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Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate “Cell Blocks Gameplay” walkthrough

Yesterday, we hopefully got you super hyped for the new Batman: Arkham Origins coming out tomorrow for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, but we can’t forget the other Batman: Arkham game coming out tomorrow for Vita and 3DS, which is Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Warner Bros. Interactive has posted yet another video leading up to the big day featuring a walkthrough of the Blackgate gameplay.

The “Cell Blocks Gameplay” video is narrated by Armature Studio game director Mark Pacini, who highlights a level in Blackgate Prison. Pacini explains level design, controls, combat and Batman’s investigative and detective features you’ve come to know and love. You can check out the video below and again, be warned there will probably be some minor spoilers.

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Here’s to hoping they release a version of this for PSN and Xbox LIVE, because this looks just as good gameplay-wise as Origins with a nice 2 and a half D twist.

Pokemon X & Y Impressions

Keen and I are longtime Pokemanics and have been glued to our 3DS’ since yesterday morning. We make the vow to catch them all every time a new game comes out and mean it each time, even if we end up running out of steam along the way. We’re not terribly far yet but we’d love to talk about some of the more interesting aspects of the games, which seem to have taken the most significant steps in expanding upon the main Pokemon game series.

Froakie and Chespin

A few of our favorite things:

Pokemon XY 3D Render+ The 3D rendered visuals are fantastic and allow for some interesting new camera perspectives that we haven’t seen before in the main series. One in particular that comes to mind is when you enter Lumiose. The camera switches to  an over-the-shoulder perspective and presents the whole city in an exciting new way. Also, seeing your Pokemon battling in 3D for the first time in the main series is really exciting.+ Rollerskating is a neat way to switch things up from the usual bike transportation.

+ Fairy type Pokemon! I don’t have a lot of experience with them yet but new types are always fun. I don’t think we have had a new type since steel and dark, if I can remember correctly.

+ Mega-Evolutions?! Or at least the idea of them. In theory it sounds pretty awesome but neither of us are far enough yet to know.

+ New features! There’s a new strength-training type minigame system that so far is a bit confusing, the Pokemon-Amie feature that lets you interact with your Pokemon similar to Nintendogs, and probably a lot more stuff we haven’t even seen yet.

+ Character customization! You can choose between 3 different pre-set characters, either male or female, but later on you can change your outfit, buy new clothes and accessories, and even get a new haircut and color.

+ Bonus Kanto region starter! Shortly into the game you are given the choice of additional Pokemon: Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. Why…? Just because, I guess.

You take the good with the bad:

- Character movement is pretty wonky and trying to get into specific areas or talk to people can prove more difficult than you’d imagine. As soon as you get your rollerskates you can activate them with the circlepad and zoom around with 360 degrees of movement but you cant run through grass. Pressing on the D-pad will make you walk around with the whole up, down, left, up-right, etc 8-directional movement system and you can run (through grass as well) by holding ‘B.’- There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of new Pokemon. Most of what we have encountered so far are familiar faces like Caterpie, Bidoof, Pikachu, etc. What is new, however, is pretty cool and interesting. I suppose it comes down to the whole quality versus quantity debate. Still, I would like to see more new Pokemon.

- The 3D depth effect isn’t so hot. The game is mostly presented with the two-dimensional effect but in certain instances and in battles it activates the depth effect. It’s not that it looks necessarily bad but it does make the jaggies stand out more and there is VERY noticeable slowdown during battles unless you turn it off. It’s probably best to just completely turn off the 3D depth effect, which seems to be a trend in 3DS games lately, as it makes the entire experience better.

The Verdict

Pokemon X and Y are worth buying.  Many of you have already asked us whether or not this game alone justifies buying a 3DS.  Our answer is yes.  However, if the full 3DS price seems a bit high, why not give the 2DS a look? It costs less ($70 cheaper) than the 3DS (especially the 3DS XL which is the better 3DS to buy) and gives you the best of the new Pokemon game.  If you’re thinking about playing any other 3DS games, and there are some great ones out already and coming out soon, then go for a full 3DS XL.

Follow our entire Pokemon adventure as we once again try and Catch ‘Em All!

Kotaku ‘Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The Winners

Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

He’s not the dad we need right now. Hell, he’s not the dad we want, either. But Batdad, the aphorism-spouting alter ego of one Atlanta-area father, is the ‘Shop Contest subject we get this week, in 20 different sight gags including the overall No. 1 from Docherty!

Just for the record, Contrarianator was helluva close to overall No. 1. I hate to say it folks, but size does matter, and we try to run our winners at 970 x 546. Acnyc2000 also was a close contender.But Docherty, a frequent flier in the roundup, won out with that magnificent selfie-cam view, triumphing over repeat offender billysan, who placed two entries in the finals. Hats off to Wiisley64 for the timely callback, too.

And, by the way, if you want a head start on tomorrow’s contest, EllieRyan has the right idea. ‘Nuff said!

On with the finalists!


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Acnyc2000


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Arniejolt


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

billysan


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

billysan


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Contrarianator


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Docherty


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

EllieRyan


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Greg the Mad


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Ihsus


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Jbrr


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Kcity


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

PeterPanzerfaust


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Pixel


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

SoCalBro


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Sticksabbi


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

stillsaw


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

The Palmtop Tiger


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

trippytreefrogb


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

uscg_pa


Kotaku 'Shop Contest: BatDad: Arkham Origins: The WinnersS

Wiisley64


To contact the author of this post, write to owen@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @owengood.

Mugen Souls Z will be released in 2014 by NIS, albeit with some cuts

Nippon Ichi Software of America has just acquired the rights to Compile Heart’s Mugen Souls Z.

Like Disgaea, this customizable RPG allows characters to level up to insane heights, deal out massive damage, and tweak stats like crazy:

“Our favorite Undisputed God of the Universe, Chou-Chou, returns with her crew for a brand-new story revolving around the zodiac. Taking place immediately after the first game, you take control of the goddess Sylma, who meets Chou-Chou before the end of the first game’s events. Sylma is out to stop an ancient threat to her world that has recently awakened.”

The game will be released in 2014, but will feature some cuts due to a questionable fan-service type mini-game.  You can read NISA’s official explanation on this forum post.

My Pokemon XY Anti-Adventure

pokemon-x-y-logoEvery time a new Pokemon game releases there has to be some sort of adventure involved.  Pokemon X & Y released today, and that meant turning our normal Saturday into something special.  Graev informed me yesterday that Toys R Us is having a special and as a result there would probably be huge lines.  After all… it’s Pokemon.  “You need to be there by 8:30am — no later!” he said.  This just happened to be grocery week, so I woke up at 6am to be at the grocery store when it opened.  I raced through shopping, came home and unloaded all the groceries, and had just enough time to get back in the car and race over to Toys R Us.

The special Graev mentioned is Toys R Us has a deal on 3DS games where you buy one get one 40% off.  If you haven’t picked up your copies yet, or you want other 3DS games, I think the deal ends today so get out there!

So I roll up to Toys R Us at 8:15.  You can never be too early, and Graev was counting on me!   The parking lot was empty save for a few employee vehicles for the early cleaning crew.  I pulled into a tactical position where I could monitor cars entering the vicinity yet remain close enough to the doors that I could sprint up and be first. Who knows how many copies they have, and how many greedy people will buy them all up.  8:30 rolls around and I see a car pull up.  I spring into action by grabbing my wallet, turning of the car,  and giving myself a quick look in the mirror when I notice the man getting out of his van carrying a rather large plastic bag.  Curses!  It’s just the guy who fills the stuffed animals in the claw machine.

I’m starting to get nervous.  No one is here but a few employees.  Did I have the time wrong?  Does Pokemon not come out today?  When suddenly another car pulls up.  It’s 8:45 and I’m not risking it.  The first copy is going to be mine.  I casually, slowly, open my door and walk in a brisk, nonchalant cool guy ‘in my shorts and flip flops on a Saturday’ style.  I’m an expert at giving off the ‘just doin’ m’thang’ vibe.  I’ve had a lot of practice over the years waiting on these games, systems, etc., to release.  You can’t spook the others into thinking you’re a runner.  If they catch wind that you’re here to be a player that just psychs them up. I gave the guy who walked up one of those chin thrust ‘sup’s’ and casually waited for the punk kid to finally unlock the door.

SPRINT!  Like a bolt of Pikachu’s lightening I was in the store and weaving in and out of displays.  The store was eerily empty and 30 seconds later when the other guy finally makes it the 40 feet to the games department he asks, “Here for Pokemon too?”   “Yup,” I reply while thinking to myself of-freaking-course I’m here for Pokemon; Who wouldn’t be here for Pokemon 45 minutes before the store opens?

Finally the employee (who knows me by name thanks to Disney Infinity) takes his sweet time walking over.  “Here for Pokemon? Both versions, right?”  I walk through the mental “of-freaking-course, who buys just one?” again and hear the guy behind me say “Yeah, yeah me too both X & Y!”  Maybe this guy isn’t so bad after all.

The employee finally surfaces from the back where he most certainly had copies of the game under lock and key with armed security standing watch.  I blurt out, “You guys have a special right now.  40% off.  I get 40% off.  GIVE IT TO MEEEE!”  Something like that spews out of my lips and he just nods, having already entered my Rewards number (again, Disney Infinity).  Clutching my bag to my chest I exit the store, look around for anyone talking into their cuffs wearing ear pieces (you can never be too cautious), get into my car, lock the doors, and drive off — the parking lot still empty.

You’re going next time, Graev.

GTA V’s Sex And Violence Toned Down In Japan

Two weeks back, I picked up a Japanese copy of Grand Theft Auto V and began leisurely working my way through the game. After a few hours of playing it, I started to notice that some things were curiously missing in the sex and violence department.

[Note: Video is NSFW and contains major spoilers for GTA V.]

That’s not to say that sex and violence are completely cut from the game—it is Grand Theft Auto after all—but the most extreme examples have their fair share of cuts and edits in the Japanese version.

To see some of the most egregious edits I have found in action, check out the video above.

(And if you are wondering why the Japanese footage is in English with English subtitles, it’s because the Japanese game always has English voices but allows you to pick the subtitle language. I picked English.)

Kotaku has contacted the game’s creators at Rockstar, asking the reason for these cuts and edits in the Japanese version of the game but have yet to receive a response. This article will be updated if and when a reply is received.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

To contact the author of this post, write to BiggestinJapan@gmail.com or find him on Twitter @BiggestinJapan.

Star Citizen stings wannabe spacefarers with another spaceship commercial

Roberts Space Industries have returned once again with another blast from far into the future. 2931 years into the future, to be exact.

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This time, they’ve brought us a commercial for the “Hornet F7C” Combat Spaceship manufactured by Anvil Aerospace.

Star Citizen is looking like the sandbox space-faring game that sci-fi enthusiasts have really been waiting for ever since the release of classic titles like Freelancer and legendary games in the Elite series. There’s no doubt that fans will be eagerly awaiting the game’s release sometime in Q4 of 2014, especially with the release of the less ambitious X: Rebirth just around the corner. Development on David Braben’s Elite Dangerous , however, is sure to keep the folks at Roberts Space Industries on their toes.

Although the game’s release is still quite far away, fans who have purchased one of the game’s many pre-order “packages” and are really itching for the Star Citizen experience right now can download the Hangar Module app immediately, which lets them walk around some of the game’s ships.

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FFXIV End-game Update

Keen in Darklight ArmorI’ve been doing the “end-game”, or what is currently available in the end-game of FFXIV, for a couple of weeks now.

The common sentiment is that Square may have rushed things a bit.  To get ready for doing true end-game activities one must run the same two dungeons over and over.  One of those dungeons is a story dungeon, which causes a rift between those who want to speed run and those who want to watch cutscenes.

Grinding CM and AK  (the two dungeons) yields tokens which can be redeemed for gear.  The gear is really only needed to complete part of the Relic Weapon quest, then advance into the only “raid” currently available: Coil of Bahamut.

Right now I’m still in the “taking it slow” phase. I run 2-3 AK’s a day (30 min each) and collect tokens to redeem for gear I’ll need to comfortably slay Titan and Garuda Hardmode.

Can it improve? Yes.  I wrote only a few days ago that a variety of dungeons wouldn’t hurt.  Adding two or three more would be a great start.  Speeding up the Duty Finder would also go a long way.

What I’m not suggesting is enhancing the gear grind.  Some people are recommending a faster vertical climb.  Me?  I think a nice horizontal progression would be much better.  More dungeon options, lots of gear in the same tier, and a long, long time before I have to worry about replacing the gear I just worked hard to earn.

Long story short, it’s not bad.  Having played on a few hours a night, I’m only a couple of weeks away from being able to do the hardest content.  That’s very reasonable.

Update: Patch 2.05 is bringing a great deal of change.  A lot of what has been bugging me and others about the end-game is being addressed.  All the details.

  • Changes will be made to the way equipment is bound.
  • Introducing additional servers and enhancements to act as a countermeasure against the congestion to enter “Amdapor Keep.”
  • The difficulty for level 50 dungeons will be adjusted.
  • The number of areas where you can acquire Allagan Tomestones of Philosophy and Mythology will be increased as well as the amount you can acquire.
  • Implementation of a population cap for each field.
  • Adjustments to the spawn rate of monsters that drop diremite web and additional locations where Karakul can be found.
  • The amount of experience points that can be acquired on botanist and miner, as well the experience points that can be acquired from their fieldcraft leves, will be increased.
  • User interface elements related to materia and target information will be adjusted.