately.

      Also, @Alinos, I thought it was 3 seasons? Maybe I'm just crazy :P

        nope just s24 and s25.

        needs to die though

      I think the Simpsons is far less rubbish now than it was a couple of seasons ago - but it's not required watching for me at all.

      Kinda would like to see it end before the legacy is squandered.

      I'm actually amazed it's still going - I have the first 8 or so season virtually committed to memory but after that I lost the impetus to keep up with it.

      There's a reason most successful shows only go for 7 or 8 years.

      In the US there's a huge market selling reruns of shows to individual stations and cable nets to air outside of primetime, I remember they cancelled Star Trek Next Gen at the 7 year mark not because of it's ratings (they were higher than ever) but because if they flooded the market with more than 200 eps (they maxed out at 178) then they wouldn't be able to ask for as high a price for each episode - that coupled with increasing salary demands to extend the show rendered it uneconomic to continue.

      Obviously The Simpsons is starting to hit that point after an incredible 22 years! Remember when it airs on Fox in the US they don't pay the full cost of an episode - that money is made back through selling the reruns, DVDs and selling to overseas stations. Obviously they've just hit the point where stations aren't willing to pony up the big money for reruns anymore so they need to cut production costs in order to keep it going.

    Where do you stand on the topic of ponies?

    Do you believe they are irreparably imba, to the point where they will never feature in mainstream gaming, or is there some hope that someone, somewhere will work out how to balance them?

    Also, the Disney vault policy has been a constant source of irritation for me. Locking movies away so that people can't buy them for the sake of keeping them "fresh" for future generations and whatnot. It's mainly annoying because it doesn't apply to other movies but when you look at gaming, they're tied to platforms and it's only recently that we're seeing re-releases to allow for people to continue playing games after the original platform is long dead.

    Buying the same game every few years only really works when it's Pokemon, so do you think anyone is ever going to come up with a long term solution? Perhaps console emulation through Steam?

    Mainly though, I want to know about the ponies.


      Ponies are dangerous. They bit Louis CK's daughter.

    Have you played Rage yet? Did you enjoy and what platform did you play on?

    Also, working for a video game website, how frequently do you play games while in the office?

      RAGE is a bit of a disappointment for me to be honest. Was hoping for more.

      I don't think I've played games in the office ever? Maybe once or twice in the entire year. Writing for Kotaku is highly paced stuff.

      When I was in magazines it was a different story altogether!

    Will you ever write a full review for Kotaku?Even if it's for an old game?

    You've wrote the Ocarina retrospective which was really good and I'd really like to read your thoughts on certain games.

      If there was enough demand I'd probably do it - but not a traditional review style. I just don't like them that much. I understand that they have to exist, I just don't want to write them.

      Glad you liked the Ocarina piece!

    Have you played Ico and/or Shadow of the Colossus on PS3 since the collection (or should that be the Collection) came out? What did you think?

      I hadn't played them before. The "HD" graphics were OK at best. The God of War upscaling was much better.

      I didn't care for Ico. The gameplay/puzzles were mediocre, and the main mechanic mostly annoying. I didn't think the story or aesthetic was much to ride home about. I might have enjoyed it more if I hadn't played Uncharted before.

      Shadows of the Collosus was much better. I can't see the basis for why this game is commonly held up as an example of art in games, but I generally liked the aesthetic. The gameplay was interesting/challenging, and the story/characters delivered on the promising minimal dialogue story-telling within Ico. Worth getting the collection for.

        "I didn’t think the story or aesthetic was much to ride home about."

        I believe the phrase is "write home about", unless you plan to tell them in person, which I guess still works.. :)

      I have the game in my bag. Quite keen on SoTC in particular - since the frame rate was a bit shonky on the original.

    Thoughts on ME3 co-op and metagame galaxy at war thingy? I don't remember seeing any comments :)

      Meh, that game is all about single player for me. I'm not a huge fan of co-op to begin with.

      In fact the only co-op game I remember really enjoying was PixelJunk Monsters.

    Did you know bacon is the best cure-all?

      I contest that tea, jelly beans and leeches will cure anything.

      Bacon is just awesome, but being awesome doesn't make things medicine.

      Trust me, I'm a Master Surgeon (if my scores in Trauma Center are anything to go by).

    I originally posted this in While you were sleeping, but it makes more sense here so I'll repost it.

    Hi Mark,

    Given that the majority of the AU Kotakans seem to despise and ridicule almost every post your US counterparts put up (and rightly so), I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your relationship with them, if any. Do you liaise with these guys? Are you beholden to them in any way? Does every single story they post automatically appear on Kotaku AU, or does someone go through them to decide what’s relevant?

    We are all aware that the US articles are lazy, ill-informed, poorly researched, generally rubbish, or just flat out incorrect. They are so lazy that they clearly can’t even be bothered to press the spellcheck button.

    I know when the new weekend editor was announced there was mention of ensuring that the US articles had more polish, mate, you’re going to need a shitload of Mr Sheen.

    I’m not saying all this to be a grammar nazi or a hater. I, like most of your Aussie readers, respect and enjoy the articles, editorial stance, and general attitude of this site. It’s just a shame that it’s being dragged down by a bunch of talentless hacks.


    Krogans and Mass Effect 3: Is anyone kicking themselves for not curing the genophage when they realised they'd need more Krogans to defeat the Reapers?

      S'okay, the mass army of Geth and giant bug things will probably help, right?
      I have faith that Wrex can band together the Krogans and do some damn fine smashing, even if they have lesser numbers.

        In my first playthrough of ME1 and ME2, I'm pretty sure I doomed the galaxy.

        I killed the Rachni, killed Wrex, destroyed the cure for the genophage, and destroyed the heretics rather than reprogrammed them... My first Shepard's left the galaxy in a pretty defenceless state.

          Maybe you just get wiped out in the tutorial mission.
          "And because there was no one left in the galaxy to fight back, Shepard got rolled, The End."

            Maybe your Shepard isn't badass enough to pull off a universe saving fight to the death against godlike beings of pure destruction by himself, but neither is mine.

          I saved them both - but wait - who were the heretics?
          you mean the rogue biotics? because i saved them too...

            I think he meant the Geth in ME2

              ^ spot on

                I don't think we ever got the option to cure the genophage... I know Mordin kept the data, but that's not a cure.

          Haha! I've destroyed the cure and killed the Heretics but I freed the Rachni. So we may survive the Reapers, but we'll be enslaved to some freaky psychic bugs.

      I pretty much made it my mission to kill and/or antagonise everthing I encountered.

      This final battle might end up being more of a curb stomping, with my Sheperd biting the curb.

      I kept the human reaper :)
      I can't see this backfiring in any way.

    Will Uncharted ever get tired? Where do you see the series ending? 3, 10, 25, or 800?

      I think Naughty Dog could make an infinite number of good Uncharted's, but I suspect this will be their last (just a hunch, which I hope is wrong). It'll probably then follow the Crash Bandicoot path of mediocrity.

      This is why I tend to follow developers rather than IP. Of course, if the developer is bought by EA, I stop following them anyway.

        +1 on the EA comment.

        Once EA get their fingers in the dev pie, that's it, the dev company is not to be trusted.

          Tell me about it. I'm actually not pre-ordering Mass Effect 3. Not that I'm concerned about anything I've heard, but because Bioware has become an unknown quantity. This will be the first Bioware game I have't pre-ordered since Balder's Gate. True story.

        I agree that Naughty Dog, if they wanted to, could create any amount of new Uncharted games and have the same astoundingly positive response; characterisation, plot, story, gameplay - they all tick the right boxes. I hope it isn't the last, but if it is we'll look forward to Naughty Dog's next IP!

        I love Crash Bandicoot (and that hasn't been good since Naughty Dog kicked him to the curb) but I don't get the appeal of Jak & Daxter at all. Just seems like some sort of Banjo Kazooie rip off.

        Uncharted though seems good (don't have a PS3 but am considering on the strength of this and LBP alone) hopefully they won't stuff the series by doing another cart racer.

      I think they need to take a break after 3. They already have a fourth game(Golden Abyss on vita)
      The games are great but over-saturation will make the franchise feel tired.

      Hopefully I'll be dead and gone by the time Uncharted: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gets green-lit.

    Are you really a Green Beret Mark? I have my doubts.

      It's more of a green/brown/red tartan

      It also has nothing to do with the military

    I know you were awak recently but I'm curious, did you play any of the BATTLEFIELD 3 open beta while it was running?

    How did you find it? Did you think it was a bad idea DICE/EA released a buggy, older build of their game a month before the release date?

      Obviously someone didn't play either the BF:BC2 beta or MoH(MP was DICE's department) beta's last year.

      Both launched in such a broken fashion that it was ridiculous.

      they make the BF3 beta look like a bloody finished product

        what are you talking about? I didn't have a problem with the beta. Don't assume so much from an objective question.

        There's a lot of talk both by gamers and the media about how buggy the beta was. I'm curious on Mark's take on it...

      EA sent me a code. I typed it in. It said 'someone has already used this code'.

      Then I went back to watching The Sopranos.

      True story!

    Do you plan to write a feature/opinion piece on yesterday's iEGA release?

      I have thoughts on it, but I think we all know that games are mainstream, that they're ubiquitous.

      We have a couple of other cool things in the works that I think you'll like.

    Aren't you pulling a sickie a week early...
    How you going to get a day off for Batman now?

      He's laying the groundwork for it. Be a little sick now, then suffer a relapse when Batman comes out.

      It may or may not have been a part of the article about how to fake sick days in order to get quality gaming time in, back when Portal 2 came out.

    Just a heads up for the Cheapskate Gamer, Green Man Gaming have a 20% off discount this week on there website, if you use it on Batman Arkham City, you get it for about $34!

      Code being AUTUM-NSALE-20PEC

        Oops, use this code on and you can nab Batman Arkham City and a bunch of other games for about $34, PC digital download only. Thought I'd throw it out there for cheap skate gamer!

    Where in the world did you find that picture of Connery in a wedding dress?

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